Monday, June 30, 2008

1st week of July Share

tomatoes a coming!
nest in orchard
two headed snake? no, just a happy couple!

BLACK CAPS are in! Look along the scrubby edge of the woods, the back edge of yards, or along a building and you may well find the little black raspberries that are so seedy and yet so tasty!

This is the time of year for another annual event as well. Every year as the barn swallow chicks that were born in the nest in the carport attached to our house begin to get close to leaving the nest, the parents begin a relentless vigil on our cat, Pumpkin. She can not travel to any spot outside of our house with out a noisy mess of bird divebombing at her head. She seems to take it all in stride and hardly seems to notice that there are birds swooping within a foot of her head. The handy side effect is that if she is waiting to come in through the back door, all of the bird noise acts like a kind of personalized feline doorbell and when we hear the rucus we let her in.

When I pulled in from market on friday night Matthew was sitting outside finishing up his weekly phone call to his parents and shelling peas. I joined him and we enjoyed the gentle evening breeze that was wonderfully cool after a brief but intense rain storm (2 inches in 45 minutes). The lightning bugs were putting on a terrific show and the tree frogs were providing the music to the event. It was just a great end to a busy week and a perfect evening to be alive.

But to be honest- lately, we have been having a lot of perfect weather. Its been raining plenty, but not too much. Its been warm enough, but not too hot and its been about the right temperature for both the cool season crops (like lettuce, which doesn't like to be too hot) as well as warm season crops (like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and squash). But I know that eventually it will be hot again and I am thinking of planting another shade tree outside of our house.

Last year I wrote in the newsletter how we keep our house nice and cool with no air conditioner and some people mentioned that it was helpful, so i think a few things bear repeating. This is how we manage our home in the summer. We open the windows at night and draw the cool air in. It helps to open an upstairs window and face a fan out, also open the down stairs windows and we put a fan in our bedroom window, all of this helps to draw the hot air out and the cool air in. In the morning, shut the windows, and curtains or blinds to lock that cool air in the house for the day and also to keep the sun from warming the house up. Having shade trees around the house, but especially on the south and west sides of the house can help to keep the house nice and cool even on blistering hot days, of course the better insulated the house is, the better it holds that cool night air inside.

When it is in the 90s outside, we enjoy our lunch inside in the mid 70s. We are lucky the some hundred years ago someone planted several shade trees on the south side of our house. But, the west side of our house has quite a large older window that gets a lot of sun. By the time the sun has slid lower in the sky, the house begins to warm up a little bit. We could either buy an awning for this window which would help to keep more of the heat out, or we could put a thicker or more insulated curtain on the window to help block that afternoon sun better, or to keep the sun off of most of the house, we could plant a shade tree, it will have to be a decidious tree so that in the winter, the leaves won't block either the lovely sunset or the last warming rays that we keep the curtains open to recieve. I know that I just said our other trees were planted a hundred years ago, but it doesn't have to take that long, trees will help even in ten years or so. An arbor with grapes on it would be a fast and tasty way to block the sun from our house, and i guess that its something to think about.
At any rate, if you have a hot house, a hot time of day, or a high electricity bill from paying to cool your house with the windows and blinds open. Maybe these ideas will help you, too. Plant a shade tree, it will take a few years to grow, but it will beautify your home and make add value to it, even if you move in seven years (the average in the US) and don't get to enjoy the shade you've made. Buy the biggest tree you can afford, or if you don't have any money in your tree budget right now, we have lots of little oaks, maples, and ashes springing up all over the place. We'd be glad to let you dig one or more and bring it home to baby it. I have my eye on a sugar maple that could be moved and i have been scoping out the right spot every afternoon after i notice the house starting to warm up a little.
Last week's trivia answer for those who were pondering it and didn't post an answer, it was radicchio -- a slightly bitter green that's great in salad, it looks like an exotic red cabbage, and last years members may remember it when it show up again in a few weeks.
How about another trivia for this week? What three things do we grow that we plant the same portion that we eat. All three of these things happen to be planted in the same field this year, and they are the only things planted there.
We had great time having the Fromer Family up to the farm on sunday to pick their own, thanks for coming up, it was fun to walk around and see all the sight through the eyes of two little ones!
If you'd like to pick your own peas, beans, or wildflowers. Call or email the first time so we can show you where things are.
Don't forget July 19th's CSA event, get it on the calendars now!
This week's share:
Garlic Scapes
Summer Squash
Beets and greens
Next week's expected veggies:
new potatoes, dill, greens, lettuce, cucumbers?, beans, lettuce
Its time for one of our all time favorite recipes! BEET BURGERS!

