Sunday, June 30, 2013

July 2nd and 5th: Berryliciouis!

It's going to be a Yummy Summer!

Thanks to all who have picked berries!  There are still loads out there and oh so sweeeet!  Non members reading this blog--berries are a great incentive to join our CSA (there are still Holiday, Winter and Beef shares left for 2013)....and raspberry picking is right around the corner.

PYO flower garden!  Garden is open this week for GENTLE picking.  The flowers are just getting started so please be mindful not to take the whole plant.  The plants will continue to flourish and there will be plenty of time to pick bouquets through September. 

Come meet the baby turkeys!  They are in the barn attached to my house and they are super cute!  Simon likes to come in and check them out, although he is really just looking for poop snacks.  And Pedro, the 8 toed kitty, is often found lurking about in there.  He and my other cat, Inka, are why they turkeys are in a bit of a caged fortress while they are little.

The veggies are looking great despite the deluge of rain.  The corn is up and the crows seem to mostly be focused elsewhere in the neighborhood this year (thank goodness!)  A rouge deer has been nibbling on lettuce, chard and edemame soybeans.  Last night I sprayed a stinky concoction around to hopefully help keep him away.  Insect pressure (SO FAR) seems to be way down in comparison to last year.  (Oh geez, I hope I didn't just jinx myself!) All in all farm life is wet but good--hope you all are enjoying it too.

This Week's Bounty!  lettuce, arugula, chard, kale, kohl rabi, oh so sweet baby carrots!, a few scallions, basil snippets and sage

and...the fist zucchini from the hoop house for those whole helped build it!

Possibly next week: lettuce, beet greens, garlic scapes? Chinese cabbage?...

KALE it's a super high energy food and it tastes great too!  Great in soups, salads, smoothies, casseroles, sautéed.... there are sooo many recipes online--give it a try!

CARROT TOPS not just rabbit food!

Monday, June 24, 2013

June 25th and 28th: A Pot of Gold

Rainbows, Rainbow Chard and Red Ripe Berries!

We are in the land of rainbows here.  Many times we see whole and double ones.  Thank goodness we have been benefitting from a little rain and rainbows and missing the severe storms.  Let's hope our luck continues!

Yummy chard torte (found on our swiss chard recipe blog) that I actually cooked.  (I gave Zach a break form the kitchen.)  And then tonight we ate an amazing swiss chard salad with Delmonico steak from our grass-fed beef.  (Zach back on kitchen duty.)

The pigs have a new home! It's just over the little ridge--be sure to hop over and see them!!!

Hot weather is good for weeding...and growing corn!  Unfortunately I had to reseed the corn and pumpkins again this year and we are hoping for a long summer so they grow in time before the frost.  Normally I cover the seed with remay (the white cloth) to ward off crows from eating the young seedlings, but the humid weather made me feel it may rot the seed again.  So instead I hung a crow in the middle of the field (that small black thing to the left of Simon).  An old timer's trick to scare them off.  Let's hope it works!  And I promise to remove it from the field before your corn is even close to being ready!  Geez just looking at this photo makes me hot--I can SEE the humidity--and it was 8am!

Broccoli this week!

PYO strawberries open!!! (for CSA members only, sorry no public)
This week's awesome bounty: lettuce/lettuce mix, arugula, hakurei turnip with greens, white kohl rabi, kale, spinach, broccoli, beet greens, scallions, asparagus for some, strawberries!
Next week's possibilities: lettuce, arugula, white kohl rabi, scallions, chard...
chard salad: if you still have some in your frige from last week, or save this recipe for next...just finely shop the chard into ribbon like pieces (stem and all), add a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, diced scallions, salt and pepper--enjoy!
KALE chips (and kale dusted popcorn--oooh, interesting!)

Monday, June 17, 2013

June 18th and 21st: Seasonal Choices

Making the Most of your Share 

I hope you have all settled into weekly pick ups and are enjoying your late spring greens.  Every year I find myself having similar conversations with old, new and potential customers about buying local food, preparing fresh vegetables, human and planet health, fresh food flavor and money.  Many of you have been long time shareholders (thank you!) and have shared some of the reasons why you stick with a CSA.  Flavor, quality and supporting local are up there but so is economic savings.  We all know money is a stress in our lives and many of us are on a tight budget.  The thing is WE are in charge of our budget and can chose where the priorities are to spend our money.  (I am always amazed when people say they can't afford to join a CSA but they have a cell phone plan that could buy five a year!)  Several shareholders are on super tight budgets and those are the ones who buy all of the shares I have to offer and consistently tell me they are saving money by being shareholders.  Here are some of the reasons why and a few ways to make the most of your share:
1. we eat what is in the share and don't go to the grocery to buy out of season items.  salads don't always have to have cucumbers and peppers--they can be topped with kohl rabi or radish or sometimes aren't even made of lettuce but of cabbage or summer squash.
**not going to the grocery as much means we are less tempted to buy extraneous items.
2. we prep our share soon after we bring it home.  having all the carrots chopped or the lettuce washed and dried makes food prep easier when we are in a hurry.
3. we use the internet/blog for recipes and snack ideas using as many share items as possible. finding or amending recipes to as few other ingredients helps too.
4. our choice to prioritize our food budget has saved us on time out of work and school because we are sick less.  we feel better and have more energy.  (pay the farmer now or the doctor later)
Share your recipe ideas and how you make the most of the share on our Facebook!

