Boulder Belt Eco-Farm

  (Eaton, Ohio)
We Sell the Best, Compost the Rest
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Boulder Belt Winter Share vol 4 issue 2

Greetings,

It's CSA day (Woo Hoo!) and we have a larger share in store this week than 2 weeks ago. That one I made a bit smaller than I liked because of the drought conditions as well as getting a handle on how much food we have already harvested like onions, winter squash, garlic, potatoes, etc.. vs what we have growing still in the market garden. Not to mention, I had just gotten back from DC and the Jon Stewart Rally and, frankly, did not have my Farmer Head on at that time (I even missed taking a photo of the share for posterity and Face Book). This share is far better thought out and will be bigger (though not so big that you cannot use everything in 2 weeks) than last week

So, we got rain for hours yesterday, we got a whole inch! This will a positive effect on the plants still growing like lettuce, spring mix, bok choy, Napa, leeks. And especially the 3000 garlics we planted last Thursday and Friday into very dry (but not totally dry because we have improved our soil the 5 years we have been here and have added enough Organic matter that the soils are holding moisture even in very dry conditions). Without a good rain coming at exactly the time it came we would have been stressing over the garlic all winter. But we got the rain and know that the garlics will be fine and should grow beautifully through the winter and spring. Normally we would have planted the garlic about 2 to 3 weeks earlier than we did but things came up that kept pushing the chore back. Than we got coldish weather and decided to wait until last week and lucked out in that we got to plant garlic for about 12 hours in complete comfort. Usually it is rather wet and cold when we do this and we are usually quite muddy afterward, but not this year. This year it was bone dry and in the low 70's, can't beat that.

We still need another 8 or 9 such rainfalls in the next month to break this drought (we are down over 7" of rain, even with this rain event yesterday). This time of year I guess we should expect the rain to come as snow part of the time. This is fine with us as snow makes a super winter mulch that over wintered crops just love and, of course, it adds moisture to the soil so that in spring. though the down side is wet heavy snows (or over 10" of drier snow) will bring down the hoop houses. Now, when this happens, the plants inside the hoop houses don't mind because they always get covered in a wonderful and thick snow mulch. But the hoops and plastic generally get quite beaten up and too often cannot be repaired and must be replaced which costs money. Fortunately, this does not happen to us every winter even though we do keep our hoop houses sheathed in plastic every winter. And we see this as one of the costs of doing the business we do as well as pushing the envelope of season extension using no artificial heat sources.

Okay, I need to talk about the upcoming FSI season which will start Mid April. It is my hope you will a be member in 2011. On my web site I talk about substantial discounts ($675 for a full season vs $730) OR a payment plan for those who sign up before Jan 1st. My offer to you today is you can take advantage of both - a substantial discount AND a payment plan (3 payments due the first of the month of  $225). Why am I doing this? because I really appreciate my CSA members and I want to make it as non-onerous as possible for you to rejoin the Boulder Belt FSI in 2011. Oh yeah, and because our farmers market season was way down for us this past year (sales were down a good 33%) we are in need of off season money so we can do things like pay for seed orders, Property taxes and US Income tax. That's the big bill for us as we are considered entrepreneurs and thus usually have a $3K to $4K check we have to write to the IRS. And of course we have to pay this at the time of year we are making the least amount of income. Living cheaply, being good savers and staying out of debt allows us to be able to handle these debts as long as we have a decent growing year and decent sales. unfortunately this did not happen this year. Our CSA, farm store and farmers market revenues were all down for us this year so for the first time in over a decade we are gonna have to depend on early FSI/CSA payments to get through the winter and get all our obligations paid.

I hope you all are planning on great Thanksgiving feasts and using some local foods in those feasts. I am hosting parts of my family plus friends for turkey day. I will be roasting a pastured Certified Organic Turkey from Morning Sun farms near Gratis and will prepare mashed taters from our potatoes along with several other dishes that will come from our farm. My sister in law will bring food from non local sources, my Brother in law will probably do 1/2 and 1/2 with his food and the rest of  the family that is coming for the event are coming in from out of town, don't cook and could care less about locavorism (heavy sigh...). But I will make comments about the fact many things at the table are local and why that is important and likely be told to shut up (because family members are generally honest to a fault).

