Week #21 – 2014 CSA Season

What’s in the Box: Yellow potatoes, red storage onions, shallots, salad mix, red spinach, daikon radish, and red russian kale.

What’s going on at the farm:  This week concludes our 2014 growing season! Thanks to everyone who was with us for being a part of the season weather it was your first or seventh season with us!  Your support and participation are appreciated and I hope you enjoyed all the veggies and fruits!  It was a pleasure growing for everyone this year and there were a lot of great crops to enjoy throughout the season, on our plates, and in the fields.  Hopefully we will see you all back for another season next year.   We will be taking sign ups for next season from returning members as soon as this season is over but generally this begins in December and January and you will be sure to receive a few e-mail reminders on the progress of sign ups and our preparations as we move through the cold winter months.  Our website will be updated soon and we will be sure to let everyone know as well when electronic sign up is open.  Generally early sign ups are encouraged to start up again buying seeds, fertilizer, soil, equipment, etc… which happens very early in January through March. In fact by March we will be planting like crazy in the greenhouse again growing thousands and thousands of transplants and spreading tons of plant based compost over the semi frozen fields.  Before spring there will be much to do as well.  We will be planting several types of garlic over the next week.  It was a fantastic garlic year this year as you may have heard me mention earlier.  We are planting nearly twice as much as last year and the cloves bulbs we had for seed are huge which should make for some great garlic next season!   Our seedling/potting soil is shipped in early November right after garlic is planted and we will be bringing in 2 1/2 tons of it in preparation for spring, it will all be trucked in, in the form of three huge bags and then bagged by hand with shovels and sacks, and stacked neatly in the greenhouse where it will wait for spring until we start onions and many other crops again in March.  Hopefully it is the goal to begin obtaining some larger equipment this next year to make our work more effective energy wise meaning less on the body and more on machinery.  All our crops have been produced for the last eight years without the use of a tractor or large implements that most farms possess so I am excited to begin this process and see what we can accomplish with some larger tools in the next few years.  Many other less exciting organizational projects await this winter as well, getting to everything that the season did not allow time is important to do before things get crazy busy again including greenhouse repairs, home repairs, and plenty of paperwork and numbers to crunch.  Of course also looking forward to getting some rest for the aching body, family time, and some rest and relaxation over the cold holiday months as we prepare for another season. Enjoy the last share of the season everyone and hopefully we will see you all again for another season in 2015!   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!  Thank you!

Week #20 – 2014 CSA Season

Week #20What’s in the Box: Red potatoes, red storage onion, yellow storage onion, shallot, spicy salad greens mix, beauty heart radish, and porcelain garlic.

What’s going on at the farm:  The 2014 season is nearing completion and so are the clean up projects, harvests, and plantings.  We cleaned up the sweet pepper field this week after several harder frosts stopped their growth.  We also got all our garlic shelled for planting in a few weeks for next years garlic!   We had some very, large bulbs/cloves should make for a wonderful crop next year and we are increasing our planting by over 50 percent volume this year too so hopefully a very large haul of nice bulbs next year.   Unfortunately our winter squash crop did not make it in time and was killed off by frost this week.   Better timing on that next year for sure.  We have some late spinach still on the way but it is a little small yet this week for harvest so we will be saving the lettuce mix and spinach for the last delivery week coming up.   More delicious potatoes and onions on the way as well and we are hoping our final planting of salad turnips will be ready by that last week too.  Beauty heart radishes are a new item in this week, also known as watermelon radish.  They have a light green, tan, and red skins with dark tops.   You’ll see where they get they’re name when you slice one open.   The centers are delicious, beautiful and sweet.   The skin is a little thicker then a regular radish but they don’t necessarily need to be peeled.  These last several shares a bit lighter on selection and weight then the rest of the season much like week #1 when we started light and fresh with greens and roots.  Thanks folks and until next week enjoy your veggies!

Week #19 – 2014 CSA Season

Week #19What’s in the Box: Yellow potatoes, red storage onions, yellow storage onions, shallots, green pepper, eggplant, daikon radish, tempest garlic, mixed braising greens, easter egg radishes, and red russian kale.

