Once again, greetings from Ffynnon Farm. It has been a week of maintenance and organization out here on the farm, with a lot of the beds finishing up for the season. We haven't quite gotten to the point of "putting the gardens to bed" for the winter, but we are heading rapidly in that direction. Of course, the gardens are never truly asleep. we'll be planting alliums soon for next year's crops, looking for ways to expand our variety as well as to bring your favorites in earlier in the season. Some brassicas, like kale, will get the same treatment.
The Tomato Apocalypse that I have been warning you about will definitely be taking place next week, and possibly extending into the week after that. Again, we'll be sending a separate email to explain how to sign up for the bounty. Be aware, though, that these tomatoes may not be exactly pretty. There will be some splits, some bruises, and certainly some strange shapes and green shoulders among your tomatoes. These are intended for processing and cooking, and will necessarily have a higher percentage of waste than the ones we put in your regular baskets.
Your baskets this week are definitely trending toward the fall. Our first winter squash of the season are here, "Tuffy" acorn or Danish squash. The potatoes are Red Norland, and the kale is our standard Nash's Green. Another first this week is the bell peppers, which are of three different varieties that ripen red, orange, and yellow. We have enough still on the plants that we should be able to get at least one round of ripe peppers to you. Rounding out your baskets this week, of course, are the tomatoes, which are exclusively Oregon Spring this time around.
If you're looking to combine several of your vegetables into one meal, I'd do it with a potato and kale soup. Dice up your potatoes and your pepper to about 1/2 inch on a side, along with an onion or two and two cloves of garlic. Set a large pot over a medium flame, add some olive oil, and dump the diced veggies into it, seasoning with salt and pepper. When the onions are translucent, add two quarts of any stock or broth and bring the pot to a simmer. Wash, drain, and finely chop the kale, then add it to the pot, covering with a lid to help reduce the kale in volume. Simmer until the potatoes are done and the kale is as tender as you want it. Season with thyme or oregano (or both). You can make this a cream soup with a little heavy cream or half and half right at the end, or "de-veganize" it by adding Italian or other sausage with the potatoes and peppers. This kind of soup is always better the second day, if you can make it last that long.
One more housekeeping item: please make sure you are taking the basket with your name on it. Also, if you are sending someone else to pick up your basket, make sure they know the CSA etiquette, as well.
Until next week and the Tomato Deluge,
Farmer Joel, Michael, Neal and Tasha