Your newsletter is complete below. See you tonight!
Here’s the link to PLACE A PRE-ORDER for the November 12th pickup! – Order deadline is Monday at noon!
Spoiler Alert: If you would like to keep your bag contents a surprise, you should STOP READING NOW!!
The contents of the upcoming week’s bag are subject to change at the last minute, possibly without much notice, depending on harvest. It can be tough to estimate how much of a crop will be available before we actually harvest it freshly for your bag. So, this posting is meant to give you a good idea of what is in your bag, but just be aware that it may change and we will do our best to let you know if that happens! At the very least, the posting on the website will be updated prior to delivery with the actual contents for that week, so that you can check that you’ve received everything you are supposed to!
Last week’s bag!
Your November 5th Veggie Lovers’ Club bag contains:
Buckwheat Shoots, small bag
Sweet Onions, 2 lbs
Refrigerator Pickles, 250 ml
Adora Potatoes, 4 lbs Grown by George & Barb at Grand Valley Strawberries
Delicata Squash, 1
You can click the links on the items above to view more info about each veggie including recipe & preparation suggestions, season, storage tips, and lots more!
Don’t forget to bookmark our online Veggie Guide so all the veggie info is at your fingertips!
Notes on the Veggies this week:
The last of the Sweet Onions and probably the last time you’ll have tomatoes in your bag! #savourit
We always try to be sold out of Sweet Onions by Christmastime, but we like them so we always hoard some for ourselves. You getting some this week is the result of us reflecting that we have hoarded too many, more than we can eat by then! Eat these ones up first, before any other onions you may have that are a long storage variety.
Adora Potatoes are a nice all-purpose yellow potato. “All-purpose” in the realm of potatoes means you can bake it, roast it, boil it. But aren’t ALL potatoes all-purpose, then? Not quite– Russets aren’t a great choice for boiling, their soft flesh tends to fall apart. Unless you want that, they are better suited for baking, and make the fluffiest mashed potatoes ever. Really waxy potatoes like Red Potatoes don’t absorb dairy as well as a Russet or an all-purpose. But, like everything these days, you can drive yourself bananas getting into in-depth detail about potato specifics: don’t overthink it too much!
George with his Red Potatoes
I noticed a spike in Potato sales around Thanksgiving, and they continue to be popular fall items on orders. We are currently getting potatoes from George and Barb Neudorf at Grand Valley Strawberries in Brandon, and we have a few Russets left from Jody Weger. I haven’t listed large sizes of potatoes (over 5 lbs) because we don’t grow storage potatoes and I don’t want to heft large heavy bags into town – It can be fairly profitable, but my elbow hurts and I don’t want to put any additional ask on it this fall. If you’re looking for a 40 lb bag, you can pick them up at Grand Valley Strawberries (near Brandon Correctional on Veteran’s Way) for $12 per bag, $10 per bag if you buy 2 or more. Call first: (204) 728-8453
Expect that you’ll get one more large (3 – 4 lb) bag of GVS Red Potatoes in your CSA bag this fall and possibly a small bag of our specialty potatoes, but that will be it. We feel there is better value for our members in veggies other than potatoes, and locally grown spuds are pretty easy to find cheaply! #skippotatoeseatceleriac
Mom made some Refrigerator Pickles for you! Make sure you keep them in the fridge (“Refrigerator” pickles aren’t processed/sealed), they will keep well for a very very long time. We typically don’t use pickles in the CSA unless it gets desperate *Ahem, 2018*, but these have a couple less steps than regular pickles and so it makes it more achieveable. All the work of cutting them up has to be done in cucumber season, which is located between “WTF” and “OMG I’m so tired” in the middle of the busiest part of the season, but the jarring just happened last week.
Please return the jar and ring when you are finished with the pickles!
Delicata Squash is going to change the face of squash for so many people, I just know it! Delicata Squash “fries” or “smiles” (pictured) have already won over so many squash skeptics. It’s so nice and small, versatile, and quick to cook, a breeze compared to the multi-day commitment of large squashes (I cut open a Musque de Provence Pumpkin on Friday and I’m still not through dealing with it! Made cookies, pie, froze puree, a billion PSLs, and there is still some left!) Delicata is also featured on Prairie Firehouse’s Winter Roasted Squash Salad. Delicata isn’t the longest keeper, so keep an eye on it and try to eat them by Christmas! Most often the rot will first appear near the stem. Same with Honeynut, eat them sooner rather than later!