Beet Burgers!:
2 cups grated beets
2 cups grated carrots
½ cup grated onions
1 cup cooked rice (I make a little extra in advance, if I know I am going to be making beet burgers)
1 cup toasted sunflower seeds
½ cup toasted sesame seeds (I omit these)
2 eggs, beaten
2 T soy sauce
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
3 T flour
¼ oil
Minced fresh or dried garlic, cayenne, and parsley or other herbs to taste.

Toast seeds in a dry pan for several minutes, stir often. Mix all ingredients, form into patties and bake at 350. Unless patties are large, you will not need to turn them. Also can be make in a skillet (easier for just a few). Frozen can be reheated in a toaster oven.

Since this is one of our all time favorite recipes, we will make a double or triple recipe at once and freeze the extras, then they make a quick meal when we are in a hurry. A food processor is your best friend for these!
This Recipe came from Christine, one of our members, it was in the comments from the last post, and in case not everyone read it, i wanted to make sure it was out there, its a yummy sounding recipe, my mouth was watering when she told me about it. She said she added chicken once and chick peas another time, and both were great...
Lemon Scented Pasta with Garlic Scapes and Veggies
(Serves 2 as a main course or four as a side dish)
1/3 box of spaghetti
5 or 6 garlic scapes sliced thinly
6 Sun dried tomato halves sliced thinly
¾ cup fresh corn
½ cup flat leaf parsley
Zest of one lemon
Juice of one lemon
1 cup chicken stock
Cook the spaghetti till al dente and set aside. Sautee’ scapes and tomatoes till fragrant then add the corn, parsley, lemon zest and lemon juice and simmer lightly. Turn the heat up a bit; add the chicken stock and pasta and toss everything to coat and until the sauce is slightly thickened.Serve garnished with additional parsley.
Thanks for the recipe, Christine!
Hope everyone has a great week, with lots of delicious meals and for those who are seeing family for the fourth, enjoy! liz

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pick your own, or pick your own picked for you, or what?

A late addition to the week's share list....ta, ta, tada... green beans! They are from our hoop house, and so they are very early! If you purchased a pick your own picked for you share, we will be bringing them to market for you. If you purchased a basic share, feel free to come on up to the farm and pick a quart or two. The first time you come, please email or call so we can show you around, after that, you may come any time to pick dawn to dusk. If you are in doubt about which share you purchased, get in touch and we'll let you know.

If you make the trip make sure to pick strawberries, too, at one of the local upick farms, and within the next few days, i'm guessing the cherry picking places will open up, too. We picked about 35 pounds of them strawberries today and so we'll be making jam and/or freezing them tonight or tomorrow morning.

Happy eating! Liz

Monday, June 23, 2008

Fourth week of June

Happy Summer! On June 20th, we officially started the trip back to the darker side of the earth. Each day will now be a little shorter than the last (don't worry we won't notice too much for a while), but the onions do! On the summer solstice, the onions start to bulb and fatten, they are done focusing on growing up and start to grow out. It looks like we will have a nice crop of them, perhaps not our best crop ever, but definately better than last years puny things!

This time of year we are noticing the shift of the seasons out there in the fields. We are seeing summer insects. We notice dragon and damsel flies every day, there are insects that prey on summer crops such as potato bugs, squash bugs, and cucumber beetles around. We are seeing warm season weeds growing and spring weeds starting to flower or to set seed. We have noticed by looking at our greenhouse, too, that the season has shifted. It is almost empty of flats waiting to go outside! We started with four full rows of benchs inside and another bench or two outside to catch the over flow, and now there are just a few flats waiting for a spot in the field. Since we have finished up the bulk of our planting (not only is the greenhouse almost empty, but there are only about five empty beds right now to be found in our field), we are now starting to transition to the time of year when we are mostly caring for the vegetables. We weed, we water, we harvest, we weed, we cultivate, we mow, we empty beds and refill them. Several of our beds are on their second or even third crop of the year, either because the first planting failed - due to poor germination, weeds, or insect pressure- or was finished being harvested and is ready to be replanted with something new.

