Sunday, October 12, 2008

End of the CSA Season

Change is hard but brings new opportunities along with the challenges. Next week is our last week of CSA shares from Great Country Farm and I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I'm a little excited that I wont be buying all that gas or having to do the long drives to the farm but that was my choice and sacrifice for the the fresh vegetables, fresh air, the chance to show my daughter where food comes from and the all around good fun of a half day picking and playing. I'm sad that I wont be getting an assortment of fresh vegies but that means that I can pick and choose what I want from the year round farmers market and not feel any guilt at trying out a local business resturaunt knowing that I have another 4 tons of tomatoes/kale/squash/... (fill in your most abundant vegi of the season) that I should be eating at home. It also means the opportunity to do other things on Saturdays, like explore some of the local living history parks and take advantage of all the wonderful holiday open houses.

I have been stocking up on the more hardy vegetables like apples, winter squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes and pumpkins. I have been using the swap out option of my u-pack to get a double portion of apples or squash instead of the end of season, oversized tomatoes or less than storable tiny potatoes. I plan on making these last as long a possible and after halloween I want to can up the pumpkin mash for use throughout the year. Last year I froze most of my left over pumpkin cooked mash and enjoyed weekend pumpkin pancakes into the spring. But this year the freezer wont be an option.

This year, with my family joining me for Xmas I have decided to do the turkey then. I'm purchasing a fresh bird for Elaine @ Fields of Athenry when she does all her birds but putting it on ice to enjoy with the family. That will take up what little freezer space I have. Oh, how I long to have a big freezer...and a backup generator to go with it. Thus the other reason freezer is not an option,the fear of loosing all my hard work to a power outage. Last year I lost some fridge stuff but no freezer items to a brief power outage but it was a very, very mild winter and we were very lucky. Im not so hopeful this year and since I have the ability to can, why not.

I've also been spending alot of time searching around the net for other winter options including winter CSA shares, year round markets, stores that carry local products and growing my own winter greens. I just found that the newest farmers market group in town, Smart Markets Inc., will be running thier Oakton market as a year round. If I can find seeds I might start some winterable rutabegas or turnips or maybe kale for soups. I also hope to start baking more breads but first I must find a better source of grains than the supermarket.

No comments: