It's been a busy week here at the farm. I have been starting hundreds of seeds-Asian greens (something called tong ho and a bok choy), celery that was completely unplanned but Eugene found a packet with a lot of seeds so I planted several hundred. parsley that should have been started about 3 weeks ago. And 5 kinds of lettuce for late May/early June harvest. Some time this coming week I will start about 1000 tomato seeds (I plan on starting around 20 different kinds). While I have been doing all that Eugene has been mowing, tilling, direct planting seeds for things like spring mix and I believe some spinach got planted as well but I do not have high hopes for it if it does not cool down a lot and start raining. You may like temps in the high 80's in April but this is very hard on the cool weather crops. lettuce gets bitter in the heat and the spinach wants to bolt to seed, among other things.
Because of the heat I harvested most of the spinach on Saturday morning as it was either gonna bolt to seed or die of heat and lack of water. Either way it would mean the end of that crop and no more in your shares. So I decided to harvest early so you guys can get one last week of spinach.
Okay, we have also been doing a lot of transplanting. We finished off the leeks, put in about 100 lettuce plants and another 150 of broccoli, kale and cabbage. This we did in about 3 hours. If all we had to do was simply pop seedlings into the soil 3 hours would be a leisurely pace for us, but on Boulder Belt Farm most seedlings get the following treatment. A bed is raked smooth, seedlings are put in the soil. Than they are each given a drink of water spiked with freeze dried kelp and fish (smells like the seas shore) from a watering can. Than 7 wire hoops are put in place along with 14 heavy rocks per bed (and the rocks always seem to be in another part of the market garden so there is usually a good amount of toting) and finally a row cover is stretched over the whole thing and weighted down with the rocks. The row cover protects the seedlings from wind and hail as well as from insects and keeps the moisture in the soil and leaves. Things love growing under row cover.
This week we got 6 yards of compost from up north in Union City, OH. We had ordered the compost in Feb and were told we would have it the 3rd week of March and got it Friday evening. It would have been nice to have had the compost a month ago better a month late than never. This has added to our repertoire of chores. Big pile of compost must go on all 225 beds and that has been happening too.
And on top of all this, the asparagus and strawberries are coming in and need to be harvested at least once a day. Asparagus will be plentiful this week. Tuesday folks will get a double dose of it as they got none last week. No one will get any strawberries in their share before May. While they are beginning to ripen there is no where near enough to fill 11 shares this week.
If you are paying by the month you can leave a check (or cash with an explanation of who left the money) on the counter at the store to pay for the month on May. Oh yeah, please do not toss out the jars the apple sauce came in. If you are not going to use them (I know some of you are canners) I will take them back (lids and rings too) as I go through a lot of jars in a year and I don't want to see them recycled or (ugh) land-filled. One last important note. I have just changed ISP's (and DSL after 19 or so years with dial-up) and have a new email address- boulderbelt-at-embarqmail.com. Please update your address books. I will have the old email for another month or so but after that if you use it to try to contact me your email will be sent off into a void
Asparagus and Leek Salad
4 spears of asparagus
1/2 bag of spring mic
1/4 of the chives (or more or less depending on your taste)
Cut the asparagus into 1" pieces. Cut the leafy green part and the root off of the leek than cut length-wise (as opposed to cutting it into rounds) and cut the leek into quarters, you will end up with a lot of julienned pieces. Put the leeks and asparagus into a saute pan that is on medium heat and has a dollop of butter or olive oil melted and hot. Cook for about 5 to 6 minutes or until the veggies are tender. Remove from heat and let these cool a bit, say 5 minutes While the veggies are cooking wash and spin dry the spring mix and wash and slice the radishes. Put the greens into a salad bowl, top with the radishes and right before you are ready to serve add the cook and still warm veggies. Top with a nice vinaigrette or other favorite dressing (ranch is really good on this)
Here's what's in the shares this week (kind of a small share this week but soon there will a myriad of produce coming out of the garden. We are at the point where late winter/early spring stuff is ending and mid spring/early summer stuff is just coming in)
Green Asparagus- We also have purple which is better but we are not getting much yet but should later in May for everyone to get some
Lettuce-like last week a bag of mixed lettuces
Leeks-believe it or not this is about it for the leeks. We might have them one more week after this week Chives-a nice bunch of fresh chives
Radishes-Tuesday gets D'avignon and Thursday will get easter egg which are round radishes in pink, red, white and purple
Cilantro-this is really good in Macaroni and cheese
Spinach-I believe this will be the last week for spinach until fall or next spring. We never have much luck with mid spring planted spinach.