Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Week 7 + 8

Remember: this is the last CSA pickup and it will be a double-share since we will not have a market next week.

Thank you for participating in our first fall/winter CSA. We hope you enjoyed it! We look forward to expanding it next year.

Catch us at the Ithaca Farmers' Market Saturdays 11:00 - 2:00 at The Space @ Greenstar starting January 7

Choose 10:

Lettuce
Greens Mix
Watermelon Radishes
Leeks
Potatoes
Onions
Jerusalem
Artichokes
Beets
Carrots
Cabbage
Brussels
Sprouts
Kale
Garlic
Tetsakabuto Winter Squash
Turnips - Hakurei and Red
Rutabegas
Celeriac
Spinach!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Week 5

We finished harvesting the rest of our storage crops two days ago so now all of the potatoes, carrots, celeriac, radishes, beets and garlic are all safely tucked into or cooler for the winter!
Here's the list for this week:
Lettuce
Greens Mix
Watermelon Radishes
Leeks
Potatoes
Onions
Jerusalem Artichokes
Beets
Carrots
Cabbage
Brussells Sprouts
Kale
Garlic
Winter Squash - new! Tetsakabuto Squash - pumpkin-sized green winter squash - mmm!
Turnips
Rutabegas
Celeriac

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Week 5


We've got more of the same still this week!! Please refer to previous list. And I'll try not to forget the onions this time. Sweet potatoes are gone, though.

Tuesday,
Dec. 6th -

The
Greenhorns

--
Documentary
film's local premiere at the Glen Theater, Watkins Glen.



60-min.
documentary film takes an inspiring journey across the US to explore
new food and farming enterprises, rural and urban possibilities and
diverse producer and consumer initiatives. A panel discussion and
community conversation is part of the evening event:
How
can Schuyler County and the Seneca Lake area continue to nurture and
support the current and emerging potential for on-farm and food
related businesses?
The
public is heartily invited. Doors open at 6:30 for the 7PM screening.
Refreshments will be available. Presented by Finger Lakes Bioneers
with local partners.
http://www.thegreenhorns.net/
Contact:
Nick Vaczek, film series coordinator, at 607-793-7566 or

www.wemakeourfuture.org




This
is the list of panelists (two additional to be confirmed)-



Brett
J. Chedzoy as Moderator --- Senior Resource Educator, Schuyler County
Cooperative Extension Land Use Team



Jacob
Eisman: Six Circles Farm

http://sixcirclesfarm.com/



Liz
Martin: Muddy Fingers Farm



Kathryn
Engel: RK Farms

http://www.puregrassbeef.com/



Lou
Johns: Blue Heron Farm

http://blueheronorganic.com/




ADDITIONAL
BACKGROUND:



Watkins
Glen: Tuesday, December 6th at the Glen Theater

///
Local Film Premiere and Community Conversation on Food and Farming
/// Refreshments at 6:30, film at 7PM.



Finger
Lakes Bioneers will host a screening of
The
Greenhorns
-
a new documentary film that seeks to "embolden, entice and
recruit" people into provisioning the nation. The film is about
an hour in length so there will be plenty of time for discussion.
There will be a panel with audience dialogue and brainstorming on
ways to support local farmers, farming and food processing and a
vibrant and resilient local economy.



Local
Strategies and Possibilities Explored:


The
Seneca Lake landscape increasingly hosts a bounty of produce,
products and agritourism visitors. The local agricultural economy is
strong and getting stronger thanks to the grit, creativity, and
boot-strapping everyday research and determination of a wide spectrum
of the community. Our farmers and other food support system
entrepreneurs of the Finger Lakes have a long history of finding
innovative solutions to the problems they have faced. The current
economic climate is indeed challenging and may be somewhat unique
compared to the recent past, but new trends, new types of markets and
new types of marketing methods are offering opportunities to those
with the initiative to embark upon innovative rural renewal. It will
be demanding and it will mean learning a wide spectrum of skills. Yet
that has always been true of resourceful folks who make their living
from the land. And it is still true that the generations can engage
with and learn from one another. The dilemmas rural residents face
about making vocational choices impacts directly on the viability of
their communities. The potentials of an emerging and re-strengthened
food economy can confer benefits and stability in the Watkins Glen
area's immediate, near and distant future.




Information
exchange is key to the emergence of markets and marketing as we can
see in the region's inspiring and flavorful 'trail mix' options that
help both visitors and producers alike explore wine, cheese, ale,
art, fiber, green energy and more through the seasons. The goal of
this community conversation is to hear some reflections from a few of
the local heroes and to share thoughts about ways to incubate further
success stories close at hand- for young entrants into the scene
especially. We hope to have a free-ranging forum that includes
farming fans, food processors, culinary celebrants, wise sages and
novices, lovers of a good diner and a good donut.



As
the director of the film notes:


"We
want to update the general public's view of farmers into that of
being heroes of our time, so that communities may become invested in
rooting for their success- and even of helping to facilitate that
success."





Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Weeks 3 and 4

We will have the same items available this week as we did the last two weeks (except for no husk cherries). Also very exciting, we saved sweet potatoes for your Thanksgiving eating! YUM!

***Remember: there is no market next week and therefore no CSA pickup. So this week you will need to pick out 10 items (5 items x 2 weeks). Don't worry though, many of our vegetables this time of year will keep just fine for a couple weeks. Actually they'll keep just fine for months!
Happy eating!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Week 2

This week we will have:

Choose 5:


Lettuce


Greens Mix


Peppers


Radishes


Watermelon Radishes


Leeks


Potatoes


Onions


Jerusalem Artichokes


Husk Cherries


Beets


Carrots


Cabbage


Brussels Sprouts


Kale


Chard


Garlic


Winter Squash


Turnips - Hakurei and Red


Rutabegas


Celeriac


Parsnips


(Same selection as last week)


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Week 1 of new CSA

We are so very excited to be offering an extension to our regular season CSA and to be extending the Watkins Glen market into the late fall.

Check back here every week for a list of what vegetables we'll have available.


Choose 5:

Lettuce

Greens Mix

Peppers

Radishes

Watermelon Radishes

Leeks

Potatoes

Onions

Jerusalem Artichokes

Husk Cherries

Beets

Carrots

Cabbage

Brussels Sprouts

Kale

Chard

Garlic

Winter Squash

Turnips - Hakurei and Red

Rutabegas

Caleriac

Parsnips


See you Friday!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Last CSA week

A couple of the beds of chard.
They have provided so abundantly for us this year.
We love how their leaves shine in the sun.

We spent most of the day today harvesting. It is an overall more pleasurable task this time of year. I say this as one who does not care for the heat. And though it rained early this morning before dawn, we did not actually get rained on while harvesting, which is always more pleasurable. But we did get .29 inches of rain this morning and with the soil already saturated one would think we got about 5 inches of rain just by looking at our fields. We can't drive the truck all the way out into the field for fear of it getting stuck - or at least making an even bigger mess - even though its a 4x4!

