The first week of October kind of felt like September. Now it feels like fall. It might have been something about how the air smelled this morning, or maybe it was the fact that I was able to wear an insulated flannel shirt until noon without breaking a sweat...either way, something felt the way that October is supposed to feel. The leaves are showing their first signs of changing color. The pastures are beginning to turn tan and dry and the wildflowers are all dying back. Tonight, we might even get a light frost out here in Bells Bend. If we do, it may mean bidding a fond farewell to the basil, flowers, tomatoes, and okra.
This week, we've been planting spinach in the hoop house, setting up the hoop house watering system, hoeing out the newly-sprouted weeds in the fall fields, moving our winter squash indoors to prevent it from getting to cold, thinning our greens and root plantings, fencing, and more. As the days get shorter, though, so do our workdays. The work load will lighten, but the to-do list will never shorten...it only gets longer, but that's life on the farm for you. We wouldn't trade it!
Sweet Dumpling or Acorn Winter Squash: Sweet Dumpling is yellow and green-striped and looks kind of like a mini-pumpkin, with sweet flavor. The Acorn Squash has more of a savory flavor. They are great roasted and halved. The seeds can be toasted like pumpkin seeds for a great snack.
Greens Mix: Use for salad or toss a handful in with a stir-fry or omelet!
Lettuce: Our first week of fall lettuce. Some of it has begun to bolt, or go to seed, so it may look taller than normal, but still has nice flavor.
Kale/Tatsoi/Radish/Turnip/Broccoli Raab Greens: Surprise greens this week! These are larger bunches, intended for cooking, but try them raw if you dare! Ask us if you're unsure of what you're getting or if you need cooking tips.
Onions: We’ll be giving out our bulb onions, which can be stored like garlic.
Peppers: These sweet peppers will either be the bell shape that most people are used to or the "bull nose" shape, which are longer and used just the same. Stuff and bake them, eat them in salads, cut them into long pieces for dipping, pickle them, etc. We have greens, reds, oranges, etc.Okra: This southern crop is delicious and underappreciated by many. A favorite way to cook it is to slice pods in half, toss with salt and spices and oil, and roast in the oven. We grow "Red Burgundy", "Hill Country Red", "Clemson Spineless", and "Star of David". Try boiling, pickling, stirfrying, etc.
Green Tomatoes: Now is the time for your fried green tomato, green tomato pie, pickled green tomato, or green tomato marmalade recipes. These will sometimes ripen if left in a sunny windowsill for a few days.
Potatoes: It has been a while since you've gotten these, and we think it might be time to bring them out again. Bake 'em, fry 'em, saute 'em, or mash 'em.
Okra: You're not tired of okra yet, are you?! In a week (?), it will likely stop producing, so enjoy it while you can!
Hot Chili Peppers: We will not include these in our boxes, so be sure to let us know if you want some. We have red serranos and both green and red (ripe) jalapenos.
Basil: The basil has been struggling with the cool/wet weather, but hopefully we'll have some for you. It is the classic summer herb! Goes great with tomatoes. Blend up with garlic, nuts, and oil to make pesto. To maintain freshness for longer, store at room temperature in a jar with an inch of water in the bottom.