Week 18; October 20, 2011 Last week for Summer Shares

Delivery is running about an hour behind because the van had a dead battery.  

It’s really feeling like summer is over, right?  This is officially the last week for the Summer Share boxes.  Thanks for participating in the 2011 Summer Season with us!  We are still getting responses to the 2011 member survey.  If you have not gotten the chance to fill it out, please do!  It’s only 10 questions and we read them all and take every response into careful consideration for the future.  THANK YOU!

Also we will be doing a pork delivery this weekend.  Click here to order and have your selected package delivered to your home on Saturday!  Note:  We are OUT of Bacon, so no orders except for those already placed will include bacon.  

What’s in the box?

full share:

Brussel Sprouts,  hold best in the crisper of the fridge, or in an open plastic bag.  They taste best when stored on the stalk until use.  They will taste best used within a week.

Potatoes, hold best at 55 in a dark location

Green top Turnips, remove the tops to keep the turnips from getting soft. hold them in the fridge in an open plastic bag.

Spinach, holds best in plastic bag, OPEN. lack of air will turn them to mush, too much will wilt them

Salad Mix, same as spinach

Green top carrots, same as turnips

Broccoli store in a plastic bag in the crisper of your fridge.  don’t forget to peel and eat the stalks along with the florets!

Butternut, Acorn and or pie pumpkin Depending on size.  They hold best on your counter for 3 weeks or so, or at a cooler temp (around 50) and low humidity for 3 months if conditions are right. If they start to go soft, you can roast and freeze for addition to soups in the winter.  They don’t like to be in the fridge.

single share:

Brussel Sprouts

Potatoes

Turnips

Carrots

Spinach 

Salad Mix

Pie Pumpkin and Butternut Squash

Notes on the box….

Brussel Sprouts from the farm are way different from the ones you get at the store.  They are on the stalk still!  (The stalk is not edible)  To eat them, pull each sprout off of the stalk.  If the little stem didn’t come off, you can cut that off of each sprout.  Cut the larger sprouts in half.  The key to delicious brussel sprouts is to roast them in the oven or on the stove top.  They are SO GOOD when they get a little carmelized.  We really don’t recommend steaming them.  These have been through a frost and are nice and sweet.

Don’t forget the best way to get that winter squash eaten is to have it roasted and ready when you need it.  Anytime you have the oven on (like if you are heating up a frozen pizza!) just half the squash, scoop out the seeds, and put it in an oiled pan with the cut sides down (with or without a little water) and let it roast until it is tender.  The time will vary according to what type of squash and the temperature of the oven, but let it roast until you can poke a fork into the squash easily.  Then you can let it cool, scoop out the soft squash, and store it in the fridge or freeze it until you want to use it.  Then you can use it for any recipe that calls for canned pumpkin.  You can use it to make soup, or you can try that pumpkin smoothie recipe from a few weeks ago!

Recipes….

Root Roast!

Here we are again.  Late October and STILL holding out and not turning the heat on yet.  Every morning when we wake up it feels like we are camping.  So every meal has had something roasted so that at least one room in the house is warm.  Heat oven to 400.  Wash your potatoes, Turnips, and Carrots.  Cube them in about 1/2 inch pieces.  mix together in a roasting pan with a drizzle of oil or butter and a sprinkle of salt.  Roast uncovered stirring every 15 min for about 45-50 min or until veggies are fork tender and browned.  You can dress this up with any spices that go well with the rest of your dinner like chili powder, garam masala, or thyme.  I really like it with just butter and salt so that the flavors of the veggies shine.

A recipe for Sweet Pumpkin Butter.

A recipe for Roasted Brussel Sprout Gratin IN a Roasted Butternut Squash!  YUM!

Stuffed Winter Squash

A very versatile way to eat your winter squash is to stuff it.  You can do this with carnival, acorn, delicata, pie pumpkins, just about any kind of winter squash.  Heat oven to 400 and follow directions for roasting squash in the notes section.  In the mean time, get the grain of your choice cooking.  Brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, couscous are all good options.  Then chop and onion, some garlic, celery, or whatever else you have on hand and would like in your stuffing. Get that sauteing.  Add some ground meat and let that brown (we always use sausage, but any ground meat or tofu would be great.  You could chop and wilt greens of your choice.  Then when the grains are done, mix the grains with the meat or veggies or you can mix it with some raisins and chopped nuts.  Season it to taste.  You can add some tomato sauce or stock if you think it needs some moisture.  You can mix in grated cheese or feta cheese (great option if you are using wilted greens).  Remove your squash from the oven when it is soft, but still holding it’s shape.  Stuff with your stuffing and top with grated cheese or buttered bread crumbs, or nothing.  Put it back in the oven to roast until the top is browned and it smells so good that you can’t wait anymore.  While it’s roasting, dress your salad greens and set the table.  Dinner!

A recipe from 101 cookbooks for Golden Crusted Brussle Sprouts.  How to cook those brussel sprouts (especially if you think that you don’t like them!)

