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 19 (week 19)

 

 

It's week 19 of our food adventure and the fun never stops. lets just get the bad news over with right from the start, kinda like ripping the Band-aid™ off really fast. The market van lost its' power steering coming back from market last Saturday and needs to be fixed before it can drive again. I am a bit worried about this as it is Wednesday and Eugene has done nothing to address the problem, electing to get well into fall garden prep and planting instead. He thinks it is either the power steering pump or a hose and either one should be an easy fix. And that is the extent of our bad news in a summer full of it.

In good news the weather got pretty darned wonderful the last couple of days, we go almost an inch of rain this past week, the tiller works so Eugene was able to prep something like 30 beds the past few days and got at least 2/3 planted in things like peas, spring mix, lettuce, carrots, turnips, beets, kale, broccoli, scallions, etc.. There are a few things he was going to plant like spinach but the soil is too warm for spinach and it will not germinate. This is a rather big issue with fall planting. We are trying to plant things that love cool/cold conditions when it is still really hot out. And many times germination is poor. I know with late summer planted spinach some farmers will go as far as putting the seeds in the fridge for a couple of days before planting and buying lots of bags of ice to put on the soil right after planting to fool the spinach into thinking it is March or April and forcing germination (which takes less than a nano second to happen and once the process starts there is no going back-the seed will either grow or die.). We will not go that far and will wait until conditions get better for such crops.

Despite the hot and dry conditions things are growing pretty well. Irrigation helps as do improving the soils (a long term project all well managed Organic farms do). We will have beans this week in the shares and I expect to have them for many weeks. The peppers are some of the best we have ever grown,. Usually by now the plants have lost a lot of leaves and the peppers themselves get sun-scald (a whitish patch on the side of the fruit that eventually molds and rots) but this year the plants have good foliage and there is far less sun-scald. But there is insect damage and you may well get peppers with some damage. know that unless they are gooey and brown on the inside they are quite usable. Just cut away the bad spot(s). The zukes are done for the year (unless Eugene puts in a fall crop, which is quite possible). I looked at the last planting and they were alive and had 1 deformed zuke out of 25 plants and few to no flowers. We do have some zukes for sale that if I have enough I may just include in your shares this week as a bonus item (they won't be necessarily pretty but they will be tasty, even the big ones). the summer cucumber plants have succumbed to wilt and age but you will have pickling cukes in your share. this will probably be the last of them for a while. I do know there is a fall crop of some sort of cuke started but they won't be ready until late Sept/October

My bother came for a visit this past week and painted the front porch (the only part of the house not clad in "lovely" vinyl siding) for us. He has been a professional painter for around 25 years (most of it in NYC, now he is in Detroit) and did a beautiful job. It really improves the house and our lives. I got a root canal last week which resulted in no pain in my mouth. This week I got a temporary crown on the tooth and in September I get the permanent crown. It is nice to be able to chew using all my teeth, another big improvement in my life (and Eugene's, as he often got the brunt of the bad juju my mouth would put me in). It would appear as we leave summer and go towards autumn life is looking up for Boulder Belt. We even picked up 2 additional members for September last week

Speaking of Autumn, as you know the FSI finishes at the end of September for the monthly Subscribers and mid October for those who signed up for either the full season of the 3 month subscription. We are planning on doing a fall winter share. This will start in early November (the 3rd) and end the last Wednesday in January (the 26th). We have done this "Winter Share program" for the past two years and how it works is every other week we have pick up. The shares will be around twice the size of the shares you get now (between 12 and 25 items). I believe we will limit this to 15 members (but maybe less depending on how well the fall crops do as well as how many storage crops, such as winter squash, parsnips, onions, garlic, potatoes we harvest-so far it is looking good). Cost will be $350 for the winter share (7 pick-ups) and unlike the spring/summer early fall FSI we do only whole season shares. Official sign up will be in October but but we always give our current FSI members first shot at this as we always sell out and would like to know ASAP if you are interested

Sorry No recipe this week

Okay I am running out of time and need to get harvesting so here is what is in the shares this week

Arugula-a bag of greens
Green Beans-I hope to have enough Haricot verts (French beans, they are thin, delicate and sweet) for everyone. The plants never yield well, even in the best conditions and I need around 6 pounds (8 is better) to cover your shares. So some of you may get Blue lake green beans (fatter, but an excellent bean) in your share. As I know between the two types I will have enough beans for everyone to get at least 3/4 of a pound, if not a whole pound. I like to cook these simply by putting around 2 inches of water in a pan, bringing it to a boil and putting in the beans, covering the pot and simmering them for 13 to 15 minutes. if you like them less done, than cook for less time.
Tomatoes-we are in the heart of mater season and that means you guys will get at least 5 pounds of a mix of maters. Yesterday I put up 17 quarts of tomato juice from all the maters that were either damaged or getting too ripe. it used up around 1.5 bushels. You will not have nearly as many to deal with
Cherry Tomatoes-around 1.5 pounds of a mix of cherry Toms
Eggplant-2 to 3 pounds of a mix of our aubergines
Peppers-2 or 3 green peppers (though there may be a few ripe ones tossed in if I can find enough for everyone)
Cantaloupe-either 1 large or a couple of smaller ones in your share. these need to be used ASAP. I have been freezing melons this week, easy to do. Just cut in half, remove the seeds than cut into wedges, remove the rind than cut into chunks and put on a cookie sheet and pop that into the freezer. When the melon is frozen than pop the chunks into a marked freezer bag and back into the freezer. these make nice ice cubes and are great for smoothies and tropical frozen drinks.
Raspberries-a 1/2 pint of the fall bearing heritage berries which have been super sweet due to the heat and dry conditions.
Garlic-a couple of corms of garlic, likely German white this week
Onion-The last of the sweet onions and maybe a couple of smallish reds this week
basil-another big bag of basil
Cucumbers-5+ picking cukes. these are strange looking because they got water starved and attacked by insects. A few weeks ago we pickled 17 pounds of them using a lacto-fermentation technique that uses no vinegar. I hope to include a few of these in your shares next week when they are more finished and I can figure out how to do this (they need to be in their brine so I guess they will come in plastic bags).
Bonus item-zucchini, if I have enough for everyone. This means if it is in your share I did have enough, if it is not I did not, capeche?