One last thing-there have been several news stories lately about nasty germs growing in the bottoms of our reuseable bags. So I suggest strongly, that you wash them out before returning them to the farm (or at least dump out the debris that build up in them). We don't want anyone getting sick, though, I suppose because I am not packing meat products, nor industrial produce into the bags there are really not many pathogens that could grow in them. And you should be washing pretty much everything before you eat it, anyways.

Okay, shares will be available after 4pm and can be picked up any time between than and 7 am Saturday morning

Recipe

Chinese Cabbage/Napa Lettuce Sauté


1/2 pound (or more, basically a whole bag) of Napa, cleaned and chopped
1 medium red or yellow onion, chopped
2 Italian sausages (if vegetarian, replace with your favorite meatless sausage), cooked than sliced into pieces. About 1/2 pound
2 TBL Olive oil
1 TBL Sesame Oil
1 or 2 garlic cloves either put through a press or micro-plane (they need to be finely processed)


Pre heat a big frying or sauté pan and cook up the sausages. When they are done remove them from the pan and let them cool. In the same pan using the drippings from the sausages, add some olive oil (or butter or any other oil) and than the onions and cook them, stirring occasionally for a few minutes. Than add the Napa/Chinese cabbage and cook that for about 4 to 5 minutes. While the greens are cooking slice the sausages and add them to the pan (they need enough time to heat up again and for the flavors to marry to the greens) and than add the garlic and sesame oil and cook for another couple of minutes and you are all done and it is time to eat.

What's In The Share

Rutabaga-these are a close relative of the turnip but have a richer, milder flavor. I use these mainly for soups and stews-simply peel them and chop into 1/2" cubes and add to a soup or other long cooking dish and these add great flavor. they are also good to roast with other root veggies.
Napa Lettuce/Chinese Cabbage-is it a lettuce or a cabbage? It is neither and thus has two stupid names that make this the most confusing green we grow. It is most closely related to cabbages but it is really a mild mustard green and is not at all related to lettuce but I think got that moniker because in the 80's and 90's it was a popular salad green along with romaine and iceberg lettuce (I know when I was a pantry cook I used a lot of it in the salad greens base until that restaurant started using a beautiful locally grown Spring mix that ultimately got me into market farming)
Lettuce-you will get around 3/4 pound of lettuce in the form of two heads of a deep red oak leaf and either a red and green leaf or a red and green butterhead
Kale-1/2 pound of either rainbow or White russian kale (or a mix of the two, which is the most likely as the Kale has been hit hard by the drought and as of last Friday was in the process of dying. But this rain should fix things up nicely)
Spring Mix-1/2 pound bag.
Arugula-1/3 pound bag
Cucumbers-these are coming out of a low tunnel and this will likely be the only time you get any. These are very nice Armenian cukes which are burpless and very sweet and mild. Due to the drought and cool temps these are not as big as they should be. you get 2 medium sized cukes. Enjoy
Beets-Likely a mix of red, yellow and chioggia (pink) beets. These will probably be on the small side again so I will try to make the bunches ample. remember the greens are quite edible and tasty (chard is basically beet greens).
Celeriac-the ugliest thing we grow. But the flavor is soo good. Use these as you would celery (well, peel them first). You get 2 bunches and they would be excellent in a turkey stuffing/dressing.
Potatoes-You will get 2 pounds of taters but at this point I don't know what kinds (it will likely be a mix)
Tomatoes-we should be getting tomatoes for at least 2 more pick ups. You will get a couple of pounds of 'em.
Green tomatoes-we have a lot and they can be oh so useful and tasty. You will get 4 to 5 of various sizes (about a pound) in this share
Carrots-you will get 1 pound of the rainbow carrots. There is some chance that many will be split as the beds we are digging were a bit too mature to survive all the rain without splitting. But because it was so dry and the soil will have taken up a huge % of the water. Plus the carrots themselves were dehydrated and should have been able to take in much more water than well hydrated mature carrots could. We will know later this morning when the carrots are harvested
Garlic-you get three corms
Yellow Onions-you get 1.5 pounds of  yellow cooking onions
Leeks-2 big winter leeks. I made a mighty tasty potato and leek soup with these last night.
Sweet Peppers-you get 5+ peppers. This is probably the last week for the peppers as they have been off the plant for almost 4 weeks and are getting well past their prime. Not to mention, they are getting really small. But they still taste good.
Butternut Squash-1 medium butternut
Seminole Squash-this looks like a pumpkin crossed with a butter nut but in fact is a rare heirloom squash that was invented by the Seminole Indians of the SE USA (and they are the only sovereign tribe in America as they refused to sign any and all treaties). Eugene has been trying to grow this for the past 6 years and finally this year it worked. the lesson here is it is quite hard to grow things in Ohio that are native to Florida but it can be done with enough patience and perseverance.
Sage-I am sorry you won't get a lot as the plants are on their last legs but not from drought. Rather these plants are about 4 years old and that is the life span of sage. this means this coming spring we will need to start new seedlings to go into the herb garden. At any rate, sage is one of THE poultry herbs (rosemary being the other) and essential for turkey and stuffing/dressing.
Parsley-you will get a nice bunch of this versatile herb
Radish-you will get a mixed bunch of d'Avignon and Easter egg radishes
Sweet Potatoes-you get a pound. I wish it were more but we are limited on how much we have available. Do know we do not sell these at any other venue but the farm share. Also know we farmers love our Sweet Taters and that is where they are going (other than to you)
Parsnips-1 pound. if you have not roasted these do it-they are amazing.
Pears-2 pounds of sweet hard keiffer pears. It looks like these will last through next month


