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


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


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 Inititiative vol 2 issue 18 (week 18)



It's week 18 and once again it is ungodly hot and humid.

I was out harvesting raspberries last night around dark because I hoped it would be a bit cooler. It was not, it was 90F at 9pm and my shirt was drenched with sweat doing a non strenuous job. This heat is really putting a wrench in our farming works as the crops don't like it above 90 for more than a couple of days. The farmers don't like working in these conditions. My plan until it gets cooler is to get up early and get out at dawn and work a few hours until it gets too hot (around 10 am) than get inside where it is cooler and do inside work the remainder of the day. Eugene can tolerate heat better than me and thus can do more outside work. But even he will get out of it by noon. Fall cannot get here soon enough.

The yard sale was a spectacular success. We doubled our attendance rates over last year with 20,000 (yes, thousand) people stopping by to shop this year. We had people from 33 states and 3 Canadian provinces. We had a great group of vendors and it looks like most will return next year as almost everyone did as well as they imagined in their wildest dreams. We even got on Channel 2 news (well, the sale, not Eugene and I personally). And we got really lucky with the weather. Rain the night before (which we needed very badly) and than less hot and humid during the sale.

The yard sale does make it hard to farm but we managed to get in 4 beds of fall carrots and a bed of rutabagas after we closed down Friday evening. managing a big sale and going through the process of planting seeds are very different things mentally and physically. Dealing with thousands of people is very tiring mentally but not so much physically. Dealing with the farm is tiring physically and not so much mentally and I found it to be a wonderful break to help Eugene with the planting after the people had gone away for the day. When we plant several things must happen. First the beds has to be cleared of weeds (usually by tilling and than hand removal of big clumps), than a seed bed created by raking the soil so it is smooth and even more weed free. Than it can be planted using the Earthway Seeder (a simple contraption that makes planting seed fast and easy with no bending). Finally the seeds are covered with row cover that is secured with rocks. Eugene generally does the raking and seeding (I had a bad horse riding accident at a combined training event when I was 17 that tore up my right rotator cuff and it has never been fixed so I cannot do things like rake for very long without re-injuring it) and I carry rocks and lay out the covers.

Eugene also managed to get most of the onions harvested I (maybe all of them as he was down to the dregs of the onions) and a lot of beds tilled for fall lettuce and other greens, plus radishes. I was able to get 1.5 bushels of  2 kinds of garlic all cleaned up and ready to be segregated into stuff to sell and stuff to keep for planting in October. Just have another 3 0r 4 bushels yet to clean.

Crops coming in right now include the afore mentioned raspberries, about every kind of melon we grow, tomatoes, green peppers (though I'll bet there are a few ripening to red, orange or yellow), hot peppers and eggplant. The cukes are about over as are the zucchini, we have some of each but between the hot humid weather and the bugs they are not long for this world. The good news is we do have young plants of both growing for September/October harvest. We should have French beans by next week for your shares. After months of struggling with beans we have a couple of very nice looking beds and the plants are loaded with tiny beans that should be eating size by next week

As usual, your shares will be ready to pick up after 4 pm and will be near the cooler (but not in the fridge as none of the food in the shares this week depends on staying cold to stay fresh and the basil and maters would be best never refrigerated).

Oh and thanks to everyone who sent me past newsletters because I somehow dumped all mine. You guys are the best!


Tomato Salsa

3 to 4 large tomatoes (a couple of pounds) dice fairly fine-I like a variety of colors
a medium sweet onion diced the same way
1 to 4 jalapenos diced
1 or 2 cloves of garlic either finely grated or pressed
the juice of one lime (incredibly important)
a handful of cilantro, chopped (I am sorry we don't have any of this growing right now-cilantro is hard to grow during tomato season as it hates hot humid dry conditions-nature's cruel joke on us salsa lovers. If we are lucky, we will get some to grow before the maters end for the season)
1 TBL sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss everything together and let sit for at least an hour so the flavors can marry. Taste and adjust seasonings  and serve with chips, as a side for burritos/tacos or whatever. Stores about 3 to 5 days in the fridge so best to use ASAP. Berries and cantaloups would also go well in the salsa if you want to talk a walk on the wild side

