Herbal Inspiration Ties into New CSA…plus CSA & mkts for 10.20.2018

Well, the storm called Michael was not devastating here, and for that we are grateful. It was, however, disruptive and saturating. After months of general sogginess, getting an inch of rain per hour for about 6 hours was quite drenching. And thus, it did in some of our beds of spinach and salad. They aren’t wetland plants, after all. Alas, there are more greens in the future, so all will be fine, but it has us contemplating how likely it is to have 2019 weather like 2018. Zeesh.

Funny enough, just one week after the remnants of a hurricane, we are prepping for the first frost of the fall to perhaps happen tonight. Temps will be dipping in to the 30’s, with “patchy frost.” Those patches of frost happen out here in the country, away from the heat sink of the city. It’s always hard to lose the heat-loving veggies, but we are also happy to welcome the cooler weather.

More exciting than the recent weather is what some of us were up to last weekend. This is Janet typing here, and last week, in the dark hours following Michael, I drove with our oldest child to an herbal conference. As a side note: When the sun rose, we were able to see that we were crossing creeks and rivers that were swollen up to the bottoms of the bridges on which our little car was traveling. We took two detours to avoid roads that were closed due to flooding, and we had police guide us to drive through a flooded section of a road that they assured us would be fine for our tiny car. Thankfully, they were correct, but it was a nerve rattling drive. We made it safely, and spent the long weekend camping while our family and crew at the farm managed without electricity.

Back to our central story, and I promise to make it quick: We had a phenomenal time and learned a tremendous amount. I studied herbs and made various herbal preparations in my twenties, but after having children (four of them!) and starting this farm, my herbal curiosities had to take a back seat. We’ve gone the past 10 years or so making only a very short-list of herbal remedies, while also relying on our wonderful family herbalist to provide guidance and herbal products. But this weekend’s conference allowed both of us to learn (or remember?) the depth of medicinal benefits of  so many herbs. It’s even changing the way that I view all of the culinary herbs we grow. Sure, I knew and enjoyed the energizing and stomach-calming aspects of Peppermint, but I did not remember learning that it also functions as a liver-supporting bitter. How did I miss that Thyme is very antimicrobial? If a child has a cough that is keeping them from sleeping, a poultice of sauteed Onions put on the chest (warm…not hot) is helpful. Rosemary has a high concentration of sulfur and is a potent anti-oxidant. I missed all of these details over the years while my head has been focused on soil health and business logistics, my palate focused on flavor to draw in CSA members and customers, and my heart focused on loving these children we brought into the world. The learning and inspiration was deep and broad, and I’m forever impressed with those who are able to maintain their personal interests while also raising children and running a business. (My multi-tasking can only go so far!) The take home point for us right now is two fold: We are enthusiastic to bolster our family’s intake of these delicious herbs that are packed with impressive medicine, and I am excited to grow even more culinary herbs for you all. (We are also excited to grow more medicinal herbs for our family.) I hope some of you are receptive to incorporating more herbs into your life, and we will pass on guidance and suggestions for the process.

That ties perfectly into another mention of the changes that we are cooking up for our 2019 CSA. We are so excited to be switching to using a CSA software that allows you – the member – more choice in what you get in your share! Here’s an example of how it works:
– If you are a big fan of using culinary herbs, you get to indicate that when you first sign up. (Actually, you’ll get to rank how you feel about all of the things we grow.) Then when we have herbs ready to harvest, the algorithmic system will know to include herbs in your share.
– If you’re not currently a fan of getting fresh herbs, you can indicate that in your preferences when you sign up. Then the system will make your share contents not include herbs. However, let’s say mid-way through the season you get enticed by my mention of using Sage as a gargle for when you feel the first signs of an itchy throat. Then that week you get an email about your share and see that your share doesn’t include any fresh herbs (because that is what you indicated as your preference) but you notice that we have Sage available as an item to swap for. Meanwhile, the tomato plants in your garden are going bonkers and you don’t need tomatoes from us. Then you can SWAP the tomatoes in your share for Sage…via the email! We think this is so cool.