All of the potatoes are out of the ground now and stored away safely in the cooler. As are all of the watermelon radishes and most of the beets. The only storage crop still left in the field are the carrots. We are leaving them in the ground until after we've gotten a couple nice, solid frosts so they can sweeten up.

With many of our crops stored in our walk-in cooler, once the temperatures outside start dipping into the upper 20s, our refrigeration system will be turned off and instead we will use an incandescent light bulb in the cooler to keep the temperature inside around 33-35 degrees. This will take some trial and error to get the temperature just right - we may only have to have it on at night. And then when it starts getting really cold we may have to put a small heater inside. But we learned last year not to set the heater above the "low" setting. One night when it was going to get down to 10 or 15 degrees, we turned the heater up a bit only to come out before bed to check on it and find the temperature in the cooler to be about 85 degrees! Whoops!

What to expect this week:
We will not have eggplants or peppers
We will have parsnips, cabbage, Brussels sprouts
Everything else will remain as it has been the last few weeks

Don't forget our Nov/Dec CSA option! We still have a few shares available!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Portugese Sausage and Kale Soup

lovely chard!
we tilted the solar panels to their winter position this week (a little late), the panel on the left is still in the summer position, right panel is the angle to catch the low winter rays.


hellooooooooo wet fall! This fall is the perfect bookend to the wet spring that we had. our fields are just about the muddiest, wettest, soppiest mess we have ever seen (they were also this bad this spring, which i guess is what makes it a bookend, i could have done without matching this particular item, though). We are starting to worry that the carrots that we are leaving in the ground to size up a little might rot! YIKES! Also the celeriac, potatoes, parsnips, and more are worrisome.

we've been making some progress on planting the garlic, 7 beds of the 11 or 12 are all done! Today i learned to keep my legs pointed downhill as if they were pointed up hill, water ran into my rain pants and up my legs! IT IS A MESS OUT THERE RIGHT NOW! each garlic is surrounded by its own little puddle.

thanks to all who are interested in the new fall/winter CSA. Spots are filling fast, so don't delay in getting your payment in. If you are not interested in the CSA, you can still make to the trip to Watkins Glen to shop at the new market, right now we have bread, organic beef, dried flowers and wreaths, honey, dried fruit, veggies, local flour, and beans lined up to attend the market!

This week and next week you will see some of the traditional fall foods arrive on our table! The last several years it has been a dance for us to decide when to start bringing them to market. Brussels sprouts and parsnips, as well as kale, and cabbage sweeten with a frost and several freezes can have them at their delectable best! we have not yet had a killing frost here, so these lovely fall delights have not come into their fullest, but, if we delay any longer, you our summer CSA will not get to have them at all, so we have decided that the final two weeks will contain these true signals of fall eating.

if you brought home parsnips and don't know what to do with them, try sauteing them in butter (you can precook them a little first to soften them up, or just saute them with a splash of water at first). or try this recipe from martha stewart living: smashed potatoes and parsnips
heat T of olive oil and cook 1/2 cup parsnips cut into half inch pieces with a 1/4 t salt for five minutes. add 1 1/2 lbs potatoes, cut the same size and 1 1/2 t salt. cover with water. bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until parsnips and potatoes are very tender, but retain shape- 12-14 minutes.

drain. add 1 t thyme leaf to 3 T olive oil to the empty pot. cook until thyme starts to sizzle, 1 minute. add parsnips and potatoes, mash until combined but chunky season with salt and pepper. drizzle with oil.



Portuguese Sausage and Kale Soup



Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups Portuguese Sausage (Linguica or Chourico), about 14 ounces, sliced, 1/2-inch thick
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large potatoes, peeled, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
10 to 12 cups unsalted chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
4 cups curly kale, about 4 ounces, stems trimmed, torn in pieces
2 bay leaves
Salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons Bayou Blast
5 turns ground black pepper
1/3 cup minced fresh mint


Directions
Heat oil in a large pot over high heat. Add Portuguese sausage and onion; cook, stirring, until onions begin to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add potatoes, parsley and garlic. Cook, stirring, 2 minutes.


Add 10 cups stock or broth and kale; heat to a boil. Add bay leaves, salt, thyme, pepper flakes Bayou Blast and black pepper. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are tender, 20 to 25 minutes, adding more stock if necessary.


Skim fat from surface and ladle into large bowls. Top with mint; let stand a minute or two before serving.


*Note: Be sure to use curly kale rather than decorative or ornamental kale. Curly kale, a non-heading member of the cabbage family, has frilly, dark green leaves and is sold in bunches

Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Makes 16 cups


found on FamousFoods.com


have a tremendous week!

Liz and Matthew

Saturday, October 15, 2011

fall's bounty

wish i had thought to take a photo of fall's bounty at market today! People often think that things are winding down as the days shorten, but that is not the case at all! There are a few of the last hanger ons of the warm season summer crops, there are still fresh greens, and roots with fresh edible tops like beets and turnips, there are storage crops that will sustain local eats through the fall and winter and the amalgam of the three makes for a great spread for cooking local foods!

Turnips are the word right now, the lovely white salad turnips shine and if you haven't tried them yet, don't miss out! they are crunchy and sweet and lovely raw or it turns out- cooked! i had always thought they wouldn't stand up to cooking but a CSA member undeterred by my warning tried them cooked, and reported that they are great that way. Bolstered by the report we have since had them roasted with other veggies as well as stir fried. they did hold up! Also this week really pretty red turnips! Nice raw as well as cooked!

A few ideas for your produce!
Try your watermelon radishes in this pretty salad!

Confetti Salad: from the asparagus to zucchini cookbook
3 watermelon radishes
4-6 medium carrots
8 ounces few cheese or substitute fresh chevre
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2-3 T rice wine vinegar
2 T fresh chopped fresh mint
2 T chopped fresh dill
1 T chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste

This is a fun cake that is blushed red, has a hint of the earthy beet flavor, and actually contains more beets than sugar!

Beet chocolate cake:
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 t salt
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
3-4 oz unsweetened chocolate
4 eggs
1/4 cup oil (walnut is nice)
3 cups of shredded beets

heat oven to 325 degrees. grease two 9 inch cake pans. Wisk dry ingredients together. melt chocolate very slowly over low heat or in a double boiler. cool chocolate; blend thoroughly with eggs and oil. Combine flour mixture with chocolate mixture, alternating with beets. Pour into pans. Bake until fork can be removed from center cleanly, 40-50 minutes. from asparagus to zucchini cookbook.


this is a yummy dessert, too! found on the early morning organic CSA blog.
carrot brownie (or aubernies as they are more auburn than brown, since they don't contain any chocolate, but they are nice with a good texture and great flavor!)

