Newsletter

Week #20 – 2015 CSA Season

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What’s in the Box: Red potatoes, green peppers, celeriac (celery root), hakurei salad turnips, green beans, beauty heart radish, assorted sweet peppers, serrano chile pepper,  elegance salad/braising mix, flat Italian parsley, lacinato kale, and purple stripe garlic.

What’s going on at the farm:  We have some great crops for you in this last week of the CSA season including beauty heart radishes, sweet tender turnips, fresh salad greens, green beans, and more.  We are running out of onions, squash, and most everything with good timing as frost creeps in and the season has come full circle.  It has been a stellar year planting schedule wise and we are packing in as many veggies as possible for you once again this week for our last CSA delivery of 2015.  Thanks to everyone who was with us for our ninth season of farming and for being a part of the season.   Your support and participation are greatly appreciated and I hope you enjoyed all the veggies and fruits!  There were a lot of great crops and flavors to enjoy throughout the season, both on our plates, and in the fields.  Hopefully we will see most all of you back for another season next year.   We will be taking sign ups for next season from returning members beginning in December and you will receive e-mail reminders on the progress of sign-ups and our preparations as we move through the winter months.   Generally early sign-ups are encouraged to help the farm start up again bringing in the seeds, fertilizer, soil, equipment, etc… that we need to prepare for a successful planting schedule to be executed properly.  These events happen very early in January through March. In fact by March 1st we will then be planting like crazy in the greenhouse again growing thousands and thousands of transplants, stacking up hours of labor again, and spreading tons of plant based compost over the semi-frozen fields.  Before spring there will be much to do as well and the season will continue on for a bit.  We still have three markets a week through October, some produce like winter spinach still coming, and so I will be attending some winter markets this year up until Christmas time.  We will also be planting several types of garlic over the next week.  It was another good garlic year this year and besides stocking you all up over the season, and especially the last two weeks, we are planting more then ever for next season. Our seed bulbs are huge which should make for some great garlic next season!   We will be breaking up the bulbs into individual cloves for planting this week and they will be hand planted before the end of October.  Our potting soil for spring is all ready ordered and will be shipped here in early November too!  It will all be trucked in from Vermont Compost Company in Vermont for us and many other organic farms in Southern Wisconsin and ours will come in the form of three huge sling bags.  I then bag by hand with a shovel and sacks all 6,000 pounds of soil and stack it neatly in the greenhouse where it will wait for spring until we start onions and many other crops again in March.   It is always an exciting trip as I have to pick up the sling bags from a main location and partner up with another local farming friend with a rental truck so we can help each other get it done.  It is kind of wild to think that we are not even quite done with this season and yet moving into the next one but that is also the way this type of farming works.   It is all a cycle constantly moving in rhythm to our climate and cycles here in Wisconsin and this late fall early winter months prepare us for reflection, continuing education, not to mention healing physically in preparation for a new cycle.  Many other less exciting organizational projects await this winter as well like itemizing seeds and receipts.   Getting to everything that the season did not allow time for is important in the off season as well before things get crazy busy again including greenhouse and other farm repairs, home repairs, and plenty of paperwork and numbers to crunch.  I will be purchasing a chainsaw to clear out trees and undergrowth which is creeping in on a few of our fields as well.   The dense undergrowth of some areas always encourages more deer activity and in some areas decreases light too much.   On our 2 acre farm every square yard is valuable space!  Of course I am also looking forward to getting some rest for the aching body, family time with the kids, and some rest and relaxation over the holiday months too.   It was a challenging and beautiful journey as always and I think I speak for everyone at the farm when I say we enjoyed growing for you!   Have a great winter and from my family to yours, thank you!

Week #19 – 2015 CSA Season

DSC_0423What’s in the Box: Acorn squash, red potatoes, green beans, celeriac (celery root), red storage onion, yellow storage onion, green pepper, assorted sweet peppers, purple stripe garlic, white porcelain garlic, hakurei salad turnips, beauty heart radish, butternut squash (bi-weekly only), cayenne pepper, salad mix, sage, and broccoli raab.

