Tuesday, September 23, 2014

CSA Week #15

It has been a beautiful week full of sunshine, which welcomes the official arrival of fall and Week #15 boxes.

CSA News Week #15

In the box: garlic, red and yellow storage onions, 1.5 lbs Wealthy heritage apples, parsley, 2 lbs German Butterball potatoes, Thelma Sanders heirloom acorn squash, Dinosaur kale, carrots, green peppers, 2.5 lbs heirloom tomatoes, celery, leeks.

Apple Boosters: Honeycrisp apples

Herb Boosters: Basil, sage, thyme, lemon thyme

Apple Shares: Honeycrisp & Red Baron

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Photo Update 9.18.14

Whew! It has been busy, busy, busy. It has been a loooong time since I have done a photo update, our posts have been a bonanza of apple facts and CSA box content. Here are some photos from over the last couple of weeks, which have been filled with multiple markets, the most abundant apple harvest we have yet experienced, CSA harvest and deliveries (we just finished week 14) and a fall member potluck.

Packing shed and clouds.
Thelma Sanders acorn squash.
 Winter squash has been delivered in CSA boxes now; both acorn and butternut.

King of the North red bell pepper.
Red peppers are slowly ripening. Real veggies have variability, they don't all look exactly the same - I love that.

Marconi Red Italian frying pepper.
 The pigs have been enjoying the spoils of apple harvest. Receiving a multiple 5 gallon buckets of apples per day. We haven't been able to bring them out to the orchard yet, as we were not confident in bringing piglets off our farm, out of supervision (oh, teenagers). This has meant more work for us cleaning up apples, but we may be able to get the herd out there yet this season.

Vera having a regular apple snack.
Jostling position for the best snacks - Suzy, PBJ, Elsa and Dafney.
 Look at this beautiful bed of cover crops! Protecting the soil and feeding the soil microorganisms. Caring for the beds, after we are finished with them for the season. The tops of the buckwheat was burned by the frost, but it's still standing. It will be scythed and worked into the soil to adds wonderful organic matter (beneficial for building soil health and structure).

A view of part of the field, with row covers for protection from cool temps. We cover the tomatoes, peppers, ground cherries and basil.

Earlier in September, before apple harvest really took off, John took time for a short break up North. He crossed an item off of his bucket list - harvesting wild rice. Ricing is done by canoe, with traditional harvest tools. John and Eugene harvested one full day, 9 am - Noon, and brought in 20 lbs for processing. John was also able to stay over with our friends Mike and Marina, who have Farmucopia farm and have been amazing mentors and friends over many years now.

Apples are in abundance this year! John's dedicated and passionate orcharding over the past few years is really showing in the current health and productivity of the trees. You can find our freshest and newest varieties at the Saturday farmers' market at Runnings (9 am - Noon), at the New Ulm Community Market & Co-op every other Saturday (9 am - 1 pm), Tauer's SuperValu in Springfield, or by contacting us at any time!

McIntosh are currently in season.
German Red garlic at the farmers' market.
 Heirloom zinnias add color to the vegetable garden.

John harvesting McIntosh. We have a Apples page on our website that we are building to bring you all the information you need about each of our varieties, what is in season and what is coming up next for harvest. We hope this is helpful for you :)

Both of us up in the tree harvesting by ladder.

John just brought home the first picking of Wealthy and Cortland last night, so expect some more apple facts coming your way! We feel so fortunate to have so many great heirloom apples in this orchard, without planting them ourselves. Wealthy was discovered circa 1860 and Cortland circa 1915. Many more great heirloom apples to come this season and in future seasons, as our new grafts begin to produce.

See you at the farmers' market this Saturday!

Recent Blog Posts:

Apples :: McIntosh

CSA Week #14

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

Early-Mid September

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.

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.

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

More McIntosh Nerdery:

Apples :: Sweet Sixteen

Mid-Late Season • Sweet

Sweet 16
Early-mid September.

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.

Introduced in 1977 by the University of Minnesota.

Parentage: Northern Spy x MN 447 (Frostbite).

Keeps 5-8 weeks.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Apples :: Zestar!

Early Season • Sweet-tart

Late August - Early September

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.

ParentageState Fair x MN 1691.

Offspring: SweeTango.

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. 

Excellent storage qualities. Keeps 1-2 months.

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-tart

Mid-Late August

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.
Introduced in 1977, by the University of Minnesota.

Parentage: Mantet x Oriole. Offspring: Zestar!.

2-4 weeks

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.