What’s going on at the farm:  Fall has for sure set in here and we are getting ready for winter on the farm.  Your shares this week will be packed with some hearty fall veggies to enjoy and we are loading folks up on all the storage type items we have in abundance including storage onions, potatoes, shallots, and garlic.   Since this is the last week for some folks we want to leave you with a little stockpile of storage onions which you can enjoy cooking with for a while so there will be plenty of those.  There are still some fresh crisp greens and roots to enjoy too and more on the way for the last two weeks.  including spinach, lettuce mix, beauty heart radishes, and more turnips.   It looks like our acorn squash may make it but unfortunately not this week.  Winter squash was really our only difficulty this year so I guess we can’t complain.  It has been a very good season all around.  We have reached week 19 which is the last week for Bi-Weekly members in their 10 week season.  Thanks to everyone who joined us for a 1/2 season this year.  Hopefully you found your experience to be tasty and found value in your share with us and we will see you for another season of fresh organic veggies in 2015!  While we are talking about wrapping up the season I will remind you that full season basic and standard members still have two weeks remaining after this week as we head towards the last and final week which is week 21.  For Tuesday folks the last delivery is Oct. 21st and for Thursday folks it is Oct. 23rd.   Our first frost and snow flurry both occurred this week so I think its safe to say its time to wrap things up for winter so we will continue doing just that.  We will be shelling garlic for planting over the next week and be ready to plant over a hundred pounds of some very large garlic thanks to a great garlic season here.  Next seasons garlic is all ready looking very promising indeed.  One more solid month of work here before we can cozy in and let the achy bones rest for a month or two while planning for and dreaming of another season to come.  Thanks again to all our bi-weekly members, we will be in touch regarding sign up opening for next season, until then enjoy the produce folks!

Week #18 – 2014 CSA Season

Week #19What’s in the Box:  Red potatoes, red storage onion, yellow storage onion, shallots, broccoli raab, tempest garlic, green pepper, easter egg radish, daikon radish, hot pepper (jalapeño, serrano, and/or hot wax pepper), and salad turnips.

What’s going on at the farm:  Beautiful fall weather this week with warm temperatures is making for some solid growth for our late crops this week.  It is getting a little late for planting this time of year and we are well on top of our clean up work so we are slowing down a bit and getting ready for the end of the season.  Our potting soil was ordered for next spring and believe it or not we are preparing for next year over the next few weeks quite a bit.  We have some great storage crops along with fresh greens and roots coming your way this week.  Potatoes are going out unwashed but they hold better in the fridge this way.  I would recommend refrigerating them but not your onions, garlic or shallots.  they are best at room temp.  I keep a nice bowl of assorted onions and garlic on my table to cook with and store the rest in a brown paper bag.   Our white salad turnips are new this week and they have excellent sweetness and are great roasted with potatoes, onions, etc… or used as a salad fixing.  They do not keep as long as traditional storage turnips but will keep several weeks if you remove the tops.   The tops are edible as well and have a sweet and slightly mustard taste to them not to far off from the raab.    Raab is back again this week but larger and fully mature with florets.   It is best as a sautee or steamed green at this larger size.  We have some fall salad mix coming soon as well as a few types of spinach and spicy salad greens sizing up well in the field this week so those will be coming soon.   Our winter squash is looking decent too and the weather looks to be staying fairly warm so we are still hoping for a crop of acorn and delicata squash soon.  To help you identify your hot peppers this week ill give you a brief description.  The jalapeño are dark green and fat chile peppers, the serrano are a slim dark green chile, and the hot wax are a light yellow carrot size pepper.  They all have a good medium to hot heat.  Until next week, enjoy the shares folks!

Week #17 – 2014 CSA Season

Week #17What’s in the Box: Shallots, red potatoes, yellow storage onion, red storage onion, daikon radish, green pepper, serrano chile pepper, white icicle radish, easter egg radish, tempest garlic, rhubarb, celery, and red russian kale.