 
 

Boulder Belt Farm Share Initiative Week 29

Wow! We have one week and a half left in this farm share (the full season Tuesday folks go into November). Hopefully we will have October weather instead of the mid November weather we have "enjoyed" the past week. The prediction is for warm clear weather for the next 3 days than rain Friday and Saturday. This mens if you are picking up food you might want to give yourself an extra 30 minutes and take a walk around the farm. If you do so the entry is the red gate between the store and the barn. If there are dogs about they are friendly and like you (and your kids) already. The big guy is Nate and the smaller long haired dog is Danny.

We got our first freeze, finally. All the tomatoes, peppers and other summer produce that was not protected is done for the year. So now we have a market garden full of sorry looking dead plants. Over the next several weeks we will remove the plants and either burn them or compost them (some things got diseased and need to be burned and not composted.) Than we take up the ground covers and drip tapes and plant winter rye as a cover crop in some beds if it is not too late and other beds will be left open for late winter/ early spring plantings of things like spring mix, leeks, onions, scallions, parsnips, spinach, arugula, etc..

The freeze means it is finally time to plant garlic. We started the process yesterday by doing the final prep (raking for 4 and tilling for 3) on the 6 to 7 beds where the garlic will be planted. Than we counted just how many seed corms we have (okay, I did this several weeks ago. After all the garlic had been cleaned I than separated the big ones from the smaller ones) and than figured out how many cloves of each kind we should have. It turns out we have enough garlic to do 11 50' x 4' beds (450 garlic plants per bed). But we will do only 7 beds at most and 6 beds are more likely. The rest we sell as seed garlic at $3.50 a corm.

Okay, back to garlic planting prep. The next step is to separate the garlic cloves, thousands of them. Than when that is done it is planting time. Hopefully by mid afternoon today we will have several hundred garlics in the ground and by the end of the month we will have our 3000 or so cloves all tucked into the soil. than we wait for the greens to poke above the soil surface this fall. than they will die back over winter and in early spring the greens will reemerge and by late June we will start pulling green garlic and in July will harvest the crop, cure it and sell it all summer, fall and winter as we have done every year for the past 13 or so years.

