Robert & I have over twenty years experience in filling weekly CSA Boxes with seasonal gourmet vegetables grown on our small Fairview family farm for family tables all over Buncombe and Henderson Counties. We direct market only through CSA Shares. This means our CSA Members are our only customers!
In stressful and anxious times people look for things to make them feel more comfortable. We think membership in our small family farm CSA is one of those comforting experiences! When you are in our CSA, we get to know your family and you get to know ours. You will begin to understand a bit about life on our farm and what is involved in getting our seasonal produce to your family’s table. You get a sense of how your food is grown and you get to share in the excitement of our local harvest year–the first green salads, the fleeting snow peas, the tender, crunchy green beans, the thin-skinned new potatoes, vine-ripened tomatoes and cucumbers–perhaps even cantaloupes in a good year!
It is important to recognize one must do more meal preparation with locally grown, whole foods. I mean your farm fresh veggies will not be wrapped in plastic or pre-cooked. We do our best to keep as much of our soil here on our Fairview farm, but some washing will be involved. However, we firmly believe the simple act of preparing ones meal can be made into an escape and a blessing to ones senses!
If you have always valued family farms or if you just want to dip your toe into the CSA experience for the first time, we would love to have you join us! We are planning for a late-May through October 2021 Harvest Season–weather permitting, of course!!
If you were a member of our CSA in 2020, do not fret! Soon we shall be in direct contact with you to confirm your desire for continued membership into the 2021 farming season.
I think all individuals can agree 2020 has been a very unusual year in many ways. We look forward to a new year, a new harvest season, and to the possibility of your being a valued part of our small, family farm CSA community once again–or for the first time–as the case may be!
We offer our Best Wishes to all for health and happiness in 2021 and prayers for a bountiful growing season!
The turkey and dressing are gone for 2020 and the Christmas trees and lights are going up around the neighborhoods. Robert and I ventured to the WNC Farmer’s Market today to purchase a Christmas tree for our own home. The premises were hustling and bustling with activity! We found the perfect North Carolina grown fir tree and had a lovely conversation with the farm owner and tree caretakers.
In a recent conversation with my seven-year old Grandson, he stated that we may have to cancel some of Christmas this year due to Corona-virus. I was saddened to think his young mind was considering the prospect. I informed him that WE would NOT be canceling Christmas at our house! Later that day, my mind went to one of the most unhappiest Christmas seasons I experienced. Instantly, I felt a flood of gratitude and appreciation for how much better my life is now. And I am grateful for the lessons learned in that long-ago experience. The Stoic philosophy says gratitude for every experience is the key to robust mental health.
True happiness comes from recognizing things we are grateful for in our nation and in this world. To quote Abraham Lincoln: “We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation ever has grown; but we have forgotten God! We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.”
In your self-reflection this holiday season, remember there is a force greater than ourselves. And remember to look at the nation and world situation, examine it, and then make the conscious decision about how to respond in the best possible way. Even in hardship we can be grateful for the lessons learned. So breathe deeply, exhale slowly, and prepare your body and mind for a Healthy and Prosperous New Year in 2021.
I agree with Ralph Waldo Emerson, “I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new” . . . and the ordinary delights brought by each passing day!
Whatever means of celebration you choose, I trust you are filled with gratitude and joy for the Blessings we enjoy in this great country–America the Beautiful. Happy Thanksgiving 2020 from Robert and Glenda!!
Lyrics for America the Beautiful . . .
Oh, beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties Above the fruited plain! America! America! God shed his grace on thee, And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea.
Oh, beautiful for pilgrim feet, Whose stern, impassioned stress A thoroughfare of freedom beat Across the wilderness! America! America! God mend thine ev’ry flaw, Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law.
Oh, beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife, Who more than self their country loved, And mercy more than life! America! America! May God thy gold refine, Till all success be nobleness, And ev’ry gain divine.
Oh, beautiful for patriot dream That sees beyond the years Thine alabaster cities gleam, Undimmed by human tears! America! America! God shed his grace on thee, And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea.
