Happy End of Harvest

The final week of harvest. Of course farmers typically welcome Halloween, the end of the harvest, the shorter, colder days. This year is no different. Since April 6th Seth and the four-member fabulous farm crew have been working 12-hour days throughout the week and half days on Saturdays. They are tired and welcome the well deserved restful winter and a change of the rigorous pace. By next April, if we do our winter job well (resting that is) we will be eager to start it all over again next spring. This is why we live in New England.

Thank you once again for being a member of our farm. Seth is not here to speak for himself, but I have heard him say more than once that this is the worst season he has experienced since he began farming over twelve years ago. We don’t need to re-hash the stories of the summer, but certainly the yields and quality of some of the crops were not what we expected or hoped for. Crushed as we may have felt, we were bolstered by your understanding and support in an off year. So please know we fully appreciate you.

Brussels sprouts make an appearance this week. Much awaited by many of you, I know. For those who may consider joining Griffin in turning the Brussels sprouts into a “lightsaber with funny spikes” read on for some cooking tips. The most important tip is to cook and enjoy your Brussels sprouts as soon as possible. Each year we hear from people who had never before eaten freshly picked Brussels sprouts and were amazed at the flavors and textures – a new experience all around! Trim them off the stalk and peel off any outer layers that may be wilted, and cut an X in the bottom of each or slice lengthwise in half. Steam until tender (or put in boiling water directly). Drain and toss with butter, salt, and pepper. Or trim and cut in half, stir fry with onions or shallots and toss in some walnuts and drizzle lightly with maple syrup.

Surveys! Attached to this email. Or pick up hard copy at distribution. As usual, we appreciate your feedback on your experience with us this year. Yes we had some crop disappointments, but we want your thoughts on other aspects as well. If we didn’t read and value your comments, we wouldn’t bother to ask the questions – so thank you in advance for your time and thoughts.

Need Childcare? We are fortunate to have farm apprentices Kate and Bethany staying on with us this winter to help care for our sheep and lambing. Bethany is available for childcare services. Griffin and Leila would be happy to provide excellent references (as would Seth and I). She can be reached at 508.789.2233 or bethanylallen@gmail.com

Order your Thanksgiving Turkey Milkweed Farm’s (off Woodside Road) pastured turkeys available for the holiday fresh $3.50 per pound, 10-20+ pound birds available for the holiday. Contact Michael or Lucretia at 725.4554 or milkweedfarm@gmail.com

Apples This week we have Macs, Northern Spys, and Cortlands from Willow Pond Farm.

CSA sign-up for 2010. Thank you for those of you who have signed up. If you haven’t done so yet, you may pay in full or leave a $100 deposit and get on the easy winter payment plan with $138.33 due in February, April and June 2010.

Crystal Spring whole and half lambs. We still have lamb available for a winter delivery date. See us at pick-up for all the details.

Crystal Spring Farm Honey from bees here at the farm now available – ½ lb and 1lb. and 2 lb.

Farmer Seth! Last but not least…so many of you asked about him last week at pick up, and I had no news. I spoke with our traveling farmer this weekend; I now know he is faring well, but hot! He will write a newsletter about the trip, so although this week is the last pick up, another newsletter to come soon with his stories!

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