CSA Week 12

This Week’s HarvestIMG_2834

Celery

Kale

Raspberries

Salad Mix

Cucumber

Candy Onions

Garlic

Red Bell Peppers and/or sweet Italian peppers

Eggplant (Globe and Fairytale)

Tomatoes

Chioggia Beets

Okra (not everyone- it continues to make its rounds at the various pick up locations)

IMG_2851Farm News

I like to work on the blog on Sundays (my “light” day of work during the season) but this weekend we hosted a couple dozen aspiring farmers to the farm for a tour of our equipment and systems from seeding to harvesting to washing.  It was a great turn out with people of many backgrounds in attendance. Over our 10 years of farming we have acquired a good amount of machinery and tried out lots of systems to growing great food as easily as possible. Hopefully people went home with a couple ideas they can implement on their own farms. The good people at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association do a lot to promote sustainable farming including their summer farm tour series. Our particular tour was billed as part of a beginning farmer series. It was special having budding farmers out to the farm. When Ben and I interned on farms I still remember several visits we made to other farms and the ease with which farmers would share their successes and failures. It’s a great generous community to be a part of and we’re excited to see it grow in Ohio!

Recipes

Cold Beet and Celery Soup

Eggplant Ragout with Peppers, Tomatoes and Chickpeas

Lemony Kale Pasta

 

CSA Week 11

This Week’s HarvestIMG_2733

Tomatoes (Beefsteak and Heirlooms)

Sunorange Cherry and/or Juliet Grape Tomatoes

Garlic

Sweet Italian Peppers and/or Red Bell Peppers

Salad Mix

Cucumbers

Sweet Corn

Green Beans

Tomatillos

Jalapeno or Cayenne Peppers

Summer Squash

Candy Onion

Announcements

We have set the date for the first CSA member event at farm! We hope that you can join us for a tour of the farm on Wednesday evening August 16 from 6:30 to 8:30. We will have light refreshments and walk the fields. It’s a great way to see where and how your food is grown and get a sneak peak for all the veggies to come!  Family and friends are welcome! We recommend sturdy walking shoes and while strollers work around the barn and house area, they are hard to navigate in the fields. Please feel free to come for all or part of the 2 hour time frame. Hope to see you there! If this date and time doesn’t work we’ll have another member event in the fall.

We are also hosting a farm tour in conjunction with Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) on Sunday August 13 from 4 to 6. While this tour is geared towards those looking to get into farming, it is a great way to see the farm as well and is open to the general public. From OEFFA’s webpage:  This beginning farmer focused tour will walk you through the process of equipment systems and the role that machinery can play in making established systems on the farm more efficient. Organic farmer Ben Jackle will provide an overview of the process and equipment used in their greenhouse, field (with a focus on seed bed preparation and cultivation), and packing shed. Learn about how equipment can facilitate effective flow on a mixed vegetable operation and how these systems fit together.

Farm News

Last week was the first tomatillo harvest. I posted a picture on Facebook and Instagram and the response to it was huge. This was unexpected– I had no idea tomatillos would be so exciting to anyone but me. I loved seeing all the salsa verde posts on the Facebook member page throughout the week.  Growing delicious and interesting food gives me joy and one of the many reasons I got into farming is my love of food.IMG_2750

This has been a life long love. My most vivid childhood memories involve food. At dinner my poor dad would relinquish seconds of something so that I could have it instead. At lunch in elementary school I would often trade my boring turkey sandwich for homemade Chinese duck leftovers from my friend.  And potlucks have always been my favorite thing ever. Farming has allowed me to explore my love of food in new ways like discovering vegetables I didn’t realize I liked (brusselsprouts, beets, okra) and finding favorite varieties that bring vegetables to a whole new level. We enjoy distributing all this wonderful food and getting CSA members hooked on veggies too!

Today was a long tiring harvest. At 5, when the crew left, it still wasn’t done and I knew I had about 3 more hours solo to put in to get it all done. Before I headed over to the tomato beds my eye caught a tan melon in the cantaloupe row. Cantaloupes start out green and turn color when they are ripe. I ran over and gently tugged at the melon and it slipped right off the vine. It was ripe! I cut into it right then and there and had the most delicious and refreshing snack. Tasting the first melon of the season was all I needed to get me through the second shift.

Even with the long hours of laborious work, we love farming. The melon was a perfect reminder of why we do this work and I can’t wait to share our cantaloupes with you all in the coming weeks!

