Boulder Belt Eco-Farm

  (Eaton, Ohio)
We Sell the Best, Compost the Rest

Posts tagged [aspargus]

Boulder Belt Farm Share Inititiative vol 2 issue 6 (week 6)



Good Morning,

It's Farm share day once again-week 6 by my reckoning. It's been a wet and cool week. We did get a nice couple of days at the end of last week which made for a nice farmers market (the first two had bad weather. the first had pouring rain and the second high winds and cold). But the nice weather was fleeting. the good news is the cool weather crops such as lettuce, arugula, spinach, etc., love this weather so they are all of high quality and as long as we don't get a stretch of more than 2 days of 80 degree weather will continue to do well. the bad news is all the crops that like it warmer are not all that happy and growing slowly. Asparagus is one of those crops. Late last week we were harvesting twice a day and this week due to many days of cool damp weather we are harvesting about every 36 hours and the yields are going down. But a day of warm weather will put the asparagus into overdrive again, for another 2 or 3 weeks.

Barb Mackey asked me a good question last week when she picked up her share-what is coming up in the near future? The answer is broccoli in 2 weeks. snow peas, sugar snap peas and shelling peas in 3 weeks. Garlic scapes, the flower tops from our hard necked garlic which will be a new food for most of you, will be harvested next week. If you like garlic you will love these. We also have red salad turnips about ready to go (next week), two kinds of green beans flowering in a hoop house, red beets (also in a hoop house) that should be ready in 2 weeks. Armenian cucumbers and zucchini should be ready in 3 weeks-the zukes have flowers, the cukes do not yet so my guess is the zukes will be harvestable a week before the cukes. Red raspberries will be ready in 3 to 4 weeks. Cabbage in 3 to 4 weeks.

We have not gotten the peppers, eggplant and tomatoes in the ground yet and are getting a bit worried about the weather preventing us from doing this job in a timely manner. if it clears up next week as predicted we will be fine, if not we will be forced to work with wet soil which we want to avoid as doing so is very bad for the soil and leaves long term damage. What we need to do with this job is put down landscape fabric and irrigation tapes on 40 beds than plant around 900 seedlings. Eugene did get all the beds tilled before the wet conditions arrived so at least that is done. we like to get these thing in the ground by June 1st so we can harvest in August through frost. We are growing 16 different heirloom tomatoes, 4 kinds of eggplant and 9 kinds of peppers (mostly sweet but a couple of hots too). After these things are planted in the market garden that it will be time to do the melons (water melon and various cantaloups), more cukes and zukes and the winter squash. These are pretty easy as they are direct seeded and do not need the 5 to 8 weeks of coddling before they go into the ground. Not to mention, planting seeds is a lot simpler than putting in seedlings.

Yeah life here is about to get very busy between doing mass plantings of things, harvesting daily (when the raspberries come in someone will have to spend at least 4 hours every day for 5 to 6 weeks picking. I call it raspberry hell), keeping things mowed (long grass in aisle-ways gives pests like bugs and bunnies a place to hide right next to the crops which is a very bad thing), keeping crops weeded and keeping bugs off of the crops (which we do mainly by using row covers but we also hand pick, vacuum the up and will use botanical insecticides like neem ). the good news is we may just have our first volunteer of the year. A woman has emailed me asking if there is room in the FSI for her and if she can come out once or twice a week to work and learn about sustainable farming. I say may have because she has not yet come out here and in the past we have had many people ask about volunteering but few ever come through for us in any meaningful way. A lot of volunteers turn out to be a lot more work than they are worth. But we have also gotten some wonderful people who were quick learners and great workers so we still will take on such people. And if any of you ever have a hankering to get your hands dirty and learn a lot about sustainable farming in a short time feel free to contact us about coming out and putting a few hours on the farm.

This Sunday, May 23, we have scheduled a pot luck dinner and farm tour starting at 6pm. thus far I have gotten only two RSVP's (and they were regrets). If I don't get any responses by tomorrow I will cancel the event and reschedule for late summer/fall as we are getting too busy to do this easily and it seems not many folks are interested in this sort of thing.

