Abbe Hills Farm CSA

  (Mt. Vernon, Iowa)
[ Member listing ]

Sat, Dec 1 market in MV

Greetings shareholders and friends of Abbe Hills Farm,
 
The market this Saturday, December 1, is at the Mt. Vernon Community Center, east end of downtown, from 11:00 until 1:00.  I'll be bringing eggs, carrots, eggs, turnips, eggs, kale, eggs, brussels sprouts, eggs, regular and napa cabbage, eggs, garlic, eggs, squash, and eggs.  Charlotte will be there with bread, too.
 
The napa cabbage is as nice as it can be.  Here is a recipe people have enjoyed, and another one that looks good.  You can chop it up for salad, or saute it, or roast it, all equally delicious.  It's the cabbage you use when you make the salad with the ramen noodles.  We've got lots.
 
Still needing egg cartons.
 
A good thing happened this week.  I have been accumulating the black plastic drip tape that we used to irrigate this summer because it just hurts me to take it to the landfill, so I was putting it off.  Luckily, I called City Carton to see if they would take it for recycling, and they did!!!   YIPPEE!!  I took a huge pickup load in to them and they were happy to receive it.  Makes the irrigating a little less unpleasant for me.
 
Next week's market will be in Springville, 9:00 until 11:00 (earlier than MV).  I image we'll have eggs and bread, produce that is still nice.
 
See you tomorrow,
Laura 
 
 

Thanksgiving food this week

Greetings shareholders and friends of Abbe Hills Farm,
 
Market this Saturday is in Mt. Vernon, 11:00 until 1:00, in the Community Center at the east end of downtown.  I'll be bringing Thanksgiving food:  eggs, small red potatoes for roasting or mashing, winter squash, lots of gorgeous brussels sprouts, garlic, carrots, turnips, beets, napa (Chinese) cabbage, regular cabbage, and kale.  I'll also have vegetable roasting kits and and a new thing - stew kits - with everything you need to make leftover turkey stew in one bag.  If we have time, we'll also pick some spinach on Friday afternoon, but there won't be much.  (I realize I have just now set up the conditions for a food riot at the door of the gym at 11:00, but I don't know any other way to tell it.)  Charlotte will be with me with lots of bread.
 
For those of you who ordered turkeys and plan to pick them up here at the farm, we will be open from 5:00 until 6:15 Tuesday evening.  I'll also have more vegetables and eggs available for anybody who wants to stop by for last minute shopping.   And Charlotte will have bread here for people who have pre-ordered.  It will be dark, so bring a flashlight and park close to the shed so it's easier to get in and out.  (Parking rules were suspended back in October - yeah!  I no longer have to play bad cop.)
 
I can use egg cartons any time you want to drop them off, or bring them to market on Saturday. 
 
We had a somewhat disappointing market in MV two weeks ago, and we think we know why.  New Bo.  It seems like some of you might have been seduced by the big promises and bright lights of the city.  Well, you've had your fling; time to come back home.  We've got everything you need for Thanksgiving at the Mt. Vernon market - bread, veggies, eggs, bakery, mushrooms, meat, jelly, donuts, honey, wine, candy, nuts, pasta, and probably more things that I'm forgetting.  Plus all the crafts and gifts.  And everything at our market was really created by the person standing there.  And parking is easier.  And you don't have to fight a crowd.  And all your friends will be there.  And there are snacks.  What more do you need?  COME BACK!!!  PLEASE!!!
 
We'll take a week off for the holiday, so the next market will be Saturday, Dec 1, in Mt Vernon again.  I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.  See you Saturday.
 
Laura
 
 

Market at Springville this week. Lots of fall vegetables

Greetings shareholders and friends of Abbe Hills,
 
Market this week is in Springville, 9:00 until 11:00 (note that this time is 2 HOURS EARLIER than the start of the Mt. Vernon market), at the Community Center right downtown.  I'll be bringing eggs, brussels, cabbage, kale, turnips, kohlrabi, beets, carrots, garlic, and squash.  I'll also have a new product, roasting vegetable kits - dump the whole thing in a pan with a little oil, roast it for 30 minutes, and serve just the right amount of beautiful fall root vegetables without having to buy a whole bag of each.  Charlotte will bring bread.
 
We're opening a new field of brussels sprouts today.  I think they are nicer than the ones that got us started.  Remember, they're only good in the fall, so you should take advantage of the opportunity and enjoy them.  Here is an easy and delicious way to prepare them.  And another one.
 
If you can't make it to market, or if you need vegetables or eggs mid-week. please stop by nearly any time.  I've got extras in the cooler.  I'm nearly always home, but zap me a note just to make sure I'll be here when you want to come.
 
Fresh, organic, free range turkeys will be available Nov 19 in Cedar Rapids and Nov 20 here at the farm.  If you're going to want one, please contact Susan Jutz from Local Harvest CSA right away.  319-929-5032 is her phone number; her email is above.  We will be open here from 5:00 until 6:15 on the 20th.  Besides pre-ordered turkeys, I'll also have Thanksgiving vegetables and eggs for sale.  Charlotte is thinking of taking orders for Thanksgiving breads that you would also pick up that night. 
 
HELP.  I need egg cartons. 
 
