Last share...a big one!

Hi folks,
The final farm share week has arrived.  With the colder weather and shorter days, it feels like the right time...
The share will be almost double in size this week, so pack your muscles when you come to pick it up!  There won't be too many more items than usual, just larger amounts.  All the produce this time of year will hold for quite a while in the fridge (or, for the winter squash, onions and garlic, in a dry room temperature spot) so hopefully this share should load you up with veggies to last beyond this week.
The small shares will be packed into our blue bags and will be about the size of a normal large share...the large shares will be packed into wax boxes as I anticipate they'll be too big for the bags!
We may put out some extra winter squash to take if you want, apart from what's already packed into your shares, so keep an eye out for that. 
I'm not even 100% sure what will be in the final share, but there will be a whole lot of stuff.  We have a lot of food still on the farm and I want to put it together to make the best final share possible.  But it will definitely include some of the following:
Winter squash and pumpkins-  We have a whole lot of winter squash left, and a bunch of different varieties.  As mentioned above, I may put out some extras for any real squash lovers looking for a bit extra.
Onions-   Lots of onions and shallots still in storage, too.  Especially our copra storage onions, which we have only recently started dipping into.
Garlic-  Jess and Brian got all our seed garlic planted!  There will be plenty of garlic growing for 2018.  It also means we can give out more of our 2017 garlic without worries, as our need to save heads for seed has passed.
Kale-  The Fall kale and chard continues to grow and do beautifully.  This is the best time of year for kale!
Carrots-  I think the carrots I've eaten over the past few weeks have been some of the tastiest I've ever had from the farm.  Small, but so sweet!  We will probably top them so they take up less space, but we'll give you a whole lot.
Beets-  The beets are also abundant and delicious, and will also probably be topped in the bottom of your bag or box to save some space.
Brassicas-  Some more brussels sprouts, plus some cabbage or broccoli if it survived the freeze and thaw!
Radishes/hakurei turnips-  I am hoping these survived the cold weather, too!  It didn't actually get that cold, but they can be pretty tender.
Braising mix-  We've got a lot of nice braising greens growing, like tatsoi, mustards, mizunas, that make a great stir fry mix.
Other winter roots-  Like our Black Spanish Radishes and winter turnips...
Greens-  Lots of other greens still growing, like some radicchio, escarole, parsley, spinach, chard, collards, arugula, and mustards, so large shares will have an extra green.

If you didn't see in the email, this will be the farm's final share as Ebb Tide Produce, and the last time for me running the farm.  I am taking a day off from the day job to pick and pack the final share with Jess and Brian.  Vincent and Tyla Nattress will be taking the reins of the farm and incorporating into their business with the Orchard Kitchen, and I couldn't be happier to see the farm continuing on in their hands.  It has been a truly great time running the farm and growing food for all you wonderful people.  I will really miss it I'm sure, but I'm excited to be moving on to new adventures, too!
Thanks you so much to all of you.  It has been great getting to know you, and I really, truly appreciate your support of the farm.

Second to last farm share

Hi guys,
This farm share may be second to last, but I assure you it's second to none.
Here's what it is:
Apples-  We bought some beautiful Fall fuji apples through Georgie up at Willowood Farm to round out the shares this week.  It's so nice to have a bit of fruit in the shares.
Spinach-  We have some really nice spinach, but it is kind of in between bunching size and baby size, with nice sized leaves but not very long it may be a smaller bunch in the shares this week.
Delicata squash-  We have piles more of our delicata squash in storage.  These squash have nice thin edible skins, so no need to peel them!
Shallots-  A bunch more of our delicious red shallots.  I've been putting these in just about everything I cook recently.
Hakurei turnips-  These Japanese turnips are very sensitive to cold weather, so usually they would have been frost killed by now....luckily, the weather has been mild so we still have a bunch of em!
Carrots-  The carrot train keeps on rolling, with more nice medium sized Hilmar carrots.
Rutabega-  "Swedish turnips" or "Swedes", these big old winter roots are great for roasting, steaming, pureeing or mashing with potatoes.

And in large shares:
Cauliflower-  Better late than never...I thought our fall cauliflower would be ready a few weeks ago but it keeps delaying...finally, it seems like there are enough heads ready out in the field to put them in the large shares.
Swiss Chard-  A bunch of colorful Swiss chard to add a bit more braising greens to the large shares...
Leeks-  We are sadly getting to the end of our leeks.  It seemed like we had so many just a few months ago, but we have managed to pick them all!  Still enough to make another bunch for all the large shares though..