At this time of year, we are hilling potatoes, watching little tomatoes forming, and watching the honey, bumble, and other bees move from blossom to blossom. The tree swallows that hatched in one of our nest boxes seem to be about ready to take to the air, and the second batch of baby robins seem to be fledging right now. The turtles are not seen nearly as often sunning on logs outside of the water, and instead are only briefly glimpsed swimming under the surface occasionally.

The local cherry trees are starting to look like they are ready to pick and strawberry season is still in full swing. It is an excellent time to eat from right here in the finger lakes.

We had a very nice time on sunday thanks so much to Pat, Rusty, Zach, David and Mary for coming up and helping us with the WHEEDing! We had a great potluck and the help was very much appreciated. In the end we didn't do the scavenger hunt, so its on the shelf, and good to go for another time when the opportunity arises.

Perhaps that opportunity will be at our next CSA day...which will be held on Saturday July 19th time and details to be announced, but please do put it on your calendars now.

Today we learned that perhaps we are getting a reputation! We went down to our lovely little hector post office to mail out some booklets that let people know where to find local farm products (pick one up with your share this week) and had a lot of envelopes going out, so were holding up the person behind us in line for a while. Then he says to us, "you live on Dugue road?" and it turns out that he owned a house up the hill that he recently sold. Then the person who just came in and got in the line, says, "oh, are you muddy fingers?" and it turns out that he is another neighbor down the road whom we hadn't met yet. I'm not sure what the chances of the only three patrons in the post office at the time all being from our road is, but it was amusing to me! And it was nice to meet two more neighbors.

This week's share:

new potatoes
garlic scapes
summer squash

For those who haven't eaten kale before, it is a very healthy dark green leaf veggie that is high in iron, and sooo good for you, but it is a mildly bitter green, and if not cooked well enough can be tough to chew. Here are two simple suggestions for preparing it....

Kale with raisins and toasted pine nuts:
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (325o for 5 min in oven, or in a pan on the stove top)
bunch Kale washed and torn into bite size pieces
2 cups water
2 Tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup raisins (golden recommended)
Salt to taste
Bring water to a boil, cover and cook Kale until tender about 5 min. Remove and drain
In warm pan saute garlic for 15 seconds, add raisins, cook for 30 sec to 1 min. until raisins turn glossy and plump. Add greens and season with salt to taste. Serve hot garnished with toasted pine nuts. From Greens Glorious Greens!

Simple Kale and Summer Squash:
This is a lovely and simple dish. Just Kale cut in bite sized pieces and yellow summer squash sliced cooked together in a little olive oil and drizzled with soy sauce. Delicious!

New potatoes are just dug babies right out of the ground, they are so tender they don't need to cook long, and won't store for a very long time as the skin has not been toughened up yet to allow them to store. Eat them now! simple preparations are the best for new potatoes, just boil, top with butter or olive oil, salt, pepper, and an herb of your choice (dill, thyme, rosemary, oregano, or even basil would be good.)

If you still have scapes kicking around from last week, worry not, they keep for weeks in the fridge and freeze well for longer storage, just chop with a little oil and freeze, or make the scape pesto and freeze that. The season for scapes is pretty short, normally about three weeks, so don't think that you'll never stop getting scapes in your share. Eat them up now or a little later, but in a few weeks, they will be out of the field and a distant memory until next year.

Here is a trivia question for you...what vegetable is pictured below? Hints: the part you eat is not yet formed, it is related to Chicory, the plant with the lovely light purple flowers that you see on the side of the road at this time of year.