What’s going on at the farm:  This week marks the final week of deliveries for bi-weekly members who will receive their tenth share of the season this week.   Full season members still have one week remaining next week for delivery #20 of 20.   It has been a long and very bountiful season and I am proud to say I think the best season I have ever orchestrated in this our ninth season.    That being said we are not holding back and going all out as usual this week and next bringing on as much as can possibly be squeezed into each share with as much variety as possible.  Despite having a plethora of options to choose from for packing these last two shares I am also bringing in organic red potatoes from Igl farms in central Wisconsin for you all to enjoy as an addition to our CSA veggies.   Potatoes are no longer a crop we grow for many reasons and to put a long story short they are simply not a viable crop for our operation.  These certified organic potatoes arrive to us dirty and we move them on to you that way as well.  They were freshly dug last week and we were likely one of the first deliveries after harvest so washing them immediately would remove the skins and they actually store better dirty so they will arrive to you bagged that way.    Enough of the potato talk now and on to the other vegetables.   We have an awesome last minute crop of green beans coming in which are crispy, juicy and sweet.   I am very happy with these good old fashioned provider green beans and I think you will be too.   Many storage roots to enjoy this week and these fall roots are perfect for some comfort dishes for the crisp nights ahead.   Celeriac or celery root is a new crop for us this year and is a full flavored sweet and dense root with strong celery flavor lending its taste well to roasting, stews, and soups.   Our salad turnips are sweet and tender enough to use raw or cooked, don’t forget the greens are edible as well and commonly used as a sauté green.  We are loading everybody up with garlic this week because it goes good with everything and who can really have enough garlic?  These dry bulbs will store until spring at room temperature.  Do not refrigerate your garlic as it will sprout.  Keep it dry and room temp and out of direct sunlight.   Beauty heart radishes are new this week and these “beauties”  are also known as watermelon radish.  The plain matte looking outside of these storage radishes is contrasted with a bright pink center giving these roots their two names.   They can be used raw or cooked but I prefer them roasted with other root crops, a good chuck roast, or in soups and stews.  The skin is thicker on these then normal radishes and the sweetness begins in the center of the radish although I cook them just cubed up whole without peeling them and roast them with other root crops and veggies, like potatoes, onions, etc….   Acorn squash you have had a few weeks ago and it is an easy one to prepare and Bi-weekly members are also getting butternut since they have not received one yet.  I love these baked with some pasture butter and real maple syrup.  Plenty more of our fantastic peppers coming your way this week too.  Try them roasted or the reds with butternut squash for soup, or of course they are good with pasta, eggs, stir fry and so many other uses for the sweet peppers.  We haven’t had many fresh herbs lately so bringing some back and including fresh sage this week too.  Sage pairs well with chicken, pork, and beans, but I also like it in stuffing, breads, and baked goods.   It is also a nice garnish if you fry it in a little butter and crisp it which also infuses the butter and would be great on the squash.   If nothing else remember you can always hang a bundle of herbs up to dry and use later in the winter when fresh local herbs are a near impossibility.  Other things going on this week include plenty of late green beans to be picked, cleaning a lot of garlic both for sale and planting and also still seeding greens.   This week I added some compost to our larger greenhouse soil and worked the beds for planting.  Spinach, cress, salad mix, and kale were seeded in the greenhouse for winter production and farmers markets and these greens should be ready in November!

Thank you to everyone who joined us for a 1/2 season (Bi-weekly share) this year! Hopefully you found your experience to be a tasty one and found value in your share of organic produce with us.  I hope we will see you returning when sign ups open this winter for another season of fresh veggies in 2016!  While we are talking about wrapping up the season I will remind you that full season basic and standard members still have one week remaining!  For Tuesday folks the last delivery is Oct. 6th and for Thursday folks it is Oct. 8th.  We will be shelling garlic for planting over the next week here and prepping our fields for planting it.  It was a very good garlic year and we have a lot of some very large seed garlic which should make for another good year for it next season.  To prep for this we break all the bulbs up into individual cloves which will be hand planted one by one right side up into their hand dibbled holes in a few weeks.   We still have two more solid months of work here before we can cozy in a bit and let the achy bones rest for a month or two while planning for and dreaming of another season to come. I will be attending winter markets as well if you would like to support us and find our produce through the winter months.   Madison East Side Farmers Market and Dane County Farmers Market indoors are on the agenda for winter from mid November until Christmas and there will be some excellent frost sweetened spinach and garlic to be had among other things.  We will also be downtown on the square and at our regular market locations through October.  Thanks again to all our bi-weekly members, we will be in touch regarding sign up opening for next season around the turn of the new year, until next week then for the rest of our members, enjoy the produce folks!

