Quick update from the garden…

This past week we experienced a couple frosts in the garden. Frosts will kill our sensitive plants which include any kind of squash, beans, tomatoes, etc. Gratefully we have on hand some seriously huge blankets (row cover), which we can cover our plants with to help protect and add just a few extra degrees of heat. This is important because we still have plenty of tomatoes and winter squashes that need ripening!

Harvesting our winter squashes and in the background you can see how we have pulled away the protective blankets.

Harvesting our winter squashes and in the background you can see how we have pulled away the protective blankets.

At this time of year, it’s not just our veggies that are being harvested, but my dad is getting in all of his oats. If you remember from some early season posts, we re-seeded our hay fields this year and with the young alfalfa/clover/timothy mixes we planted some annual oats to help protect their early growth. As such, this year we are harvesting a crop of oats for feed and then for the next 5-7 years we will have crops of hay again.

Dad cleaning the oats and getting them in the grain room for drying. Since we do not spray our fields to kill weeds, the cleaning process is especially important to remove any non-oats.

Dad cleaning the oats and getting them in the grain room for drying. Since we do not spray our fields to kill weeds, the cleaning process is especially important to remove any non-oats.

Oats and hands showing what 40 years of farming looks like.

Oats and hands showing what 40 years of farming looks like.

Finally, I would like to introduce to you our latest guests on the farm. Maria is visiting us with her son Massimo from Denmark until the beginning of October and I as I am in my final 10 weeks of pregnancy, I am very grateful for their help!

Maria picking your beets today.

Maria picking your beets today.

This week’s share of the harvest:

1 Box New Potatoes – red, yellow, or Russian Blue
1 Box Brussels Sprouts
1 Box Mixed Cherry Tomatoes
1 Box Heirloom Tomatoes
1 Garlic Bulb
1 Box Onions
1 Bunch Beets
1 Box Carrots
1 Bunch Leek
2 Winter Squashes – choices of: butternut, festival, delicata, acorn and kuri squash

How to use this week’s share of the harvest:

You can expect plenty of winter squashes over the next 4 weeks so here is a little introduction to them. If you feel a bit overloaded with these, don’t fret. You can keep them until at least Christmas at room temperature.

Butternut Squash – Sweet, relatively easy to peel. Roasts and sautees quickly. Mashes and purees smooth and is ideal for soups.
Festival Squash – Shape of an acorn squash, flavour and flesh of a delicata squash.
Delicata Squash – Exceptionally thin and edible peel. Flesh is sweet, nutty and a bit drier like an acorn squash. Best roasted with butter or stuffed and baked.
Kuri Squash – Mellow, somewhat nutty flavour. Good in soup and baked goods. Size makes it good for stuffing and roasting. Excellent with spices.
Acorn Squash – Sweet, tender flesh. Good for roasting, baking, steaming, mashing. It’s smaller size makes it perfect for stuffing.

Try a "root-fruit" roast using your onions, beets, carrots, onions and squash.

Try a “root-fruit” roast using your onions, beets, carrots, onions and squash.

Roasted Delicata Squash

Roasted Delicata Squash

A note on brussels sprouts

First of all: Use these in the next 2-3 days.

This is the first year that I have ever grown brussels sprouts and I’m happy that we will have 2 weeks of harvesting from them. They are especially tricky because they are huge plants that require a long growing season and therefore tending, but also because they are in the brassica family with cabbage and suffer from the terrible cabbage moth that lurks in our gardens.

We grew up eating these steamed with a little homemade cheese sauce or parmesan on top. If you are not a fan at all of these, try adding them to a blended soup. You can also try preparing them sauteed with some bacon and apple or some glazed red onions.

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