Boulder Belt Eco-Farm

  (Eaton, Ohio)
We Sell the Best, Compost the Rest
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Boulder Belt Farm Share Inititive Week 27

It the first full week in October and we have a couple of returning members and a couple of members who have left leaving us about at the same place as last month member-wise. It seems all things, including Farm Share initiatives, seek equilibrium.

We have one month left in this 31+ plus week affair. That is a long stretch of time for local foods To all you members who signed up for the entire season congratulate yourselves. Most CSA members do not make it so long. As a matter of fact, we had several members who signed up in April drop out, I believe because they were burned out. CSA can be a lot like joining a gym. It is good for you and in the beginning you are very enthusiastic but after months and months of the grind that enthusiasm flags and you look for a way out.

Sometimes I wish we farmers had an easy out. I know getting, often, strange foods weekly in amounts that may be more than you can easily handle gets old. But imagine doing the farming 7 days a week March through November. We have to deal with tons of food-harvest, cleaning, storing and sorting daily. Plus planning, planting, weeding, bug patrolling, feeding, tilling, etc.. farm work tends to be pretty relentless especially may through September. And this leads to farmer burn out. This year is not so bad but in past years we would be so toasty by this time of year that we could barely function well enough to get crops out of the field for marketing, much less being able to think about the next season and get things other than garlic planted in the fall for the following season. This year we are in good shape. Perhaps because Eugene has starting fishing on a daily basis (we have a well stocked pond that we have pretty much ignored for a couple of years). At any rate, he is on top of getting crops in the ground for fall winter and early spring and even planning out where things should go next year.

We still have the massive job of putting the garden to bed for the winter. Thousands of plants need to be ripped out of the ground, fabric mulches need to be taken up, cleaned a bit and stored and than cover crops planted. The plants are piled into what will become compost piles. After the market garden is cleaned up, most of the plants will be run through a chipper shredder so they will compost in 6 months instead of 2 years. Often this job is done in Winter when there is not much else to do. So far about 15% of the beds have been cleaned up (around 45% have active crops in them still and cannot be touched yet). Fortunately, this work can be done between now and when the ground freezes up (usually Late November/early December).

The other fall thing we do is put up hoop houses. If you are picking up this week you will see that 3 have been erected. These will protect various crops through the fall and winter. Right now they are protecting strawberries, zucchini, galia melons, green beans and tomatoes. Later some will be moved over to the leeks and winter greens. Others will stay where they are and we will rip up most of the current crops in them in November/December and plant things like lettuce and spring mix in them to be harvested in March and April of 2010.

Once things are all put to bed in November we can almost take a break-we won't be doing much in the market garden other than harvesting fall/winter greens and leeks for winter markets and the Winter Share members and making sure the weather does not destroy the hoop houses (we generally have 1 or 2 come down during winter due to heavy snow loads or high winds or major ice). But by late December we will have to have our seed orders sent in or else risk either seeds being put on back order or finding they are sold out and by early January (like the second) we will start onion and leek seeds indoors and start the season again.

No recipe this week

What's in the Share
Look for two bags per share this week. Both will be on the table and available for pick up after 4pm

Peppers-This week you get a whole bag of sweet bell peppers. Expect more than 6. I have heard that some peppers are rotting - This happens, I do try to select only peppers that show no signs of damage but my eyes are not the best and sometimes I miss things.
Haricot verts-Pronounced airy coe ver. Real French beans. I snap off the stem end and cook for 10 to 13 minutes in about 1 inch of boiling water.
Beets-You will get a nice bunch of both red and golden beets with greens. the easiest way to cook these is to boil cut up beets in water for about 10 minutes or until soft
Celeriac-AKA Celery root. You get two of 'em this week. This is the ugliest thing we grow (they are the knobby root like things) but really really tasty. Peel off the outer skin and either eat raw or roast, use in a soup or stew like you would use a turnip or potato. They taste like sweet celery. the greens taste like really strong parsley and can be used in soup/ soup stock
Leeks-you get 2 leeks this week.
Kale-A 3/4 pound bag of Kale. Most likely Russian White but I may mix in some Dinosaur and/or Winterbor
Pears-2 pounds of kieffer pears, yum.
Potatoes-At least a pound of mixed taters. Long skinny ones are the fingerlings-bad for mashing great for roasting and frying. The round ones will be either white, red or gold and good for boiling and mashing, among other things.
Red turnips-around 1/2 pound of red turnips. these are actually good raw in salads but also good cooked in things or mashed.
Cayenne peppers-15+ peppers to heat up your life. I find these have a really nice heat and add good flavor to chili, salsa and curries. these may not be hot enough for some of you but should suffice for most.
Garlic-two corms of our hardneck garlic
Spring Mix-A 6oz bag of salad. Please wash before using

Lucy Goodman
Boulder Belt Eco-Farm
Eaton, OH

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