Tuesday, August 28, 2018

August 28th and 31st


Harvesting has been on the forefront of our priority list these days and will be for the rest of the season.  I still have several weeds I'd like to pull and there is a myriad of other tasks that need to get done, but many days those tasks get pushed off the list.  The late season rain has really helped the crops and most are producing happily.  I feel like we are right on the cusp of fall, seeing the winter squash starting to peak through the mass of leaves, but I am not quite ready and am still enjoying crisp cucumbers and juicy tomatoes.  Today's heat will surely push any fall thoughts straight our of my head!

Beans are back this week and we have some yellow wax beans in the mix this time.  The plants look gorgeous and we weeded as we picked yesterday, so it was a 2 for 1 and it made me very happy : )

Celery makes its appearance this week too!  It's not your "normal" store bought celery; the stems are darker (because I do not blanch them) and it has a much more robust flavor.  Dry weather can sometimes make the stems tougher or stringy, but hopefully the late season rain softened them up.  Use it from top to bottom, the leaves are great to eat too!  They make nice "chips" (think kale chip) and can also be used chopped fresh as an herb in your salad or mixed with cucumbers, tomato....

Off to harvest!!!!

This Week's Bounty: beans, celery, cukes, zukes, summer squash, chard, onion, carrots, beets, eggplant, pepper? melon, tomato, herbs

Sunday, August 19, 2018

August 21st and 24th


The farm is lush and green and beautiful.  The first few harvests of each crop has been fun but challenging this year, sifting through leaves and branches searching for beans, cucumbers, melons, eggplant and now peppers!  I sometimes wonder what it would be like to farm in a frost free climate, where the growing season is longer; where our efforts of growing and planting a seedling would be rewarded with several months of harvest, rather just several weeks.  My peppers, tomatoes and melon plants are loaded with flowers that will never mature before frost, which is a little sad but true.  This week we will dive into sweet and hot peppers, the first of many that will ripen before cold temps hit...hopefully : )

The melons are going strong and tasting sweet!  We are starting to transition from the early varieties to the later maturing ones...can't believe it is mid August already.

This week's bounty: lettuce, onion, garlic, pepper, eggplant, tomato, cucumber, summer squash, zucchini, carrot, beet, chard, melon, corn? (not sure if it's ready yet) dill, cilantro, parsley

The Farmer's Table:  (sorry for the lapse...we have been eating but I've been so busy, my blogs have been quickly written : )

*chard with tomato -- saute onion and garlic, add tomatoes and chard.  Serve over zucchini noodles.  Add sausage if you'd like. yum.

*zucchini, egg, mushroom frittata -- yum

*lots of raw cucumbers, carrots, hakurei and kohl rabi with homemade dip -- yum.

*homemade pizza with kale and sauteed eggplant and mushrooms -- yum

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

August 14th and 17th

The Picking is Good!

This week I will open the PYO cherry tomatoes and tomatillos!  The tomato patch is like a hanging garden; a forest of green with orange and red jewels hanging from the limbs.  So thick and lush, you may just have to crawl on your hands and knees : )

The tomatillos are always a tangle of leaves and branches.  And of course the ripest fruit are those nearest the ground and buried in the center of the plant.  But these treasures are worth it; create a lovely verde sauce tonight!  The photo shows how to pick a ripe fruit.  Top: the fruit must fill the papery wrapper.  Bottom: the yellow ones are riper and a bit sweeter than the green.

We are BUSY BUSY with harvest!  A break in the green beans, has given us a bit of time to catch up.  It's mid August and my mind is starting to shift to storage crops like onions, garlic and yes even winter squash!  We pulled the garlic crop in yesterday and it looks fabulous.  The summer shares will get a taste of these beauties soon! 

A reprieve in the heat is making this week much more bearable.  And with all we need to accomplish it is much appreciated.  The wonder of the little seeds we started 3-5 months ago makes me pause every year.  The bounty that comes from something so small is a blessing not to miss.  My workshares get a taste of how challenging it is to tend to and harvest something as common as a cucumber.  To many people food is something that just appears on the grocery store shelf or on your plate at a restaurant; fast and easy, accessible and constant.  There is a lot of food waste in our society, culling out the imperfect or tossing because it's marked past due.  Each vegetable you take here at Little Ridge Farm was hand grown with careful thought; a contentiousness of the environment, and the flavor it will bring to the consumer.  Many of you revel in the fact that near 100% of your meals are made with Little Ridge Farm produce and I love that.  A sense of closeness, a sense of real food.  We love growing it, we're glad you love eating it! 

This Week's bounty: kale, pac choi, leeks, zucchini, summer squash, cukes, eggplant, potato, tomato, herbs and melon!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

August 7tha nd 10th

Fine Farm Moments

Already looking forward to 2019, we planted 1000 new strawberry plants this past month!  They are looking fine and loving the rain. 

Sea of cucumbers, melons and winter squash.  It's hard to imagine but we penetrate this vast tangle of vines 3 times a week to harvest cucumbers.  Soon it will be a daily task as the melons are ripening fast in this heat.  I'll admit every time I set my eyes on the patch, it looks daunting.  But then I settle into the task of swimming through the tangles, shifting leaves about searching for cucumbers that I know will delight the palate.  There are loads of yellow flowers and tiny fruit still to come and the sound of bees working hard at collecting their pollen make it seem like I'm working with a 1000 others.  

I don't know if you realize that cucumbers have spines on them; the fruit and the vines.  And if you have not noticed, it's been really, really hot outside : )   A HUGE HUGE HUGE shout of  THANKS to my amazing crew (work shares and paid employees) who have lugged cucumbers, picked beans and harvested/weeded/transplanted in conditions that are not as romantic as one may dream of when thinking of farming.  YOU ARE THE BEST!!!

Simple ingredients make an amzing burst of flavor. Grated carrot, beet, kohl rabi with parsley, dill garlic and horseradish.  Mmmmm now that's a salad!

Eating well here at Little Ridge Farm!!! Home made roast beef with fresh veggies!!!

This Week's Bounty: cabbage, chard, onion, beet, carrot, beans, zukes, summer squash, cukes, tomato, kohl rabi, hakurei, basil, parsley, cilantro.....