Week #18 – 2015 CSA Season

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What’s in the Box:  Spicy salad/Braising mix, butternut squash, celeriac (celery root), yellow storage onion, red storage onion, white icicle radish, dragons tongue beans, broccoli raab, purple glazer garlic, green pepper, assorted sweet peppers, cayenne pepper, serrano pepper, and white hakurei salad turnips.

What’s going on at the farm:  Harvest, harvest, harvest.   Beautiful fall weather this week with warm temperatures and sun after several healthy days of rainfall is making for some solid growth for our late crops this week.  We also have some more new crops for you including white salad turnips.  These super sweet and tender turnips are not your average turnip and the tops are tender and similar to the broccoli raab are a good sauté green.    You can use the turnips any way you like but some suggested uses would be sliced into salads, or cubed up and roasted with some of the other root crops.   They are also excellent steamed and mashed or mixed with potatoes in a mash.   Butternut squash, our fourth and final variety of squash is going out this week, these are so easy to prepare and so good just roasted face down in the oven at 350 for about an hour.  Serve with butter and maple syrup or brown sugar.  They also make an excellent creamy soup and pair well with red sweet peppers.   More salad mix coming this week for fresh salads and raab for a sweet and mustardy sauté green which can be used in pasta dishes, soups, or stir fries, it is very versatile and the tender stems and leaves can be consumed just chop them coarsely to prepare.   Our beans are still flowing in this week and we have more of the dragons tongue yellow beans for you this week.   Peppers will be included as a random assortment including green and colored bell peppers and perhaps some sweet banana peppers and italian fryers.    Only the small red cayenne peppers and little green chiles have heat all the others are sweet.  Celery root or celeriac is a new crop this week and lends a sweet and tasty celery flavor to dishes.  It can be roasted with root vegetables and is great in stews and soups.   It can also be grated finely to use as a raw addition to things but really shines in roasts and stews/soups.

This week is filled with more clean up tasks and plenty of green beans to pick.   Our new crop of beans is coming in strong and should make for plenty of  regular fresh green beans for next weeks shares.  Our brussel sprouts are slowly fattening up in the field after the rain and being topped several weeks ago and hopefully ready soon for the last couple weeks.   Plenty of root crops yet to harvest as well with rutabaga, turnips, carrots, and beauty heart radishes fattening up in the field.  Squash, onions and garlic are stocked up and ready for the last few weeks of the season too.   It looks like a good close to the season over the next few weeks overall, enjoy your veggies all!

Week #17 – 2015 CSA Season

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What’s in the Box: Acorn squash, lettuce mix, carrots, purple glazer garlic, yellow storage onion, red storage onion, green pepper, assorted sweet peppers, serrano chile pepper, white icicle radish, dragon’s tongue beans, green romano beans, broccoli raab, and slicing tomatoes.