1 stick of butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar firmly packed (can be halved)
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
2 eggs
2 cups finely grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

preheat oven to 350.
in saucepan melt butter or margarine, add brown sugar and stir until well blended.
remove from heat, beat in eggs. cool
sift together flour baking powder and salt.
stir butter mixture into flour mixture.
add carrots and walnuts; mix well.
spray or butter a 9X13 pan. fill with brownie mixture.

bake 30 minutes until center springs back when pressed with finger.
cool completely.
frost with cream cheese frosting or dust with powdered sugar, then cut into squares.


happy eating this week! liz and matthew

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Where are the pests?


Our wonderful drip tape winder that Liz built this Spring allows us to easily roll our driptape up for winter storage in large rolls and then just as easily unroll it next spring! Hooray for efficiency and making things easier!


Throughout this past spring and summer, we noticed less pests. Compared to last year we had far fewer cabbageworm butterflies flitting about this growing season. I did not see more than a few Japanese beetles about the farm this year. In autumn we normally have gray aphids congregating on all of our kale plants, but we have not seem a single one this fall. Don't get me wrong, we still have plenty of pests left to complain about - cucumber beetles, squash bugs, voles, rabbits, flea beetles. We just thought it was strange for so many of our usual pests to be missing or reduced in numbers. Did anyone else have similar experiances in their garden? We would love to hear any anecdotal evidence you've observed this year.

Expected vegetables:
The same minus tomatoes, cilantro, beans, and sweet potatoes
Butternut we'll have this week.
Next week look for parsnips, cabbage, and Brussells sprouts

note: I'm unsure why the last post is screwy with the webdings. I already changed the font once and it just reverted right back. Try viewing in Mozilla or something other than Explorer.

Last CSA event of the season: Garlic Planting Sunday October 16 at 2:00
We were worried the rain would not stop in time to prepare the beds for garlic but the past week of sunshine and temoeratures in the mid-70s did it. We were able till the beds today before more rain sets in tonight.
Don't worry if you can't make it right at 2:00. We'll be working for a few hours and you can show up anytime (and leave anytime, too!).

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tropical Fall

farm sunset

At this point it looks like we won't be able to get our last few trays of transplants that we wanted to overwinter under cover will not be able to get planted. In fact if the rain doesn't stop soon, we'll start to get worried about being able to till beds for planting our garlic in a couple weeks. This time of year, with lower temperatures and less sunlight, the soil takes much longer to dry out enough to cultivate it.

Expected vegetables:
Salad mix
Sweet potatoes
Potatoes
Celeriac
Winter Squash - Delicata, Carnival
Chard
Kale
Carrots
Beets
Leeks
Onions
Garlic
Ginger
Eggplant
Peppers
Jerusalem Artichokes
Cilantro
Beans
Husk Cherries
a few tomatoes
a few raspberries
a few cherry tomatoes

Next week: Acorn Squash, Salad Turnips, Watermelon Radishes (they only look like mini watermelons!)

Savory Bread and Cheese Bake

3 T butter
12 oz. crusty bread (French, Italian, sourdough, rye, pumpernickel, whole wheat)
1C grated cheese
1C chopped scallions (Muddy Fingers Farm suggestion: try with Leeks...mmm...)
6 eggs
2 C milk
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 generous T Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put the butter in 2 qt baking dish and place in the oven to melt. When the butter is melted, swirl it around to coat the dish. While the butter melts, cut the bread into 1-inch cubes ( about 6 Cups loosely packed). Place the bread cubes in the buttered baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with cheese and scallions (leek).
Puree the eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and mustard in a blender, or beat the eggs in a bowl and then whisk in other ingredients. Pour the custard over the bread and use a spatula to push the bread down into the custard. Bake covered with aluminum foil for 25 to 30 minutes (depending on the shape and depth of the baking dish). Remove the foil and bake until puffy and golden brown, about 5 minutes.

from Moosewood Simple Suppers

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Almost Autumn



Above: Lettuce transplants for winter harvest.
Liz with the eggplants - taller than her!

Expected vegetables:
Now many of our summer crops are slowing down or done - eggplants, tomatoes, zucchini.
And fall crops are ripening.
This week expect to see potatoes, leeks, onions, garlic, kale, chard, salad mix, carrots, beans, ginger, cilantro, peppers. A few tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, husk cherries. Possibly some edamame.
New this week: delicata squash and celeriac
Next week expect more of the same plus winter squash, sweet potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, beets again

It is the time of the CSA season where we try to force you to take and eat celeriac. For those of you who still resist here's another way to eat it.

Creamy Curried Celery Root Soup

Yield 4 servings

Time 45 minutes

Mark Bittman


Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds celery root, peeled and cut into 1- to 2-inch chunks
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock or water
  • 1/2 to 1 cup cream, half-and-half, or milk, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish
Method
  • 1. Put the butter in a large, deep pot over medium-high heat. When it’s melted, add the onion and garlic and cook until they begin to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the curry powder and cumin and a sprinkle of salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  • 2. Add the celery root and stir just to coat it in the spices, then add the stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat so that the stock bubbles gently and cook, stirring occasionally, until the celery root is fully tender, 15 to 20 minutes more.

  • 3. Cool the mixture slightly, pour into a blender, and purée carefully, or use an immersion blender to purée the soup in the pan. Return the soup to the pan and stir in the cream; reheat if necessary. Taste and adjust the seasoning, and serve garnished with the herb.

Source: The New York Times

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Late Summer


The pictures above are from our friends farm in Vermont whom we visited them last weekend. The fields were completely destroyed after the nearby river jumped its bank and actually changed its course. The river now runs through part of what used to be their field. And the flood deposited a field of rocks and sand and toppled trees in the rest of their former fields. Believe it or not, if those pictures had been taken a few weeks ago you would have seen fertile farmland and literally tons of beautiful vegetables.

Muddy Fingers Farm is still busy. We've been busy every other day trying to get all the harvesting done. Sometimes unsuccessfully. And then we've been busy getting our fall plantings done. And certainly some of the tasks we'd like to get done have been falling by the wayside as we run out of time, energy and daylight. But we are enjoying the cooler temperatures, (over)abundant rainfall, the bounty of the harvest and the anticipation of a beautiful autumn.
The other workers here on the farm are also really busy, too. Every sunny day they are purposefully gathering pollen from the showy goldenrod, purple asters (my favorite), and the flowers of the buckwheat which we have planted as cover crop. And the smell of honey is so thick in the air right now that on a sunny afternoon it can be detected from hundreds of feet away from the hives depending on the direction of the wind.

Happy eating!


Expected vegetables:
Mostly the same, except melons are finished. So are the heirloom tomatoes.
We have eggplants again. Husk Cherries are here too.

Announcement:
Muddy Fingers Farm Fall/Winter CSA

This year we are offering an extension of the CSA season into November and December!

Shares will be picked up at the new Watkins Glen Farmers' Market Winter Market at St. James Episcopal Church on 6th St. in Watkins Glen. The market will be open Fridays evenings (hours not confirmed yet; either 3-6pm or 4-7 pm) in November and December.

The share will consist of 5 items/week and will cost $120.

