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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

June 11th and 14th

A Bit of Sunshine!

I hope you have noticed the glorious plethora of flowers this year!  The flowering trees have been bursting with color.  So nice to see between the raindrops.  We have been planting planting planting!!  This time if year we put thousands of plants in the ground, some who take the rest of the season to fully grow.  For example, yesterday we planted winter storage cabbage which we will not harvest until late October!  


Sun for 4 days in a row!!!  Of course it is raining as I write this and the rest of the week looks rainy, and CSA harvest will be in the rain, but I suppose all those plants we put in the ground yesterday will be happy to get settled in.  At least it is a little warmer!


I have been farming for almost 19 years now and we have been eating seasonally/farm food for almost that entire time.  It seems as though I should be used to it by now, but I will admit dinners still amaze me.  Amaze me that everything on our plate was produced on this farm or from a friend.  AND THE FOOD TASTES AMAZING.  I hope you are embracing fresh local food too!



Ok this pic is not as beautiful, but it was sooo good!!
country style spare rib on a bed of lettuce cilantro and dill
rhubarb bbq sauce
roasted beets and parsnips


This Week's Bounty:
lettuce, kale, beets with greens, pac choi, asparagus, dill, cilantro lovage ....

The Farmer's Table: ( a view into what we ate this week)
*Taco Salad/Huevos Ranchers (pictured above)
Our favorite Tex Mex spicing

*Country Style Spare Ribs (pictured above)

*Wilted spinach and egg salad

*Grilled steak salad with grilled asparagus



Tuesday, May 28, 2019

May 28th and 31st

Looking on the Bright Side

Well I cannot say this May has been easy.  Many of the farm's tribulations are weather related and although I try and not dwell on them too much (admittedly you will probably get tired of reading about it), I think it is good to give folks a healthy perspective of what we deal with/how we handle things that are out of our control.  A little reality insight into the romanticized farming life.  Strictly for educational purposes...not to complain...I Do Love my Job : )

As I type this VERY least minute Blog, right before pick up starts, it is raining yet again (surprise, surprise).  And since I am running late and need to get pick up set up, I will mostly show pictures this week, with some captions of the highs and lows from May....although funny enough, they are all highs and lows withing just 5 days!!

We planted and covered over 1000 plants in one day!  
And then the wind ripped apart our remay and decorated the trees.


Kale is looking beautiful in the greenhouse

Our "Sink Hole" field has held on to its namesake by sucking me in while trying to aerate the soil.  Luckily my neighbor has a larger tractor and he pulled me out.

The greenhouse is BUSTING at the seams and looking lively.  LOADS of planting to be done in the next couple of weeks ... just need to get the fields dry enough to prep!!


The pigs are out and about.  A little skittish still but fence trained, seemingly well behaved and vigorous.  Be sure to visit them!

Borrowed equipment....a mulch layer.  I bought a drip tape attachment (the thing sticking upright) which lays the drip tape under the plastic.  When this mulch layer is working perfect, it goes so smooth and MUCH faster than laying everything by hand like we used to do (sorry Jean). Not that I love using plastic but in our colder, shorter season it enables us to grow better crops for those that like it hot (winter squash, tomatoes, peppers, melons, cucumbers and sweet potatoes).

Plastic all layed and ready to be planted -- yeah!!


Celery and Celeriac going in the ground with the help of an awesome crew!

Thank you all for supporting Little Ridge Farm!  We would not be here without you and we enjoy serving you with product that is tended to with love.


This Week's Bounty: lettuce, tat soi, kale, cilantro, dill, lovage, beets, spinach and asparagus

The Farmer's Table (A peek at what we eat in a week using the products we grow)
*Fresh pork shoulder, smoked in our smoker with shredded carrot/beet salad
*Grass Fed Beef Steak Salad
*Cheeseburgers with local cheese, roasted parsnips and spinach salad

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

May 14th and 17th

Planting Planting Planting!

Between drops of rain we have managed to find a few dry spots of soil and have planted thousands of plants already.  Yeah!!  It is a sophisticated process which sometimes takes hours to plant just one crop.  This time of year, the added part is to cover everything we plant.  It makes a tent-like cover over the beds and keeps the plants a bit warmer in the cool wet weather.  It will also help protect them from insects who will begin to emerge and make their way to feeding sites soon.  


We are lucky to have a great crew this year!  I had to hire 3 people to replace the one fabulous Jean.  They are doing awesome, picking away at the task list and getting so many things done when we have a break in the weather.  So far, with their help, I feel like we are pretty caught up on things.  I am a bit anxious about wet soils.  (I am sure many of you have noticed the excess of rain)  Most of my fields are still very wet.  I have not been able to "prepare seed beds". This means creating a smooth surface to plant tiny seeds like carrots, arugula, turnips.... So I am behind in getting these in the ground.  We were lucky enough to get peas in the ground.  Those seeds are larger and can take clumpier soil.  I have faith once I am able to get the smaller seeds in the ground, they will catch up and we will be enjoying them sooner than we think!


I am grateful for this spring and am looking forward to this year's bounty.  We have an excellent number of CSA shares and are also adding some new wholesale sales as well as producing hemp for CBD oil.  I will give you more info on that soon, so stay tuned!

Welcome new shareholders and welcome back old friends!  I hope you find season with Little Ridge Farm full of flavor, good energy and exciting visits to the farm. 
THANK YOU for your support and love!


This Week's Bounty: spinach, lettuce, spring parsnips, storage carrots, beets, garlic, onions


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

April

Feeling Springy!

