Monday, May 31, 2010

Kohlrabi and fresh oregano, turnips

Have you ever eaten a kohlrabi? These little sputnik-shaped vegetables come in green or purple, can be eaten raw or cooked, and taste a lot like broccoli stems. The word kohlrabi is German for cabbage turnip (kohl as in cole-slaw, and rĂ¼be for turnip) though kohlrabi is more related to cabbage and cauliflower than to root vegetables. We usually eat them raw, just peeled, sliced and added to a salad, but they are also delicious cooked and are often used in Indian cuisine.

Fresh oregano can be used in any dish that dried oregano can go in. I made pizza last night with fresh oregano on top. Use it in salad dressing or tomato sauce. My hands still smell great from picking it!

I used the rejected turnips in a pot roast this week. I cubed them and put them under the roast with onions and garlic, potato, celery, and let it cook in a crock pot all day. The turnips have a way of absorbing the juice from the roast and were fantastic!
Turnips are also good cooked with potatoes and made into mashed potatoes/turnips.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hot Hot days

Whew. We still have to pick veggies and work in the gardens, no matter what the weather is. Cold, rainy, hot, humid.

This heat has made the pak choi bolt (try to make seed). It doesn't affect the flavor, but does make them less pretty. It's happened in just a few days. Most of the ones that went out in Monday's shares were lovely. We will have to harvest the rest of it in the next few days, and if it holds over ok in the coolers, give it out in shares next week. You get a lot of it today! And I'll have some at Sweetwater Market on Saturday. Seeds were planted in the greenhouse in 2 different plantings, but it still all comes ripe and ready at once.

We have been busy transplanting in the cooler mornings and evenings ~ melons, cucumbers, summer squash, tomatoes. 400 plants were put in yesterday, and we have about 400 more ready to go in this evening. Irrigation is set up in part of the gardens - the rest has to be hand-watered.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Earthscape / Full Circle Farm 2010 CSA Season Begins!

Welcome to our FARM! We’ve been gardening here since 1972, always using organic methods. Our soil is rebuilt every year with compost, organic matter, soil amendments like rock phosphate and wood ashes, and tilled-under green manures. If you nurture the soil, it will nurture you in return. We do pest control with biological predators and row covers, hand picking, crop rotation, some sprays allowed with organic production, etc.

Please take time to walk in the gardens or visit the animals. If we have time, we can show you around. Always, always ask questions!

This will be the only planned printed newsletter. Please check the website often for updates and a list of what is in your share box. I will do email updates periodically. Make sure you add us to your email address book so any emails will not go to your spam folder.

If you haven’t paid for your share yet this season, please do!

In your share box this week:

  • Spinach – a Spring plant. It doesn’t like this heat. It won’t last long in the garden.
  • Leaf Lettuces – a mix with 6-8 kinds of lettuce, arugula, beet greens, kale, mustards.
  • Head Lettuce – There’s a real wide variety of kinds today.
  • Pak Choi – Pak Choi is excellent stir fried with garlic and onions, plus any other veggies you might have. Or make an oriental salad!
  • Scallions – Use raw or cooked.
  • Radishes - 3 different kinds. We grow these under row covers to keep the bugs out and off them. Same with the Pak Choi.
  • Chives have flowered and can go in a vase or be eaten, all but the harder stems. I usually pull out the flowers and then only eat the softer stems. Double duty.
  • A Parsley plant – Mostly Italian Flatleaf Parsley, the better-flavored kind. It likes sun, and should be transplanted into a fairly large and deep pot as it has a long taproot, or directly into the ground. You will be able to harvest the outside stems all summer and fall.
  • The best veggie scrubbing brush ever! This brush is a tradition in our first share box.

Most produce is water-cooled immediately after picking, and then bagged because it stays fresher that way. We also try to keep things refrigerated as long as possible before packing your boxes.

The Department of Agriculture Food Safety people do not allow us to sell things ‘washed, ready to eat’ since we don’t have a certified kitchen. Lettuce and spinach leaves are triple washed and spun dry. Everything else is washed once or twice, and trimmed a bit if it’s appropriate. (Our trimmings go to the chickens!) None of it is officially ready to eat, but most needs just a little more washing. If you don’t have a salad spinner, I highly recommend one.

Please return boxes every week, and we will also reuse clean, dry bags.

Eggs are available for sale in the refrigerator - $2.50 per dozen. Put the $ in the container there.

We also sell beef by the package or quarter. Ask for pricing.

Please email or call with any questions. Happy Eating !

Patrice and Bill Bobier, Mike Jones and today’s crew: Caitlyn & Arielle Fritcher, Marty Wyels, & Tim Schirmer

Monday, May 17, 2010

CSA Begins May 24th for 20 week shares!

Our 20 week CSA is scheduled to start on Monday, May 24th with pick up at the Farm between 4pm and 7pm. The first Earthly Kneads Bakery pick up will be Tuesday morning, May 25th after 9am. Thursday pick up is May 27th between 4pm and 7pm. One person is scheduled for Friday pick up, and there are some Saturday Sweetwater Market deliveries, plus one Saturday pick up on the Farm. Got that??! Yes, it's a complicated schedule to keep on track!