We love all the veggies and herbs and flowers that we grow, but we know not everyone loves them all. And not everyone wants exactly what we put together as the share each week. This new system uses the algorithm mentioned, plus SWAP and ADD-ON functions, to allow CSA members to get more of what they want and less of what they don’t want. We know it won’t be perfect, but we think it’s the right system to use. Look for the link to sign up in the next couple of weeks. We need a bit of time to get all of our info into the new system. SPOILER ALERT: There will be a delicious and nutritious bonus to signing up early!

Saturday’s Farm Share will likely include: 
Kale, Radish, Arugula, Ginger, Fennel, Okra, and Shishito Peppers.

*Some of the KALE will need some rinsing before you enjoy it. The stress on the plants has brought more aphids to the kale plants. 😦

Salad took the biggest beating from the most recent rain. This is the first week in years that we haven’t had Salad for our CSA members. We are humbled by this year’s weather.

Reminder: This Sunday, October 21st, is our annual CSA Member Social here at the farm from 2-5pm. Thank you for all the RSVP’s!

Vegetable Notes & Recipe Suggestions…also cataloged on our Recipe Page and see our Pinterest Page
Fennel – 
This tasty plant is also packed with medicinal qualities. Enjoy it with someone else’s carrots in Roasted Carrots & Fennel or make Arugula & Fennel Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette or simply slice it thinly and add it to a green salad of our Kale.
Baby Ginger – This tropical plant has been growing in our greenhouse all season and is now being harvested at the baby stage. (If growing in a warmer climate, it would mature and form the brown skin that you see on ginger sold in the grocery store.) At the baby stage, it has no brown skin and therefore does not need to be peeled. It also has more flavor and more tropical notes. It will store about 10 days or so in your fridge, so if you don’t use it within that timeframe, freeze it in a bag or container and it will last for up to a year. If using frozen, simply grate it – while frozen – into the dish you are making. Baby Ginger can be used in place of fresh ginger called for in any recipe.  Use it to liven up a stir fry recipe, or focus on a Ginger Veggie Stir Fry, or make Ginger Tea, or make real Gingerbread.
Arugula – Make Arugula Pesto and serve it on pasta or toast or crackers. We always use walnuts instead of pine nuts.
Radishes – Delicious raw on top of green salads, or sliced and served on top of buttered toast with sea salt, or make Radish Cream Cheese Dip (we add some Sunny Paris herb blend from Penzey’s, and don’t usually add that much garlic).
Kale – Colder weather is settling in! We really love Kale and White Bean Soup. We also sneak Kale into unsuspecting places, like in tomato sauce to be served on pasta. See this recipe for Pasta with Tomato Sauce and Kale or freestyle with your favorite tomato sauce.

Our harvest for Saturday’s farmers’ markets will include: 
Arugula, Eggplant (Italian), Fennel, Flower Bouquets, Garlic, Ginger (baby), Hearty Greens Mix, Jalapeno Peppers that are NOT spicy, Kale, Microgreens, Okra, Pea Shoots, Sweet Peppers (bullhorn shape and bell shape and snack size), Shishito Peppers, Radishes, Red Tomatoes…and our Organic Hearth Baked Bread (Baguettes, Herb, Whole Rye, Raisin, & Seed loaves for this weekend).
{Our farmstand is open Thurs & Friday with most of the above items…see here for updated inventory}

Anything remaining after CSA shares are distributed and our farm stand is shopped (plus the bread we bake Saturday morning)… we’ll bring on Saturday to the Brandermill Green Market  and the Farmer’s Market @ St. Stephen’s . Keep an eye on what we have available via the online farmers’ markets: FallLineFarms.com and Local Roots Food Coop.

~Market Share member? You’re likely looking for this link here.

Enjoy ~

Janet, Dan, & the whole Broadfork crew
Want to follow along during the week, including Farm Stand updates? Visit us on Facebook or Instagram

One thought on “Herbal Inspiration Ties into New CSA…plus CSA & mkts for 10.20.2018

  1. Janet, you are amazing!!! I love to read your blog each week. That drive through swollen rivers scared me to death! Don’t take chances on your life! You are necessary to everyone!!! Having raised 4 children, I can’t imagine doing all you are doing! Blessings to you and your family. Hope the days are sunny now. Adrienne

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