Recipe
Pear Ginger Cobbler

(I take this from the New Basics Cookbook. If you do not have this cook book buy it!)


8 ripe pears, peeled and cut into 1/4" slices
11/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons white sugar (I accidently used a cup of sugar the last time i made this and it was just fine-and i generally cut 1/3 to 1/2 the sugar in recipes)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (i.e 1 medium lemon)
finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup vegetable shortening (I use organic lard from Morning Sun farms in W. Alexandria, OH. Crisco and all other vegetable shortenings are the dreaded hydrogenated fats so avoid. Since I am out of the loop as far as vegetable fats perhaps there is a non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening out there if not use all butter)
1 egg
1/3 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 425F. Butter a large (14" long) baking dish or casserole or a 21/2 to 3 quart souffle dish

Combine pears, ginger, lemon juice, lemon zest and the sugar (except the the 3 tablespoons) in a large bowl and toss well to combine. Put this into the prepared baking vessel

In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 TBL of the sugar. That add the butter/shortening and start cutting the fat into the flour mixture with either 2 forks or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles corse crumbs-do not over do this. Lightly beat the egg and milk together and slowly add this to the dry ingredients. Lightly kneed the dough adding more flour if needed to make a smooth not sticky dough

break off portions and place them on top of the fruit pressing lightly and flattening the dough. Cover entire surface with dough pieces to give a "cobbled" effect

Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the dough and bake until well browned 35 to 45 minutes (set your timer to 35 mins as 45 mins is usually way too long)

What's in the Share this Week


Beets-mainly red beets but you might get some golden beets in your bunch as well. the beets are on the small size but tender and sweet
Radishes-a nice bunch of either Easter Egg or D'Avignon radishes
Garlic-2 corms of garlic
Carrots-a pound or so of orange carrots. These will be much nicer that previous carrots as we are now harvesting the fall carrots and they are the best carrots of the year for us.
Celery-more celery this week. I was going to do celeriac this week but since we had to harvest all the celery before the freeze we have a lot and it will not keep for weeks and weeks like the celeriac. So into the shares it goes
Leeks-2 leeks
Spring Mix-a 6 oz bag of our spring mix. Make a salad this week
Kale-a half pound or more of kale. Since we have had a freeze this should be really sweet and yummy
Ginger-yes ginger! We tried to see if we could grow it and had some success. This is the tropical looking item with the skinny greens and the knobby roots. You can do one of two things with this-eat it (remove the leaves and peel and use as you would any ginger) or plant it and get more ginger next summer (it takes 10 to 12 months to get a crop. The plant wants temps above 60, full sun in the winter and morning sun in the summer. Put it in a larger pot that you think it needs so it has room to expand)
Pears-2 pounds of our Kieffer pears
Winter Squash-2 to 3 pounds of squash, probably a mix like last week. Acorn is dark green, butternut is beige and delicata is yellowish with green or orange stripes. All cook the same way-350F over. Cut in half, remove the seeds and cook face down on a cookie sheet 20 to 35 minutes.
Peppers-several red/orange/yellow/green peppers from the great pepper stash

Shares will be ready for pick-up after 4pm Tuesday and Thursday and any time Friday. We will likely be gone after 4pm Tuesday (today) to run errands so if you need us that will be a problem. The shares will be on the table by the refrigerator as they usually are.


Lucy Goodman
Boulder Belt Eco-Farm
Eaton, OH
http://boulderbelt.blogspot.com



 
 

Boulder Belt Farm Share Initiative, Week 16

It's week 16 of the farm Share initiative for many of you. Many CSA type programs go for less time than that. And here we do our Farm Share Initiative virtually year round. And that brings me to the question, are any of you interested in a winter farm Share? I am thinking charging $100 per month for two pick-ups a month. This would probably run 3 months. The shares would be quite a bit larger than what you get in summer. Something like 50% to 75% larger. Right now I don't know how many members we could supply for this as we are just beginning to harvest some winter items and other have not even been planted yet (that is done August and September) And yet other things like winter squashes are just beginning to set fruit. There is no rush on this as this program would not start until mid November but is something to think about.

