Full Share: Carrots, Delicate Squash, Spaghetti Squash, Sun Gold Tomatoes, Garlic, Onions….?

Partial Share: Carrots, Delicata Squash, Spaghetti Squash, Sun Gold Tomatoes, Onion, Garlic….?

Hello CSA members!

Well, folks, this is it. The final week of the 2023 CSA. Thank you all for being a part of it, and I hope that you all enjoyed eating your way through a Northwest Montana growing season. Every farming year is completely unique, and this one is no different. I would say it was one of the warmest seasons we’ve ever had. Aside from running low on irrigation water, and those 4 nights of frost around the Solstice in June, it was a really good year for farming. In fact, we have not yet had our first fall frost, which is not always the case this time of year. It’s been one of the better years for carrots and tomatoes, and while the salad mix made it 15 weeks, it definitely succumbed to the hot and dry conditions at the tail end, which was a bit of a disappointment.

Because many of you pick up your shares someplace other than the farm, I hope that this newsletter helped connect you a bit more to the farm and gave you an idea of what things are like out here. It’s true that farming is a business, and the primary goal is to provide you with fresh nutritious food, but it’s also about so much more, and I hope I was able to convey that point during the season. Ecological health, community resilience, local economies, open space, habitat, and food traditions are just a few of the important components of how we grow food, and the only way to get there is through values such as care, respect, and reciprocity. In todays day and age, there just aren’t a lot of small farms left, and many communities in this country have no access to fresh vegetables at all. So, it’s not something that we take for granted. In fact, the “local food system” is pretty tenuous given all the headwinds farmers face, and so your support is key in all of this. As our food system becomes more industrialized, and as our society becomes more urbanized and disconnected from the land, things don’t bode well for having an informed food system where nutrition and health are higher priorities than low cost. Choosing to be a small farmer (or a customer of one) in our current culture is an act of resistance and advocacy. Keeping a healthy perspective in the face of all this change seems to be the crux, and growing and cooking good food has always been very grounding for me, as I hope it is for you. It’s true that this lifestyle requires a lot of work and can be downright stressful, but it truly is a privilege to live in such a beautiful place, working outside with the land….and it’s something we are thankful for every day..and it wouldn’t be possible without your support.

Being the final week, we like to end with a bit of a “storage” theme to the share. Most items will last far longer than this week, so you can continue to enjoy the produce after the end of the CSA. There are winter squash, onions, garlic, and carrots that fit that description. If you have not had delicata squash before, this is a fan favorite. The easiest way to cook it is to cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, then slice it into thin strips and saute in a pan until tender and slightly browned. It’s a very sweet squash, you can eat the skin, and it doesn’t need to be roasted in the oven, which makes it less of a commitment. Since it is almost soup season, I thought this spaghetti squash recipe was intriguing. There will also be some tomatoes, since this really was the year of the tomato. And as some fall crops begin to mature, there will be a wildcard item…possibly some purple broccolini?. For anyone wanting more of our food after the CSA, we have two great options for you:

First is The Farmers’ Stand, where you can find any of our available produce for sale 6 days a week while supplies last. And even after that we will do our best to find good tasting produce for winter. Second, we will be hosting our 8th annual Stock Up Event at the farm on Thursday, October 5th from 4pm until dark. It’s a great time to visit with your community, stock up on veggies, take in a beautiful evening on the farm, have a free beer, listen to music, and eat a great meal from Forage Catering food truck.

As the season winds down and we reflect on what went well and what didn’t, we will begin to plan for 2024. CSA shares do not go on sale until January 1st, 2024, on our website, so we will try to keep you updated on any relevant information or changes in the meantime. It’s been a pleasure seeing you all this summer, and hopefully our paths will cross this fall and winter. Take care, and thanks for choosing local and organic food!