Notes from the Farm
It’s early Monday morning as I write this and the ground is covered in white frost. The clear skies and that incredible eclipsed moon last night allowed the cool air to descend. I expect to see brownish-black frost deadened leaves later today, maybe some squishy tomatoes and peppers. Autumn is all about letting go; a few tears about not harvesting the last of the tomatillos, or every single pepper, but then how much salsa can one eat? From Stanley Kunitz’s The Wild Braid “Life on this planet would be impossible if there were not limits to the span of existence for all living creatures.”
Speaking of endings, this is the last week of CSA. Some of the squash, garlic and onions should last you a while. We hope you have enjoyed the produce!
This Week’s CSA
Spanish Roja Garlic: You’ve gotten this in your box before, but this week you will have two types of garlic. Spanish Roja has a slight purplish tinge to the wrapper leaves and a hard stem (it’s one of many hardneck varieties) It’s most endearing quality, besides the flavor, is the easy peel factor. The skin around each clove is thick and a cinch to remove. Leon actually got to cleaning this garlic, so it will be the manicured garlic in your box. You better thank him, cleaning garlic takes FOREVER.
Inchelium Garlic: This garlic usually gets bigger than Spanish Roja, making it fit in well with American standards: big truck, big house, big hair and big garlic. Did I actually write that?
Specialty Produce has this bit of information: lnchelium garlic produces a large bulb which contains anywhere from 12 to 20 plump cloves. The outer bulb wrappers are several layers thick which protect the bulb, enhancing its storage quality. The easy-to-peel wrappers envelop individual cloves which are also protected by a thin layer. Regarding flavor, Inchelium garlic is considered the benchmark variety. The cloves have a mild and savory aroma and their flavor is neither mellow nor too pungent and provides a rather rich and robust taste with a medium level of spiciness, even when eaten raw. Cooking the garlic simply brings out more of the garlic’s depth. Inchelium garlic can grow to almost three inches wide and weigh several ounces when mature. As a result of their hefty size, it takes the bulbs longer to cure.
And…Inchelium garlic received its given name based on its origins of discovery. Its historical relevance is profound, it has been identified as the oldest strain of garlic grown in North America, having been grown far before the arrival of English settlers. It was found originally on the Colville Indian Reservation in Inchelium, Washington. Today Inchelium garlic can be found sold under its true name (not simply, garlic) throughout the Pacific West and Northwest United States.
I don’t agree with Specialty Produce about Inchelium being easy to peel. The thin layer of skin seems to really like being attached to the clove and puts up a good fight as one tries to remove it. This is an exercise in patience, but usually worth the effort as it is a great tasting garlic.
Mooregold Winter Squash: Another pretty orange skinned and fleshed winter squash. This one is a bit drier and less sweet than the Sunshine in your CSA box last week. This is the first year we have grown Mooregold, so if you like it let us know.
Other Veggies in the Box: radishes, salad mix with a few spicy mustards to give it zip, baby pam pie pumpkin, carnival winter squash, purple carrots, tomatoes, parsley, walla onions (the last of them, best stored in the fridge at this point), a few poblano and jalapeno peppers, surprise brassica.
Thanks for supporting a local farm! We appreciate you.