It is very dry here. We have gotten basically zero rain since July 4th (and that was not a great big rain). The farm still is green and things are growing. I would not say it is exactly thriving at this point but things are a long way from dying. We do irrigate but that is no replacement for a amount good rainfall. Also our pump is giving us problems and kicks off on a whim. This has started happening several times a day and means Eugene must spend about 1/2 hour getting it to run again every time it kicks off. I think we are looking at a new pump in the very near future which will be costly but we can replace the pump we currently have with one that is designed to pump 75K+ gallons of water a day.

Yeah, a small farm uses a lot of water and we are using the most efficient method for delivering water to the plants-drip irrigation under mulch. Imagine how much water bigger farms that use those big sprinklers use. Sprinklers get about 50% of the water to the plants vs drip irrigation that gets 95% of the water to the plants. The rest of the water evaporates into the air. Wotta a waste and yet this is how most farms in the USA irrigate their farms (but the big commodities, corn and soy, are rarely irrigated). Generally, only smaller farms use drip irrigation, probably because of the difficulties of setting up a system for a 100+ acre farm. But this can be done. I was told about 13 years ago that row covers are useless on all but the smallest farms and now they are routinely used on large fruit and vegetable farms. I suspect soon we will start seeing the big produce farms out in California making use of a lot of drip irrigation and other water saving techniques as they are in a huge drought and have been pretty much banned from using what water is left.

So I have a problem with you all (but it's a good problem). It is getting harder and harder to keep your shares down to 8 to 12 items as we are going into the season of great bounty and food diversity. I want you all to sample everything we grow. This week you get 13 items and may end up with 14. I know some of you will welcome an increase in food but I have been doing this CSA thing long enough to know most members have a bit of difficulty using everything in their share and feel great "food guilt"  if they cannot use all of their share. So I keep it limited to no more than 12 to 15 items. If we were to go the route of truly giving you equal shares in the market garden and did not have other markets you guys would be getting something like 150 pounds of food a week and in August that would double (or even triple). And this is with, say, 40 members. The first year did a CSA this is exactly what we did and it overwhelmed our members and everybody quit. I remember the shares generally weighed about 40 pounds. The market garden was about 1 acre and we had no real idea about what we are doing as we had been farming for less than 5 years at the time. Now we know what we are doing, have a lot bigger garden on much better land and are able to produce far more per acre than we could 11 years ago.

Thanks to all of you who have brought reusable bags. I believe we are at about 1/3 of the members now-lets get to 100% by the end of the month.

Recipe
Mashed Taters with Garlic


1 to 2 pounds of pontiac red taters
1/2 cup 1/2 and 1/2
butter
1 to 2 cloves of garlic
salt to taste

Wash the potatoes and cut into largish pieces, peel the skins if you want. Put into a pan of cold water and and bring to a boil. When they are cooked through and soft mash them with a potato masher or a potato ricer if you are lucky enough to own one. Never use a food processor to mash taters, you will get a glue like substance that is pretty inedible. Add the garlic by either putting it through a press or my favorite way using a micro-planer to finely grate it straight into the taters. next add the butter, incorporate, than the 1/2 and 1/2 than the salt. The taters are now ready to serve


