Issue #17 September 28, 2016
Oregano Thyme Sage
Chives Mints Sorrel
Summer Savory Marjoram
Zataar Oregano Parsley
Basil Cilantro Borage
Shiso Hot Peppers Cherry
Tomatoes Tomatillos Husk
Cherries Red Noodle Beans
Cleome Tithonia Statice
Thanks to everyone who helped with the pumpkin and squash harvest last week! The pumpkins and squash are now in our greenhouse, where they will finish ripening and “curing”. Curing means that the squash stem dries out, which seals off the insides.
We have three kinds of pumpkins this year. The large pumpkins are for carving, so if you want to make a jack o’ lantern, those are your pumpkin. Their flesh tends to be watery and insipid in flavor. The small, round pumpkins are pie pumpkins. They tend to have drier, less stringy flesh with more flavor. Something new this year is the Long Pie pumpkin. It looks like a stretched out pumpkin, and it’s great for cooking and keeps well.
What if your pumpkin is still a little green? No problem, it will probably ripen in a few weeks in storage. Just keep it somewhere cool and dry, about 55 degrees is perfect. If you’re thinking of using your pumpkin for thanksgiving, I recommend cooking and freezing it, since it might not keep for two months.
A touch of frost
There was a little bit of frost Monday morning! We usually get frost first in the picking garden, which is in a frost pocket. The rest of the farm was unaffected. It looks like we won’t have another frost for at least a week or two.
Final chicken day
Our last group of chickens will be processed for pick up on Wednesday, October 12th. Don’t forget to pick up your chickens!
How to cook a pumpkin
There’s nothing difficult here, but if you want to make pumpkin pie later, it’s a sure way to preserve your pumpkin.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut your pie pumpkin in half, scrape out seeds and place on a
baking sheet, cut side down. You might need to remove the stem. Bake for about 1 hour, or until the pumpkin slumps. If it looks like it's too dry, add a little water to the pan.
Once it’s cooked, take it out of the oven and let it cool in the pan. Often if juices have seeped
out, they will be reabsorbed once it’s cool. Once it’s cool, scoop out the flesh. For perfectly smooth pumpkin, run it through a ricer or food mill. Freeze if not using in a few days.
We are looking for help with garlic planting in October. Date and time TBA, we will probably
post it next week.
Pumpkin butter with fresh ginger
8-10 lbs pumpkin or winter squash, 14-16 cups cooked
4-5 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 cup honey
4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp lemon juice or cider vinegar
2-3 cups brown sugar
Refer to directions above to cook the pumpkin. Mix the soft pumpkin, ginger, honey, spices, salt and lemon juice. Add the brown sugar a cup at a time until you like the sweetness. Puree the pumpkin in batches, getting it as smooth as you can.
Pour the puree into several baking dishes and bake at 325 for an hour. Stir it every 20 minutes. Let it bake until it’s the consistency you like. This can be canned in a boiling water bath as for any other sweet preserve. It can be frozen up to 6 months, or refrigerated up to two weeks. If canning, you’ll need about 12 half pint jars.
recipe from The Vegetarian Epicure
The summer ends, and it is time
To face another way. Our theme
Reversed, we harvest the last row
To store against the cold, undo
The garden that will be undone.
We grieve under the weakened sun
To see all earth's green fountains dried,
And fallen all the works of light.
You do not speak, and I regret
This downfall of the good we sought
As though the fault were mine. I bring
The plow to turn the shattering
Leaves and bent stems into the dark,
From which they may return. At work,
I see you leaving our bright land,
The last cut flowers in your hand.
The Summer Ends, by Wendell Berry