Archive for September, 2019

What to Expect in the Special Boxes and Shares this Week–First Week in October!

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Today was a very productive day considering it rained all day, it rained yesterday, and it is supposed to rain tomorrow…As posted earlier, we are in the last lap with the 2019 Garden…our energies and attentions are directed to harvesting and storing and protecting what the garden has already produced!  

Before I post another WORD–If anyone wants corn to freeze or enjoy, let me know MONDAY.  TEXT 431-1219.  $8.00/dozen.  We can deliver to anywhere we have Special Box members or CSA members. We are going to do a final harvest and store it in the cooler, but don’t want to harvest more than is needed this time of year because of limited cooler space!

So, what can you expect in your Share or Special Box for this first week in October?

Snack Peppers!–We harvested over 240# of the sweet and colorful Snack Peppers–97# of that will go to the CSA Members- GROUPS A, C, D, & E!  Orange Bells to Group B as they had Snack Peppers last week…  Our harvest style was a little different this week…The Farmer cut the plants off at ground level and brought them into the Shelter where we cut the maturest and sweetest off the plant, dried the rain off them, and then stored them in tubs in the cooler, and discarded the plant. 

Mulligan Stew fixings!  This is a great recipe from a dear friend of ours from the first year of the CSA–included will be Potatoes, Cabbage Sprouts, Roma Tomatoes (we hope), Celery, 2 large and gnarly Carrots for stew, Broccolini, and a good naturally dried down Highlander OnionYou supply 1# of stew meat, 3 T cooking oil, 2 cloves of fresh garlic, water, bay leaf, 1 C. beef broth, and 2 T corn starch.  We also include the recipe!

Melons stored in the cooler–I’m a-thinking Honey Dews, French Charentais, or a Watermelon…we now have some Amarilla (Yellow) and Orange Crisp (Orange)!

Delicata Winter Squash–a smaller yellow striped variety that can be sliced and cooked like zucchini, skin and all!  You can also cook them in the oven like other winter squash, but they are thin-meated and tender enough to fry, and you won’t run the risk of it drying out from over-cooking!

Pray for us as we try to maneuver the sogged ground, navigate through the below freezing night-time temps, and draw on miraculous energy to get it all done! The challenge this week for us may be digging the Satina potatoes with all the rain, gathering more ripened Roma’s, and having it dry enough to harvest Broccolini–But we will do our best!! …And we have a wedding in Seattle on Saturday–our daughter Michele and Chris! We fly out of Billings on Friday morning–  Take care!  The Farmer’s Wife 

 

Another Busy Week…

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Another busy week comes to a close!  We harvest, package, ship, and share Monday through Thursday–but this too will come to a close!  The weather is a changing and so we are going into hyper-mode to do what we can to protect what the garden has provided for us this season: harvest, store, cover, insulate.

Tomorrow we will start the clean harvest of many of the peppers and tomatoes.  Peppers will be stored in tubs in the coolers for several weeks, tomatoes will be ripened in the greenhouse and then sorted, boxed, and sold or shared.

We will make a decision on the corn–It has been so good this year!  (And it is getting harder to find non-GMO, organically raised corn with all the GMO sweet corn now in the market.)  I think we will harvest and stock pile what we can use or sell within 10 days.  (Send me a text if you are interested in freezing some–and send it tomorrow–as how much we save will depend on who we hear from…$16 for 24 ears.)

Same decision on the celery…our second planting is NOW coming into its own…smaller so it will fit into the Special Boxes!  The celeriac will be covered with straw to protect it through some of these frigid nights over the next couple of weeks until we can get it harvested and stored!

Some of the cabbage will be harvested and stored, and some covered and their use accelerated.  Root crops, including the potatoes,  will be dug, Sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichokes) will be covered or harvested, before they freeze into the ground!   Onions pulled and moved to the greenhouse to dry.  Leeks and Green Onions pulled and bundled for storage in the cooler.

And all the winter squash brought in and sorted for storage in the pallet bins we move into the Shelter.  Pumpkins we stack and cover with straw to hold them until the second week in October when they go to market, not sure where that is this year with Reese’s and Ray’s IGA closing their doors.

