Siena Farms Blog
Fall is truly the best month for eating in New England! Frost warnings late last week gave us a scare as we begin to think about losing our beloved summer crops. Eggplant in particular has been yielding tremendously this season and continues as we move toward cold weather. A true frost will destroy the fruit off temperature sensitive summer crops. We’ll circle the wagons, leading an all-hands harvest the day and night before a true frost picking every last summer crop and storing it in our walk-in. Last season even Ana and Siena came out to the pepper patch late into the night to help pull in the final harvest as we literally could see the frost forming. The frost is glorious because of this tradition, but also because it symbolically punctuates summer. Summer flavors have already begun to change and the presence of winter squash and parsnips are a welcome distraction. In many ways fall has already begun, but the sugar doesn’t creep into our favorite fall crops until the first frost. The frost-induced sugar is an attribute unique to New England. Like citrus in the south, our fall root and brassica crops are only this sweet here in New England. We are ready for fall!
As much as we look forward to corn and tomatoes season, we get excited when we turn around and, *poof*, it’s fall! This mid-September time of year is just the best because we’ve still got tomatoes, but we also have great hard squash to enjoy. How about making a nice soup from our Honey Bear Acorn Squash? What about some nice pumpkin tarts or pie with our New England Sugar Pumpkins?
Have you ever heard of a Long Island Cheese Pumpkin? It’s the variety of choice at Sofra and Oleana because of it’s meaty, dense texture and full flavor. Maura Kilpatrick, head baker and co-owner of Sofra, uses the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin for her signature Pumpkin Jam! Try it cubed and roasted in a hash with cumin, golden raisins, and onions… and serve it with your favorite grilled fish, pork, or even a seared duck breast. Yum! Yum! Yum! Can you taste the fall?
Hurricane Irene brought August to a busy close as we enter the second, and most glorious half of the growing season. As the farm crew transitions from our summer to fall staff we’ve had to stay on our toes as a team to keep ahead of the harvest. With an monumental winter squash harvest under our belts, we feel poised to begin our fall mode. September’s sunny days and chillier night air perfectly facilitates the switch. Farmers and foodies alike revel in the bounty that September has to offer. Tomatoes, eggplant and peppers are still going strong as leeks, winter squash and carrots begin to yield nicely. For those of you that love the flavors of the summer months, now is the time to start preserving your favorite veggies. The market is a wonderful sight this time of year, so take advantage of a sunny day and stock-up on the best the season has to offer!