Boulder Belt Eco-Farm

  (Eaton, Ohio)
We Sell the Best, Compost the Rest
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Boulder Belt Farm Share Inititiative vol 2 issue 12 (week 12)

Welcome to week 12, the season is rushing by. This is a light week for us as several members will not get their shares this week either because of vacation or the fact they signed up for a 4 week membership and June has 5 Wednesdays in it so this one is a bye week for them.

The weather has improved drastically and the crops are feeling better about life. Cantaloupe and water melons that looked like they would fail are coming back. I would not say they are thriving but they are going in that direction and should give us some production (though I suspect they may do really really well-only time will tell). because it is drying up we are hard at work hoeing and hand weeding as many beds as possible in a day (plus we must harvest raspberries, zucchini, cucumbers, strawberries and black raspberries every day which takes many hours). we are in a race to get this maintenance done before the soils get too dry and resemble concrete. I figure we have around another 2 days before that phenomenon happens and we have a handle on the most of onions, most of the beans, potatoes and some of the winter squash. Tomatoes, melons, peppers and eggplant are all planted on landscape fabric mulch and thus do not need such weeding so that's around 100 beds we don't have to futz with. But that also means there are over 150 beds that do need weeding or tilling (which ain't happening as the tiller is once again out of service and Eugene, being a man wants to investigate every angle before giving up and taking the machine to the shop. So we may be without a tiller for months. but I figure that's his issue-if he wants to farm without this important piece of equipment so be it. We are past the early season of intensive tilling and won't be getting back into that for another couple of months when we start in on serious fall and winter planting)

The rain did have some good aspects to it. It was keeping the insect population down and it filled up the wells around here so when it does dry up and we need to start irrigating we should have enough water to do that and supply ourselves. 3 years ago during that awful drought that killed so many trees in Butler and Hamilton Counties we came close to running our well dry. If that had happened we would have had to drill a new well which is very, very expensive at over $10K. We have one of the deeper wells in the area so we were safe.

But now that the rains have ended we are getting bug pressure. I found and killed hundreds of Colorado potato beetle larvae on the potatoes last night. The cuke beetles are coming out enforce on the cucumbers, squashes and melons and the Japanese beetle population is really ramping up (but from what I hear we are not in the same league with Hamilton County where the JB population sounds down right scary). We are going to try an experiment with the JB's. We have a pond stocked with fish and we have a JB trap. In the next day or two we will figure out how to put said trap on the pond so that it attracts the JB's from the grapes and berries to the trap where they will fall into the pond and be eaten by the fishes. We are well aware that these traps tend to attract JB's from other yards but since we are not in a suburban situation and will put the trap in the center of our farm I don't think we will attract anything but our own population. the other thing we need to do is apply beneficial nematodes which will eat the JB larvae (AKA white grubs in the soil). We have done this in the past and it does work well. But you need damp but not wet conditions for it to work, so maybe in the fall.

The share this week is one of the best this year. Unlike any others this one contains food we did not grow-sweet corn. The corn is non GMO but not Organic and from a farm about 12 minutes west of  us. We have known the young man growing it since he was about 4 years old and growing up on his daddy's Organic farm. Now he is 20 and married and has a farm of his own. And it looks like he is going to get into raising produce and sell it direct. This is his first year growing sweet corn and while it is not the best we have ever had is is very good and a great effort for the first time. This young man, I believe, is going to be a great farmer in another decade. Normally I do not like to buy and resell produce but we don't do corn (not enough room), this is locally grown by a well known, to us, source and will be buying it for the store as it really increases sales for us. So we figured you guys would like to get some as well

The shares will be ready after 4 pm. Remember to return all bags, boxes, pieces of plastic and rubber bands that came in your share-we want to reduce our use of such things and will reuse all

We have a farm tour coming up on July 13th (Tuesday) at 6 pm. This is a great way to be more involved with your FSI farm and see what's going on with the 4 acre market garden.

Recipe

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. This can be frozen (without the cheese) for a long time and will last in your fridge in a tightly sealed container about 7 days. Pesto can be used many ways. Mix a tablespoon with a stick of butter and you have pesto butter. Mix a tablespoon with a cup of mayo and you have pesto mayo and of course it is great tossed with hot pasta.


What's in the Share

Chard- 1/2 pound bag. The first of many weeks of wonderful chard. If you have not had chard before it is prepared just like spinach
Zucchini-3 pounds of a mix of zucchini
Cucumber-4 Armenian cucumbers in your share
Ailsa Craig Sweet Onion-either one big onion or two smaller onions. These heirloom onions are very mild and well suited for salads and sandwiches. they are not the best cooking onions.
Potatoes-1 pound of either red or white taters. these are true new potatoes meaning they are freshly dug and not yet cured. Most people think new potatoes are small potatoes but that is not true. Those small potatoes are actually grade B taters and not new at all.
Basil-a big bag of basil, at least 1/4 pound
Sweet Corn-1/2 dozen. A bi-color called Temptation
Scallions- 1 bunch
Red Raspberries-2 1/2 pints
Strawberries-1 pint. We grow day neutral strawberries, meaning these will come in throughout the rest of the season until beyond frost. you won't get them every week as these will not produce every week as they tend to come in waves. But you will get them again and again throughout the season
Parsley-1/4 pound bag
Garlic-2 corms of fresh garlic (actually about 1/4 cured) I do not know what kind you will get this week of the 5 kinds we grow. Incidentally, the garlic is finally all out of the ground (a good 3 weeks early) and drying. It looks like we will lose about 10% of the crop to rot (and if you have gotten some less than good bulbs, I apologize-some of them looked good than a week later were rotten) but that is no where near a crop failure and we will have great garlic well into the next year.
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