We Sell the Best, Compost the Rest
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It's Wednesday once again and that means it is Farm Share Day!!! It is also the day That the farm store officially opens which really doesn't mean much to you members.
I would like to talk about a couple of things. One there is kitchen equipment you need (if you do not have it already) the most important tool a CSA?FSI member needs is a salad spinner. if you don't own one go to my blog and on the right side bar are several items I am selling via Amazon. On the top line of the Amazon box is the Zyliss Salad spinner. I have owned one for over 10 years and use it almost every day (this time of year, several times a day). This is a big thing about eating whole foods, you have to have the right kitchen equipment to cope, otherwise it can get nightmarish-cut fingers, wet lettuce, etc.. Other things a whole foods kitchen should have
a micro plane-You can get these at any hardware or kitchen supply stores
A food processor. I am a Cuisinart girl but most do the trick.
A good vegetable peeler. For Christmas I got a ceramic peeler and it is the best. It will peel carrots and parsnips with ease and does a great job on the hard skin of Butternut squash (perhaps the best test of any peeler-if it goes through squash it will handle about anything else). Got it at Jungle Jim's along with a ceramic knife (for way too much as I see the same set advertised in the paper for 1/3 what I paid)
A good paring knife-I am in love with ceramic knives but stainless steel is also excellent. Ceramic will keep and edge for years whereas SS needs to be sharpened at least once a month (my SS field knife get sharpened daily, sometimes more often, but than that blade has to go through soil and rocks). BTW, the sharper the knife the safer the knife. At any rate, paring knives come in very very handy, you will use one a lot so perhaps you should get 2 or 3.
A good chef's knife-I used to believe that one needed to buy only the top of the line but an accident at a fraternity house where I cooked between the boys (likely extremely drunk and high) and my $300 chef's knife proved me wrong. They broke my knife and I couple not replace it on their dime with another top of the line knife so I had to get a fad cheaper model and It works well and 17 years later I still use the knife.
I know there are a few other items that are essential but they are not coming to mind right now. But what I listed is what I use, pretty much, daily
Life on the farm is busy-we plant, we harvest, we hoe/weed, we mow grass, Eugene tills beds, we water seedlings in cold frames and hoop houses, time is taken to train Betty on the ways of farm dog life-staying out of beds (which she has good days and bad days), catching critters (she got her first rabbit yesterday. You may think bunnies are cute but not when they eat an entire 50' bed of spinach that was supposed to be harvested for the FSI members. Rabbits, left unchecked, can do an amazing amount of damage to a several acre sized market garden. Add in deer and take away to dogs and in a matter of a week they can destroy around 75% to 85%), being cute (okay, she has that skill sewed up). This week we will get the rest of the onions seedlings planted (this is literally like planting blades of grass), along with cucumber, zucchini and Galia melon seedlings that will go into the last hoop house we erected. This will mean, if all goes right, that we will enjoy cukes, zukes and melons a good 8 weeks before they are in true season around here. When I say "If all goes right" I mean we have had armies of voles invade newly planted hoop houses and eat the heads off of every seedling planted earlier in the day. It is really maddening and depressing to find all the days of work (it takes a minimum of 15 days to get the seeds to grow into seedlings before they go out into the houses) destroyed over night. There are also insects that will kill freshly planted seedlings such as cut worms.
But all is not lost, 1) Betty and Nate (along with our resident snakes) have done some great control of the vole population sine the snows melted back in Feb. B) we will protect the seedlings by popping "Cut worm collars" made from old drip tape lines over them. What we do is take 6" pieces of drip tape split them in half length-wise and put them over the plants so only the tips of the leaves are showing. This thwarts bunnies, voles and cut worms (as well as reuses what other wise would be put into recycling) and ever since we have used this technique we have very low losses of our seedlings. This is one of the many ways we attempt to lower the risk we are all into with this Farming/FSI thing.