We continue to harvest Kale and Broccolini Galion X until mid-October when it finally becomes too cold for them to produce or too cold for the Farmer’s Wife to harvest!  Row cover will give them a little cold stress protection–but it’s hard to harvest when your fingers are numb–and thick gloves just do not work!

 

We have four more weeks of Shares with the last of Groups A & E  ending October 15th, and the rest of the Groups ending October 24th.  As you can see even after the frost we will have food!  

On a different note–Group B and Group C:  How did you like that surprise ingredient this week!? For Group B, we were able to fit the Fennel with Fronds into your Special Box, but for Group C–we had to box them separately and let LeAnn with Fresh Foods pass them out with your Special Box!  Usually fennel bolts with summer heat, but this strange year they were thrown into Super Mode and just kept growing with the majority reaching more than 2# in weight!  Amazon’s in the Fennel World since an average fennel bulb weighs less than 1#– 

Fennel is a treat!  The fronds can be added to salads, or lightly sprinkled in cooked dishes during the last stage of cooking.  LeAnn is going to roast her fennel bulb.  There is a recipe I’ve used in the past that I’m going to hunt down and get posted to http://www.lloydcraftfarms.com under the Recipe tab.  (I thought it was there but am sadly mistaken–)

Anyway…I’m exhausted from four days of 14 hour work-days, and realizing what needs to be done these next couple of days and into the extended weeks is making me extra tired! Sleep well my friends–The Farmer’s Wife

PS–thanks to those that responded to my request for feedback…it provided the magical fuel to keep us going!

4th Week in September Shares–What to Expect!

Beans are slacking off, Winter Squash is kicking in, Tomatoes will continue as well as a discovery of different root crops:  Black Spanish Radishes (hot and crunchy–Group A, E, & C), Hakurei turnips (a little bigger than we’d like–Group Group B and D), Red Beets (Group D), more of the small Carrots planted for fall (Group A and E), and 2 Bravo Daikon Radishes (purple and great fermented!–Group B).  

Tomatoes this week are the Five Star Grape and the Saladette with the Red Zebra, Yellow Taxi, and New Girl.

(We still have canning tomatoes for sale:  $25 for 20#–text to 431-1219 to order!  We can deliver with your Shares to Riverton, Lander, Sheridan, Buffalo, or can be picked up Thursday at the CSA Pick Up.  Weather is changing, don’t wait too long.  I have both Roma and Canner tomatoes, as well as jalapeno and other hot peppers, bell peppers, onions, and herbs for Spaghetti Sauce!  A Spaghetti Kit cost $30 (Recipe #39 at http://www.lloydcraftfarms.com) and includes all you need but the garlic and tomato paste.)

Brassica’s this week are Deadon Cabbage (fall/winter savoy) for Group A & E, Galion X Broccolini Crowns for Group B (new thing for this time of year), Red Cabbage for Group C, and 12 oz bag Broccolini Galion X for Group D.

Snack Peppers for Group E, Antohi Frying Peppers for Group A, Green/Red Bell Peppers for Groups B, C, and D.

I’m begging The Farmer…literally…to dig Potatoes I want to put potatoes in ALL the Shares!  We have a potato digger to hook behind the tractor, the rows are 200-400 feet long, but not all the potatoes are ‘ready’.  I want to dig the potatoes whose plants have died back, this is a sign they are ready, and that their skins are ‘set’.  However, if the whole row hasn’t died back, we can’t use the digger.  If we can’t use the digger, then they will have to be dug by hand…I’m begging The Farmer.  You can see why it is his decision–I’m a horrible potato digger…It’s a whole team effort, too.  Once dug they are hauled into the washing area and washed, dried, sorted, and bagged.  Pray for good weather, lots of energy, and that The Farmer says “OK”!

Watermelons for ALL!  Both Red Extazy and mini Mielheart, Orange Crisp and Yellow Amarillo, solid green Chubbiness, and mid-sized Farmer’s Wonderful!  These are vine ripened…chill and enjoy!  A good hollow thump means they are not over-ripe.  We guarantee our watermelons, so if you get a bad one, send me a picture and we’ll replace it the next week!  (FYI–an over-ripe watermelon usually pulls away in the center and may be a little mushy…sometimes the flavor is a little ‘not sweet’.)

