Monday, June 29, 2009

CSA Week 6 - Monday

Remember there is no veggie pick up or delivery next week. We will have lots of suprises for you all on Monday and Tuesday, July 13th and 14th!
This week: Salad Mix and a head of lettuce. Snow peas! These are all edible, just take the stem end off. Double shares will get shelling peas instead - these are not edible-pod and need to be shelled before eating. Then eat them raw or lightly cook them. Chinese cabbage to Monday shares - make an oriental slaw! Beets with lovely greens to Monday & Tuesday. Monday gets turnips with ratty greens trimmed off, so you get chard instead. Everyone gets broccoli. Earthly Kneads delivered shares get kohlrabis and summer squash. Everyone gets scallions.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Coffee from Higher Grounds Roastery in Traverse City

I'm putting together a bulk order of coffee. Please let me know soon if you want to order this time. I will need to know if you want whole beans or ground, the type and quantity.

Prices are $6.50- $7.75 per lb in 1#, 3# or 5# bags.

The website is javaforjustice to see the kinds of coffee available, or you can call them for a faxxed list of varieties 877-825-2262.

More photos from yesterday - Putney garden

Winter squash and weedy aisles. We will till, hoe and mulch them in the next few days. Want to come help??

From L to R, early potatoes, Garlic, onions of all kinds and sizes, leeks, late potatoes.

Early potatoes - these are planted in shallow trenches, barely covered with dirt. When the plants are 8+ inches tall, they are covered with soil about 4 inches deep. They are then mulched with straw. The garlic was planted last October, mulched all winter and when the snow melted, little sprouts shot up through the straw!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Photos from today - Garden by the driveway

You can click on any of these photos and see a larger version. I kept them small for those of you with dial-up computers.

Tomatoes - staked and stringing has begun. The quality is so much better when the plants and fruit are held up off the ground, even with mulch.

L to R, Chard, Kale, Broccoli, Cabbages

Peas on the left, on fence to keep the vines up. Beans, almost ready to flower. We plant on black plastic and then mulch with straw in between the rows of plastic. It helps preserve moisture, prevent erosion, and adds organic matter to the soil when it's tilled in in the Fall.

Peas Peas Peas = 3 varieties of shelling peas, 1 variety of snow peas and 1 variety of sugar snap peas. See all those blossoms? There will be a pea to pick from each one!

Summer Squash - many kinds. The first 40 plants are uncovered and beginning to bear. The next 3 rows are still under row cover. Ari, Catie and Chris are weeding, hoeing and mulching today.

Photos from today - Garden by the house

L to R, new rows of salad mix, 2 different plantings with room for a 3rd planting; Salad mix being picked now; Head lettuces

L to R, Scallions, celery

L to R, Beets - picked 27 bunches out of this row this morning; the next carrots to harvest, new carrots just sprouting, salad mix almost done.

L to R, carrots - have harvested over 50 lbs from this row already! New head lettuces.

"Cheater tomatoes" - early plants started in the greenhouse and moved into the hoophouse. We've been eating them sparingly since the first week of June. This variety is called Glacier and we are really happy with it so far.

Veggies today!

Salad Mix, Winter Density head lettuce, Beets with greens!, a small amount of broccoli and snow peas, carrots - Mokum, very early and sweet, Chinese Cabbage. Kale, chard and herbs are also available if you want them.

Yes, it's a lot to keep straight. If we ever miss something in your box, let us know.

Please remember we are skipping next Thursday, July 2nd. Your next share will be ready on July 9th. By then we may have potatoes, and will have a lot more peas.

Happy July 4th weekend!

Monday, June 22, 2009

This week's veggies

Salad salad salad - we hope to keep the lettuce coming most of the Season. I hope you all like salad!
These early carrots are called Mokum - about 10 days sooner than most, so smaller, but I think sweeter. Everyone gets 1# today, and there should be more in a few weeks.

Kale - we finally have a good growth of kale and chard - these crops like the heat even though they grow in cooler weather, too.

