This week has been bittersweet for me. Managing the CSA program was a big draw for me coming to Harlequin this season. Mentally, it has been a big focus of my farm work. The end of the CSA season brings a certain measure of relief for me, as I can shift that mental energy toward some canning projects and winter plans. The CSA has also been one of the highlights of my week every week for the past four and a half months. I've loved getting to know each of you. Hearing your reactions and stories about the produce each week is the kind of immediate validation that farmers rarely receive. It has been an honor to grow food for such a friendly and good group of people. Thank you.
This week's share includes:
Yukon Gold Potatoes
Red Kabocha Squash
The cabbage is a variety especially well suited to long storage. It will hold up great in your refrigerator for months. We've left the outer leaves on for extra protection if you decide to keep it this long. This week's tomatoes are some of our last. We picked the vines clean before the hard frost and some of the fruit was not fully red. Leave them on your counter in a warm spot and they will finish the process.
I will see some of you at the Winter Share pickup and I hope to see everyone around Missoula this winter. Stay warm, stay healthy, stay local.
Our first winter weather advisory of the season arrived this week. We covered a lot of crops during the first frost scare and the first actual frost and carried them through. This freeze is looking a bit stiffer, a harbinger type of frost. With that in mind, we picked all the remaining fruit from our hot peppers, green bells, field tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and tomatillos. We are officially in wind-down mode. Perfect timing, as this next week is our last CSA pickup for the season. Now we can all turn our attention to the Winter Stock-Up. There are still lots of spots available if you have not yet signed up!
This week's share included:
Red or Yukon Gold Potatoes
Roasted Anaheim Peppers
I roasted the Anaheims myself, which was a real treat. If you want to see the roaster in person, come on down for the inaugural Harlequin Fall Chili Roast. Brian will be firing the roaster all afternoon making pounds of roasted Anaheims and Poblanos. It will be the best smelling party you've ever attended, I promise.
Don't forget to send me your add-on orders. Tuesday will be here before we know it!
The fall weather has arrived. It is wet and cold and it's only going to get colder, but I'm still not changing my vote from a couple weeks ago. I am pumped about the change of seasons and so is the rest of the team here at Harlequin. Look at that squash soup that Brian and Caitlin made for today's farm lunch.
The shares are changing with the seasons. The tomatoes are slowing to a crawl and being replaced by kale, potatoes and leeks. This week's share includes:
Orange Bell Peppers
The golden beets grew too quickly during their root formation and some of them cracked on the sides. As they store in your fridge, you may notice those areas turning brown. Do not be dismayed, the blemish is only skin deep and peeling will remove it. These beets are not long storers like those you will find in a Harlequin Winter Share.
Stay warm and dry everyone!
I am really excited about this week's share. It contains a great variety of flavors and lots of good building blocks for meals. Potatoes are here and they will continue to be a part of the share for the last few weeks of the season. This is the last week you'll receive eggplant, so enjoy them well.
This week's share includes:
#2 Red Bell Peppers
Roasted Poblano Peppers
Saute Greens Mix
This share includes a lot of peppers! The roasted Poblanos are our mildest variety of roasters. They are not a sweet pepper, but certainly not a hot pepper either. They make a delicious addition to all kinds of mexican recipes. The #2 designation means that each of the red bell peppers in your bag has a small blemish that you'll want to remove before using it. These peppers take nominally more prep time but provide a larger volume for tackling a recipe that calls for a lot of red pepper, say a soup or a sauce. Both peppers freeze very well. The reds can be chopped, bagged and frozen as is and the roasted peppers should be frozen if you don't think you'll get to them in the next ten days or so.
I hope to see you all at the chili roast on October 6th. Here'a sneak preview from the roast for this week's share:
Well, I am officially ready for this heat to end. As I've mentioned here, I am from the Pacific Northwest where things are milder and crops grow slower. September is my favorite month out there because we get warm days and beautiful cool evenings. You break out your pants, but not your coats. I moved to Montana last October and it was cold when I arrived and promptly got to snowing in Missoula. So I've seen winter and summer, but no in-between and I'm starting to get a little worried.
As I'm sure you all noticed, the share size has begun to come back to normal. Without the melons, things might look a little smaller, but we've got some exciting flavors yet to come. The pepper roaster was successfully tested yesterday and roasted peppers will be in your share soon. Several folks have asked about potatoes, and you can expect to see them in the share in the next two weeks as well.
