Boulder Belt Eco-Farm

  (Eaton, Ohio)
We Sell the Best, Compost the Rest
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Boulder Belt Farm Share Initiative, Week 22

Greetings,

I am up extra early because today is the day we take our chickens in for processing. I will miss the birds but I will not miss the extra work they demanded, at least 2 hours a day that could have been spent mowing, cleaning garlic and onions, weeding, etc.. After today we will have more time to devote to the produce AND we will have sublime poultry to eat for the next 12 months or so. The chickens were useful for eating all the damaged and beginning to rot produce we had-they went through a lot of melons and tomatoes for us that would have ended up on the compost. Composting that sort of stuff is not a bad thing at all. bad produce makes up at least 50% of our compost. But allowing the chickens to eat that stuff  turned it into chicken poop which is very valuable stuff for our compost piles. I have also noticed things are a lot cleaner, compost material wise, when we have chickens. I guess because it is a lot more entertaining to feed the chickens than a compost pile.

You guys missed a great farm tour we had around 25 people from around Ohio attended and we talked strawberries and raspberries for a couple of hours. Unlike the casual farm tours we dour with you farm share members monthly this one had a moderator who formally introduced us, kept us from straying too far off topic and kept us on time during the tour. We gotten nothing but very positive feed back from the participants. I will admit we give good farm tour. I believe this is the 10th time we have done an official farm tour. There are some photos of the event on our blog http://boulderbelt.blogspot.com and even more on my facebook account-if you do facebook and are not already my FB friend become my FB friend today and take a gander at all the farm tour photos (and lots of other farm photos and video).

The cold weather we are having this week does have have an effect on the crops. We re covering a lot of the warm weather crops and may be out of basil after 3 nights in the 40's. the basil has a double cover on it but I have not looked at it since the cold has arrived and it likely will have black spots all over. All we can do is hope for warmer nights (like in the 60's at the lowest) and cut back the plants and hope they can grow out of it. We may be in luck and find there has been very little damage done because they have been protected but in the past 48F has brought on damage to even protected plants. Now while the warm loving crops are not all that happy with this cool weather the cold loving crops are quite happy (though they would like some rain instead of irrigated well water)

It's a new month and we do have some new members and some old members that have decided to drop out. Reminder that pick-up is after 4pm on whichever day you opted to use (Tuesday or Thursday) in the store. the food will be in the fridge and/or on the table by the fridge (sometimes there are bags of things like tomatoes which should never be refrigerated).

The monthly potluck dinner and farm tour will be Sunday, Sept 20th starting at 6ish. RSVP about this (yes or no) in the next two weeks so we have a head count.

If you have not brought us some reusable bags it is by no means too late. If you are new to this we ask members to drop off at least 2 reusable shopping bags (bigger is better) so we can pack your shares into something other than plastic shopping bags. Please write your name on the bags.  Oh, and if you have a pile of such not very reusable plastic shopping bags sitting around your house or dorm we will take them as long as they are clean and reuse them at the farmers market and in our store for customers that do not bring their own.

Recipe
Potato and Leek Soup


2 leeks cut into 1/2" rounds
1 pound taters cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 or 2 cloves of garlic either put through a press or chopped very fine
2 cups milk ( you can replace this with water if you are a non dairy drinker or use soy milk)
5 strips of bacon (vegetarians omit this ingredient and replace with a tablespoon of olive oil)
salt to taste

In a large pot (at least 3 gallons) put on med heat and let it heat up. When hot add the bacon and cook until crisp. when bacon is done remove it and drain it on paper and add the leeks and cook those in the bacon grease over medium heat. If using olive oil than put the oil into a hot pan and cook the leeks in that fat. While the leeks are cooking boil the potatoes in a separate pot. the taters need to simmer for about 10 minutes, which is about how long the leeks have to cook to get soft. When the potatoes are soft add them AND their cooking water to the pot that has the cooking leeks. About 3 minutes before this happens add the garlic to the leeks.

Let the leeks and potatoes cook for about 10 minutes than add the milk, thyme and salt and cook another 15 minutes. For a nice thick soup I put about 1/3 of the soup through a blender or food processor right before serving.


What's in the Share This Week

Potatoes-around a 1.5 pounds of mixed taters
Eggplant-black and purple and probably some of the mini white and purple striped aubergines
Green beans-about a pound of blue lake green beans
Tomatoes-a pound of mixed cherry types and fewer than 4 pounds of the big maters. I am giving you guys a break from tomato overwhelmation.
Leeks-2 leeks this week. the leeks are huge and wonderful, the best fall leeks we have ever grown.
Onion-two pounds of a mix of red onions and sweet onions.
Raspberries-A 1/2 pint of yummy red raspberries from our everbearing heritage plants, as opposed to the summer bearing latham plants that gave us such abundance in June and July
Mystery Greens-these are coming up in the fall white Russian kale. We have no idea what they are or where they came from but they are tasty-they seem to be a very mild mustard and would good either raw or lightly steamed
Thyme-a small bunch of thyme
Arugula-at least 1/4 pound of arugula this week, probably more as we have two beds producing it at the moment.
Garlic-3 corms of our hard necked garlic
Peppers-mostly purple peppers this week as the green peppers are beginning to ripen and I want to leave as many on the plants to get ripe as possible



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