I have been thinking about the Pot-luck dinner/Farm tour and I think May 2nd would be a great day to have it. We will provide Chicken from the birds we raised last summer and have stored in the freezer, home brewed beer and home made wine along with salad and salad dressing. You bring a dish that will feed 6 people (ideally made with local ingredients, but this is not a requirement) plus flatware, plates, drinking vessels. last year I had planned on doing this sort of thing monthly but after the first dinner had few to no takers most months so this year I have scrapped the idea of a monthly event. But if you guys want to do a local foods dinner every month I am game. If you think your life will be too busy to swing this sort of thing that is fine too. Let me know if having a monthly dinner would be of interest, otherwise we will likely not do another until late summer/early Fall. I will need you all to RSVP Yes or No before April 30th about this upcoming event.RecipePotato and leek Soup
2 pounds of potatoes, scrubbed and cut into smallish cubes
2 leeks cut into slices
1 TBL butter or olive oil
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 to 1 tsp salt
In a 4 quart (or bigger) pot add the cubed taters and enough water to cover them buy an inch. Put that on the stove, cover and bring just to a boil (about 5 to 7 minutes over medium heat). While that is going on, in a 2 gallon heated pan add the fat and the leeks. Stir the leeks constantly and after a minute of so start smashing the leek rounds so that the layers separate. When the potatoes just start to boil add them AND the water they are in, to the cooking leeks. Add the salt and thyme. Let this simmer for 1/2 hour to an hour. When everything seems cooked enough get out a blender or food processor and put half the soup in and blend it for about 30 seconds until smooth (you will likely have to do this in 2, maybe 3 batches). Add the blended soup back to the soup pot, taste, adjust the seasoning and the soup is ready to serve.
This is vegan style. If you want Decadent Style than start with cut up bacon-put that in a hot pan and cook stirring constantly. When the bacon is crispy, remove and add some butter and the leeks. Continue as above. After you have added the processed leeks and potatoes back to the soup add a cup (or more) of heavy cream, cook on low heat for an additional 10 minutes and serve.
What's in the ShareLettuce
-5 to 6 heads of lettuce in the bagSpring MixBroccoli Raab
-this is the first time we have ever grown or eaten this. I asked at the farmers market how to prepare and was told either steam it like other greens (think spinach) or sauté it in olive oil with a bit of onion, garlic. While this is called broccoli Raab it is a much closer relative of the turnip and the greens taste somewhat like turnip greens (not a personal favorite of mine but I rather like this stuff). This is what makes CSA's a wonderful thing-the adventure in food, having to try new things.Radishes
-this week a big bunch of beautiful heirloom D'Avignon radishesParsnipPotatoes-
a 3 pound bag of either Yukon Gold or Kennebec white (there will be a label on the bag. And just because the package looks like what you would find at the grocery store be assured we grew these taters-we simply have invested in packaging supplies)
2 or 3 leeks
Chives-use to top the tater and leek soup or in a salad or a dipThyme
-for the soup
There may be a few other items stuck in the shares as well, like last week and the acorn and delicata squash.
The shares will be ready any time after 4pm. If you will not be picking up today please let me know by this afternoon so your share is not sitting out in warm conditions for 4+ hours
Boulder Belt Eco-Farm
Posted by Lucy
@ 06:12 AM EDT
Greetings Farm Share Members
It is week 23 for some of you and week 2 for others-it's a crazy farm share program we run. Almost no one else in the country will let new members in monthly. That makes us special. But it also makes it very hard to plan out the market garden for the farm share when we do not have a head count of members for the season. I do realize it makes it (somewhat more) convenient for members to be able to drop in and out of the farm share but I am finding that there is an inherent unfairness for the members that paid for a full season (or partial season). The full season members are taking the full risk of being a farm share member. If they go out of town they do not get to make up their missed week(s), for example. So things will change next year. I have not hammered out how they will change other than full season members will get a discount and I don't believe there will be a monthly option. I think monthly option will change to seasonal option where I split the season into 3 or 4 sections and people have the choice of either buying a full season share or a 2 or 3 month seasonal share. Full season people will have the option of a payment plan. seasonal members will have to pay in full. I will likely keep the cost about the same as this year. This is just a heads up for all you members who are planning on joining us in 2010.
