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November 21, 2015
Sweet Potato Pie
By Charis Lindrooth
  1. The stars twinkled brightly against the pitch black sky as the Farmer warmed up the engine of the box truck this morning. His daughter, wrapped in a fuzzy blanket and equipped with a suitcase full of stuffed animals, sat in the passenger’s seat, eyes wide with anticipation.
With a groan and a squeak, laden with the bounty of the fields, the truck slowly rolled out the drive and down the road. Shivering in my pink bathrobe, I stood for a moment and looked at the sky. Stars have an amazing capacity for putting perspective on things. One glance at a zillion of them and I can’t help but feel much less important than my swirling thoughts suggest. A myriad of stars helps one escape a myriad of busy thoughts. A deep breath of crisp, frosty air, and, for a moment I feel absolute peace and thankfulness.
In many ways our markets this weekend trump all others. For us, this is the quintessential moment of bounty. A hardworking Farmer and crew harvests, washes and packs vegetables for almost twelve hours the day before. Today, West Chester Grower’s market will be humming with dedicated local foodies. They will be hunting for premium goods to grace their Thanksgiving tables. Local wine, mushrooms, Artisan cheese, sauces, dips, pies and of course vegetables. Brussels sprouts, parsnips, salad greens and broccoli will be top sellers for us. Oh, and let’s not forget those sweet potatoes for the local version of Walmart’s sweet potato pie (see recipe below).
CSA members are “shopping” too this weekend. Ordering from our online “market” for the very last time this year. Every year we host a Thanksgiving meal at home, the perfect opportunity to celebrate with gratefulness another successful growing season. This year the table will be smaller than usual, just immediate family. We will, however, think of all of you, and feel the connection with the many families eating our vegetables simultaneously. Nourishing us all for another long winter. Connecting us all with the good, brown earth it came from. May the bounty of the season be reflected in your full and happy bellies! Thank you all for another wonderful season!
Here's the link for Patty La-Belle's now famous Sweet Potato Pie. While I have never made this version, I LOVE sweet potato pie, even more than pumpkin. http://www.today.com/recipes/make-patti-labelles-s...
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November 8, 2015
November Beauty
A Note from the Farmer's Wife
Our November CSA has leapt out of the gates with gusto. Beautiful, sweet greens, carrots and broccoli, luminescent with the magic combination of chilly nights and warm sunny days, fill our boxes. With fewer boxes to fill and a lack of weeding and irrigation demands, our thoughts start to quiet. With a big heaping sigh, we breathe out gratefulness. A perfect sentiment for this time of year. The bounty of the growing season and the enthusiasm with which our customers consume that bounty fills us with satisfaction. Plans for next year percolate as we begin the wind down of the busy season.
My favorite autumn task involves digging in the dirt. First, dahlias and tender flower bulbs must be dug and stored for the winter. If any of you purchased and planted dahlia tubers, now is the time to carefully lift them from the soil. A digging fork works well. If your plants were large expect a massive clump of about 15 new tubers. Once out of the ground snip the plant growth, leaving an inch of stalk and wash the tubers clean. Store in well aired box at 50 degrees for the winter. Even if you don’t want to go to the trouble of storing these (we will be happy to sell you more at the spring plant sale), its still fun to dig them up and check out the beauty of the world beneath the ground. (Lots more info about dahlias here).
On the other hand, now is the time to plant tulips, daffodils and other spring beauties. Look for bulbs that are a good size and looks fresh enough to eat (but don’t eat them!). A lot of grungy leftovers can be purchased at certain box stores, so beware. To plant, simply dig a hole 4-5 inches deep with a trowel, add a pinch of bone meal, or fancy bulb food, place the bulb right side up in the hole and cover with earth. The happiness that blooms in the spring will be worth the effort.
If you are feeling a little blue, or detached from nature, you might be surprised how much dirt can cheer you up. Kids cranky? Take a spade, hit the yard (not the kid) and dig for worms together. Pick through the earth to find them with bare hands - no gardening gloves! And then resist the urge to wash your hands right away. Modern science backs up what I am saying here - everyone will feel a lot better before you know it!
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