Boulder Belt Eco-Farm

  (Eaton, Ohio)
We Sell the Best, Compost the Rest
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Boulder Belt Farm Share Inititiative vol 2 issue 19 (week 19)

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Sorry No recipe this week

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

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

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

 
 

Boulder Belt Farm Share Initiative, Week 15

Greetings and Salutations,

It is Tuesday and that means a new week of farm share has commenced, week 15. Things got a bit exciting here on Saturday. First we got home from a spectacular farmers market-the best July market we have ever had thanks to having more raspberries than you can shake a stick at. And we noticed that the floor in the bathroom was sopping wet. There was a leak somewhere. Due to being exhausted from the farmers market we turned off the water to the bathroom, attempted to dry things up than took a nap. Eugene got up from his nap before me and was groggily wandering around outside by the barn when he noticed a a dipwad in a pick-up truck wearing a tuxedo had hit our signs and was about to leave the scene of the accident. Eugene got in front of the truck and confronted the guy (who said he was not leaving just turning around so he could go to the front door and tell us about it, riiight). Long story short, the guy would have cut us a check for about $100, the damage was about $600 (we know the exact figure when the insurance adjuster comes out to look at the damage.) we have a bent yellow sign that is useable but damaged and the bigger permanent sign is missing a leg. we have plans to replace that sign in the next few weeks with the sign that is sitting on the porch of the store. but now we are thinking maybe putting that one in the same place is not smart as this is the second time the signs have been hit in the past 18 months. So that was our Saturday.

Other than dipwads in tuxedos harming our property, things are going well on the farm. It should look fabulous for this Sunday's potluck dinner as long as the mower does not break yet another belt. We have been busy getting beds weeded as well weeded beds are so much easier to harvest than weedy beds. Eugene has been doing a lot of tilling for fall and winter crops (for those of you new to Boulder Belt we are season extension junkies-it's our thing to grow as much as we can in winter using simple hoophouses that are unheated. Most winters between the hoop houses and what we root cellar we generally have a lot available through early Feb and than again come mid March through the rest of the season). Along with tilling beds for upcoming plantings we have also been ripping out, mowing  or harvesting the spring/early summer crops that are either mature as in the case of beets. Peas that no longer produce get ripped out and things like spring mix and lettuce get mowed than tilled in except for the lettuce we allow to got to seed so we can save seed from it. When you come to the farm tour potluck you will see all of this progress. it sounds like the weather will be absolutely perfect. Also this is something very few people get to do-tour a working farm and talk to the farmers. we do offer this to the public for $25 an hour and you get it as a perk for being a farm share member. I strongly suggest you take advantage. Plus it is a lot of fun and you meet other locavores from the area and thus we build stronger community.

Oh and speaking of progress, only two members have sent an RSVP about this potluck/farm tour coming up THIS SUNDAY. I need a response from the rest of you either yea or nay so I have a head count. if you do come bring a dish to share and things to eat and drink from. I will make a salad that has lots of maters, cukes and likely arugula and we will supply cider from Downing's fruit farm (not organic but raw and excellent), distilled water from our well (this is the best water you will ever drink) and perhaps a few home brewed beers that Eugene makes. Feel free to bring your own libations. the Fun starts at 6pm

I also need to know of all you monthly members if you are rejoining in August. I have a lot of people interested in joining in August but give current members first shot as spots in the farm share Initiative. I have heard from two people already and need to hear from the rest of you who are joining one month at a time. I believe we  have 2 spots open for August and September if everyone rejoins for next month.

Remember we will take back all you bags, boxes, rubber bands, etc that come in your share. And if you have reusable bags bring 'em out and I will pack pack your shares into those and not plastic

Recipe

Pesto

1 cup basil
1 cup italian parsley
2 or more cloves of garlic
1/2 cup walnuts or toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (freshly grated is best)
1/4 cup olive oil
salt to taste

In a food processor put in the peeled whole garlic cloves and pulse a couple of times than add the nuts and cheese and pulse again than add everything else and process until smooth.

What's in the share this week:

Beets-a nice bunch of beets with greens. These were harvested Friday in order to clear out two beds for fall planting and also so the deer could not eat any more of the greens. they had started to ravage the beets last week so we had to get them out all at once.
Cucumbers-2 nice cukes, again be sure to peel the skins
Arugula-probably the last of the arugula until fall
Raspberries-a couple of boxes of raspberries. These are waning so this may be the last of them until the next type comes in in mid to late August
Strawberries-1 box of yummy strawberries
Basil-a nice 1/4 pound bag of basil
Garlic-a couple of corms of one of the 3 kinds we grow.
Potatoes-a pound or so of taters, likely Kennebec white and Yukon Gold
Scallions/green onions-a mixed bunch of true scallions and green red onions (or red green onions if you are a fan of the Red green Show)
Cabbage- a head or two of sweet tasty cabbage
Parsley-A nice bunch of Italian parsley
Tomatoes-A pound or so of a mix of Yellow Taxi and Matina tomatoes. Many are not quite ripe but will ripen up over the week (thursday folks yours will probably be ripe)



 
 
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