2021 CSA Season Week Sixteen

September 21, 2021

Welcome to Week 16 of the 2021 CSA Season! We’re down to the last day of summer and the weather is way ahead of us. The rain is here, the mornings are cool, and the clear afternoons make for perfect days here on the farm.

Special Announcements:

We’ve entered the last four weeks of the Standard Season, but don’t worry, we still have more to give! If you’re on our monthly payment plan, the first of the month is coming up. If any of your information has changed, please reach out to us here at the farm. Balance statements will also go out this week, so if you have an outstanding balance not already covered by an existing payment arrangement, please reach out to us by next Monday, September 27. You can also pop a personal check in the mail, send us a check straight from your bank, or give us a call at 541-935-1920 to make a payment over the phone, though there is a 3% transaction fee to pay by credit card.

Don’t forget to check your name off the list each week so we know you got your share! If you aren’t able to pick up your box, give your site host a call before the delivery window closes to see if you can make arrangements. Once the pickup deadline has passed, any shares left over become fair game for the site hosts to do with as they will. As our site hosts are all volunteers, we ask that you respect the pickup windows as much as possible, as they have graciously donated their driveways and porches for our use this season. If you pickup at one of our markets, the shares do come back to the farm, but we only hold them until our next packing day (Tuesday or Friday), and then they are donated. If you miss your market pickup, get ahold of us by the next business day to make arrangements to reroute your box.

If you plan to go on vacation or know you won’t be able to pick up your box well in advance, you can fill out a vacation request form on our website to either take a credit toward the 2022 CSA season or give your box as a tax-deductible donation to Food for Lane County. Please remember, we do require at least seven days notice to make any changes.

We have tomatoes!

We have tomatoes by the box! Winter Green Farm has an abundance of tomatoes, so we wanted to provide our CSA members with 20-pound bulk boxes of tomatoes this year! The varieties will both be slicer tomatoes (Big Beef and Early Girls). We will have a limited number of boxes available this week and next, so order fast! Tomatoes are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis and delivered to your regular CSA site on the selected date. We will be taking orders exclusively online through our website.

We’ll have pears this week!

We’ve partnered with the wonderful people at Mt. Hood Organic Farms to provide you with pears , and then apples, over these last four weeks of the Standard CSA Season. Mt. Hood Organic Farms is located at the base of Mt. Hood in the Upper Hood River Valley. They’ve been around since the turn of the century, and their gorgeous grounds are perfect for both growing fruit and hosting beautiful wedding venues. Their pear and apple orchards boast near one hundred different varieties, and we’re so thrilled we get to offer you a taste of their magnificent, organic, biodynamic produce. If you’d like to know more, visit their website to learn more about their awesome operation!

Wednesday, September 22, is the Autumnal Equinox and the first day of Fall. The equinox is one of only two days out of the year where the hours of light and dark are equal. From Thursday and throughout the season, the days will get darker earlier until mid-December, so soak up the daylight while you can! This is the season where catching a falling leaf can bring good luck, pumpkins are plentiful, birds are beginning their southern migration, and sweater weather is finally here. Autumn is said to be the time the Greek goddess Persephone returns to the underworld, and if you haven’t noticed, it’s my favorite season. If you’re like me and enjoy watching the phases of the moon, you can watch the Harvest Moon (which was full on September 20) begin its waning cycle this week. For all those who love changing seasons, Autumn has something for everyone.

Meet Jake!

We’d like to introduce the newest addition to Winter Green Farm! Jake is a 12-week-old Border Collie and he’s so cute and sweet that he was an instant hit with all of us here on the farm. He’s tall, with slender long legs, and we just love his markings! He’s already great at rounding up the sheep (and us) and he’s getting to go everywhere Chris and Shannon go. While we could never replace such a wonderful dog and friend like Pete, he did leave a vacancy here on the farm, and our newest addition has big paws to fill. Isn’t he adorable?

