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Last CSA drop of the year. Week 15

Hogs in the Garden | Square Peg Food Farm

The pigs are in the garden. That’s a pretty good indicator of the growing season being over. The last thing to be picked was our dry beans, on Saturday. Sunday was just breezy enough to make winnowing the beans possible without a fan. I’ve been plenty busy in the kitchen getting the last of the canning done, green tomatoes and jellies. I’ll do my best to get some of the really yummy recipes that I’ve been using up on the blog as things continue to slow down into fall and winter.

Enjoying some of the immature pumpkins that didn't make it out of the garden before frost.

Enjoying some of the immature pumpkins that didn’t make it out of the garden before frost.

This was the ‘last hurrah’ CSA drop. Each share took home two spaghetti squash and 2 pumpkins. This year’s varieties were ‘Crown‘ which is the smaller grey-green pumpkin. I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks quite good!  It’s supposed to be a great eating squash and a great keeper too. A friend has compared one of her favorites, the Hubbard squash with our other pick the ‘Cinderella’  or ‘Rouge vif d’Etampespumpkin and said that the Cinderella is a winner.

Crown Pumpkin, Spaghetti Squash, Cinderella Pumpkin

Crown Pumpkin, Spaghetti Squash, Cinderella Pumpkin

Both pumpkin varieties should be quite good roasted and seasoned just as you’d use an acorn or buttercup squash. Of course with the large Cinderella you could probably make several pies, breads and batches of cookies as well!

Calypso beans | Square Peg Food Farm

Dry beans were also in the share, this year we grew ‘Calypso‘. Also, two onions, carrots, green tomatoes and herbs (rosemary, parsley and thyme.) To finish the season with a bang, we also sent some really tasty canned goods: Green Tomato Salsa Verde, Lavender Chardonnay (or Pinot Grigio) Jelly and either a Rosemary Orange or Rosemary Cranberry Glaze/Sauce that is great on meat. I tried the Rosemary Orange on toast, but it was a bit of a stretch for me.

Canning jars, especially full of garden bounty, fill my heart with joy!

Canning jars, especially full of garden bounty, fill my heart with joy!

 That does it for this season. Though it was a somewhat challenging year in the garden, I think we sent some pretty good things home with our shareholders. I even have a new favorite green bean variety! There are always lessons, thanks for hanging on with us this season.


CSA week 14

This has been an interesting growing season. A late, wet spring and a dry summer. Our garden didn’t produce as well as last year and I’ll have to (sort 0f) cut CSA short this year. Really, we’ll still get our 15 weeks in, but this will be the last consecutive week and I’ll get one last, big drop ready in a few weeks with pumpkins, dry beans, brussels sprouts, hopefully more tomatoes and some other nice surprises!

Shares were not as full as I would have liked this year, but that’s farming. I am lucky that my mom does a market garden too, and that hers fared better than ours did. All the tomatoes, save a few pounds, came from her garden. So did many of the cucumbers, zucchini, peppers, some onions and all the eggplant! On the brighter side: corn, green beans, carrots and spaghetti squash did very well this year on the farm.

This week, each share contains rosemary, thyme,  mint, cabbage, carrots, a large onion, potatoes and a summer squash. If the herbs are too many to use now, chop them up and freeze in ice cube containers with olive oil. They’ll be ready for a recipe when you are. Freeze the mint with lime juice for a nice late winter mojito! The cabbage would be great in this Creole Cabbage Soup. I better not forget about the green tomatoes. You can let them sit on the counter to ripen, but if they don’t, I suggest fried green tomatoes, a nice treat!

CSA Week 13

There is a chill in the air! I love the fall weather, but I am hoping to have a nice long autumn this year. Many of our plants got a blanket to cuddle with last night with freeze advisory in effect. I don’t think we had a frost at our location, though I did hear that many areas had lows in the 30-33 range. Brrr!

Members have another spaghetti squash this week. If you’d like to save this for later eating, wipe down with a 1:10, bleach:water solution and it will keep for several months. This is a good practice for any of the winter squash or pumpkin varieties you’d like to keep rather than eat now. Try something different than the usual spaghetti sauce topping, maybe with parmasean and herbs or in a Spiced Squash Pancake!

