This week we had our first frost and it was a pretty good one, too. It got down to 28 degrees on Saturday morning! Cold air sinks and we're in a fairly low spot near the base of Moscow Mountain, so all the cold air from the mountain and surrounding hills drains right to our fields... or so it seems. The frost killed all our outdoor tomatoes (the hoop house tomatoes are still going), squash, cucumbers, eggplant, and most of the flowers. Sad!
The first frost of the fall (well, technically, it's still summer) is always a little bittersweet for me. On one hand, it's sad because so many of the plants we've worked so hard to grow and take care of and harvest all die at once. It's sort of a shock to the system. On the other hand, it signals the impending end of the season and some much needed rest in winter. Mother Nature steps in and says, "Nope, you're not doing that anymore." What can we do? She's the boss.
With a frost on Saturday morning and impending rain Monday, we had to scramble to harvest all the winter squash and pumpkins. So, we had a harvest party! We are so lucky to have great friends who are willing to spend a few hours of their Sunday helping us out! We harvested a 1/4-acre of squash and pumpkins and a bunch potatoes and onions in a few hours on Sunday. Thanks so much to everyone who helped! You're the best!
This week our CSA members are enjoying a share of late summer/early fall veggies (my favorite time of year): All Blue potatoes, garlic, cipollini onions, Serrano peppers, fennel, bell peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, and delicata squash.
I got quite a few questions about Delicata squash at our CSA pickup, so here's a little explainer for anyone who's perplexed by this delicious little squash: Delicata is a thin-skinned winter squash with very sweet flesh and is excellent for stuffing, baking, and even sautéing! What sets Delicata apart from some of its other winter squash relatives is that due to its thin skin, it does not require peeling, i.e., you can eat the skin... it's good! It also doesn't require a curing period to be super tasty (as with other, larger squash such as butternut), so you can enjoy it right away! Delicata, however, does not store very well and should be eaten within a few weeks or so.
Check out some of these recipes and, as always, have fun!