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:
lettuce and or mix
chard and kale
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, (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 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 mix
baby carrots
garlic scapes
snow peas?

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

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.

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.

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

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

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