Boulder Belt Eco-Farm

  (Eaton, Ohio)
We Sell the Best, Compost the Rest
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Boulder Belt Farm Share Initiative, Week 3

It's a new week. And it is Earthweek (Earthday being Wednesday). being in our farm share program is one of the greenest things you can do. planting a tree is also nice and that is something we did this week-planted several nut trees-english walnuts (carpathians), hazelnuts and I forget the 3rd nut tree. Our goal is to have a nut grove in the next decade or so. So far e have several carpathians and a scad of black walnut trees growing in the valley

 After a lovely Friday and Saturday, both days spent preparing or attending the Oxford Uptown Winter market, rain and coolness has moved back in and this is bad news for the asparagus lovers who pick up on Tuesday. I went out to see how much asparagus is out there Monday afternoon, and the answer is a lot of spears emerging from the ground. But very little is big enough to harvest. This might change by Tuesday afternoon but I doubt it. Because it is cool and cloudy the asparagus will not do much growing but as soon as it gets sunny and warm (that would be Wednesday afternoon and on into the weekend) it will start producing in abundance. That means that you Tuesday folks will probably not get asparagus this week and the Thursday folks will. So what I will do is put a double amount of asparagus into next Tuesday shares so everything is even steven. I feel bad about this but I cannot do anything to get the asparagus to grow more quickly.

We finished planting out the last of the onion seedlings on Sunday. We planted somewhere around 2500 onion plants that look a lot like blades of grass. We start our own onion seeds (as we do with everything we grow) in January and start transplanting them in mid March and in past years finish up the first week of May. This year we got done early. Eugene was commenting through out he planting process that we had gotten a lot faster over past years. We still have a couple of hundred feet of leek seedlings to put in when it stops raining. We have also put in cabbage, kale, broccoli and lettuce seedlings seedlings, as well as have sowed seeds direct for spring mix and peas (3 different kinds) this week. The strawberries are looking good and I think we will have them for the farm share initiative by the second week of May.

We cancelled the pot luck this past Sunday. Only one member was coming out and the weather was nasty so we said ferget it. There will be another Pot Luck dinner and farm tour May 24th. Along with the tour and eating we will have some home brew beer to sample (Eugene brews beer in the winter and is quite good at it). I hope everyone can make it as these have been a lot of fun in the past, the farm is very beautiful in May and our farm tours are quite informative for the non farmer and farmer alike.

Speaking of farm tours, we have been asked by Innovative Farmers of Ohio to hold a farm tour the end of August. This is a big deal as people will come from all over Ohio as well as Indiana, W Va, Michigan and Kentucky. We will be focusing on organic strawberries. It turns out we are the only farm in the state that grows strawberries sustainably/organically. Than in November we will give a workshop somewhere in Columbus on organic strawberries to follow up on this farm tour. Pretty exciting stuff for us. it has been several years since we have gotten into the educational side of farming and we have missed doing so but the move to the new farm meant we had to put a lot of things on the back burner in order to get this new place up and running sustainably and we have.

Okay, that is the news from Boulder Belt this week.

Recipe:

Leek and Spinach Quiche

1 pie crust (either home made or store bought. I do not recommend the "Pet-Ritz" style of pie crust, pre-made in a aluminum pan. Get the kind that comes in a box and you put in a pan if not making your own. Since I found out Eugene can make a better pie crust than just about anyone I have not had to buy pre-made crusts in about 12 years )
1/3 to 1/2 pound spinach, washed, spun dry and chopped (chiffinade)
2 leeks cut into 1/4 inch rounds
1 medium yellow (not sweet) onion, diced
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup cheese, grated
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried basil (any kind)
salt  to taste (when I cooked quiches at DiPaolo's we used Lowery's seasoned salt and paprika for seasoning.)

Preheat the oven to 400F. Cook 30 minutes or until quiche is golden brown and firm to the touch)

Saute the leeks and onion until tender (about 5 minutes). Toss the spinach in the last 2 minutes of cooking so it is just wilted and not over cooked. While that is going on scramble the eggs in a small mixing bowl and add the milk and seasonings. When the vegetables are cooked put them into the prepared pie crust than dump the grated cheese in than the egg mixture. Put the pie on a cookie sheet (there may be some boil over and this keeps your oven clean) and into the oven. let the quiche cool 10 to 15 minutes before serving.


Asparagus-as mentioned, Tuesday members probably won't get any this week but will get a double amount next week-though you may get a couple of spears as a teaser if I can find 24 to 36 spears big enough for the Tuesday group.
Leeks-these keep on coming but boy are they gooood
Scallions-
Spinach-we have maybe 2 more weeks of spinach before it gets too hot and it all bolts. we were going to plant more spinach but it looks like we will have a hot mid spring and that means bad spinach conditions so we probably won't bother with it.
Lettuce-Mainly red heads this week. The round leaf type is marvel of Four Seasons, a French heirloom, I cannot ID the other red types-various leaf lettuces
Spring mix-a mix of several kinds of heirloom lettuce, mizuna and arugula. Normally there is also red mustard and tat soi but the first planting of those two things failed. in a couple of weeks we will be harvesting from spring mix beds that have all the ingredients
Garlic chives-aka Chinese chives. These have a nice garlic flavor that is not too strong. Use in a salad or chop and garnish the leek and potato soup right before serving. like the onion chives these do not take to cooking well.
Fresh tarragon-this is the first herb to grow in the spring. Taste is anisy and this goes well in tomato based sauces (I love this in marinara sauce)
D'avignon radishes-aka French breakfast Radishes
Apple sauce-I make this from a mix f the apples we grow. Also cinnamon, brown and white sugar and lemon juice. Everyone who has tried this loves it. if you love it the bad news is this is the last of the sauce until Fall when the apples come back into season
Garlic powder-I have been making our own garlic powder for about 10 years. It is a mix of the 3 kinds of hard neck garlic we grow. I dry it in dehydrators than grind it to a powder-et voila! Powerful Strong garlic powder. I have gotten many people addicted to this over the years. Granted, it is not the same as fresh garlic but considering the real garlic is all compost this is as close as we will get until July when the new crop is harvested (and you get fresh, uncured garlic which is the BEST.)

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