What a nice Fall we've been having.  It is starting to get colder now, but we still haven't really had a hard frost on the farm, and we have a lot of food still that we normally would have lost by now.  I am seeing some rain in the forecast for tomorrow, but some more dry days after that.
This week's share will be the normal size, but next week's will be a big share to finish of the year and stock up the pantry!

Happy Halloween!

What's in the shares this week.....
Escarole-  This will be mostly frisee, a nice mild flavored escarole.  This is in the lettuce family, but with thicker leaves and a slightly more bitter flavor, it holds up to cooking unlike lettuce.  Here is a nice recipe Bobbi found that will also use up some of the beets and potatoes in your share:
Broccoli-  Our Fall brassicas are all coming on a bit later than I wanted....I was hoping we would have cauliflower for the shares this week, but I don't think enough of it is ready quite yet.  We have quite a bit of broccoli still coming on, though, and I bought a bit of extra from Georgie at Willowood Farm just in case we were short....
Carrots-  As you probably noticed last week, we are into a new bed of carrots where the roots are not as big, so we are back to the more modest sized carrots which are nice.  Still the delicious Hilmar variety that we've been picking all season though.
Beets-  A big bunch of mixed beets with red and chioggia and maybe some gold beets.  See the recipe above for the hash!
Kale-  Our fall kale is really kicking butt.  It rebounded from some dry late Summer struggles to be truly abundant, and delicious.
Copra onions-  These are our yellow storage onions, which are a bit less sweet and a bit more pungent, and store much better that the sweet yellow onions.  We had all our onions drying in the greenhouse through September, but then we moved them out to make room for all the winter squash, so now they are in storage in our shed and should hopefully be good for many more weeks or months.
Potatoes-  The last of our potatoes!  I decided to plant fewer potatoes this year, thinking that it would be an easy way to downsize the planted space on the farm a bit, and an easy crop to buy from other farmers.  I planted as many as I thought we would need in the Summer.  But thanks to good yields and not starting to dig them too early this year, they lasted much further into the season than I expected!  I have bought some from Georgie for the stand already, and will mix in a bit of hers to make sure we have enough for all the shares.  Again, see the hash recipe above!

And in large shares only....
Kabocha buttercup squash-  These green kabocha squash have always done amazing on the farm in past years, but for some mysterious reason they really underperformed this year with lower yields, so we don't have a ton of them.  They are a really nice winter squash, with dry almost crumbly orange flesh that is really flavorful....a Japanese squash closely related to the Red Kuri, even though they look nothing alike.
Peppers-  Maybe the last of the peppers!  I love it when the peppers go til Halloween and beyond!
Tomato-  And the final tomatoes too.  We haven't had tomatoes til this late in the Season for many years on the farm, if we ever have.  In a greenhouse it is easy to have tomatoes til late in the Fall, because they stay dry, but our outside tomatoes are usually too susceptible to disease to make it this late.  Hurray!  I am trying to enjoy them while they last, because it will be many months before we have nice home grown tomatoes again.
Parsley/herbs-  A nice bunch of fresh parsley or another herb to add to your fall recipes...

I am trying to keep up, but feeling very out of touch with what's going on at the farm these days.  I've been working Monday through Friday and stopping by the farm on the evenings on the way home....I had planned to spend some time on the farm on Saturday, but then the weather was so gross I lost all motivation, sadly.  It is so nice to now have an extended dry period in the forecast though!  When it got so wintery I was sure that our dry season was long gone, but there may be a little bit left in the tank.
Bobbi and I are excited going into the holidays this year that Nico will be old enough to understand and be interested and excited about stuff like Halloween, Santa Claus and all that stuff for the first time.  It should be sweet to see her learning about Thanksgiving and Christmas and seeing how it all works now that she's really interested in trying to figure things out.

Fall farm blog

Things are definitely winding down on the farm, as you can see if you take a look at the fields from up at the farm stand or the road.  But there is still plenty of food to be had....
In the shares this week:
Brussels sprouts-
Red kuri squash-

And in large shares only:
Green tomatoes-
Collard greens/kale-

I'm not feeling very verbal today after a day of fighting a stomach I will let the recipes do the talkin' this week.  Hope everyone's cooking and eating their veggies and not getting blown away in this crazy wind!

Pumpkin season....

