Boulder Belt Eco-Farm

  (Eaton, Ohio)
We Sell the Best, Compost the Rest
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Boulder Belt Winter Share vol 4 issue 3

It's farm share day. I hope you have eaten your way through the last share by now.

Several significant things have happened in the passed day or so. First we got more rain and than winter showed up again so today it looks like some light snow. This will not affect your share this week as we harvested everything for it Monday when it was warm and nice out (and this allowed us to wash everything as well so not too much mud on things, but there will be a bit). Winter means things happen more slowly. The crops grow much more slowly and we farmers work more slowly, often due to mud, ice and snow (hard to work quickly when one's feet keep slipping). The cold will start impacting your shares in the weeks ahead. As I mentioned, things grow glacially slow in winter (yes that was a pun) and even the protected crops will get wind and cold burns. We are planning on harvesting all the carrots, rutabagas, hamburg parsley (this is a root crop) and parsnips in the next week or so so they do not freeze in the ground and get ruined (not to mention the fact one does not dig roots out of hard frozen ground). This will leave the hardy leafy greens, most of which need to get hoop houses over them, as the crops left in the ground. My hope is the weather will be mild enough (meaning it gets up to the low 40's during the day and does not get colder than 17 at night) that the greens can continue to grow for another 3 to 4 weeks before they either die of cold or go dormant until late Feb. If we get hit with some truly frigid temps than the greens will probably stop early and the shares will be all things that have been stored for winter use. As it is, they are doing well and growing because we are finally getting the rain we needed several months ago

Second, the big food bill running through the Senate, S510 was voted on and passed yesterday morning. There has been an incredible amount of fear mongering about this bill. Wild claims that back yard gardening, seed saving, Organic farming, cooking at home, etc.. will all be shut down. None of these things will happen but there was worry that farms such as Boulder Belt, that sell direct to their customers would have to either shut down or invest quite a bit of money in infrastructure to get farm packing sheds up to FDA code. Plus they would have to keep more records and get annual inspections (actually, pretty similar to what the certified Organic farmers have to do). But because of the Tester-Hagan Amendment all farms who make under $500K, sell at least 51% of their crops direct and sell within a 249 mile radius of their farm are exempt from this bill. But from what I am still reading on the web by the nay-sayers it is still a huge disaster. I guess they all forget that the industrial food stream is corrupt and dirty and needs to be cleaned up ASAP. And this bill should go a long way in doing just that. I will note that before the Tester-Hagan amendment was attached to the bill the big food and farm corps were all for this passing because they saw it as a way to get rid of us little sustainable guys who are taking over 1% of their business. But once it was firmly attached, about 3 days before the vote, all the big industrial food and farm corps suddenly did a 180 degree turn and were against it. This tells me the bill when it becomes law has teeth and will clean up their acts.

The 3rd thing going on today is Tuttle the kitten is getting neutered. he is almost 6 months old and it is time. Looks like we got this done before the dreaded spraying started. We have lots of hoop house plastic that has been well marked by male cats we have had over the years. the smell stays active for at least 5 years. tuttle has been learning all about hunting mice and voles and will be an important part of our pest control come late winter and early spring when the voles and mice start to get active and will eat entire plantings of  seedlings and will move freshly planted pea seeds and hoard them under row covers. but between Tuttle, mouse traps, Nate (who is a very enthusiastic but rather inefficient voler/mouser) and us humans we should be able to keep the vermin under decent control. This also means we may not be home around 4pm as That should be about when he will be ready to come home.

Pick up after 4 pm today. Like last time expect two bags of produce (unless you have provided a really big bag and got just one bag last pick up) If your bags are not in the front of the store than go to the back and look in the huge silver fridge. Any bags not picked up by 7pm today will go there so that they do not freeze. You see, we do not heat the store building and when it goes into the mid 20's bags of produce on the floor will tend to freeze (they are fine when it is in the high 20's outside as the store generally stays about 10 degrees above the outside temp). But the fridge keeps everything well above freezing and in good shape. This is just more of the differences between doing a winter CSA and a Spring/summer/fall CSA

Don't forget if you sign up for next year's FSI before Jan 1st you get a mighty nice discount. We are already filling up spaces for next year so act soon (and if you are not doing next year please let me know ASAP)


This week we feature radishes. I know some of you are not keen on radishes but this recipe makes use of a lot of them and is good for those of us who do not fully appreciate the radish (and I happen to be in this camp. I am not a radish fan but I love this recipe, who knew radishes could replace cabbage in a slaw recipe?)

