Steve and I took a little after dinner walk around a corner of our property that I rarely visit. It's the northeast corner on the other side of a drainage swale from our house. We planted several different types of trees in this area about 7 or 8 years ago and it was fun to see how they're doing. Steve does occasional mowing around many areas around the property that we don't want to have going into forest, but this spot has had a little less attention for the past couple of years, resulting in a good amount of brambles and multiflora rose bushes. Despite this, we have some really nice paw paw trees coming along and looking big enough to start producing fruit as soon as next year. There's also a 20 ft tall, very healthy sweet gum tree. We'll make it a part of our winter work to give that area some attention and clear away more of the brambles so it's a nice spot to visit on a walk around the farm. We have paw paws planted in another spot on the hillside that are a couple years older than the weedy section and these are now on their second year of fruit production. So far, we are only getting enough fruit for ourselves and to share a little with others, but hopefully someday we'll have enough to include some in shares or at least have it available to add! We are hoping to plant a few more orchard trees next spring - probably some plums and asian pears for their productivity and storage potential. We do have some other fun small fruits in the works, (serviceberries and high bush cranberries) too. We've decided we probably won't do any of these fruits at a larger scale, but it's fun to experiment with them and then if we happen to get good production out of some of them we may have some fun things to offer CSA members!
Several new items are appearing in shares this week: napa cabbage, butternut squash and the return of spicy salad mix. The butternuts will store for several months if you don't want to cook it up right away, but they have been cured and would be fine to cook this week if you'd like. I thought this gratin recipe looked delicious and you could use your napa cabbage all of the greens called for here:
I really love napa cabbage. You can use it in place of regular cabbage in many recipes and it's especially good in vinegary coleslaw or salad recipes since it has a softer texture that regular cabbage. It's also a great soup vegetable and since you have some poblano peppers this week I thought the cabbage pozole soup sounded like a great way to use these veggies together:
The spicy salad mix is beautiful this week and would be lovely in a salad with some of your tomatoes. Remembers these baby mustard greens can also be cooked if you prefer them that way - maybe in a fritatta with some tomatoes too? This will be the last big week of tomato production, although we should continue to have some to harvest for another month :)