This Week's Fruit Harvest (from Mick Klug Farms, St. Joseph, MI)
Golden Supreme Apples
'Lakemont' Green Seedless Grapes
What's New at the Farm Stand
Apples! - The apple parade began last week for our CSA program and as the apple harvest continues, apples become in the farm stand, too. The Klugs grow a wide variety of apples to eat and drink when combined and pressed into their cider. Apples will last well into the fall season when stored in your refrigerator. The Farm Stand is open daily, 7am-7pm.
Reserve Your Local, Pastured-Raised Thanksgiving Turkey
Reserve a local, pasture-raised turkey for Thanksgiving dinner from our friends at Jake's Country Meats. The farmers at Jake's raise their turkeys on pastures with pride and respect. Each bird enacts their natural instincts out on the pasture foraging for grass, bugs, and more. Jake's does not use any antibiotics and they are fed a NON-GMO diet of farm-grown grains. The natural environment promotes the best flavor and highest quality meat for your Thanksgiving holiday feast.
Weights range from 14-20+ lbs (choices are small - 14-17, medium 17-20, large 20+). We will do everything we can to provide you with a turkey in your desired weight range. Turkeys are frozen and packaged in a vacuum-sealed bag. Heart, liver, neck, and gizzard are included inside each turkey.
Reservation: $35 deposit per turkey due at the time of order. The deposit will be deducted from your final total which will be determined by the weight of your turkey. You will be invoiced with your total at $7.75/lb (less your deposit) due upon pickup.
Turkeys will be available for pickup on the farm on Saturday, November 18 and Sunday, November 19.
Last week, we had some nice slow rain and we welcomed the moisture! After managing a tightly choreographed irrigation watering schedule this summer, it was relaxing to know that the skies provided the best type of watering for all crops.
However, the pendulum of crop and soil care has begun to swing in the other direction as the rain continues. We are increasingly vigilant about watching both the forecast and the moisture levels within all of our fall crops. Yesterday was a case in point.
After setting out a daily plan to focus on CSA preparations and building projects, Jeff made an afternoon about-face to ensure that we had enough sunlight (and energy!) left to pull in a significant carrot harvest for fall.
Each of those black crates contains 40 pounds of carrots!
This particular carrot field behind our farmhouse (field 2.1) has wonderfully rich, albeit heavy soil, which is particularly susceptible to flooding. He couldn't bear the thought of carrots experiencing degradation due to too wet soils, so the mantra to our carrots was...everybody out!
To battle fall flooding, our cover crop mixtures and their strategic placements are already in place to help weather storms. Jeff's cover crop mix of sunflowers (remember those from the CSA event?) and buckwheat hold the most flood-threatened soils in place with their deep root systems. Subdividing field 2.1 into sections of cover crop and growing spaces that rotate throughout the season and years seems like a lot to manage, and it is, but it is very worthwhile.
The impact of this soil care complexity means that we can host a mutually beneficial, biodiverse environment in one field. Annual and regenerative crops are side-by-side providing a thriving and flood-safe environment for not only humans but birds, pollinators, deer, worms, and many hundreds more beneath the soil.
While the carrot harvest went into the sunset hours, the day ended with carrots tucked safely inside the cooler to sweeten and get washed another day. The birds returned to the nearby sunflowers for feasting as the sun set. After the rains stop later this week, we will closely monitor moisture levels in further fields and crops. If more sunset harvests are needed in the meantime, to the fields we will go.
Enjoy this week's share of the harvest!
Your farmers, ~ Jeff, Jen, Gavin, David, Cleto, Miguel, Anacleto
Notes from the Farm Kitchen
As we move closer to fall, we're seeing the first of this season's winter squashes, and this week, members will receive delicata squash in vegetable shares. Delicata squash is a family favorite because of its shape, and its simplicity to prepare. Simply scrape out the center and slice, as the skin is edible and softens when cooked.
Asian pears have a distinct but pear-like taste and a crisp texture, much like a good apple. Their flesh is crisp, somewhat coarse, and always very sweet. They are wonderful in salads, eaten raw, and used for baking. They store well in your refrigerator in the crisper.
Beets grow well on our farm and come in all shapes and sizes, and this week's medium-sized red beets and beet greens are a favorite. I'd encourage you to separate your beets from the beet greens when you get them home, and store the two separately. They should both be stored in a plastic bag and greens used within a week. The beets themselves are so lovely and tasty that you don't need to do a whole lot to them.