CSA Week 20

A89A417F-EAF6-43B1-A8F5-DEE8B32C1B62This Week’s Harvest

Tendersweet Cabbage

Hakurei Salad Turnips 

Salad Mix

Tomatoes

Basil

Broccoli

Green Beans 

Sweet Onions

Braising Greens OR Kale 

Pie Pumpkin

Apple Shares

McIntosh (good cooking apple, green and red) and Golden Delicious (sweet and crisp)

SAVE THE DATE!!

CSA Member Fall Harvest Potluck

This Sunday Oct. 13 from 4:30 to 7. Rain or Shine. We’ll tour the farm from 4:30 to 5:30 and then share a meal to celebrate the harvest! Family and friends welcome. Outdoor attire recommended.  We ask that you bring a dish to share and folding chairs if you have them.

Farm News

It’s October and our work load has shifted from planting and weeding to harvesting. In addition to our weekly CSA and market harvests, we have several large bulk harvests of crops that store nearly all winter long to complete. This week we will focus on the sweet potatoes as those can’t tolerate too many cold nights. We did an initial scouting of the crop and they are nice and big! After we harvest them this week, they need to cure in our barn to get their signature sweet flavor! So look for those in final few CSA boxes.

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Field of Various Turnips and Storage Radishes

Growing very nicely are a series of brassica roots including several types of turnips and radishes. And we also have 5 beds of carrots and a couple beds of beets. We will wait to harvest carrots and beets to let them size up. The upcoming cold October nights should also sweeten their flavor, so we aren’t in a rush to harvest them. We haven’t quite finished harvesting our potatoes yet and have 5 beds still hanging over us. Storage cabbage is also growing well and will hopefully provide something leafy and green for us in December! Unlike this week’s share of fresh picked cabbage, some varieties of cabbage keep really well. We have 4 varieties of cabbage growing and maturing at different times with the goal to have lots stored in our cooler for the next few months.

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we will store this cabbage for later use!

Overall the fall harvest is looking to be really great! Which reminds me, we will be able to offer an extended season CSA again this year! Look for an email from me detailing this extra season soon! 

Recipes

Crunchy Apple Turnip Slaw

Turnip and Greens Hash with Eggs (use sweet onion in place of shallot. Use braising greens, turnip greens, or arugula in place of kale)

Tomato, Broccoli Mozzarella Pasta Casserole

Coming up next week…(our best guess) Potatoes, garlic, onions, purple cauliflower, kohlrabi, fennel, head lettuce, tomatoes and more!

CSA Week 19

IMG_7331This Week’s Harvest

Zucchini (last of the season!!)

Braising Greens

Salad Turnips

Cauliflower

Broccoli

Honeynut Squash

Romano Green Beans

Cilantro

Dill

Tomatoes

Salad Mix

Apple Share

Cortland (larger, green/red, crisp and sweet/tart) and Jonathan (more red, smaller, softer flesh, sweet/tart)

Farm News

IMG_7300Still no rain and still hot on the farm. Last week I was bragging about how smart we were to move our fall broccoli planting later, and here we are, later, yet still picking broccoli in 90 degree heat! We have 2 varieties ready right now and one of them is clearly outshining the other. Imperial used to be a favorite, but it seems to be very susceptible to alternaria, a fungal disease that effects brassicas and causes brown beading on broccoli heads. I was only able to harvest 60 lbs for market from a 300 foot bed–not good!! Fortunately we planted way more of a different variety, Arcadia, and it is doing really well so far and hasn’t succumbed to alternaria. After this week’s harvest, I’ve made a few mental notes, and next year we will get rid of Imperial, focus on Arcadia, and trial more varieties in search of one that matures sooner than Arcadia but holds up to disease.  You can’t get too comfortable vegetable farming — this job certainly keeps us on our toes!

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Recipes

Hearty Spring Turnip Salad 

Stewed Romano Beans with Tomatoes and Dill

Thai Vegetable Stir fry

Coming Up Next Week (our best guess….) Salad Turnips, Broccoli, Kohlrabi, Bok Choi, Green Beans, Tomatoes, Sweet Onions, Salad Mix, Radishes  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CSA Week 18

This Week’s Harvest

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Cilantro

Swiss Chard

Radishes

Poblano Peppers

Sweet Peppers (Italian, mini or red bell)

Salad Mix

Jalapeno Peppers

Tomatoes

Sweet Onions

Dill

Escarole

Potatoes

Apple Share

Melrose (crunchy, juicy and tart with a flat top)  and Jonagold (sweeter with a taller rounded top)

Farm News

We are digging lots of potatoes lately, squeezing in a harvest of a bed whenever we can. It was just about this time last year that we started preparing for these very potatoes! Potatoes are one of the first things we plant in the spring and because of this it can be a gamble if our fields are going to be dry enough to plant or not. We decided to experiment with making our raised beds in the fall instead of the spring and seeding the beds to a cover crop. We did a blend of oats, which winter kill, and Austrian cow peas, which survive the winter, put on growth in the spring, and fix nitrogen.