Oh and don't forget we will be doing a Winter Share. There are still about 9 spaces left for that. Here are the details:
We will do on farm pick up twice a month, cost will be $100 a month ($50 a share). The shares will be larger than a summer share and will mainly be food that can store for months like taters, winter squash, onions, carrots, parsnips, a few canned goods, garlic, pears, dried herbs, leeks, etc.. If the weather is good to us, leafy greens (arugula, kale, spring mix, lettuce) and other things from the hoop houses will also be included throughout the season (we will certainly have them the first 2 or 3 pick-ups). This will start Wednesday November 11 and go through Wednesday January 20 for 3 months/6 pick-ups. Unlike the summer shares, we require people to pay the $300 for the entire winter share upfront, no month to month shares. We will have 12 shares available this year.
I was going to write bout how dry the farm is getting and if we don't get rain soon the yields will start dropping a lot and the fall stuff will be spotty. But we got over 2" of rain Monday and the market garden is much much happier. This means no more hand watering-literally taking 2 gallon watering cans out to the newly seeded beds and watering the seeds to get germination. Just like home gardeners do, only our garden is around 100x bigger. As I have mentioned in earlier newsletters, we do use drip irrigation but drip irrigation will not do for starting seeds. It cannot get the soil surface damp enough to ensure good germination. So we are forced to water by hand if it is dry.
As I mentioned, it rained and as long as it doesn't continue to rain non stop through the rest of the month we will be in great shape. If it decides to rain the rest of the month it will be tricky, if not impossible to get beds tilled for the rest of the late fall and winter crops (and even early spring crops like spinach) and seeds planted in the ground. I do not see that happening as September is our driest month of the year. Not to mention we have about 70% of these crops in the ground. So far for fall, we have planted arugula, spring mix, beets, green beans, carrots, radishes, red turnips, fall maters, fall zucchini, fall cukes, snow peas, sugar snap peas, kale, cilantro, cabbage, broccoli, daikon, and likely some other things. Plus we are harvesting a lot of winter squashes (butternut, delicata, acorn, etc..) and soon will be harvesting popcorn, parsnips, celeriac, celery for late summer through winter use. this week you will start to see the winter squashes, and while we do have hundreds harvested most still need to cure for another 3 to 4 weeks before they will be ready to eat. An uncured winter squash has no sugar development so the flavors tend to be dull and a bit off. But wait 3 to 5 weeks and that same squash will be fabulous.
What I want you all to come away with from reading this is just because the "Official" close to summer has happened i.e. Labor Day. This does not mean that us farmers and our farms have suddenly stopped producing. No, and in fact, fall is the best time of year for produce as it all comes in-both cold and warm weather items from mid September until frost when we lose the summer crops like tomatoes and peppers. It is a shame that a lot of non farmer managed/run farmers market close down after Labor Day as this just reinforces this myth on the non farmers of our country. But one of the things we at Boulder Belt Eco-Farm do is educate the general public on the fact that CSA's, Farm Stands and Farmers Markets (if they are still open) are at their best from now through frost. That there is a lot more going on than Corn mazes, Indian corn and pumpkins. That now is the time to buy in bulk so you can put up food for winter
Hey! There is a pot luck dinner/farm tour coming up Sept 20th. That is a Sunday. Please RSVP yes or no ASAP. We will be preparing roasted chicken that we raised for the meal (I can promise you that you will never have a better chicken). We may also offer some home brewed beer and home made wine to drink along with distilled water (this is very pure and excellent). You bring a dish that can feed 6+ people plus things to eat from (plates, cups, flatware). Meet at the store around 6ish and we will do a walk about around the market garden and explain what we do and take any and all questions, than we will eat like royalty.