We plan to have the following vegetables available:

Potatoes, Onions, Winter Squash, Garlic, Brussells sprouts, Carrots, Parsnips, Kale, Chard, Cabbage, Turnips, Radishes, Lettuce Mix, Greens Mix, Beets, Rutabagas, Celeriac, Spinach

Please note: The market will be closed the weeks of Thanksgiving and New Years. We will give out an extra share each week before to make up for these closures.

This is the first year for us doing this and so we are only taking 10 shares. So give it some thought and let us know soon if you're interested.


This recipe comes from a CSA member:


Stuffed Chard with Fresh Marinara

1 Lb. lean ground beef (I used 90% lean)
1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs (I used crumbs with Italian seasonings)
2 medium shallots
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasonings (I don't have so used approx. 1/2 dried basil and 1/2 dried oregano, as I write this I'm wondering why I didn't use the fresh herbs I have in my garden)
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
8 large Swiss Chard leaves, stems removed
1 14 oz. can reduced sodium chicken broth
1 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (I cut up fresh tomatoes)
1/2 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese

1. Gently mix beef, breadcrumbs, 1 Tbl minced shallot, 1/2 tsp. Italian seasonings, garlic powder and 1/4 tsp. pepper in large bowl until combined. Divide the mixture into 8 portions (oblong is suggested)
2. Overlap the two sides of a chard leaf where the stem was removed and place a portion of beef there. Tightly roll the chard around the beef. Place each roll, seam-side down, in a large nonstick skillet. Pour in broth, cover
and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until thermometer (in center of roll) reads 165, approx. 8-10 minutes (I cooked longer to get the leaves nice and tender). Discard any remaining broth.
3. Meanwhile, heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the remaining shallot, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, 1/4 tsp. paper and crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the shallot is soft - approx. 1-2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and cook, until slighted reduced and thickened, about 8 minutes (a bit longer if using fresh tomatoes). Serve the Chard rolls topped with sauce and parmesan cheese.

4 servings, 2 rolls each.

Nutrition per serving: 388 calories; 16 g fat (5 g saturated); 43 mg cholesterol; 32 g carbohydrate

Original recipe came from Eatingwell.com; you'll see I took some liberties (which I often do).

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

end of august



our "newphouse" right now



a pepper eye view of the world



rainbow cherry tomaoes!

What a week it has been! Reminiscence have been heavy on hurricanes and luck and how hard it really is to rebuild a strong local food network. Almost six years ago, we were third year farmers on brand new land, but with two years of farming under our belts. It was bone dry, we wept in the fields several times at how dry it was- would rain every come? Would we be able to pay our bills? Could we remain farmers, or would we have to give up this occupation that had its hooks deep into us? Hurricane Katrina, swept through new Orleans, breached the levies leaving ruination there, moved up the country and deposited 5 glorious inches of rain onto our rented land in Montour Falls. The season and our farming careers were saved by that event. I still think today that we would not have been able to be farmers today if not for that storm.

On Sunday our dear friends Kara and Ryan at evening song farm (third year farmers but on a brand new piece of land) were treated to the other kind of luck with a hurricane. They were having a great season producing amazing produce and building a new community around their farming venture, and then hurricane Irene swept through Vermont causing a levy to breach, the river that flowed alongside their farm now flows through where their fields used to be. Their greenhouse and all their fields are now under the new course of the water. The newly purchased and installed irrigation system now is buried under the new route of the Mill River and they have now lost not only all of their crops (and income for the rest of the year), but their land as well. Luck is so cruel and it seems hurricanes bringeth and they taketh away. We hope that they have clarity as they decide their paths forward and community support to help them as they recollect, relocate, and restart. www.eveningsongcsa.com shows what they are facing. We are currently focusing as much postive energy as we can their way and will be sending what other aid we can soon. We are so impressed at how organized they have been in laying out what help they need from their community and can only hope that we would show the same resiliance if an equal time of trial were to come to our lives. I do hope their community is steps up to their aid.



In mudddy fingers farm CSA news, there will be no Watkins Glen Market on friday the 9th as the park will be filled with race cars. If you did not receive and email about the alternate plans, please let us know.

Hard to believe but our thoughts turn to winter at this time of year, that's because the window for planting things that will be harvestable before winter is closed or very quickly closing, as the days shorten plants start to grow with less vigor than they did in the extended days of June and July, suddenly the evening is shorter and the shadows longer sooner, even though there is still lots of nice days left in the year, in september we start to think of fall, and eating like its fall. in september we start to bring some fall crops forward, you will see leeks coming every week very soon (we have occasionally brought them up to now), celeriac will make an appearance fairly soon and winter squash too will be showing up before long quite soon our kitchens will be full of the simmers of soups and stews.

For those who want to simmer tomato sauces right now, we have paste tomatoes in good quantity right now and are glad to sell you a half bushel sized box so you can make sauce for the winter. (Sauce tomatoes are bred to make sauce as they are dense and less juicy than other tomatoes and so don't need to be cooked for as long to make a thick sauce, we have red and white- white sauce!?!)

we are arranging and will let you know when our last CSA events of the year will be, check your email in the next week to get them on the calendar. I hope to schedule the ever popular perogie making day and then of course a garlic planting day, and then the season will be done before we know it.

before then, look out for fresh ginger! We begin harvesting in the first week of september and hope to have it for about six weeks! There have been lots of people asking lately and it will soon make its appearance!

keep eating the good stuff,
liz and matthew

Monday, August 15, 2011

over the hump! the wednesday of the season...



at least that's what it feels like. we seem to have passed the hump of the summer. we are at week 11 of 22 for the CSA, so we are halfway through the season! the worst heat of the last few weeks has cooled and there has even been a hint of lingering coolness in the shady spots well into the late morning a few days this week. (but just a hint, it is still august after all!)

the pond still has some water in it for irrigation needs, but the pressure for water is less what the temperature is lower, so it feels like what is still in there should last us the rest of the season. and we had a nice rain over the weekend, getting more than an inch in the rain gauge for the first time in a few weeks.

we were lucky to have no rain on friday night so the meteor watching event was undisturbed by the weather. the moon was quite bright but a few meteors were spotted as they streaked through the sky and we had a nice campfire and some yummy snacks to eat while sat around it. thanks to those who came and slept out with us!

if you didn't hear about the event, let us know perhaps you are not on our email list for some reason!

it seems that the heirloom tomato season will be a short one this year, as the plants are looking like they will not be with us for the long haul, but they will be producing for us for a few weeks more at any rate. make sure to enjoy them in all their colored beauty while they are still with us.


veggies:
tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, squash, beets, chard, kale (back after a couple of weeks off), baby leeks, sweet and regular onions, beans, basil, and fingerling potatoes.

try this yummy recipe for eggplants and squash!
slice asian eggplants, squash, and peppers into bite sized pieces. slice a shallots thinly, toss all in a baking dish. toss wiht olive oil, salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar. bake 10-15 min. stir and toss with cut up basil leaves. bake another 10-15 minutes until soft. enjoy. we had this with pesto pasta the other night and it was nice!~

have a good week! liz and matthew

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Week 10?