This week's share included:
Walla Walla Sweet Onion
Green Bell Peppers
Make sure to check out Autumn's Ragu recipe this week. It's a flexible recipe that would be a good way to use most any vegetables to help you get caught up with the shares.
The weather forecast shows cooler temperatures right around the corner, and I'm ready. This is one of my favorite times of year on the farm. The summer bounty is still with us and the cool off means I finally feel like turning on the oven. This is the time of year when I finally find the motivation to get the canner rolling. It's been great to hear so many CSA members talking about preservation this year. You've all got me especially motivated.
This week's share moved away from the straight summer focus a bit and blended in some fall flavors as well. You're share included:
Walla Walla Sweet Onion
Red Bell Peppers
You may have noticed the celery is a little different in appearance than the typical grocery store fare. It is also different in taste. It's not as big or watery and it packs way more celery flavor. Brian made us a soup for lunch on Monday with a strong celery flavor and he only added two stalks to the pot right at the end. Adjust your celery recipes accordingly.
Autumn made a creamy eggplant dish from a busted recipe and the results were not up to par. With school started up, she had no time to regroup and get a fresh post up. Fortunately, she's got you covered in the archives. This Roasted Eggplant Sandwich with Red Pepper Aioli is one of my favorites. Sub the eggplant right in for the zucchini and enjoy!
Caitlin is ready to harvest anything.
Apologies for the missed week. I hope that you were all able to find your way over to Autumnstirsthepot.com for her great Stuffed Bell Pepper recipe. It inspired us here at the farm.
Thanks to everyone who made it to our farm tour last week. It was great to show you where your veggies have come from and how we make that happen. If you missed the official tour, but would still like to see Harlequin, don't hesitate to send me an email. During this peak of our busy season, Wednesday evening is the best time to come out.
I've been terrible about remembering to take a picture of the weekly share. Instead, the leadoff picture is a melon we harvested here at the farm. The concentric rings are called "bee stings" and they're a sign of pronounced sweetness in a watermelon. I didn't get to eat that one, but it sure was beautiful.
I'm trying to include all the fixings for salsa in the share every other week and this is a salsa week! In your share you have:
Walla Walla Sweet Onions
Autumn's recipe this week is a great way to enjoy your Poblano Peppers. These Roasted Poblano Tacos are very easy to put together and packed with flavor. They'll help you hold on to summer
Kaly calls this part of the summer "Glory Season." I can't think of a better way to put it, myself. We're into the crops that folks wait all summer to eat fresh and local. Not coincidentally, these are the same crops that we worked hardest on during the early season on the promise that we'd reap the rewards later. Later is now and it feels great.
The downside to glory season is that every day is a jam packed harvest day. Already this week, we've harvested over 500 pounds each of cucumbers, musk melons, watermelons, green beans and tomatoes. Today, we finally carved out a little time to work on our last round of heavy weeding and thinning for the season. Tomorrow it's back to the harvest.
This weeks share includes:
Autumn's recipe was a new concept to me. This Italian Bread Salad turned out great with a baguette from Missoula's own Le Petit. Local meets local! You've got to love that. Have a great glory season everyone.
As none of you know, I spent a long version of this past weekend at my high school reunion. As co-pres of the class, my friend and I had to plan and host the event, making my vacation much less of a vacation. I had a great time, but it is good to be back in the usual farm rhythm.
After a big wholesale harvest to start the week, we cleaned up the tomato hoop house and it is looking sharp! I have a picture to post as soon as I resolve some technical difficulties. The biggest news of the day was an A+ on our Organic Certification review. While the result was never in doubt, it takes a lot of work on Kaly's part to prepare and it feels good to be done.
I had a blast packing this week's share and I hope you all enjoy eating it even more. This week you received:
Green and Red Bell Peppers
I don't know about you, but I am excited about those green beans! Autumn did not write a fresh post this week because I dragged her to Oregon. I can't wait to make this Thai Stir Fry, well worth the effort to make the paste.
Have a great week everyone.
No photos this week, which is really unfortunate because the farm is looking good! We're right on the cusp of the busy season, so everyone on the farm is fitting in a long weekend while we still can. This week, Kaly and Brian are taking a few days to backpack in Glacier. This means they left the farm in the care of Caitlin and Dave and there is no time for photo ops.
This week's share includes:
Yellow and Green Zucchini
Green Bell Pepper
As the temperature drops and you start thinking about firing up the oven again, take a look at Autumn's Summer Squash Gratin recipe.
Get ready for string beans, fennel, leeks, potatoes and onions in the next few weeks along with plenty more tomatoes!