Full Share: Salad Mix, Arugula, Zucchini, Cucumbers, Sungold Tomatoes, Green Beans, Spring Onions, and Red potatoes

Partial Share: Sungold Tomatoes, Zucchini, Cucumbers, Carrots, Salad Mix, and Red potatoes

Hello CSA members!

Is it me, or has the sunlight taken on that yellow shade that marks the onset of autumn? I swear the eggplant, pepper, and green bean plans were all glowing yellow today. The growing season sure does move fast in this part of the country. Just as we really heat up, the nights turn cool. When I woke up to go to Saturday Market last week, the temp in Whitefish was 41 degrees. I bet it was even cooler than that at the farm. So, just as the warm season vegetables ramp up into production, they then have to deal with those cold nights which slow them back down. So the big question is….was that just a passing cold front, or the harbinger of fall? Even with the recent cool nights, I’m guessing that the sweet corn is only about a week away from being ready. The Sungold tomatoes are really starting to produce, although their larger cousins, the slicing tomatoes, are still slow to ripen. The green beans came on strong this week, and so we’ll be putting those in the shares, and while the potatoes are slow to size up, it’s already week #14, so it’s time to start digging them and giving them out.

All in all, the farm is looking good. After harvest today, we made some great progress prepping new beds that had been under tarps, moving irrigation, and cleaning up weeds in the furrows. As the cool weather crops in the north part of the farm have finished up and been mowed in, the warm season crops in the southern portion of the field are really starting to shine.

Flowers and more cauliflowers, with corn in the background.
Pollinator cover crop, with more carrot successions.
Peppers, Eggplant, Green Beans, Cauliflower, flowers, and corn. This is currently my favorite area of the farm.

We’re still planting our last successions so that we have plenty of greens as we head into fall. And we’ve been busy dealing with older beds to make sure they are ready to plant come next spring, while also trying to keep weed pressure under control. It’s sort of funny to be making decisions not only about this season, but already starting to prepare for next season as well. We just harvested garlic, and yet I’m already trying to prepare a spot in the field to plant the crop this fall for 2021.

One announcement/request for the Whitefish CSA. As the number of folks showing up to pickup their CSA shares before the official 5pm start time (yes, really, it’s been 5pm for the past 13 years) has significantly increased this season, we’ve reached a point where it’s affecting our ability to get our market stand set up. While most of you all have been very respectful, appreciative, and even apologetic, it’s simply the cumulative affect of so many people taking us away from market preparation that is the issue. While I understand the desire to get in and get out before the market crowd arrives, please understand that we only have one hour to unpack our truck and set up our entire display. So, here’s my compromise. We will start handing out CSA shares at 4:40pm (which gives you time to beat the crowd), and we will have a dedicated person there to serve you with a smile. But 4:15 is too early, and from this point on we will ask folks to wait until 4:40pm. If you give us grief, we’ll ask you to wait until 5pm 🙂 This is not an easy request to make, as customer satisfaction is important to us, but at the same time our schedule is crazy enough as it is, and reducing additional stressors is important. Given everyone reads the newsletter before picking up, this should go smoothly, right?

As far as the shares go, the newest item is baby red potatoes. These potatoes just came out of the ground today, and they are extremely tender and buttery in taste. They are also extremely delicate. So much so, that we have to be really careful when we harvest to not peel the skins. Even washing them is too much. So, while we pride ourselves on clean produce, this time around we are handing out unwashed potatoes. If you give them a rinse at home just before eating them, you won’t notice any damage you might do to the skins. If I wash them here, and the skins come off, you will certainly notice in a few days as they will heal over and look all blotchy. As far as preparation, they can be pan fried, roasted, or even par-boiled. A little butter maybe and a pinch of salt is all you need. If you haven’t had “new” potatoes much, I think you’ll really enjoy them.

Looking forward to seeing you all at CSA!