Radish Cole Slaw (we can still call this cole slaw because radishes are a member of the cole crop (AKA Brassica) family

4+ cups of  radishes (this would be around 6 bunches)
1 small red onion
1 clove of garlic
several carrots (like 1 cup when shredded)
1 cup mayo
1 TBL sugar
1 TBL rice vinegar (or balsamic)
1 tsp celery seed
1 TBL olive oil
salt to taste

Also good in this are parsley, raw beets, walnuts and cucumber

Get out the food processor or a grater and put the radishes, onion and carrots through, using the shredding blade. Put all this in a bigger bowl than you would think you would need and add the mayo, oil, sugar, vinegar and the rest except the garlic. The garlic needs to either be put through a press or minced into garlic foam with a micro-planer. Add that to the radish mix and stir well. Put in the fridge for at least an hour so the flavors can meld (but 4+ hours is best). This will store in your fridge for about 14 days.

What's in the Share

Spring Mix 6 oz bag
Arugula-1/4 pound bag
Leeks-2 winter leeks that are about 1/3 the size they should be thanks to the drought
Carrots-1.5 pounds of rainbow carrots
Potatoes-around 2 pounds of mixed potatoes
Sweet Potatoes-1 pound of yams
Red Onion 1.5 pounds of red onions (or it may be a mix of red and yellow). The red are a nice all purpose onion-can be cooked or eaten raw on sandwiches or in salads. the yellow is for cooking only unless you have a gut of iron.
Garlic 3 corms
Napa-at least 3/4 pound of Napa!
Broccoli Raab-A small bag as I was not able to harvest as much as i thought I could because much had gotten some pretty bad frost and wind damage due to their row cover coming off in the chilly and very windy night Sunday/Monday. Eugene reports that yesterday's rain has improved the raab greatly and it will be even better when we get a hoop house over top of it. We are hoping this will grow through January. We have never grown this in winter but it is supposed to be one of the hardiest of the winter greens, rivaling, if not surpassing, Kale. So far, though it has not been all that hardy. You get 1/2 pound
Bok Choy-if this is not the last week for it the next pick up certainly will be as the choy's are not very cold hardy and I noticed this stuff is beginning to make broccoliesque flowers. You get 3/4 pounds
Radish-you will get lots of radishes this week in order to make the recipe. not to mention we harvested most of them about 10 days ago and they need to be used (even though they will store without tops for at least 8 weeks in the fridge). You get 12 bunches
Rutabaga-like a turnip only better. Great in soups, stews and good roasted with other root veggies. You get a pound
Winter squash-a couple of acorn squash and a butternut
Tomatoes-several pounds of ripe maters and perhaps some green ones as well. You get 3 pounds
Celeriac-the ugly lumpy things that once cleaned and prepped are fantastic. use as you would celery, after all it is celery root.
Pears-6+ pears
Strawberries-you get a tiny box of berries. I wish there were more but as i have mentioned it was a rough strawberry year for us and we rarely had anywhere near enough to supply our FSI members. And now, as of  yesterday, the berry season is all done. Even with a hoop house and row covers most of the berries were freezing and turing into mold factories infecting all around them. And we know from lots exp that when that starts to happen it is time to put the berries to sleep for the winter. the good news is all the new plants we started from runners are working and we should have 2x+ more next year as this year.
Peppers-there will be some jalapenos (get out the popper recipe or make a chili with 'em) and some not hot green and ripe bells (on the small side and probably not the best quality)
Beets-a mix of red beets, yellow beets and even a few chioggia
Lettuce-a bag with 2 heads of heirloom lettuce.

Boulder Belt Farm Share Initiative Week 29

Wow! We have one week and a half left in this farm share (the full season Tuesday folks go into November). Hopefully we will have October weather instead of the mid November weather we have "enjoyed" the past week. The prediction is for warm clear weather for the next 3 days than rain Friday and Saturday. This mens if you are picking up food you might want to give yourself an extra 30 minutes and take a walk around the farm. If you do so the entry is the red gate between the store and the barn. If there are dogs about they are friendly and like you (and your kids) already. The big guy is Nate and the smaller long haired dog is Danny.

