Subscribe to the Happy Farmer

Monday, July 24, 2017

July 25th and 28th

Make Room for Mushrooms

This year we have added a special treat to our growing list.  Mushrooms!  We buy certified organic "blocks" from a company in Gardiner, Maine.  The blocks are compressed hardwood, organic fertilizer and mushroom inoculate.  Currently I am just growing Shiitake, but I intend to add Oysters as well.  


I set the blocks on shelves inside our "mushroom hut" and try to keep it cool (with pine tree shade and shade cloth) and moist (with a humidifier).  It takes a little over a week for the blocks to start growing and once they do, they really take off.  In order to get a second harvest from a block, I have to soak it in water overnight.  It sounds easy enough except the blocks float, so trying to keep them submerged in my barrel of water can be...comical.  


I am still perfecting the climate control in the mushroom hut.  I would like to have a more consistent size.  However, big or small, they have incredible flavor.  They are perfect for eating fresh, sauteing, dehydrating or freezing for winter soups and beef liver pate.  Be sure to try them out!


As I type, we are getting a small rain shower and boy do we need it!  The soils are dry and dusty once again and the plants will be happy for a drink.  Despite the dry, most crops are looking bright and happy and taste exquisite.  I cannot believe this is the last week of July!  With a new month, although we are still weeding, most of our days are spent harvesting and lots of new crops will appear in the share.  It's nearing time for me to plant the last of the fall crops and soon it will be too late to seed anything in the garden in order to have it mature by first frost.  Wow, this summer is flying!


This Week's Bounty: lettuce, beets with greens, zukes, summer squash, cucumber? snap peas, broccoli, scallions, fennel

on the horizon...carrots, new potatoes, beans and mini red onions!

The Farmer's Table (a sample of what the farmer has eaten)
chard, fennel and mushroom quiche
smoked pork with sauteed kale and summer squash and a few new potatoes (I had to pull up a plant to see how they were doing!  They are still a bit small but yummy yummy!)



Monday, July 17, 2017

July 18th and 21st

Summer Beauty

We are blessed with a gorgeous milkweed patch in our backfield.  The monarchs have a blast flitting around sipping nectar.  And the aroma, wow!  If only this photo were a scratch n' sniff.  Luckily the patch is right near the raspberries, so if you venture out to pick, you'll get to experience this special treat! 

The new raspberry patch is looking great!  I picked a bunch this weekend and made decadent raspberry chocolate brownies : )

The farm has been buzzing.  Although transplanting season is nearing the end, we are still putting in some important crops that will be mature in late fall.  We are also catching up with weeds (!), focusing a lot on irrigating and now, with zucchini and summer squash coming in, harvesting on a daily basis.  Humidity makes work harder but we still seem to make it through with a smile on our faces (most of the time anyway).  Hope you are enjoying summer's beauty too.


This Week's Bounty:
lettuce, kale, kohl rabi, summer squash/zucchini, fennel, sugar snap peas and garlic scapes...


Saturday, July 8, 2017

July 11th and 14th

Unveiling Summer

This week is an exciting week on the farm!  The zucchini, summer squash and cucumbers are starting to fruit, so we will uncover them from their protective lair. We are still about a week away from harvesting, but soon, real soon, the taste of summer will bless your palate!


Other excitement is the rebuilding of our rock wall.  It was becoming a bit precarious, so our friend and dry mason, Chris Tanguy, from Maine Dry Stone has taken on the challenge.  Another friend and I had built the original wall nearly 10 years ago, and although I am a bit sad to see it go, I will be more at ease knowing it wont fall down!  It's been a tight squeeze working back there, kind of like too many cooks in the kitchen, but I am impressed at how efficient his equipment is. It's been pretty fun to see all the kids (girls and boys alike) so excited to see cool new equipment in the driveway. Although the equipment is extremely handy, there is still much hand (and back!) work going into this rebuild. We were comparing notes on massage therapists and acupuncturists as I washed radishes : )


And finally the pigs are excited too!  (aren't they always?!)  This little girl's tail is wiggling a mile a minute, so happy in her new green pasture. They are out by the strawberries now, be sure to visit them! You can also check out THIS pretty cute video of them playing in water.


This week's Bounty: lettuce, chinese cabbage/green cabbage, hakurei turnips, chard, garlic scapes and herbs.


The farmer's Table: (a sample of what we ate fro the week)
*burgers (one of my favs)! from our grass fed beef.  with homemade pickles, pickled peppers, mushrooms and Spring Day cheese

*cabbage slaw (on top of 4th of July hot dogs!)

*homemade pizza (Portland Pie dough) spinach, bacon, shitake....

*yummy salads with homemade dressings (use the PYO herbs!) and diced kohl rabi

*Italian Style Pot Roast (we use lovage, from the PYO garden) soo goood!