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Sept. 29, 2015

Posted 10/2/2015 3:44pm by Don Kretschmann.

Sept. 29, 2015

Greetings from the Kretschmanns,   

The on-again-off again droughty summer lingered on until…we reconfigured our thinking, started systematic irrigations, then Sunday night--rain…forecasts changed suddenly from 30 to 40 to 50 to…last I looked, 100% chance of rain, with, and from “less than a tenth” to ¾ - 1” of rain. Seems we’re set for the season because the water should persist as daylight, temperature, and number of crops all diminish. But then that what I thought last Sunday, and the Sunday before, and the one before that.   

We’ve got one more row of Liberty apples to pick when the rain stops. The apple cooler is to the ceiling. So expect lots of pomes for the next few weeks, at least. They make great baked goods. It’s been so easy to wow visitors with apple crisps, cakes, and pies. Try some sauce in a crockpot. Serve it warm…with cinnamon/or not. Boil some diced apples in a little cider, stir in some brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg…serve hot with a scoop of ice cream.   

October knocks! The last big pushes will be the late fall greens, the lettuces, mesclun, arugula, kale, chard; autumn coles--cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli; not to be outdone by the roots—radishes, turnips, carrots, and beets (which we’ve begun). There’s one more planting of green beans for which we were praying for rain—about two weeks out.   

The cover crops are one by one taking over production fields. Former green bean fields are now winter rye, squash and potato fields are winter peas and oats, vetch and rye populate a future zucchini field. Sorry if you’re tired of relentless cilantro, but it’s just the best planting in memory and tomatoes won’t be here long.     

Enjoying the shift to inside-the-barn tasks and the patter of gentile rainfall, we are sincerely,                                             Don, Becky, & the Farm Crew

FYI: Signup for the extended winter season is now beginning. If interested, send us a note with subject line: Winter (and indicate size). Boxes are available either every two weeks or once a month (S or L…)from December until March. It surprises many (including us sometimes!) the variety of local produce which one can have even after freezing temperatures predominate—often more than is available in the early summer. As we mentioned previously, we’re excited to have some of our own canned tomato products for off-season use. See the website for more info. Also, we’re always in need of good dropoff sites for winter pickup. Let us know if you’d like to offer, or know of a business which would fit.  

Apple Slice Cake: Sift 1 c. pastry flour, 1 ½ tsp baking powder, ¼ tsp salt, 2 tbs sugar. Mix in 4 tbs vegetable oil until well mixed. Beat 2 egg yolks adding ½ c. milk and stir well into dry mixture. Pour into oiled shallow pan. Cover with thin slices of 4 pared apples. Sprinkle with 4 tbs sugar, ½ tsp. cinnamon, 1 tbs grated lemon rind, and dot with butter. Bake @ 400 deg. 35 min. Tip for apple crisp... Whatever recipe you use for apple crisp can be made in a crock pot.  Grease the inside of the crock pot, fill with apple mixture, top with crumb topping, cook on high for about 2 hours, just leave a wooden spoon in the crock pot to keep the lid cracked during cooking to achieve the "crisp" top. 

Apple crisp: Slice or coarsely dice 2# apples (we never peel our apples), mix well with 1/2 c. brown sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and juice from small lemon. Place in buttered 9 x 13 pan. Mix in bowl, 1/2 c. wholewheat flour, 1 c. brown sugar, 1 c. rolled oats, optional 1/2 c. nuts and mix well. Cut 1/2 c. butter (one stick) into chunks and scatter over mixture then using your hands or pastry cutter squeeze and mix until everything is mixed well and crumbly. Drop topping onto apples, dot with another 2 tbs. butter, and bake @ 375 deg. 35 min. String Bean Salad: Boil or steam 1 lb. string beans. Combine 1/4 c. olive oil, 1/4 c. vinegar, 1 clove mince garlic, salt an pepper. Pour over bean. Add 2 sliced tomatoes and 1 sliced onion. Beet Greens: Chop greens in bite-sized pieces, keep stems separate. Saute stems and a few cloves minced garlic in olive oil for a minute. Add chopped greens and saute another minute. Turn heat to low, add a few tbs. water, cover tightly, and simmer a few minutes. Add lemon juice and soy sauce or salt to taste.

"Red Hot" Cider: Place 1/2 c. "red hot" cinnamon candies in basket of an electric coffee maker. Pour 1 qt. cider into coffee maker's water reservoir, and brew over cinnamon candies.

German Hot Potato Salad: Cook potatoes until tender, but firm. Cool and chop into bite sized pieces--cubes or slices. Fry and crumble up 4 slices of bacon. To the bacon fat add 2 tbs sugar, 1/3 c. water, 1/4 c. vinegar, and 1 tbs. flour. Cook until thickened, then add 2 tbs. chopped fresh dill and 1/2 c. minced onions and toss with potatoes. Salt and pepper to taste. Green

Tomato Chutney: Boil ¼ c. cider vinegar, 2 tbs honey or maple syrup (or 3 tbs sugar), 1 lg. clove minced garlic, 1 tbs finely grated ginger, ½ tsp ground cumin, 1/8 tsp. dried hot pepper flakes (if desired) until reduced in half. Stir in 2 finely chopped green tomatoes and salt to taste. Cool and add 2 tbs chopped fresh cilantro.