Winter Squash for this week is either Spaghetti Squash or Honey Bear Acorn Squash.  Both cook about an hour in the oven at 375 degrees.

Spaghetti squash can be cooked whole, seeds and all intact.  Shave the ends to remove the tough skin but not deep enough to expose the seed cavity.  Bake until a squeeze proves it is cooked and ready.  Cool a few minutes on the counter and then cut length-wise, scoop seeds out, and enjoy.  I find cooking it this way holds the moisture in–You can fill the cavity with spaghetti sauce, chopped tomatoes, or a creative garden thingy!

Honey Bear Acorn squash is a little sweeter than the larger, deeper sutured acorns.  For these I cut them in half, shave the bottom so they sit level, and fill the cavity with a tablespoon of oil or butter, a peeled smashed garlic clove or hunk of onion or shallot, and salt and pepper.  I prefer placing mine in a covered dish and baking in the oven until tender.  I will often bake extras, cool them and then place in the fridge for Winter Squash Bisque the next day!  

So…there you have it!!  Why not shoot me a comment and let me know what you think!  I often wonder who reads these…  🙂     The Farmer’s Wife

This Week Shares–What to Expect–

The weeks are plugging along with more and more available from the garden, and hard decisions as to how to pack the boxes.  Had to make a tough one tonight, beans are out for this week!  Maybe once more for the season–weather and time permitting!  So, read on for ideas on what to expect in your Shares for this week–

New this week:  Honey Bear Acorn Squash or Spaghetti Squash!  Groups A, C, and E have the sweet, individually sized acorn, and Groups B and D have the large yellow  Spaghetti Squash.  Spaghetti is the mildest of all squash, and considered down-right boring by true squash-a-holic’s!  We stuck with the true Spaghetti squash as it has the fullest flavor of all.  Spaghetti squash cooks easy:  shave both ends off, and place in the oven at 375 degrees.  Cook about an hour or until a squeeze lets you know it’s done.  Cool on the counter for a moment, then cut in half length-wise, and scope out the seeds.  Cooked this way it keeps its moisture and fine flavor.  Fill the cavity with chopped tomatoes or any other creative idea…no creativity…then fill it with spaghetti sauce!

Peppers are the same rotation:  Orange Bells, Green/Red Bells, and Snack Peppers.  Both the bells have some light hail damage, which has not compromised the condition of the bells, but don’t let them be forgotten or that little tiny pock mark could develop into a spoil spot.  The Orange bells are stunning as they have fully turned now!  The Green/Red bells are in metamorphosis–

Red Cabbage is the star this week.  High in anthocyanin which is considered a supernutrient and good for you!  (Anthocyanin refers to that in fruits and veggies that gives them that red to purple coloring…)  The easiest use for red cabbage is grated into your tossed salad, or include it with your green cabbage for cabbage burgers or other cooked cabbage meals.  Super with red beets as a sauerkraut, and a little grated ginger!  Other Shares will have Deadon Cabbage which is a late fall Savoy, and super tasty steamed, roasted, baked, or boiled.  Group C will have Broccolini Galion X if I can get it harvested before I run out of time!  The broccolini this time of year is peaceful…just me and the honey bees!  Demand has dropped off, so I’ve let some of the heads go to flower and bloom–Very pretty and very peaceful today as it was trying to rain…the wind was rustling the corn leaves next to me, and the sky was cloudy but not ominous!  It was during this trip to the garden that I discovered some new heads on the old broccoli!  (So, Group E you have the pleasure of the 9 heads of Broccoli that I found!)

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes…Artisan Cherry Tomatoes mix for those groups we can serve (they take a lot of time to harvest), Roma’s or paste tomatoes for those we can’t, and German Johnson Heirlooms for the remainder.  I got to have my very favorite tomato last night for dinner:  Striped German Johnson, a nice yellow tomato with pink swirls throughout…HMMMM!

We added Celery to Group E…I think everyone has had celery now!  If not, drop me a line…text to 431-1219.  We still have lots, but I had to give them a haircut to get them in the boxes!  😦   (I threw the leaves into a bag and threw them in the freezer for my fall bone broth in the instant pot…got to get some bones!)

