Boulder Belt Eco-Farm

  (Eaton, Ohio)
We Sell the Best, Compost the Rest
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Boulder Belt Farm Share Initiative, Week 13

I's crunch time here. we have a flood of raspberries (and a great special on them if you are inclined to make jam out of them-10 boxes for $30) that must be harvested every day to the tune of 50 to 60 boxes a day. on top of that the first of the beans are harvestable (and excellent), the garlic decided to ripen early, and lots of other things are either just about ready to harvest or we have just started (and this is reflected in your shares). on top of it all we are getting chickens tomorrow for our winter meat stash. i think we have lost most of our sanity.

The good news is we have help twice a week until the end of July, though, if any of you have a hankering to pull weeds, pick raspberries or help us with any other necessary tasks (and with diversified farming there are always about a 100 things to do) feel free to come out and help. Doing a few hours of farm work is always an eye opener for non farmers and will get you closer to your food. And it is fun.

Because of this the newsletter this week will be short and sweet and missing a recipe

So here is what we expect to have in the shares this week

Garlic-this if fresh so the skins around each clove may not have colored up and looks like it is not there, it is. Expect 3 corms.
Strawberries-1 pint of berries this week
Raspberries-you get 3 half pints this week
Kale-a big bag of mixed kale. the varieties are winterbor (very curly) White Russian (flat scalloped leaves) and Dinosaur (dark green leaves)
Tarragon
Oregano
Snow peas-this will be the last we see of these
Beans-A mix of green and wax beans, probably over a pound
cabbage-either 1 big head or 2 small heads.
Zucchini-mainly patty pans and big green zukes. I envision 6 or more per share
Cucumbers-these are supposedly a type with bitter free skins. I find the skins bitter, personally so I suggest they be peeled before use. You get 3 cukes in your share
Arugula-the wonderful spicy salad green

Boulder Belt Farm Share Initiative, Week 12

It's Tuesday and that means it is the beginning on another farm share cycle. The big news here is it is hot and humid which makes farm work miserable. We combat the heat and humidity by starting work early in the morning so we can get work done before it gets too hot, around noon, 11am if it is going to get well above 90F. Fortunately, as long as it does not get much above 90F the crops are happy. Though if we get a real heat wave where we are over 95F for several days (and do not drop below 80F at night) the crops will not be happy and will start a decline in yields. This is the big risk in a hot summer-heat.

We are pretty much done with planting until mid August when we start planting for late fall/winter. Now we are into maintenance and harvesting. Lots of weeding/hoeing, mowing, fertilizing, mulching and tomato tying to be done.  On the harvest front we are going into raspberry season. For the next 4 weeks or so much of my life will be dominated by harvesting raspberries. And if we get a back log than I will make raspberry jam and freeze the berries that do not sell. Actually, I will do this even if there is not a backlog as I do a lot of canning and freezing for our winter food supply. In addition to the raspberries we will have green and wax beans coming in soon. Like raspberries, these take hours to harvest and need to be picked no less than every 36 hours (daily is better). And the strawberries are also coming back in and they are another drop that needs daily attention. Add to that beets, kale, chard, basil, zucchini, arugula, broccoli, scallions, etc.. and you have a full day. Oh and soon we will be doing our big summer harvest of garlic (over 2000 plants that will come in all at once, have to be hung to cure for 4 to 6 weeks and cleaned up so they will store into March or April, than sorted as this is what we use for our seed stock and we always take out the finest garlics to replant in October). This happens around July 4th

Sometimes I think we work too much but this is far better than working for The Man.

Recipe

Raspberry Pancakes

2 cups flour (I like to mix whole wheat and white 1/2 and 1/2)
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup butter melted
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 TBL sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 pint raspberries crushed with a bit of sugar

Combine the dry ingredients than add the milk, butter and eggs mixing after each addition. lastly add the crushed berries. Cook on a hot skillet (I use med heat) until the pancake is bubbly than flip and cook another minute or so. I usually make extras that I put on a cooling rack before putting in a freezer bag and into the freezer-makes for super easy future breakfasts (but unlike a lot of things don't leave these in the freezer for more than 3 to 4 weeks or they get very wierd)

What's in This Week's Share

Raspberries-2 1/2 pints of yummy raspberries
Strawberries-1 pint of the berries
Scallions-our 2009 scallion crop is ready to harvest and it looks beautiful
Spring Mix-This will be one of the last weeks for spring mix. it is getting too hot and dry to  produce quality and frankly we are getting to busy to deal with it-it is a labor intensive crop
Kale-more yummy and nutritious kale
Red Beets-a nice bunch of beautiful beets with greens. Cook the greens like you would spinach or chard
Sugar Snap peas-You get a pound (or more) this week. Eat these pod and all.
Snow Peas-like last week you will get a a lot, probably a pound and a 1/2. if you cannot eat them all consider blanching them, quickly cooling in cold water and putting in a freezer bag and popping in your freezer for later use
Broccoli-I have not looked at this so I do not know what kind of shape it is in. Our first bunch was a variety we do not like but wanted to use up the seed so we planted it this spring and hoped it would work this year. It did not, it all bolted. As it has done the 3 years we have used it. This kind also did not produce enough to include in the shares which is why you have not seen any broccoli until now. The second type is much more reliable and I hope has some nice big heads. In any event, it all tastes good no matter what it looks like
Zucchini-this week you get about 1.5 pounds of the green and yellow zephyr plus a bright yellow sunburst patty pan (treat this as you would any zucchini)
Basil-You will be getting more and more basil each week-Eugene just transplanted an additional 150 plants on top of the early stuff I am picking now. Basil is very easy to preserve for winter. Either dry it in a paper bag (check it daily) or put basil and olive oil together in a food processor and blend. Put into ice cube trays and into the freezer. When fully frozen, pop the basil cubes into a labeled plastic bag and back into the freezer. be sure to get all the air out of the bag before storing

 
 
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