No recipe this week, sorry.
What's in the Share
Tomatoes-several kinds of heirlooms and a mix of cherry maters. probably around 5 pounds, maybe a more, maybe less. The big reds are GL-18, the pale yellow are great White (one of our favorites), the big round yellow orange fruits are Sun ray, the orange not so round and flatter fruits are Dr. Wyche's yellow, the small greens are green grape (excellent taste, don't let the color put you off), the smallish browns (black, actually) are Nyagous, the smallish reds are a saladette and some should be Green Zebra but are not. The more oblong big reds are Amish paste and excellent for canning, making salsa or fresh tomato sauce
Kale-a nice bag of White russian kale. this is a brand new bed of kale that needs thinning badly so you will get baby to adolescent kale. this should be tender and yummy
Scallions-a bunch on big scallions. I notice when i slice these they make me cry and yet the scallions themselves are not hot at all, despite being huge and about ready to split into 3 or more little scallions. Scallions, unlike green onions, never make a bulb. they instead divide into several new plants. green Onions, on the other hand are actual onions and if left in the ground will make a bulb and eventually the greens will die back.
Basil-a big bag of basil for using fresh or drying or freezing (see http://www.localharvest.org/blog/330 for old newsletters that tell you how to do these things if you are new or missed that week)
Leeks-a couple of lincoln leeks. These are good fresh or cooked.
Raspberries-2 boxes of berries. These are getting sweeter as the days get shorter.
Pears-heirloom Keiffer pears. These are hard and green but quite sweet and edible. If you want them a bit softer (they never get really soft until they start to rot) put them in a paper bag and wait a week and they should get a lot riper.
Peppers-still green and purple peppers but you may get one close to all ripe this week. Next week you will certainly start to see ripe peppers in your share as the peppers are beginning to turn from green (or purple) to red, yellow and orange. ripe peppers are sweeter and higher in Vitamin C and other nutrients than green. They are also a lot harder to raise as it is in the last 3 weeks of ripening that all the pests and diseases attack the peppers. This is why ripe peppers cost twice as much as green peppers at the market
Acorn squash-the first of the winter squashes. You get 2 medium or 3 small ones. We harvested these about 3 weeks ago so they should be perfect. To prepare cut in half, remove the seeds (which are excellent roasted, like pumpkin seeds so don't throw them out!). place flesh side down on a baking sheet and put into a preheated 350F oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Slather with butter and honey and you have a real treat.
Garlic-3 corms of garlic
Ailsa Craig onion-a pound of so of sweet onions
Potatoes-a couple of pounds of a mix of potatoes. likely White, red and Yukon golds though you may find some fingerlings this week.
Boulder Belt Eco-Farm
Posted by Lucy
@ 02:07 PM EDT
I am up extra early because today is the day we take our chickens in for processing. I will miss the birds but I will not miss the extra work they demanded, at least 2 hours a day that could have been spent mowing, cleaning garlic and onions, weeding, etc.. After today we will have more time to devote to the produce AND we will have sublime poultry to eat for the next 12 months or so. The chickens were useful for eating all the damaged and beginning to rot produce we had-they went through a lot of melons and tomatoes for us that would have ended up on the compost. Composting that sort of stuff is not a bad thing at all. bad produce makes up at least 50% of our compost. But allowing the chickens to eat that stuff turned it into chicken poop which is very valuable stuff for our compost piles. I have also noticed things are a lot cleaner, compost material wise, when we have chickens. I guess because it is a lot more entertaining to feed the chickens than a compost pile.
