Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Big Red Farm Stand, Wednesday October 22, 1-5pm

October sunset
Hello friends,

The forecast is calling for rain again tomorrow (I'm all for rain, as you know, but why does it have to only happen on Wednesdays?!), so we're going to relocate the farm stand just slightly: instead of being under the tent on the grass, we'll set up under the portico of Pop Hall, just across the street from our usual place.

We got our first frost a few days ago, so we'll have lots of peppers and a few eggplants this week but that will probably be the end of them, and we won't have flowers after this week either.  On the plus side, we harvested the rest of our pumpkins and winter squash!  Pick up some pumpkins for decoration and carving, and squash for roasting and soup-ing, and I guarantee you'll hardly miss the summer veggies.  Head lettuce will be making a welcome, if somewhat timid, reappearance; and if you missed our super-flavorful, chlorophyll-laden celery last week, be sure to get some this week.

Finally, a big thank-you to farm crew member Kedzie Schuster, who, due to a dead-iPhone-battery issue, took the beautiful photos in this week's newsletter!  We should add plein air photography to the list of skills that students can acquire by working on the farm...

Broccoli side shoots

Now that we've been picking broccoli for a few weeks, we've harvested almost all of the main heads off of our approximately 650 broccoli plants.  Does this mean that the broccoli harvest is over?  Not at all!  After you cut off the main head, each broccoli plant obligingly puts out several mini-heads, which grow on side-shoots off of the main stem.  These come in many shapes and sizes (we'll be selling them by weight instead of by each for simplicity's sake), but the constant is that you don't get the same wide, tough stem that comes with a regular head of broccoli.  The shoots have stems, but they're much thinner and more tender.

Jonas Frumkin,
broccoli harvester
Since we're continuing to harvest side shoots off of older plants, rather than having a younger planting of broccoli to move on to, the unfortunate truth is that the insect pests have had plenty of time to get really established in some of our plants.  Our biggest cool-weather brassica pests are cabbage worms, harlequin bugs, and aphids.  We spray for some bugs and individually pick off others (when time allows), and we do our best to remove all traces from the market produce, but since I pick out some bugs in my own kitchen I am sure it happens to you all too!  We apologize for the inconvenience, but we hope you'll take it as evidence that we're not using harmful chemicals on our plants, and that the bugs enjoy delicious fresh veggies just as much as the rest of us.

In other news, Sunday night brought the fall's first frost (October 20th, right on schedule!), which, though it was just a light one, truly signals the end of most of our warm-weather crops. On Sunday afternoon we hurried to harvest sweet peppers before the frost, so we've got lots of those, and we hope you'll load up on peppers and try one or more of the delicious stuffing ideas below.

RECIPES: the All About Peppers Edition!

Since we're making the case for late-season peppers this week (their continued availability is very uncertain!), I'll point you back to some pepper ideas from last season, as well as one new one.  Peppers are great for roasting and soup-ing too, and you can freeze roasted peppers for winter use {Roasted Peppers and Roasted Pepper Soup}.  Halved and hollowed out, they are also the perfect vehicle for stuffing with a wide variety of delicious fillings, of which cookbook author Nigel Slater seems to have an endless supply {A Handful of Stuffings for Baked Peppers}.  Don't forget the hot peppers, either; if you're in the mood for spice, you can stuff Jalapenos too {Grilled Stuffed Jalapenos}.

Our new featured pepper recipe is also from Nigel Slater, as it happens.  I've been wanting to try this particular filling for awhile, but I had to wait until it got cool enough for such an autumnal meal... celebrating the first frost seems like the perfect occasion!  {Peppers with Pork and Rosemary}

More winter squash

This week we hope to have the following available from 1pm to 5pm under the Pop Hall portico:
  • Beets - $2.00 lb
  • Broccoli - $2.50 lb
  • Red Cabbage - $2.00 each
  • Carrots - $3.00 lb
  • Celery - $2.50 each
  • Rainbow Chard - $2.50 bunch
  • Eggplant (last week for these) - $3.00 lb
  • Flowers (last week for these) - $5.00 bouquet
  • Garlic - $1.00 bulb
  • Kale - $2.50 bunch
  • Lettuce (limited quantity) - $2.50 head
  • Onions - $1.50 lb
  • Sweet Peppers - $3.00 lb
  • Assorted Hot Peppers - 2/$1.00
  • Potatoes - $2.50 lb large, $3.00 lb "fancy"
  • Carving Pumpkins - $5.00 large, $3.00 small
  • Winter Squash (Butternut, Delicata) -- $1.50 lb


The farm stand is located right in front of Pop Hall, at the top of the stairs that lead down into the Bowl. Enter campus by the main gate on Route 206 (opposite the Lawrenceville Post Office and Craven Lane) and bear right into the circle. Bear right again at the fork in the road and continue straight until you see the Farm Stand signs.

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