It's Farm share day once again-week 6 by my reckoning. It's been a wet and cool week. We did get a nice couple of days at the end of last week which made for a nice farmers market (the first two had bad weather. the first had pouring rain and the second high winds and cold). But the nice weather was fleeting. the good news is the cool weather crops such as lettuce, arugula, spinach, etc., love this weather so they are all of high quality and as long as we don't get a stretch of more than 2 days of 80 degree weather will continue to do well. the bad news is all the crops that like it warmer are not all that happy and growing slowly. Asparagus is one of those crops. Late last week we were harvesting twice a day and this week due to many days of cool damp weather we are harvesting about every 36 hours and the yields are going down. But a day of warm weather will put the asparagus into overdrive again, for another 2 or 3 weeks.
Barb Mackey asked me a good question last week when she picked up her share-what is coming up in the near future? The answer is broccoli in 2 weeks. snow peas, sugar snap peas and shelling peas in 3 weeks. Garlic scapes, the flower tops from our hard necked garlic which will be a new food for most of you, will be harvested next week. If you like garlic you will love these. We also have red salad turnips about ready to go (next week), two kinds of green beans flowering in a hoop house, red beets (also in a hoop house) that should be ready in 2 weeks. Armenian cucumbers and zucchini should be ready in 3 weeks-the zukes have flowers, the cukes do not yet so my guess is the zukes will be harvestable a week before the cukes. Red raspberries will be ready in 3 to 4 weeks. Cabbage in 3 to 4 weeks.
We have not gotten the peppers, eggplant and tomatoes in the ground yet and are getting a bit worried about the weather preventing us from doing this job in a timely manner. if it clears up next week as predicted we will be fine, if not we will be forced to work with wet soil which we want to avoid as doing so is very bad for the soil and leaves long term damage. What we need to do with this job is put down landscape fabric and irrigation tapes on 40 beds than plant around 900 seedlings. Eugene did get all the beds tilled before the wet conditions arrived so at least that is done. we like to get these thing in the ground by June 1st so we can harvest in August through frost. We are growing 16 different heirloom tomatoes, 4 kinds of eggplant and 9 kinds of peppers (mostly sweet but a couple of hots too). After these things are planted in the market garden that it will be time to do the melons (water melon and various cantaloups), more cukes and zukes and the winter squash. These are pretty easy as they are direct seeded and do not need the 5 to 8 weeks of coddling before they go into the ground. Not to mention, planting seeds is a lot simpler than putting in seedlings.
Yeah life here is about to get very busy between doing mass plantings of things, harvesting daily (when the raspberries come in someone will have to spend at least 4 hours every day for 5 to 6 weeks picking. I call it raspberry hell), keeping things mowed (long grass in aisle-ways gives pests like bugs and bunnies a place to hide right next to the crops which is a very bad thing), keeping crops weeded and keeping bugs off of the crops (which we do mainly by using row covers but we also hand pick, vacuum the up and will use botanical insecticides like neem ). the good news is we may just have our first volunteer of the year. A woman has emailed me asking if there is room in the FSI for her and if she can come out once or twice a week to work and learn about sustainable farming. I say may have because she has not yet come out here and in the past we have had many people ask about volunteering but few ever come through for us in any meaningful way. A lot of volunteers turn out to be a lot more work than they are worth. But we have also gotten some wonderful people who were quick learners and great workers so we still will take on such people. And if any of you ever have a hankering to get your hands dirty and learn a lot about sustainable farming in a short time feel free to contact us about coming out and putting a few hours on the farm.
This Sunday, May 23, we have scheduled a pot luck dinner and farm tour starting at 6pm. thus far I have gotten only two RSVP's (and they were regrets). If I don't get any responses by tomorrow I will cancel the event and reschedule for late summer/fall as we are getting too busy to do this easily and it seems not many folks are interested in this sort of thing.
We still have some chickens for sale for $25 a piece for a 4LB (approx) whole frozen bird. Let me know if you want one (or more) either via email before picking up your share or when you show up (someone should be around at least until 7pm). This will be the best chicken you have ever had as very few people raise them they way we do-ranged on pasture from day one of their lives and fed certified organic feed. Unlike most "pastured" chickens ours are extremely active and that makes for better quality
This is better than cole slaw made with cabbage and a favorite of ours
2 to 3 bunches of radishes, well washed and with both ends cut off
1 small sweet onion
1 medium to large carrot
1 clove garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder (NOT garlic salt)
2 TBL vinegar (I like rice vinegar or balsamic but any will do)
1 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
1 TBL sugar
1 TBL olive oil
1/2 cup (or more) Mayonnaise
Optional: 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley. You can also do 1/2 cabbage and 1/2 radish if you like
Grate the radishes, carrot and onion. fastest to use a food processor but a hand grater will also work. Dump the grated vegetables into a larger than you think you will need bowl and than add everything else and mix well, taste and make any adjustments. Put into the fridge for at least an hour before serving. Serve as a side dish
What's in the Share
Spinach-1 pound of spinach
Kale-a big bunch of White Russian kale
Asparagus-Looks like mainly green this week. At least 1 pound
Lettuce-1 pound of mixed lettuce
Tarragon-a big bunch
Broccoli Raab-1/2 pound bag
Garlic Chives-a big bunch of garlic chives AKA Chinese chives
Cincinnati Market Radishes-3 bunches of this beautiful and rare heirloom radish
Spring Mix-a nice sized bag of spring mix
Maybe Basil-The basil is not doing great so i will not make any promises that there will be enough to put into your shares but if it is there it is there
The shares will be ready after 4pm today
Boulder Belt Eco-Farm