Although it has not been consistent, spring DOES feel like it's approaching.  There are already days in the greenhouse where a tank top is necessary and sunglasses are a must.  The hoop house greens are filling out and tasting sweet.  And the robins are flitting and singing like every day is the best day.


One spring chore is to uncover the strawberries from their winter comforter of straw.  The plants looked happy, well rested and ready to produce copious amounts of lusciousness this summer!  Amazingly, the ground was still frozen and heaved under the straw, but I think Monday's sun helped. 


I am feeling excited about the 2019 growing season!  Greenhouse and Hoop house work has been so pleasurable this spring and all the plants already look so happy.  Don't be afraid to share the good news of Little Ridge Farm!  We love what we do and are passionate about our product.  There are always good things happening here...don't miss out!

This week is the last Winter Share pick up and soon Summer Shares will begin!  Be sure to reserve your spot now!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

March

Longer Rays of Sun

Outside the days are getting longer, brighter and warmer!  Even though the thermometer still reads below normal, the intensity of the sun is increasing and that feels good!  


Inside the greenhouse, seedlings are germinating and happily reaching for the sun.  It's a hot spot on a sunny day and I have been enjoying wearing t-shirts and ditching the long johns!



Inside the house, we are still planning, crunching numbers and ordering materials.  Thank goodness I have Puffa, my office assistant, to help!


Simon and I are enjoying the last of our days "out and about" reflecting on life and soaking up free time.  We are looking forward to a new growing season and all it has to offer.  I think Simon is thinking about groundhogs, lying in the shade and getting dog treats from shareholders.  I am thinking more along the lines of bountiful harvests, weed free fields and happy customers : )


SUMMER CSA SIGN UPS
We have a few spots left, please don't delay and reserve your fresh veggies now!
Spread the news about the incredible Little Ridge Farm!!


Tuesday, February 19, 2019

February

 Farm Angels

Winter erratically plunders on and we continue to play in its beauty.  So many hours are spent in front of the computer; learning new accounting software, doing taxes, reviewing budgets, ordering supplies and creating planting maps for the upcoming season, that the daily escape into the cold is necessary to keep the blood flowing.  


Simon tends to do whatever I do; if I am inside, he is inside...if I go out, he decides to go out.  Puffa, on the other hand, has an agenda all his own (in typical cat style).  Most of it involves sleeping, but every once in awhile he will alert us with his raspy "meow" that he has been hunting.  Of course he brings it in the house to show off his skills and immediately Simon starts wonder if Puffa will share his prize.  Luckily both Puff and Simon are excellent rodent control.  2018 and so far 2019 have been the highest rodent population I have ever seen here.  It started with the insane numbers of squirrels (!!!) this summer and has continued with a multitude of mice.  I think we have made a significant dent, but I will admit my stomach has butterflies thinking of starting to seed and transplant in the hoop house soon.  Hopefully my brigade will find the mice before they find tasty little seed treats!


The kitchen stays warm with the oven in full swing.  Zach is often inspired to cook up some tasty dinner and I continue to paw through the freezer, digging out treasures of fruit and fat to render.  I am still happily eating winter storage crops and frozen berries.  I hope all of you are content with your winter stash of nutrition.  Soon greens will make their way onto our plates and spring will turn us all into rabbits.  Until then, warm your bellies with the natural sweetness of squash, beets, spuds.....


February's Bounty: cabbage, beets, carrots, celeriac, golden turnip, onion, garlic, parsnip, watermelon radish, winter squash and lettuce from Spring Works Farm


The Farmer's Table:
*roasted Sunny Side Family Farm chicken with frozen green beans and roasted potato
*Chili made with LRF grass-fed beef
*Tex mex LRF burger -- Recipe
*Cabbage Pancakes -- Recipe

Thursday, January 17, 2019

January

Winter Love!

I will admit I do love winter.  Not only is it a time of rest and reset for me, but the beauty in the season brings me great joy.  It is a time of quiet and fairy-like sparkles, a time to appreciate the wildness of the farm; deer tracks through the fields and crows calling from the trees wondering when all their free samples will reappear.  


Winter heats are house with canning, preserving and rendering farm products I was not able to get to in the summer.  It's a glorious reminder of summer colors and sweet flavors; of warm summer air and the knowledge that it will all happen again soon.


Winter is also a time of great wonder for me.  Our freezers, walk in cooler and dry storage areas are packed with a bounty that all started from a tiny seed.  An energy force so great and precious to our survival.  It is sometimes easy to forget that the power our bodies use to move through the day, to grow, to be strong and mindful, nearly 100% comes from a plant that grew out of the top 6" of this earth.  To be thankful for this gift is an understatement.  And know that the food that you consume from our farm not only has nutritional value and organic standards, but it also has our love and commitment to goodness.  

Now is the time to buy into your share of good energy!  Set you and your family up with the power that comes from a seed and reserve your Summer Share!  

Thank you for Loving Little Ridge Farm


This Month's Bounty:
carrot, onion, turnip, garlic, beet, kohl rabi, potato, sweet potato, winter squash, parsnip, watermelon radish, celeriac, leeks, green/red cabbage

The Farmer's Table (a peak into what we eat here on the farm)
*roast chicken with a mushroom cream sauce and veggies (kohl rabi, leek, garlic, carrot, parsnip, celeraic, potato)

*LRF grass-fed meatballs and homemade tomato sauce
We've been using this recipe, slightly modified, but the key is that it is almond flour instead of bread crumbs and they are really really good!

*LRF pork tenderloin with homemade quick sauerkraut

*LRF NY strip steak with mushrooms and roasted carrots