For those of you who have been with us for previous years, you know that our farm is close to the river which has its pros and cons. The main pro is that the soil is much sandier than some of the other places that we have farmed in Colorado while a con is that it is often much colder than the rest of Fort Collins. We can regularly be 7 degrees chillier than the rest of you folks on the hill and that causes us to get early frosts. This time of year I continuously check the lows to be sure that we won't be close to the 32 degree mark, but the weather folks were off last Friday evening...by A LOT! We got our first sneaker frost which put the nail in the coffin for the already declining cucumbers and summer squash vines. Luckily it was light enough to just kiss some of the other frost sensitive stuff and we will have continued abundance of beans, roma tomatoes, and peppers for the foreseeable weather future (which is not saying much I suppose). Wildlife update of the week: After the frost we were harvesting some beautiful French roasting pumpkins and found an early Halloween surprise. Several of them had huge pregnant black widows hanging out on top of them! This was the first time I had ever encountered these creepy spiders on the farm and I hope it is the last! Luckily we no one was bit!
Frosts are bad for summer crops but great for the fall stuff. It makes all the leaves and roots sweeter and more delicious than they might otherwise be without the cool weather. This week we find fresh cabbage at the market, both green and napa. Napa is great fresh in an asian salad but is really the work horse of a good kim chi. Try fermenting it with some different veg like hakurei turnips, radishes, and carrots. The fresh market cabbage is delicious but not as dense as storage cabbage. I love it braised, but it is extremely good stewed, krauted (is that a word?), or put into a soup. This week I think we are going to stew some with tomatoes, fennel, chick peas and warming indian spices and serve it over some basmati rice. Broccoli is just starting to trickle back for the fall. Will have just a teaser this week but will have more next. We are diligently roasting chilies for the freezer and will start selling cases next week for $30. Be sure to save some room in your freezer for these guys. We will also start to have winter squash at the stand this week. Some varieties need to cure for a couple of weeks before they become sweet while others can be eaten fresh off the vine. We will be bringing the varieties that do not need curing first such as delecata, acorn and spaghetti and then follow up with different types as they become ready to eat.
Finally, if you have been wanting to can for sometime but are intimidated by the process, we are partnering with the cooking studio for their canning party this Saturday, September 17th. Here is the schtick:
The Cooking Studio is have a Tomato Canning Party on September 17 and Native Hill CSA members get an extra $10 off each all-inclusive ticket. All the tomatoes and as much produce as possible for salsa will come from our farm. Visit http://www.the-cooking-studio.com/class-calendar/ for all the details and to sign up. Use discount code NATIVECSA10 to receive the $10 off.
See you all real soon!
This Week's Harvest
Arugula (Saturday only)
Green and Napa Cabbage