Here we are, the final delivery of the CSA season. 17 weeks of farm-fresh produce packed and delivered for you. Today’s share is filled with a variety of items. Some that can be used now and some that can be stored for use in a few weeks. Just a warning, the boxes are quite full and quite heavy today, so be careful as you go and grab your share today.
As we finish out the season, I just want to say Thank You. Thank you for choosing Untiedt’s as your CSA provider. I know there are a lot of farms to choose from, but from everyone at Untiedt’s, we thank you for entrusting us to grow for you. Although this growing season was a bit more challenging than others, we made it through it.
While the CSA season wraps today, we have just about 3 weeks left of our season. A lot happens in those 3 weeks. Our retail locations will continue to operate with produce, squash, and pumpkins. We continue to harvest mainly squash and pumpkins for about 2 more weeks as we fulfill end-of-the-season orders. Simultaneously, we have crews that are preparing fields for winter. We must also ‘skin’ our high tunnels, which means remove the plastic and store it for next season. The list goes on and on, but we can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel.
As you unpack today’s share, don’t stress! Yes, there are a lot of items in your boxes, but you don’t need to use them all right away. Since there are so many things in this final share, I’m going to keep my recommendations a bit more general. Let’s dive in.
Squash: The butternut and acorn are both fabulous squash varieties to freeze. Bake it, cool it, place in a freezer bag or airtight container and toss in the freezer for use later this winter. As the days turn cooler, squash is always a great option for dinner as well. Enjoy any variety with a bit of butter, finished with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. If you need to make it a bit more divine, drizzle maple syrup or a dash of brown sugar on top.
Strawberries: Never in the 10 years of the CSA program have we been able to send strawberries in the final share. The feedback last week was extremely positive, so we made sure to include the berries again today. I recommend eating them right away! If you do store them, make sure to remove them from the container and store on a cookie sheet or dinner plate in the refrigerator.
Popcorn: Yes, that’s popcorn in the husks. Store in a cool, dark place until December or January. At that point, you can pop the kernels off into a mason jar for long-term storage. Once the kernels pop off, you can ultimately use it for popping as well. Add some oil to a frying pan or stockpot along with some kernels. This is always a fun thing to do with the kids or grandkids.
Carrots: A large bunch of carrots for use in soups, stews, or fresh eating.
Romanesco: A crop that is new to us, we wanted to make sure we could include it for you this season. While it didn’t produce like it should have, we were able to harvest enough for the family shares. Enjoy this unique looking vegetable that has a flavor that resembles broccoli and cauliflower. Roasted or steamed is how I plan on enjoying it this week.
Broccoli: Crisp and green, this is our last cut of the season. Enjoy is roasted, steamed, or sauteed this week.
Chub Cukes: Enjoy these snacking cukes because the season is just about over. While you can find tiny cukes in the store throughout the winter, the flavor just isn’t the same.
Cucumbers: The last of homegrown cucumbers for the season. Soon they will be covered in wax at the stores. These cucumbers will be perfect for snacking or adding to your dinner salad.
Beets: A generous helping that will store in your refrigerator if needed for a couple of weeks. I see some steak salads topped with roasted beets and goat cheese in my future. While I do enjoy boiled beets, I find it easier to roast all the beets at once and heat them up or enjoy them cold as I desire them.
Kale: Don’t be alarmed, the kale is likely a bit smooshed at the bottom of the box. Don’t worry, it doesn’t affect the flavor! We wanted to give you one last bunch, and the only way it fit in either of the shares this week was at the bottom. With this cool weather, a batch of Italian Soup with kale would be great, or there is always kale chips for something quick and easy.
Apples: Great for fresh eating or baking, enjoy this helping of Haralson apples. For an extra special treat, grab some caramel and enjoy a caramel apple or two.
Fennel: The aroma of this fennel is phenomenal. Slice it and roast it with a pork tenderloin or potatoes for a hearty fall meal.
Honey: A jar of honey to sweeten your squash, apples, or baked goods in the coming months.
There you have it, week 17. Now, I’d be lying if I wasn’t looking forward to sleeping at my own house on Monday nights instead of staying at the farm, or sleeping past 2am on Tuesday mornings. However, the end of the season is always a bit sad. We won’t be hearing from customers as often, many of our farm employees will be heading home to see their families after being away for 6-8 months, and soon the calls in the office will die down as well. Our marathon of a season slowly comes to an end, and preparation for next year is just around the corner.
In closing, I just want to thank you all again for being CSA members this past season. We thoroughly enjoy offering this program as a way for members to learn a bit more about where their food comes from and what it takes to grow it. At noon today, registration opens for the 2022 season for current members. You will receive an email with a link to renew your share. Payment plans are available. Lastly, please take a few moments to fill out the End of Season Survey found in your weekly newsletter. This feedback truly helps to make each season better.