Boulder Belt Eco-Farm

  (Eaton, Ohio)
We Sell the Best, Compost the Rest

Boulder Belt Farm Share Initiative, Week 22


I am up extra early because today is the day we take our chickens in for processing. I will miss the birds but I will not miss the extra work they demanded, at least 2 hours a day that could have been spent mowing, cleaning garlic and onions, weeding, etc.. After today we will have more time to devote to the produce AND we will have sublime poultry to eat for the next 12 months or so. The chickens were useful for eating all the damaged and beginning to rot produce we had-they went through a lot of melons and tomatoes for us that would have ended up on the compost. Composting that sort of stuff is not a bad thing at all. bad produce makes up at least 50% of our compost. But allowing the chickens to eat that stuff  turned it into chicken poop which is very valuable stuff for our compost piles. I have also noticed things are a lot cleaner, compost material wise, when we have chickens. I guess because it is a lot more entertaining to feed the chickens than a compost pile.

You guys missed a great farm tour we had around 25 people from around Ohio attended and we talked strawberries and raspberries for a couple of hours. Unlike the casual farm tours we dour with you farm share members monthly this one had a moderator who formally introduced us, kept us from straying too far off topic and kept us on time during the tour. We gotten nothing but very positive feed back from the participants. I will admit we give good farm tour. I believe this is the 10th time we have done an official farm tour. There are some photos of the event on our blog and even more on my facebook account-if you do facebook and are not already my FB friend become my FB friend today and take a gander at all the farm tour photos (and lots of other farm photos and video).

The cold weather we are having this week does have have an effect on the crops. We re covering a lot of the warm weather crops and may be out of basil after 3 nights in the 40's. the basil has a double cover on it but I have not looked at it since the cold has arrived and it likely will have black spots all over. All we can do is hope for warmer nights (like in the 60's at the lowest) and cut back the plants and hope they can grow out of it. We may be in luck and find there has been very little damage done because they have been protected but in the past 48F has brought on damage to even protected plants. Now while the warm loving crops are not all that happy with this cool weather the cold loving crops are quite happy (though they would like some rain instead of irrigated well water)

It's a new month and we do have some new members and some old members that have decided to drop out. Reminder that pick-up is after 4pm on whichever day you opted to use (Tuesday or Thursday) in the store. the food will be in the fridge and/or on the table by the fridge (sometimes there are bags of things like tomatoes which should never be refrigerated).

The monthly potluck dinner and farm tour will be Sunday, Sept 20th starting at 6ish. RSVP about this (yes or no) in the next two weeks so we have a head count.

If you have not brought us some reusable bags it is by no means too late. If you are new to this we ask members to drop off at least 2 reusable shopping bags (bigger is better) so we can pack your shares into something other than plastic shopping bags. Please write your name on the bags.  Oh, and if you have a pile of such not very reusable plastic shopping bags sitting around your house or dorm we will take them as long as they are clean and reuse them at the farmers market and in our store for customers that do not bring their own.

Potato and Leek Soup

2 leeks cut into 1/2" rounds
1 pound taters cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 or 2 cloves of garlic either put through a press or chopped very fine
2 cups milk ( you can replace this with water if you are a non dairy drinker or use soy milk)
5 strips of bacon (vegetarians omit this ingredient and replace with a tablespoon of olive oil)
salt to taste

In a large pot (at least 3 gallons) put on med heat and let it heat up. When hot add the bacon and cook until crisp. when bacon is done remove it and drain it on paper and add the leeks and cook those in the bacon grease over medium heat. If using olive oil than put the oil into a hot pan and cook the leeks in that fat. While the leeks are cooking boil the potatoes in a separate pot. the taters need to simmer for about 10 minutes, which is about how long the leeks have to cook to get soft. When the potatoes are soft add them AND their cooking water to the pot that has the cooking leeks. About 3 minutes before this happens add the garlic to the leeks.

Let the leeks and potatoes cook for about 10 minutes than add the milk, thyme and salt and cook another 15 minutes. For a nice thick soup I put about 1/3 of the soup through a blender or food processor right before serving.

What's in the Share This Week

Potatoes-around a 1.5 pounds of mixed taters
Eggplant-black and purple and probably some of the mini white and purple striped aubergines
Green beans-about a pound of blue lake green beans
Tomatoes-a pound of mixed cherry types and fewer than 4 pounds of the big maters. I am giving you guys a break from tomato overwhelmation.
Leeks-2 leeks this week. the leeks are huge and wonderful, the best fall leeks we have ever grown.
Onion-two pounds of a mix of red onions and sweet onions.
Raspberries-A 1/2 pint of yummy red raspberries from our everbearing heritage plants, as opposed to the summer bearing latham plants that gave us such abundance in June and July
Mystery Greens-these are coming up in the fall white Russian kale. We have no idea what they are or where they came from but they are tasty-they seem to be a very mild mustard and would good either raw or lightly steamed
Thyme-a small bunch of thyme
Arugula-at least 1/4 pound of arugula this week, probably more as we have two beds producing it at the moment.
Garlic-3 corms of our hard necked garlic
Peppers-mostly purple peppers this week as the green peppers are beginning to ripen and I want to leave as many on the plants to get ripe as possible

Boulder Belt Farm Share Initiative, Week 21


It's Tuesday once again-time to begin another farm share cycle-week 21.

