It's week 22 and I sincerely hope we make it another 3 to 5 weeks (the month to month folks stop the end of this month and the 3 mo and full season subscribers get to go through to Oct 13th). But with no rain and irrigation just barely keeping things alive I don't know if we will be able to keep on going through the entire season. Cutting the season short will be a first for us in the 12 or so years we have done a CSA. In the past I have felt like cutting the season short due to burn out on us farmers' part and the members' part but never did. but this is different, we are simply running out of food. Almost everything in the market garden has given up. We are getting maybe 50 pounds of tomatoes, less eggplant, no greens right now (they look terrible, but are alive and will likely come back in full force when/if it rains). The beans are producing but not much and the bugs have pretty much decimated what is being produced in their desperate search for food and water. the raspberries are pretty much done (Eugene still picks them but the berries are really really tiny now and sparse, to boot). The strawberries are slowly producing but even with several hours of drip irrigation daily they are not getting enough water so we get under 5 pints of berries a week (and this is why they do not show up in your shares-not enough for everyone).
So what I am getting at, is the fact that when you signed up for this food adventure you took on some of the risk of farming with us, and for the first time, I believe we may have to test out all you locavores participating. If we cannot make it through the entire season there will be no refunds. We will try our best to go out the entire time and with things like winter squash, onions, apples and perhaps parsnips (if we can get them out of the hard, hard ground) I think we will be able to go out to mid October. But I make no promises. Yeah, it's that bad. It's so bad we are wondering how we will make it through winter and get the bills paid as this is the time of year at the farmers market when we make most of our money for the season and because we have little in the way of crops to sell, our sales are down by about half. We want to do a winter CSA but it looks like we will be short on taters, carrots, greens, winter squash-pretty much everything we need for winter shares-because we will have to use some of our stores for the main season (as we are planning on taking this out all the way if possible). So this is another needed revenue stream that won't be happening, most likely. But we do want to do the winter CSA and if you have expressed an interest know we are still thinking of doing it but really won't know for sure until the beginning of October. After all, Boulder Belt Eco-Farm was one of the first farms in the USA to do a winter CSA 4 years ago and we want to continue onward.
But maybe things will change. All we really need is a couple of good (1 inch) rainfalls in the next 10 days and we will be back in the saddle. There is rain forecasted, including the remnants of a tropical storm (and they are usually good rain producers) in the next week, so maybe we will get lucky. With rain all the seeds planted for the fall and winter will start to thrive instead of merely surviving (and that is with hand watering for hours daily, plus drip irrigation and row cover over top to keep all moisture with the plants and not evaporating away-it's not like we are not trying-we are using every trick in the book and it still is not working well for us. Of course most small farmers in the eastern US are in the same boat. It's been a very, very hard summer for farming)
I do have to start asking at this point will you be doing the Boulder Belt FSI next year? I plan on doing attractive discounts for folks who sign up and pay before Jan. 1st 2011. And for those who are interested in the Winter Share; it will start Nov 3rd and run through Jan 26th (7 pick-ups which will be every other week). Cost is $350 paid in full by Mid October (we will start accepting payments, if we even do this, October 1st).
Okay, all that said, expect the shares to be much smaller starting this week than they have been in the past. You will still get plenty of food but not quite the bounty you have been getting (which may be a relief).
Shares will be ready after 4pm and please don't forget your tomatoes which will be sitting on the shelves by the fridge. Last week about 1/2 of you forgot them.
6 or more apples cored and sliced thinly (you can leave the skins on)
1 cup brown sugar
2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup melted butter
1 TBL (or to taste) Cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBL corn starch (or other thickener such as arrow root)
2 TBL lemon juice (fresh is best but bottled works just fine)
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
In a mixing bowl combine the apples, lemon juice 1/2 cup sugar, corn starch half the salt, raisins and walnuts. In another bowl combine the oats, butter and the rest of the sugar. in a buttered dish dump the apple stuff and top it with the oat stuff. bake in an over preheated to 350 for about 1/2 hour. Take out and let cool 20 minutes and serve.
What's in the Share
Eggplant-around 1 to 2 pounds
Tomatoes-around 1 to 2 pounds
Peppers-4 to 6 peppers. FYI if you leave the partially green peppers out of refrigeration they will ripen up in a few days and be far sweeter.
Garlic-2 heads of garlic. FYI, if you are not using up your garlic it will store well at room temp for many many months. It will store even longer in the fridge (like 9 months)
Winter squash-probably a mix of bon bon (the bluish green squash) and delicata (the yellowish squash)
Apples-6 or 7 apples
Parsley-A small bunch of parsley
Yellow Onions-1 large or a couple smaller onions (around 1/2 pound). These are cooking onions, do not eat them raw unless you have an iron stomach