Tuesday, June 29, 2010

week 5 of csa

hello all,
what a change in weather is being anticipated for the next few days!

the rapid growth of the tomatoes, cucumbers, and bean plants as well as the other summer crops will slow greatly with temperatures in the 70s rather than mid 80s.

we've had several questions lately about keeping greens, and want to take a moment to remind you what a terribly dry and destitute place your fridge is for a poor bunch of greens that is bare naked- cloth those poor little greens in a bag of some kind to keep the frigid fierce refridgerator winds off of them! If you are trying to get away from plastic, you can use a muslin or fabric bag, anything to help hold a little moisture and keep the air from flowing directly over the leaves.

another storage note, remove tops from carrots when they go in the fridge, or you will find rubbery carrots when you go to eat them later, the tops are still transpiring and pulling water up through the roots. same for beets if you are going to store them for more than a day, just detach the tops and store them in a bag, (can even be the same bag, the roots and tops are friends, and once they are separated, the tops can't cause the roots to dry out).

i've recently been wondering when we will move towards a community supported model for more of the things that we do. I know some musicians are asking their fans to help them pay to make albums and then sending them a copy once the album has been cut, why don't we put money down up front for more of the things that we care about? after all, each dollar we spend is a vote for the kind of world we want to live in, why not help out the people and organizations
that we want to buy from anyway?

we have tons (not literally, baby birds are quite light) of birds just about to take to the air! there are at least 5 nest boxes stuffed to the gills with baby birds, almost falling out and quite soon, we will have 5 empty nest boxes, and about 25 new babies filling the muddy fingers air space!

what may you see this week?
garlic scapes, (maybe 10 days left in the season)
rainbow carrots
zucchini/summer squash
fresh onions red long heirloom or short, squat cippolini onions
swiss chard
new potatoes!

pictured this week, baby house sparrows spilling out of the box, beautiful beneficial insect habitat with garlic and caterpillar tunnels in the back ground. we were prepping a new field this week, matthew spreading soil amendments and starting to plow.

on july 17th we will be having our next CSA event. details to be announced, but we hope to have a nice potluck, perhaps with a zucchini theme?! and do a little farm job. hope you can make it.

here's a recipe for the week:
if you have never had patty pans, try them sliced and sauteed with onions and beet greens, serve as is or over pasta!

happy eating this week,
liz and matthew

Sunday, June 20, 2010

CSA week 4

Welcome to the csa week! Lets see, we are beginning to shift from all the greens to produce that new members may be more used to eating. You will start to see the first raspberries, zucchinis, potatoes, and possibly cherry tomatoes this week (more likely next week for the cherry tomatoes and even two weeks before there is any quantity).

Its been nice meeting our new CSA members, its doesn't seem that long ago that we new every single member from our social lives. Now there are plenty of new faces, as we have grown a little bit each year to where we are now at 75 and pretty close to where we think our cap will be. While we have lots of new faces, we are so glad to say that we have lots of familiar faces in the CSA, too. We have always been lucky to have a great retention rate. Of our original 14 members, seven are still with us seven years later, some of the rest moved away or started gardens, a few still shop with us regularly and some decided CSA is not for them. Which is fine, of course. We some times have people apologize to us when they don't rejoin the CSA, but don't worry we not offended, we know that every family is different and busy, don't feel bad when you do what works for your family. (Of course if you were not rejoining because you had had a bad experience, we hope that you would please let us know so that we could learn from you.)

Speaking of what works for your family, a few weeks ago, we had little bit of a tongue in cheek emergency weeding day. Lots of people gave apolgies for not being able to make it, don't feel bad, everyone is busy, and weeding is definately not for everyone. We decided to invite people to come out and help since it makes a job more fun, but also because we realized that we really enjoy working outside on the farm, hearing and watching the birds, or listening to the solar radio, or just thinking our thoughts. Its nice to converse, too of course! In general, its so lovely to work outside and be in the natural world and we should give people a chance to enjoy that with us if they are interested in doing that. That said, we wanted to publicly thank those who joined us- thanks- Garnet, Dan and Dorothy, Pat and Mark for coming out to help us on that rainy Sunday. If you ever feel the need to connect with the "real world" come out to the farm and stroll through the orchard, walk in the woods, sit by the pond or even pull some weeds.

Thanks to all of our Elmira pickupers for helping to make the new market a big success the first week! (Last week was a little slow, also a little rainy, so we will see how the third week goes.) We will have more posters in hand, and if you have a spot you can hang one or more, we would be much obliged if you would tack it up for us, workplace, place of worship, coffee shop, library, any place you frequent could benefit from a poster. Also, please don't be afraid to tell your people about the friendly new little market in town on Monday nights!

Another note to Elmira pickupers, you may see that this post is titled 4th week of CSA and that this is the third week of Elmira pickup, the way the months fell, the new market is one day shorter than our other pickups, we will make it even with you- don't worry. We will either extend a week and get permission to have a pickup there, or at another spot, or we will give extra items to you over several weeks so that you are even with everyone else. But at any rate, we are aware that you are not in sync with the other pickup days.