We got our first freeze, finally. All the tomatoes, peppers and other summer produce that was not protected is done for the year. So now we have a market garden full of sorry looking dead plants. Over the next several weeks we will remove the plants and either burn them or compost them (some things got diseased and need to be burned and not composted.) Than we take up the ground covers and drip tapes and plant winter rye as a cover crop in some beds if it is not too late and other beds will be left open for late winter/ early spring plantings of things like spring mix, leeks, onions, scallions, parsnips, spinach, arugula, etc..

The freeze means it is finally time to plant garlic. We started the process yesterday by doing the final prep (raking for 4 and tilling for 3) on the 6 to 7 beds where the garlic will be planted. Than we counted just how many seed corms we have (okay, I did this several weeks ago. After all the garlic had been cleaned I than separated the big ones from the smaller ones) and than figured out how many cloves of each kind we should have. It turns out we have enough garlic to do 11 50' x 4' beds (450 garlic plants per bed). But we will do only 7 beds at most and 6 beds are more likely. The rest we sell as seed garlic at $3.50 a corm.

Okay, back to garlic planting prep. The next step is to separate the garlic cloves, thousands of them. Than when that is done it is planting time. Hopefully by mid afternoon today we will have several hundred garlics in the ground and by the end of the month we will have our 3000 or so cloves all tucked into the soil. than we wait for the greens to poke above the soil surface this fall. than they will die back over winter and in early spring the greens will reemerge and by late June we will start pulling green garlic and in July will harvest the crop, cure it and sell it all summer, fall and winter as we have done every year for the past 13 or so years.

Pear Ginger Cobbler

(I take this from the New Basics Cookbook. If you do not have this cook book buy it!)

8 ripe pears, peeled and cut into 1/4" slices
11/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons white sugar (I accidently used a cup of sugar the last time i made this and it was just fine-and i generally cut 1/3 to 1/2 the sugar in recipes)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (i.e 1 medium lemon)
finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup vegetable shortening (I use organic lard from Morning Sun farms in W. Alexandria, OH. Crisco and all other vegetable shortenings are the dreaded hydrogenated fats so avoid. Since I am out of the loop as far as vegetable fats perhaps there is a non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening out there if not use all butter)
1 egg
1/3 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 425F. Butter a large (14" long) baking dish or casserole or a 21/2 to 3 quart souffle dish

Combine pears, ginger, lemon juice, lemon zest and the sugar (except the the 3 tablespoons) in a large bowl and toss well to combine. Put this into the prepared baking vessel

In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 TBL of the sugar. That add the butter/shortening and start cutting the fat into the flour mixture with either 2 forks or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles corse crumbs-do not over do this. Lightly beat the egg and milk together and slowly add this to the dry ingredients. Lightly kneed the dough adding more flour if needed to make a smooth not sticky dough

break off portions and place them on top of the fruit pressing lightly and flattening the dough. Cover entire surface with dough pieces to give a "cobbled" effect

Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the dough and bake until well browned 35 to 45 minutes (set your timer to 35 mins as 45 mins is usually way too long)

What's in the Share this Week

Beets-mainly red beets but you might get some golden beets in your bunch as well. the beets are on the small size but tender and sweet
Radishes-a nice bunch of either Easter Egg or D'Avignon radishes
Garlic-2 corms of garlic
Carrots-a pound or so of orange carrots. These will be much nicer that previous carrots as we are now harvesting the fall carrots and they are the best carrots of the year for us.
Celery-more celery this week. I was going to do celeriac this week but since we had to harvest all the celery before the freeze we have a lot and it will not keep for weeks and weeks like the celeriac. So into the shares it goes
Leeks-2 leeks
Spring Mix-a 6 oz bag of our spring mix. Make a salad this week
Kale-a half pound or more of kale. Since we have had a freeze this should be really sweet and yummy
Ginger-yes ginger! We tried to see if we could grow it and had some success. This is the tropical looking item with the skinny greens and the knobby roots. You can do one of two things with this-eat it (remove the leaves and peel and use as you would any ginger) or plant it and get more ginger next summer (it takes 10 to 12 months to get a crop. The plant wants temps above 60, full sun in the winter and morning sun in the summer. Put it in a larger pot that you think it needs so it has room to expand)
Pears-2 pounds of our Kieffer pears
Winter Squash-2 to 3 pounds of squash, probably a mix like last week. Acorn is dark green, butternut is beige and delicata is yellowish with green or orange stripes. All cook the same way-350F over. Cut in half, remove the seeds and cook face down on a cookie sheet 20 to 35 minutes.
Peppers-several red/orange/yellow/green peppers from the great pepper stash

Shares will be ready for pick-up after 4pm Tuesday and Thursday and any time Friday. We will likely be gone after 4pm Tuesday (today) to run errands so if you need us that will be a problem. The shares will be on the table by the refrigerator as they usually are.