Here's a good article about some important research that's being done at Iowa State on the value of crop rotations.  I know, sounds dull.   It's not.  It's important.  I'm starting to think that the only way we are going to get agriculture to operate more sustainably and carefully is for people who aren't farmers - people like you - to become knowledgeable and start insisting on a more sane and responsible agriculture that embraces ecological and biological reality instead of rolling right past it.  This short article is part of your education.
 
Hope to see you Saturday,
Laura
 
 

Winter markets begin

Greetings,
 
This week is the opening market for the winter season in Mt. Vernon.  Market is Saturday, 11:00 until 1:00 at the Community Center on the east end of downtown.  All the vendors are excited to start the new season.   I'll be bringing eggs, brussels sprouts, cabbage, chinese cabbage, kale and collards, turnips, beets, carrots, arugula, small kohlrabi, garlic, and squash.  Charlotte will bring bread.
 
Unfortunately, the lettuce with which I was planning to dazzle you is nearly unmarketable.  I guess it must have been as cold as 21 degrees last Saturday night.  That's what the National Weather Service says happened, and I think they were right.  I had ice on the chicken water buckets even at 3:00 in the afternoon on Sunday.  Very weird for late October.  Anyway, it was cold enough to burn the lettuce leaf tips and pretty much ruin the salad.  Of course, this is one more strange weather event.  I can't ever remember it being so cold so early in the fall.  It also burned all the mustards, chois, daikon, and radishes.  So I'm going to be short on leaves and crunch this fall.   Bummer.  (However, not actually as bad as having a hurricane wash your house away.)
 
Hope to see you Saturday,
Laura
 
 

Good fall harvest this week. Brussels need more cold nights.

Greetings shareholders,
 
Tomorrow, we'll have potatoes, onions, garlic, kale and collards, chard, turnips, radishes, winter squash, leaf lettuce, cabbage, the last of the sweet and hot peppers, cilantro and parsley, arugula, a few braising greens, and brussels sprouts (but only if they taste good).  Bring a lot of bags!
 
In addition to bags, bring your mud shoes.  They are predicting some big weather.  I hope we are able to get an inch of rain - we really, really need it for the fall crops.  (We had .2" on Tuesday night, enough to wash things off, which was great, but not enough to give them a good drink.) We don't need hail, high winds, or tornadoes, which all seem to be possibilities.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DON'T COME TO GET YOUR VEGGIES IF IT IS STORMING!  I've got nowhere to put you and it's not safe in the shed if we have lots of lightening and/or wind.  I won't be in the shed either if it gets real bad.  If you get here and it is raining hard, please stay in your car until it passes.  If we need to stay open later to get everybody through, we will.  Check the farm's home page for last minute details.  www.abbehills.com , look at "news from Abbe Hills" on the right side.  And check the Channel 9 radar to see where the storms are.
 
There are still a few people who need to make one more payment on their share.  The price for the whole season is $420, and $250 for half season.  Please look at your checks to see if your payments add up the full amount.  I'll have my files with me so we can compare notes on Saturday if you are in doubt.
 
We have more squash this week, some of which may be unfamiliar to you.  There are many resources to help you figure out what to do with winter squash, like this and this and this.  Also, HyVee has a very nice brochure right now called "Seasons" that has a big section on winter squash and some nice looking seasonal recipes.  You can pick it up at the store.  You can start eating the acorns and spaghettis that we had last week, or you can let them cure more.  The longer squash cure, often the better they are.  Unless they have a blemish, then you need to eat them before they start to spoil.
 
Brussels sprouts are a strange crop.  They take a very long time to reach maturity, and then they don't taste very good until they've stood through several cold nights.  We've got brussels for you, not fancy and pathetically small, unexpected since they've been in the ground since June 10.  Once again, heat and drought are to blame.  We plan to cut them this afternoon, but we're going to taste them first and if they haven't sweetened up enough, we'll save them for next week.  Don't want to give anybody an excuse to say they don't like brussels sprouts.
 
I was reading one of my vegetable publications this week, "Potato Grower", and noticed something amazing.  It's the "2013 Industry Handbook" issue, and there is a section listing sources for chemical and fertilizer products for potatoes.  Here are the categories they have under this heading:  adjuvants, bactericides ("-cide" means "killer"), biocides, biological insecticides, desiccants, fertilizers, foliar nutrients, fertilizer enhancement, frost protection, fumigation, fungicides, growth promoters, herbicides, insecticides, micronutrients, miticides, polymers, post harvest, seed treatment, soil conditioners, and sprout control inhibitors.  Whew!  Who knew you needed so many things to grow potatoes?!?!?  Makes me glad that you and I are eating home grown.  Our inputs are cover crops, composted chicken manure, a fungus called Spinosad that eats Colorado potato beetle, and a cultivating tractor.  No "-cides".  Ours may not be as fancy as what the big boys grow, but they sure are easier to understand.
 
The Indian Creek Nature Center is hosting a "permeable paving blocks" workshop for homeowners, Saturday, Oct 12, 9:00 until noon. This free event will teach you how to use manufactured pavers to craft decorative backyard walkways and patios.  Permeable pavers make a solid, dry surface that decreases runoff by allowing rain to soak into the soil below, and are one of our newest tools to help us decrease runoff and improve water quality.   For more information of if you would like to attend, call the Indian Creek Nature Center at 362-0664.
Once again, I am up for reelection as a Linn Soil and Water Conservation District commissioner.  You'll see my name on the ballot.  Hope all you early birds will vote for me.
 
See you tomorrow,
Laura
 
 
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