Tuesday, July 7, 2020

July 7th and 10th

Happy 4th!

Wow I cannot believe it is JULY!  The weather has been all over the place it is hard to keep track of the time of year.  The rain (6"!) was maybe a bit much but yesterday's drier air made the farm glow bright.  We have a very small window right now to do a load of weeding before summer's harvest really kicks in (zucchini and summer squash are nearly ready!)  If anyone has the hankering to get outside and pull some weeds voluntarily, let me know!


Meet Chuck, the Chukar (pronounced choo-kar).  Many of you have seen him around the pick up barn.  He is in the pheasant family and naturally lives out west in small groups.  However, it is common for folks to release them here for bird hunting.  He is cute little fellow, lonely but shy.  We have invited him to hang out here and possibly hang with the turkeys, although he has not met them yet.  Unfortunately he likes to walk along the road and someone almost hit him yesterday.  When she stopped, she knew what it was as she had had one in her yard and put it in with her chickens.  Anyone's chickens looking for a friend?  They eat grass and grass seeds so they won't cost too much in grain : )


The turkeys are silly as ever and are growing quickly.  They are ready for some adventure; running circles in their pen and jumping as high as they can.  They are quite the entertainment...the pigs now have competition! Hope you have some silliness in your life and are enjoying your veg as you chuckle. New items are coming on every week, it's fun to walk around the farm!  Feel free to poke around and get some fresh air.


This Week's Bounty: lettuce, beets with greens, snap peas, parsnips, broccoli, kohl rabi, hakurei, cilantro, parsley, garlic scapes, green onion


Tuesday, June 30, 2020

June 30th and July 3rd

Rain!

When I last looked at the rain gauge we had gotten 3.25" and it is still raining!  Honestly the ground was so dry, this overabundance is welcome.  Everything seems brighter and I swear I could see the cabbages growing!  Spotty thunderstorms will make harvesting a bit of a challenge today, but we will be careful.


Groundhog hunting had a bit of a glitch this weekend.  I moved it, I swear, but obviously not far enough.  I was rototilling and the tractor tire caught the edge of the trap.  AND it was borrowed from my neighbor!  (sorry Denis)  I have a new one on order.  A friend did get a groundhog last Thursday and we hoped we were in the clear, but another appeared the following day in the same spot.  Hmmm could it be a remake of "Groundhog Day" ?!


The pigs had a wonderful rainy Monday.  They woke in a puddle under their new hut and so I opened up the trailer door.  An hour later I found them snoozing inside.  I shut the door (they were not impressed), but then magically they appeared in a new grassy spot (hurrah!).  They ran circles in glee and then napped and napped and napped.  The only problem is now we need to get their hut over there and it is mired in mud.  That will be a fund Wednesday project : )


This Week's Bounty: lettuce, chinese cabbage, hakurei turnip, broccoli, chard, garlic scapes and cilantro

The Farmer's Table:
last night we had stir fried broccoli, mushrooms, chinese cabbage and top round steak -- yum!

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

June 23rd and 26th

Summer's Toil


So I am still feeling optimistic that we will have a fabulous crop this year, and I generally try and make the weekly blog about the positive things happening on the farm, but I am going to be honest, the past few days have been rough.  The soil is SO dry and the air is SO hot, we had hundreds of plants die late last week.  Of course, it is frustrating the time and effort we put into seeding, planting, covering and watering (oh my! so much hose dragging!) but most of all it makes me sad to see those little plants suffer, they were so gorgeous when we planted them.  I have reseeded some and hopefully there will be enough Maine growing season to see them bear fruit.  Farming is SO weather dependent and every year has its thing, but this one has really gotten me as it has never happened before.  Chin up, one foot in front of the other, we will make it I know, but today I am feeling a little low.




We are also battling a groundhog who favors broccoli.  Simon is on its tail, but it is the furthest field so he does not wander out there on his own.  We have given the ground hog a talkin' to....I mean there is grass and sweet clover galore.... hopefully he took the hint.



The good news is, we have new crops coming in every week to keep your taste buds happy.  Pray for rain, we could use a smidge.  Enjoy every bite .... remember that nearly everything you put in your mouth comes from a farmer, somewhere, who has poured their heart and soul into their work.