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Oats and Peas basking in the fall sun
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Mid Winter
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In march the oats were expired but the winter peas were just beginning to break their winter dormancy

This experiment worked great.  All the organic matter from the cover crops was easily reincorporated back into the soil with a shallow tilling and after spreading fertilizer we were ready to plant 1650 lbs of potatoes.

 

 

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Prepping beds and planting potatoes is the easy part. Weeding 15 beds when a million other things are going on is the hard part! We kept up for a time with tine weeding first and then running through with the G and hilling discs. At some point we weren’t able to keep up and we did have some massive ragweed, smartweed and thistle by the time the potatoes were ready for harvest (no pictures of that mess!)

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aggressively tine weeding as the potatoes are just started popping out
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pretty satisfied with this year’s potato stand
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weed free for the moment!

Even with our 2 row potato digger, we end up crawling on the beds digging under dirt chunks in search of the potatoes. The less weeds there are interfering with the digging process, the better. After this year we’ve got some goals set for next year. Hopefully we’ll have the time to continue weeding the potatoes into August. It would be nice to experience what an easy potato harvest feels like- and I’m sure the crew would agree!

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Recipes

Buttered Escarole and Potatoes with Paprika

Potato and Radish Salad (use sweet onion in place of scallions)

Scrambled Egg and Swiss Chard Tacos (substitute poblano and/or jalapeño for the serrano peppers)

Coming Up Next Week (our best guess…..) Cilantro, Bok Choi, Salad Turnips, Honeynut Squash, Cauliflower, Swiss chard, Fennel, Arugula and more!

 

 

 

 

 

CSA Week 17

IMG_7118This Week’s Harvest

Salad Mix

Arugula

Radish Bunches

Delicata Winter Squash

Kale

Tomatoes

Eggplant

Mini Sweet Bell Peppers

Romano Green Beans

Red Onions

Golden Zucchini

Garlic

Apple Share

Honeycrisp (greener, tart and crisp) and Gala (sweet, small red)

Farm News

This week on the farm has been all about keeping the crew and plants hydrated and cool.    Unfortunately it hasn’t rained in 3 weeks and with it also being so warm, it is hard to keep everything properly watered. As soon as we run the irrigation on something it feels like the next day it needs water again! Our irrigation gun that runs on an automatic reel is only 300 ft long. This is the length of most of our fields, but we are currently growing in 2 fields that are over 400 ft long. This means we have to do 2 passes with the water reel to get the entire length of the field. That coupled with the fact that we are running the reel very slowly to give a good solid soaking just means getting water to everything is a slow process. When its dry like this, we run the irrigation 24/7 and have to set up water in the dark to run overnight. Hopefully by the end of the week, we’ve hit everything and we just repeat the process the next week. Oh and I didn’t even mention that some days we run the irrigation gun are super windy and we just cross our fingers everything gets hit.

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The back half of this field ran overnight and the front half gets watered during the day
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Dusty and hot potato harvests fill our days

We are pretty tried of late night water set-up dates and hot sticky days. The only saving grace is the time year this dry spell is hitting us. We have less crops we are actively watering and the sun sets earlier giving us some respite from the heat.

Also we’ve made some adjustments to our crop plan that are really panning out. In years past we’ve started our fall brassicas a couple weeks earlier than we did this year. But the last couple of years we’ve had the first round of broccoli and cauliflower succumb to disease as September seems to remain hot and humid (the perfect weather for breeding fungal diseases). So we nixed a handful brassicas entirely from the first round of brassicas and pushed everything back 2 weeks. July 4th was my old target planting date for fall brassica planting to begin and now we are looking at July 20th as our new first planting date.  I am so glad we aren’t trying to harvest broccoli in 90 degree heat!

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First round of fall brassicas now only includes kale, cabbage and Brussels sprouts and is planted 2 weeks later than it used to be. 

I’m glad we are able to adjust and continue to grow a wide variety of vegetables for our customers! And I know that come November,  I’ll be missing this warm weather!

Recipes

Kashkeh Bademjan (this eggplant recipe was shared on our Facebook CSA group page)

Italian Breaded and Baked Vegetables 

Tuna Salad Stuffed Tomatoes with Arugula

Coming Up Next Week (our best guess……) Swiss Chard, Radishes, Salad Mix, Honeynut Squash, Bok Choi, Cilantro, Tomatoes, Onions, Poblano Peppers

 

 

 

CSA Week 16

This Week’s HarvestIMG_7151

Tomatoes

Kale

Sweet Onions

Potatoes

Garlic

Green Bell Peppers or Sweet Italian Peppers

Carrots

Romano Beans

Zucchini 

Apple Shares

Mollie’s Delicious ( large, red, sweet and soft texture) and Big Bronze (cross between Golden and Red Delicious developed by our provider, Downing Fruit Farm. Crisp, large green, sweet and tart flavor)

Farm News (In Pictures)