Root crop time is now as we approach the fallish months:  Daikon Radishes (Bravo Purple and Alpine White) and Carrots.  We have had quite a challenge with the carrots…they are down-right ugly!  The Farmer thinks it is nematode damage…we didn’t know they were there until we dug the Mokum’s….and then the Sugarsnax…and then the Cosmic…but today he brought in some carrots from the second plantings that are big enough and I think they will work!  The gnarly ones are sold as juicers!!

Melons again this week:  mostly Piel de Sapo (skin of the toad in Spanish and once you see them you will agree).  Remember our melons are vine ripened and best if consumed within a couple of days of delivery.  They will keep in the fridge, but if you are one of those folks that LOVES melon flavor, you can leave them on your counter for a day to get the full effect!

Onions are also coming into their own!-Sierra Blanca is our White fresh, sweet onion; Redwing is the sweet red and in Group B and D; Green Onions (Scallions) are in Group C.  Next week it will probably be true Green Onions for all as we clear out the high tunnel!

 

Enjoy!  The Farmer’s Wife

Raspberries! Got your ATTENTION?

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We have been working hard for you this week!  I ordered in Blueberries to sell through The Store today at CSA Pick Up, AND this morning I got a call from  SonHarvest’s in Riverton– Raspberries are on their way, also for TODAY!  Besides all the Lloyd Craft Farms offerings, we will have fruit, ginger root, turmeric, Greybull Valley Lettuce, Organic Girl Spinach, and a plethora of Utah fruit from Fowers Orchard:  Peaches, Bartlett Pears, and Apples.  (There are the last 3 heads of White Cauliflower, and maybe some purple Graffiti, from the garden, too, for sale in the glass cooler! Lots of 1# bags of Broccolini Galion X!)             

white-cauliflower

What a down-pour yesterday!  It was like Chinese water torture inside the metal building listening to the rain hitting the metal, sometimes so loud and deafening that we couldn’t think!  But the day went well and we got all the cabbage shredded for 115 people–that is 1-1/2# per person…over 170#!!

Why do we slice or shred your cabbage for you?  First, the fall heads of cabbage average 7#, and that’s a lot of cabbage and it won’t fit in the box, it takes up a lot of room in the fridge, and it can be a challenge to carve…picture that!  By shredding it you can store it in the fridge for several weeks, using it for coleslaw, cabbage burgers, cooked cabbage with sausage, and more.  The finer shred is perfect for slaw or even fermenting for kraut, and the courser shred is more suited to cabbage burgers and cooked cabbage or soups…in my opinion…    Enjoy! 

(We sell fall cabbage for sauerkraut or to make cabbage burgers ahead and freeze them…cost is $.70/# for 4-6 heads…less than $35.  Shoot me a text–  431-1219)

 

Right now The Farmer is out digging carrots for today’s SharesLorenzo and Mal will be bundling and cleaning up the Guardsman Green Onions (more scallion size)…and Liz and Jessica will be getting The Store ready for the 4:00 Pick UP!  We are still euphoric about last week’s dinner with Jans and Christa from Greybull’s NaM Sweet and Savory, and looking forward to an indoor dinner of fall soups and fresh baked breads on October 24th!  Set that time aside– 

Live, Love, and Learn–The Farmer’s Wife

The Shares this Week and What to Expect in Your Special Box–

green oval fruit

 

Yes, I am a little late, but that is what happens this time of year when the garden is popping and the weather, too.  Wind is howling, and the forecast is for rain in the wee hours of the morning into the morning…NOOOOOO!!!  Well, okay…It is, what it is…my desires to tell the earth what it should or should not do is a little short-sighted and selfish, but I would like to not be bringing the winter squash into the Shelter in a snow storm, or digging potatoes in the mud…done both of those things and it wasn’t fun.   BUT, any way…This week’s  Share is dynamic and fun!

The main feature is Kaitlin cabbage, but not a head (which weighs 6-8# and won’t fit in the shares or the Special Boxes)…this cabbage is shredded for you and in a zip-lock bag.  It can be used for anything cabbage:  coleslaw and cabbage burgers come to mind (recipes under the Recipe tab–).  It will keep in your fridge for several weeks as it is so fresh.  Try it fried, boiled, or broiled as well– Group A and E will have the Red Cabbage instead…a smaller head, so in one piece!