What’s going on at the farm: Summer weather is on it’s way out and the cool nights of fall are setting in.  We are hoping for the warm weather to stay as our winter squash crop was delayed this year due to some poor potting soil.  The plants are setting fruit now and we are keeping a close eye on the weather.  If cold moves in we will cover them with tunnels and exited them as we will not give up on a nice late crop of acorn, delicate, butternut, and spaghetti squash.  We are working with the cool and always changing weather and digging in to some serious work cleaning up the fields and removing decaying plant material, mulch beds, drip lines, irrigation fittings, and mowing to keep the fields clean and ready for fall/winter.  We removed all our cherry tomato vines, trellising, mulch, and poles.We removed all the tomato vines from both of our greenhouses this week which involved removing thousands of plastic clips, twine leads, and composting all of the plant material one wheelbarrow full at a time.   Our four seasons greenhouse is now ready to be tilled and prepped for plantings of spinach, lettuce, and other greens for fall and winter.  Thanks everyone and enjoy the shares!

Week #16 – 2014 CSA Season

Week #16What’s in the Box: Sweet banana pepper (yellow long), sweet pepper (random choice),                            shallot, tempest garlic, red torpedo onion, cherry tomato mix, eggplant, dragons tongue romano beans, white icicle radishes, daikon radish, arugula, spicy salad greens.

What’s going on at the farm:  We had our annual farm potluck dinner this week!  It was a perfect evening of with great people of all ages, great food, and a perfect evening bonfire on a very starry night.   Very nice to spend some time relaxing on the farm and not just working too! Fall has definitely made it’s presence clear as temps are falling and the summer crops life cycle comes to an end.   It’s a bit of a relief with the cool air and a finishing date in site for our worn bodies as we enter the last quarter of the season.  We will be harvesting cherry tomatoes and tomatoes for the last time this week and will not have enough slicers for shares anymore but plenty of cherries yet.   Lot’s of clean up going on here too removing mulch beds, drip lines, and this coming weekend taking down all the vines and clips in our tomato houses.  As the summer is surely leaving we have some great fall crops coming in for you this week including fresh arugula, a wonderful salad green from the radish family with a similar taste along with its sweet crunchiness. Braising greens are also in but they can be chopped for salad or used for braising/steaming, etc…  The mix contains red frilly mustard, giant red mustard, mizuna, tatsoi, and more.   White icicle radishes are in and they are super crunchy and spicy too!  Remove the tops from your radishes if you want them to stay crisp for more then a few days.   You can cook with the radish tops as well and these fall radishes have some excellent large tops so don’t be afraid to try them out.  Daikon radish is also in this week and not a huge item volume wise but nice for salads or other things grated on top.  I’ve even had these crunchy roots in tacos, roasted roots veggies, or sautéed.  Plenty of dragon romano beans coming again this week too.  Enjoy these crunchy late summer fruits.  It will likely be the end of our beans this week but who knows, could be one more pick with some cooperative warm weather.  Our three late types of spinach are sprouting beautifully in the field so we should have a nice succession of sweet fall frosted spinach for late season.   Plenty of greens, radishes, turnips, and plenty of red potatoes and storage onions are on the way soon as well.   Enjoy the return of the crunchy greens and roots and of course the fall weather and food folks!

Week #15 – 2014 CSA Season

Week #15What’s in the Box: Cherry tomato mix, shallots, slicing tomatoes, red cabbage, sweet yellow onion, red torpedo onion, leeks, celery, red bell pepper, tempest garlic, dragons tongue beans, and broccoli raab.

