Bok choi, Carrots, Celery root, Daikon, Garlic, Kale, Kossack kohlrabi, Lemongrass, Lettuce, Onions, Hot pepper, Potatoes, Indigo radicchio, Shallots, Hakurei turnips, Winter squash
These might be the last vegetables you get from us for some time so chew slowly. Fortunately we have put enough of them in this last share to keep you going for a little while. A crew of trapped Chilean miners could probably last for weeks on what you have in the box, especially since many of these vegetables will keep quite nicely for some time, particularly in a cool underground storage area. Not that I am saying you need to go deep underground to enjoy these crops, though I confess I have felt a strong temptation to crawl into my den these past few cold mornings. Nor am I saying you have to hang onto the vegetables for as long as possible. In these frosty temperatures you might feel the need for more sustenance. For a bowl of garlicky potato and kale soup, perhaps, or a spicy broth with lemongrass and bok choi, or a creamy winter squash bisque. You could get an especially large appetite working outside in this weather, digging potatoes for instance. But don’t take my word for it. Come to the farm on Sunday and find out for yourself just how hungry you can get doing manual labor outside in November as you help us pick some of the remaining produce for food pantries in Troy and Glens Falls. And yes there are still a few vegetable left in the field despite how much we have been putting in the boxes recently. We always grow more potatoes than we need. Well almost always. We have had a few terrible potato years when we needed every spud we could find. But like most years, we have gotten to the end of this season with a fair number of potatoes still in the ground, which is what we aim for. We want to have produce to give away. It may not enhance farm profitability (profitability being, in any event, rather too august a term for the net proceeds of this venture). But feeding people is what we do, and I do not think you can be in this business and not set aside at least a little to feed the people who cannot afford your food. By which, of course, I mean not that I think that not doing so is physically impossible, just morally indefensible. I don’t know that this moral obligation extends to you specifically (though the moral obligation to help those in need extends to all of us in one form or another). After all, this is not your business. But we could certainly use your help picking some of those potatoes, and we hope that you feel a strong enough bond both to your needy fellow citizens and to this farm that you will take a little time on Sunday to lend a hand. Well, maybe both hands. You can pick up potatoes using only one hand, which helps keep the other one clean. But it goes a lot faster if you use two, and the faster it goes, the sooner we get to go back to our house and have some hot cider and various potato dishes, some of which I will supply, some of which you might supply if you feel so inclined. And if picking potatoes really does not appeal to you, we do have some other crops to glean, such as turnips and mustard greens and chard, which you can pick without having actually to stick your hands in the dirt. Not that sticking your hands in the dirt is bad. In fact, it is good for you. Dirt has a bad reputation, I know, but an undeserved one. Do away with dirt and we will all be very hungry. Even getting dirty has its benefits. People who are too clean have a harder time fighting off infections. We have gone to considerable effort to get ourselves away from dirt, to sanitize and pave over the gritty parts of life. But we depend on dirt for our existence and ignore it at our peril. We should all go out occasionally and remind ourselves of the existence of dirt and take a good look at what it provides and feel at least a little gratitude and accept at least a little responsibility for looking after it. I am not saying you have to spend as much time with dirt as we do here on the farm. But you should not let us have it all to ourselves. So come out on Sunday and get a little good farm dirt all for yourself. You could bring a pail and fill it up, but I think you will find it easiest to carry it home under your fingernails, on the knees of your pants and on the soles of the sturdy footwear you have put on for this occasion. You could bring home a few vegetables too, if you want—if by some chance you have managed to eat everything in the share by Sunday. I would not, however, recommend that you try carrying home any produce under your fingernails, on your knees or on the soles of your sturdy footwear. And if you don’t run out of vegetables until after Sunday, but do find you want more in the coming weeks, you can order more from us to be delivered on Monday, November 22nd. You should receive a price list from me in a separate email. If you do not get it and want to place an order just get in touch with me. But first, perhaps you want to think about what to do with the vegetables you already have, such as the smooth, round green Kossack kohlrabi, which like the purple version is best eaten raw in slices or grated into a salad. You could use it combined with grated Daikon (the long white root) and celery root (the knobbly round one) and turnip (the round white ones). As for the kale (the bunched green), if you don’t want to use it in that potato kale soup, you could make it into crispy kale instead. It is easy to do—remove the stems, toss the leaves with a little olive oil and salt, and bake them at 325 for about 20 minutes until they are, well, crispy—and it is a tasty and healthy snack food, and tasty and healthy are not words that apply to most snack foods. If you come to the farm on Sunday I would be happy to show you just how easy it is. And you can return any boxes you might still have too. That is almost too much for one day: dirt, kale and returning boxes. You might have to lie down for a while afterwards. That’s okay. We fully understand. We feel a little like lying down for a while ourselves. Farming can do that to you after eight or nine months. Not that we are complaining. We like farming, especially in a year like this with decent weather. We could just use a little rest right now. Fortunately, other than picking those potatoes, there is not a great deal left to do on the farm. A little clean up, a few repairs, a couple of small construction jobs. But we have time to get our energy back for next season, time to sit by the wood stove and fill seed orders and decide on improvements (I hope to find an affordable cooler) and figure out where to plant everything—everything, anyway, but the garlic, which we finished putting in yesterday afternoon. Of course, in addition to getting back our energy, we hope to get you back for next season too. It would not do us much good to get all revved up and have nobody to grow for. We will offer an extra early sign up discount for returning members. If you join before December 15 you can get a 2011 share at this year’s price (I will send out forms soon). It is one small way we can thank you for helping to support the farm this year. Another small way we can do that, of course, is by thanking you.