It's busy here at at the farm-lots of harvesting, weeding, tilling and planting going on to get ready for fall/winter growing/sales. I have had several folks ask what we will have this fall. it seems way too many people assume once school starts (which is now the start of autumn, even though school starts earlier and earlier each year and is actually starting in late summer-Fall comes the last 10 days of September) that we small farmers stop producing and roll up our fields and go somewhere for the winter. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is come fall we have more food than at any other time of the year. Not only will we have all the summer items until the first frosts of the season kill them (and even than we should have tomatoes, peppers and a few other warm weather crops thriving in our hoop houses until November or even December-season extension is one of our specialties, after all) but we will add to that all the things we had in spring plus winter squash, parsnips, leeks, celeriac, celery, pears, etc.. The variety of food we will produce from mid September through late November is pretty amazing-around 45 to 50 different kinds of food
lots of food

spring mix
Red Mustard
a variety of winter squashes-butternut, acorn and others
snow peas
sugars snap peas
asian greens
garlic powder
green beans
melons ( if Eugene decides to plant a late crop in a hoop house and it doesn't freeze too badly-about 1 year in 3 we can grow these into late fall/early winter)

And we are not the only farm producing so much in the fall-most farms that go to farmers markets will have lots and lots of produce available at least through the killing frosts and more and more are jumping on the season extension band wagon and have fresh and local produce most of the winter. this leads me to the question any of you want to sign up for our winter share program? I have asked before and would like to know if anyone wants to be a locavore into January?

Onto another subject-we are having a big farm tour this Sunday from 3 to 6pm if you have never been to a pot luck/farm tour here this is one of your best opportunities to learn a lot more about the farm that grows your food. This is a major component of being in a CSA-visiting the farm. Most people (like 99.999% of the eating public) never get a chance to visit any of the farms that supply their food. This has lead to a deep disconnect between eater and farm that has in turn, lead to a more and more dangerous and nutritionless food supply. By joining the farm share program you have indicated that you are well aware of this fact (God, I hope no one is doing this simply because it is "in" right now to be a locavore-that is about the worst reason to join a CSA type program). I feel that farm visits (more than coming to pick up food, though that is going a lot further than most people, at least you can see the farm and see that it actually exists and grows food) are very important. That it is this component more than any other that sets the CSA movement apart from say shopping at a farm stand or farmers market. Add to that,  the fact most farms do not allow the public onto their land for a variety of reasons.  Sunday you have the opportunity to see your farmers in action leading a big regional tour (something we have not done in several years but in the past did well). This will be educational and entertaining. be there or be square

If you have any friends or colleagues who might be interested in trying out our farm share program we have about 8 opening for September/October. Let 'em know what we are about.

Oh yeah before I forget-I was cleaning out a freezer in order to get ready for our poultry harvest next week and found several shrink wrapped ODA inspected cornish hens. We have 5 for sale at $10 ea (they are about 2.5 pounds on average). Yes they are expensive but this will be absolutely the best chicken you have ever had. I also have 1 pound containers of gizzards for a buck a container (makes good pet food) and several packages of chicken backs for $3 each-these are great for making stock or pet food (I use them for stock personally) each package has 4 backs. Let me know this week or before NEXT TUESDAY (the new chickens will be processed next Tuesday and I will need the room by around 4pm that day). To reserve your chicken just reply to this email ASAP, tell me what you want and pick it up when you pick up your share.

Before I forget, September has 5 Tuesdays in it. Everyone who has not signed up for the entire season and paid in full (and picks up on Tuesday) will not get a share Next Tuesday Sept 1st and will resume the following Tuesday Sept 8th


Fruit smoothie

various fruit-raspberries, bananas, melon, strawberries, etc..
1 cup orange juice
2 cups yogurt
Honey to taste (probably 1/4 to 1/2 cup)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Put everything into a blender and blend until smooth.

If you want to make this alcoholic omit the yogurt and add about 1/4 cup of a good rum and 1 cup of ice. This is even better if you use frozen fruit (if you are going the alcohol route and use frozen fruit omit the ice). Makes about 4 cups.

What's in the Share This Week

Red raspberries
-2 1/2 pints of fall berries
Garlic-2 or 3 corms of garlic
Scallions-a bunch of green onions
Melon-I believe you will get a red watermelon but it might be a cantaloupe instead (but I am about 95% it will be watermelon)
Blackberries-1/2 pint of blackberries
Basil-1/4 pound bag of basil
Parsley-1/4 pound of parsley
Tomatoes-week two of tomato madness-expect at least 8 pounds of a mix of heirloom tomatoes, like last week.
Peppers-several green and purple peppers.
Rutabaga-the harvest is in and these are very nice-you will get a nice big one this week
Cucumber-several nice lemon cukes this weeks
Shallots-a hand full of shallots

Lucy Goodman
Boulder Belt Eco-Farm
Eaton, OH

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