Wednesday, September 17, 2014

CSA Week #14

Week #14 brought the sun back! It also brought Waltham butternut squash, French Gray shallots, German Red garlic and McIntosh apples to CSA boxes for the first time. Nothing was lost to the frost, which was not already going by in the field - diversity and freshness continues!

CSA News Week #14

Beautiful alliums (onion family members) of the Week #14 box - French Gray shallots, a gourmet variety with a spectacular flavor wonderful for sauces; German Red garlic; Red Baron onion; Stuttgarter yellow onions.


A diversity of colors, textures, tastes and aromas!


In the box: Red and yellow storage onions, garlic, shallots, mixed heirloom tomatoes, butternut squash, carrots, beets, Swiss chard, basil bunch, 2 lbs McIntosh apples, sweet green bell peppers, either King of the North sweet red bell pepper or Marconi Red Italian frying pepper, and 2 lbs German Butterball potatoes (Half Shares only).

Apple Boosters :: 2 lbs McIntosh.

Herb Boosters :: Basil, Thyme, Sage, Parsley.

Optional items CSA members could add :: more basil, hot peppers.

Apple Shares Week #12 :: 3/4 lb McIntosh apples.

McIntosh apples.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Apples :: McIntosh

Mid Season • Sweet-tart • Heirloom

Ripens
Mid-September

Characteristics
Bright white flesh and a refreshing sweet-tart flavor with a crisp juicy texture. A high-quality apple great for fresh eating, applesauce, pies and cider.

History
A heritage variety. Originates from Ontario, Canada, where it was discovered by John McIntosh growing as a wild seedling in 1796.


Parentage: Unknown. Maybe Fameuse, potentially crossed with Detroit Red. Offspring: Cortland, Fireside, Jonamac, Jubilee, Britemac, Empire, Enterprise, July Red, Liberty, Lobo, Macoun, Merten Charm, Milton, Novamac, Priscilla, Pristine, Spartan, Sunrise, Victory, Tydeman's Early Worcester.

Storage
Maintains crispness for 1 month. Less crisp stores for 6 months.


Notes
We have three McIntosh trees at our off-farm orchard.

Apples :: Sweet 16

Mid-Late Season • Sweet

Characteristics
A sweet, crisp and juicy apple, with aromatic yellow flesh. A complex flavor - fruity cider flavors and sugar cane, with a hint of spice and wine around the edges. Large, striped-red fruit. Good fresh-eating apple.

History
Introduced in 1977 by the University of Minnesota.

Parentage: Northern Spy x Malinda.

Storage
Keeps 5-8 weeks.


Notes
At our off-farm orchard we have four trees in production.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Apples :: Zestar!

Early Season • Sweet-tart

Ripens
Late August - Early September

Characteristics
A pleasing crisp texture, juicy, sweet-tart flavor with a hint of brown sugar. Skin is 60-85% red, where the sun hits it, contrasting with a creamy yellow skin. Round 3" diameter fruits. Excellent for fresh eating, storage varieties and great for cooking too.


History
This apple was developed by horticulturalists at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum's Horticultural Research Center and was introduced in 1998. It was bred to survive in cold climates. Parentage: State Fair x MN 1691. Offspring: SweeTango.

Storage
Excellent storage qualities. Keeps 1-2 months.

Notes
We have one Zestar! tree at our off-farm orchard. It came into production for the first time in 2014.



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

CSA Week #13

This week brought Week #13 deliveries, as well as the beginning of our Apple Boosters (extra apples for CSA members) and Week #1 of Apple Share deliveries. We dug into our first late season potato variety - German Butterball.


Apples...our CSA members received State Fair apples, while our Apple Booster customers received Sweet 16. Apple Share members received our very first (and only this season) picking of Zestar!, as well as State Fair.


In the box: Dinosaur kale, leeks, green peppers, large bunch basil, red peppers (King of the North or Marconi Red), 1 lb heirloom snap bean, two bulbs garlic, 2 lbs German Butterball potatoes, rosemary, mixed heirloom tomatoes, green and white heirloom cucumbers, 2 lbs State Fair and the Apple Booster bag contains 2lbs of Sweet 16 apples.

(Tomato ID: large red=Italian Heirloom, Orange-yellow=Valencia, medium light yellow=Wapsipinicon Peach, yellow cherry=Blondkopfchen, red grape=Cherry Roma.)


Herb Booster Week #7: Basil, parsley, oregano, and mint.



First Apple Share deliveries! Six weeks of seasonal apples - 3# or 4# bags. This week was Zestar! and State Fair.

Upcoming apples: McIntosh, Wealthy, Red Baron.

Upcoming forecast: a low of 40° tomorrow evening! Getting ready to cover the tomatoes, peppers, ground cherries and basil to keep them comfy.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Apples :: State Fair

Early Season • Sweet

Ripens
Mid-Late August

Characteristics
Firm, juicy, white flesh that is sweet and aromatic, with a subtle tartness. Round, medium sized fruit, stripped with a red-orange color, over a yellow background. Ripens mid-late August. Excellent for fresh eating, as well as cooking.

State Fair apples.
History
Introduced in 1977, by the University of Minnesota.

Parentage: Mantet x Oriole. Offspring: Zestar!.

Storage
2-4 weeks

Notes
At our off-farm orchard we have five State Fair trees. This variety is prone to biennial bearing, alternating between higher and lower yields.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

CSA Week #12

Another bountiful and delicious box of produce delivered this week! State Fair apples, Thelma Sanders acorn squash and garlic made their debut this week. The boxes were heavy with the weight of apples, tomatoes and squash.

Packing boxes up.
 CSA Newsletter Week #12

CSA Box Week 12 ~ Sept. 1, 2014
In the Box: Green and white cucumbers, 1 lb mixed heirloom snap beans, bunch of beets, 2 lbs State Fair apples, Thelma Sanders acorn squash, bunch of celery, 1 lb yellow storage onions, 2 bulbs garlic, green bell peppers, 1/2 pint cherry/grape tomatoes, 3 lbs mixed heirloom tomatoes, red sweet pepper and sage. Full shares also received Alma Paprika peppers and 1 pint ground cherries. Half shares receive 1 bunch Swiss chard (not pictured).

Herb Boosters: get a 1/2 lb of basil this week.