The elevator speech for Buckwheat Shoots is, “Tastes like lettuce”!! They are mild and tender and grown from locally-grown organic seed produced by Fran and Dan DeRuyck (Treherne). The hulls can be eaten, but are a bit tough and should be removed, like sunflower hulls.
Direct Farm Marketing 2020 Conference
This year Direct Farm Manitoba is bringing their conference and trade show to Brandon, and they are looking for some help!
You’re welcome to talk to me at the pickup if you are interested in more info about this! I volunteered to be a food mustering point as well as to distribute some sponsorship packages and do some groundwork for the organization as they are based in Wpg.
Auntie Jayne’s Kittens
Auntie Jayne, who lives in Strathclair, had a female cat show up at her barn and it had kittens. Myrah and I met them on Saturday, they are not super used to people (the tortie and the grey one would have let me pet them if Stompy McRunnerton had just a little more finesse!!), but would make excellent barn cats or mousers if you’re in need. Top 2 are females and bottom 2 are males. Let me know, or she can be contacted at the numbers above. (Willing to sort out delivering it to Brandon if you want!)
Teri’s Ten Topics #6: So, what do you do in the winter?
^This post on Instagram by Brene Brown inspired this blog post. We are in the season to “Rest. Nest. Inhale” and this little note and quote really resonated for me when answering the question, “So, what do you do in the winter?”.
“There is the in-breath and there is the out-breath, and too often we feel like we have to exhale all the time. The inhale is absolutely essential—and then you can exhale.” -Roshi Joan Halifax
This weekend I honored that feeling by doing lots of reading, cooking, and spending time with Myrah. I think it’s really important that there be time considered for both: the exhale when you share your gifts with the world, as well as the inhale, when you take care of the human behind the purpose. Just like every Monday to Friday has it’s weekend, vegetable farming allows us time for both, and it would not be sustainable long-term without the resting season.
Jon and I love all parts of the seasonal flow that is vegetable growing. In spring and summer we rise at dawn to plant seeds, harvest lettuce, and prepare veggies for markets and CSA. The days are long and full. We have a tight weekly schedule that has time for everything built into it, including cooking and family time, but not a lot of flexibility for additional things or time off. Most of the time in the busy season we “divide and conquer”, working separately to achieve all of the goals for the day.
In late summer and fall, the heaviest part of our season hits. By “heavy” I mean both physically as well as emotionally/mentally. After a busy spring and summer we are very mindful of our time and energy in this season. It’s when we’re most susceptible to burnout, family stress and illness. It takes extra self-compassion at this time of year, because sometimes our bodies are just plain tired and we need to honor that, rather than keep pushing through. When we can, we work together at this time of year, because many hands make light work.
Our CSA goes until mid-December, and our Shoots Program begins in March, we supply a few restaurants year-round, and we start seeds in the greenhouse in late February. There’s little down time on the farm. “Winter” is a 6 week break from mid-December until the end of January that we started taking a few years ago. This year during that break, Jon, Myrah and I are leaving on a roadtrip. We always talked about wanting to do that “when we retire” and then reflected that (a) we may never formally “retire” and (b) there’s no time like the present, so we decided to grab life and go for it now.
The truth about the busy season is that it is hard and we couldn’t do it without the slower season. I love the busy season, but I also know that if it were busy like that all the time I wouldn’t enjoy it. In the winter I prepare for being busy by freezing healthy foods like soups and prepping things like curry paste, tomato sauce, bone broth, and freezer meals. Jon completes projects that there isn’t time for in the summer. We do all of our planning, seed ordering, supply ordering, budgeting, household renovations, and catch up on our hobbies in the winter. Without the down shift that is the winter season, our job would quickly burn us out, because it takes almost all of our time in the busy season: The slower pace of winter helps support the frantic pace of summer.
There’s a beautiful flow to the seasons with vegetable growing which gives us everything we need: time to grow and share, and time to rest and reflect. It’s all part of the same picture!
I hope you are able to honor both the inhale and the exhale that makes up your life!