Recipes

Cold Corn and Tomato Salad 

Traditional Greek Green Beans and Tomatoes

Roasted Tomatillo and Garlic Salsa

 

 

 

CSA Week 10

IMG_2750

This Week’s Harvest

Tomatillos

Hot Peppers

Sweet Italian Frying Peppers or Red Bell Peppers

Sunorange Cherry Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Cabbage

Basil

Candy Onions

Cucumbers

Purple Potatoes

Dragon Tongue Green Beans

Farm News

We have set the date for the first CSA member event at farm! We hope that you can join us for a tour of the farm on Wednesday evening August 16 from 6:30 to 8:30. We will have light refreshments and walk the fields. It’s a great way to see where and how your food is grown and get a sneak peak for all the veggies to come!  Family and friends are welcome! We recommend sturdy walking shoes and while strollers work around the barn and house area, they are hard to navigate in the fields. Please fell free to come for all or part of the 2 hour time frame. Hope to see you there! If this date and time doesn’t work we’ll have another member event in the fall.

We are also hosting a farm tour in conjunction with Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) on Sunday August 13 from 4 to 6. While this tour is geared towards those looking to get into farming, it is a great way to see the farm as well and is open to the general public. From OEFFA’s webpage:  This beginning farmer focused tour will walk you through the process of equipment systems and the role that machinery can play in making established systems on the farm more efficient. Organic farmer Ben Jackle will provide an overview of the process and equipment used in their greenhouse, field (with a focus on seed bed preparation and cultivation), and packing shed. Learn about how equipment can facilitate effective flow on a mixed vegetable operation and how these systems fit together.

Recipes

Pesto Pasta with Potatoes and Green Beans (can use dragon tongue and purple potatoes)

Pork and Green Chile Stew (you can use a combo of the sweet and hot peppers)

Tomato, Summer Squash and Caramelized Onion Gratin

Beef and Cabbage Soup in Tomatillo Broth

 

 

 

 

CSA Week 9

This Week’s Harvest
Carrots
Mountain Rose Potatoes
Cucumbers
Eggplant (globe or fairytale)
Garlic
Tomatoes
Sunorange cherry OR Juliet grape tomatoes
Cayenne or Jalapeno Peppers
Farm News
Organic farms take a holistic approach to farming. Considering the health of the land we work is integral to our farming practices. Organic farms must take steps to encourage biodiversity on the farm and studies show the efforts work, with organic farms having 34% more species than conventional farms.
On our farm, we’ve enjoyed what seems to be huge uptick in the number of birds we’re observing. We have always been surrounded by goldfinch, swallows, killdeer, song sparrows, red tailed hawks, and even the striking indigo bunting and this season is no different. On my out to the squash field this week I’ve had to slow down for a baby killdeer who has been drinking from puddles in the road ways. It’s pretty adorable! Last week Ben stopped the tractor so the planting crew could watch a scene with three red tailed hawks unfold. One was carrying a small bird in its talons when another flew right up to it and knocked the bird out. As the prey was free falling through the air, the second hawk swopped down and snagged it mid-air. Then a third hawk joined in and the three hawks squawked and swooped until flying off in different directions, only one with the prized prey.
In addition to the usual suspects on the farm, this season we’ve had a few unique encounters. During our garlic harvest we watched Eastern Kingbirds perched on tall weeds in our fallow fields dart after insects. A couple weeks ago a beautiful male American Kestrel used our tomato stakes as a perch. Watching it swoop and soar all week long was differently a distraction. And after hearing the sweet call of the Northern Bobwhite Quail for months, we finally saw them! The road way was dry enough and made an irresistible place for a dust bath. We watched the pair have a luxurious bath before we interrupted so the harvest in the truck could make it to the pack barn.  The bobwhites are especially exciting to me because their population has been in drastic decline.  This decline (as much as 80% in some regions) is likely due to habitat loss. We are glad they found our small 30 acre farm and hope the pair we saw, and perhaps more living on the property, do well!
Recipes

CSA Week 8

This Week’s HarvestIMG_2530

 

Eggplant (Fairytale and/or Globe)

Basil

Salad Mix

Kale

Tendersweet Cabbage

Candy Onions

Summer Squash and/or Zucchini

Garlic

Tomatoes (Red Slicers OR Sunorange Cherry)

Okra (home deliveries only. this crop will make its way to the various pick up spots over the next few weeks)

Farm News

After some eventful weather last week– including the wind storm that had us out of power for 2 1/2 days– this latest dry spell is a welcome one! We’ve been busy not only harvesting for your boxes, but taking care of future food as well.