Monday, June 16, 2008

3rd Week June Newsletter

The rainbow carrots you've been getting started to matthew's left in this picture.
This week we hit a milestone of the year in our kitchen. The last few pounds of onions from last year are now in the onion basket on our counter top. Its a good thing that the onions for this year have green tops now and are getting big enough that we can snitch a few to eat, because we hate to buy onions if we don't have to. They spend the winter being slowly taken out of the coolness of our pantry and eaten and now, the bag is finally empty. And those last few onions are still nice and hard, hooray for storage food!
With these hot, humid days all of the insects and other bugs have emerged and are out all over the farm. As we are out planting or weeding the deer flies circle our heads and occasionally deliver their painful bite. The lightning bugs have been lighting up the nights for a couple weeks now. Many species of butterflies we see flitting through the air and the dragon and damsel flies are evident at the pond and in the field. Down at the soil level we see many slugs sliming their way around our crops (luckily for us they've not done much damage to the vegetables yet - mostly because its been dry and they thrive more in wet conditions) And spiders - spiders of all sizes and shapes are crawling around and in the soil - from spindle-legged Daddy long legs to hairy wolf spiders to tiny goldenrod spiders. And of course every gardener's favorite friend - the earthworm. There's lots of them. And I'm always amazed every time I take time to look around by the diversity of bugs. But I guess that's a sign we're doing something right as we have tried to create a system of farming that harbors many different classes and species of animals. The only insect that we would really like to see less of right now are the flea beetles. If you've been missing our spicy greens mix or radishes (we lost some beds of these) or have been upset by the "holey" arugula, the flea beetles are the reason. They are tiny, black and they hop around like fleas. And though we have kept these crops covered with row covers, they have still found a way to eat them. We presume they were already living in the soil under the row covers!

On Sunday June 22 you'll get a great chance to come inspect all the various forms of insect (and other) life here at the farm for yourself. Yes its time for another CSA/work day. We'll start at 3:00 with weeding (or should we say WHEEEding!) for approximately 45 min (we don't want to push our luck with asking anyone to weed longer than that - we want you to actually want to come). Then around 4:00 we will have a really fun farm scavenger hunt for everyone to play. After scavenging we will have a potluck dinner. We also want to give people a chance to pick orchard bouquets of flowers (from the lovely flowers thriving in the orchard, daisys, clovers, purple vetch and buttercups) and take a peek into the nest that someone has built in one of our little apple trees, on last peek it had three little blue eggs with black spots on the end in it, not sure who it belongs to, since i haven't seen anyone sitting on it yet. Please RSVP by Saturday evening if you will be coming and let us know the number of participators for the scavenger hunt. Come see the veggies you helped plant! Or other items of interest that you've read about here. We'll be sending an email out, too.

This week's vegetables:
Peas - snow or snap
Lettuce heads
Garlic scapes
Spicy greens mix

Next week's (expected) vegetables:
Salad greens
New Potatoes
Summer Squash
PYO Green Beans!


Garlic scapes are the buds of a garlic plant, that would make a flower if left on the plant. We take them off and eat them because they are delicious -- and if they were allowed to flower, the garlic head would be much smaller. The whole thing is edible, chop it up tip to tip and use it like you would any kind of garlic. We like to either throw it in the food processor to chop it, or use scissors and cut it into stir fries, or any recipe that calls for garlic.

Here is a recipe that we really like, we freeze it and enjoy it year round...

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
1-2 cups of walnuts, pine nuts, sunflowers, or almonds

In a blender, combine the ingredients. 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. Once they are frozen solid, 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 nicely on toast for a quick garlic bread.

Creamed Swiss Chard
Serves 4-6
1 small onion (peeled and finely chopped)
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups heavy cream
2 1/2 pounds Swiss chard (1 bunch should work)
1/4 cup finely grated aged parmigiano-reggiano cheese
Salt and white pepper to taste
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

1. Melt butter in a medium, heavy-bottomed pan and add the onion; cook until the onion is translucent -- about 4 minutes.
2. Add heavy cream and reduce by one-third over medium heat or until the cream coats the back of the spoon.
3. Meanwhile, wash the Swiss chard and remove the stems. Bring a gallon of lightly salted water to boil.
4. Add the chard leaves and cook for 3-4 minutes. Drain. Press out the excess moisture from the leaves and roughly chop the leaves.
5. Add chard leaves to the cream mixture. Simmer for 3-5 minutes or until it has the consistency of thick soup.
6. Add the parmigiano-reggiano cheese, salt, white pepper and nutmeg. Serve immediately.
Recipe by Chef Patrick O'Connell from

Got an inch of rain overnight last night that the forecast didn't even let us know to expect, so things are looking really nice right now! The tomatoes that people helped plant at the last CSA day are now well over knee high and some have little tiny tomatoes starting on them, and don't worry, those guys won't need a recall when their ready for you! We hope you have a great week of good eating, and we look forward to seeing you on sunday! liz

Friday, June 13, 2008

spittle bugs, lightning bugs, and snake season...

