Boulder Belt Eco-Farm

  (Eaton, Ohio)
We Sell the Best, Compost the Rest
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Boulder Belt Farm Share Initiative, Week 15

Greetings and Salutations,

It is Tuesday and that means a new week of farm share has commenced, week 15. Things got a bit exciting here on Saturday. First we got home from a spectacular farmers market-the best July market we have ever had thanks to having more raspberries than you can shake a stick at. And we noticed that the floor in the bathroom was sopping wet. There was a leak somewhere. Due to being exhausted from the farmers market we turned off the water to the bathroom, attempted to dry things up than took a nap. Eugene got up from his nap before me and was groggily wandering around outside by the barn when he noticed a a dipwad in a pick-up truck wearing a tuxedo had hit our signs and was about to leave the scene of the accident. Eugene got in front of the truck and confronted the guy (who said he was not leaving just turning around so he could go to the front door and tell us about it, riiight). Long story short, the guy would have cut us a check for about $100, the damage was about $600 (we know the exact figure when the insurance adjuster comes out to look at the damage.) we have a bent yellow sign that is useable but damaged and the bigger permanent sign is missing a leg. we have plans to replace that sign in the next few weeks with the sign that is sitting on the porch of the store. but now we are thinking maybe putting that one in the same place is not smart as this is the second time the signs have been hit in the past 18 months. So that was our Saturday.

Other than dipwads in tuxedos harming our property, things are going well on the farm. It should look fabulous for this Sunday's potluck dinner as long as the mower does not break yet another belt. We have been busy getting beds weeded as well weeded beds are so much easier to harvest than weedy beds. Eugene has been doing a lot of tilling for fall and winter crops (for those of you new to Boulder Belt we are season extension junkies-it's our thing to grow as much as we can in winter using simple hoophouses that are unheated. Most winters between the hoop houses and what we root cellar we generally have a lot available through early Feb and than again come mid March through the rest of the season). Along with tilling beds for upcoming plantings we have also been ripping out, mowing  or harvesting the spring/early summer crops that are either mature as in the case of beets. Peas that no longer produce get ripped out and things like spring mix and lettuce get mowed than tilled in except for the lettuce we allow to got to seed so we can save seed from it. When you come to the farm tour potluck you will see all of this progress. it sounds like the weather will be absolutely perfect. Also this is something very few people get to do-tour a working farm and talk to the farmers. we do offer this to the public for $25 an hour and you get it as a perk for being a farm share member. I strongly suggest you take advantage. Plus it is a lot of fun and you meet other locavores from the area and thus we build stronger community.

Oh and speaking of progress, only two members have sent an RSVP about this potluck/farm tour coming up THIS SUNDAY. I need a response from the rest of you either yea or nay so I have a head count. if you do come bring a dish to share and things to eat and drink from. I will make a salad that has lots of maters, cukes and likely arugula and we will supply cider from Downing's fruit farm (not organic but raw and excellent), distilled water from our well (this is the best water you will ever drink) and perhaps a few home brewed beers that Eugene makes. Feel free to bring your own libations. the Fun starts at 6pm

I also need to know of all you monthly members if you are rejoining in August. I have a lot of people interested in joining in August but give current members first shot as spots in the farm share Initiative. I have heard from two people already and need to hear from the rest of you who are joining one month at a time. I believe we  have 2 spots open for August and September if everyone rejoins for next month.

Remember we will take back all you bags, boxes, rubber bands, etc that come in your share. And if you have reusable bags bring 'em out and I will pack pack your shares into those and not plastic

Recipe

Pesto

1 cup basil
1 cup italian parsley
2 or more cloves of garlic
1/2 cup walnuts or toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (freshly grated is best)
1/4 cup olive oil
salt to taste

In a food processor put in the peeled whole garlic cloves and pulse a couple of times than add the nuts and cheese and pulse again than add everything else and process until smooth.

What's in the share this week:

Beets-a nice bunch of beets with greens. These were harvested Friday in order to clear out two beds for fall planting and also so the deer could not eat any more of the greens. they had started to ravage the beets last week so we had to get them out all at once.
Cucumbers-2 nice cukes, again be sure to peel the skins
Arugula-probably the last of the arugula until fall
Raspberries-a couple of boxes of raspberries. These are waning so this may be the last of them until the next type comes in in mid to late August
Strawberries-1 box of yummy strawberries
Basil-a nice 1/4 pound bag of basil
Garlic-a couple of corms of one of the 3 kinds we grow.
Potatoes-a pound or so of taters, likely Kennebec white and Yukon Gold
Scallions/green onions-a mixed bunch of true scallions and green red onions (or red green onions if you are a fan of the Red green Show)
Cabbage- a head or two of sweet tasty cabbage
Parsley-A nice bunch of Italian parsley
Tomatoes-A pound or so of a mix of Yellow Taxi and Matina tomatoes. Many are not quite ripe but will ripen up over the week (thursday folks yours will probably be ripe)



Boulder Belt Farm Share Initiative, Week 14

It's  new month and the farm share initiative has many new members thanks to some nice networking on the part of some of our members. This is exactly what should be happening in any healthy CSA type affair-members getting involved in their farm and going out and spreading the word. Way to go! For July we have 13 members, up from 9 members in June and 5 brand new members

First a little business-new members you share will be in the store in the fridge to the right of the front door. Each bag will have a name on it, take the bag with your name on it and leave the others (unless you are picking up for a group). Pick up is from 4 to 7pm. We are busy people and this time of year is a very busy time for us, so we may or may not be there to meet you. If you owe money and we are not around, leave it on the counter.