You guys missed a great farm tour we had around 25 people from around Ohio attended and we talked strawberries and raspberries for a couple of hours. Unlike the casual farm tours we dour with you farm share members monthly this one had a moderator who formally introduced us, kept us from straying too far off topic and kept us on time during the tour. We gotten nothing but very positive feed back from the participants. I will admit we give good farm tour. I believe this is the 10th time we have done an official farm tour. There are some photos of the event on our blog http://boulderbelt.blogspot.com and even more on my facebook account-if you do facebook and are not already my FB friend become my FB friend today and take a gander at all the farm tour photos (and lots of other farm photos and video).
The cold weather we are having this week does have have an effect on the crops. We re covering a lot of the warm weather crops and may be out of basil after 3 nights in the 40's. the basil has a double cover on it but I have not looked at it since the cold has arrived and it likely will have black spots all over. All we can do is hope for warmer nights (like in the 60's at the lowest) and cut back the plants and hope they can grow out of it. We may be in luck and find there has been very little damage done because they have been protected but in the past 48F has brought on damage to even protected plants. Now while the warm loving crops are not all that happy with this cool weather the cold loving crops are quite happy (though they would like some rain instead of irrigated well water)
It's a new month and we do have some new members and some old members that have decided to drop out. Reminder that pick-up is after 4pm on whichever day you opted to use (Tuesday or Thursday) in the store. the food will be in the fridge and/or on the table by the fridge (sometimes there are bags of things like tomatoes which should never be refrigerated).
The monthly potluck dinner and farm tour will be Sunday, Sept 20th starting at 6ish. RSVP about this (yes or no) in the next two weeks so we have a head count.
If you have not brought us some reusable bags it is by no means too late. If you are new to this we ask members to drop off at least 2 reusable shopping bags (bigger is better) so we can pack your shares into something other than plastic shopping bags. Please write your name on the bags. Oh, and if you have a pile of such not very reusable plastic shopping bags sitting around your house or dorm we will take them as long as they are clean and reuse them at the farmers market and in our store for customers that do not bring their own.Recipe
Potato and Leek Soup
2 leeks cut into 1/2" rounds
1 pound taters cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 or 2 cloves of garlic either put through a press or chopped very fine
2 cups milk ( you can replace this with water if you are a non dairy drinker or use soy milk)
5 strips of bacon (vegetarians omit this ingredient and replace with a tablespoon of olive oil)
salt to taste
In a large pot (at least 3 gallons) put on med heat and let it heat up. When hot add the bacon and cook until crisp. when bacon is done remove it and drain it on paper and add the leeks and cook those in the bacon grease over medium heat. If using olive oil than put the oil into a hot pan and cook the leeks in that fat. While the leeks are cooking boil the potatoes in a separate pot. the taters need to simmer for about 10 minutes, which is about how long the leeks have to cook to get soft. When the potatoes are soft add them AND their cooking water to the pot that has the cooking leeks. About 3 minutes before this happens add the garlic to the leeks.
Let the leeks and potatoes cook for about 10 minutes than add the milk, thyme and salt and cook another 15 minutes. For a nice thick soup I put about 1/3 of the soup through a blender or food processor right before serving.
What's in the Share This WeekPotatoes
-around a 1.5 pounds of mixed tatersEggplant
-black and purple and probably some of the mini white and purple striped auberginesGreen beans
-about a pound of blue lake green beansTomatoes
-a pound of mixed cherry types and fewer than 4 pounds of the big maters. I am giving you guys a break from tomato overwhelmation.Leeks
-2 leeks this week. the leeks are huge and wonderful, the best fall leeks we have ever grown.Onion
-two pounds of a mix of red onions and sweet onions.