This week's bounty: lettuce, radish, spinach, broccoli, pac choi, kale, dill cilantro


Tuesday, June 16, 2020

June 16th and 19th

Crisp and Bright

What gorgeous weather we are having!  I am trying to soak it all in before he humidity comes and zaps all of my energy.  We had a great crew yesterday and got zucchini, summer squash, cucumbers, melons and half of the winter squash planted.  Wednesday will be the rest of the squash, sweet potatoes and strawberries .... and then we move on to weeding.  We have been using more plastic mulch and landscape fabric which I am not psyched about but it has many benefits 1) the plants LOVE it 2) it warms the soil in the spring 3) and maintains moisture 4) plus it suppresses weeds, which I am hoping we can save several hours of hand weeding this year!!!


We are back on irrigating ... pray for an evening rain shower this week.  Everything is looking happy though and we have lots to harvest .... so short blog this week, I gotta get back to it!
ENJOY!


This week's bounty: lettuce, arugula, spinach, chard, asparagus, parsnip, dill, cilantro

Try a PARSNIP PATTY recipe!

Monday, June 8, 2020

June 9th and 12th

Summer Skies


Well it felt like it took summer a long time to get here.  Seems crazy that it is the first week of June and in the last month we have had 12" of snow, 85 and humid, a late frost and a drought. I think the snow (and frost I hope!) is gone for at least 3 months and we were blessed with a soft 1.3" of rain this weekend.  The plants have responded beautifully.  And we are planting plants as fast as we can!


We are excited about this week's pick up and its glorious early greens, spring dug parsnips and delectable herbs.  A few of these greens may be new to you, but I encourage you to try them!  Above is tat soi.  The last frost and dry forced it into flowering but the flowers are sweet and tender.  you may dice it up and eat it raw, saute them lightly, fold them into your eggs or make a quiche!


Pac choi is crunchy and light flavored.  You can make it into a slaw, steam, saute or grill.  It is lovely tossed last minute into a hot soup (think ramen).


This is a recipe we tried from Food & Wine magazine (we are not sure how we are getting the magazine nor who is paying for it, but there are unique recipes in it!).  Chili-Mint Parsnips.  Different than the usual and super good!  It called for dried barberries ... don't actually know what those are but we had some goji berries on hand and they were perfect!


I hope this blog finds you with a smile on your face and a calm in your heart.  It has certainly been an emotional 2020, highlighted with uncertainty.  I am grateful for the certainties I can hold onto, like that a seed will germinate and provide vital nutrition, that the earth provides even when we push it to its limits, that the sun still comes up and the moon still revolves around us ... that we are human and have the ability to nurture ourselves and others.  May we take the time to pause, listen and embrace the positive.  Thank you for being a part of this simple farm.  You are a gift and we love what we do.

Blessings on your meal, Keena


This week's bounty: misfit carrots, pac choi, tat soi, kale, rhubarb, asparagus, parsnip, dill, lovage

The Farmer's Table: (highlights of our weekly meals)
Chili-Mint Parsnips https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/chile-mint-parsnips
Clam Chowder -- there are lots of local clams out there right now!
Grilled oysters -- and local oysters too!
Forage 7 grain* french toast and our sausage -- a breakfast treat : )
Arugula hummus* (from Cranberry Rock Farm) and Smoked pepper goat cheese* (Coppertail Farm)
 *you can find these items on FarmDrop https://littleridge.farmdrop.us

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

April

 April Showers.... 






...bring May flowers.  What do May flowers bring?   ... Pilgrims!  ha : )
Hope you are finding a little light in your day.


Simon, the best dog EVER, just celebrated his 12th birthday on April 1st.  We celebrated with a beef bone, a walk and lots of hugs.  Oh wait, he gets that every day!  So much love.


So here we are all are, in a surreal time.  I am grateful for so many things, including my incredible customer base and support system.  Thank you for your kind words and well wishes (and donated masks)!  I send all of you a bit of peace knowing we are here planting seeds and making steps toward a healthy and bountiful summer of food!  Know it is grown with so much love and connection to the earth and we are blessed to share it with you. 


More than ever we are thankful for the gifts of our land and the incredible stash of food we have in our pantry, freezer and storage.  We generally eat the misfit veg and every bit is just as good as the madonnas.  Above is country style spare rib, sauteed spinach with bacon bits, winter squash and a slaw made with black radish and kohl rabi. so yum.  Blessings on your meal. 

Join our CSA (only a few spots left) and/or
Try Little Ridge FarmDrop open now for pick up or delivery every Friday -- great food from across the county -- bread, dairy, prepared foods ...



