Pork and pickles
Things are really cranking around here, on the farm and in the kitchen. The fall cabbages and winter squash look amazing. Maybe a little too amazing. Walking down the row of Late Flat Dutch cabbages is both thrilling and terrifying, with many of the 150 plants carrying 8-lb heads the diameter of dinner plates. The Korean cabbages are equally intimidating - I picked 85 lbs for kimchi this week and barely made a dent. The 10 lbs of Chinese radishes I picked for the same was farcical. The Long Island Cheese pumpkins are almost universally massive, and the late warm weather is letting the late-planted crop develop fully. I'm beginning to eye every empty corner of the house as a potential pumpkin depot. The tomato plants are still thriving and continuing to ripen their fruit. Same with the peppers, both sweet and hot. The smoker has been going non-stop for the last couple of weeks, drying load after load of tomatoes and sweet peppers, soon to be loaded up with chilis. The unicorn that came to me in a dream and whispered "Make your own smoked paprika, and you will have the most magical Spanish-style chorizo...." is seeing her prophecy fulfilled. And then there's the onions. And the Gilfeathers (<- definitely worth a read). And the potatoes. And the carrots. And the beets. Such bounty! Such good fortune brought forth from the soil! Such a panicked look on Dave's face! Dave has been working like a beaver at Niagara Falls to make good use of it all, and our first ferments are all jarred up and ready to go. Look for Dill Pickles, Chipotle Kraut, and traditional Kimchi at the markets, with lots more to come throughout the fall and winter.
Though we've had a bit of a gap in production in the meat department, things are also going well on that side of things. The cows are just about finished grazing the 4 acres of Japanese millet and forage soybeans planted in June into last years pig pasture, and we've got enough amazing clover and grass pasture to get us at least to the beginning of November. No more beef to harvest this year, but the three Beltie steers are packing on the pounds and should be looking good late next spring. The 75 grower pigs are doing their thing (growing!) and doing a fine job at rooting up the ratty weedy old pasture so we can pull the stones out and plant soil-building cover crops. We do have quite a bit of pork coming back from the butcher this week, which means we can start the process of restocking our sausage inventory. Dave made Maple Breakfast and Sweet Italian this week and Moroccan Quince, Bratwurst, Hot Italian, and Thai (!!) are scheduled for this coming week. As for salami, we've got two big batches of Sweet Soppressata and Finocchiona that just finished - look for them at the markets this weekend. We're still not totally flush with meat to process, but things will look better later this fall and into the winter - starting late November, we have pigs to slaughter almost every week right through the beginning of March.
In other news... the future is now. In addition to AI (which is currently doing the bidding of autocrats and naive tech billionaires and not-so-naive tech billionaires but will almost inevitably be working for itself sooner than we expect) taking over our politics and shaping our social interactions and cultural identities, you can now order your SCF CSA share online! With a credit card! Ah, technology. Pros and cons, folks, pros and cons. You still have a couple of days to order shares at a discount to pick up this winter, so go ahead and do it now!