Lucy Goodman
Boulder Belt Eco-Farm
Eaton, OH


Boulder Belt Farm Share Initiative Week 26

The first and last newsletter of the month. Weird, but true because the month of October starts mid week. To all of you who have done this all season, congrats, you have made it almost all the way. In my experience as a CSA farmer this is somewhat rare. In past years we have had up to 50% of our full season members drop out by now. This would start by a few missed share usually in July and by mid September the member(s) would pretty much quit coming to farm (or when we did drop points, the drop point) to get their food. Sometimes they would would let me know what was going on but most of the time they did not. This meant we were making shares that would not be used by the intended people. Very frustrating. I am so happy this has not been the case at all this season. On that note I need to hear from the following people ASAP about next month; Kristan/Earlham, Heather Kardeen and Bea, -Are you in or out for October? Let me know no later than this evening (Tuesday).                       

Life of the farm just keeps going and going. We put up the first of several hoop houses yesterday. It will start out life protecting tomatoes and green beans but by December it will be too cold for those crops and they will be cleared out and something will go in probably in late winter as it is about impossible to get a crop started in an unheated hoop house in December, unless it is warmish and sunny during December. Than we can start spinach or spring mix for March/April harvests. Those maters in that hoophouse should be ready to harvest the end of October and definitely by November, same with the green beans.

The summer season is pretty much over for us-we still have peppers and eggplant in the ground and producing but the melons and tomatoes are pretty much over (except for the maters in the hoop house which have yet to produce anything. Oh, and the tomato volunteers that are covered with green and just now ripening fruits but may not make it through a 36 degree night). I suspect the basil will be gone after a night in the mid 30's (the prediction for Wednesday night/Thursday morning). But cold weather is fine with us as we have shifted to crops that can take the cold and still produce well (as a matter of fact most of the leafy greens prefer cold nights). And if it gets a bit too nippy we have frost protection for the more tender crops still in the ground. the mid 30's will be hard of the peppers which are too numerous to put hoop houses over and too large for row cover so I believe the plan there will be to harvest as many peppers as possible and hope for the best. in past years the peppers have been able to deal with some near freezing temps without too much damage and it may not get nearly as cold as they predict. I note that this morning it is is the low 50's and it is supposed to be in the low 40's so they were off by about 10 degrees (in our favor).

Yesterday evening we spent time digging taters. We got in Pontiac Reds (the potatoes you guys have been getting most weeks for a couple of months, now), Russian banana, a yellow fingerling spud, great for roasting or salads. not great for mashed taters. And German Butterball. The Butterballs are a wonderfully round yellow spud that is a nice all purpose potato. It also is a potato we have grown for only 2 years now and have discovered that if you do not get these spuds out in a timely manner they decide to put out roots and leaves and make more taters. This would be wonderful if we had another 3 months of frost free weather ahead of us but now that is is firmly autumn and winter is on it's way these taters don't stand of chance of producing a crop (actually they do as Eugene has collected all the sprouting butterballs and will plant them in a hoop house where they just might be able to over winter). At any rate, this has never happened to us with any other variety of potato we have grown (and we have grown around 10 to 15 different varieties over the past 15 years) and I guess in the future we will have to remember to get these tubers out of the ground ASAP after they are ready. You see with potatoes, most can be left in the ground for weeks after the plants die back. As long as the ground does not freeze or get water logged (flooded) the taters should be alright (grubs are another factor-they will eat any and all taters they can get too). but we find the butterballs if left in the ground for more than a couple of weeks after the plants die back will try to make babies. All potatoes will eventually do this but most need to be left in the ground for several months or over winter to go into the reproduction mode. Actually the second reproduction mode as the plants make seed balls during the summer that will also turn into potato plants if planted. It is through the seed balls we get new varieties of potatoes. Yukon Gold was developed this way. Some day Boulder Belt may come up with a new variety of spud that is commercially viable as we do plant the seed balls to see what we get. So far we have gotten nothing new or unique. But we keep trying because we find plant breeding fascinating.

