Sunday, July 26, 2009

Week 9 veggies

Update Monday night: The potatoes are Satina, a buff outside and yellow inside, supposed to be better than Yukon Golds. They somehow got scab on the outside so they are not very pretty and should probably be peeled, but they taste great! We aren't saving any seed so we dug the whole row for shares this week (and a huge batch of mashed potatoes with Shitake butter last night).

The Rainbow Carrots are reds, yellows, whites, oranges. Quite pretty and tasty!

Looks like we will have celery, beets with greens, lettuce, rainbow carrots, squash, cucumbers, potatoes (not sure which variety), the last of the small onions, and more.


Changes along the driveway: Chard and Kale are abundantly growing. Please cut extra any time. A knife is in a plastic container nailed to a fencepost there. Late cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower are mostly in west of the chard and kale. Most of the early broccoli is pulled out and fed to chickens, pigs and cows.

Tomato plants are growing taller and finally setting some fruit. We've had tomatoes for CSA by early July in every other year. Plants were put in as early this year, but just are slow to set fruit, and then ripen. We are still picking about a quart every 2-3 days, not nearly enough for us or you all!

Sweet peppers and hot peppers are setting fruit. I think having so many bee hives on the land has improved the pollination of our veggie flowers, leading to increased production.

The beans are coming on strong. Late pole beans are planted where the peas were pulled out. Provider is the variety we are picking now. Masai (a small filet bean) have baby beans, and grenoble is the late main crop, about 6 inches tall now.

When you drive by the upper garden by the big oak tree, look at the baby eggplants on the plants there. Look further west and you will see the summer squashes, with the yellow fruit visible from the driveway. We have about 6 different plantings of summer squashes to keep a steady production till frost.

The home garden has gone through a lot of changes. You will see a lot of plants harvested and ground worked up, new lettuces transplanted and planted from seed. New kohlrabis, carrots, beets are in. New small cabbages are ready to transplant.

If you take the time to drive east on Loop Road, you will see the Putney garden- just past the old house. Potatoes are being dug, onions harvested, garlic is all harvested and hanging to cure, leeks are almost ready to begin harvesting, sweet potatoes are sending out their runners. The squash and melons are growing. The sweet corn is to the northeast corner of that far field, with the front part planted to green manure for soil improvement. The early corn variety - Spring Treat - is tasseling, which means corn will be ready in about 3 weeks!

Now, if I can only get out with the camera to take you on a photo tour, too!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Cold and this week's veggies

47 degrees this morning!

Some of the beans are larger than normal, but I think they are still tender enough. We are on a regular picking schedule now so this should not happen in the future.

Fingerling potatoes are a yummy gourmet potato. Boil them and serve them with garlic butter or a good olive oil.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Herbs, Greens and Tomatoes

We have a lot of herbs ready for picking. If you are interested in some, ask when you come for pickup. For the delivery people, we are trying to put some extra herbs in your boxes and you are always welcome to stop by Sweetwater Market and get some off our table there. If you know you want some ahead of time, let me know and I'll take extra there for you.

There's also extra kale and chard for whomever wants some. There's a knife in a plastic container nailed to a fencepost out by them (the front of the driveway) and you can cut your own. Or get some from us at Sweetwater Market. You can check the blog to see if there's some included in the week's share.

We have had tomatoes for CSA by this time all past years. This year - NADA. Very few fruits are setting yet because it is so cold! The Weatherman said this may be the coldest July on record. Frost in multiple counties 3 mornings this week, highs in the 60s. Tomatoes like 60s and 70s at night, 80s and higher in the day. They thrive on hot sunny weather. Sorry - you should eventually get some - the plants look great! We have over 600 plants in (100 more than last year).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Summer Herb Walk with Amanda Jones

Saturday July 18 $15.00

Meet at Hit The Road Joe's at 10:00am for an introduction to local plants with Amanda Jones. We will be walking around the area identifying and discussing medicinal and edible plants. Please dress for the weather (rain or shine). Bring water and items for taking notes. Children are welcome at no extra charge for the class. We will go back to the cafe for lunch and a discussion on how to use the plants in medicinal preparations.