Thanks John, for the suggestion, we finally are able to put photos on our blog again! Hooray! He suggested that we try a different browser, and it did the trick! Sadly, our camera has been idle recently and we only have old pictures to add. Like these blurry baby robins, maybe it is the heat up there by the roof that blurred the photo!

thanks for sending this recipe in, Laurie this is simple and sounds delicious! its almost too late for the asparagus, but there may still be a little around.

Fruit and Vegetable Salad Supreme

Prep: 10 minutes; Cook: 3 minutes

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 2 3/4 cups)

1/2 pound asparagus spears, cut into bite-size pieces
2 cups thinly sliced carrot
8 cups mixed salad greens
2 cups sliced strawberries
1/2 cup light balsamic vinaigrette
1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled goat or feta cheese
1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted

1. Bring a large saucepan filled with water to a boil. Prepare a bowl of ice water. Add asparagus and carrot to boiling water. Remove after 2 minutes, or when color has brightened; drain and plunge into ice water. Drain, and pat dry.

2. Combine salad greens, strawberries, and vegetables. Add dressing; toss well before serving. Top with cheese and pecans.

CALORIES 227 ; FAT 15g (sat 4g,mono 4g,poly 2g); CHOLESTEROL 15mg; CALCIUM 132mg; CARBOHYDRATE 19g; SODIUM 478mg; PROTEIN 7g; FIBER 6g; IRON 2mg

Health, MAY 2005

my eyes are starting to droop, but first, please mark your calendars for July 17th, we will be having our next CSA event on that day, not sure what we will be doing yet, but wanted to get it on your calendars. details to be announced.
happy eating this week!
liz and matthew

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

CSA week 3

Only one thing to write about this week: rain. Our rain gauge total for the month thus far is 3.49 inches - going no more than 2 days without recorded rainfall. And rain is in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow. Obviously other sections of the country have had much worse experiences with excess rainfall recently and all we have is soggy soil, but there's been no tilling, no cultivating and no direct seeding here. That leaves a lot of hand weeding! Admittedly these are good conditions for that, but it takes up a lot time. And we've been able to get a few already prepared beds transplanted. I am sure we are not the only farmers in the area worried about the diseases that struck so hard last year under similar conditions - late blight and downy mildew. We'll be scouting for signs of their arrival!
As you can see below we are beginning to harvest a few more crops. Including garlic scapes. Please note our always popular garlic scape pesto recipe and enjoy some on your pasta while they last!

Raw Scape Pesto

Garlic scapes make a pesto that is a pretty green color and a knock-your-socks-off rich garlic flavor. If this pesto is too strong for your taste, add mayonnaise or sour cream to dilute by 1/1 or even 2/1.

½ lb. scapes (chopped into 1" sections)
1½ c. olive oil
2 c. grated parmesan cheese

In a blender, combine the scapes and olive oil. Pour mixture into bowl and blend the cheese in by hand. Can be used as a cracker or pizza spread. Can be frozen in plastic ice cube trays and used later - this applies to the other pestos, dips, and dressings as well. Put them in a freezer bag, use all year for making bruschetta, with pasta or pizza.

ALSO, garlic bread: 2 or 3 cubes thawed works great as a substitution for the oil component of bread.

This week's vegetables:
New Potatoes
Garlic Scapes
Lettuce Mix

Next week's (expected) vegetables:
New Potatoes
Garlic Scapes
Lettuce Mix
Zucchini/Summer Squash

Thursday, June 10, 2010

2nd week of CSA

First of all I apologize for the late post. Blogger has been giving us troubles in posting and uploading photos. So, sorry but still no pictures.

As I'm sure you've noticed the harvest season has gotten off to a slow start - as usual. You've gotten mostly greens and the quantity has been rather low.

But with all this rain the crops are growing well. And thanks to those CSA members who came out for our weeding session last weekend we were able to eliminate the weeds in our broccolis and cabbages and most of our tomatoes and peas were trellised, too.

If we could download photos you'd see some of the newly hatched chicks in the birdhouses Liz has placed around the farm. And you'd see Liz planting our ginger in the caterpillar tunnel. And the lush, new green growth of the tomatoes planted at our May CSA event.

And you'd see pictures of our poor truck after it had been rolled. Yes, that right! Liz was driving home from farmers' market last Thursday when it happened. We had been up late the previous night and had been up early harvesting. Then after a busy day at market, Liz says she must have been more tired than she realized and when she opended them again she was driving on the side of the road. It was when she tried to get back on the road that the truck rolled. Amazingly she crawled out of the truck with only a few cuts and the x-rays and catscan at the emergency room all were negative.
Let this be a lesson to everyone - don't drive tired. Take a nap!!!
And if we could show you photos, you could see our new pickup truck! This is not the time of year for us to be without a truck for any length of time. So, as if we needed something else to do, Saturday we went out truck shopping and came home with our previous truck's green twin.

This week's vegetables (I know its kind of late):
greens mix
green onions

Next week's (expected) vegetables:
garlic scapes
baby carrots
new potatoes
maybe kale and chard
a few zucchini

Thought you might appreciate a salad dressing recipe!:

Staple Maple Dressing
1 c Canola Oil
5 oz. Olive OIl
1/2 C balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp fresh ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch of pepper
1 1/4 tsp crushed garlic
2 T maple syrup
3/4 soy sauce

Mix together.