Thursday, October 13, 2011

Week 23: Pumpkin Time

Sugar Pie Pumpkins rest in a wheelbarrow at 8th Street Greens.

Hello CSA Shareholders!  Wow, the end of the CSA season. . . what to focus on for this newsletter?  It's been a quick growing season this 2011:  I feel uncertain that it's really done.  Of course, it's not actually.  There's seed garlic to pop and plant, cloves to plant close for green garlic this spring, Barter Faire to pack for-attend/vend (garlic, pumpkins, leeks and J. Chokes)-and unpack from, discing the fields and cover-crop to plant, things to clean-up and put away, and strawberries to keep picking!  I still need to clean the tool shed that I never got to this spring!  Yes, it's raining on Monday again, interesting. . .I heard cranes flying overhead at 9 pm last night, Eisa and I gazed up into the full-moon light to look at their silhouettes, alas, we only heard them.  They sounded very different than the daylight call, I think it was just a few cranes, cold maybe, looking for the rest of the flock already hunkered down for the night.

Photo by Shannon Gilbert

This week's box:  will also be heavy to deliver!  The fall bounty it contains:  medium-baby leeks and a pumpkin from 8th Street Greens.  I planted a succession of leeks this early summer.  It's my 1st year ever growing leeks.  I now know that to grow big leeks we will plant early successions only!  They are yummy and a new treat for the CSA this year.  The Small Sugar Pie Pumpkin has excellent meat for baking.  Turn the oven on 300 d.  Put a pan in the oven on the rack under it, so as to catch any overflow. Prick it with the tip of a knife or a fork and bake it for about 1 ½ hour.  Push it to check for tenderness. Let it cool.  Gut it and scrape the squash meat from it's skin.  Or, carve the skin from the flesh.  Mash it.  Add a little water if necessary. Now you have pumpkin puree ready for soup, cake, bread or pie! Go savory or go sweet with it.

Go sweet with it! Tis the season for perfecting your favorite pumpkin pie recipe.

Field crew member Heather helps her son, Colin, heft the pumpkin he picked out at 8th Street Greens.
The parsnips are a delicacy to be savored.  It's their first ever appearance in our CSA, though Watershine is a long-time grower of them.  On me-n-my-kids' electric golf-cart farm tour with her last week, she demonstrated trying to dig one up and achieve getting the whole thing!  Holy Cow!  It's like 2 feet long, with a tail tapering off into the depths of the lush, rich soil it's been growing in since spring.  And the tops!  Their about 2' tall as well!  They're out there digging hard this week, unearthing the sweet parsnips.  Parsnips are sweet fried up with butter, maybe adding apples too.  Maybe a little brown sugar or syrup drizzled at the end to make sweet crunch in the pan.  Or they're good baked or roasted, as in the chicken recipe from last week.  The cabbage is also from Yonder Farm, sweet and crisp fall cabbage- a wonderful success for this area.  It's hard to start cool-weather starts in the August summer heat – but they did it! Thank-You Yonder Farm!!!  

Watershine hangs out with her chicken friends one summer evening on Yonder Farm.
It's been a great season.  The apples are small fancy Liberties from Filaree Fruit.  Those Tiny Fancy Spartans from last week are so delicious – and it actually took me 12 bites to eat one, so they're not just  the 2 bite apple that one might think:)  The fruit shares:  receive extra apples, pluots again (Dapple Dandy) and Red Sterling Grapes from Bartella's Orchard.  I think it's so cool to be providing table grapes in the CSA.  And that they're being grown in the Okanogan. 

Some more friends, Thea and Stella,  stop by to pick out their Sugar Pie Pumpkins.

My Mom and Dad just attended Mary Lassila's memorial.  Paula, of the Breadline Cafe, provided a reception and my Dad was raving about the little egg-salad sandwiches with grapes (cut in half) on them!  Wow – what a combo – egg salad and grapes.  Sounds yummy.  And Mary was such a supporter of local foods.  She was one of the first lovers of Sun Gold cherry tomatoes back in 2003 when I first brought them to the Okanogan Farmers Market.  I had to convince people they were ripe.  She believed in me and took them home.  The next week she raved about them, giving me her classy smile and sharing with me that she ate them all like candy while watching a movie at home.  She bought 2 pints that week, a regular Market grocery shopper!  Cheerleaders are an important part of our life and she was one.  Thanks, Mary.  The Okanogan Market Customers are a tough sell, but getting better from what I hear! The more we educate about health and quality, the better for us all. We might join the F. Market throngs next year, we'll be growing so much food. . .  Look for my brochure in the mail 'round March.  I'll be sending an email as well, around April. 

Shannon's breakfast table filled with all local bounty!
Pumpkin pie from 8th Street's pumpkins, sausage from Larkhaven Farm, bread from the Okanogan Bakery, and eggs from a neighbor's chickens.
 A big THANK-YOU to all the stores and restaurants for their support.  Also, the drop-off locations who all generously donate their establishments to help their community and my business:  CCC of Tonasket, Main Street Market, The Breadline Cafe, Reinbold Law Office, Thomson's Meats and The Winthrop Community School.  They all deal with our boxes so kindly:)

Well, folks, Best to You and Yours!  In Good Health for the winter season. . . 

~~Shannon and Family and                                                                                                                                                                                             the 8th Street Crew    

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