As always the shares will be ready after 4pm today. As there is a mix of things that need to be in the fridge and things that do not you shares will be split. Part of your share will be in the fridge plus there will be a bag of tomatoes and basil sitting on the shelving nearest the fridge. DO NOT FORGET YOUR TOMATOES AND BASIL !!!!

 
 

Boulder Belt Farm Share Inititiative vol 2 issue 9 (week 9)

 

 

 

Greetings,

Well it's been a much better week. The herbicided plants have, for the most part recovered. I think we will lose some snow peas but not an entire bed and since snow peas tend to over produce this may be a good thing, meaning you won't in a few weeks start getting up to 5 pounds a week of the things in your share. The tiller works again. It had a nasty air filter which needed to be replaced. This is not an easy thing to do as they quit making parts for the engine on our tiller about 10 years ago. But Eugene found a Fram auto filter that was the same thickness at Auto Zone and with scissors and duct tape fashioned a new filter for the tiller for under $4 (I have a feeling the correct filter would run around $30 + shipping as BCS parts tend to be expensive because they are Italian). The tiller being fixed meant yesterday the last 10 potato beds were tilled and trenched this can be done by hand but it takes about 5x more time and is grueling. And frankly, what we do is grueling enough with the aid of some power equipment.

The other good thing is, crop wise, we are steaming into summer. This means a greater and greater variety of crops in your share from here on out. This week we add scallions, two kinds of green beans (these are early, normally beans come in at the end of June), Sugar Snap peas and some of you will get the first of the cukes (if you find kale in your share than don't expect cucumbers-the patch has only produce 4 or 5. By next week there should be plenty for all). These are Alpha Biet cucumbers (AKA Armenian) and a very nice sweet cucumber. First time we have grown them. Later on we will have 3 or 4 other varieties of cukes. Gone for the year are asparagus, lettuce (okay this might reappear if the late bed we planted actually works but if it gets hot again I don't think it will do much)

The bad thing is all this rain. We are beginning to have problems with crops in the badly drained areas (fortunately, most of the top field drains very well). We have lost 1/2 bed of arugula. The good thing is arugula in this kind of weather grows abundantly so a half bed should be more than enough for the FSI, store and farmers market. Still the wet part of that bed was sad, no arugula, no weeds, no nothing. The good thing is it made hoeing it out fairly easy yesterday. We are also losing some early potatoes (but the bulk are doing fantastic) and I see some kale is getting sick, all in the northern most beds. Oh well, soon enough we will probably be in dry conditions. I hope so, as we can always irrigate to keep crops going but when we get too much rain we can do little for crops rotting from being too wet much less be able to hoe or open new ground because you should never ever work wet soil (when dry, it resembles chunks of cement).

Okay, the shares will be ready after 4pm today and will be in the front fridge as usual. Since I felt last week's shares were a bit light expect more this week. If you wish to walk around the farm (yeah, right, in the rain) feel free to do so. Simply walk between the barn and the store and go through the gate on the right (be sure to close after you go in or the dogs could get out on the highway. The dogs are very friendly BTW).

Recipe

Oven Roasted Green Beans


Pre-heat your oven to 450°F

1 pound green beans, stem ends snapped off

1 tablespoon olive oil

Table salt and ground black pepper

Adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread beans on baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and use hands to toss green beans to coat the evenly with the oil. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, toss to coat. Distribute in one even layer. Roast 10 minutes.

Remove baking sheet and redistributed beans. Put back in oven and continue baking 10-12 minutes until the beans are dark golden brown in spots and have started to shrivel.

Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.



What's in the Share



Sugar Snap Peas-1 pound

Cukes (or kale)-either 1 cuke or 1/2 pound kale

Zucchini-about 1/2 pound of Zephyr zucchini

Radishes-a bag of easter egg or French breakfast radishes

Scallions-a bunch of scallions

Cilantro-a 1/4 pound bag of cilantro. This is good with mexican dishes and is really good with Macaroni and cheese

Red Turnips-1 pound

Garlic scapes-1/2 pound

Broccoli-1/2 pound

Haricot Verts (French Green beans)
-1 pound. These are the skinny beans. Cook no more than 10 minutes, if steaming.

Black Valentine beans-1 pound. These are the fatter beans. Steam for 14 minutes







 
 
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