We still have a few openings (5/five) for the winter share. Let me know ASAP if you want to keep getting local food through January. Cost is $300, payable by Halloween for food every other week. I wanna give you members first crack at this offer before allowing non members to sign up. Thanks to those of you who have already let me know, yes or no, about the Winter Share Program

We can always use you clean, not full of rips and holes, plastic and paper shopping bags-got a big wad of them taking up space in your home and you don't want to landfill them? We will happily take them off your hands. Other things we are looking far are pint and quart canning jars (no lids needed). If you have any that are just taking up space bring 'em to the farm. If you can and need the jars keep them-oh and on that note if you do can and ever need widemouth lids (no rings) we can supply you with 'em for free as we have about 1500 new unused lids we got from a friend (and there is more where those came from). Anyhoo, if want some let me know and I will toss some in your share. And the final thing we are looking for are dogs and cats-we have lost one old dog and have another close to death and we really need a minimum of 3 dogs to keep the crops safe from deer, groundhogs and other critters. We also need a good mouser or two. If you know of any medium to large breed (mutts are best but preferably no Chow or Pitbull mixes) puppies up to 6 months old that need a good home let us know. Same with kittens.

1 loaf of bread cubed and allowed to go stale over night. If you did not give yourself enough time pop the cubed bread (put it on a baking sheet) into a 350F oven for 10 minutes to dry out. It will take more than 10 minutes to dry the bread but it should be stirred every 10 minutes until it gets to where you want it.
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock or water
1 medium yellow onion chopped
3 (or more) ribs of celery chopped
2 to 3 apples chopped
1 or 2 pears chopped
1 cup of nuts, chopped (walnuts are best but any will do)
1/2 cup of raisins
2 cloves of garlic minced (more or less-to taste)
1/2 pound mushrooms sliced
1 tsp fresh sage (can use dried)
1 tsp fresh rosemary (can use dried)
1/4 cup fresh Italian/flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup melted butter or olive oil
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

In a large frying pan melt 1/2 the butter (or oil) and saute the onion, mushrooms, garlic and celery until tender. In a large mixing bowl put together the bread, cooked veggies, herbs, salt and pepper, fruit,  melted butter/oil and liquid and mix together. At this point you can either stuff your holiday bird or pork chops or put the dressing into a greased baking dish, cover and bake for about 45 minutes and than serve

What's in the Share this Week

Blue Lake Green Beans-these will be on the big side but will still be tender and delicious
Butterball potatoes-expect about a pound of these plus Russian banana fingerlings (the not round taters).                                                                                               should be good mashed or boiled. I really have not used a lot of these as we are just now doing a real harvest and last year was the year to build up seed stock so I did not get a chance to cook any. not to mention it was a really bad year for them last year so... The Fingerlings are another one that we have grown for only a couple of years but these i know about because we have grown another type of fingerling, French Fingerling, for over 10 years and all fingerling taters have a waxy flesh that is perfect for roasting and boiling for salads.
Spring mix-This is the crop that got me into market farming. I was looking for a decent salad mix after using a local organic mix at a restaurant where I cooked for several years. I could not find a commercial salad mix that was at all decent (not even the organic mixes) so I decided to develop my own spring mix 15 years ago and I gotta say you will find none better. if it were not for spring mix I would not have become the locavore farmer I am today. Enjoy.
Kale-a nice 3/4 pound bag of White Russian Kale (there seems to be a Russian Theme developing with this share)
Radishes-A small bunch of D'avignon (long red and white) and Easter Egg (round red, white or purple) radishes. perfect for your salad
Red Onion-a couple of medium red onions. These are a beautiful all purpose onion.
Sage-herb of the week is sage. This is great for poultry dishes as well as pork. It is a strong herb so use it sparingly and unlike many much more delicate fresh herbs it can be used at the beginning of cooking and hold up. It is also good in herbed bread and biscuits.
Peppers-Last week I warned you all that there will be a future pepper explosion. that time has come. Expect a minimum of 4 huge ripe peppers in your share this week. Perhaps more. Remember these are super easy to freeze and would be great for stuffing.
Eggplant-I expect this to be the last week for eggplant. Aubergines do not like cold weather at all and will either die outright when temps get into the 30's or at the very least pout and refuse to produce more fruit.
Pears-2 to 3 pounds of Kieffer pears, yum yum.
Garlic-I dunno what kind will be in your share, one of the 3 kinds we grow, but it will be good as always.
Winter Squash-You will get 1 to 2 winter squashes in you share. I am not sure what kind at this point but it will either be Butternut (beige) Acorn (dark green), Delicata (oblong, ivory white with green or orange stripes) Sunshine (round and orange) or Cushaw (large, white with green stripes. All of them cook the same way-cut in half                                                         lengthwise, remove the seeds (which are wonderful roasted) and bake on a baking sheet in a 350 oven for 20 to 45 minutes depending on the squash and its size. Squash is done when it is no longer hard to the touch.

