September 2012


A temperature reading of 27 degrees means more than a cold morning on the farm; it means that the summer crops are gone, blackened, dead.  Within a few hours the food we eat changes.  Gone are the tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, summer squash, cucumbers and basil.  Enter roots and greens. Yes, greens are very hardy and can withstand cold temperatures.  The valley where your food grows lies low so that cold air filters in sooner than most other places in the area.  We work hard to prepare for this first frost.  We harvested the last of the peppers, tomatoes and eggplant.  With sadness we watch the unripe fruit die.  We have no choice; we can’t put sheets over ¾ acres of tomatoes.  With the sun lower in the sky and the temperatures hovering in the low 30’s we head out to harvest kale, collards, salad mix, winter squash and various root vegetables.  Fall is here and with it comes lovely soups and stews.

Barb

Salad mix harvest on a cold morning. We cover the salad greens with a floating row cover to protect them from the frost. We uncover them to harvest and then recover them to protect them until next week’s harvest.

Bok choy harvest. Vibrant green bok choy with a backdrop of frost blackened cherry tomatoes.

Kale harvest. Bending over the kale as we reach down to snap off the individual branches.

Mowing frost deadened peppers. Once a crop has succumbed to the killing frost it gets mowed so we can till under the debris.

Bins of winter squash (butternut and delicata). A fall bounty.

Standard and Large Shares:

October 18th is your last pickup.

 Every Other Week Shares:

  • A Week – If this is your FINAL DELIVERY.  Thank you for a great season!
  • B Week – Your final delivery is October 18th.

Fruit Box Members:

Same as the every other week schedule above; then Nov 15th & Dec 13th (to coincide with Storage share deliveries).

Two tractors ride side by side one pulling the potato harvester and one pulling the potato wagon.

Workers pull out clumps of dirt and debris before potatoes ride up the belt to the potato wagon.

Potatoes are unloaded into the potato wagon by the potato harvester.

David and Jesse drive tractors in tandem through the valley.

Potatoes being loaded into bulk bins for storage.

Potatoes are stored in bulk bins stacked 4 high in the potato cooler. Potatoes turn green in the light so we use a special red light bulb when we need to see in the cooler.

Seasonal Eating

It’s a phrase that’s heard a lot these days.  But how does one eat seasonally in southern Wisconsin? We know it’s possible because there haven’t always been giant super markets and large semi’s trucking produce across the country and food coming to the USA from around the world.  There is enough variety of food grown in this wonderful state of ours to sustain us year round.  This likely is a new concept to many of you.  It may be somewhat clear how to eat seasonally in the summer when the bounty abounds, but what about our many months of frozen darkness.  This is where storage vegetables come in.  Wisconsin grows lots of vegetables that can keep all winter in a refrigerator or root cellar.  Those are the vegetables we include in our storage share.  There is also a vegetable bounty in the summer that one can take advantage of and preserve food for the winter.  You can freeze or can or dehydrate food.  Freezing is super simple and fast.  Of course you do need the freezer space.  Canning is a way to preserve food that only involves a small investment of jars and a canning kettle.  I mention all of this at this time because you are receiving a bounty of peppers and tomatoes this week in your share.  You could start this week by putting away some food and enjoying it this winter.

Barb

Storage shares are still available!

The Storage Share includes two deliveries:

November 15th & December 13th

We include detailed storage tips on how to store your produce.

Each delivery plans to include:  15# potatoes, 5# carrots, 5# onions; plus winter squash, cabbage, kale, leeks, daikon radishes, beets, celeriac, rutabaga, turnips, brussels sprouts, garlic, winter radish & pie pumpkins.

The cost of the Storage Share is $175.  You can sign up by sending a check to Vermont Valley Community Farm, 4628 CTY RD FF, Blue Mounds, WI 53517.  No need to fill out a sign up form if you are already a member; please update us if contact information has changed.  If you are not currently a member, fill out a sign up form and send it in along with your payment.

We consolidate our Storage Share pick up sites to 6 locations. The weather during the Storage Share deliveries can be very cold and snowy so we choose sites with heated facilities and easy parking so vegetables don’t freeze; members can more easily park and our delivery trucks have fewer sites to drive to in the event of snow.

We ask that you indicate which site you choose when you send in your payment.  If you have already signed up for a Storage share we will contact you to let you select a pick up site.

 

Goodman Community Center149 Waubesa Street Madison, WI 53704 (replacing Just Coffee for the eastside Storage Share/Fruit Box site)

Community of Hope Church – 7118 Old Sauk Road, Madison, 53717

Midvale Lutheran Church4329 Tokay Boulevard, Madison, 53711

Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ1501 Gilbert Rd, Madison, 53711

Verona 481 Todd Street, Verona, 53593

The Farm4628 County RD FF, Blue Mounds, 53517

If you want a Storage share we need your signup/payment by October 12th.

November Storage Share pick up at Orchard Ridge UCC

December pick up at Just Coffee