Dear CSA members, Week #10
Week ten means… we are halfway through the CSA season! We are so grateful for your participation to this point, and hope this has been a gastronomically astronomical experience for you all. We still have many great foods on the way, and this is also a good time to solicit feedback from our members. We’ll be rolling out a short online survey in the coming days, but feel free to let us know your thoughts about how we are doing and can improve via email or in person.
Last night we hosted the Land & Table potluck here are the farm and had a HUGE turnout with cars lined up the driveway and kids flying like wild birds around the property. It was so rewarding to be able to show our work to visitors and to share this beautiful spot we are lucky to be living at. It was especially great to see the networking going on among farmers market managers, home gardeners, food entrepreneurs, academics, and young farmers from points as distant as Pamplin, Roanoke, and Crozet.
Believe it or not, we are entering the fall planting phase in the garden. Kale and collard greens are about to go in the ground, with fall cucumbers, and squash not far behind. Spinach will be seeded in two weeks, but thoughts of cool weather seem like wild fantasies! This is the first year I feel like I’ve had a good fall crop plan from the beginning of the season. Typically I have had to scramble around this time of year to figure out what I’m going to plant for the fall, and it’s a great relief to have things written out and not have to think about it while there are so many other things going on in the garden.
After I print these newsletters I’m going to email a brick mason to hire him to build us a wood fired bread oven! We found a guy in Oregon who specializes in large bread ovens built on trailers. Having it on wheels means we can move it do a different bakery site in the future, use it for events, or sell it if we needed to. His ovens are “direct-fired,” or “black ovens,” meaning wood is burned directly on the hearth where the bread is to be baked. The bricks and mortar absorb the heat while the fire is burning, and then the coals are raked out before the bread is loaded. If the oven is well-built and insulated, you can get hours and hours of baking over a range of temperatures (the oven starts around 700 degrees and cools very slowly) without needing to light a new fire.
I had to put a Hot Brown recipe in here today for two reasons: I am a proud Kentuckian, and it is the best way to honor a great tomato. I know it’s not the healthiest choice, but I promise you won’t regret it!