On the farm…

Well, it’s officially cold. We are getting ready for the Winter Shares.  We have sold out of them!  We are also thinking about next season and reflecting on the summer.  The survey responses are super informative and helpful.  We have gotten a huge positive response, and we are super thankful for that!  It makes us feel great to know that the majority of people responding had a good experience and are planning on joining us again next season.  We’ve gotten lots of encouragement and many of the types of comments that make us LOVE this work.  We love hearing about your kids who will actually eat vegetables because they taste better and because they know where the veggies are coming from!  We love hearing about people who are eating more veggies than they normally would because they have them on hand.  We love hearing about people whose grocery bill has gone down because they don’t have room for processed stuff with the fridge stocked with veggies!  CSA farming is a stressful job, but your comments make it worth it!

We have also gotten some constructive criticism that is helping us set goals for next season.  We thank you for the criticism as well!  Our goals are as follows:

1. Do a better job at giving single shares all of the same items as the full shares, but in lesser quantities; This was the first season of doing a SMALLER single share, in the past we have done an every-other-week half share and our biggest complaint about the smaller box is that… it’s SMALLER. It’s hard to fit everything without damaging the produce.  It’s hard to fit the value and variety in those small boxes. But we will think hard and come up with something… perhaps a tad bigger box?

2. Offer more variety in general throughout the season.  Our members like the familiar favorites, but don’t mind getting something new now and again.  Also, 4 weeks in a row of the same veggies is too much.  We should note that we planned on having beets, carrots, eggplant, new potatoes, dill, and cilantro during that time; but lost those crops to rain, weeds because of rain, or heat or being able to get in to plant in time.  Perhaps that means that we should do a better job of communicating what effects the weather is having (without complaining too much!)

3. Better and more consistent customer service.  We did loose a few emails this season and we very honestly regret that.  It has been a bit of a struggle with organization and staying on top of communication.  We have learned that relying on our memories does not work for the sleep deprived!  We are working out more solid systems to respond to our members requests and concerns. The farm store was bumpy and we hope to have that more stream lined going into 2012.

4. Storage tips for each veggie each week in case people don’t get to read the blog each week. and perhaps a ‘printable version’ for those that like to carry it around with them.

5. Don’t be afraid to use the organic approved sprays on potato beetles (so that we get a better crop of potatoes = more for our members) and on brassicas (too many loopers!)

4. Less cucumbers next season!

5. More egg shares!  We are getting 150 baby chicks in the mail next week and they should be laying by next Spring!

As for other quantities, our respondents were split down the middle on their love or dislike of Kale and other greens.  We have had an even number asking for more and less!  It’s impossible for us to please everyone, but we think that staying on the track that we are on is working out for us.  There were some members who asked for more things like fennel bulbs, romenesco, endive, and kholrabi, pac choi etc…  We love those things, but there are many other CSA’s (most, I’d say) who will give those sorts of things.  We are going to stick to more simple fare because it seems to satisfy most of our members and helps people be able to eat all the veggies every week, also it would increase our production costs and therefore increase the price of a share.  We know it can be a challenge to cook and eat all those veggies, especially if you have to learn a new one or even two every week!  We work very hard growing many different crops and we want you all to be able to use as much of it as possible.  So, that’s our specialty, and we will stick with it.  But that doesn’t mean we will stop growing those heirloom varieties, and trying new varieties that you can’t get in the store.

70% of responses said definitely will sign up next season, about 25% said maybe and 5% said not again.  This is good considering that the average retention for a CSA is 51%-65% depending on who’s doing the research.  We are working toward 100% retention.  We are staying small and in the future plan on offering you more variety of  food items, such as cheese, beef, chicken and eggs.   We want to be the personal farmers every season for a core group of members.  This will help us get to know our members and better serve you from year to year.  Next season we will not be adding more members.  We may even cut down and do 20 or 30 less shares.  We will have to raise our price for the season(we expect about 10 dollars more) to keep up with our operating costs going up, but if you want to ensure that your share is held for you at this seasons price and that there is space at your prefered drop site, we invite you to sign up for next season now.  You can reserve your spot with a $50 down payment (e-check or mail in a check) AND you can reserve an egg share as well.  Also, you can use the coupon code RETURNIP for returning members and save $15.

All in all, we are fairly satisfied with the boxes this season and we are very happy that we have put time and money into soil building so that the veggies we deliver are nutritious and flavorful!

Thanks so much to our awesome members!  Our farm would not exist without YOU!

And now it’s time to say goodbye!

This will be Larry’s last day!  Some of our members may have been lucky enough to meet Larry as he delivered the veggies in the Turnip Truck.  Larry, thanks so much for your hard work, your wealth of information, your ability to deliver the veggies to the members, and your ability to deliver the gossip about what’s going on around town!  Also thanks for being such a great salesman!  We will miss you and we wish you the best!

Thanks for the laughs, Larry!

Sticking around for a little longer will be Steve, Lauren, and Craig.  We had a fantastic crew AGAIN this season!  One thing we are really excellent at is hiring hard working, resilient, fun people with amazing attitudes.  We could never pull it off without our crew.  THANKS!!

Steve, Craig, and Lauren bunching carrots

2 Comments »

  1. Eve said

    When will your next (after Oct 23) pork delivery be? I wanted to add to my order but the site was down and then I forgot..:(

    • turniprock said

      Next pork delivery will be on Nov 12! If you’d like to order, visit the web store or email us your order. Thanks!

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