What’s going on at the farm: Lots of new crops to enjoy as the bounty continues this week on the farm. We are bringing on more variety then ever this week and had to pick and choose what was going in the share among many items which are ready so there may be more added if we have time to add any other roots, greens, etc….  Time is really the issue there as 14 items a week keeps us hustling from dawn until the second we have to leave for drop-offs.  Acorn squash is new this week and if you have not had it it’s a nice flaky light yellow squash,   I like to just split them in two after slicing off the stem and roast them face down in a glass pan with a little oil at 350 for about 40 minutes.  Serve afterwards with butter, sugar, sea salt, etc….    They are also very good roasted with your root vegetables, peppers, onions, beans, garlic, carrots, etc… or as a side dish of course.  Lots of good ingredients for some comfort food and other ideas include homemade chile, french onion soup with any stockpile of sweet onions, three bean salad, and of course plenty of greens for fresh salads this week too.   Our fall carrots are in and just as beautiful and sweet as our spring crop.  Broccoli raab is a new green for us this week and it is a leaf broccoli from the mustard family.   Sweet and slightly mustardy in a very mild way these are best used as a sauté green to be lightly wilted with a little garlic and oil or used as a fresh bed of greens under fish/chicken etc…   or use them in a stir fry or pasta dish.  They are very versatile and easy to use just chopping them coarsely is enough to prepare them and basically treat it like spinach as far as prep and cook time.   This Saturday is our 6th annual CSA farm dinner weekend so bring the family out along with a dish to pass and join us on the farm for what is my favorite weekend of the year.  Its always great to talk and connect with the members who support our efforts here and for people to see the farm where all your veggies come from and meet some of the hard working people that bring them to you.  I hope to see you there and you received an e-mail with details this week so please RSVP with the number in your group to that e-mail.  Other things going on this week including spinach watering as it germinates out in the field.  We also topped all our brussel sprouts to force them to make bigger sprouts this week.   Also pulled and mowed a lot of weeds again, a seemingly endless task out here and always very challenging work.  More mulch beds and drip line were pulled from the field and sadly the last of our hoop house tomatoes were cleaned up and greenhouses plowed and prepared for a late planting.  Bean picking takes hours and hours and hours with many hands so that has been  big chore lately and we have more types of beans coming in soon!  The end of the season is looking very bountiful with a nice selection including many new items so hold on to your cookbooks and until next week enjoy the veggies!

Week #16 – 2015 CSA Season

DSC_0991_SnapseedWhat’s in the Box: Green romano beans, dragons tongue beans, mixed salad greens, radish,  sweet banana pepper, assorted colored bell peppers (orange, yellow, red), red storage onions, yellow storage onions, purple glazer garlic, serrano chile pepper, delicata winter squash, spaghetti squash, concord grapes, cherry tomatoes, and slicing tomatoes.

What’s going on at the farm:  We have a lot of new crops coming in this week for you including a new variety of beans.  This new variety is a very large and rich tasting green romano bean with a great crisp texture despite its very large size.   You will also receive the dragons tongue yellow romano beans as well, perhaps a three bean salad is in your future? Salad greens are back too and the same mix as last week but a new cutting from a newer planting.   Radishes are included as well this week as an excellent pairing to the salad greens.  We may include red radish and/or white icicle radishes.   We have a new sweet pepper variety for you this week as well, sweet banana peppers which are similar looking to the Italian peppers but longer and less thick at the top.  This variety ripens from orange to red as well so some may be orange and some red for these very sweet banana peppers.   We will also be including a random mix of the yellow, small orange, and red bells for everyone.    Our grape vines are ripening and we should have enough to send off a pint of these classic and sweet concord grapes for everyone.   they do have seeds and a sweet very grape taste with some bitterness in the skins.   I love walking past the ripening fruit on the vines this time of year as it smells like real grape juice!   Winter squash is going out with the same varieties as last week.   These two types, spaghetti and delicata have a shorter shelf life then the storage types you will receive later.  Still planting here this week as well.   I seeded 15 beds of spinach 100 ft by 3 ft, 3 rows per bed giving a total row foot accumulation of 4500 row feet of spinach for fall and early winter.    It will likely not be ready for the end of our regular CSA season but it should be in before the end of the year and sweetened by the coming fall frosts.   It may also overwinter and be one of our first crops next spring but we will see.    Some other new crops coming in yet this week and you may find additions to the share this week depending on how much time we have available.   Crew is thinning out this time of year as people return to school but lots of variety remains in the field to be harvested and there is much to look forward too including but not limited to fall carrots coming in, butternut and acorn squash, brussel sprouts, beauty heart radishes, rutabaga, celery root, and greens of many types.   Until next week then, enjoy your veggies!

Week #15 2015 CSA Season

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What’s in the Box: Delicata winter squash, spaghetti winter squash, cherry tomato mix, yellow storage onion, red storage onion, italian red sweet pepper, Assorted sweet bell peppers, purple glazer garlic, dragons tongue beans, elegance braising/salad mix, red radish, and serrano chile pepper.