What’s going on at the farm: We have our annual farm dinner this weekend and get to spend some time on the farm with members, workers, and friends enjoying some great food and company!  Please join us for this fantastic evening on the farm this Saturday at 4pm!  We will plan on eating by 5pm.  I will be sending out another e-mail with details by Wednesday but basically its 4-dusk for dinner and its a potluck so bring a dish to pass.  We will have a bonfire afterwards and it would be appreciated if folks could RSVP with their expected party size.  We are getting loads of cherry tomatoes and beans right now so that has been keeping us very busy and generous portions of them coming in shares this week!  Shallots are a new for some this week as well and they store well without refrigeration and have a nice rich buttery flavor.   This week will push us into the  last quarter of the season.  We will have plenty of onions, peppers, potatoes, lettuce and crispy roots coming for the end of summer into fall.  We are well into clean up work at this point too cleaning up areas that used to be filled with crops and pulling up plastic film mulch beds and drip lines.  Spinach of three types, lettuce, greens mix, and salad turnips were planted this week for late season cold crops.  We finally finished topping all of our fall onions this week too and we have around 5,000 lbs of these and summer onions, and shallots, stored up for fall!  I have gotten a few e-mails about when the end of the season is and so will drop this reminder for all too.  Our regular season is 21 weeks and this is week #15 so we have six weeks for full season members left.  Bi-weekly members are on the 8th of 10 deliveries this week so they have two weeks left, week 17 and 19 of the season.   Week 19 is the second week of October but I will remind in the newsletter as well.  Our final week for full season members is the fourth week of October this year the 21st and 23rd respectively!   Dragons tongue beans are an item I get regular questions about how to prepare them.  They are very tender and crisp and the whole pod can be eaten, they can be used raw or are also very good steamed or my favorite sautéed with garlic, onion, or shallot!  Broccoli raab is new this week too!  It is sweet like broccoli but there is also a little mustard flavor to it. It gets a tiny floret when mature.  It also is excellent just before maturity without the floret and can be used raw as a salad green or as a sautee green.  We are also going to try and add concord grapes to the box this week, not sure if there will be enough to go around but we will do our best to make it happen.  They are great fresh or as a sauce or jam.   Some other new crops coming soon include daikon radish, arugula, white icicle radishes, spicy salad/braising greens, and potatoes. Enjoy the produce everyone!

Week #14 – 2014 CSA Season

Week #14What’s in the Box: Heirloom tomatoes, slicing tomatoes, cherry tomato mix , red cabbage, tempest garlic, sweet yellow onion, red torpedo onions, dragons tongue beans, leeks, red Italian sweet pepper, red bell pepper, shallots, and celery.

What’s going on at the farm:  Harvest season is in full swing yet and we are looking forward to finishing up the season strong as we enter the last third of the CSA season and head quickly into fall after this labor day weekend.  Our annual potluck is planned for the 13th of September.  I accidentally stated 14th in the last newsletter but it is Saturday the 13th of September.  I hope to see a lot of you out here to visit the farm and dine with your fellow members.   More info coming on this event later this week.  Harvesting has kept us the most busy by far this week picking cherry tomatoes and clipping storage onions mostly, but also a late type of bean coming in!   All of our storage onions are now cured so they will store very well on the counter or in the cupboard though you will not receive these for several more weeks, no refrigeration necessary.  The same goes for shallots and garlic which will store until spring at room temperature.  I like to store my winter onions at home in a paper bag so they can breath and stay dark and cool.  The onions you are receiving now are softer summer onions and will keep for a couple months.   Soon fall onions will be distributed and they will store well into winter.  They are generally harder, and rounder, with brighter skins.  Sadly our tomatoes are on the way out and this will likely be the last week for them.  We’ve had a great run of it the last two months but they are for sure very near their end.  Peppers are still pouring in and plenty of sweet pepper variety to go around.   We made stuffed peppers at home this week with rice, beef, red onion, shallot, garlic, tomato, for the stuffing, and a little mozzarella cheese on top.  they were delicious! Shallots are new this week and for those who have not tried them, they have an amazingly rich buttery taste and texture when sautéed.  They are a staple of french style cuisine but can be used anywhere you would use onions.  Dragons tongue beans are new this week too!  They are a sweet tender romano type bean which is yellow with purple stripes overlaying the yellow.  The purple stripes vary in pattern and intensity of color from bean to bean and fade when cooked.  These romano beans are excellent for raw or cooked use.  Cherry tomatoes are peaking right now so expect lots of these little fruits this week as well!  Hope everyone had a great Labor Day and enjoy this last week or two of summer shares the next couple weeks as we head into fall!  Enjoy!