Raspberries-A 1/2 pint of yummy red raspberries from our everbearing heritage plants, as opposed to the summer bearing latham plants that gave us such abundance in June and JulyMystery Greens
-these are coming up in the fall white Russian kale. We have no idea what they are or where they came from but they are tasty-they seem to be a very mild mustard and would good either raw or lightly steamedThyme
-a small bunch of thymeArugula
-at least 1/4 pound of arugula this week, probably more as we have two beds producing it at the moment.Garlic
-3 corms of our hard necked garlicPeppers
-mostly purple peppers this week as the green peppers are beginning to ripen and I want to leave as many on the plants to get ripe as possible
Posted by Lucy
@ 06:10 AM EDT
It's Tuesday once again-time to begin another farm share cycle-week 21.
It's busy here at at the farm-lots of harvesting, weeding, tilling and planting going on to get ready for fall/winter growing/sales. I have had several folks ask what we will have this fall. it seems way too many people assume once school starts (which is now the start of autumn, even though school starts earlier and earlier each year and is actually starting in late summer-Fall comes the last 10 days of September) that we small farmers stop producing and roll up our fields and go somewhere for the winter. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is come fall we have more food than at any other time of the year. Not only will we have all the summer items until the first frosts of the season kill them (and even than we should have tomatoes, peppers and a few other warm weather crops thriving in our hoop houses until November or even December-season extension is one of our specialties, after all) but we will add to that all the things we had in spring plus winter squash, parsnips, leeks, celeriac, celery, pears, etc.. The variety of food we will produce from mid September through late November is pretty amazing-around 45 to 50 different kinds of food
lots of food
a variety of winter squashes-butternut, acorn and others
sugars snap peas
melons ( if Eugene decides to plant a late crop in a hoop house and it doesn't freeze too badly-about 1 year in 3 we can grow these into late fall/early winter)
And we are not the only farm producing so much in the fall-most farms that go to farmers markets will have lots and lots of produce available at least through the killing frosts and more and more are jumping on the season extension band wagon and have fresh and local produce most of the winter. this leads me to the question any of you want to sign up for our winter share program? I have asked before and would like to know if anyone wants to be a locavore into January?
Onto another subject-we are having a big farm tour this Sunday from 3 to 6pm if you have never been to a pot luck/farm tour here this is one of your best opportunities to learn a lot more about the farm that grows your food. This is a major component of being in a CSA-visiting the farm. Most people (like 99.999% of the eating public) never get a chance to visit any of the farms that supply their food. This has lead to a deep disconnect between eater and farm that has in turn, lead to a more and more dangerous and nutritionless food supply. By joining the farm share program you have indicated that you are well aware of this fact (God, I hope no one is doing this simply because it is "in" right now to be a locavore-that is about the worst reason to join a CSA type program). I feel that farm visits (more than coming to pick up food, though that is going a lot further than most people, at least you can see the farm and see that it actually exists and grows food) are very important. That it is this component more than any other that sets the CSA movement apart from say shopping at a farm stand or farmers market. Add to that, the fact most farms do not allow the public onto their land for a variety of reasons. Sunday you have the opportunity to see your farmers in action leading a big regional tour (something we have not done in several years but in the past did well). This will be educational and entertaining. be there or be square
If you have any friends or colleagues who might be interested in trying out our farm share program we have about 8 opening for September/October. Let 'em know what we are about.
Oh yeah before I forget-I was cleaning out a freezer in order to get ready for our poultry harvest next week and found several shrink wrapped ODA inspected cornish hens. We have 5 for sale at $10 ea (they are about 2.5 pounds on average). Yes they are expensive but this will be absolutely the best chicken you have ever had. I also have 1 pound containers of gizzards for a buck a container (makes good pet food) and several packages of chicken backs for $3 each-these are great for making stock or pet food (I use them for stock personally) each package has 4 backs. Let me know this week or before NEXT TUESDAY (the new chickens will be processed next Tuesday and I will need the room by around 4pm that day). To reserve your chicken just reply to this email ASAP, tell me what you want and pick it up when you pick up your share.
Before I forget, September has 5 Tuesdays in it. Everyone who has not signed up for the entire season and paid in full (and picks up on Tuesday) will not get a share Next Tuesday Sept 1st and will resume the following Tuesday Sept 8th
various fruit-raspberries, bananas, melon, strawberries, etc..
