Final inning of the season

Hello Folks!

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Welcome to week 24 on the farm!  Hard to believe it is the last week of CSA but here we are!  With one wintery storm under our belt we are in the final inning of the season, the last push before the ground freezes and we are forced to read seed catalogs by the warmth of the wood stove...or at least that is always what I picture other farmers doing who take the winter off. The good news is that the fresh food doesn't stop here.  We only have one short week before the winter program starts and those of you who are signed up will be getting some logistical instructions coming to your inboxes next week.

Although agriculturally we had a lot of ups and downs throughout this growing season, it still felt like we had a pretty good year and I hope you all were satisfied with what we were able to bring to market.  Business-wise, this has been a challenging year for us with the farm down-sizing and we very much appreciate all of your on-going support of Native Hill and local, organic agriculture. As we have stated in earlier emails, we have some promising prospects for the future home of the farm and this is exciting! The challenging step is always the transition and we are diligently working on some solutions to keep the farm running until we can land this plane.  Stay tuned for updates as we continue to plan, dream, and scheme about the permanent home for the farm. 

A few logistical things.  This is the last weekend to use your market CSA accounts.  After this weekend, summer CSA member will need to pay cash at the farm stand or any of the winter markets that we will be attending at the Opera Galleria on select Saturday mornings (pick up a magnet with dates at the market!).  Farm stand members, I will be doing final tallies on your accounts this week and next.  I will be sending out invoices if you have accidentally gone over on your accounts.  As a side bar, we are actively working towards real time accounting for farm stand members and see this as an integral piece to the future of the farm stand CSA.

Again, thank  you all for another wonderful summer and we look forward to seeing many of you at Equinox on November 7th!


Warmly,

Katie and the Native Hill Crew


This Week's Harvest

Kale

Collards

Swiss Chard

Tat Soi

Spinach

Baby Bok Choy

Carrots

Beets

Celeriac

Potatoes

Cabbage

Hakurei turnips

Winter Squash (Schnor Family Farm)

Garlic

Leeks

Eat the elephant one bite at a time

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Hello Folks,

Whether this week marks October or Rocktober for you, it is hard to believe we are here!  As much as it feels like we should be winding down, we are pushing harder than ever to get our ever-growing list of things done before that unknown weather deadline.  I won't lie, I had a slight moment of panic when looking at the calendar and comparing the days left in October to how much food we needed to get out of the ground before the weather changes.  And of course, there is not only food to get out but also tunnels to move, garlic to plant, plastic to replace from the spring windstorm, and fall cover crops to plant...but we just have to eat the elephant one bite at a time.  

The transition to fall food continues this week as we say hello to new hardy greens and good bye to summer staples.  This will be the last week for eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers...but we will make room for tat soi and baby bok choy.  Both are in the mustard family and are wonderful when added to a miso soup, curry, or stir fry.  They can also stand on their own if sautéed with leeks, garlic, and some type of spicy, ginger tamari sauce.  Hakurei turnips are back for the fall and they go well with cold weather cooking.  A hot noodle bowl with turnips and turnip greens is one of my favorite things on a frosty fall evening but if you are feeling more decadent, try a twist on a classic French dish Pomme D'Anna.   The traditional version uses potatoes, but you can substitute the hakurei turnips for similar results.  

Looking forward to seeing many of you real soon!
Katie


This Week's Harvest

  • Kale

  • Collard

  • Chard

  • Head Lettuce

  • Spinach 

  • Tat Soi

  • Spicy Mix 

  • Radishes

  • Turnips

  • Baby Bok Choi

  • Cucumbers

  • Eggplant

  • Bell Peppers

  • Cherry and Roma Tomatoes

  • Leeks

  • Potatoes (Strohaur Farm)

  • Beets

  • Carrots

  • Broccoli

  • Cauliflower

  • Cabbage

Farm Land Expansion Update

 A rendering of the ag-centered Montava development, which will include a 40-acre farm. (Photo: Montava)

A rendering of the ag-centered Montava development, which will include a 40-acre farm. (Photo: Montava)

Hello Folks,

Please excuse an extra email this week, but I wanted to give y'all an update about our farm expansion and let you know how you can get involved if you are available. 

As many of you know in the spring of 2017, after several years of working on purchasing land for a much needed permanent home for the farm we had an eleventh hour issue with the new farm land and the deal fell through. Since then, we have been actively working on plan B and have decided to work with a company that is planning to build a new community development in the last large tract of farm land in the City of Fort Collins.  The planned community is called Montava and they are currently working toward a sustainable development that is centered around a working farm.  They have agreed to sell Poudre Valley Community Farms 40 acres of prime farm land in order to create an ag-centered, sustainable community.  There are many other innovative and exciting things about this planned community such as energy conserving homes, affordable housing, raw water irrigation, planned natural areas and parks.  You can learn more about the concept on their website here.

We are excited about this new opportunity to be a part of a forward thinking, sustainable, planned community and hope that we will be able to take the next steps towards acquiring the land.  Montava is working diligently with the city and its now time for preliminary plans to be approved by City Council. 

As always, thank you all for your support for the farm and if you can't make this opportunity, we anticipate other important meetings to follow so you can make your voice heard then. 

Warmly,

Katie and Nic and the Native Hill Farm Crew

P.S. In case anyone is worried, we will still be Native Hill Farm and we will still continue to serve the larger community of Fort Collins (aka those of you who have made the farm what it is today)...we will just have secure access to farm land and water and be better, more sustainable farmers by doing so.

Frost kissed roots and shoots

Good Morning Folks!

