(Mt. Vernon, Iowa)
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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,
Posted by Laura
@ 10:49 AM CST
Tomorrow, Saturday, October 20th, 10:00 until 2:00, is the last pickup of the 2012 season. We'll have potatoes, onions, garlic, turnips, carrots, beets, radishes, winter squash, braising greens, leaf lettuce, kale and collards, arugula, and herbs. I haven't yet looked at the brussels, but I'll bet they aren't much better than they were last week since we haven't had any nights below freezing since then. Find out for sure tomorrow!
No rain all summer, and now it rains four times in one week. We're loving it, but it sure makes it hard to harvest the vegetables. There's going to be some mud on your lettuce and other low-to-the-ground leafy things. Sorry, but it makes me happier than the alternative, which is puny low-to-the-ground lettuce and other leafy things because they've never had a good drink in their whole lives. (Even with irrigation. Nothing is as good as real rain.) We got 2.3" rain last Saturday and Sunday, then about .3" since. We're ready for some sun today.
Because we had such nice rain and since it's going to be warm in the upcoming week and things will grow a little more, I should have lots of garden next Saturday. Therefore, I'm planning to offer a bonus "One-Week-Only" CSA share next Saturday, October 27, 10:00 until 2:00. The price will be $21, like the weekly price this season. Charlotte will be here with bread, too. It will contain lettuce, braising greens, kale, potatoes, turnips, arugula, maybe more depending on what we find in the garden. It's a good opportunity for people who might like to join the CSA to check it out, so if you have friends who might be interested, please zap this note on to them. There will be a signup sheet on the check-in table tomorrow, and I'll send a reminder mid-week. If you think you're going to have veggie withdrawal problems, this might help.
The winter farmers market in Mt Vernon starts on Saturday, November 3, and will happen more or less every other Saturday, alternating with Springville. Charlotte and I will be at both markets each week. Gotta have a way to keep moving all the eggs, plus you need your fresh bread. I'll keep bringing garden as long as we have it, then produce from the hoophouse in the early spring.
The Iowa Valley Resource Conservation and Development (in which everybody in Linn and Johnson counties lives) is hosting a local food banquet on November 1st. It's usually a GREAT meal with interesting people who work on local food issues in our area. You might like to attend to meet some of the farmers, chefs, policy makers, and environmental leaders who contribute to our local food scene.
There is a terrible weed on this farm. Canada thistle. It's roots are 20 feet below the surface and therefore IMPOSSIBLE to kill with normal tillage practices. It's stickery, obnoxious, aggressive, invasive, and yield-killing. I hate it. My workers hate it. My neighbors hate it. I've been fighting it for 24 years. Sometimes, I would like to spray it. There are things that will kill it, 100% dead, but they are very very bad chemicals, things you wouldn't want on your food or your yard. But sometimes, I want to use them anyway because I am so so so sick of living with Canada thistle. Here is a new report from Pesticide Action Network that helps to keep me from calling the Co-op and saying, "get over here and BLAST that thing out of the ground". It's a review of many studies examining the impact of pesticides on children's health. Enough evidence here to keep me from making that call (but I still want to).
If you have clean leaves from your yard that you would like to put on my compost pile, I would be happy to have them. But they have to be clean. No underpants, toy cars, cigarette butts, Pepsi cans, candy wrappers, or shoes (all of which have been delivered to this farm when I used to get leaves from the city). Talk with me on Saturday if you are interested.
Thank your for your membership in Abbe Hills Farm CSA this season. It's been a challenge, but it's been great. I hope you've been happy with the food - kind, quality, and quantity. We've done our best to give you the best that we've been able to grow. Your kind and encouraging words, gifts, and graciousness have all been helpful to me and my workers. We've enjoyed growing your family's food this year and look forward to doing it again. Thank you.
See you tomorrow,
Posted by Laura
@ 11:09 AM CDT
This week, we'll have sweet corn, collards and kale, cabbage, summer squash, potatoes, onions, garlic, chard, and cucumbers. I also have a few carrots you can have, and hope to find enough eggplant for everybody to have one or two. Green beans and bell peppers are likely in the next week or two.
I planted enough sweet corn to have it for four weeks. With the heat, of course it looks like it's all going to get ready in the next two! The ears are small and not completely full, but it tastes great. (Raccoon approved, too.) We'll give you as much as my crew can pick in a morning, but I suppose that there will still be too much too fast, so there will likely be some to sell for the freezer. I'll let you know for sure at the end of the week. We start with Bodacious on Monday, and we'll have either more Bodacious or else Incredible for Thursday and the weekend.
We planted a few carrots in the hoophouse in March and finally dug them last week. They are, of course, weird sizes and shapes. Hope you like them anyway. Carrots are a real treat around here. I find them nearly impossible to grow when I really want to, and they unexpectedly survive when they shouldn't.
Eggplants seem to like drought, at least the plant parts like it. The plants are beautiful right now. Fruit set for eggplant is irregular when it gets hot, like it also is for tomatoes, beans, peppers, cucumbers. The flowers pollinate in the mornings when it is cool, but abort in the afternoons when the temp gets in the nineties. So, we'll keep the plants alive, harvest as many eggplant fruits as we can find, and hope for more later in the season.
Summer squash, melons, collards, and kale also seem to like drought and are doing amazingly well. So far this year, we've really only had success with plants that we have set out as transplants. Anything planted directly in the garden from seed, including beans, herbs, carrots, chard, and cucumbers, has been tough to get as many plants as we need to survive. We continue to plant and irrigate, just in case it turns around. Hope it's pretty soon because most of the yummy fall crops are direct seeded, and it would be just fine with me if they would grow!
Onions this week will be Ailsa Craig. They are often very sweet and don't store very well, like not at all, so use them quickly. They are about half size, so we should be able to work through the half-size pile pretty quickly.
If you are a Thursday person who might like to change to Monday, you can do it. I'd like a few families to change to Monday if possible to balance out our harvest a little better. Let me know right away if you want to make the change this week.
Remember the Southeast Linn Community Center fundraising raffle. I've got the tickets. Last year, three people who bought tickets from me won. It could work out that way again, so don't get left behind. $1 each. Lots of nice prizes. Drawing at Sauerkraut Days in August.
Thank you very much for all your kind notes, pictures, gifts, and blessings. It's getting to be a tough season! Your encouragement and assurances, plus my EXCELLENT workers, really make it easier to manage. We just keep doing our best to make this a good garden year for you.
See you this week,
Posted by Laura
@ 11:47 PM CDT
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