Here is what is in this week's share

Tomatoes- you get about 2 pounds of small red and yellow tomatoes, the same kinds as last week
Snow peas-this should be the last of the snow peas. the vines started producing again, i guess because it has been so cool
Garlic-2 corms of hard necked garlic
Strawberries-yummy berries
Zucchini-a mixed bag of zukes from the bright yellow patty pan to the lively green striped Costata Romanesque
Chard-a nice bag of bright lights chard
Red Giant Mustard/kale-The red giant mustard you find in our spring mix, eventually it will insist on growing to full size and that is when I cut it for mustard-this is sweet and peppery, just like a really good Chinese mustard (which it is). Thursday Shares get a kale medley
Ailsa Craig Onion-a wonderful mild sweet onion. This onion is named for the big rock in Scotland which is where the british open was played this past week.  they can get up to 5 pounds in size though it looks like our biggest will be about 2 pounds. This is best used raw in salads or on sandwiches. When cooked they get rather insipid. In a couple of months you will start to get good cooking onions in your shares
Green pepper-you will get a couple of green peppers this week.
Potatoes-1.5 to 2 pounds of  mainly Pontiac red potatoes
Tarragon-herb of the week
Garlic chives-these have a wonderful garlic flavor
Haricot verts-these are a true french filet bean. very delicate. Cook for no more than 7 minutes. You get about 1/2 pound.
 
 

Boulder Belt Farm Share Initiative, Week 13

I's crunch time here. we have a flood of raspberries (and a great special on them if you are inclined to make jam out of them-10 boxes for $30) that must be harvested every day to the tune of 50 to 60 boxes a day. on top of that the first of the beans are harvestable (and excellent), the garlic decided to ripen early, and lots of other things are either just about ready to harvest or we have just started (and this is reflected in your shares). on top of it all we are getting chickens tomorrow for our winter meat stash. i think we have lost most of our sanity.

The good news is we have help twice a week until the end of July, though, if any of you have a hankering to pull weeds, pick raspberries or help us with any other necessary tasks (and with diversified farming there are always about a 100 things to do) feel free to come out and help. Doing a few hours of farm work is always an eye opener for non farmers and will get you closer to your food. And it is fun.

Because of this the newsletter this week will be short and sweet and missing a recipe

So here is what we expect to have in the shares this week

Garlic-this if fresh so the skins around each clove may not have colored up and looks like it is not there, it is. Expect 3 corms.
Strawberries-1 pint of berries this week
Raspberries-you get 3 half pints this week
Kale-a big bag of mixed kale. the varieties are winterbor (very curly) White Russian (flat scalloped leaves) and Dinosaur (dark green leaves)
Tarragon
Oregano
Snow peas-this will be the last we see of these
Beans-A mix of green and wax beans, probably over a pound
cabbage-either 1 big head or 2 small heads.
Zucchini-mainly patty pans and big green zukes. I envision 6 or more per share
Cucumbers-these are supposedly a type with bitter free skins. I find the skins bitter, personally so I suggest they be peeled before use. You get 3 cukes in your share
Arugula-the wonderful spicy salad green
 
 

Boulder Belt Farm Share Initiative, Week 11

We have reached mid June and true summer. The long days mean that the onions are growing at an explosive rate. The bulbs just about double in size daily (right now that does not mean much as they are just beginning to form bulbs but in about a week it will be really noticeable). we have pulled all the garlic scapes, or about all, there are always a few we miss no matter how many times we check, this means you will soon get fresh garlic in your share, by soon I mean next week. You should get raspberries next week as well. I though last year was a bumper crop but it looks like this year will easily out pace the 26 gallons of berries we picked last year. The plants are much larger and the stand is denser and they are loaded with ripening berries and flowers that are abuzz with pollenators. We have picked a scant few and they are fabulous!

Along with the 15+ hour days we have started getting good amounts of rain. Over 2 inches have fallen in the past 3 days (including the 1/2 inch that fell while AccuWeather told me we had less than a 3% chance of any rain at that time of day. I wish we could bet on this rain forecasting because I would have taken those odds.). All this means a lot of happy crops. The tomatoes we finished transplanting last week are growing really well. Some have grown about 6" in a week. the tomatoes we put out in April have green maters that look like they should start to ripen soon. We will start the tomato season with a yellow mater called Yellow Taxi, soon after will come the sublime red heirloom, Matina (this is seriously one of the best tomatoes I have ever eaten), than the orange cherry tomato, Sunsugar and another red heirloom, GL-18. I believe these will be ready in early July. The potatoes are flowering and huge. The beets are about a week from readiness. The scallions should be ready in about 2 weeks. Oh and the pea crop is coming in. We have loads of snow peas and soon will have loads of sugar snap peas as the second planting is what we are beginning to harvest from and this planting is bigger and the plants a lot more fruitful as they were planted in a warmer time than the first peas. We won't have shelling peas for another week. They are setting a lot of pods but the pods need a bit more time to fill up with peas.