The veggies are LOVING this sun!  Every time I looked this weekend the green beans were taller and the tomatoes and winter squash were turning from yellow/purple (lack of Nitrogen and cold temps) to green (happy plants with the ability to take up nutrients rather than drown or freeze).

Some fruits on the horizon: strawberries and zucchini!
There are LOADS of berries out there but they are taking their time to ripen.  The warmer temps this week will surely help.  I planted zucchini in the hoophouse this year and they are setting tiny little fruits!

This Week's Bounty: lettuce, kohl rabi with greens, chard, hakurei turnips with greens, scallions, rhubarb

Possibly next week: lettuce, kale, beet greens, hakurei, scallions, strawberries?


Pasta with greens

One of my favorite greens site:

Cool kohl rabi salad
One medium size Kohlrabi, peeled and jullienned
Two Tablespoons crème fraiche, sour cream or whole milk yogurt
One teaspoon to one table spoon prepared horseradish
One teaspoon Dill
Salt and fresh Pepper
Steam kohlrabi for 5-7 minutes and set in the fridge to cool for an hour. Toss remaining ingredients together with chilled kohlrabi and enjoy as a cool compliment to picnic or light dinner meals

Sunday, June 9, 2013

June 11th and 14th: chasing tails

A few Wicked Busy Weeks in Review: 

We found a calm early morning and put on the hoop house plastic....then worked several more hours on details....with the help of many it is finally finished....and planted with tomatoes, cucumbers and a few zucchini!!!

Spring came in full throttle this year...loads of gorgeous flowers, dandelions and cool it is merging into summer bringing tiny fruits...and weeds

Potatoes planted!  Nearly a month later than I usually do, but I think they will do just fine.
Today was spent tackling these thousands of seedlings for transplanting (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, celeriac, squashes, pac choi, peppers and lettuce.  I got maybe 1/3 done.  And am hoping for clear skies Monday so I can finish...and maybe have dry fields/time to seed corn, pumpkins and carrots and still have time to weed the strawberries before the rain?!

Many thoughts went into the cows these past few weeks:  fencing, feeding and stressing about their possible escape.  We let one or two out at a time of the corral this year which I think was a good decision since the first three we let out ran though the fence.  But since their buddies were still in the corral, they came back.  Whew!

Now they are happily grazing OUTSIDE the corral and INSIDE the fence.  (I think.)
It's been a whirlwind spring.  Farming usually is, but for some reason this year seems more hectic than others. Sometimes I feel like I am chasing my tail. For the most part, crops look amazing and the rain we had was welcome, although I could do without several days of it this week.  My window for being able to work in the fields between rain events is sometimes very narrow.  Which would be fine if all crops grew like radishes and they would be ready in 25 days from seeding.  Instead most crops must be seeded 3-5 months in advance.  Farming takes more planning than most people realize.  And Maine's growing season is three months.  June is the craziest month, almost every thing you eat, including winter crops, must be planted now so they have time to grow before the first frost or freeze.  But in June, I also can't forget to harvest what I have already sown, or neglect the weeds or forget to trellis the peas or....not have time to write the blog!!! 
I wouldn't trade my job for anything.  I love it.  It crushes me at times and I take it very seriously.  In the end, however, it fulfills me, blesses me and constantly amazes me what can come from one tiny seed.
Thank you for joining our CSA this year, I hope you enjoy.

This week's bounty:

lettuce, arugula, hakurei turnips with greens, kohl rabi with greens, tat soi, scallions, asparagus, the last of the winter carrots/parsnips

Plus an annual plant from Four Duck Pond:  She is right around the corner and has a great supply of annual plants in her greenhouse--check it out!

TAT SOI--it's the new spinach!  It has a mild mustard flavor and goes well with eggs, pasta, soup, stir fry.  Tat soi wilts quickly, so use it first.  It was harvested the day you picked it up, so even if it does wilt, just cook it the flaovor and nutrition will still be grand.

KOHL RABI--it's sort of like a sweet broccoli stem.  Separate the leaves and store them separate--you will need to use them sooner rather than later as they will wilt.  Use the leaves like kale.  The bulb can be eaten raw or cooked.  If cooking no need to peel, but if you are eating raw and you find the skin too tough (try it first bc peeling anything--carrots, cucumbers etc--you lose nutritional value!)

***check out the recipe list to the right ---------------------------------------------->