This is your last CSA delivery of the 2016 season.
In your share this week:
- Fennel - the entire plant, including the root, is edible
- Tomatoes, mostly green
- Collard Greens
- Golden Beets
- Cucumbers - just a few, only to some
We are literally digging up or picking the very last of many crops from around the farm. The goal is to use it all up, right? The weather took a few items away from us here at the end, but this is still an impressive harvest the 3rd week into October in Star Valley, Wyoming.
I'm sorry that some of the food coming to you this week is still dirty. It's a call I have to make on rare occasions, to ask you to wash the produce in the comfort of your warm homes, instead of us doing the washing here on a day when it's very cold, raining, or snowing (which was the case on most harvest days this week). I hope you will understand. (See photo above. We do continue to work in the snow and rain, but I draw the line at making people get wet on such days.)
Fennel - the variety we grew is called Bronze Fennel. We grew it at the request of a Chef who has been very happy using it at his restaurant. There was enough that we had extra to share with the CSA too. I read recently that Bronze Fennel does not develop the usual bulb at the base of the plant (and here I've been thinking it was just too cold this year, oops!), instead it grows a tap root. We dug up all the remaining plants this week and your bag of fennel is the complete plant from the top to the roots. The top fennel ferns/fronds can be used fresh on salads, fish, or roasted vegetables (so great on carrots!). I dehydrated quite a bit to last through the winter. I've mentioned before how much we LOVE fennel and mint tea (made with the ferns and stems). The fennel stocks can be used when making soup stock. The roots can be cooked similar to a carrot or parsnip, made into tea, or added with other vegetables to make broth. (Sorry it's muddy, it was one of the bad days when we dug it up.)
And just like that we are moving into clean up mode. We have a LOT of work that needs to happen to put this farm to bed for the winter months. With some extra help this week, we started with greenhouse 4 and it's pretty much done (all but those weeds!). Greenhouse 3 is half-way cleared too. And so the process will go with all 7 greenhouses. We'll do some outside work on sunny days and clean out greenhouses in the bad weather. The goal is to be done by Thanksgiving because whatever doesn't get taken care of before that, usually doesn't happen.
Fall is a challenging time for our family to operate EverGreen Farm. Mostly because Shain's school teaching position has become more and more time consuming which leaves me to do more on my own (and very dependent on the Workshares). It's overwhelming at times to manage a farm, a job, family, etc. But we made it. And we are proud of what we accomplish every year! I'm so grateful for the help we get from our awesome Workshare crew, the pick-up hosts, and the Bergstroms who made the drive from Alpine to Jackson for me each week. We literally could not continue operating this CSA without all this help! Next year? Yes, let's do this again! I can't yet confirm that we will continue exactly as we did this season (lots of details to arrange and confirm), but that's our hope. I'll say now that one of the biggest factors is the number of people signing up to help as Workshares. It's a big commitment to agree to help on a farm every week for nearly half a year. The more help we can arrange, the more food we can grow to feed the great people in our community. I will keep you informed by email, and posts on this blog, Facebook, and Instagram.
Have a great week and ENJOY your veggies!