Dear Farm Partners,
As I’ve mentioned in several posts already, this has been a season of learning and growing pains at Excelsior Farm. Now, on the verge of October, we’re pleased to see progress. We recently added a new tractor to our farm fleet, and this week it has done wonders in allowing us to form our raised beds with ease and incredible speed. We’re tightening up our systems for harvesting, washing, and packing produce. Our farm space grows more orderly and more efficient as we organize, declutter, and rethink how to use our available space. We’ve learned to delegate certain kinds of work to other people, such as making deliveries, so that we can maximize our time on the farm. Now we feel confident that we can actually run this farm successfully! It’s wonderful to look back at all the struggles of the summer (even though it was pretty painful hitting some of those walls) and realize how far we’ve come in just a few months. We could only learn as much as we have by just jumping in, keeping it together even when things were really hard, and dealing with our mistakes. It’s a difficult process, but so necessary; you don’t end up with a perfectly efficient and profitable farm overnight. We’re grateful for this process and so happy that we have the opportunity to solve problems, make plans, struggle, and rejoice together as a couple.
In your boxes this week: Sweet Dumpling Squash, Napa Cabbage, Frisée, Celery, Eggplant, Lettuce, Kale, Bulk Beets, and Red Onions.
You have what is probably the last of the Eggplant and Celery for the season (I hope you all survived the eggplant boom!). End-of-season celery tends to be tougher, so I would reserve it for cooking. And not just as a little ingredient in stuffing, stir-fry, or a soup, although these all are fine. As this roundup of celery recipes from The Huffington Post indicate, celery can BE the soup. Or the gratin, or braised in butter or pancetta, or any number of wonderful things.
Napa cabbage is a new cabbage variety for us, and we’re excited to add it to next year’s rotation. A tall, elegant cabbage, it’s wide crunchy ribs and savoyed leaves are both delicious in stir-fries, and lend themselves well to salads and slaws. I am excited to make kimchi with it, and may even tackle cabbage rolls.
After today, it’s only FOUR MORE WEEKS of our CSA for year! It’s amazing to think that another CSA season will have come and gone. It’s definitely been our best year yet, and we hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have.
Enjoy the final moments of September as we move into the darker days of October!
Ashli and Jeremy