Great fall party & more!

Meet this week’s Mac veggies:

  • Parsley — Hardy parsley is such a delightful flavor in the fall and winter garden. We love adding its aromatic flavor to stews and roasted vegetables. Or, feature parsley as the star by making one of the sauce recipes in this week’s newsletter!
  • Chard
  • Sweet peppers & green peppers
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli or cauliflower — Check out the cauliflower soup recipe in this week’s newsletter!
  • Summer squash
  • Delicata winter squash — These just keep getting sweeter and sweeter in storage. When we’re too tired to think of what to cook for dinner, we’ve been reaching for squash. It takes time to roast in the oven, but it’s so easy to do! (And, by the time we’ve cut it up and started the roasting process, we usually feel invigorated enough to pull together some cooked greens or a salad too.)
  • Carrots — Check out these sexy carrots! They’re reddish purple! In some ways, this is a bit of a novelty variety, especially since the color fades to orange upon cooking. But the flavor is actually quite good, and they make a dramatic addition to salads!
  • Cipollini onions
  • Garlic

Wow. All I can say is… WOW! Apparently, sometimes the stars align and the clouds part (or at least stop raining) and the people come out.

Our final open house of the year was one kickin’ party — live music (The Davis Street Stringband was great!), a popular potato tasting, pumpkins, farm walks, sand box, lots of laughter, friendship, and beautiful fall farm sights.

Casey and I were trying to estimate how many people came, but given the constant flowing nature of the gathering and the openness of the space, it was hard to estimate, but we think it was over 100? Or even more? Either way, it was a great afternoon. A huge thank you to everyone for coming and bringing your happy smiles to our farm! What a note to (almost) end the season on!

(Of course now we’ll have to up the ante for next year … if you have great ideas for future open houses, let us know!)

In the meantime, we’re not quite to the end of the season, but we’re definitely working on it. As you saw in last week’s newsletter, it’s time to start signing up for our 2012 season (“commitment” forms will be available again this week and beyond in case you missed it!).

And, as another big mark of the season, tonight (Monday) we are expecting our first frost here on the island. It was a truly gorgeous fall day — the fog burned off early, leaving us basking in golden sunlight. But, by afternoon there was a chill in the shadows in a way that we hadn’t felt yet (especially not when the sun was still up!).

For the most part, the arrival of frost is no big deal this time of year. The fall fields are planted to expect such weather. However, our sweet potatoes are still in the ground, and we still have prolific pepper plants. So, Casey and the crew finished the day by covering those crops. Otherwise, we’re sort of excited — finally, the tall summer weeds that we missed will start to die and melt back to the ground!

Plus, there’s just something inherently profound and satisfying about seeing the seasons pass. Yes, there is a three month period that we call “fall,” but even within that season there are so many passages — seeing the leaves turn and fall, the geese migrate, the temperatures drop, the rain return, and of course frost in the morning.

All of these things will progress toward a different version of our farm — a place where the trees are brown and the fields are green (cover crops and over-wintered vegetables) and the skies are gray and the nights are very long and dark.

Our son Rusty goes through phases of obsession as he encounters interesting new things in his universe. It has added a new element to our understanding of the farm world and how it changes over the year. In early summer, his obsession was with sprinklers. We would walk around the fields or bike around the island, and he pointed out every single irrigation device with glee. Often, it would be accompanied by a little dance and “ch ch ch” noise. Yes, he did love sprinklers!

Then, by mid- to late summer, he was interested in throwing rocks into the river — a great pastime on hot August days. We also practiced throwing rocks into buckets of water at home. Rock, rocks, rocks. Water, water, water.

And, now, it is the moon that delights Rusty (or, as he says, the “boon”). If there is a moon in a picture book, he points it out and turns back to that page repeatedly. We draw crescent moons on paper in all different colors and even draw them on his hands in ink so he can look at the “boon” whenever he likes. And, of course, as the ultimate fall activity, we look at the moon when it is out in the early evenings (because of course in summer, he was going to bed when it was still light!).

I’m excited to learn what his next interest will be. There are other delights of course too that don’t reach the same passionate pitch — right now pointing out geese (“gee”) in the sky is a big hit. And, pumpkins are always a favorite.

Although, thanks to our open house, there are now no more pumpkins in our patch! Good thing we snatched a pie pumpkin for ourselves, which this afternoon Rusty and I decorated with a pen, drawing two eyes, a nose, a mouth (with teeth), ears and hair (Rusty’s contribution). I think that carved pumpkins will be a few years out for us, but what fun to already have him so naturally introduced to these seasonal activities (not to mention seasonal sights, flavors, sounds!).

So, thanks again to everyone who came out for the recent festivity. If you missed it, you’ll just have to make it out to another! Perhaps they’ll just keep getting better and better over the years, in which case we’ll all have to brace ourselves for the excessive fun. I doubt the children will mind though — they understand fun, play, exploration, and imagination in ways that clearly I have forgotten over the years. I suppose that’s one of many unexpected joys of becoming a parent — looking at the fall “boon” in a whole new way.

Enjoy this week’s vegetables!

Your farmers, Katie & Casey Kulla

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