We will looking at plants like yarrow, wild bergamont, st.john's wort, ox eye daisy, and much, much more.

The cafe is located in Croton, on Elm, 2 miles north of M-82 (about 7 miles west of US-131). Please email for more detailed information.

Please let Amanda know if you plan on attending. 231-861-2535

Monday, July 13, 2009

CSA Days are long

We were out picking by 8:30am and I just came in at 9:45pm. It's been a busy day with the usual "other things" going on, too. We got feeder pigs today! 13 of them - cute now while they are smaller. They look happy to be here. This is fewer than past years, but all we can handle right now, and all that were available. If you want pork, please reserve your side now.
We also had other veggie and meat orders to fill for a restaurant, bakery, and friends.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Veggies tomorrow ~ and all season

I've been picking veggies since Saturday for Shares Monday and Tuesday = Peas - 3 kinds; carrots, scallions. We will only hold most veggies for a few days - otherwise they are rejected for CSA shares and given to the food bank, friends or we eat them. It's important to us that your veggies are fresh and savory.

We pick summer squashes daily, peas every 2 days, beans every 3 days, lettuces, broccoli every 3-4 days. When tomatoes, peppers, sweet corn, cucumbers, melons and eggplant are ripe, they are picked 2-3x a week. Some things will hold on the vine or plant = chard and kale, potatoes, onions, winter squash. Some things are picked and stored = cabbages, onions, garlic, potatoes, winter squash. It's a constant rotation of what needs to be harvested, what gets eaten first, etc.

Anyone want to come help transplant hundreds of brassica plants this evening??

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Peas, peas, peas

3 kinds of peas today! They are labeled with what they are and how to prepare them. I think the shelling peas should be shelled and eaten on your way home :-). Most CSAs do not pick peas, beans and cherry tomatoes. We do - we want you to experience these veggies and not have to do the work of harvesting them. You are always welcome to come hang out with us and work on the farm (Thanks, Sandy!) any time! Call ahead and we can give you an idea of good times to come.

Chard has been called the vegetable with the best return. It grows in all sorts of conditions and soil, from Spring through Fall, and will even winter over.
Good chard recipes:
  • Saute onions and garlic, then throw in washed and chopped chard (stems removed or not, your choice). Saute about 5 minutes longer. Add tamari or salt and pepper, or season with toasted sesame oil and a little rice wine vinegar.
  • Wash and place on a large sheet of foil. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Seal the foil and grill both sides for 3-5 minutes a side.
  • Use large chard leaves with stalks removed as wraps for taco-type ingredients. Or wrap any kind of sandwich filling.
  • Chop or shred and add to an omelet.


Is this a weird weather Summer or what? High of 96 degrees the last week in June, high in the 60s the next ~ the first week of July! Extremes like this are hard on most plants, as are 2 inches of rain followed by no rain for weeks. We can plant the same varieties of seeds and plants the same way, the same day and get different results from year to year. This year turnip production was not good (they were great last year!) and it looks like winter squash will be abundant if the plants set fruit well (they were terrible last year). Last summer was not so great for tomatoes and peppers but we had enough plants in that we had plenty for the CSA, just not much extra for sale. The year before we couldn't pick tomatoes fast enough to harvest all there were. We should have more carrots this year, and so far the quality looks better.

Many things are coming on later this year than past years: celery, onions, potatoes, tomatoes for example. They will be ready to harvest soon, tho.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Farm update

We've had a little rain. The hay that was ready got baled before it came. There's more cut and more still to cut.

1 new calf was born to Nudgie, an orphan raised by Catie and Ari from across the street. They have also added sheep to the Farm menagerie!

The irrigation system is almost set up - we'll be pumping water from the pond into the driveway garden. Everyone would have gotten summer squash this week if we'd had more rain last week.

The tomatoes and peppers loved the heat last week! Peas didn't. Neither did the rest of the Chinese Cabbage - It bolted and will all become chicken feed.

200 day old chicks were added to the Farm yesterday. They start out under heat lamps in a small space. 100 are for other families, but we'll get them started, especially with this cool turn to the weather.

Patrice will be selling prepared salads at the ROTHBURY Festival this weekend! It will be her second year there.