1 cup orange juice
2 cups yogurt
Honey to taste (probably 1/4 to 1/2 cup)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Put everything into a blender and blend until smooth.
If you want to make this alcoholic omit the yogurt and add about 1/4 cup of a good rum and 1 cup of ice. This is even better if you use frozen fruit (if you are going the alcohol route and use frozen fruit omit the ice). Makes about 4 cups.
What's in the Share This Week
Red raspberries-2 1/2 pints of fall berries
Garlic-2 or 3 corms of garlic
Scallions-a bunch of green onions
Melon-I believe you will get a red watermelon but it might be a cantaloupe instead (but I am about 95% it will be watermelon)
Blackberries-1/2 pint of blackberries
Basil-1/4 pound bag of basil
Parsley-1/4 pound of parsley
Tomatoes-week two of tomato madness-expect at least 8 pounds of a mix of heirloom tomatoes, like last week.
Peppers-several green and purple peppers.
Rutabaga-the harvest is in and these are very nice-you will get a nice big one this week
Cucumber-several nice lemon cukes this weeks
Shallots-a hand full of shallots
Boulder Belt Eco-Farm
Posted by Lucy
@ 06:05 AM EDT
It's another week of yummy food.
The weather is improving quite a bit. We got over 3" of rain over the weekend which was badly needed. It got cold but we did not get much, if any frost (I think a couple of the tiny asparagus spears got frost damaged but not more than .01%) and now we get some very nice dry and sunny days to get a lot of weeding/hoeing/tilling done.
The farm is very beautiful. The trees are leafing out and the early summer flowers are opening. Mostly irises (my favorite flower) with a bit of phlox and soon we should have a hillside covered in daisies
Monday was spent weeding, mainly onions and garlic. We have a really nice method to take care of the weeds that is not too labor intensive. First we get out the wheel hoe and hit the big areas. Next we use a stirrup hoe to get smaller areas that the wheel hoe blade is to wide to do. after all that is done we hand weed what's left. Usually there is hardly anything to hand weed but today we hit several beds that need a lot of hand weeding. The scallions are the worst but fortunately they are well on their way to being done. I am happy that the onions and garlic did not need much hand weeding at all, just a few thistle plants that had to be pulled per bed. if there is not a lot of little weeds growing up in between the plants and the weeds are small we can get a bed done in about 15 minutes. If there are a lot of little weeds between plants than a bed will take about 2 to 3 hours with one person doing the work. From now until mid July when it usually gets dry we will be doing a lot of weeding, than the weed pressure usually lightens up a lot.
Beside weeding (and the perpetual harvesting) we are gearing up to put out about 750 tomato, pepper and aubergine seedlings. This means many beds to till (about 2/3 are tilled), than landscape fabric mulch and irrigation tapes are put down. the mulch is secured by digging in the edges. 7' tall metal fence stakes are driven into the ground for the tomatoes-10 stakes per bed so we have something to support the tomatoes. We also stake the peppers but they take much smaller stakes and could even use tomato cages, if we had any. We do not use cages for tomatoes as we grow great big indetermanent tomato varieties and they get way too big for cages so we stake them and support them a la the "Florida Weave" (google it).
A lot of crops are close to coming in. We should have a little bit of fresh basil maybe next week. We might have small zucchinis this week and if not certainly next week (they will be ready Thursday but are not quite ready to pick Tuesday so to keep things even we will probably wait until next week so everyone gets the same thing at the same time) The first peas are in flower and should have peas in 2 weeks. We grow three kinds, snow, sugar snap and a couple of types of shelling peas. The garlic should be forming scapes at the end of the month. Scapes are the flower stalks and have to be cut off, they are yummy. Broccoli is beginning to form heads. We will have cabbage, carrots, beets, chard, scallions (the one's you have been getting were from an over wintered bed that was planted around this time last year.), sweet onions in June and beyond.