What's in the share

Cantaloupe- a nice big 'loup, I am not sure what kind you will get.
Watermelon-a fridge sized melon, either yellow or red. All of our watermelons have seeds. If you have kids (or are a kid at heart) have a water melon seed fight
Raspberries-the fall raspberries are coming in about 3 weeks early and I think they are better than the spring (summer actually) berries. These are an heirloom variety called Heritage
Blackberries-some nice domestic blackberries (the ones you have gotten previously were wild)
Big Tomatoes-you will get several pounds this week as we gear up to the part of the season where everyone gets too many maters. The salsa recipe is a great way to use lots of tomatoes quickly. I don't know what kinds you will get today but there will be at least 4 different colors in your share.
Cherry tomatoes over a pound of the sweet and tasty gems
Green peppers-2 or 3 peppers per share
Basil-another big bag of basil this week. Some will have flowers, the flowers are quite edible and tasty
Ailsa Craig Sweet Onions-a pound or so of these wonderful onions
Jalapeno peppers-at least 5, hopefully more
Garlic-2 corms of Persian Star this week
Scallions-a nice bunch of scallions

Lucy Goodman
Boulder Belt Eco-Farm
Eaton, OH


Boulder Belt Farm Share Inititiative vol 2 issue 8 (week 8)



It's been a strange memorial day weekend as we were without phone service from Saturday evening until yesterday after noon because someone took out the pole across the street  that we were connected to. I found out Centurylink is closed on 3 day weekends and if you have a problem you deal with it yourself. No we don't have cell phones here at Boulder Belt. Nor does Eaton have pay phones any longer, thanks to kids using them to call 911 as a prank. I thought being incommunicado would be great and I find not so much.

Than the tiller quit working, likely because it is 17 years old and the carburetor needs an overhaul (though it may be something else. The good news there is we have gotten pretty much all the tilling done and can do whatever else needs to be done with hand tools or the other tiller (which has always had some issues with running but we got it very very cheap at an auction). At some point in the next week or so I suspect we will put the thing into the van and take it up to Arcanum where they have a guy who works on Italian tillers such as ours. Unless, of course, Eugene can figure out what is wrong and fix it on his own.

On top of that a lot of the market garden was herbicided by unknowns over the weekend and we have lost a planting of green beans, peas are effected (but were far enough along that they will be producing by next week, but this will likely shorten their production time) as were raspberries (leaf damage but the berries that are developing look great). Fortunately the tomatoes, peppers and eggplant had not yet been transplanted and were either under shade cloth or glass so were not effected. The damage goes almost to our house and the guy next door sprayed on a low wind day with winds out of the SW so I do not think he is the source. It may be an inversion or it may be we got hit with a flyover by mistake. The good news is most everything that was killed (that would be the beans) has already been replanted and so while we lost a few hundred feet of crops, all that will happen in the long run is the harvest time will be pushed back 10 days (unless this happens again-than I will have to suspect something malicious is going on, as herbicide season should be just about over around here until late July). And this is one of the reason we use a lot of row cover-it keeps the chemicals off the crops. Unfortunately not all the crops will tolerate the covers and beans are one of those crops, which is why they got exposed.

Now, you may be asking about just how organic are these crops I am eating-as organic as possible growing in conventional farming country. Honestly pretty much everything around here (including us and certainly the water we drink unless well filtered) is exposed to farm chemicals. So we organic growers mitigate the damage by growing great soil (soil is the soul of organics, not the avoidance of chemical pesticides, though in order to get great soil you cannot use chemical pesticides and that is why they are avoided like the plague) and keeping things covered up as much as possible.

Oh and Betty has developed a liking for the watering roses on the ends of the watering cans. This morning she ate one and another is missing. Now that she is feeling better she is Hell on wheels.

So not the greatest of weeks here. But it is not all doom and gloom, most things are doing well, we have a volunteer coming out 2 times a week to help us keep things keeping on, we are no where near having failures and we are getting into a bunch of new crops. But as you can see farming is not all fun and sunshine, it's a risky business full of a lot hard work and dealing with a lot of things we have no control over.