Beets and green beans also made it into this weeks share. I will admit that I am not a fan of beets, though I will try them if they are one someone else’s table. That said this recipe for roasted beets over beet greens looks interesting, and would be a great way to use it all. Green bean casserole will always be my favorite way to eat these lovelies, but it’s good to mix it up a bit with Balsamic Green Beans.

The last few items will go together quite nicely in a Ratatouille: onion, green pepper, eggplant and summer squash.

Enjoy this lovely cool weather!

CSA Week 12

Embarrassing, but I am just getting this up, 4 days after our drop. I got so busy with canning lots of good things to eat, that I forgot! Now that I’ve got the apples turned into preserves and apples for crisps, peaches jammed with basil and another batch of cucumbers pickled, I’ve remembered to post what our members took home on Friday.

CSA Week 12

With our strange growing year, I’m lucky to be able to supplement shares with produce from my mother’s market garden from time to time. This week, there were quite a few additions: kohlrabi, cucumbers, tomatoes, green onions and green peppers. The summer squash, carrots, shallots, green beans and spaghetti squash are from the farm.

A few notes on the produce that you might not be very familiar with: the kohlrabi is a member of the cabbage family. My sister likes to peel and slice it and eat it with ranch dressing. They are supposed to be quite a tasty addition to soups and can be roasted or steamed and served most any way you like: butter or cream and salt and pepper might be nice. You can also shred them and turn them into coleslaw.

Spaghetti squash is a winter squash and one of the toughest veggies to get into. You’ll need a sharp, strong knife and a little patience. To prepare, cut in half lengthwise, scoop the seeds out and roast in the oven, flesh side down at 350 degrees. Check for done-ness after about 20 minutes. When it’s cooked carefully turn it cut-side up and let cool a bit – it will be steamy. Then just scrape out the insides with a fork and top with your favorite pasta sauce. It has a stringy flesh, like spaghetti and has a nice sweetness that balances out a tomato based sauce.

CSA Week 11

The green beans have finally started producing a good amount after some watering and just over an inch of rain this past week! Each share has a pound. The zucchini is shaping up as well, each share took home one large or two small summer squash.

I’ve started picking our last patch of corn, we may have one more week of it, but shareholders can use their farmer’s market credit this coming week if they would like to get in on our last batch.

Two large red tomatoes are included this week and several cucumbers. These are additions from my mother’s market garden, since my tomatoes are at a bit of a stand-still.

We also have about 3 pounds of potatoes in the shares and a bunch of carrots. I just saw a friend had made Carrot Top Pesto, so here’s a great opportunity to use those beautiful green bunches!

A reminder to members that if you still have a credit to use at the market, there may only be a week or two left!  We can always use it toward extras as the last weeks of CSA dwindle.

CSA Week 9

Despite our best efforts our peas and green beans have really slowed down their progress. One week each of our four rows of green beans put out a grocery bag full of beans, last night I filled less than a grocery bag, maybe a pound. We did start watering the plants early in the week and there are now lots of flowers and tiny beans. We hope to send some with the shares in the near future.

CSA Week 9 | Square Peg Food Farm

Today, shareholders will take home as much corn as they would like! I will have 4 totes with me and I have yet to pick almost half of the section that is ripe. I will be doing some canning this weekend, me-thinks. Corn will keep well for a few days in the fridge. I love it cooked up on the grill. You could also blanch and freeze it for this winter, or make corn salsa or creamed corn, yum!

This weeks share also includes a cucumber, one bunch of carrots, zucchini and/or yellow squash, tomatoes, 3 lbs of potatoes and an eggplant. My favorite way to enjoy carrots is steamed or boiled, served with butter and dill. The eggplant always seems a little daunting to people. Here’s a nice recipe for Eggplant Parmesan. I like to slice them thin and use in a vegetable lasagna with tomato based sauce.

CSA Week 8

Why yes we are missing a post for week 7!  How astute of you to notice.  We decided to leave the farm in some capable hands and take a quick vacation. We spent 5 days in Bozeman, MT where Dave and I lived for 8 years. I hadn’t been back since we moved back to North Dakota and we thought it was a great time to take Eva.

It took some planning to make it work. We wanted to be in Bozeman for Sweet Pea Festival the first weekend in August, not a super time to be away for any farmer, large or small. We carefully planned out arrival dates and butcher dates for the broilers so that they would all be gone by the time the farm sitters were in charge (the broilers are the most involved stop on the chore round.) All the planning and hand-wringing while getting things ready to leave were so worth it!