The time changed last night/this morning and the wind is blowing a blustery gale this evening. So happy I am not a turkey roosting in a tree tonight!
Robert has all of the garden cleanup done from the 2020 Harvest Season! This is a first to be done this early. We are already planning for the 2021 Harvest Season, however! We have placed two seed orders and are working on the third order. We have always planned and prepared in advance–this is one of our secrets to successful CSA Farming!
We are already getting inquires for the 2021 Harvest Season. As I indicated upon the 2020 Season Closing, I will be directly contacting all 202 CSA Members in February for your 2021 Season Commitment.
I read an interesting statistic today. Before March 2020 nearly 90% of grocery shoppers reported dinning out sometimes; however, a recent survey indicates only 45% of shoppers reported utilizing restaurant delivery while 35% reported cooking at home six to seven days a week! Of course, I am sorry for the pandemic distress caused for all of those in the food service industry. Our country, indeed the world, is facing a terrible economic situation due to the mandated “lockdowns.” However, if anything good is to come from this terrible situation, perhaps the change in eating habits from restaurants to cooking at home will help to improve the health of families.
Our final CSA Boxes of the 2020 Harvest Season will be delivered the last week of October. This is an early shut down of our CSA in comparison to years past. However, Robert and I feel we had a very successful CSA Season–despite the fact our gardens received (up to the first of October) an amount of rain which would come up to our chins if delivered all at once!
One of the advantages of a forced early closing to your farmers is that Robert has been able to clean the gardens up MUCH earlier. There have been years when this work was completed in December or January! October is a much nicer month for this difficult and dirty job.
It is interesting to see reaction of the area wildlife to the changed look of the fields. Shock might be a good word used to describe the feelings of “nakedness” and “exposure” they now experience when in the garden area. Fortunately, we still have tree lines for them. Here is a photo of Mom and The Twins–who are now old enough to sometimes play alone in the fields. This Helicopter Mother is always nearby with watchful eyes, however!
These last boxes will contain spaghetti squash plus either delicata or carnival winter squash and sweet potatoes. There will be the last of the (small) eggplant and bell peppers. And perhaps a few red or russet potatoes in some of the boxes. These potatoes were not an abundant crop for us this season.
We do recognize an increased consumer demand for CSA Farm Shares and local food. I will be contacting all 2020 CSA Members in February for a 2021 Season Commitment. We are also now accepting new CSA Members for the 2021 Season!
As Fall moves toward Winter . . . Stay Warm, Stay Safe, and Eat Well. And thank you to all for your participation in our 2020 CSA Harvest Season!
By now every CSA Member should have received an email from me indicating their individual dates of final veggies pickups or deliveries. Please read your email carefully. We are NOT retiring from farming as one CSA Member thought and related to me!! We are simply closing the CSA for the 2020 Harvest Season due to the recent rainfalls and summer heat affecting our 2020 crop production.
In the box you will find sweet potatoes and a spaghetti squash–either large or small, individual-sized squashes. Additionally, either Jester, Delicata, Carnival, Acorn, or Butternut depending on the day. Also, eggplant and bell peppers as our meager gardens allow at this late date. There may be a few white or russett potatoes and onions, but these are getting in short supply.
Keep and eye on your winter squash. I would not expect them to last for twelve months as they have in some years! Yes! I still have a couple of spaghetti squash left over from 2019 . . . WOW! And as tasty as ever!
This time of the year there are sacrifices to be made in name of the fall winter squash harvest. IE: Our garage becomes our warehouse holding both large and individual-sized spaghetti squash, acorn squash, jester, carnival and butternut winter squash! Look for tips and recipes under “W” for “Winter Squash.” You might want to check out last week’s Blog, too.
In case you are unaware, eggplant do not like cool temperatures and peppers do not like rain! For this reason we are beginning an orderly shut down of the 2020 CSA. It takes two weeks to get the CSA Farm Shares up and running in the spring and it will take over two weeks to close the operation down now. Do not fear! Each CSA Member will hear from me via email in due time for notification of your last veggie box(es). So keep an eye on your email please! And yes, I have been known to send them out at 2 a.m. Such is the life of a busy CSA Farmer.
