CSA (10/15/2015): Blue hubbard time
We’re in full on put-the-farm-to-sleep mode these days. Besides our regular CSA harvests on Wednesdays and market harvests on Fridays (two more to go!), nearly all our time is now spent getting the fields ready for winter. Mostly that involves racing to pull the last of our spent summer crops from the field and seeding a lush coat of winter rye to hold the soil until the spring and mop up available nutrients.
This week we managed to turn over nearly all of our solanums to cover crop. Pulling tomatoes is the biggest job. All the twine and stakes that hold up the crop are yanked out by hand and then the plants themselves are removed from the field to reduce the chances that fungal disease will overwinter and spoil next season’s crop. Then we pull the plastic mulch and irrigation lines. Finally, we turn the soil and broadcast the rye.
It’s not nearly as fun as springtime when we built those beds and pounded the stakes and set out the tomatoes full of anticipation for the sweet taste of summer. But it does mean we’re a little closer to our much-anticipated winter slumber.
We’re nearly at the point where it’s too late to seed rye before the real cold hits, so we’re in a bit of a race against nature. We’ve had a few such races over the course of the season but this one, mercifully, is the last. And we’ve got the dramatic backdrop of fall foliage to urge us along.
This week we’ve got a big squash in the box — blue hubbard. The hubbard is a class of winter squash that have been grown for a very long time. The blue hubbard’s skin is quite tough, which is why some folks put it in a bag and smash it on the ground the break it up. The flip side of that tough skin is that the squash keeps for a long time, so if you’re not feeling like a project right about now, set it aside till it calls out to you.
Once you’ve got it cut up, you can handle the squash like any other. Cut up bite size chunks and roast them with some oil, salt, brown sugar and pepper. Blue hubbards are also great for baking and soups. There are a bunch of great recipes online — see here, here and here — and don’t forget to send us pics of your creation. Enjoy!