What’s going on at the farm:

We’re harvesting burdock this week and tons of pumpkins and squash! Our crew is spending a lot of time preparing the burdock for market. While it is time consuming, it’s completely worth it! Burdock is good when it’s well-cooked with carrots, brown rice, and oriental mushrooms. You can grate it or slice it to add an earthy flavor to stir fries, or roast the roots with other veggies for a nice addition to your meal. While we don’t offer burdock with our CSA shares anymore, you can find it at our markets in the next couple weeks if you’re looking to try some. If you’re in the Eugene area, you can find us at the Emmaus Church on 18th and Polk on Wednesdays from 2pm to 6pm until the middle of October, or on Saturdays at the Lane County Farmers Market. In the Portland area, you can come see us on Saturdays at the Hollywood Market and on Sundays at the King’s Market. We’d love to see you!

What’s in your box this week:

  • Pears
  • Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Delicata squash
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers

Some sites only:

  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Eggplant

We aren’t always able to harvest our veggies in equal share, but don’t worry! We’re keeping excellent notes. As we’re getting down to the end of the season, we’re working hard to make sure we’re getting you the vegetables we promised. If you don’t get something this time and your site hasn’t reached its number, we’ll be sure to get you next time.

Handy Tips:

  • Pears: Pears are best enjoyed within a few days of becoming ripe. Fresh pears will ripen from the inside out, so if your pears are soft on the outside, you may have waited too long. Store unripe pears at room temperature until they ripen. You can store them next to bananas or avocados or in a paper bag to ripen them faster. Ripe pears can be stored in the refrigerator at 35 to 45 degrees. You can also freeze or dry your pears to enjoy them after the season ends.
  • Winter Squash: Store winter squash in a cool, dry, dark place with good ventilation. They should keep for up to a month or more, depending on the variety. You can also incorporate Winter Squash into a beautiful arrangement for your table. They won’t keep quite as long at room temperature, but if they are sitting on your table, you might be inspired to eat them more quickly! Once your squash has been cut, you can wrap the pieces in plastic and store them in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days. To bake Winter Squash, cut in half, scoop out the seeds and pulp, and place the halves, cut side down, on a baking dish filled with about a half-inch of water. You can also bake without the water. Just lightly grease the baking sheet or use parchment paper. Bake them at 350 degrees until halves are completely soft and just starting to collapse (45 minutes to one hour or more, depending on the size). Remove them from the oven, fill it with butter, seasonings or fillings, and serve them in the shell. Winter Squash can be substituted in pies and baked goods. Try using it instead of pumpkin or sweet potatoes in dessert recipes. While the oven is hot, try roasting the seeds after mixing them with a little oil and seasonings of your choice.

What We’re Making:

  • We have pears! While the pears are wonderful just by themselves, they are also tasty in desserts like this Pear Apple Crumble.
  • Even though we’re heading into soup season, salads are still a delicious favorite, like this Chicken Tostada Salad.
  • Looking for more ways to use all the carrots you’ve been getting? This Carrot Farinata is a tasty step outside the norm.
  • So many tomatoes! While traditional Tomato Soup is a fan-favorite, I prefer a little more pizazz to my soups, like this delicious Gazpacho.
  • We won’t have eggplant for much longer, but if you still have some waiting to be eaten in your fridge, give these Easy Eggplant Pizzas a go.

One of our members made this delicious Eggplant Pasta and even included a recipe! I don’t know about you, but it’s now on my list of meals to try. What are you making? Send us a picture or a recipe through our email at [email protected] or tag us on social media and you might see it on the blog! You can find us on Instagram (@wintergreenfarm) or on Facebook (Winter Green Farm). We’d love to see what you’re making!

As the last vestiges of summer slip away and fall willingly takes its place, we hope you’re finding ways to enjoy the changing weather and spending as much time with your loved ones as you can. This is the time of year when things get busy with school and the holidays, so we thank you for allowing us to come with you on this food journey. We appreciate each and every one of you, and we hope you have a wonderful week.

Many blessings,

Chelsea, Linda, and your Winter Green farmers