Some say farming is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. But I say it’s a marathon you have to sprint! This week we have rescued our flopped over pepper plants by tying them up, tied another round of twine on our tomatoes, harvested the red onions, weeded watermelons, cantaloupe and cucumbers, and gotten beds ready for a couple day’s worth of planting! This sprinted planted marathon begins tomorrow and hopefully by the end of the week we’ll have fall broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kohlrabi, kale, brussel sprouts, zucchini and cucumbers planted.

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pounding posts in to tie peppers
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creative use of loader: filling the cone spreader with fertilizer
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red onions dried in the field for 2 days
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pulling nice red onions out of the weeds!
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spotted while weeding watermelon!

 

Recipes 

Basil Balsamic Chickpea and Kale Salad

Baked Eggplant and Zucchini (can sub pattypans)

Onion Rings with Basil Buttermilk dipping sauce

Ribollita (delicious looking CSA member vetted recipe!)

 

 

 

 

CSA Week 7

This Week’s HarvestIMG_2541

Candy Onion

Green Bell Peppers

Jalapeno Peppers

Broccoli OR Cauliflower

Cabbage

Zucchini

Fennel

Beets

Parsley

Salad Mix or Lettuce Head

Farm News

It’s week 7 of our CSA already! By now you are getting a sense of the seasonality of the farm share and hopefully the vegetables are taking center stage in your cooking.  Items that were featured heavily in the first boxes like greens and head lettuce will go on hiatus now until fall. Summer squash is always the first warm weather crop to make its way into the box followed by peppers. I checked on the eggplant yesterday and it will probably be ready for harvest next week. The much anticipated tomatoes are not too far behind. In the fields we are harvesting our final round of spring broccoli while in the greenhouse we have a couple dozen flats of our fall broccoli ready to plant as soon as we have beds ready.

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Fall brassicas looking good in greenhouse-but ready to be planted asap. Fingers crossed we don’t get too much rain and can get them in soon!

We have discovered a new favorite variety of broccoli. This spring a variety called Imperial outperformed our old favorite, Bay Meadows. Broccoli doesn’t do well in warm weather and Imperial showed the most heat resistance of all the varieties we’ve tried. It’s always nice to discover the right varieties for our climate and soil. When all that’s required is a simple variety change, suddenly our job is much easier! We are already looking forward to next year and growing tons of Imperial!

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Old favorite Bay Meadows
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New favorite Imperial

 

Recipes

Penne with Beet Vinaigrette and Parsley Pesto (substitute candy onion for the scallions)

Spicy Southern Fried Cabbage

Roasted Vegetables with Lemon Parsley Rice (you can roast almost any vegetable. Good choices from this weeks box are: peppers, zucchini, beets, cauliflower or broccoli, fennel, candy onion, cabbage)

CSA Week 6

This Week’s HarvestIMG_8917

Head Lettuce

Hakurei Salad Turnips

Basil

Broccoli

Carrots

Cucumbers

Fennel

Golden Beets (tops off)

Green Bell Peppers

Swiss Chard

Zucchini and/or summer squash

Farm News

A surprise thunderstorm yesterday afternoon dumped an inch of rain on us and dampened our holiday plans (which had nothing to do with July 4 and everything to do with the farm). With rain scheduled at the end of the week we had planned out everything we needed to do before said rain. This included seeding sweet corn, staking and tying round 2 of tomatoes, planting round 3 of tomatoes, prepping fields for our fall crops, and weeding everything. It’s a real bummer that we lost 2 days we thought we had for this work.

But we certainly have had a productive week and accomplished the critical job of planting our winter squash! We are growing familiar varieties such as acorn and butternut as well as some more uncommon but incredibly tasty ones including delicata  and kuri. Planting is several step process. The field is disced, beds are made by hilling with discs, fertilizer gets applied, the beds get tilled, then plastic and drip tape for irrigation get laid. Then the planting can begin! There are so many steps- I only got pictures of fertilizing, tilling and the finished product.

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Spreading fertilizer before planting
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Tilling the beds
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An acre of winter squash planted!

While writing about winter squash has me salivating for pumpkin bread and butternut squash soup, this week’s share has some incredible flavors. The cooler smelled amazing this week with the variety of aromatic vegetables! We hope you enjoy the flavors as much as we do!

Recipes

Italian sausage with peppers and fennel

Broccoli and Swiss Chard Pizza

Roasted Beets, Carrots and Turnips (Roast the salad turnips in a separate pan because they cook faster)

Beet, Fennel and citrus salad