Week 16—this is the last promised week! But, it is still week 15 for Monday folks. Glenn says we’ll go another week and then it is week by week after that, so stay tuned. The week or so after the first 16 weeks should be looked at as bonus and or makeup time, in case you missed a week.
This is the season for beautiful greens, winter squash, roots, and apples. The best part about winter squash is there is no pressure to do anything with it. Most of them will keep past December without much trouble. The Fall is always an inspiring time to make soup and casseroles. If you are busy running around after your children (me too:-) ) it is great to make extra when you do have the time and freeze it or pull it out as leftover later in the week.
The first of our wonderful help from Jamaica will be leaving in a few weeks. I hope and pray the labor situation is worked out by then. There are a couple bills that address the situation by moving the process into the hands of Department of Labor. That is our only hope right now. I will be sending out an email encouraging you to contact your Representative and Senator to vote for one of these bills. It’sw real, our farm depends on it. As always, my thanks to our help, American and Jamaican, for being an indispensable part of our farm family.
There’s more than one way to cook a winter squash…but I still find baking the easiest and most reliable method. This advice is to folks just gearing up with their winter squash exploits: carefully (yes, I know they are all hard, so be aware of where your fingers are) cut your squash in half and scoop out the seeds. If you are cutting a butternut in half, you need to do it lengthwise because the seeds are only in the bottom bulbous part. Place cut side down on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 350 until easily pierced with a fork (20-45 minutes, depending on size and variety). You can bake a winter squash whole, but pierce the skin all over, as once in a rare while the squash will explode all over your oven. Once cooked, you can scoop out the squash and use in any recipe calling for mashed squash. I have been known to microwave the small squashes, like Delicata or Sweet Dumpling, for a few minutes, until they feel like a baked potato, then cut open, scoop out seeds (HOT) and eat out of the shell/skin. Again, be sure to pierce the skin before cooking.
When I bake squash, I tend to do more than I need, freezing the leftovers. I generally measure the mashed squash into containers or bags, mark the amount on the bag, toss in the freezer, and then it is ready to go for muffins, cheesecake, leftovers…
If you are feeling very industrious, pick through the seeds, removing strings and bits, spread out on a greased baking sheet, lightly salt, and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes (until golden brown) You can even do this in your toaster oven. These are a great snack and are also perfect for garnishing your squash soup!
This week is bustling with picking up winter squashes and getting the harvest in. The first Wednesday of October looks like a real cold one. I’d love to sneak by without frost so we can pick some more beans or peppers. The cole crops and lettuces will be ok, so that’s always good. This is why it is hard to pin down the last delivery date, when the frost comes, the harvest comes to a grinding halt.
Overall, it was another great year!
Don’t forget our main means of communication off season is through emails. If you have changed your email, or you were not on my online newsletter list last winter, please take a minute and update your email address online and with me. Please check in on facebook and the blog from time to time.
Subscribe to the Stillman’s newsletter I’ll keep you posted about what’s happening on the farm and signing up for next season. As always, feel free to drop me a line if you feel like you were dropped from the list or just to touch base. Hopefully, re-subscribing with the online database should be a breeze 🙂
Curtis will be in touch if you have signed up for the winter CSA. I wouldn’t be surprised if the first pickup was October 29th..so keep your eyes peeled for that email.
Eat well, Geneviève Stillman