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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

May 8 and 11

Good Day Sunshine!

Finally some sun and warmth!  It has made a huge difference all over the farm, both inside and out; for both plants and farmers.  Jean and I enjoyed our Monday transplanting the first broccoli for the year and harvesting spinach for the first pick up of the year.  It feels good to working the soil again!

The last several weeks have been about gathering final materials for the season.  I made my annual trip to Fedco and Johnny's to pick up potatoes, soil, fertilizer, last minute seeds...and a few peach trees for ourselves.  We are so lucky to live in a country where these items are readily available and in a state that provides them.  Of course it takes gas and time for me to head north on this trip, but it still saves money skipping the shipping cost.  Plus it gives me the chance to ask questions directly.  Many of the employees at these places, especially Fedco, are farmers too and many of them grow the seed and plants that can be purchased.  Although Maine does not seem the typical ag state like those big mid west states, the Organic movement here is HUGE and it's awesome to be a part of it...and even more awesome that YOU want to support it!  So thank you.

The past weeks have also been about hoping, waiting, probing the soil to see if it's warm enough, dry enough to get on it to prep, and work it for seeding and transplanting.  Spring for me is always a "wring my hands" sort of season.  Many times I think I have the timing right for seeding (peas for example) but then the weather changes and cold wet sets in too long and all the peas rot and I have to seed them again.  It's frustrating, time consuming and expensive (I have to buy more seed), but I am committed to trying my hardest so that the CSA is diverse and bountiful, so I til and seed again.  Not everything goes as planned, but this challenge is partly what draws me to farming.  It reminds me of the precious strength of a seed and the mind boggling abundance one tiny seed can bring.  It's phenomenal really ... think of it when you bite into a 7" long carrot this week, that it grew from a seed about the size of this next period .  Amazing.

I have transplanted onions in the cold snow before, but never in 85 degree weather!  But we survived (onions included) and all 18,900 of them are standing at attention ready to grow.  Jean, Eileen and I transplanted out nearly 22,000 plants in 3 days, put hoops up and covered many of them in remay and then weighted it down with sand bags.  (Remay is a type of ag fabric keeps the plants warm and protects them from insects).  Kind of like boot camp for farmers.  We rocked it -- thanks for your hard work ladies!

Welcome to Little Ridge Farm!  We look forward to growing for you this year and hope you find wonder in all you eat!

This week's bounty: storage carrots, beets, celeriac, gold ball turnip and onions.  Fresh spinach, chard and kale!

The Farmer's Table (What we ate this week with our food)
*pork stir fry with beets, carrots and frozen peas  (I have 1/2 a pig left for sale, email if ur interested!)
*sausage soup with kale and the last of the sweet potatoes
*steamed kale and celeriac
*mashed turnip and celeriac

Celery Root & Turnip Mash
Yields: 4 servings
2 large celery root
2 medium to large turnips
3 scallions, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic
⅓ c. butter, ghee, lard, or tallow
1 tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. black pepper
With a sharp knife, cut the rough outer layer off of the celery root.  Chop into small cubed pieces.  Peel the turnips and cut into similar sized cubes.  Add them to a medium pot of boiling water.  Add a generous pinch of sea salt to the water and bring to a boil.  Simmer until fully cooked, about 15-20 minutes.
While the vegetables are simmering, combine the scallions, garlic, butter, sea salt, and black pepper in the bowl of a large food processor and process until smooth, scraping the sides as needed.
Drain the cooked celery root and turnips and let the steam release for about 3-5 minutes.  Add them to the food processor and process until the mash is smooth and fluffy.

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