Some shares get broccoli this week. These are the first early pickings of a sprouting type. There should be much more to come through the season. The early cauliflower has not done well -

Chinese cabbage heads are small, but tender. Make an oriental salad or add to regular salad or saute.

Garlic scapes are in everyones' shares this week. They are the seed heads of garlic and need to be clipped off in order to get larger bulbs. They can be chopped and added to anything like regular cloves of garlic. Here's what one food geek has to say about them:

The farmers’ markets and the CSA shares in this area are brimming with garlic scapes. Judging by the comments I heard at the market this morning, not everyone knows what they are or what to do with them. Tonight for dinner I’ll annoint them with some olive oil and grill them just like I do asparagus. They can be chopped thick or thin and added to salads and stir-fries.
My favorite thing to do with them is to make garlic scape pesto. It is super easy to make and refrigerates well for several weeks in a well sealed jar. I also plan on popping some into the freezer to top off my winter soups. I use this pesto on brushetta, pasta, eggs, foccacia, and just about anything I grill like shrimp, salmon, chicken. It’s also fabulous added to mayonnaise and smeared on a big roast beef sandwich.
Now I’m hungry!!!
Garlic scape pesto
1 pound garlic scapes
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
Olive oil (about 1/2 to 1 cup)
Pine nuts if available
Chop the garlic scapes into 3 inch lengths. Put it int he food processor and process until pureed. Add the parmesan and pine nuts and process until smooth. Slowly add the olive oil as the food processor runs and continue until all the oil is combined into the garlic. Store in an air-tight jar in the refrigerator.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Farm work the past few days

We've been too busy to write much! Most of the large all-season gardens have been mulched with rye straw. We have the irrigation system working at the Putney Farm (east of us on Loop Rd). The walk-in cooler is all built, painted, and working. Now we have plenty of cold storage space! We have weeded a lot everywhere, with hoes, tillers and by hand. We have planted all the brassica seeds (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages), more salad mix, more beans including Masai, a filet gourmet bean, transplanted more lettuce heads (Bibb, Anuenue and Romaine). The rutabagas are seeded in cells in the greenhouse. It's an awful lot to keep track of.

We are eating the first peas and squashes - you all will get some soon. This heat FINALLY is really making things grow fast now.

We sent more steers to the USDA butcher and are into the pasture rotation for everyone else. The cows are in with the bulls now for breeding.

Baby chicks arrive on June 30th and we are still looking for feeder pigs for sale.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

NO VEGGIES July 2nd, and 6th-7th!

A lot of you are on vacation over the Fourth of July Holiday, and we are going to the Rothbury Festival! Whoohoo! We'll send veggies on those days to the Farmers Market there, and will also sell beef and prepared salads. Last year Bill put up hay the whole time I was gone, and I was too tired to go to much of the music. We'll see how it works this year.

We will try to get you all some veggies that store ok in the weeks before then - Carrots and Beets for example.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Eggs are on sale this week!

$2 per dozen.  We have an abundance.  Please let us know if you want some delivered to Earthly Kneads on Tuesday, and please help yourself to eggs in the refrigerator at the Farm.

We had to buy 10-20 dozen eggs per week last year to keep up with demand so we got more hens.  And now we have too many eggs!

Our broody hen who hatched 11 eggs got killed by an owl, we suspect.  Her carcass was in the chicken yard yesterday morning.  7 of her babies are also missing.  Very sad.  Luckily the 4 remaining chicks are feathered out and doing ok.  

Friday, June 12, 2009

Meet Your New Farmer: Hungry Corporate Giant

Today's quote from the New York Times on the documentary:

"Forget buckets of blood.  Nothing says horror like one of those tubs of artificially buttered, nonorganic popcorn at the concession stand.  That, at least, is one of the unappetizing lessons to draw from one of the scariest movies of the year , "Food, Inc."  is an informative, often infuriating activist documentary about the big business of feeding or, more to the political point, force-feeding, Americans all the junk that multinational corporate money can buy.  You'll shudder, shake and just possibly lose your genetically modified lunch."