Robert has been attempting to clean up the gardens. This first entails removing the drip tape and related piping, the fabric and the staples which hold the fabric in place. Then he can go in with the tractor and mow the area as a part of the fall clean up. The biggest problem today was his getting the truck unstuck. We worked together and were able to back it out of a very wet area with the tractor and a chain. Probably should have known better than to be there in the first place! It appears a trip to the car wash is next on my To Do List.
This last bout of rain brought us 3 inches here on our farm. I know it could have been much worse. Remember 2004 and Hurricanes Fran and Ivan?! They make Sally small; however, 2004 is the only other year we felt the need to start closing the CSA veggie deliveries this early in the season!
In the CSA Boxes this week look for spaghetti squash–either individual-sized the larger family-sized. There will also be either an acorn, jester, or carnival winter squash this week. We have potatoes. We trust there will be some eggplant and sweet, colorful bell peppers. The beans and okra keep slightly producing–but if there are more, consider it a surprise!
We are in Hurricane Mode here on the farm. We do not know if we will get excessive rains, but we are trying to get all of the crops under cover just in case Sally swings more to the east instead of the west after making landfall.
Spaghetti squash are in your CSA Box this week. Spaghetti squash are in the winter squash family. You will find recipes and how to cut this vegetable in the Recipes under “W” for “Winter Squash.” Winter squash have hard outer shells. Sometimes winter squash will last for months. I actually have three spaghetti squash from the 2019 Harvest Season! However, I do not thing the 2020 crop will last as long. Why? It has to do with the weather and how well the crop was hardened before harvest. As I have said before, 2020 has not been and ideal harvest season–if ever there is one, I might add! A few spots on the hard shell will not matter, you just do not want to wait so long to bake the spaghetti squash that the dark spots on the shell get soft.
We have another name for spaghetti squash. We call them Hurricane Squash! There was a year (2004) when the City of Asheville and much of Buncombe County had a power outage due to two passing hurricanes (Fran and Ivan). The Health Department closed all of the restaurants and so our outstanding produce orders were canceled. However, we harvested and delivered our CSA Boxes the same as always. It did not matter if our CSA Members did not have power when it came to eating the spaghetti squash. They could be cooked on a grill, the pulp raked, and eaten right out of the shell . . . no stove or oven or dishes or dish washing was required! Hence, the name Hurricane Squash! This was also the year we decided to go to TOTAL CSA FARM SHARE direct marketing for our family farm!
If you bake the spaghetti squash with the shell side up and the pulp side down, there will be no need to cover the squash while baking in the oven. The shell may brown slightly, but that is okay. Bake until fork tender.
Also in the box look for a Carnival winter squash, an eggplant variety, sweet bell peppers, potatoes and the last of the tomatoes and beans or possibly okra.
Friday evening Robert was in the garden when a big buck went running past him on the right and crashed into the blueberry bushes. Then two mares and a stallion went running past him on the left almost knocking him down. Either the horses were chasing the buck–or else, the buck was running from the horses. Either way, it made for some excitement in the garden. Next their owner and our neighbor came running in with bridles trying to catch his horses.
These are the horses from the field across the road. These horses are in retirement and are dressage “dancing” horses. Perhaps you have seen them performing on television? I understand most of the breeds used for dressage are from Europe. In previous years, our neighbor traveled all over the world with these dancing horses! But now his horses are in “retirement.” The horses do not get out of their assigned fencing often. This is the third time that I can remember in 27 years. I think most of the time, they must be very happy in their own pasture.
In the box this week look for Italian eggplant and Asian eggplant and sweet peppers–bell and perhaps a long shaped pepper. Some of them are starting to turn red, yellow or orange! Also, tomatoes for slicing and small, round bites of goodness in orange and red which we call “The Farmer’s Candy.” Also, potatoes. We are in the process of harvesting the winter squash, but this week we will still have tomatoes which NEED to be enjoyed. If you find more than you can eat, remember they can be roasted and then frozen for later use.