So, speaking of tomatoes, peppers and eggplant, we are just about done with transplanting over 800 seedlings into the market garden. I have been impressed with our speed-we can do around 100 seedlings in an hour working together. I think by later this morning all will be in the ground as Eugene is finishing up the last 3 flats (approx 150 plants) of tomatoes. We have also been busy planting water melons, various winter squash (we are doing something like 8 different kinds), melons (cantaloup, galia, charentais and a few others), cucumbers, zucchinis, beans and a few other things that are not coming to mind right now) I would say we are close to being done with the summer planting season. We are not done with planting, though as we will be starting the fall/winter planting season around early July and that will continue until early November. The fun never stops here at Boulder Belt

Reminder, if you have not yet dropped off 4+ largish tote bags for your shares do so or we will continue to pack them in plastic bags. Also we will take back all bags, rubber bands, boxes and anything else our stuff is packed in. We do not want such things from other places, we just want our stuff back. The exception to this is plastic shopping bags-you have a pile of Kroger/Wal-Mart/Jungle Jim's/Meijer bags? We will take them as long as they are clean (we have gotten bags with used litter and rotten food and when that happens we have to throw out the entire lot as we cannot put other people's food into them and have to assume the entire lot is contaminated)

The shares, as always, will be ready after 4pm and in the fridge in the front. I suspect like the past 4+ weeks there will be two bags per share unless you have provided us with a really big bag, than just one. Look for bags with your name on them, they will all be marked.


Roasted Garlic Scapes

1 bag (or more) of scapes
Olive oil

Get a pan that has a cover or you can cover with aluminum foil. Put the whole scapes into the pan, drizzle the oil over top and salt to taste. Cover and put into a 350F preheated oven and roast for about 20 to 30 minutes. When they are tender and smell like roasted garlic they are done. You can also do this on the grill only pack them into aluminum foil with the oil and salt and put on the grill for about 15 to 20 minutes.

What's in the Share

Asparagus-1 pound of mainly green. This is likely the last week for asparagus as the stalks are beginning to get tough even before they start to open.
Broccoli-new this week! Finally the broccoli is ready to harvest, or at least the first planting (we have at least two more younger stands). Fresh well grow broccoli is a delight.
Kale-a big bunch of Rainbow kale this week
Garlic scapes
Green beans-We started these in a hoop house so they are about 4 weeks earlier than normal. That's the good news. The bad news is there are not many and this stand has been infected by rust and may not be harvestable after this week-we will see. But there will be more and more beans over the summer so if this stand bites the dust, it's okay. you will notice that some beans look rusty and/or are misshapened-that's the rust at work. These beans are the heirloom, Black Valentine
Red beets-another early crop from a hoop house, like the beans we usually don't start harvesting these until late June/early July. Unlike the beans these have nothing wrong with them. these still have their greens which are sweet and yummy and this is where all the nutrients are as well-the greens have around 1000x times more vitamins and minerals than the beet root. Cook them as you would spinach or eat them raw.
Zucchini-you will get 2 or 3 small zephyr zucchini. we love to grow unique zukes instead of the flavorless dark green (referred to as black in the business) so we do several heirlooms and this wonderful hybrid. these are small enough to eat raw but grilling them is also a good choice. I suspect by next week you will get more in your share as the plants are loaded with tiny zukes.
Spinach-another week of spinach. Like the asparagus, I suspect this will be the last of the spinach until late fall/early winter. This is a plant that hates heat and dry conditions and thus hates Ohio summers


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.

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


Boulder Belt Farm Share Initiative, Week 14

It's  new month and the farm share initiative has many new members thanks to some nice networking on the part of some of our members. This is exactly what should be happening in any healthy CSA type affair-members getting involved in their farm and going out and spreading the word. Way to go! For July we have 13 members, up from 9 members in June and 5 brand new members

First a little business-new members you share will be in the store in the fridge to the right of the front door. Each bag will have a name on it, take the bag with your name on it and leave the others (unless you are picking up for a group). Pick up is from 4 to 7pm. We are busy people and this time of year is a very busy time for us, so we may or may not be there to meet you. If you owe money and we are not around, leave it on the counter.

We will have a pot luck dinner/farm tour Sunday July 19th from 6 'til dark. I would like to know ASAP who will be attending (or not)

We will take back all packaging you get in your shares including boxes, rubber bands, plastic bags, etc..The more you bring back to us the fewer resources we will use for this project. And on this same general topic, some members have started providing us with cloth shopping bags. if anyone else can drop off 2 to 3 such bags (with you name written on each bag so we know who they belong to) this would be great. We have a gazillion plastic "T-shirt" bags but I would love to start getting away from using those or paper grocery bags to pack shares and go to something more sustainable. I can look into getting bags for everyone but frankly we all have such bags around the house and probably don't need another 2 to 3 of them.