Sorry no new pictures. Our staff photographer is on vacation apparently this week.

I am happy to report that a gentle rain is falling outside right now (which is why I'm not outside planting!). We are grateful for that and the radar currently looks like like more is on its way. Sorry for all you weekenders who had big plans for today, but not everybody can be happy with the weather all the time.

The farm is looking really messy right now. This is mostly because the weedeater we normally use to keep the paths mowed is STILL in the shop awaiting a new carburater. AGHH! This makes harvesting more difficult as we have to wade through the weeds.
But at least we have had lots to harvest in the last two weeks! And now the share size is up to 8 items, and we hope that it will stay at that number for the remainder of the season!

For those members in Elmira, Grove Park Farmers' Market now has a presence on Facebook. It is in the development stage as each vendor starts to add postings of what products they will have available. Here at Muddy Fingers Farm we are Facebook novices, so we will be learning our way around it and I will post a link to the market's facebook page here on the newsletter blog just as soon as I figure out how to!
We have squash blossoms. This is a new crop for us this year that we wanted to try out.
A couple squash blossom recipes that we have not yet tried:

What you’ll need:
6 medium squash blossoms – washed, cleaned and trimmed
2 cups Ricotta – room temperature
1 tablespoon flat leaf Italian Parsley – chopped fine
1 tablespoon Basil – chopped fine
2 large eggs – beaten
1 cup flour – or enough to dredge
Vegetable/Canola oil – enough to fry
salt/pepper

What to do:
1. Place a few inches of oil {enough to submerge blossoms} into a deep sided pot or fry machine and heat to 350 degrees.

2. Place the Ricotta and herbs into a small bowl and mix well to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer into a pastry bag or zip lock bag and set aside.

3. Set up your dredging station by placing the beaten eggs into a small bowl and the flour into a separate bowl. Set aside.

3. Wash and clean the squash blossoms and gently pat them dry. GENTLY pull back the tops of the blossoms, insert the pastry bag/ziplock bag and GENTLY squeeze enough of the Ricotta mixture in to fill the blossom without bursting it. GENTLY twist the tops of the blossoms to seal. Continue until all blossoms are filled.

4. Dredge the blossoms into the egg mixture and then coat with the flour. Tap off any excess flour. Continue until all blossoms are dredged.

5. Place blossoms into the heated oil and cook until golden {this will only take a few minutes} When golden, transfer blossoms to a plate lined with paper towels to soak up any excess oil and you can season them lightly with salt while they’re still warm. They’re best eaten when still warm.

Source www.bellalimento.com

Squash Blossom Quesadillas
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 poblano pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced
10 squash blossoms
1/2 cup chicken stock
3 sprigs fresh epazote, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 flour tortillas
1/4 pound grated Mexican white cheese
Olive oil, butter or margarine, for cooking

1. Heat a large saute pan with a little oil and saute the onion, garlic, and the roasted poblano pepper for 5 minutes, until the onions have become translucent. Then, add the squash blossoms and deglaze with chicken stock. Add the epazote, and cook for another 5 minutes until squash blossoms have wilted. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside to cool.

2. To compose the quesadilla, lay two of the tortillas on a flat surface. Distribute the cheese equally on both tortillas. Then, spread 1/2 of the squash blossom filling over the cheese. Cover with the other tortillas, place on heated griddle or nonstick saute pan with a little olive oil, butter or margarine, and cook for about 3 minutes on each side. When golden brown on each side, remove and cut into quarters.

Source: Adapted from recipe demonstrated by Aaron Sanchez
of the Food Network’s show, Melting Pot.

New items this week
Leeks
Tomatillos
Purple potatoes
Squash blossoms
plus more of the same

Sunday, July 31, 2011

week 9 is fine!

this week i have been thinking about the choices we make consciously and unconsciously each time we lift a fork to our mouths. i appreciate how carefully our CSA members and customers think about their food choices and am always glad that they have chosen us to provide the foods that they eat. What got me thinking about food choices lately is that a shopper made a comment about not shopping for vegetables from some farms at the market because they raised animals for meat as well. as a strong proponant for local farms, the comment stuck with me and i started to think about how it depended what the alternative is.

if rather than support a local farmer who raises animals, the choice is vegetables shipped from california from a giant farm which is bound to the earth, is the choice necessarily a better one? though i have not researched it, i have the funny feeling that this large farm would be owned by a huge food conglomerate that also owns and runs factory farms and/or their enormous feed lots, and/or slaughter houses. now the animals production portion is not on the same land, i imagine, but nonetheless would be controlled and would profit the owners of the vegetable producing component as well. just a much larger more complicated and more profitable version of the small farmer selling a mix of veggies and meats.

the consolidation and aggregation of the food in our country in the hands of several very large players means that most of the food dollars we spend go eventually to the hands of just a few big players (3 percent of the nations farms supply 75 percent of the nations food). all the problems of low wages to farm workers, the environmental cost of shipping food 1500 miles before it is consumed, the low food quality of food that is several days old when it arrives in the store all add up to weigh against this california grown food.

the choice conscious or not must be made. What is the bottom line for me? (animal welfare, global climate change, pollution of waterways with farm runoff) what do i value about local farms, or what value do they provide to my community? does this outweigh the fact that i disagree with raising animals for meat? Or with using pesticides? Or with using fertilizers? or whatever the thing we disagree with. for i know lots of local farms that spray no pesticides on their fruits (and veggies)but use round up to clear weeds from around them. (fruit is a great case study, it is notoriously hard to grow tree fruit organically in the humid northeast united states where disease grows in the water droplets on the leaves . here in the empire state, is it better to get local apples (from growers who spray) or is it better to buy certified organic apples that travel from desert dry washington state (where trees are irrigated with water from the much battled over salmon rivers in an area that is too dry to naturally grow fruit trees.)

as i have thought about the conundrum, it becomes obvious to me that food is very complex and the choices we make about where we get it, how we cook it, and how much we eat of it could consume us all day. one thing is for sure, though- when buying from a local farm, we have the chance to talk to the farmer who produced our food and ask them about the choices they made about their operation and voice concerns as consumers of the food, about why they choose to use pesticides, or herbicides, or to raise animals for food. and listening to what they answer can help us understand how complex producing food can be. and as producers explaining to our eaters can help us understand what eaters worry about and can help us always keep moving toward more perfect systems.


this week was not just full of thiking of food issues, it was also full of garlic harvesting and hanging. it nice to have all of it out of the ground and drying stuck through the slats of our greenhouse tables (photo next week). it feels nice to have that big task behind us. we are honestly quite vain about our garlic and pride ourselves on growing nice big heads. alas, this year we have produced just normal sized heads but given the fact that they were almost underwater for several weeks this spring and then had almost no rain for several weeks this summer, we are glad to have gotten a crop at all, and we will just have to let our heads shrink down to regular size this year along with the garlic's heads.

this week try making a deliciouse coleslaw with cilantro:
one head of cabbage
one bunch cilantro cut finely (half may be enough)
large ground salt
mayonaise (try 2-4 Tablespoons)
drizzle of lime juice or vinegar
drizzle of olive oil
fresh ground pepper.

grate cabbage and toss with other ingredients. allow to chill and serve.


hope you have a great week and hope for some more rain here!
liz and matthew

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The New Normal

As climate change begins to affect us in unpredictable and traumatic ways, we begin to wonder what extreme weather events are results thereof and which are just our usual weather variations. Whenever I hear scientists discuss global climate change, they are reluctant to say any particular weather event is a direct result of climate change. But as the reports of droughts and floods, tornadoes and hurricanes, extreme heat waves and burying snow storms pile up around the world I can't help but think that the warnings about the future of the planet are already coming true.