Lucy Goodman
Boulder Belt Eco-Farm
Eaton, OH


Boulder Belt Farm Share Initiative Week 24

We have reached week 24. You will notice that there are changes in your share as we go from summer items into more fall like items. The main crop of tomatoes are about over for the year. We still have some but the yield is way down. On Friday it took me about 20 minutes to harvest tomatoes for market. The week before it took about 1.5 hours and the week before that about 4 hours. This is what happens in September. We did plant a fall crop of maters back in early July and the small plants do have small green fruits on them. We expect that this crop will be ready in mid October through mid November. We will put a hoop house over the beds in a week or two to keep the tomatoes reasonably warm and happy. I have been busy putting up tomato juice, tomato sauce and salsa for use this winter and next spring. I hope you all are not disappointed about not getting 10+ pounds of maters in your share (okay, those of you who started this month may miss 'em but the members who have been with us all summer or the entire season have to be sick of the maters. It was a bit of overkill, but I could have easily distributed 3x to 4x as much some weeks)

We are in the thick of winter squash harvest. It has been a good year for acorn, butternut and sunshine squashes. back in July the butternut looked really bad. The beds got fairly weedy and the weeds hid the developing squashes. So for several weeks it looked like we would get nothing. Than it seemed like over night that the squash foliage died back revealing lots and lots of medium sized squashes. You will not see any butternuts for several weeks in your share as these must cure for 3 to 5 weeks to bring out the sugars in the flesh. Newly harvested butternuts (and this is true of all winter squashes) will have a rather insipid taste. The other reason you won't see a lot of winter squashes in shares (there will be some) is because these are grown for winter markets and shares. Marketing the produce we grow in winter has become a bit of a specialty for us. We do both season extension using row covers and hoop houses and we grow for root cellaring

As has been mentioned several times in past newsletters we are offering a winter share (which has 7 openings, down from 9 last week-if you want our food this winter I suggest you tell us sooner than later) and we got to most of the monthly winter markets in Oxford (3rd Saturday of the month starting in December). Selling at an outdoor market in the depths of winter is pretty hard core (we have sold in ice storms, heavy snow, sub zero temps and, a couple of times, spring like conditions in January). Our goal is to eventually have the winter share program replace the winter farmers markets as there are some down sides to selling outdoors in winter. If the temps are below 25F we cannot take squash or potatoes as they will freeze in about 2 hours. Interestingly, though, greens such as kale and arugula seem to do okay as do parsnips and carrots. So because of past learning experiences such as freezing over 100 pounds of  taters at a subzero market coming home and tossing them in the compost, we know our limitations at such markets. The winter share program has no such limits because the produce stays indoors where it will not freeze and be ruined until members come to get it. And we don't have to stand around for 3 hours in the cold and wind selling (this is not nearly as glamorous as it sounds)

Hey! We have a Pot luck dinner and farm tour THIS Sunday. I have heard from only 4 members out of 13 about this. I need to know ASAP (like today) if you are coming to this event of not. Just reply to this email with a simple yes or no-it's that easy. The festivities will start around 6ish. Meet at the store.

Your shares will be ready after 4pm. It looks like there will be one bag per share this week and they will be in the fridge. Oh and speaking of bags if you have a lot of plastic grocery bags taking up room in your abode we will take them and reuse them (as long as they are clean-absolutely no dirty bags). just bring them with you and leave them on the table where I have been putting the tomatoes all summer.

