CSA Week 23 of 28 from Valley Flora!

  • Bunched Spinach
  • Winter Crisp Lettuce
  • Apples - Liberty and Topaz
  • Jalapeno & Serrano Hot Peppers
  • Winter Carrots - big, fat, crunchy and sweet!
  • Dill
  • Red Onions
  • Red Potatoes
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • A tomato

On Rotation:

  • Cauliflower, Purple and White
  • Romanesco

Remember that first single tomato that landed in your tote a couple months back, and the story about the request effigy? Well, many weeks and many, many tomatoes later (request effigies wildly successful!) we are full circle back to "A Tomato." What a run! We made it all the way into November, and who knows, Bets might eek out one or two more from her greenhouse before she calls her tomato season a wrap. A homegrown tomato feels extra special on a "suddenly it's winter" kind of day like today.

While you've been luxuriating in abundant tomatoes, it's been a sorry year for orchard fruit - barely any apples, pears, plums or Asian pears this year. Chock it up to a cold wet, spring: in weather like that the bees can't fly and the blossoms take a beating from the wind, rain and hail. The Valley Flora orchard is extremely diverse, with 85 different varieties planted, including quince, italian plums, asian plums, apples, european pears, Asian pears, pie cherries, and peaches. Over a third of those varieties are different kinds of apples, which are a longtime passion of Abby's. Fortunately amidst all that diversity a few of the apple varieties scored a successful pollination window and were able to set a small crop of fruit. The Liberty and Topaz you're receiving this week are from some of those lucky trees. They're great fresh-eating apples: crisp, tangy-sweet, and juicy.

And everyone's favorite: spaghetti squash!!! I actually heard my stomach doing some hungry growling while I was flipping through this gallery of spaghetti squash recipes. Spaghetti squash burrito boats, spaghetti squash lasagna boats, Greek style spaghetti squash with shrimp, daaaaang! Guess I need to bring me home some spaghetti squash this week!

Finally, cauliflower! In spite of our best planning efforts, the purple and white cauliflower and our late season romanesco all decided to head up during the same two weeks, dern! So much for a nice staggered harvest over the course of October and early November (something that Allen's heroic back muscles would have appreciated, after hauling hundreds of pounds of cauli out of the field on Monday). If you haven't gotten a purple cauliflower yet this season, you'll get a bonus romanesco instead. The slugs have been fierce in our fall Brassica field, thanks to a cool summer and the epic quantity of organic matter left behind by our spring cover crop. All that straw and residue is fantastic for soil health, but it's also a wonderland of slug habitat. They did significant damage to the purple cauli crop in particular, which worked out well for the Common Good foodbank this week but left us short for the CSA. Fortunately the romanesco has withstood the slug pressure a little better and will fill in the gap. Not a bad trade.

But yeah, the slugs. Spring was no cakewalk, we lost our summer carrots to them, and are currently fighting tooth and nail to save our winter carrots. I'm pretty sure the Chinese zodiac got it all wrong about 2022 and the tiger: 2022 has most definitely been the Year of the Slug.