What’s going on at the farm: September is coming in with some warmth this week and  reminding us all here that summer is not over.  We had a very healthy rainfall on Saturday which made for a misty and slow market weekend but we needed the rainfall and this incoming heat for some of our late summer crops so really couldn’t ask for a better combination right now.    Our beans will finally set heavier and faster with the heat and our sweet peppers and cherry tomatoes will love the rain and heat as well.    Some new crops for you this week including delicata winter squash and spaghetti squash!   They are both excellent roasted and or baked and served with some butter and brown sugar or maple syrup.    These are the two squash varieties we have with a shorter shelf life of one to two month but they can be stored without refrigeration at room temperature.  Plenty of sweet peppers pouring in as well and I expect we will be loading everyone up with these crisp sweet fruits again this week.  Dragon’s tongue beans are in these colorful yellow and purple striped beans are very crisp and the purple streaks fade out when cooked, they are excellent raw or cooked and so tender that they tend to keep their crisp texture when cooked fairly well or at any stage of picking giving them a longer shelf life.  Greens are back this week, we have a tasty blend of mixed greens tender enough to chop for salad or large enough for a light sauté green.   The mix includes red mustards, green mustard, choi, mizuna, and leaf broccoli.   Radishes are back again too, excellent for salad or roasting with squash, peppers, onion, garlic etc….    Storage onions are coming this week and as the varieties are changing here is the scoop on those.  These onions you will notice are rounder, harder, and have brighter skins.    They are more traditional onions with a long storage life and will keep until spring under the right conditions.  Ideal conditions are room temp, dark, and dry with some air flow.   I like to keep them on the table so they are ready for cooking but if you have an overflow just place them in a brown grocery bag and leave the bag open.  The rest of the onions you will receive this year will be these storage types.  Plenty more cherry tomatoes coming in right now too especially with this heat and rain.    I made a roasted sauce with about 12 pints this week by rinsing them and roasting them down in a glass pan with chopped garlic and a little olive oil at 250 for about 6 hours.  I pulled the pan and removed excess water at one point and then continued roasting.   After they were all cooked down to a thick roasty consistency I pureed the mix in a food processor and jarred the sweet roast garlic tomato paste for use all week on things.   Excellent on bruschetta, bagels, stuffed peppers, pasta, etc…   Other farm work going on this week included tearing down all of our heirloom tomato vines and cleaning up the large greenhouse which we will be preparing for planting this week.  Also mowed a lot of weeds around field borders this week and removed more mulch beds from the field and mowed the winter squash down and removing drip lines from finished and near finished crops. Until next week then, enjoy the veg and I’ll be seeing a lot of you at the drop sites!

Week #14 – 2015 CSA Season

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What’s in the Box: Cherry tomato mix, slicing tomato, purple glazer garlic, sweet yellow onions, red Italian sweet pepper (pointed red), yellow bell pepper, red bell pepper, orange mini bell pepper, cayenne pepper, serrano chile pepper, collard greens, and basil.

What’s going on at the farm: Another busy week here as we enter week #14 and the last third of the CSA season with a very cold air front.  It has been unseasonably cool this week with lows dipping into the upper 40’s and highs in the 60’s.   Is this August still?   It looks like temps should rise later in the week and we are in for some more summer but the cold air will likely slow the ripening of a few crops.    It has made for very tolerable work conditions however so that is the upside.  We took advantage of the comfortable conditions by working harder then ever and accomplishing quite a bit.   Harvests are still plentiful despite the cold and we picked a lot of cherry tomatoes this week so expect at least a quart of these tasty fruits.  Slicing tomatoes are still coming in too although they are on their last leg this week and likely finished within a weeks time. Sweet peppers are pouring in by the wagon load and we will be dividing out these lovely crispy bell peppers and Italian frying peppers in large numbers this week!   It is probably the best pepper year we’ve ever had with all varieties yielding very heavily.   We began winter squash harvest just yesterday pulling in good yields of acorn, butternut, spaghetti, and delicata winter squash.   These will be distributed beginning next week after a few days of sun curing in the greenhouse.   We have 3/4 of the crop in right now and should have it all in by Wednesday.   Very good yields this year and it looks like plenty of winter squash coming for everyone starting next week.   A lot of mowing and plowing was accomplished this week along with weeding the baby salad greens, radishes, etc… that germinated a week or so ago.   More mulch beds and drip line were picked up and removed from the field this week as well and also weeding of our carrots, beans, and even our strawberries for next year as we keep the field perfect for next spring.   We also have beans of three types flowering heavily right now but they will not set beans well without some heat so I expect, although they have slowed this week, we will heading into a bean extravaganza with a little heat coming our way later this week.    Some ideas for this weeks sweet peppers and veggies include roasting your cherry tomatoes in the oven on low with some garlic.   This is also a very good option with some peppers and/or sweet onion added in.  Collard greens are back again this week and one option for these flat smooth greens is to use them as an wrap in place of tortilla etc.     Try them raw like this with your favorite combo, like turkey bacon tomato wraps, or hummus, tomato, onion.   Any combination works really but its a healthy and tasty substitute for bread any time.  Until next week then, enjoy the veggies!