The new pepper this week is the beautiful Orange Bell Pepper (Group A, B, & E), the Snack Peppers (Group D) are into their second week and are packaged in what we call a ‘candy bag’, about 12 oz!  Group C will have the Shishito Peppers–sweet and paper thin, great roasted or broiled.

FYI, as the season changes from summer to fall, so do the peppers:  The Green Peppers are now more red than green with some a beautiful blend of both, The Islanders are a reddish-orange of that fall Island sunset (do they have fall in the Pacific??), and even the Shishito’s are moving into their red hues.  The Jalapeno’s, Poblano’s, Pueblo’s, Chili’s, Guajillo’s, Paprika’s, are all dawning their fall reds, each a different shade with varying degrees of brilliance! And of course the Habanero’s are now full fledged ORANGE!  (Lorenzo is my hot pepper sampler–He reported this week that he had a jalapeno that was hotter than the Habanero!  The Pueblo is not hot, according to his taste buds, but a nice spicy flavor.  I agree…great roasted and added to scrambled eggs with a dallop of sour cream–)

Also, another 6 ears of Sweet Corn (non-GMO)…why 6 ears of corn?  So you can feed a larger family, invite company over, or have it for several meals a day…You can also cook them all, eat 2, and cut the remainder off the cob and add fresh corn to other meals, or freeze it!  If you would like to order some to freeze, text me:  431-1219, cost is $8 for a dozen.  Two dozen can easily be shipped to the outer communities!

Tomatoes for ALL!  The Granadero Salad Roma’s were harvested this week, as well as the smaller offering of San Marzano paste tomatoes.  Group B will have the Granadero’s, and the rest either the Celebrity, Polbig, Damsel, or German Johnson Heirloom.  If you would like 20# of Roma’s or Canner’s send a text to 431-1219, cost is $25 for 20#.  I sort them by maturity from Red and Ready, to Green/Orange, Your Weekend Project.

Bush Beans again…hope you are taking advantage of them this time of year…they are at their peak of freshness!  This week is the Yellow Wax Beans, The Farmer picked 155# BY HIMSELF Saturday—what a feat, but he is Superman— I also am mixing the Yellow with a Purple and a Green Bean for a beautiful trio-mix!

Onion season is upon us!  Jumbo Sierra Blanca white (my favorite!) for Groups A, B, and E; Candy Sweet yellow, also Jumbo, for Group C; and Green Onions (scallion size) for Group D.

Melons for all!  Either the Piel de Sapo (Skin of the Toad–picture above, though each has it’s distinct pattern) with its light and sweet flesh and funky green skin, or Athena Cantaloupes!  We have extra’s for sale at The Store on Thursday’s.

Other odd items are Grape Tomatoes, Jalapenos, Nubia EggplantCosta Romanesco (Striped Zucchini), and Broccolini Galion X (not European Broccoli but a succulent blend of it and Asian Greens…thus the large, sweet leaves, that cook up to sweetness and char to a nice crunch.)

We are smack in the middle of the CSA Season…the last Shares and Special Boxes will go out October 24th.  That translates into 7 weeks more for the Weekly, and 3-4 for the Leap-Frogs.  Have a great evening, and don’t forget to store up nutritious food for the winter months…it’s probably easier than you know!  Thanks for supporting fresh and local!  Get to know your Farmer–  The Farmer’s Wife

 

IMPORTANT REMINDERS–

We hit the floor running!  Here’s some quick info:

Group B- Thermopolis, Riverton, and Lander:  Kaleb will leave here at 9:15 headed your way with Special Boxes!  (ETA before NOON) Regular drop points–Sheila’s and Amy’s.

Group D- Here today at 4:00, Store fully stocked!  Green Grapes, Oranges, Bananas, Apples are the fruit for sale, Greybull Valley Lettuce to supplement our wonderful veggies.

EVERYONE Far and Wide, In the CSA and Out:  Farm to Fork type dinner with Chef Jans from NaM Sweet and Savory and all of Lloyd Craft Farms veggies (and some locally sourced meat cooked with gifted hands)–$10 adults/$5 kids…all you can stuff in your face (Jans’ words, not mine)–Come and indulge in food done RIGHT!  5:00-7:00 at The Farm…