CSA Week 15: September 7th and 8th
Happy Labor Day weekend everyone! We hope you are getting some time to relax and enjoy the beautiful weather. We are still going to have our pick up days on Monday and Tuesday from 4-7. However, I anticipate a lot of folks not making it back into town on time. I will try to be flexible on Wednesday, just text me (Amy) at 720-217-5270 to arrange a time to pick up your share. Here’s what we will have:
Delicata Squash (one for the half shares, two for full shares)
Beets (with greens)
Delicata Squash: The bridge between summer and fall
Delicata squash is a soft, easy to cook winter squash. No need to peel the skin like a butternut or acorn squash, but there’s much less water content than a summer squash. They are creamy and slightly sweet and can be cooked whole (scooping out the seeds) and stuffed with meat or other veggies. They are also great cut into little wedges and thrown on the grill.
Squash is a sprawling, wild plant that is susceptible to diseases and all types of pest pressure. To mitigate the pests, we cover the baby plants with insect netting until they start producing flowers. At this point they need to get pollinated by bees, butterflies, wind, and other pollinators so we take the netting off. The plants are generally established enough to fight off pests, which also transmit plant diseases, so this creates a healthy thriving plant by taking extra care of it in the beginning stages. Once the foliage dies back on the plant, it is time to harvest the fruit of the squash. It’s so much easier to find the fruits this way too. After harvesting the fruit needs to “cure” in our greenhouse for a few weeks to dry out water content and concentrate sugars. Now we have our delicious ambassador between summer and autumn!
Since Delicatas are the stars of the show this week, here’s an article about a bunch of different ways to use them. Salads, pasta, even a vegan cassoulet! They are such a versatile and delightful seasonal treat.
The beginning of the month always feels like a time to reflect and plan. September particularly feels that way because it is the start of the change in seasons. The nights have been below 60 degrees several times now which is not ideal for tomatoes or basil. Tomatoes have still been very slow to ripen, which is why they are not in shares this week. The basil still looks great now, but a few more weeks of cooler temperatures will make it droopy. In order to stay on track for our fall and winter production we will have to start planning to pull out our tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant in the next couple of weeks. This is always a bittersweet time for me. While I love summer crops and the bounty and delicious flavors they bring, by this time of year they feel very exhausting. Maintenance of tomato plants takes a few hours each week, harvesting cherry tomatoes takes about two hours, and the peppers are sure to leave us with a sore back. The best part about seasonality is that there’s something great to look forward to in each time of the year! Savory and hardy squash, cabbage, spinach, and apple cider (and those doughnuts!) all await us while we say bye for now to our juicy summer harvests. Enjoy this small window of time when summer and fall overlap, I think there are few moments more special than early autumn in Michigan!
Amy and Andy