Week #13 – 2015 CSA Season

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What’s in the Box:   Cherry tomato mix,  slicing tomatoes, red cabbage (bi-weekly only),  purple glazer garlic, red torpedo onion, sweet yellow onion, red  Italian peppers (pointed red), sweet bell peppers ( random choice of orange, red, yellow), green peppers, lacinato kale, serrano chile pepper (small green HOT), cayenne pepper (small red HOT!), flat italian parsley, and leeks.

What’s going on at the farm:   The heat and humidity makes for some tough work especially as the season has taken some toll on our bodies all ready but we forge on as always and into week thirteen.  Our sweet peppers are pouring in this week along with the heat.  We have had a long wait for these beauties since they were seeded the first week of April and you will receive a nice assortment of these to enjoy.  I have to say I think its our best sweet pepper crop ever, the health of and load of fruit on the plants is outstanding in every way.  Here is an idea for what to do with all those peppers, one of my favorite dishes stuffed peppers!

 http://m.allrecipes.com/recipe/236359/beef-and-rice-stuffed-bell-peppers/?mxt=t06rda

Of course there are many variations on this so feel free to create your own version but this one uses parsley, red cayenne peppers, and chunky tomatoes, onions, and garlic.    I wonder where you would get all those ingredients?  Our dragon romano beans are flowering with their beautiful purple and white flowers and looking beautiful so we should have a plentiful crop starting next week or so. Our pole beans and filet beans are setting flowers this week too!  We thinned out our rutabaga and turnips this week allowing for better sizing of these fall roots.  We mowed lots of weeds down this week as well keeping the fields clean for future use and cleaned up beds and drip line from the field.  There is still much work with all the harvesting of course but I was able to get in several more fields of plantings this week with the seeder including multiple beds of arugula, salad mix, braising mix, white icicle radishes, broccoli raab, and loads of white salad turnips.  After continually soaking them and rotating sprinklers in the heat for several days those beds have all ready sprouted in 3 days!  The onions field was cleaned out last week by mowing and lifting mulch out of the ground and was plowed in this week.   Our summer squash, zucchini and cucumber plants were also removed from the field this week as we also mowed the plants and removed the mulch beds and drip lines from the field for these crops.  Our 6th annual farm potluck dinner is coming up on Saturday the 19th of September!  Please join me and the other crew members on the farm, meet your fellow members, and walk the fields.  We are sending out details by e-mail to all of you soon so save the date, I hope to see many of you there and until then Enjoy the veggies!

Week #12 – 2015 CSA Season

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Whats in the box:  Slicing tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, red cabbage, purple glazer garlic, summer squash, sweet yellow onions, red torpedo onions, green peppers, red italian frying peppers, leeks, cucumber, collard greens, and holy basil.