In all shares this week:
Lettuce- Yes, lettuce is back for one last  time!  It hasn't gotten too cold yet to bother the lettuce, and since we covered the last beds up with floating row cover the deer stopped bothering it.  So we can get a nice mix of different types of head lettuce into the shares this week.  A few more lettuce salads before winter...
Pumpkin-  These "Winter luxury" pumpkins are the best.  Great flavored flesh, and beautiful netted skin.
I love pumpkin curry:
Carrots-  No surprise, more carrots in the share this week.
Yellow onions-  We may be starting to dip into our yellow "Copra" storage onions if we run out of walla wallas.  They can be used interchangeably as yellow onions though, the wallas are just a bit more sweet.
Swiss chard-  A nice bunch of beautiful, colorful Swiss chard.  Our summer chard went down hard, but is actually springing back to life now....but our Fall chard is in midseason form.
Tomatoes and peppers-  Hopefully one or two of each, the plants are still producing, but probably not for too much longer!  There were a few patches of frost in the field last week, but not enough to bother the crops...the forecast continues to say lows in the 40s, but all it takes is one cooler night now to really stop these crops in their tracks!!
Large Shares only!  Fall root crop bonanza...
Hakurei turnips-  Nice little mild and juicy salad turnips, and don't forget the greens are great too!
Black spanish radishes-  These are a more unusual vegetable, nothing like your normal radish.  Try slicing them very thin or grating them and serving raw, or otherwise roast them like a turnip!  They have a bit of spice and a firm crispy texture.  Another farm share's blog did a better job than I could at writing them up (with recipes):
Parsnips-  Some beautiful parsnips from our friends at Kettle's Edge Farm up in Coupeville!  I decided not to grow parsnips this year after having germination struggles over the last several years...
This recipe is a great description of how I like to use winter squash, potatoes, carrots, and other roots like black radishes, parsnips, beets....all in one dish.

Last week was spent bringing all of our winter squash in from the field, a very fun once-a-year project that involves lots of throwing and catching to get the squashes in and out of the truck.  One of my favorite times on the farm, and we had gorgeous weather for it.
With most work on the farm done for the season, I have already launched into my winter career of carpentry beginning this week, so Jess and Brian will be in charge of packing farm shares!  I will be at the farm for part of pickup, though, after about 4:30, so maybe I will still see  you.  I'm very happy with all the crops we still have on the farm right now.

It's October!

It's October....but no pumpkins in the share until next week!
Here's what is in your share this week....
Apples!  I picked these apples from some apple trees on the property Bobbie and I used to live at in Greenbank.  They are mixed varieties, all very tasty!  Some may be a bit underripe and could benefit from being kept at room temperature for few more days.
Broccoli-  Broccoli is back on, at long last!  We've got some beautiful heads forming, in spite of the fact that the pesky deer nibbled on some of the leaves a few weeks ago.  Fall broccoli is the best!
Spinach-  Some nice sweet spinach....another crop that I think is best this time of year.  We haven't had spinach in the share since back in June, I think, so enjoy.
Garlic-  We've now sorted all of our garlic to make sure we keep enough for seed, so we have lots of nice food garlic to give out in farm shares!
Blue potatoes-  These blue spuds have been in your shares a few times now as a mix with yellow and reds, but this week if we have enough we'll give you just straight blues.  Potatoes instead of winter squash this week, to give you a little squash hiatus.
Beets-  More sweet red, gold, and chioggia beets.  We have lots and lots of beets left in the field still, so they will make a few more appearances in the farm shares.
Solana-  This is a term for the tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.  The plants keep chugging along in spite of some cooler nights, but they are slowing down a bit, so i'm not certain we'll have enough of any one to put in all shares.  Let me know if you have a strong preference for tomatoes, peppers, or guarantee, but I can try to get you your preferred one if you let me know!

And also in large shares:
Leeks-  Lots of beautiful leeks still out in the field.
Scarlet Runner beans-  These are fresh shelling beans, in the pod, so I hope you're up for a small project!  The beans are large and pretty easy to shell, but it takes a bit of time to pop them out of the pods.  Then you can cook them similar to a dry bean, but as they are not fully dried, they don't need to be presoaked, and only need to boil in water for a half hour or so.  They are beautiful and delicious!
Carrots-  No surprise here...these are coming from a new bed of carrots, but they are the same variety, Hilmar.
Cabbage-  I hope we have enough of these beautiful green smooth leaf cabbages to put one in each of the large shares this week.