So is this the new normal for our area: extremely wet springs with tornadoes in upstate New York and then equally dry summers with temperatures in the 100s.

If it is, we like to think that small, diverse, organic farms are uniquely suited to survive these trying times.

As an aside here are a couple of my climate change pet peeves. They are mainly PR issues. First, calling it "global warming" - because, hey, who would mind the earth 1 or 2 degrees warmer? Not a big deal right? In fact that sounds pretty attractive in the middle of February. Also, raise your hand if the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear the words "global warning" or "climate change" is a polar bear. People need to realize that, while the extinction of the polar bears will be a tragedy, it will be just one of many. And climate change will have much more immediate and tangible effects on the world's human population (and ecosystems).

Available vegetables:
Tomatoes
Lettuce
Beet greens
Eggplant
Cucumbers
Potatoes
Onions
Beans (Dragon Tongues are in)
Peppers
Basil
Parsley
*new - mint
raspberries
chard
kale
squash
pickling cucumbers

next week
same plus
beets
sweet onions
lettuce mix
carrots??

Here's a cool salad:

Tomato Basil and Pasta Salad:
3 Lbs Tomatoes (about 4 large)
1 T kosher or sea salt
1 lb. Pasta such as penne, bowties, elbows, ect.
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
About 30 basil leaves
3 T good quality vinegar- balsamic or red wine
Salt and fresh ground pepper

Cut tomatoes in half and squeeze out the seeds. Coarsely chop and toss with the salt. Put in colander to drain for ½ hour.
Cook pasta until al dente. While still hot, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

week 7



this is what it looks like around here on a harvest morning.



our first experience with tomato wilt. We have had to pull a few plants, maybe ten, not a lot on the grand scale of things, hopefully it will not spread any further...




onions bulbing up!




ducks at king bird farm, glad to get to see another farm during the busy time of year, went on a tour over the weekend!


hello happy (we hope) eaters!
we wanted to take a moment and let people know that due to the generosity of you, our members we now have six low income families getting half price CSA shares. It has been super fun to see people's faces light up when they get to pick their items at the market. we feel really rewarded to know that those low income folks are getting to be involved in our farm. the exclusion of poorer members of our community due to the initial cost has always been a concern for us, and we were wowed and warmed by the number of people who choose to give extra money to subsidize a low income family.

we were also surprised at how hard we had to work to find families to join at half price. We started the journey to low income members four months before the CSA started, with the thought that people could pay $50 per month and that would not be too much of a strain on the budget. We sent a letter to everyone who gets food from the food bank in our county. got some interest but no members. We visited the food pantry three times (two locations), went to headstart, talked to office of the aging, went to the WIC office hours and tabled twice, and yet didn't have a single person willing to try the half price CSA concept! Finally we started talking to everyone at the watkins market especially people who we knew we had received food stamps from in the past and we asked the managers to get the word out. We were glad through word of mouth that we filled them all! but our eyes were really opened to many of the factors affecting those in our community with less financial resources.


new this week:
you'll see the first of the pickling cucumbers coming in soon. don't think they aren't tasty and delicious just because you don't plan on pickling them!

still here:
chard, kale, lettuce, scapes are still sticking around somehow, fresh onions, summer squash and zucchini, tomatoes (a few cherry tomatoes), cucumbers, parsley, basil, and new potatoes!

try this yummy quinoa tabouli recipe from the greenleaf:
1 cup quinoa
1 tsp coarse salt
fresh ground black pepper
1 cup flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup fresh mint or 1/4 cup dried
4 scallions
4 T lemon juice
4 T extra virgin olive oil
1 large ripe tomato

rinse quinoa well. bring to a boil covered in 2 cups salted water. cook over very low heat until water is absorbed (~15 min)
chop herbs and onions
remove quinoa from heat, remove lid cover with a clean towel, replace lid. allow to cool, fluff with fork.

combine with herbs, onions, lemon juice, olive oil and pepper serve at room temperature.


planning a jam making event here in july, word will come by email in the next day or so. have a super week!
liz and matthew

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Week 6



As many of you know, Debra Whiting died in an automobile accident last week. She was the owner and executive chef at Red Newt Bistro here in Hector. It was in this capacity that we got to know her. She was always excited by whatever vegetables we had to offer her. And she always seemed to have so much energy. She was so great to work with. We also were aware that she was an avid supporter of local farms and other local businesses - she served as chair of the boards of Finger Lakes Culinary Bounty and Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce. But we did not know her personally all that well and we did not realize just how much of an integral part of the larger community she was until we attended the memorial celebration on Tuesday at the Red Newt.
Cars were parked a half mile both up and down Tichenor Rd. as overflow from the parking lot. And the line of people waiting to sign the registry was about 200 feet long for probably almost an hour. And it was impressive to learn about all of the other activities she was involved in. It was nice to know there are so many people to support her family.
So our community has a giant piece missing from its heart. This void will certainly take a long time to fill. Debra will be missed for a very long time.

The farm is doing well. We have been lax the past couple months about setting up our irrigation system for the year since we thought we might never need it! But the last week has been hot, sunny, dry and windy. So the last couple evenings we have been laying driptapes and turning on the irrigation. And yesterday evening we were feeling so jealous as we watched two large storms pass us - one just to our north and one just to our south. So when my sister and her boyfriend showed up at the farm drenched after picking cherries in a downpour at the orchard less than a mile south of our place, we were a little miffed. But we figured that's just how summer thunderstorms are. And then last night we were awoken at 2:30 by the sound of a torrential downpour. This is always a nice surprise for farmers in the middle of the summer's dry spells. So we smiled sleepily and then laid back down to sleep.

This week's expected vegetables
Green beans
Cucumbers
Beets
Green Onions
Eggplant
Summer Squash and Zucchini
Chard
Kale
Basil
Scapes
New Potatoes
Raspberries
Lettuce
a few tomatoes

next week...
more of the same
perhaps some carrots


Refrigerator Sun Pickles: makes 1 quart
Cucumbers to fill a quart jar
2-2 3/4 cups vinegar (white or cider)
1 Sprig Fresh Dill
1 clove garlic, chopped.

