Sunday, June 24, 2018

June 26th and 29th

Summer Solstice

The longest days of the year are upon us.  We are greeted with a beautiful conjunction of the waxing gibbous moon and Jupiter, cool nights for sleeping and 0.52" of rain!!!  In the kitchen, we are finishing up the last of the storage roots, making way for new ones to come, and pairing them with fresh dill and summer greens.

In the fields, Simon inspects the chard and kale, making sure they are insect and rodent free.  His playful countenance keeps us in check during our long work days and farm filled focus.

Zach continues to create flavorful dishes using our farm's bounty.  Even simple cooked meals astound our taste buds, but he still likes to express his artfulness in using lots of spices and time ladened recipes.  He just came in from helping string drip tape in the fields and was "excited, the best part of his day" to come and cook a pork roast we have thawing in the fridge.  Me?  I am ready to relax in the hammock with a beer....oh but I guess I am still working too writing the next!

This Week's Bounty:  lettuce, scallions, beets w/greens, hakurei turnip w/greens, kale ...

Sunday, June 17, 2018

June 19th and 22nd

All in a Row

The piggies moved to greener pastures this weekend.  They were a bit timid at first to cross the "fence line" (which we had removed, but hey clearly remembered its electric bite).  But once they finally crossed, what fun they had!  These little critters bring me such joy with their individual personalities.  There is one this year, we call Pillow, who loves to be petted.  He just faints with joy, rolling over so I can pat his belly and then softly grunts with pleasure.  So cute.

Speaking of greener pastures....despite the hot and dry, most crops are bounding with beauty.  And sweetness too--did you love that broccoli last week?!  I don't usually eat it raw, but I enjoyed it in a salad.  Lots of new items are on the horizon: scallions, chinese cabbage, peas....

Bright Lights Chard ... 

LRF lettuce mix, radish, broccoli & pickled peppers with Spring Day Creamery Award winning Blue Cheese

This Week's Bounty: Lettuce, kale, chard, purple kohl rabi, tat soi and spinach(?)

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

June 12th and 15th

Transplant Your Heart Out

June is the official "transplant month" here on the farm.  Yes we put tens of thousands of onion seedlings in the ground last month, but it does not compare to the hundreds of flats and thousands of plants we get in the ground in June.  Our short Maine season means there is small window of time to get plants in the ground so they will mature before fall frost.  Many crops take over 100 days to mature and in our 136 frost free days, that's tight.  The dry dry dry soil and windy days are complicating things a bit, making transplanting a bit more stressful for the plants.  And even when they are settled they are growing quite slow.  The nice thing about lack of rain is the weeds grow slow too, but at this point, I will take a few days of weeding for some rain.  

These little twig looking things are sweet potato slips.  They were sent to us from an Organic farm North Carolina.  We stick the slip in the ground and from it sprouts roots and a vine and hopefully large tubers.   Sorry to tempt summer shares with these pics....sweet potatoes are reserved for Holiday and Winter Shares : ) 

Puffa helping me do evening irrigation repair and remay covering after the winds died down.  He's a very good supervisor.  He even goes under the remay to do inspections.  If only I could get him to bring tools with him under there and he would actually do repair work while he was there, but for some reason he is easily distracted by bugs and leaves he finds along the way. 

This Week's Bounty: lettuce, arugula, radish, tat soi, pac choi ...

The Farmer's Table: (a snippet of our weekly feasts)
*Roast Chicken with a Japanese marinade
*tat soi, arugula and radish leaf sautee
*Anise Baked Pork Belly 
*Crunchy yummy salads with a homemade "good seasons paleo dressing"

Monday, June 4, 2018

June 5th and 8th

 Seasonal Transitions

It's funny, I have had conversations with several folks lately and I am realizing most people do not obsess about the weather like I do.  They hop out of bed and head to work without even looking at what the weather will bring.  Me?  I am constantly checking: how windy will it be, what's the predicted high/low temps, will we get any rain or a crazy thunderstorm...  It effects so many aspects of growing veg for you, it's almost as if what I do does not matter.  Ok yes it does.  But sometimes it feels totally out of my control.  Currently my obsession is if we are going to get rain.  We did, about 0.4" which is not much but it is something.  We do have drip irrigation (water slowly drips out of emitters which are embedded in that black tube you see).  It's super efficient, you can even water on a hot sunny day and will hardly have any loss to evaporation (although we tend to water in the am and pm to get the best results).  The downside is that it is always in the way.  I am constantly breaking it with the truck/tractor/hoe.  We also have very little water to use, so we can only run a few beds at a time for a short duration.  It would take 2 weeks to water the entire farm properly.  My love hate relationship with drip irrigation will continue until I die.  You cannot say I am not committed : )  

My camera did not quite capture it, but the above photo was snapped early in the morning and the drips from the irrigation were sparkling like diamonds in the sunrise.  Little gifts dropping into the soil for the plants.  And of course Simon giving love to all.

We just finished our big seasonal transition in the hoop house.  We cleaned out all of the winter spinach and most of the lettuce and transplanted tomatoes in their place.  Soon the beets you see in the photo will be harvested as a part of your share (they were seeded in here in March) and the house will be lush with tomatoes.  The hoop house is a ton of work, lots of winter maintenance and summer fussing, but it adds so much diversity to the CSA.  It allows for the candy like winter spinach, luscious early spring greens, early season beets and herbs and healthier tomato plants.  Feel free to walk up and see what's happening in there, or on the entire farm, it's constantly changing!  (Just be sure to stay on the edges and not walk through the gardens : )

This Week's Bounty: lettuce, herbs, tat soi, pac choi, spring onions, arugula, rasish? rhubarb, carrots, parsnips

The Farmer's Table (A sample of our dinners from the farm's bounty)
*grilled NY sirloin and asparagus
*loads of crunchy salads with pickeled carrots
*Philly cheesesteaks (with our minute steaks) and sauteed onions and frozen peppers
*roasted veg -- parsnip, carrot and the last of the spuds