The Local Harvest

THE LOCAL HARVEST   The Newsletter of Honey Brook Organic Farm CSA, November 15, 2017

WEATHER WHIPLASH! by Sherry Dudas  

We’ve been suffering from weather whiplash at the farms this November, making it hard to know how to dress in the morning -  shorts, T-shirts, winter hat & gloves?  On the 1st, temperatures were three degrees below normal, then followed by a day where the temperature was seventeen degrees above normal!  This past weekend, the thermometer dipped as low as 17 degrees at the Chesterfield farm, worrying the farmers about crop damage. They spent many hours covering the crops with row covers in order tosave them from certain freeze damage. The only complete losses, however, were to our remaining peppers and tomatoes, but we set a record for lateness for those crops this year having harvested them up until November 10th!  Other crops have sustained some damage, but most are still edible since they were protected under covers.

This and last week has also had the farmers racing to put the farms to bed for the winter.  Plastic mulch has to be lifted and tomato and pepper stakes are being removed and stored. Our mechanic is finishing up the last of our repairs before going home to El Paso later in the month. We also hosted our annual sauerkraut demonstration as well as a community event this past Saturday, so lots of cleaning, set-up and breakdown was taking place for that as well.  

Farmer Jim has still not made a decision as to whether we will be offering a Pig-Out event at the end of this season.  If we do offer a Pig-Out, it will not take place until sometime after Thanksgiving and will be held at our Chesterfield farm.  We will send an email with details once he makes a decision. We will also send an email as soon as the 2018 membership applications become available.


We’re also finishing the drying, threshing and winnowing of our heirloom dried beans this week, and have begun distributing them to our membership.  Farmer Jim planted six varieties this year:  

Hutterite Soup Bean

These heirloom beans come from the Hutterites of North Dakota. Hutterites are a communal branch of Anabaptists who follow the teachings of Jakob Hutter. Seed Savers Exchange member Dorothy Beiswenger obtained these seeds from a community in Forest River.  These beans cook quickly (20 minutes or less after soaking), saving time and energy. Ivory in color, they are known for their delicate, buttery flavor & make delicious, creamy soups and chowders.  

Arikara Bean

Seeds were originally obtained from the Arikara tribe of North Dakota and introduced in Oscar Will’s Pioneer Indian Collection of seeds (1914). Yellow-tan seeds with red-brown eye rings. Excellent for use as a baking bean.  

Calypso Bean (aka Yin Yang, Cowboy, Orca)

Originally from the Caribbean. One of the best for baking and soups. Round black and white seeds with contrasting "eye".  

Ireland Creek Annie 

Beige in color, this is an English bean grown since the 1930s on Ireland Creek Farm in British Columbia. Superb flavor, makes its own thick sauce when stewed.  

Lina Sisco's Bird Egg

Family heirloom brought to Missouri by covered wagon in the 1880s by Lina’s grandmother. Lina Sisco was one of the six original members of Seed Savers Exchange, which was founded in1975. Large tan bean with maroon markings.  

Tiger’s Eye

Originally from Chile or Argentina. Orange with dark maroon swirling stripes. Wonderfully rich flavor and smooth texture. Very tender skins almost disappear when cooked. Great for soup, chili or refried beans. Excellent for bean burgers! 

Next year, we are planning to purchase a mechanical bean harvester, to lighten the harvest burden on our workers and improve efficiency.  We hope you enjoy this new offering from the farm this season!

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