Wash cucumbers. Cut ¼ inch off of each end. If cucumbers are large, slit them into quarters within ¼ inch of the ends. The cuts allow the vinegar to penetrate the cucumbers and in larger cucumbers, make it easier to divide the pickles into spears. If they are not cut, the centers will not be crisp.
Pack the cucumbers as they are prepared into the jar vertically. Don’t over pack by stuffing in too tightly. Add dill and garlic, then add vinegar until it completely covers the cucumbers.
Expose the jar to sunlight for 2 days for a total of at least 14 hours of sunlight. Chill and eat. These pickles must be stored in the refrigerator. And they are really, really good!

*If you wish to use salt, add 1 teaspoon salt to 2 cups water and decrease vinegar to 1 cup.

from Stocking Up, third edition Carol Hupping and the staff of the Rodale Food Center.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

week five

hello lovely folks. the eating has turned to summer foods and none too soon for us! summer food is easy, quick and everyone seems to know what to do with these firm little beauties. we are glad to be harvesting our summer squash and zucchini, green beans *but not every day this week*, new potatoes (though some of you saw them last week), the first few tomatoes and a nice amount of cucumbers from the new hoophouse (for convenience around here slangified to newphouse). what's left of our raspberry patch is starting to produce and you will start to see little boxes of those gems showing up at market soon!

thanks to those who made the party, for those who didn't, here is a mini tour of the farm...











what are the white spots on the tomato leaves? we get that alot, its a fine white clay that helps keep cucumber beetles off of cucumbers (the cukes are next to the tomatoes, not pictured)



this week's veggies:
squash
lettuce and or mix
chard and kale
cucumbers
tomatoes (not lots yet)
green beans
parsley and basil
eggplants from the hoophouse (not to be confused with the newphouse, which is why we make the distinction )
and of course garlic scapes which won't be around much longer, maybe 10 days....


simple bruschetta to honor the first tomatoes
we had this the other night and it was tasty!
tomato chunked up
basil and or parsley sliced finely
drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. serve with crusty bread or with fresh mozzerella.

have a delicious week!
liz and matthew

Monday, June 20, 2011

Welcome summer!



lettuce under shade cloth- a new thing we are trying this year...

Week four starts thursday
All of you husk cherry fanatics out there can relax!
After an exhaustive search we were able to locate some plants from our friends in Vermont at Evening Song Farm. They were the leftover plants that they had after planting their husk cherry bed. Kara and Ryan - if you read this "Thanks again!" The harvest will be delayed a few weeks for sure, but they are in the greenhouse so it should also be extended a few weeks!

It sure has been a joy to be able to work outside the last few weeks - the weather has been wonderful - not too hot and just the right amount of rain.

Thank you to all of our CSA members for your patience. We know June is always a difficult time when you pick up your CSA share and get mostly greens. And this year the selection has been especially sparse. We are confident that we will make up for it with a bountiful summer and autumn (though I hope I didn't just jinx myself).

don't forget about the "welcome summer" party on saturday night, we had a terrible spring and are so ready to move onto summer, so starting at seven we will have a dessert potluck that should be delightful! Farm walks and tours in the cool of the evening- the best time of day around here by far! lightning bugs will make their nightly appearance, see the solar panels and ask questions to the installers, see our brush clearing crew of two goats and the great job they are doing of clearing out invasive brush. See our new hoophouse and the tomatoes and cucumbers twining up the strings in there, chat with other CSA members and friends of the farm and a campfire to boot! we hope you can make it to come see the farm, we are anticipating a nice evening!

have a good week,
matthew and liz

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Week 3


transplanting celeriac into hay mulch

dead raspberry plant

cucumbers in our hoophouse....coming soon!

As we went about our work this past week we noticed that the farm is starting to actually look like a vegetable farm again. Crops are putting on growth quickly now and there is hope that somewhere in the near future we will have more interesting crops to look forward to harvesting.

In the process we also noted two very disappointing things.
First a large swath of our raspberries have been killed by phytophthora root rot this spring. This means that we will have less raspberries available this year (and next). This disease has been especially bad in the raspberries this year as a result of the wet spring.

Second, the husk cherries that we thought we planted in our greenhouse have turned out to be tomatillos. When they are young the plants look very similar and it was only this past week that we noticed the mistake. We don't know if we planted the wrong seed by mistake or if the seed was mis-packed by the seed company. We are currently desperately seeking some husk cherry plants from area farmers, but at this point the outlook is not good. We know that we have quite a few husk cherry fans out there and we will be very disappointed if we are unable to provide them this year.

Despite how slow the vegetables are coming in this year, we are glad to know that our local foodshed is getting stronger all the time, and we appreciate that we are able to tap into some other local people who are working to get good food out there to plump the share up a little.

We are thrilled to be able to distribute and get the word out about our friends' Steve and Michael's new business venture-Culinary Kiosk, www.culinarykiosk.com (some of you may know Steve Kettelle who runs Hendy Hollow Farm near Elmira). This week they were kind enough to allow us to distribute certified organic herbs in the share, we had a nice selection and if you missed them this week, we have a few left that you can get this week, ask at the booth.) If you liked them get more at the website, they also have certified organic coffee and soon sauces.


Another thing that we are excited about is that there are new vendors at all of the farmers market's that we attend!
at the Grove Park market in Elmira, we have last years staple vendors:
The flower lady with organic flower bouquets as well as veggies and tomato plants

Silver Queen farm with fruits and vegetables- get your strawberries now or you pick your own at their farm they are open 8-8 everyday and the picking is great right now and the warmth last week made the season come on fast and may make it shorter, so don't delay, (we went today)! (6O7-387-65O2)

new vendors this year are providing lovely wooden handcrafts, baked goods, plants, meat and eggs:

We have the Ort Family farm who has delicious baked goods including shortcake this week (to go with your strawberries)as well as a wide variety of herb and vegetable plants. They also have free range chicken, duckling, turkey, goose, and eggs. Grass fed beef and lamb, pastured pork, and farm raised rabbit are also available from the Ort family farm.

Heritage Pastures farm name sums it up well, they raise heritage breed animals on pasture and they come to market with fresh chicken, turkey,and pastured pork. Benjamin also makes beautiful wooden items for sale as well. check them out for sure.

At the corning farmers market, a new vendor of note is flour city pasta www.flourcitypasta.com they use local and organic ingredients in their locally produced, organic artisanal pasta and they have a beautiful display of shapes, sizes, and colors of pasta! (the flour in some of their pastas are from the same farm as the flour you can get in your share)

At the Watkins Glen farmers' market we have several new vendors as well. Sheepskin, eggs, plants and more from Wolftree farm. Hilker haven farm has quite a spread of jams for sale including some really unusual varieties (ginger is really gingery, and horseradish is interesting...)