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Hope you can find a nice cozy place to curl up with a cup of tea and some comfort food some time today...even if it is just a nice warm fuzzy thought in your brain, that can go a long way.  Week 20 of the farm means we are heading into the uncertainty of fall now and I anticipate having quite a few more chilly and dreary days ahead.  We had our first light frost on the farm on Tuesday and we may be looking at another one tonight.  This means that this week we will be saying good-bye to some summer things that don't do well when the temperatures get cold.  It will be a bit of a slow slide since many of our summer plants are protected by tunnels but regardless the slide has begun.  The good news is that many of our fall things just get better with cooler temps and we look forward to the sweetness of frost kissed roots and shoots in the next few weeks.

Brassicaes are one type of veg that loves this sort of weather.  Whether its giant broccoli or dark green kale, its time to celebrate them all fully.  The abundance of cabbage marks sauerkraut time for many of us of German decent.  The basic recipe is actually silly easy...just salt and cabbage... but it can get much more elaborate as you start adding more flavors or spices.  The trickier part is the fermentation process...most the patience to waiting for the project to be done.  I have a hard time because I love the instant gratification of a kitchen sorrier, but its worth the wait.  According to our local fermenting expert, it will take 6-8 weeks for your kraut to be done.  Two weeks at 60-70 degrees and 4-6 weeks at around 45.  But its nice to think about having kraut in the fridge ready for winter when you want it.  

We are starting to see some cauliflower peaking their heads out of their leafy foliage.  I'm happy to report our fall crop is looking much better than the spring and am excited for it to be back at the market.  I am planning to take advantage of the overlap of brassicae and summer crops as there are so many fun kitchen combos that only come around once a year. Maybe its the weather, but a nice tomato, fennel, and cauliflower soup with crusty bread sounds like just ticket on a dreary fall afternoon.  Or maybe you make some stewed eggplant and broccoli in a nice tomato based sauce and serve it over hot polenta.  I feel a nap coming on...

Or maybe you are  more in the mood for pork green chili...which is what we will have at the Odell event tonight from 5-8pm.  Kevin Grossi and his staff will be at the pop up event to get the word out about their new restaurant, The Regional, that will be opening in less than a month.  I just got a sneak peak tour and the place looks awesome.  Native Hill will be there with our chili roaster and will be roasting until we run out of peppers.  We will be chatting with folks about the farm expansion and educating folks about Poudre Valley Community Farms, a Land Co-Op.  Aaron Rice from Jodar Farms will also be there to update folks on his new farm project and of course to provide the pork for the chili.  Hope some of you can make it!


This Week's Harvest

  • Kale

  • Collards

  • Swiss Chard

  • Head Lettuce

  • Arugula

  • Spinach

  • Carrots

  • Beets

  • Radishes

  • Hakurei Salad Turnips

  • Leeks

  • Red and Yellow Onions

  • Broccoli

  • Cauliflower

  • Cabbage

  • Heirloom and Cherry tomatoes

  • Hot and Sweet Peppers

  • Italian Eggplant

  • Red and Yellow Potatoes (strohaur farms)

  • Fennel

  • Cucumbers

The 7th inning stretch

 photo by Jimena Peck

photo by Jimena Peck

Hi-Ya Folks!

Weeks are flying by as we enter 7th inning stretch here at the farm and we are starting to scurry around not unlike squirrels, fortifying our dens and stashing food away for the long winter.  Week 18 has the farm changing from late summer to early fall food, and while there will still be some summer fruits trickling in for the next few weeks, we are seeing a huge slow down from these plants that have been working hard all summer to provide us with their bounty. But not to fear, we have lots of great fall veggies that are rising to the occasion to take their place.  Week 18 has also brought along some less than ideal storms for this time of year and last Wednesday's storm left the farm a bit of a mess.  The torrential rains and hail damaged some of the more delicate crops like the salad mix that we were planning to have for y'all at the market this week.  Please be patient with us while we wait for things to bounce back a bit from the storm.

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Broccoli is back for the fall and as Bill and Ted would say, it is most triumphant.  There is something so satisfying for a farmer about a big, beautiful head of broccoli and we are looking forward to sharing it with you all.  Try roasting some with leeks, fennel and cherry tomatoes serve it over some creamy polenta and white beans. It also does well in soup or in quiche.  Spinach is big and abundant right now...perfect for a big pot of saag paneer.  Served with some curried eggplant and warm naan, it will be great for those nights that are starting to dip into the 40s.   Red cabbage is here and is lovely for braising.  Dust off your dutch oven and slow cook it with some sliced fennel and onion.  Top with some apple cider vinegar and serve with some good pork tenderloin.

The chili roasting date has been set!  We will be hauling the roaster down to the Odell's patio on Friday, September 28th for a collaboration event with The Regional, a new restaurant that is opening in Fort Collins in October.  Chef Kevin Grossi will be cooking veggies from our farm and pork from Jodar farm over an open flame to get the word out about his new shop and we will be roasting chilies for folks that would like to take some home.  The event starts at 5 and goes til close, so come down, get a beer, some chilies (you can put them on your account) and some food if you'd like and enjoy a beautiful autumn evening with your community.  Poudre Valley Community Farms will also be at the event, so if you would like to learn more about the Land Cooperative, it is a great opportunity to chat with board members and see how you can get involved.  I have attached a flyer to the end of this email with some more details.

Looking forward to seeing many of you soon!

Katie


This Week's Harvest

Kale

Collard Greens

Swiss Chard

Red Butter Lettuce 

Arugula

Spinach

Spicy Mix

Leeks

Beets

Carrots

Eggplant

Sweet and Hot Peppers

Beans 

Radishes

Red and Green Cabbage

Broccoli

Red and Yellow Onions

Cherry Tomatoes

Heirloom Tomatoes

Yukon Gold Potatoes (Strohour Farms)

Cucumbers