Lamb or Beef stew (if vegetarian leave out the meat). This is a family recipe I learned from my father. He always made beef stew but in recent years I got turned onto stewing lamb and find it is better than beef.

a couple of medium yellow cooking onions, diced
several stalks of celery, diced
4+ carrots (med to large), diced
1/2 pound potatoes diced
1 medium rutabaga peeled and diced
1 large pepper (green, purple or red) diced
1/8 cup fresh sage (or 1-tsp dried)
several sprigs of rosemary (if doing lamb)
1/4 cup of fresh parsley
1TBL dried basil (fresh will not work with this recipe)
2 tsp dried oregano
several cloves of garlic peeled and chopped
salt to taste (at least 1TBL)
2+ quarts of water or meat or veggie stock
Any other veggies you desire such as parsnip, winter squash, zucchini, tomato, leeks, mushrooms, green beans, daikons, etc..
1+ pounds of stew meat (We get ours from Morning Sun Farms which sells it's pastured meat at Oxford, Yellow Springs and West Chester farmers markets)

In a large heated pot (at least 3 gallons) cook the meat until brown (vegetarians skip this step). When the meat is brown remove it from the pot add some butter or oil to the brown bits left by the meat cooking  (vegetarian style will have no brown bits and that's okay) and  add the veggies, salt, herbs and water/stock. On medium high heat bring to a simmering boil. Once simmering turn heat down to medium low, add the cooked meat cover and let cook for at least 2 hours, checking and stirring every so often. You may have to add an additional quart of so of water during cooking. When the contents are soft (especially the meat-you are using stew meat which takes several hours of stewing to be right) grab a blender and puree about 1/3 of the stew (you may have to add some water). Put the puree back into the stew, check seasonings and adjust if needed and you are ready to serve. This is great with a good bread, cornbread  or homemade biscuits.

What's In the Share

Green beans-big beans from an early planting of beans we though was dead and gone but instead has been silently producing beans. These beans look tough but in reality are sweet and tender despite their robust size
Eggplant-at least a pound of neon (purple) and Nadia (black) eggplant. The 3" rain last week got the plants to start producing something other than micro aubergines
Celery-this is a fall vegetable that could use a bit more time to get a bit bigger. This is best used for cooking as it tends to be stronger than what we are used to getting at the store. Celery is hard to grow around here because it is very susceptible to fusarium, a soil fungi endemic to the midwest. Michigan was the #1 producer of celery until the mid 1950's when fusarium destroyed the industry.
Peppers-Several peppers. Some should be ripe and some will be purple and/or green
Cayenne Peppers-several cayennes. These have a nice heat but are not too hot. For some members, I suppose, they will not be hot enough. We had a great deal of trouble getting the hot peppers to germinate this past spring and had planned on several other types but this is what worked. We did get 6 Jalapeno plants to survive in pots on the back deck but they are not producing enough (we have picked 6 so far) for the farm share so I have been using them for our own salsa.
Garlic-A couple of corms of our hardneck garlic
Sage-a nice bunch of fresh sage
Kale-this is the only green we have going right now and because Eugene direct seeded the kale (usually we start seeds indoors under lights than transplant the seedlings out) we have a lot of thinning to do so the kale plants have enough space between them for proper growth this fall and winter. And you get the bounty. I have noticed a lot of the plants have aphids. I do wash the kale before it is put into shares and that does get about 90% of the aphids off the leaves but some stay on so be sure to inspect and wash the care carefully before using (unless you like a bit of extra protein with your greens)
Leeks-a couple of leeks this week
Pears-2+ pounds of our Keiffer pears. this harvest comes from just one tree that for the past 4 years has reliably produced 15 bushels a years. yesterday Eugene harvested 3.5 bushels just to keep major limbs from breaking off under the weight of the fruit
Rutabaga-a couple of medium or one large 'baga (for the stew recipe)
Carrots-You are getting less than perfect carrots. Since we have lost a good dog and a mousing cat in the past year we are getting more and more damage to the carrots from mice and voles (and likely rabbits). They like to eat the top 5% of the roots and leave the rest. These are perfectly good carrots but they do need a bit of work. Mostly cutting off the top of the roots but there may also be carrot maggot damage towards the middle of the carrot. Either cut that out or use a peeler and peel it away. You will get at least 1 pound, probably more.

Lucy Goodman
Boulder Belt Eco-Farm
Eaton, OH

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