We will have a pot luck dinner/farm tour Sunday July 19th from 6 'til dark. I would like to know ASAP who will be attending (or not)

We will take back all packaging you get in your shares including boxes, rubber bands, plastic bags, etc..The more you bring back to us the fewer resources we will use for this project. And on this same general topic, some members have started providing us with cloth shopping bags. if anyone else can drop off 2 to 3 such bags (with you name written on each bag so we know who they belong to) this would be great. We have a gazillion plastic "T-shirt" bags but I would love to start getting away from using those or paper grocery bags to pack shares and go to something more sustainable. I can look into getting bags for everyone but frankly we all have such bags around the house and probably don't need another 2 to 3 of them.

Life on the farm has been busy, busy, busy. There is lots to harvest, lots to weed and it is time to plant crops for late summer. This means clearing out old crops-yesterday we harvested a bed of red turnips that had been sitting there doing nothing. Today all the pea beds will be cleaned up meaning plants taken out and put on the compost and the fencing used for trellising taken down and stored away. Hopefully this will get done early enough that Eugene can till these beds and prepare them for planting in the next few days. We plan on planting more beets, carrots, green beans, red turnips, rutabagas, etc., for late August/early September harvests.

We also have a lot of harvesting to do. Early July is raspberry season around here. our 400 or so feet of raspberries provides a lot of berries for us, the farm share, the store, the farmers market and yesterday I noticed an oriole family helping themselves (we have so many this year that we decided not to put any bird netting over the plants and until the orioles moved in this week not a lot of damage was done. Still, there are so many berries that I believe they will get their fill long before they have much impact on the harvest). Raspberry harvest has been taking about 6 hours a day to bring in. It is one of our most lucrative crops but I will be happy when the berries are over for this year. We had a fine garlic harvest. We decided to get the garlic out about 10 to 14 days early because we noticed some disease issues starting. So we jumped on harvesting the garlic and it is looking good and curing quite quickly. Our next big harvest will be the onions the beginning of August-we do all sorts of onions-red, sweet (yellow and white) and yellow cooking onions. The sweet onions you will start to see in your shares in the next couple of weeks others, like the yellow cooking onions, won't be available until fall and winter.

Recipe
Cucumber salad

This is about my favorite summer food

Cucumber peeled and cut into chunks
1 medium sweet onion sliced
1 ripe tomato cut into chunks
1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
Rice or balsamic vinegar (or mix 'em)
Olive oil

put the veggies in a bowl drizzle olive oil and vinegars over top that add the salt. Stir and let sit for about an hour. this is really really good with cubes of a good bread tossed in too. I have been using a dill bread I found at Jungle Jim's last week


Okay, here is what is in your share this week

Cucumbers-2 cukes, be sure to peel these well as the skin is quite bitter. The irony is we pay a lot of money for this particular seed because this is  supposed be a never bitter cuke and for over a decade was always sweet and perfect. but the past 2 years something has changed, climate change? a new breeding program? I dunno but the bitter cukes have made me a bit bitter.

Galia Melon-melon season has started you will get either a nice big melon or 2 smallish melons. the galia, or tropical melon was developed in the middle east. Eugene claims it is a cantaloupe but the catalogues have it in its' own category. At any rate the flesh is green but it tastes more like a cantaloupe than anything. it definitely does not taste like a honey dew despite the resemblance.

Chard-you get a nice big bag of  bright lights chard. If you are new to chard, cook it like spinach

Raspberries-you get 2 half pints this week

Mizuna-A nice bag of this mild asian green. I like eating this raw by using it as a bed for other veggies. The cucumber salad would go well on a bed of mizuna.

Garlic- 2 heads of one of the hard necked garlic we grow

Beans-a pound of mixed wax and green beans. I like to snap off the ends and cook them for 14 minutes. Mmmmmm Beans.

Carrots-a pound of our spring carrots. We have had great difficulty with weeds getting into the early carrot beds. We have spent literally hundreds of hours attempting to keep the beds free of weeds with little success but we were able to eke out a small early carrot harvest. The summer and fall carrots should be a lot better

Red Turnips-earlier in the season we distributed red turnips with greens. These have no greens and thus will store for weeks and weeks in your fridge (greens tend to suck all the moisture from roots leaving them soft)

Zucchini-the best squash we grow, costata romanesque is coming in. These green with grey stripe beauties are an old heirloom zuke with the best flavor of any zuke grown.

Savory-this is a peppery herb that is good in about anything (this is where the term "savory" dish comes from)

Potatoes-you will get around a pound of Kennebec white and Pontiac red (named for the Chippewa chief, not the car manufacturer). Soon we will have several other varieties such as red fingerlings, yukon gold, all blue, etc..

 
 
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