Welcome to week 18 of our summer CSA program....and its back folks! Summer that is, and there is only one "person" to blame. The front that is stalling Hurricane Florance over the Carolinas is also stalling this hot weather front over Fort Collins and we are trying hard to frame "one more week of summer" with an exclamation point. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that many of our fall crops will see this as just a hot blip rather than a signal to start bolting for summer as you never know what next week's weather will bring. Regardless of the heat, we are still cranking out veggies as we add to our expanded list of September offerings. We did our final round of chile roasting for the winter farm share and still have more on the plants so we are planning to have a chile roasting afternoon for CSA members to come by and get some fresh roasted goodies. We are tentatively planning this toward the end of the month, so keep a look out for a date coming soon.
We have good news for the spinach loving folks, its back from its summer vacation and should stay with us until the end of March. Cooked or eaten raw, spinach is one of the more versatile crops on the farm. It pairs well with just about anything, so be sure to grab a bag or two this week to scratch that itch you've had since June.
Fall fennel is such a treat and its time to take advantage. One of my favorite things to do with fennel is a savory tart. Make a nice flakey tart crust and fill it with caramelized leeks, fennel, apples, mushrooms and blue cheese. You can also just fold over the tart crust and make little hand pies for a fun weekend project. I love pizza with caramelized fennel, eggplant, and beets. Fennel and cherry tomato risotto is another one of my fennel favorites. The mild flavor of bulb fennel combines so well with the silky texture of the rice and the sweetness of the cherry tomatoes, it is something kids and adults alike can agree on at the table.
Some of you may have discovered the Frise at the market last weekend. When it comes to chicories, I am a connoisseur, appreciating there addictive bitter flavor when paired with something sweet and something acidic. We stopped growing them last year after what I would call a perceived public phobia surrounding the trickier vegetable, but we brought it back after a working member told me it was her favorite vegetable that we grew on the farm. Apparently all I needed was one more "frizzy" fan (her words not mine), to bring it back and trust me, its nothing to be afraid of. Lightly saute it with some salt and lemon juice and drape it with some caramelized leeks and mushrooms and perhaps a poached egg. Or grill it and serve with a honey lemon dressing, goat cheese, currents, and slivered almonds. It is one of the more benign vegetables in the chicory family and a good place to start your own addiction.
Wondering your accounts balance? If you are getting receipts from the farm, you can find your balance at the bottom of your most recent receipt. If you are not getting receipts from the farm, please let me know and I will check the email address that is attached to the account. Also, we did a little training session over the week about adding more money to accounts, so all staff should be able to make that happen for you at the market. My apologies for overlooking this important detail before last week's market.
Finally, don't forget about winter CSA. Shares sell out by the end of September EVERY YEAR so don't delay...I'm not great at saying no to people, so relieve some anxiety from your farmer and sign up now. Pick ups just keep getting better as we are hoping to add some live music to the party this year. Stay tuned as this idea becomes a reality.