Tuesday was the last scheduled day of our local farmers’ market, but the weather had a different plan for the hard-working, food growing folks of Lewis County: the work day was cancelled when the first canopy set sail and word spread about a free bluegrass show in town. A banjo, a guitar, and a room crowded with local farmers. People danced, canned goods were exchanged, and everyone had someone else in the room to blame for playing hooky. There will always be a project to complete, a batch to can, and a compost pile to turn, but there must be time to put the hoe down. It felt important, as if it sealed the deal and the season had changed.
     As I prepare these last boxes of our regularly scheduled CSA season, I feel excited and relieved. The gardens are becoming simpler and tidier as the tomato and cucumber vines are cleared and garlic is planted deep then mulched with golden straw. Cabbage, kale and mustard will continue to brighten the garden through rain and snow, but fruit has come and gone; seeds are saved for years to come. Puddles are forming and our focus shifts to keeping water out of the gardens. The chickens also seem to have changed gears (egg laying proving to be the least of their concern) so we took the opportunity to support another local farmer and drove out to visit Bob and Sharon Harris at Rose of Sharon Farm in Chehalis yesterday.
    The next delivery will be the 22nd of November, the Monday before Thanksgiving. These are the last Coffee Creek Chickens of the year, since the next box will contain your fresh (never frozen) Turkey and some farm-fresh trimmings! We hope you have enjoyed superior meat from a happy home this season. We are considering a pig share next year, and may raise turkeys again since we all enjoy their company so much. Our chicken population is expanding slowly but continuously, as we are trying to stagger the ages (and therefore stages) of our flock for steadier laying, and only spring will tell if we continue to raise chickens for meat. Being a small operation and so fresh into our land and our visions, we want try our hands and hearts at a little of everything, just not at the same time!
    I am sorry to say that on Monday we lost the three Creekers that would most enjoy these days of drizzle and slugs, when a neighbor’s dogs put an end to the waddling and splashing. Quack in peace, Puddle Ducks.

In your boxes you will find

  • One dozen eggs
  • bag of kale
  • bundle of mustard spinach and curly mustard greens
  • head of red cabbage
  • 1 1/2 lbs.Jerusalem artichokes
  • 1 lb.tomatillos
  • herb bundles of orange thyme and chives
  • pint of Indian relish
  • pint of applesauce that Waylon peeled and cored all the apples for. He is a can-o-matic rock star.
  • 3 lbs. russet potatoes
  • hot peppers: serrano and hot wax
  • chickens are in the cooler
  • spider plants are on the railing
    To prepare Jerusalem artichokes they should be washed and steamed until poked easily with a fork. Serve with melted butter and sea salt to enjoy the unique combination of a potato-y texture and distinct artichoke flavor. I wouldn’t serve them with cabbage, as they can both cause gassiness for some people.
    Ground cherries are a special garden snack that has a flavor described as anything from pineapples to graham crackers. Peel the husk and eat them as is, or toss them in your next green salad.
    Tomatillos are best known for their award-winning appearance in salsa verde. To prepare tomatillos, I like to peel the husks and cut them in half before spreading them out in a glass baking dish. Sprinkle with sea salt and roast at 350 degrees for about a half hour, when they are nice and juicy. Cool in refrigerator then chop or food process with cilantro, onions, chives, garlic, peppers, kitchen sink, salt and lime to taste. Serve with warm chips or quesadillas for a delicious snack.
    I am totally behind on the batch of kombucha, so my apologies for its absence. If you have come to enjoy the tastes and benefits of kombucha, you may want to make some of your own- it is surprisingly easy and fun to do! If you would like a mother let me know, I will include one in your Thanksgiving box, free of charge…alongside some bottled and ready to enjoy, of course.
    Have a magnificent day, containing many good meals.

                                                                                                 Be well!