Heritage Hills Farm

  (Westminster MD, Maryland)
Heritage Hills Farm CSA
[ Member listing ]

What is the difference in a fall share vs a summer CSA share?

More and more farmers are finding ways to extend the "season". This means after a frost some plants that are normally killed by frost are not. How do they do this? They use high tunnels, floating row covers and green houses. These extra "warmers" allow for farmers who live in cooler zones to get an earlier start on growing and allow plants to survive longer.

Unfortunately these “warmers” only work to certain temperatures and not for all crops but there are enough crops that it can work well with that they can do a fall share. Some crops don’t mature till September or later as it is for example: winter squash, sweet potatoes, huckleberries, and pumpkins. Others like Chinese cabbage, Pok Choy , Fava beans and spinach do better when planted in the fall. At Heritage hills farm we find that even our summer squash do better planted in the fall (less bugs to battle).

So why not  invest in a fall share better local than where ever those veggies in the grocery store are coming from!

 

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Our Largest Organ

Many, many of us talk about eating healthy......but how about healthy skin products. Our skin is our largest organ and what we apply to it can go through our whole system. Check out this site to see exactly how healthy your products are. http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/
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This Weather

We are had such a mild winter my Rosemary made it through and that has never happened before. We are having a delightful spring. All my seedlings are up and I have even started to plant the cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower etc. But how about all those tender plants like tomatoes, peppers, eggplants etc.

DO NOT plant them, unless you can afford to lose them. For example this year I decided to start pumpkins and other summer and winter squash inside. They are up and doing great. Within a week I will plant them. I have spread black plastic over the area they will be planted in (this warms the soil), I will cover them with hotkaps (wax paper covers that look like hats). If I do loose them to a cold snap I will not be upset as I can grow these from seeds sown directly in the garden.  My tomatoes, peppers and eggplants I will not plant because I cannot get new plants from direct seeding after the frost date, we just do not have a long enough growing season in this area. So check for the last frost date in your area and please don’t transplant anything you do not want to lose before then!

 

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EGGS WHAT TO DO WITH THEM!

My first try raising chickens ended in..................many, many, tears. I had started with 6 chicks. I raised them by hand. When they were about 5 wks old they stayed in an old truck cap my father had gotten at a 4-H auction for around 15 dollars. That worked great as a shelter until they were about 12 weeks old then they got to tall and we had to move it to often. The thing was really heavy. My husband made this great chicken tractor for them and they loved it. It was also easy to move. Around 20 weeks just like the book said they started laying wonderful Brown eggs. I was so excited

Then we went away for Memorial day. Upon our arrival home I ran to the tractor only to find them all dead............a fox.

Well this March I tried again. Raised them by hand and then used the chicken tractor but kept it closer to where the dogs were. That worked great. My husband (he is so handy and wonderful) built a great chicken house and run. I now have 25 wonderful heriloom chickens and they will be a year old on March 21!

SO what to do with all the eggs. We get over a dozen a day. When our CSA customers start getting thier share they will each get a dozen.

If you have a Kindel down load the free book Many Ways for Cooking Eggs. It is a great book with many versions of egg cooking.

Here is a recipe we are having tonight.

Crab Dip Quich

1 Onion chopped

2/3 pack cream cheese

1/2 lb crab meat Can use canned crab

1/2 cup Milk

Old Bay Seasoning

12 eggs

1 uncooked pie crust.

Spread the pie crust in your pie plate and set aside.

Saute onion till translusent, add 1 tablespoon ( more or less to your taste) to the onions, then melt the cream cheese in the skillet, add milk till the mixture looks like a smooth dip, remove from heat and mix in crab. In another bowel beat eggs to well mixed and then combine with  crab mixture and pour into pie shell. Bake at 375 till brown about 35 mins.

Enjoy.

 

When buying eggs the best are those pastured. Mother Earth News has a great article on why pastured ( able to roam and be grassed feed) are a better egg.

 

Well enjoy those eggs. And remeber we only have one CSA share left!

