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From the Fields of Freedom Valley Farm 9/18/14

Posted 9/18/2014 9:41pm by Jim Baughman.

Hi Folks,

This week saw several unseasonable chilly mornings, some unexpected rain, and some beautiful sunny days. Fall continues to get closer. As of this writing I’m watching my farmer friend Eddie bale hay in my pastures. My share of the hay will be turned to compost and used for winter mulch. Eddie’s share will go to feed his livestock through the hard times of winter. Truly a win win. I’m glad to see that he mowed close to the persimmon trees as the persimmons are beginning to ripen and fall and it will make it much easier to pick them up, if I can beat the wildlife to them.

Fall activities continue on the farm this week. Acorn winter squash was harvested and is curing in the sun for a few days. We continue to dig potatoes a few beds at a time when the soil is dry. Hand weeding of the fall and winter growing beds is occupying a lot of time but is something that has to done. Fall plantings of greens remains behind due to the unexpected rain early in the week. The timing of the rain this year has been a real problem with preparing the soil and growing beds for our greens crops but it looks like dryer times are in the forecast. I wish I had planted more greens in August but really just got caught up in so many of the storage crops we have this year. With the early fall temperatures mother nature has set the stage for some hearty squash, pumpkin, and kale soups along with a few sweet treats that can be made with the squash and pumpkins.

Speaking of squash, in your shares this week you will receive the first of several varieties of squash we grew this year. This week we will be sending you a Kabocha Squash called Sunshine. It is deep orange in color and resembles a small pumpkin. It has a delicious nutty flavor and is, as is most squash, very versatile. Baked, cubed for stews and soups, cooked and pureed for pies and desserts are just a few ways you can use a winter squash. Winter squash can be used in any recipe that calls for fresh pumpkin. Some claim that it actually makes a better pie then pumpkin. Please don’t be inhibited by the large size of some squash. You can very easily bake a squash and enjoy some of it for dinner and purée the rest and freeze it in 1 cup portions for later use in soups or desserts. Winter squash is very high in nutritional value and fiber. There are many ways to use squash and pumpkin on the internet. I am including an easy bake recipe this week. In your shares this week you will receive as mentioned above a Kabocha Squash. See this week’s recipe for baked squash. Also there will be greens, either lettuce or Asian greens mix or a mix of both, green beans (last for the season), potatoes, some sugar snap peas (enough for a stir fry or pasta dish or eating fresh) and micro greens (great on everything sandwiches, soups, eggs, baked potatoes, salads). Those of you that have the micro green option will receive something additional rather than 2 micro greens.

Enjoy the taste of Fall, Jim

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Greetings,This week is always the most difficult newsletter blog for me to write. As you know it is the last week of our 20 week CSA season. I could write about the weather or tell you how busy we are

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