Boulder Belt Eco-Farm

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

Posts tagged [tomaotes]

Boulder Belt farm Share Vol 1 issue 6

Mid May on the farm means a lot of weed control. Since we do not use chemicals that means a lot of mowing (which also keeps small rodents from eating the crops, and this did happen over the weekend-something took out 1/2 bed of cabbage. Don't worry we have several beds of cabbage and Eugene has now gotten the grass short AND has caught a couple of voles in the area. So he thinks the rest of the baby cabbage plants will survive) hoeing when the soils are dry enough (which they were as of yesterday) and hand pulling. Oh and tilling. Something Eugene has not been able to do in about 10 days because they ground has been too wet. You really do not want to till wet/damp ground as it destroys the structure and you get clods that are hard to break down. But now the soil has dried out enough for the the tilling to resume and hopefully by tomorrow he will have most of the untilled beds tilled and the weeds that are in them killed. Most of these beds are for Tomatoes, peppers and eggplant.

If you want to know what tomatoes we will have come the end of August check out my blog It's a big list of fabulous heirloom maters (mostly). Those tomatoes are still tiny and a couple of weeks away from being able to go out side. I have contact with a lot of other growers via email list serves and a few forums and we start our tomatoes about 4 to 6 weeks after most everyone else in the US (except the folks in the Dakotas) but by doing this we get to miss the cloud of RoundUp that is hovering in our air as I write this (RoundUp literally melts tomatoes). This is because the no-till farmers use the herbicide to "burn down" the weeds in their fields a day or two before planting. Than there will be another huge application the beginning of June and another late July for weed control. This is one of the reason we use a lot of row cover-it keeps the chemicals off of our produce. Unfortunately it does not keep the herbicides out of our water table so in a month I highly recommend that you drink only filtered water so you (and especially your small children) are not drinking the stuff.

Another reason we start and plant our tomatoes and peppers later than most people is because there too often is a cold period in mid to late May that will injure such tender plants and cause them to produce later and less than they should (we are going through this right now and it would not surprise me if we get another round of cold air before Memorial day). So between the chemicals and the cold weather we are glad our tomato seedlings are tiny and safe in a warm room. The pepper and eggplant seedlings are big (I start these at least 3 weeks before the tomatoes because they take longer to get to a good size, though this year they both grew faster than expected) but also in the same warm room so safe.

Besides the nightshades (the family that peppers, potatoes, maters and eggplant all belong) we have planted in the market garden beets, green beans (or maybe wax beans), potatoes, carrots, celeriac, red turnips, rutabagas, radishes, early cucumbers, early cantaloupes, more lettuce, more spring mix, early basil, early zucchini (which is flowering so we should have zukes in shares in 2 to 3  weeks), chard and a few other things. I believe we have about 2/3 of the 250+ beds filled at this point and should be about filled by June 1st.

Oh yeah a couple of things. Oxford members St Rt 732 is closed this week by Houston Woods so you will have to find another way to get here if you use 732 to get to Eaton. The signs say it will be reopened May 16th. Don't for get the potluck dinner coming up May 24th  bring food to share and something to eat it on/in/from (we do not want to use paper/plastic plates and cups and don't have enough china to supply everyone). Member Nancy Glidden has graciously offered to do a short workshop on how to use culinary herbs which I think will be useful to most everyone. This will take place right after the farm tour and before dinner (or maybe during dinner as this will be a casual event and we can nosh and learn)


Chive Dip

1 pint sour cream
1/4 cup chives chopped fine
1 TSP thyme chopped fine
salt to taste

Mixed everything into the sour cream, let sit at least 2 hours so the flavors can blend (over night is best). set out with good tater chips

Strawberries-You get 2 pints this week (oh Joy!!). These will come and go all summer and fall as we grow Day Neutral strawberries and not the June bearing type
Asparagus-a half pound of spears. I wish we could give more but the plants are not producing as heavily as we expected. Next year will be better as we will be able to harvest some of the new area (planted spring of '08) and in 2 years we will have twice as much to harvest.
Lettuce-another bag of mixed heads-the mix this week will be a red leaf lettuce some old guy, Tom Chance, from Eaton gave us last year and marvel of 4 seasons, a french heirloom (this is a bibb type)
Chive-These are beginning to flower. The flowers are edible but tend to be on the hot side. Still they make a salad beautiful
Spring Mix-This might be mostly baby lettuce. The spring mix beds we should be harvesting have huge lettuce and the rest of the greens, despite being sowed a week before the lettuce are not growing  much at all so have been too small to cut for the past 12 days. the cool weather should be good for this stuff and hopefully I will go out this morning to find beautiful arugula, mizuna, et. al.
Leeks-This should be the last week for leeks
Thyme-Very small leaves, really good in things like potato and leek soup
Tarragon-This smells like anise, leaves green and slender

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