Read the whole review at the above link.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Please remember

to return clean bags and boxes, and buy eggs!

CSA Week 3 - Thursday

Romaine Lettuce + another head of some kind of lettuce
Double shares get Escarole, too!
Salad Mix
Spinach - last picking
Green Garlic
Kale to the single shares, Chard to the double shares
And I hope to still get dill picked for you.

Farm work the past few days

The whole early patch of potatoes were hilled and about half were mulched with straw.  We are out of straw now till more is mowed and dried.
Potato varieties:  Russian Fingerling, French Fingerling, Peruvian Purple Fingerling, Red Norland, Kennebec, Russett, Satina, Red Gold.

All the melons were planted:  transplants and seed.  About half of the seed planted early didn't sprout - probably because it's been so cold, and it's sensitive seed.

All the winter squash seed was planted.  Pumpkins, too!  Pie and jackolantern.  Rye seed was planted in between the rows to mow when it gets high enough to make some mulch / green manure.

The rest of the summer squash transplants were put in, as well as seed.  We have over 100 summer squash planted.  And would you believe we hardly ever get excess or overgrown squash?  We pick daily.  To fill 50 shares, we need 200 squash per week.  Think about it...

More lettuce mix was planted.  All the spinach is getting pulled out today and that ground will be prepped for something else to be planted.  Radishes were thinned.  Weeds were pulled everywhere - that's a constant upkeep job.

Leeks were hilled.  They are planted in 6 inch holes in the bottom of trenches and then hilled in order to get a longer white tender stalk.

Strawberries are ripe!  We have just a small patch for personal use.  

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Peppers! Eggplants!

These are the pepper varieties planted:
HOT ~ Mixed hot, Bulgarian Carrot, Yellow Peter, Hungarian Hot Wax, Habanero, Jalapeno, Ancho, Thai.

SWEET ~ Carmen, North Star, Ace, King of the North, Lilac, Sunray, Lipstick, Feherezon, Red Knight, Jimmy Nardello, Mild Jalapeno.

EGGPLANT:  Diamond, Ping Tung (long, lavendar/purple), Hansel & Gretel (smaller, 1 white, 1 purple).

Monday, June 8, 2009

Week 3 CSA Monday / Tuesday

It is no fun picking in the rain.  That's a risk we take when we set up specific days to have CSA shares picked up or delivered.  The rain has been so hard that tender leaves have been beat up a bit.  

Today's veggies:  We hope you are ready for salads salads salads.  2 heads lettuce - Anuenue; Escarole for the double shares; mixed salad greens; pak choi for some / kale for some; scallions; little bunches of dill (ideas ~ add to a salad, make a dill dressing, add to scrambled eggs); last week of spinach.

Please return clean bags and boxes, egg cartons, etc.  We reuse as much as possible.

Coming in the next week or two:  kohlrabis, chard, more green garlic, more scallions, chinese cabbage, more pak choi, turnips.


Sunday, June 7, 2009


These are the varieties we have planted this year:
Cherry & small fruited:  Tomatoberry, Juliet, red and yellow Pear, Sungold, Principe Borgese (also a specialty for drying)
Regular Red: Cosmonaut Volkov, Jetstar, Celebrity, Rutgers
Red Heirloom: Zogola,  Cuostralee, Italian Heirloom, Tappy's Heritage, Pantano Romanesco
Heirloom: Brandywine, Pruden's Purple, Kellogg's Breakfast (orange), Zebra (green & yellow striped), Aunt Ruby's German Green, Big Rainbow, Cherokee Purple, Mariana's Peace, Old German,  Omar's Lebanese (pink) 
Paste & Roma: Blue Beech, Speckled Roman, Rocky, Amish Paste, Opalka
Early:  Glacier, Taxi (yellow)

MMMMM, can't wait!  We ate our first ripe tomato from the hoophouse today.  