Wednesday, March 18, 2020

March

 Sending Good Energy

Wow our lives have certainly changed these past few weeks.  Fear, anger, disbelief, worry so many emotions are running through the energy stream right now.  I would like to send a note of hope.  The virus is affecting so many levels of our society and for me, of course, healthy food and food access is forefront.  My email inbox is flooded every day of Maine farmers grouping together to share safe food handling procedures for both ourselves and our customers and the farming and food distribution community is collaborating to make sure we can provide food for households, food banks and children in food insecure homes.  If you have any ideas to contribute or you are interested in volunteering to bag orders, please let me know.  Or if you know of programs already happening to get food out and about and they need volunteers, please share that as well.  


Simon is somewhat oblivious to all the concern.  In fact it has crossed my mind at how HAPPY all the dogs across the world must be now that their owners are spending so much more time with them!  (I mean look at that smile : ) 


This is our new project here at the house...hanging meat
no seriously.  Zach is (was) on the road a lot for work and prefers protein snacks to carb snacks.  Beef jerky was a snack of choice albeit expensive and not always from "happy cows" like ours.  A friend of ours introduced us to Biltong and we gave it a try with a bottom round cut.  

It originated in South Africa centuries ago as a food source for travelers.  A spice mix is packed on the outside as it air dries along with vinegar which makes this distinctively different from jerky.  This was our first go round and we may try a slightly different recipe the next time, but I do think it will be a common practice around here; hanging meat.

Wishing all of you health and possibly the thought of using this time (of the first time ever empty calendar!) to rest, unwind, discover new self entertainment and time with family.  Please do not be afraid to reach out of you are in need of help in any way.


Recipe from a shareholder: Harvest Pork & Cider Stew

A fun fact: Pound for pound, Cabbage has the same amount of vitamin C as oranges

Thursday, February 20, 2020

February

February Love

The light is getting longer, the days getting "warmer".  Normally in February it's guaranteed I can easily find a large window of time to harvest spinach from the hoop house.  This marvelous crop freezes and thaws with the changing days without skipping a beat.  Its sugars bundle up and protect its leaves and then manifest themselves on your taste buds like sugar on snow.  I am not sure how I have done it, but every pick up this winter has fallen on subzero nights with the day's high in the teens (or 10!).  Needless to say my spinach harvesting window was quite small yesterday.  I furtively harvested into the waning light, trying to hide from the inevitable cold, until the leaves started to grow little crystals.  We (the spinach, Simon and the rouge mouse) laughed as we listed to NPR's podcast "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me", then sang a little to Bob Marley and then ended the last several pounds in silence appreciating the beauty of winter, the humbleness of plants and the ephemeral gift of light and warmth on a cold winter's day.

May you enjoy the flavor of summer neatly stored in your winter's veggies, and the taste of winter in your greens that don a summer's hue.


This month's bounty: winter squash, potato, sweet potato, turnip, parsnip, beet, carrot, watermelon radish, celeriac, kohl rabi, onion, leek, garlic, spinach

The Farmer's Table:
*We are loving raw thin sliced beets to use as "chips" for dips and pate.
*Try a Tahini sauce on your veggies
*Make a veggie-full Ramen!

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

January

Hello 2020!

The New Year!  We have been enjoying the blue skies and snow!  Taking many woods and coastal hikes and possibly sleeping in a bit : )  The rest has been invigorating and we are settling in to equipment ordering, office cleaning and 2020 farm planning.  We are offering a new "Market Share" this year (for current or past customers only at this point) hoping it can be another option for those with busy schedules.  We are also excited to continue our sales to Flux restaurant, Falmouth Schools, The Good Shepherd Food Bank, Gracie's Garden and Turtle Rock Farm.  It's been fun pairing up with local businesses and we continue to look for more opportunities to do so.


Tis the season of pulling summer vegetables from the freezer and processing them.  It takes hours and days but it is one of my favorite winter time activities.  The vibrant colors and smells bring back memories of summer and heating the house with warm steam is quite pleasant this time of year!


Look for our classic jams (Strawberry, Raspberry and Triple Berry) and our new specials: Plum and Strawberry Fennel Compote!   Tasty on sandwiches, meats and cheeses!

As always, thank you for loving Little Ridge Farm!  We look forward to another season of growth, serving our community and enjoying this land we call home.  Be sure to reserve your 2020 Summer Share before they sell out and prepare yourself for another year of bounty!!