As some thing are coming on others are going away for a few weeks. This would be the strawberries. We grow an everbearing variety that sets fruit, fruit ripens, fruit gets picked and than it grows more flowers and sets more fruit. A cycle takes about 6 to 8 weeks. Cycle one in just about over. So this will be the last week for strawberries for a while, I believe. But soon enough we will have red Latham raspberries (mid to late June)
We have the pot luck dinner coming up this Sunday. I have RSVP's from 4 people, The Platts, Gliddens, Lathams and Herbskerman. I need to know Yes or no from the rest of you, ASAP (sorry if I have forgotten your RSVP, you will have to tell me again-farming can make one brain dead). As mentioned, it starts at 5pm, we will conduct a tour of the main market garden at 5:15 or so, Nancy will do her herb demo around 6pm than we eat good food out under the apple trees. It should be a lot of fun and the perfect opportunity to get to know the farm and ask us questions. Try to be on time. oh and we will have a home brew tasting of some sort. We will provide a big salad, a couple of kinds of dressing and Apple cider. You bring a dish to share (meat, dessert, side dish, etc.,) things to eat/drink with/from (we really want to avoid disposable plate/cup/flatware use) and any wine beer, soda you want to drink if cider is not for you. We may have some pear wine left over from last year. We have many interesting people in this group so conversation should be interesting.
June is coming up I need to know if you are one of the members doing this by the month a) are you joining in June? b) if so and you pick up on Tuesday which 4 Tuesdays do you want-there are 5 in June. I need to know ASAP about these things. Those of you who have committed to the entire season, don't worry about this 5 Tuesday thing.Recipe
Asparagus and Kale Omelet
3 eggs, use pastured eggs you can buy at any farmers market
2 spears of asparagus, cut into 1/2" pieces
4 kale leaves, cut the mid rib out and chopped
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup cheese (cheddar or whatever pleases you), shredded
salt to taste
In a pan over medium heat melt the butter and saute the onion, asparagus and kale, add the salt. Cook about 5 minutes, until the onions get translucent and the asparagus is tender crisp. Also place the top oven rack in the highest position and preheat the broiler
While this goes on beat the eggs in a small bowl
In a hot omelet pan (preheated over medium-heat-the pan must be hot for the eggs to slide out of the pan, not stick) melt some butter (don't worry if it starts to turn brown) and put in the scrambled eggs. With a spatula stir the eggs, pushing them down the side. Cook about 1 to 2 minutes. Put eggs under the hot broiler for 30 seconds. The eggs should be puffed up and turning light brown, even. Remove put pan on a cold burner and add the veggies to one side of the eggs and top with the cheese. Put back under the broiler for 30 to 45 seconds, until cheese is melted. Flip onto a plate, veggie side first and let the rest of the eggs fold over top. Asparagus
-around a pound this week, you may notice some spears are purple-those are the purple asparagus and they are super tender and good.Kale
-Russian White kale, a big bag. this is simple to cook-cut the center rib out and chop and steam like spinach
Spring mix-another bag of saladLettuce-
mix of reds and greens this weekRadish
-lots of little radishes. This planting of radishes never did take off and now we need them out of the ground. hopefully the later plantings will do Much better for us.Chives
-the flowers are at their peak right now and quite edibleGarlic chives
-another bunch of garlic chivesOregano
-many of you got this herb about two weeks ago instead of rosemary. This is the pizza herb and is also a good herb for digestion.Strawberries/zucchini
-Since the berries likely will not make it to Thursday the Thursday group may get zephyr zucchini in their shares this weekArugula
-Eugene says there is enough to harvest. As I write this it is 5am and I have not gone out to check nor will I until after dawn. There may be arugula in the shares or there may not be
Posted by Lucy
@ 05:54 PM EDT
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