If any of you Thursday - Friday - or Saturday shares would like to pick up this week in exchange for skipping Memorial Day weekend, let us know by Wednesday. We have enough veggies to begin, and the Holiday weekend is too busy for some families.

If you haven't paid us yet, please do. A 20 week share is $525 single, $975 double, plus any applicable delivery fee.

If you plan to share pick up with other families, get your schedules organized among yourselves. Please remember to return boxes each week, or bring a cooler to unpack your box into.

Please be sure to add us to your email address book so you won't be considered spam when we send out emails. And keep up with what's happening on the website!

16 week CSA shares begin the week of June 7th.



Sunday, May 16, 2010

Recent Farm Work

Transplanted into the gardens: 350 celeriac plants, 140 celery plants, more kale and cabbage. The first green beans were planted - 260 feet of them.

Seeded into cells in the greenhouse: watermelons, muskmelons, cantalopes, pickles and cucumbers, more head lettuces, more kale. Hundreds and hundreds of seeds!

All the potatoes are planted. Red Norlands, Kennebecs, Fingerlings: Purple Peruvian, French, Russian; Satina, Red Golds, Russets. I don't think it's quite 3/4 mile like last year, but at least a 1/2 mile of rows planted.

The leeks were planted last week. The seeds are started in the greenhouse in February or early March. When it's warm enough and the ground is damp enough, rows are trenched. In each row, a tool called a dibble is plunged 6-8 inches deep into the soil. A leek is put in each hole. Tedious...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Radishes Deserve Respect!


A lot of people don't like radishes and I used to be in that group. Now I think they are one of the under appreciated vegetables. Fresh radishes grown in rich moist soil so they grow to size in 3-4 weeks are not hot or pithy. They are flavorful, delightfully crunchy and a great early Spring veggie! They get harvested just after their shoulders pop up out of the soil. The French often serve thinly sliced radishes on a piece of buttered, crusty baguette. Try it! I appreciate the way they add a splash of red to a salad way before tomato season.

Radishes are planted as soon as the soil can be worked in the Spring. We have 3 kinds growing: French Breakfast, D'Avignon, and Cherrybelle.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ari and I transplanted a lot yesterday: head lettuces (Buttercrunch, Red Sails, Raddichio, Michelle and Anuenue Batavian crisphead), kales (Tuscan red and white), Russian, and Winterbor), chard (Bright Lights and Argentata). We also put in more Sweet Williams for cut flowers and transplanted Blackeyed Susans. Mike and Bill tilled ground and laid more plastic mulch.

We survived some recent frosts/freezes without too much damage. I put a heater and blankets in the hoophouse to keep the tomatoes warm enough. The early potatoes got hit, but the below-ground root systems will be ok. The volunteer nasturtiums were very early this year, and may be done for. They look pretty sad. Everything else will be slowed a bit, but should do ok.

It's amazing how many plants are resistant to cold and even snow. We are still picking lettuces and spinach that was planted last fall! They are dormant through the cold weather and then begin to grow as soon as it warms up enough.


Sweetwater Market

Here are a couple of photos from Sweetwater Market. Our lovely sign was made by Hilde Muller, a friend and neighbor, who has worked on our farm and been a CSA member. She also made our price signs for the Market. We get a lot of compliments on them. Contact her if you are in need of something similar. She's quite talented.

Lisa Brown became a CSA member years ago, before she really liked many veggies, and now she works for us year-round in order to get as many fresh and stored veggies as possible, and she freezes and dries the extra! She's a gem!

We are indoors in the lobby of the Hackley Professional Building on Harvey Street if the weather is bad, or outside in the parking lot during fair weather.
Come visit us!

Friday, May 7, 2010


Baby plants in the Greenhouse

Eggplant and sweet and hot peppers in the greenhouse

Plants in the hoophouse to protect them from the rain and cold today. They will be transplanted into the gardens this next week.

Early tomatoes, blooming and with baby tomatoes already formed. They will go in the hoophouse in the next week and we will hope for no weather surprises! There's a heater in with them for the next few days.

The fruit garden: rhubarb, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and cutting flowers - Sweet Williams, snap dragons, gladiolas

Baby spinaches

Many rows of early crops: lettuces, spinach, kohlrabis. Under the row covers are turnips, radishes, pak choi.

Baby carrots, cutting lettuces

Rainy, cold day today. Still beautiful and green!

Greenhouse work

All the tomatoes (about 700) are transplanted into cells now - at some point, I'll have to list the kinds. There must be 15 or 20 varieties. I will probably have some extra plants to sell at the Market or to share with people. I am sooo hungry for tomatoes - did not get my normal fill last year after the blight hit us.

We had a great work crew here yesterday and got the whole garden by the house weeded, cultivated, thinned. We harvested quite a bit of lettuces, spinach and radishes. Veggies are growing faster than normal because of the warm weather. If any of you are interested in an early CSA box, let me know.

Today, rainy, cold. Good day for Greenhouse work. This is what I planted: 50 cells each of Suhyo Long & General Lee cucumbers, Basil, mixed summer squashes, Petite Yellow watermelons, Hannah's Choice muskmelons; 72 cells each of Tendergreen broccoli, Ruby Perfection and Gonzalez cabbage, Buttercrunch and Anuenue head lettuce; plus channels of celery seed. I hope it's not too early for the cukes, squashes and melons!