Week #13 – 2014 CSA Season

Week #13 Heirloom slicing tomato, cherry tomato mix , red cabbage,  porcelain garlic, red torpedo onion, eggplant, sweet yellow onion, celery, red sweet italian peppers (pointed red), sweet bell peppers (orange, red, or yellow), and leeks.

What’s going on at the farm:  This week we had the great pleasure of collaborating with some great folks from Ian’s Pizza to harvest our yellow and red storage onions!   What a great collaboration it was between a local farm and local restaurant with many hands to help it was also greatly appreciated this time of year when we are feeling the burn from working all season.  Our fall onions are looking great layer out for curing with again great consistent size and shape.   You will be sure to receive many for fall and winter storage in your shares!  We topped most of our shallots this week but harvested many more with the Ian’s crew as well, we will start distributing those in a week or so.  Our sweet peppers are pouring in this week with the heat we have had and you will also receive a nice assortment of these to enjoy.  Steady rainfall, storms, and humidity have made the week interesting and somewhat difficult to work in but we forge on as always 🙂  Our dragon romano beans are looking beautiful and setting lots of beans this week so we should have a plentiful crop starting next week.  We mowed lots of weeds down this week as well keeping the fields clean for future use and we are still very busy with all the harvesting of course.  Our plantings are sprouting nicely with all the rain lately and there are more plantings to be completed once all this rain stops and the fields dry a bit.  We mowed in our summer squash crop this week too so alas they are done for the season.   In the next week or two we have a lot of clean up work to be done pulling mulch beds out from these finished crops of onions, summer squash etc and a lot of clipping to do on the onion tops after they cure in the sun this week.  Another reminder our farm dinner is coming up on the 14th of September and we will send details out in early September.  Enjoy!

Week #12 – 2014 CSA Season

IMG_7225 Heirloom tomato, slicing tomatoes, cherry tomato mix, red cabbage, tempest garlic, summer squash, patty pan squash, sweet yellow onions, red torpedo onions, red and orange sweet peppers, red italian frying peppers, leeks, celery, red russian kale, and cilantro.

What’s going on at the farm:  This week on the farm was another super busy week.  We harvested most of our shallot crop for curing and they are looking great! Very nice crop  with lots of large shallots and a large volume of them.  Lots of red cabbage was harvested this week for storage as well.   Our cucumbers got mowed in and there was lots of mowing and weedwacking to keep weeds in check before they can go to seed and cause us future issues.  We mowed in the strawberry field too to begin our process of removing them and replanting next spring.   After much mowing, and plowing we were able to plant some crops this week too including Beauty heart radish, sweet salad turnips, white icicle radish, multi colored radishes, arugula, a tasty multi greens mix, and broccoli raab.   These crops are expected for fall/late season boxes.  We will be planting more every week for the next month too!  In our plans is spinach, salad mix, turnips, carrots, kohlrabi, and choi.  Celery, red peppers, and red cabbage are all new crops for you this week.  Our celery is much more flavorful then the common blanched type you will find in the store.  I’m sure you can find many uses for red peppers.   Also the red cabbage is excellent for roasting, which I just found out last year.  I chop it up with other veggies in large chunks with a little olive oil and cook it on a low broil for around half an hour with other veggies like, squash, peppers, potatoes, carrots, onions, etc….  It’s also excellent for stir fry or soup, perhaps with some onion, leek, or celery.  We have picked a date for the annual farm dinner and it will be Saturday September 13th!  More details on this event coming closer to the date but please save the date on your calendar and plan on joining us out at the farm for this delicious and fun event at your CSA farm!  Other events happening now include registration for Bike the barns through FairShare CSA Coalition!  This september ride is scheduled for the same weekend as our dinner I believe but it is a great way to support all that FairShare does and raise money for the partner shares program which helps those who could not otherwise afford a CSA share!  More info can be found at for this great event which includes stops at three to four farms and several meals served along the way.  All the food served is also donated from all the farms collectively and they offer two routes of different distances.  Until next week then, enjoy the bounty of August!