We are leaving the planting period and going into the heavy duty harvest period. I figure by this time next week I will be spending about 6 hours a day harvesting raspberries, strawberries and peas. 3 days a week there will additional things to harvest for the farm share initiative and the Saturday farmers market in Oxford. I am not looking forward to the raspberry picking as that will fill most of the harvest day. I know last year there were a couple of days where both Eugene and I were out there together for 4 hours-that would be an 8 hour picking for one person. But the upside is raspberries are one of our more profitable crops and yummy.

This weekend there is a pot luck on Sunday at 6pm. I need to know if you are coming or not (i.e RSVP). Bring a dish to share, things to eat from and with. We will set up a grill and I plan on getting some local beef, probably from Salem Road farm (not organic but grass fed). Let me know no later than Friday if you are attending or not. The last farm tour pot luck was wonderful.

Recipe

Squash Lyonnaise

1 LB zucchini or summer squash
1 med to large onion
1 TBL Butter
Salt to taste

Slice squash into 1/4 inch slices, do the same with the onions. In a hot sauté pan melt the butter than add the onions, squash and salt. Cook over medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes or until squash is soft

In your share this week:

Chard-The first chard harvest of the year. Actually these are the thinnings-the chard needs space and you get to eat the results. If you are new to chard cook it like you would spinach.
Kale-You get a nice bag of kale this week. kale is one of the most nutritious foods we grow
Red Turnips-more turnips with greens. These can be boiled and mashed like potatoes only these will come out a pretty pink.
Snow peas-you will get a lot of snow peas this week, perhaps over a pound. These need to be strung and are best eaten raw. A very nice snack.
Sugar snap peas-you won't get as many snap peas as you do snow peas this week. Like the snow peas these need to be strung. these are good cooked or raw.
Zucchini-a couple of medium to small zephyr zucchinis. I think this may be the last week for zucchini for several weeks. the crop from which we have been harvesting is just about done and the next zukes have not yet started to flower and it will be a couple of weeks after the flowers start before there is anything to harvest.
Strawberries-They're baaack, and sweeter than ever.
Cilantro-a nice bag of cilantro
Garlic scapes-another 1/2 pound of scapes
Chives-I cut back the chives about 2 weeks ago to get rid of the fading flowers and tough stems. now they are ready to harvest again, without the flowers.

 
 

Boulder Belt Farm Share Week 9

 

It's June! the start of summer or something like that. Early June is when we transplant the tomatoes as this is when we are about 99% assured there will be no frost (there was a frost after June 7th in the late 1980's I remember but 99 years out of 100 there is not). We have, with the help of my brother and sister who visited over the weekend, gotten about 20% of the maters in the ground and about 15% of the stakes, that will support the plants, erected. So far, there are Early girls, Paul Robeson (guess what color the maters will be from these plants?) Opalka (a nice heirloom sauce tomato) and yellow taxi an early lemon yellow tomato-we have another 17 or so varieties to get in the ground this week.

Other than tomatoes we have also been planting beans, cucumbers and zucchini, more spring mix (though I believe the seeds planted this past week will be the last as lettuce and spring mix do not do well for us in the heat of summer). Most seasons we do some sort of planting pretty much all the time but this year we will try to wrap things up in the next couple of weeks as it looks like we will not be getting much rain-in the past week we have received .3 inches. All but two weak storms have missed us. Not good. But we have irrigation and If Eugene is not tied up planting lots of seeds and seedlings than he can work on hooking up the irrigation system which takes a couple of days to do. We do have most of the drip tape laid out and now they need to be attached to the feeder lines and that takes a while because it is rare that the drip tapes easily attach to the lines. Once the irrigation system is 100% we will not worry as much about the lack of rain, at least for a while. But if we do not get a lot of rain in a couple of weeks and go into July down on rainfall we will start worrying about the well drying up. I seriously doubt this will happen as it is a fairly new well (under 40 years old) and deep bit no rain equals a low water table and low water tables are not good when you are taking about 70K gallons out of the well weekly when it gets dry. 70k gallons is a shocking amount but if we were to water with a hose or sprinklers it would be about 5x more water-yes, agriculture can use a lot of water but drip tapes use the least amount at 70% to 90% less than any other irrigation system.