Hyalite Reservoir | Square Peg Food Farm

Square Peg Food Farm

Kids woodworking area at Sweet Pea Festival


Square Peg Food Farm

Making musical instruments at Sweet Pea Festival

We were able to take in many beautiful sights and hikes and lots of great music and art at the Festival! Sweet Pea does a great job organizing many different kids activities and we ended up coming home with a chair and sistrum that Eva helped to put together.

I suppose most of you are here to see about some vegetables, though. As sometimes happens, in my last minute rush, I didn’t get a chance to photograph today’s share. The tomatoes have just started ripening, the green beans are slowing down for a few moments and the zucchini are still a bit elusive so it was a choice between those three items and my one purple sweet pepper (Iko Iko is the variety.)

The corn is just starting to ripen, each share has a half dozen with more to come! This is the ‘early’ variety that I chose, it is not as sweet as some that are still waiting to ripen. I tend to like the less sweet varieties, hopefully some of you do too. It was great with a little salt, pepper and butter.

The beets were looking quite nice and the green onions are lovely, each share contains 1 bunch of each. Three cucumbers and one green bell pepper round it out. We finally hit the moment in summer when some of the more exciting produce is ready to eat. The peas have also slowed down, but I do expect to have more soon.

As always, thanks to each and every one of you reading, for your support of and interest in local foods. We could not be here, doing what we love, without your support.

CSA Week 6

For the record, I try to debut a vegetable in our CSA box rather than at farmers’ market, whenever possible. So, when you stop at our table and we have only peas, green beans and a few herbs, it’s because we fill CSA shares and our own pantry first. Anything above that goes to market!

CSA Week 6 | Square Peg Food Farm

Today is the season debut of carrots! My favorite way to eat them is simple, steamed then served with butter and dill. This may be the last time peas will be in the box till later in the year, here’s a pound. Again, we have a pound and a half of green beans, for which, there is no end in sight! Still just one small zucchini per share. Also, one cabbage and some red onions. That will be the last cabbage till later in the season, but carrots and onions are still coming.

If you are looking for some new ways to use some of your produce, check us out on Pinterest. We’ve got lots for you to look through!

CSA Week 5

Shares are starting to fill out a bit better! I tried watering the beets to give them a boost before picking today, but only came up with enough for half the shares, so the other half will have some chard. Each share contains a small summer squash. When you aren’t expecting the little zucchinis they creep right up on you, but when you are patiently awaiting their growth, they seem to be at a stand-still. There are plenty of flowers, so I hope we can get more in the boxes soon!

CSA Week 5 | Square Peg Food Farm

The green beans are going strong after a first picking  just before market this week This week includes 1 and 1/2 pounds. If anyone is interested in getting some extra to can or freeze, let me know soon, this will be the time! Try this recipe for Crispy Green Bean Fries. Peas are looking good too, but our snow peas are just not producing like last year. Also in the share, some pretty little green onions. The red onions are bulb-ing nicely and I hope to include those soon, as well.

CSA week 4

Today’s share is, again, all from the garden. Hooray! I can’t believe I’m going to type this, but we could actually use a spot of rain to give the peas a boost and keep the surface soft for a few seedlings that should be popping up anytime.

This weeks share includes peas, just under a pound each. There are so many pods out there, but they are taking their time filling out. The snow peas are in the same boat, there are so few in this picking that it will be a choice between snow peas and little summer squash.

 CSA week 4 |Square Peg Food Farm

The green onions are looking beautiful, I went through and did a thinning and came up with a nice amount for the shares. Dave poked around under the potato plants and found some nice sized new potatoes. Each share will have about 2 lbs of these beauties. There was still plenty of lettuce in the garden, but I made a salad last night and several bites were bitter. That means they are getting ready to bolt and won’t be good eating anymore. We do have another planting of lettuce and spinach that could use a boost, maybe they’ll make an appearance in the shares in a few weeks.

In the meantime, the green beans are teeny-tiny, but should be ready soon. At least one corn plant is trying to send up tassels. The rest of the cabbage are going strong, I expect they will make another appearance. The carrots are still a bit small, but I expect we can send some of those in the near future, too!

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