Field Notes: Volume 16, Number 20
This Week’s Harvest
Winter Squash (Delicata and Acorn)
By Courtney Buchholtz
I once again find myself looking out of the window at the raindrops falling from the sky. Fortunately for us, they seem sparse—or so I keep telling myself! We have managed to get a few late transplants into the ground this week, to finish off the fall crops. How sweet it is not to have anything to water anymore during the day. We spent some time this week “harvesting” harlequin bugs into pails of soapy water in an attempt to combat their efforts to munch on the fall brassicas. I am not sure who won the contest—Jose, Colette, or me—but I assure you, we all gave it our best effort. On a small scale, hand picking pests can be rather effective over continuous spraying, and a bit of a game should you choose to make it one.
From the Fields: The potatoes you saw this last week will unfortunately be the last. Half of the remaining bed we had to harvest was rotted due to all of the moisture we have seen in recent weeks. Savor those last few bites! We will also say goodbye to the tomatoes. I am sad to see them go, as we had anticipated harvesting them through September, but I’m sure most of you would agree that there has been an abundance of them this season; maybe it is best to move on. We are doing our best to keep the weeds at bay. A little sunshine would go a long way toward helping us dry out, and would allow for better cultivation. Some work on the carrots and rutabagas is in store, which should help them size up in the days to come. The lettuces and beets remain untouched by the geese that occasionally visit the fields and seem to be enjoying the cooler weather. Now for some drier weather—and sun. Everything seems to be at a standstill. Hanging out in the soil, and not growing a whole lot. We shall see what the days to come bring us.
The sounds of cicadas have given way to the music of the crickets and migrating birds. And the few crisp nights we have had are a sample of my favorite season yet to come: fall! On Friday, the season will officially be upon us. This will be my first fall on the East Coast and I am hoping it’s a good one. Watching the leaves turn various colors and drop are signs of another season being laid to rest and the winter coming on, which is a time for all of us to rest and renew.
Take care and have a wonderful week,
Courtney Buchholtz & Your Farmers
Reminders: RSVPs to Send and Boxes to Return
Please don’t forget to RSVP to the Ecosystem Farm SHAREholder Potluck on Saturday, October 1, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. We would love to see our SHAREholders and their families there, for a wonderful afternoon of good food and conversation. Click here to learn more about the event. You can RSVP by emailing Courtney Buchholtz at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Wednesday, September 28. A sign-up sheet will also be available in the packing shed.
Please remember, too, to return packaging materials to the farm. In particular, we have found ourselves low on 3/4 bushel boxes, which are not recyclable (due to their wax coating) and which, when cared for, can last a long time. We encourage you to bring reusable shopping bags with you to the farm, in which to carry home your harvest. We appreciate your help with our efforts to reduce waste and save money.
Below, photos from this week on the Ecosystem Farm. Click images to enlarge, or view them on Flickr.
This Week’s Recipe: Roasted Acorn Squash and Tomatoes
Recipe adapted from Real Simple
1 acorn squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), halved, seeded, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 pint tomatoes, quartered
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash, tomatoes, and garlic with the olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast until squash is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve, sprinkled with the oregano.
African American Heritage Day: Saturday, September 24, 2011, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Visitor Center: This annual event will celebrate the region’s history and culture with “Enduring Traditions: Rich Connections to Our Past.” Bring the family for a day full of music, living history demonstrations, children’s activities, fascinating panels, and the best soul food this side of the Mason Dixon line! Click here for event schedule.
Ecosystem Farm SHAREholder Potluck: Saturday, October 1, 2011, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Ecosystem Farm: The Ecosystem Farm invites our SHAREholders and their families to join us for a fall potluck. Please bring a dish to share, utensils to use (including plates, cups, and silverware), and a blanket or chair to sit on. The potluck will take place on the Ecosystem Farm; in the case of inclement weather, we will move indoors to the Education Center.
It’s one thing to purchase produce that’s in season, and quite another to cook it. Sustainable Table is a monthly cooking course that demonstrates how to use in-season fruits, vegetables, and herbs to create healthful, wholesome, and delicious meals. Each class will spotlight one well-loved fruit or vegetable standard and one unusual item. Participants will receive printed recipes to take home.