Friday, June 5, 2009


Onions and leeks are all weeded and onions are mulched.  The first rows of potatoes (460 ft) are hoed, hilled and mulched.  We have about 3/4 mile of potatoes planted!  The winter squash seed got planted today.  Chard got weeded.  Dill transplants were put in.  The paths between the rows of tomatoes got rototilled.  Field corn was planted.  Cilantro was weeded.  

It looks like the sweet potatoes got frosted the other morning.  They will probably come back ok.  It would be nice to get them watered again (rain??) soon.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

CSA Week 2 - Thursday

 It's kind of a short box this week - a head of Anuenue lettuce (don't you love that name?  anew-ee-new-ee;  a lot more is planted as it grows in the summer heat), spinach, salad mix and a bunch of fresh oregano.  

I put fresh oregano in a pot of chili that we ate for lunch today.  It added great flavor.  Also had a sprig in the vinaigrette salad dressing.  

Bill's still on the tractor.  We all had lunch 2 hours ago.  I'll try to drag him off to eat and rehydrate.

No frost here

We are grateful.  That would be awful,  for all of you as well as us!  It was 39 degrees here at 4:30 am, and up to 44 at 7:15 when I looked again.  I only covered the basil, the most tender plant in the garden.

We got the peas weeded yesterday, started on the asparagus and parsnips (about an hour still to go there).  Weeds got ahead of us during the time spent harvesting for CSA and planting all the tomatoes, peppers and eggplant.  Bill is setting up Patrick with the tiller to till between rows of plastic mulch in the driveway garden ~ we usually refer to that as 'up top'.  We have plans to finish the leeks today, too.

Bill spread a lot of composted manure yesterday, getting ready to plant the last field of open-pollinated field corn.  We've saved our own field corn seed for many years now.  Very little corn is sprouting because it's been so cold.  Treated corn seed will sprout in cold and wet soil, but our untreated seeds are very sensitive to soil temps, and we risk having it rot when it's this chilly.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


All the peppers will be in by the end of the day today. There are maybe 20 varieties of hot and sweet?   All the eggplants are in - 5 varieties.  2/3rds of the alliums (onions and leeks) are weeded.  900 ft to go.  

It's good to be home and working some straight hours on planting and upkeep.  I had 8 births in May (some long ones!), plus a conference, plus cooking for 250 people for a weekend.  Wow.  No wonder we feel behind.  Mike's been pretty consistent with garden work.  Bill's been doing cows, fence, fieldwork, and garden. 

No chance for boredom and barely a chance for sleep!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Week 2 CSA

Good morning!  Yesterday's shares have been picked up on the Farm, and the truck just left with boxes packed for delivery to Earthly Kneads this morning.  It's kind of a short box this week - a head of Winter Density lettuce (combination Bibb/Romaine type), spinach, salad mix and a bunch of fresh oregano.  

Try the oregano with a baguette from Earthly Kneads.  Chop it with minced  garlic, sizzle in a little olive oil or butter, add a sprinkling of good salt and dip your bread in it.  Yum!  Or the stems can be added to a homemade vinaigrette.

A few shares got baby kale this week, and 1 lucky box got turnip green thinnings.  My southern soul really loves turnip greens.  We'll have them for lunch today.

We have been really busy planting and weeding.  Mike put in almost all the tomato plants yesterday - over 500, haven't done the final count yet.  I'll list the heirlooms in another post - quite the variety.

We have almost a half mile of onions and leeks that have been hoed and tilled and are to the hand-weeding part now.  We were out there till 9:20 pm last night (thanks, Chris!).  Then they will be mulched, watered and grow all summer.  They are resistant to cold and frost, but need heat to make good sized bulbs. 

Monday, June 1, 2009

Sweet Corn, Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes and more regular potatoes were planted on Friday.  
Sweet Corn was planted yesterday.
Basil transplants were planted into the garden, along with more head lettuces, and some more tomatoes.  
It was 36 degrees here Sunday morning, but we didn't get any frost or cold damage that I have seen.