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Found our farm mascot while picking Romanos
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Some how pulling out massive bell peppers amongst the morning glory and cockleburrs
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Seeding more cover crop into pre bedded fields. The little flecks in the picture are rye seed. You can also see the little cultivating tractor in the background weeding radishes
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Fertilizing crops through the irrigation with compost tea
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Potato Harvest underway. 4 of 15 beds harvested
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Fall brassica field nicely weeded and growing well
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Audrey mows the old zucchini and hopefully kills 1 billion cucumber beetles in the process
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First sign of fall! Also hoping this spider kills 1 billion cucumber beetles

Recipes

Kale Quiche with Potato Crust

Creamy Potato Kale Soup

Shepard’s Pie with Slow Roasted Tomatoes and Green Beans

Coming Up Next Week (Our Best Guess)… Salad Mix, Arugula,  Kale, Tomatoes, Honeynut Squash, Garlic, Mini Bell Peppers, Romano Beans

 

CSA Week 15

67C21A9A-4DD9-4001-98FC-409CFDD7E54CThis Week’s Harvest

Tomatoes

Basil

Red Bell Peppers

Jalapeno Peppers

Delicata Squash and Carnival Squash

Sweet Corn (last of the season!)

Melons (Watermelon and/or Cantaloupe) (Last of the season!)

Carrots

Kennebec Potatoes

Green Beans

Apple Share

Gala (red and sweet) and Honeycrisp (greener and sweet and tart)

Farm News (in pictures)

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Ben teaches Evan how to drive the tractor!
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Another great haul of sweet corn!
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Weekly planting continues, but the number of flats to be planted each week is decreasing
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The latest broken thing on the farm: the harvest truck’s brakes
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Successful round of summer carrots! Does not happen often
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cover crop starting to pop!
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Butternuts are in and the winter squash harvest is complete!

 

Recipes

Green Beans Braised in Tomatoes with Basil

Thai Yellow Curry with Potatoes, Green Beans, and Carrots

Creamy Corn Grits with Butternut Squash and Fresh Corn (use either the delicate squash or carnival squash or both in place of butternut)

Coming Up Next Week (our best guess….) Potatoes, Garlic, Romano Beans, Carrots, Tomatoes, Kale, Zucchini, Bell Peppers, Sweet Onions  

CSA Week 14


IMG_6907This Week’s Harvest

Watermelon (yellow or red)

Cantaloupe

Edamame Beans

Kale

Winter Squash (Delicata and Carnival)

Red Onions

Tomatoes

Red Bell Peppers

Sweet Italian Peppers

Japanese Eggplant

Basil

Sweet Corn

Farm News

Ben and I have a work ethic that’s probably borderline insane and this is particular true when significant rainfall creeps into the forecast. From Monday to Sunday we’ve been working nonstop getting the farm in good shape before yesterday’s rain.

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Our winter squash crop is ready to harvest and so far we’ve got everything but the butternuts in and curing in the dry barn. This includes acorn, delicata, carnival, pie pumpkins and a new mini butternut variety called Honeynut. Cucumber beetles and squash bugs will nibble on the fruits and powdery mildew can cause them to not store well. We were beginning to see evidence of both in the field. Butternuts are much more hardy so we are okay with them still being out in the field, but very glad everything else got harvested. Winter Squash is a fun crop to harvest as you can see in this video!

 

 

Next up was planting our final round of brassica transplants, including bok choi, kohlrabi and broccoli, as well as seeding our direct seeded brassicas including radishes, turnips, and greens. We had beautiful soil to plant into thanks to it being in rye and vetch cover crop over the winter and spring AND buckwheat in the early summer! Three rounds of planting and a few direct seeded beds give us 2 acres of various brassicas for the fall boxes. Actually we started picking from the field this week with the kale!

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The fall brassica field
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Taking care of weeds
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Final round of plants hit the dirt

The final push came this weekend when we were hoping to plant all of our finished fields to cover crop. This is a multi step process that involves discing, making beds, spreading the seed and then lightly raking the seed in to cover it. With the cooler and wetter forecast coming, we knew we had a perfect window. We had our employee Dan come in Sunday to help spread the seed (1,500 lbs!) over about 12 acres! The delicata squash picture above (at the start of the farm news) shows the fields that we put in cover crop. While Dan was busy with that project, Ben was hustling to cultivate everything in sight before he lost sight! Dan went home after all the seed was spread and Ben still had to drive over the 12 acres with the tractor and rake to cover the seed. This is an easy enough job to do by headlamp so he waited till it was dark and continued his cultivating in the meantime.

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Cultivating the plastic edges of our final squash planting

We had a quick bite to eat at 9:30 pm (didn’t mention that I was busy all day putting together a special order of  over 500 lbs of vegetables) and went back out to finish our jobs. Ben finished covering the cover crop seed around 3 in the morning and I turned off the pack barn light at 2 am. Needless to say we were so thankful for yesterday’s rain that forces us to actually stop and rest. At least for a little bit!

Recipes

Roasted Delicata Squash and Kale Salad

Ratatouille and Polenta Bowls

Ladera (Eggplant and Peppers with Basil) 

Coming up next week (our best guess……) Sweet corn, green beans, carrots, tomatoes, winter squash, red onions, watermelon, peppers