Monday, June 26, 2017

June 27th and 30th

Berry Busy

Although I admit I am sipping a strawberry daiquiri as I type this blog, we have been working hard this week!  Weeding, transplanting and harvesting on a daily basis...and things are looking yummy! Don't be afraid to try new veggies like kohl rabi, pac choi and chinese cabbage; you will be surprised that they are just as tasty as the veggies you know like cucumbers and zucchini : )

The hoop house is full of beautiful greenery like tomatoes, herbs and even a few rouge flowers to keep us farmer's happy!

Strawberry season is underway!  Come hang with Chicken and Simon in the strawberry patch!  I can't guarantee they will help you pick, but they are sure to entertain!

This is Anna, she and her husband, Lazaro, teach Latin dance through Danza Latina.  Lazaro also instructs some super fun Latin exercise classes.  Check them out!  Zach and I have been taking salsa with them and we have so much fun!! (I also take bachata.)  Now as I weed, I mindfully review my dance moves : )  !Me encanta bailar!

PYO Garden is Open!

(Sorry, rhubarb is not for picking.)
The dianthus and the tall flower in the background are presently the best picking.  Below is a photo showing the proper way to cut flowers.  We try and grow "long stemmed" flowers, but some are naturally shorter. If you cut too low, you will kill the plant.

Puffa says, "please cut ABOVE any other flowers that may come so others may enjoy. Meow." Be sure to teach your kiddoes too : )

Props to Sara Sloan, fashion consultant, for gifting me my veggie LuLaRoe pants!

This Week's Bounty: lettuce, arugula, chard, beets with greens, kohl rabi, chinese cabbage, broccoli? pac choi, cilantro, dill, basil snippets

soon to come....kale, shell peas, garlic scapes, green cabbage...

The Farmer's Table:
 (A sample of what we eat during the week here on the farm.)

-lots of salads with homemade dressing and Spring Day Creamery Blue cheese
-pasta with bacon, pac choi and kohl rabi
-panko crusted pork with broccoli
-strawberries and Winter Hill Farm yogurt
-Sunnyside Farm chicken legs with grated kohl rabi slaw

Friday, June 16, 2017

June 20th and 23rd

Farm Tools

For me farm tools are like my toys.  I get excited about new equipment; potential time saved and improved farm efficiency.  The coolest thing about most of the equipment is that is very simple. Many have been invented by farmers, therefore practical, and are fully adjustable to meet the needs of any farm. And, in the past few years, new inventions for "small" farms (like ours) have come to the market.  With the wet spring, and my desire to find a cultivator that works better on heavy clay soils (like ours) brought me to borrow this piece of equipment from Maine Farmland Trust.  Although it wasn't a miracle worker,  I think it is moving in the right direction for our situation.

Hoes. Oh we have many!  And we use them often!!  Since it's been so wet, we have not done much weeding. We took a stab at it with these tools on Thursday and boy did we have our work cut out for us! I like weed free fields for many reasons; better airflow around the vegetables, clean fields leave more nutrients for the veggies, harvesting goes much faster and for me and my clutter free personality, it looks nicer.  For some reason though crab grass found its way here a couple of years ago and that is mostly what we are battling now.  It was like trying to hoe sod....literally.

Our hands. They are rough and cracked and permanently stained.  Jean's grand kids are appalled that she can't keep her fingernails polished and Zach complains that my hands are rougher than sandpaper. Yes, we could wear gloves, but most of the times it just isn't practical.  They do many tasks on a daily basis and although they may not look very pretty they serve us well : )

It's been a busy, labor intensive week of transplanting, covering transplants, getting irrigation set up harvesting and starting in on weeding. At times I felt a little discouraged at how far behind some things are (like the strawberries) and about how far behind we are on some tasks (like weeding) but then as I walked the farm to make the harvest list for next week, I am excited that some of the veggies are making their appearance earlier than ever before (like beets and broccoli).  Every year is different, generally everything works out in the end, and it always feels bountiful.

This Week's Bounty: lettuce, spinach, broccoli, beets, purple kohlrabi, pac choi, rhubarb and asparagus for half shares.

The Farmer's Table: (A sample of what we eat during the week here on the farm.)
please note : )  Chef Zach was away most of the week so it was up to farmer Keena to feed herself.  I ate a bit more simply, but still loaded up on greens!

*Lightly sauteed tat soi with 2 eggs fried in lard
*Lisbon House of Pizza -- (plain cheese) I added sauteed kale and a side salad
*chicken wings (from Sunny Side Farm) homemade ranch dip and parsnip fries (so yum!)
*rice with sauteed pork, beets and pac choi
*leftover rice with lightly steamed asparagus and egg and  Parmesan
*yogurt (from Winter Hill Farm) peanut butter, lettuce, frozen blue berries and water smoothies

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

June 6th and 9th

Plant with a Passion

Just finished harvesting and washing beautiful greens today for pick up. It's chilly and rainy and my hands aren't typing very well since they are still a bit numb. Every year brings a different set of challenges; last year dusty dry and this year cool and wet.  Despite this challenge, my spring kale is more beautiful than ever before and am reminded that the rewards of this job are great.

Last night I sat eating another amazing dinner of fresh greens and grass fed beef, listening to Etta James. The dinner scene sounds very romantic, but trust me, it's not. I sit at the counter while Zach stands in the kitchen, analyzing every bite he takes. Mostly wondering if he should have added more lemongrass cubes, sauteed the beef a bit less or used the wok instead of the frying pan. Most people talk about their day, world news or watch TV, but here it's all about the food. I'm like the teenage kid, sitting at the counter with fork in hand, so hungry from my day and ready to gobble anything down in 3 bites. Zach reminds me to take it a bit slower and focus on the flavor. I concede to a point, I'm hungry.  

Hope you have a moment to taste the flavor and "eat your veggies"

This Week's Bounty: loads of lettuce, pac choi, kale, parsnips, scallions, herbs and asparagus for the full shares

The Farmer's Table: 

From the wok -- Stir fried parsnip, pac choi and carrot with peanut sauce

Arugula, buttercrunch salad with dill, Spring Day cheese, home made pickled peppers and maple vinaigrette. Buttered bread.

Lemon grass haddock with pureed parsnip and smoked chili garlic spinach

LRF cheese steak -- Minute steak sandwich with frozen peppers, onions, homemade cheese sauce and chipotle arugula