And, irrigation will not allow the crops to thrive the way an inch of rain a week will. So pray for rain to fall on our farm. We are doing all we can-hanging laundry out, leaving windows open in the house and  vehicles, exposing flats of seedlings in soil blocks (which will melt into a solid mass of soil and roots if rained upon), leaving tools in the field. Perhaps we need to have daily outdoor events such as the potluck of a couple of weeks ago. We need to do something to call the rains to our farm-it gets close. There was a gully washer that got as close as 1/8th mile away on Friday. Most of the rain in the past week has been within no more than 2 miles but it will not fall here where we need it. Now that I think of it, the key maybe getting the irrigation all set up. In the past we have done this and have been rewarded with months of rain (this has happened 3 different times-we get the system set up and it starts raining within 24 hours for the rest of the season and we don't use it at all. But than there have been plenty of years where the irrigation was all that kept the crops going)

Your shares will be in the fridge in the store. I believe most everyone knows this now that I have been haphazardly putting them in there the past few weeks. now that it is above 75 degrees I like to keep the food chilled so it stays fresh longer in your fridges. I tend to be a bit obsessive about food quality. Eugene sometimes thinks I go overboard but I really hate sending out food that is not top shelf.

We are planning another potluck dinner Sunday June 21st, the summer solstice. I hope everyone can make it. these are really fun events and I feel it is important for all members to tour the farm as you will learn a lot about how we grow the food you eat. This is a big perk as we normally charge $25 an hour for a farm tour. So come out and get your money's worth.

Recipe

Roasted Garlic Scapes
These are wicked good

1 package of Scapes (1/2 LB)
1TBL olive Oil
Kosher or sea salt to taste
Preheat your oven to 350?. Put clean whole garlic scapes in a roasting pan. drizzle the oil over top and sprinkle salt to taste. Cover pan with lid or foil and put in oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Done when it smells like roasted garlic

This Week's Share

Lettuce-at least 3/4 pound of mixed heads
Spring mix-1/2 pound bag (we sell 6 ounce bags at market and the store so you get a BIG bag of this)
Arugula-1/4 pound bag of this peppery green
Zucchini-the squashes are getting bigger so you should get about a pound of  bigger than baby squash
Kale-a 1/2 pound bag of either russian white (what you have been getting all season) or Dinosaur which is dark green and an ancient kale. The dinosaur was almost ready last Friday and may be ready today (Tuesday)
Peas-1/2 pound of snow peas this week. And maybe some shelling peas, if enough are ready. If you get both the snow peas are the flat ones and are eaten pod and all (these will be loose). The shellers are dark green and you don't want to eat the pod (they are not poisonous, just fibrous)
Chives-Another bunch of chives with flowers.
Savory-this is an all purpose herb that everyone needs to use more often. It can replace black pepper and is good with anything except sweet foods. It is said to cut down on the flatulence factor in bean dishes and pairs exquisitely with dried beans.
Asparagus-at least 1/2 pound this week. I do not know how much longer this will be coming in. maybe a week, maybe a month
Garlic Scapes-These are the long green things in your share. Scapes signal the beginning of garlic season. These are the flower tops from our hard necked garlic and must be removed in order to get large heads of garlic. Our early garlic made their scapes over the weekend (right on time) and in 5 weeks we will harvest it. You use scapes much like you do garlic. Chop them up and put them in anything that needs garlic. they also are great pickled (though to make the canning process worth it you really need about 10+ pounds of scapes). These will last about 5 months in the fridge

 
 
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