We had been feeling a little down with the raspberry and husk cherry situations but this week we have felt really supported by our community with three different baked goods coming our way in the last few days and we even had a friend come by with dinner in the back of the car, so we got a tailgate dinner on sunday night!

Anyway, to further perk up our spirits, we are having our June CSA event, we will be having a bonfire and dessert potluck on Saturday june 25th. Come on by to see the farm as it shapes up to look like something for the summer. Meet our goats, look at the solar system, and most importantly meet other CSA members as you listen to the frogs trill and watch the lightning bug displays start for the evening. Bring a dessert to share and a chair. Hope to see you here, starts at 7 ends when the embers go out.

Expected vegetables this week:
lettuce
lettuce mix
chard
kale?
baby carrots
garlic scapes
snow peas?

Next week's expected vegetables:
lettuce
lettuce mix
chard
kale
carrots
garlic scapes
new potatoes
summer squash
snow peas?
beans?


have a good week,
liz and matthew

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Week 1

Welcome to the Ninth season of Muddy Fingers Farm! Wow time flies when you are having fun! Thanks to those of you who are back for the ninth serving of fresh veggies, hard to believe we have been together for so long thanks for your renewed faith each spring!

it is so good to see your lovely faces returning and meet new members each year to our stand this and each spring after a winter apart, it bolsters our spirits to remember who it is who will be eating the food the our fields produce!

Speaking of the foods we produce, as you all know it was a cool wet spring, the affects of which will be felt for weeks, but for now, all of the plants that we rapidly outgrowing their cells and eager to be tranplanted are in the ground. the overflow tables are almost empty of plants for our farm, but there are still plants for your gardens if you want them, next week will be your last chance for tomatoes and peppers, but we may have basil and lettuce for two more weeks, depending how well they go. There are also cucumber and zucchini plants for the next week or if they last two.

We may be caught up with planting but the weeds are still ahead, so this week will involve cultivating (using a tractor pulled implement to cut weeds off just below the surface) and putting our tomato cages up around those quickly growing plants.

We wanted to take a moment and remind you where the organic beans and flour come from. The beans are from Cayuga Pure Organics in Brooktondale, right now we have black and pinto beans. We just think it is so fantastic that someone is growing organic beans and we want to help spread them around the food shed. We should have them all season a pound is a share. http://www.cporganics.com/live/


The flour is from Farmer ground flour which is Cayuga Pure Organics and Oeschner Farm in Newfield. They bought an old mill in Trumansburg and are grinding their own grains. This is so fantastic that we had to bring some of it to you! We have All purpose flour and whole wheat, a share is two pounds (five pound bags can be taken and count as two items). We also intend to have that all season. farmergroundflour.squarespace.com/

As I write this, snow is floating down in the sunset. Not actual snow, but cottonwood tufts, a nice reminder that its June and of all the things that happen in June. Of course there are the bird nests. I am watching the second robin's nest grow, four hungry beaks in the garden shed whenever we enter to get a shovel or rake, there they are begging us to stuff a worm in there! I've been tempted, but don't know the bird Heimlich, so have controlled the urge! Also two wrens with their sassy little tails and petite little eggs. A tree swallow and several barn swallows. The daisy's are just about to start popping in the orchard, their cheery little heads complement the little fruit that is growing every day. We hope to get a small crop from some of those young trees this year.

Its nice to smell like tomato plants again, but not so nice to see the ever present green marks on our towels starting to form, perhaps we should just own green towels for the summer. (Tomato plants leave an oily green film on your hands especially when you touch lots of them like we tend to, it is persistent and hard to wash off, read a great article in growing for market about what that stuff is http://www.growingformarket.com/articles/green-powder-on-tomato-plants

What is in the share this week:
Lettuce (lots of kinds and lots of it)
lettuce mix
red veined spinach
radishes
frisee (a slightly bitter green)
plants for you to grow
flour
beans

no recipe this week, make salad! Serve with slivered almonds, onion, and raisins, YUM!

thanks for supporting our farm, see you at the market!
liz and matthew

Friday, April 29, 2011

A few more pictures






Solar panels



Drilling the holes for the poles








Concrete pump truck - it can pump the concrete about 100 feet. And its operated remotely with the controls he's wearing around his waist. Wow! Neither of us had ever seen one of these before. Its pretty amazing to watch the hydraulics unfold in the air.





Well, we've had a whole 24 hrs with no rain (fingers crossed, knock on wood, etc.).
So we've been pulling weeds - yes - weeds have already started growing. Unfortunately we've not had a chance to use our new cultivation equipment. Its just been too wet even for that.
But our blueberries bushes and little pawpaw trees have been mulched.
With most of our tilling, seeding and transplanting being delayed, we may be asking for some help possibly next weekend with transplanting. If the ground dries out this week we will need to begin transplanting onions, broccoli, cabbage, kale and chard. We'll update you next week on whether this will be possible or not. We realize this would be very short notice, but unfortunately we don't have control over this. But also if the weekend doesn't work for you, we would welcome help any day you want to come up and get your hands dirty. Just give a call ahead of time. If we get a few more sunny, warm, windy, rain-free days, we will be able to till and the plants will be going in the ground.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Tilling OK!

We just got in from tilling. We were able to get 12 more beds prepared (with our new tiller!).
We didn't think it would be dry enough, but it was - just barely (except for a few low spots).

April showers

These are the racks that will be mounted on large poles. The solar panels will be mounted on the racks.

This ditch will be for the electric to run from the panels to the inverter in our basement.

One of the few beds we have been able to get planted. These are lettuce transplants that were beaten by the wind and snowed upon after they were transplanted. They still look good though!


We know of a farming couple that say they that whenever customers ask about how the farm or business is going, they always say "Superb", "Wonderful". I guess that's because farmers have a reputation or stereotype that they complain too much - mainly about the weather.
So I don't want to complain too much, but I will be honest - this has been the wettest, coldest spring since we started farming ten years ago.
The rain we've been having at least every few days means that the soil has not had a chance to dry out properly. This means that we cannot get into the fields to prepare our vegetable beds. If we try to operate the rototiller in the soil when it is wet we will end up with "smeary" soil that will form into chunks that will be as hard as rocks when it dries. Vegetables need loose crumbly soil in which to form their roots and that kind of damage could take years to amend.
So mostly we wait. We had one afternoon when part of our field was dry enough to till, so we took advantage of it and got some beds prepared and planted. Last year we got our first beds planted April 5 - this year it was almost two weeks later. I will attempt to till a few more beds this afternoon before more rain sets in tonight, but it may be too wet. And the forecast for next week has showers every day. It has also been quite cold with some snow showers, so we are not sure even that the seeds we did get in the ground will actually germinate or if they will rot in the ground.
The one comforting thought is that we know all the other farmers in the area are experiencing the same frustrations and we'll get through it together!
What this means is that when (if?) the soil does dry out we will have a lot of planting (3-4 weeks worth) to do all at once.

On a happier note, installation has commenced on our solar panels! See pictures above.
Check back in a couple days for more pictures.