“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” – L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Hello Friends & Farm-ily,

Are you all getting ready for a true change of season?  Cooler nights and shorter days are just the tip of the iceberg…  change is a-comin’!  October on the farm means the growing season starts to “wind down” but hasn’t actually wound down if you know what I mean (especially with all this summer like weather we’ve been having as of late).   Our garlic seed goes in on Friday so it looks like the 2015 year is about to start sooner than we think (always thinking months and months ahead)!

Thanks to that burst of rain last week our grass is turning green again and everything feels a touch more settled.  With proposed rains coming back at the end of the week it will begin to feel more and more like Fall yet and we’re loving every second it.


Lush greens are happy and growing on the farm.  The whole farm took a deep sigh of relief with the rains.. 

And can you believe there are only 7 more weeks left in the CSA season (the last share being a double share of storage goodies the week before Thanksgiving…)  What a season it’s been!  We’re having so much fun growing a bounty of food this season… we’ve got pages of notes and cataloged information in our heads about our favorite varieties (what grew best and what didn’t), row spacing and farm layout, cultivation equipment and bed prep, fertilization and compost, pasture rotations and seed starting… we can’t wait to sit down in December and January and hash out some really groovy stuff that we’ve learned this year.  As any seasoned member will tell you… each year we grow better as farmers (and they do too as members!)   Both farmers and members alike!   We all love our veggies (and all the other goodies we grow too – farm fresh and seasonal beets all the rest)!  It’s such an inspiration to grow, live, and eat better together.


Succulent spinach, The king of the farm and best kitty we know, Sir Gloucester… tilling and prepping beds in the evening sun…

The cooler weather and change of season means a change in the weekly rotation of veggies.  Those hot weather crops get fazed out with the hardier crops of fall – broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, Brussels, cabbage, greens, carrots, beets, winter squash… you name it.  It also means seeing more Fall bugs – like pesky aphids – that thrive in the damp, cooler weather.  We’ve had far less aphids this season than any other (thanks to all the dry weather) but we still expect to see more of them as the Fall season goes on.  We do our best to clean up and pay attention but encourage you not to fear but a mere cluster of aphids (they particularly love the underside of brassicas – kale, collards, broccoli etc)! Once you get the produce home and get ready to clean and store it in all in the fridge, use those opposable thumbs down the length of the stem – with running water from the tap – and that seems to do the trick!  After 21 weeks you got this.. you guys are pros and care about the food that you eat  and the sign of a few little buggers being there is important and shows you  what’s not on it!

flowersbeeswood copy

A few of our hives were robbed over the weekend but things seem to have quieted down since then.  Everyday is a learning experience and although it hurts, if you pay attention to it, you learn from it.  

Dried wedding flowers & an almost finished stack of wood for winter…

Later this month we’ll have our first frost… and just you wait to taste those root crops and hardy greens when it does.  The frost sweetens all those crops in the garden – producing sugar is a plants way of protecting itself from the extreme weather and we get the benefit of extra sweet carrots, kale, broccoli, beets etc.  Embrace the seasons of change in the garden and on your plate and get excited to explore a whole new way of cooking – for Fall!  Bring it on!

The cooler weather also means more opportunities for getting immersed in the kitchen and utilizing all the rich, deep goodness of our root crops, brassicas, and hardy greens  in soups and roasting and baking etc.  It’s such a wonderful time to nestle in and experiment!  The days are getting shorter (that’s for sure!) which means taking more opportunities for creating in the kitchen.  After 20 weeks as a 2014 CSA member you have been through our Spring, Summer and now Fall bounty.  Your confidence and skills in the kitchen are growing and you are feeding yourself and your household unbelievably well.  It’s impressive and inspiring to us, your farmers, as we put many dedicated hours into the dirt and you all put in the dedicated hours at home to create beautiful nourishing meals at your own table.


Turkeys and the almost-full moon, beautiful Chateau Poulet eggs and Mr. Curly awaiting a sweet snack…

So, share your CSA recipe success!… Invites (emails) have been sent out to our members to join the Working Hands Farm CSA Group on Facebook.  A place for Working Hands Farm CSA members to share recipe ideas, kitchen prep successes, food preservation ideas etc! Check your email or visit this link to join the group:  Participation is highly encouraged as we know you all have been whipping up quite the veggie feasts at home!  🙂

6 Things You Learn About Food, After Cooking on a Farm   is a great article that a farmer friend sent me recently.  I haven’t read Rochelle’s book yet – The Call of the Farm: An Unexpected Year of Getting Dirty, Home Cooking, and Finding Myself – but I thought the article might inspire you all on your kitchen journeys.  Start small and use less to make a beautiful home grown meal.  Having fun in the kitchen starts small and you taste the subtleties in the finished produce which reminds me  of my favorite books about cooking – Tamar Adler’s An Everlasting Meal.  It breaks down cooking and preparing foods in the most simple and delicious of ways. Great recipes for using what you have, wherever you are. From how to properly boil foods to ‘suggestions for what to do when cooking seems like a chore, and strategies for preparing, storing, and transforming ingredients for a week’s worth of satisfying, delicious meals.’ Here’s a little video that reminds us of the practical pleasures of eating – of just how washing or soaking the greens, pre-roasting/cooking, & storing veggies can make for many more homemade meals in a busy week, increase the longevity of the produce and make cooking enjoyable (as it should be!)


Curing winter squash, the pasture returns and amazingly rich celery – perfect for soups and roasts!

We look forward to seeing you all soon and hearing all about your latest recipe successes!

Enjoy the week and see you soon!

All the best,

your farmers

Jess & Brian

dirty hands, clean hearts