We still have some chickens for sale for $25 a piece for a 4LB (approx) whole frozen bird. Let me know if you want one (or more) either via email before picking up your share or when you show up (someone should be around at least until 7pm). This will be the best chicken you have ever had as very few people raise them they way we do-ranged on pasture from day one of their lives and fed certified organic feed. Unlike most "pastured" chickens ours are extremely active and that makes for better quality

Radish Slaw

This is better than cole slaw made with cabbage and a favorite of ours

2 to 3 bunches of radishes, well washed and with both ends cut off
1 small sweet onion
1 medium to large carrot
1 clove garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder (NOT garlic salt)
2 TBL vinegar (I like rice vinegar or balsamic but any will do)
1 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
1 TBL sugar
1 TBL olive oil
1/2 cup (or more) Mayonnaise
Optional: 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley. You can also do 1/2 cabbage and 1/2 radish if you like

Grate the radishes, carrot and onion. fastest to use a food processor but a hand grater will also work. Dump the grated vegetables into a larger than you think you will need bowl and than add everything else and mix well, taste and make any adjustments. Put into the fridge for at least an hour before serving. Serve as a side dish

What's in the Share

Spinach-1 pound of spinach
Arugula-1/4 pound
Kale-a big bunch of White Russian kale
Asparagus-Looks like mainly green this week. At least 1 pound
Lettuce-1 pound of mixed lettuce
Tarragon-a big bunch
Broccoli Raab-1/2 pound bag
Garlic Chives-a big bunch of garlic chives AKA Chinese chives
Cincinnati Market Radishes-3 bunches of this beautiful and rare heirloom radish
Spring Mix-a nice sized bag of spring mix
Maybe Basil-The basil is not doing great so i will not make any promises that there will be enough to put into your shares but if it is there it is there

The shares will be ready after 4pm today

Lucy Goodman
Boulder Belt Eco-Farm
Eaton, OH


Boulder Belt Farm Share Inititiative vol 2 issue 4 (week 4)



Greenings and Saladations,

Here we are at week 4 for most of you and week one for some. For us this has been a trying week. If you are a faceBook friend or read my blog than you know we have been dealing with a very sick puppy due to a botched spaying job. We took Betty in April 26 to be spayed. We got her back that evening and things went down hill from there. Sunday we shelled out almost $900 to an emergency vet clinic in Dayton to fix her stitches that had all popped and allowed her guts to start to protrude-that was a lot of fun, let me tell you (few things more "uplifting" than being around people and their pets in crisis. I don't think I could handle work at the Veterinary ER for long-way too much death and way too little hope). But she is now well on her way to health. The sutures look good, she is getting energy back and hopefully she will be well in a week and can go back to being a farm dog and do her job of protecting the crops.

But because of all this we have not been able to do nearly as much on the farm as we should because someone has had to stay with Betty pretty much all the time so she doesn't get scared and lonely and than react by tearing apart the living room and her stitches. Now that she is getting better we are able to do more and more while leaving her alone in the house. I call this Betty Jail. And this is where I have been since Sunday while Eugene goes out and plays in the dirt all day.

Other than Betty monopolizing our hearts and minds we do have a farm and it has been getting rain this week. Over the weekend we got 3", which we needed badly. The crops and weeds have responded in kind by growing a lot. Eugene has been harvesting 30+ pounds of asparagus daily since Saturday (so expect a bounty in your share this week), the radishes and greens look fabulous. The share this week and likely next as well, will be heavy on greens as that, other than asparagus and radishes, is what we have growing. I realize for some this can get boring but remember leafy greens are some of the healthiest things we can eat a d the vast majority of Americans do not get nearly enough of such in their diet. I would estimate that around 90% are lacking in leafy greens as most Americans eat only iceberg lettuce as their greens intake and that leafy "green" is worthless in oh so many ways. I find greens give me a lot of energy in a way no other food does. I have been especially high on the broccoli raab-boy, that stuff makes me feel good.

Your shares will be available after 4pm. If you cannot get them today they will remain in the fridge in the store until Saturday morning at 7am and you can get them any time between now and than



Broccoli Raab with sausage
1 bag (1/2 LB) broccoli Raab, washed and chopped
2 cooked Italian sausages, cut into slices
1 medium onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
drizzle of Sesame oil
1TSP olive oil or Butter
Salt to taste
In a hot pan heat the fat than add the onions and cook until they turn translucent (about 3 minutes) stirring often. Than add the garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add the greens and sausage and cook 10 minutes on medium heat covered. Right before serving drizzle with sesame oil and toss.

Due to circumstances of the past week I do not know exactly what there is to harvest so this list may change a bit by this afternoon

Asparagus-2 pounds of green and purple in your share
Lettuce-a big bag 3/4 pound of mixed heads
Baby lettuce-1/2 pound bag. This is the lettuce component of the salad mix
Spring Mix-1 6 oz bag
Kale-a big bunch of White Russian kale
Fresh Tarragon-a nice bunch of tarragon
Fresh basil-a small amount of fresh basil, just a taste this week but soon we will have lots and lots.
Chives-this week they have flowers which are quite edible but very oniony
Spinach-the first cutting of the spring spinach.
Broccoli Raab-1/2 pound of raab
Mizuna-one of the greens in the spring mix only this is full sized. We love to cook/grill veggies like asparagus and put them on top of a bed of mizuna, top with a nice vinaigrette dressing and eat.


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