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I want to Grow My Own

Maybe instead of a CSA you want to grow your own garden. If you live in an area like I do you can easily find the basic seeds, cabbage, corn, beans, lettuce, eggplant etc but how about things like celeriac, Jicama, Cardoons, heirloom tomatoes etc. To get these things you really have to grow your own and usually buy the seeds on the web. I use organic seeds so some sites I buy from are.

www.jonnyseeds.com , www.seedsofchange.com , www.seedsavers.org , www.tomatofest.com

Most of the seeds will say when to plant for example some of my tomato seeds say "start 6 weeks before last frost".  This means you will have to know when the last frost date is. To find this just search for USDA hardness zones and find where you live on the map and your "zone" or you can shearch by last frost date for _____ (your state, county etc). Once you know this date you will know when to start your seedlings.

I have found you really only need a few supplies. I mix a big bucket of 75% coconut coir hydrated in warm water ( I buy this on the web) 20% potting soil and 5% worm castings. I have my own red worms that make this for me.  After punching holes in the bottom with a sharp knife, I fill left over yogurt containers 2/3 full of the mixture, (I have the name of what I am planting written on the container before I fill it). I put two seeds of what I want to plant in each container and put the lid back on to keep in the moisture. The lid is only to stay on till the seeds sprout , then remove the lids. I place the containers on a plastic tray that sits on top of an old electric blanket that has plastic on top. I find this was a lot cheaper then buying the comercial heating pads for plants. You must make sure you keep the blanket dry and check it often for wiring problems etc. Once the seedilings have started to sprout they go under the grow lights to keep them from becoming leggy.  Once sprouted DO NOT over water. it is better they are a little on the dry side then  wet.

Before planting you will then have to harden them off. About a week before you plan on putting them in their perment home. Set the containers in a sheltered, shady spot outdoors. For example under a leafy tree or on a porch. Each day expose the plants to a little more sun, by the end of the week they should be able to safely be planted in your garden.

Enjoy those fresh veggies!

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Why Our CSA

Our CSA has gotten rave reviews from former members and we only do 4 shares a season! Our CSA shareholders can develop a relationship with our land and the farmers who raise their food.  You can be assured your food dollars are sure to stay within the local economy.  You will be able to feel good about helping a small farm sustain itself and feeding your family truly fresh and a wide selection of vegetables. We also lable each vegetable so you know what you gotten.

Who should join a CSA? 

The produce provided will be seasonal and varied,  including vegetables that you may have never tried before.  Members should thrive on variety and take inspiration from the beauty and freshness of the selection in their share each week.  At Heritage Hills Farm love to eat and cook and will give you ideas for using the veggies.  If you don't think you can use a whole share or if you are a family of picky eaters, probably shopping at the local farmer's market is a better choice for you.  However, many skeptical CSA members have found themselves and especially their kids turned onto new vegetables or even just fresh versions of the familiar grocery store versions. At  Heritage Hills Farm  CSA we are hoping to match your expectations with the experience to develop a small band of happy customers. So if this sounds like a plan for you please contact us!

 
 

Who Wants to Garden

Ten Tips:

 

*Join the Grow It Eat It network of  Maryland area gardeners. Go to

www.growit.umd.edu to put your garden on the map!

 

*Visit web sites about gardening they have loads of great information for new gardeners

 

*Weeds will start to grow rapidly, so be sure to spread a mulch around your plants or slice through weeds with a hoe.

 

*Don't have a fence up yet? It's time to protect your crops from hungry rabbits, groundhogs, and deer.

 

*Don't have a lot of space? Build a Salad Table: View the video from the Martha Stewart Show.

 

*Maryland Master Gardeners answer plant and pest questions throughout the growing season at plant clinics. You can visit them at the Farmers Market at the Ag Center in Westminster on Sat mornings.

 

*Harvest beans, cucumbers, squash, and peppers regularly to stimulate more flowering and fruiting.

 

*Support your tomato plants with a cage or stake to keep them from flopping over and breaking during thunderstorms.

 

* Fall is a great time to plant a second crop of Lettuce, Spinach, Radish, Beets, Fava Beans and other crops that like the cooler temps.

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Giving Thanks

I want to thank all the members of the Heritage Hills Farm CSA for 2008. It was a pleasure working with all of you this year. I look forward to the 2009 season.

We will be adding a few new items for 2009 to help make our customers experience even more pleasurable.

Thanks also to Local Harvest.  Without this site we may have never gotten our CSA off the ground.

Thankfully

Pat

 

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Help

Welcome to Heritage Hill Farm.

 

We are more than willing to answer any questions you may have. It maybe questions about growing your own garden, CSA or something unrelated. We would love to hear from you.

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