What’s going on at the farm:  Another busy and abundant week at the farm with some enjoyable temperatures for working and finally some rain has made for a good week.   We went three weeks before getting a nice calm and drenching rain this Friday.    Hoping for some more as temps rise again this week.     Our sweet peppers are coming in and besides the green peppers you will receive red italian frying peppers this week.   They are my favorite pepper with excellent sweetness even half red and an unmistakable tapered shape which resembles a horn giving these peppers the name corno di toro or horn of the bull.    Another enjoyable and new crop this week which also boasts many health benefits is holy basil.  This herb has long been known to possess  medicinal qualities and also sports some bright colors and flavors to enjoy.  The top of the leaf is purple and underside green and the aroma is of mint while the flavor finishes off with stronger flavors of cinnamon and clove.   It is great paired with tomato for sauce or minced for fresh use with tomatoes.    Here are a couple great links describing the many health benefits of this slow growing basil which is actually related to the mint family as well.

http://www.medicinehunter.com/holy-basil

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1101-holy%20basil.aspx?activeingredientid=1101&activeingredientname=holy%20basil

Other tasks going on this week include more weeding, yes this is a nonstop difficult task which we usually do by hand with hand tools and quite frequently by hand around the young crops.   We also thinned all of our rutabaga which is looking great and coming for fall.    All of our mulch onion beds and weeds in the onion field were mowed down and the beds and drip line were removed to allow for plowing of this area to incorporate all organic matter.   We also topped all of our fall onions and stacked crates upon crates of them up for storage into fall and winter.   Our main issue right now is running out of crates as the harvests are heavy this time of year.   carrots and beauty heart radishes are being hand weeded this week again too and our fall crops of brussel sprouts, and winter squash are looking fantastic right now.    Lots of beans of varying types and sweet peppers coming your way as well soon, yellow bells, orange bells, and red bells of many types are slowly showing color this week in the field.  Our plantings of greens, radishes, and turnips sprouted perfectly this week.  More planting in the works for this week too seeding greens and roots of all sorts for fall.  Until next week be well and enjoy the produce!

Week #11 – 2015 CSA Season

peterWeek11

What’s in the Box: Cantaloupe, green pepper, slicing tomato, heirloom tomato, red cabbage, purple glazer garlic, summer squash, patty pan squash, zucchini, cucumber, sweet yellow onions, red torpedo onions, cherry tomatoes, leeks, serrano chile pepper, parsley, and celery (bi-weekly only).

What’s going on at the farm:  Welcome to the second half of the CSA season everyone!  We have some tasty new crops coming to you this week including cantaloupes!  These beauties are so firm and sweet and will likely be the best you’ve had if I may be so bold.  They are all ripe and ready to cut immediately and picked at the perfect level of vine ripeness.   As I mentioned last week the onions your receiving now are sun cured and dry onions along with the garlic they do not need to be refrigerated.  Neither do the tomatoes or cantaloupes unless they are cut open.   Cherry tomatoes are also pouring in now and ready for your enjoyment.   I don’t think I need to suggest to much for all the tomato lovers out there.  I’m sure you can figure out your favorite way to enjoy them.  The last of our celery is going out to bi-weekly members only this week, it was a fantastic celery year so enjoy the last of these sweet crunchy stalks.   Plenty of green peppers coming in right now too so expect a hearty portion of these perhaps for some stuffed peppers or stir fry with the squash, onion, chile peppers celery?   I only mention it because I made that exact dinner this week and it was delicious.   I also added garlic and basil to mine.  Overall  it was another very busy week on the farm here and some more intense heat to work through.   We managed to get all of our fall onions harvested and set out for curing this week.  First to prepare for this we topped all of our summer onions which involves clipping the top off each and every one.   I also managed to get in another planting this week pulling off a four hour seeding session after a 12 hr day at market Saturday.   Red radishes, arugula, a brassica greens mix for salads, and a second seeding of beauty heart radishes were all planted.  We also got all our fall carrots weeded which is a very meticulous process of pinching them out around the baby carrots which are very small.   I’m hoping to get in a late planting of carrots this week too as we have more field space yet to work this week.    One thing making it more difficult right now besides all the heavy harvests is the lack of rain.  We have not seen it in weeks now but it looks like the heat is breaking this week so we should be able to catch up on watering very well.   Our early green filet beans pittered out pretty quickly in this dryness but we have some fantastic looking crops of beans coming in for later as well including italian pole beans, dragons tongue beans, filet beans, and green beans so no shortage of these for future shares.   Enjoy the summer fruits and veggies as we stay focused on fall preparation and harvest here on the farm!