As summer turns to Fall on the farm, we begin the field cleanup....bringing in the hoses, drip tape and sprinklers now that irrigation season is over, taking down the t posts and twine of trellis and row cover and mulch that has served as crop protection....and begin mowing things down, tilling them in, and planting cover crop to grow through the winter months.
The remaining potatoes and winter squash come into the barn for Fall storage, and the tractors and implements get stored out in the field until the farm reawakens in the Spring.
It has been a great Season!  Some strange weather at times, and a bit of confusing crop behavior, but on the whole I am really happy with how things have turned out this year.  Last week I went through my annual process of stressing out about not having planted enough food -for no particular reason- but then after we put together what I thought was a great farm share, packed a nice order for the Orchard Kitchen, and packed the farm stand to the gills with produce, I realized I was being insane.
It is always a challenge for me to stay busy and earn income in the Winter months, and this year I have gotten a great opportunity to do carpentry with Heggenes Construction.  I'll be beginning that gig soon, so Brian and Jess will be doing extra work around the farm to keep the farm share going.  I will still be around and seeing many of you at farm share pickup on Thursday evenings.  And I haven't forgotten about getting a light in the farm stand!

September 28th Farm Share

Bobbie has agreed to be a guest blogger this week!   She’s written everything below:

In all shares:
Acorn squash- One of the earliest types of winter squash. These can sit out on your counter for another month before you need to cook it. Always a bonus in our house! If you’re not ready for it to be falls (or winter!) try this squash recipe from Smitten kitchen
Carrots-We’ve been eating a lot of carrots. A lot. Nico doesn’t sit long for meals days and I try to have lots of cut of veggies (and a tempting dip) on hand for after school. One of my favorites is Deborah Madison’s recipe for tofu mayonnaise from Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone (a bible in our home).
Kale- Kale…The winter zucchini. The gift that keeps on giving. What can be said about kale that hasn’t been said before? Next food prep session I suggest listening to John Cale’s Paris 1919. There.
Tomatoes- There won’t be tomatoes for too much longer.  Im hoping to do some roasting soon and stash a few ziploc’s away to enjoy later in the winter.
Sweet pepper-Another easy veggie to just serve raw.  Were still so busy these days that it’s easy to just cave to the simplest preparation.  These have been so abundant this year and have made it into most of our meals. Recently I made ground turkey and white bean chili with sweet peppers. Easy peasy lemon squeezy, plus left overs for lunch (always a winner in my book)

Small shares only:
Radishes  {because last week after saying there would be radishes in all shares we decided to put the last sweet corn in the small shares instead}-

Large shares only:
Bunching onion {green scallion or red apache} - My best friend Kylie and I often make these savory Japanese pancakes, called Okonomiyaki. The best parts of this (and any meal) are the condiments. Often we will soak scallions in tamari or soy sauce while we prep and ladle them on top of the cakes with Siracha and mayo.
Napa cabbage- A favorite of mine. If you haven’t tried an Asian style peanut salad with Napa cabbage yet, put it on your bucket list.
Zucchini- Ah, the versatile beast… I love adding zucchini where I can in cooking. Pancakes, muffins, scrambled eggs… the key is to squeeze, press or blot any excess water out of your zucchini before adding it to your meal.
Parsley- Gremolata is one of the easiest ways to brighten practically any meal (and look fancy at the same time).  The ingredients are simple (parsley, garlic, and lemon), and usually on hand.
{More tomatoes, acorn squash, and peppers in the large shares}

Kitchen gadgets
Life with a toddler and two working parents can be hectic. Eating (and preparing) healthy foods can be challenging- even when you have all the nice, pretty, organic vegetables in the world sitting on the kitchen counter.  Here are a couple of ways I’ve been coping. What are you doing to stay committed to healthy eating?
In an attempt to prepare and eat more vegetables (yes we have that problem too), I bought a spiralizer. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this kitchen gadget, it’s basically takes your average root  vegetable and cranks it into a fun spiral that is somehow more appealing to eat than a basic matchstick or julienned carrot. This has made most potluck and side dishes a breeze to prep and I’m enjoying being able to bring gluten free, Vegan dishes to gatherings- even if our household doesn’t have dietary restrictions.
Immersion blender. I use this baby several times a week, mostly to make healthy dips and dressings, sauces and condiments. I find I can include a lot more raw food this way, and also be more simplistic at the same time. The texture from this type of blender tends to be finer than my basic (probably really dull) food processor, and the cleanup is incredibly easier.