Life on the farm has been busy, busy, busy. There is lots to harvest, lots to weed and it is time to plant crops for late summer. This means clearing out old crops-yesterday we harvested a bed of red turnips that had been sitting there doing nothing. Today all the pea beds will be cleaned up meaning plants taken out and put on the compost and the fencing used for trellising taken down and stored away. Hopefully this will get done early enough that Eugene can till these beds and prepare them for planting in the next few days. We plan on planting more beets, carrots, green beans, red turnips, rutabagas, etc., for late August/early September harvests.

We also have a lot of harvesting to do. Early July is raspberry season around here. our 400 or so feet of raspberries provides a lot of berries for us, the farm share, the store, the farmers market and yesterday I noticed an oriole family helping themselves (we have so many this year that we decided not to put any bird netting over the plants and until the orioles moved in this week not a lot of damage was done. Still, there are so many berries that I believe they will get their fill long before they have much impact on the harvest). Raspberry harvest has been taking about 6 hours a day to bring in. It is one of our most lucrative crops but I will be happy when the berries are over for this year. We had a fine garlic harvest. We decided to get the garlic out about 10 to 14 days early because we noticed some disease issues starting. So we jumped on harvesting the garlic and it is looking good and curing quite quickly. Our next big harvest will be the onions the beginning of August-we do all sorts of onions-red, sweet (yellow and white) and yellow cooking onions. The sweet onions you will start to see in your shares in the next couple of weeks others, like the yellow cooking onions, won't be available until fall and winter.

Cucumber salad

This is about my favorite summer food

Cucumber peeled and cut into chunks
1 medium sweet onion sliced
1 ripe tomato cut into chunks
1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
Rice or balsamic vinegar (or mix 'em)
Olive oil

put the veggies in a bowl drizzle olive oil and vinegars over top that add the salt. Stir and let sit for about an hour. this is really really good with cubes of a good bread tossed in too. I have been using a dill bread I found at Jungle Jim's last week

Okay, here is what is in your share this week

Cucumbers-2 cukes, be sure to peel these well as the skin is quite bitter. The irony is we pay a lot of money for this particular seed because this is  supposed be a never bitter cuke and for over a decade was always sweet and perfect. but the past 2 years something has changed, climate change? a new breeding program? I dunno but the bitter cukes have made me a bit bitter.

Galia Melon-melon season has started you will get either a nice big melon or 2 smallish melons. the galia, or tropical melon was developed in the middle east. Eugene claims it is a cantaloupe but the catalogues have it in its' own category. At any rate the flesh is green but it tastes more like a cantaloupe than anything. it definitely does not taste like a honey dew despite the resemblance.

Chard-you get a nice big bag of  bright lights chard. If you are new to chard, cook it like spinach

Raspberries-you get 2 half pints this week

Mizuna-A nice bag of this mild asian green. I like eating this raw by using it as a bed for other veggies. The cucumber salad would go well on a bed of mizuna.

Garlic- 2 heads of one of the hard necked garlic we grow

Beans-a pound of mixed wax and green beans. I like to snap off the ends and cook them for 14 minutes. Mmmmmm Beans.

Carrots-a pound of our spring carrots. We have had great difficulty with weeds getting into the early carrot beds. We have spent literally hundreds of hours attempting to keep the beds free of weeds with little success but we were able to eke out a small early carrot harvest. The summer and fall carrots should be a lot better

Red Turnips-earlier in the season we distributed red turnips with greens. These have no greens and thus will store for weeks and weeks in your fridge (greens tend to suck all the moisture from roots leaving them soft)

Zucchini-the best squash we grow, costata romanesque is coming in. These green with grey stripe beauties are an old heirloom zuke with the best flavor of any zuke grown.

Savory-this is a peppery herb that is good in about anything (this is where the term "savory" dish comes from)

Potatoes-you will get around a pound of Kennebec white and Pontiac red (named for the Chippewa chief, not the car manufacturer). Soon we will have several other varieties such as red fingerlings, yukon gold, all blue, etc..

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