The orchard's a bloom!
Corey and Olive transplanting tomatoes. (They are now knee high!)
This is the time of year for spittle bugs. As we walk through the orchard, it looks like someone has walked in front of us spitting on the grass. Inside each spot of spit, is a small green bug. I wonder if they are more numerous in a dry year, because sometimes there are so many spittle spots out there that our legs can be wet when we come back in from our walk. At least it seems like we notice them more when it is dry. It could be that the rain washes away the spittle, and when it is dry there could be empty spittles left.

Lightning bugs abound at night. Take an evening walk and enjoy the show!
Strawberry season is upon us! Look for strawberries at the farmer's market or head out to one of our local u-pick spots to pick them for yourself. Don't miss the taste treat of real ripe strawberries, not the pretty red styrofoam from the grocery store.

Our greenhouse snake season is over, during march, april, and may we see lots of snakes in the green house. We appreciate them as an important part of the greenhouse ecosystem, because they eat small rodents that could eat our seedlings. They like it in there since it is warm and the mice like it for the same reason. At our peak day, Matthew counted 5 snakes that he could see at one time. There may be lots more than that, but that was the most that we saw at one time. At that time of year, whenever we pick up a tray of vegetables transplants, we have to look underneath and check to make sure that there is not a snake curled up under there. Occasionally, we find that we our fingers are touching a smooth object that is moving, and then a snake will gracefully drop out of the tray and slither away. By June its warm enough that the snakes move out into the fields and we only see them once in a while now. I sort of miss my daily dose of snake!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

the case of the missing photos....

When we posted the newsletter the other night, we attached four photos of things that are going on around the farm, but the cyber gremlins seem to have eaten them, and so we are trying again. hopefully this time it will work, if not, we'll try again later.

The great news is that we got 3/4 of an inch of rain yesterday! AND NO HAIL, pheewee! When I returned from delivering shares to elmira, i swear i could see that the zucchini plants had grown already. Everything was so lush and green and just beautiful with droplets of water reflecting the late afternoon sun. On a nice warm day like today after a rain that has been a long time in the coming, you could almost put a ruler next to the plants and measure them at the end of the day-- and see a difference, especially tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash. It has been three weeks since we have had any rain at all and remember that most vegetable crops want an inch of rain a week. Irrigation keeps plants alive, but they don't grow and thrive like they do with real honest to goodness water from the sky.

Monday, June 9, 2008

2nd week June newsletter

The past week has not been such a good time to be a small-time organic vegetable farmer. First-of-all nobody, not even us, likes to be out working in the heatwave we've just come through. It really is a test of one's will to be out there in sun. We start to think - "How badly do we want to get this job done right now?" And usually the answer is "Pretty badly," and we keep working and just take an extra-long break in the afternoon. Second-of-all it is only early June and we are already having a lack of rainfall. We got about 1/4" of rain Sunday (I think you folks down in Elmira got a lot bigger storm than we did), but with the combination of high temperatures and no rain our soil and tender greens are getting baked. So we have been irrigating mercilessly from the pond. Third, June has always been a tough month because the CSA starts, but sometimes it can be difficult to scrape together enough vegetables to call it a share.
But overall most crops are doing well. Of course our young squash, tomato and cucumber plants love the heat and the potatoes don't seem to mind either. So I guess its like the saying goes - you can't please everyone all the time.
Our young orchard is looking very pretty as summer approaches. After doing our best to help the trees grow better this year - (adding a thick layer of mulch, liming the soil, adding soil amendments to supply the trees with appropriate nutrients, regular irigation and giving them two foliar feedings of organic fertilizer) they seem to have appreciated it. After struggling last year and not growing much they look a little healthier now. Plus the clover and vetch that we planted two years ago is finally starting to take over the field. And there are are the flowers - three different varieties of clover are in bloom with the vetch and also wildflowers like daisies and buttercups. We are going to wait to mow the orchard till after all of these are done flowering and have set seed so we can be sure to have them blooming again next year.

There will be a Tompkins County area CSA event that you are invited to attend in Ithaca. Many differnt CSAs and thier members will be there. We will not be there (not enough time in the day to do everything!!), but the press release is pasted at the bottom of this posting.
If you will be going on vacation this summer, please let us know ahead of time if you will be having someone else pick up your share or if noone will be picking it up that week.

This week's vegetables (our apologies for the repeats - we should have some new treats next week).
Beet greens

Next week's (expected) vegetables:
Snow peas
Garlic Scapes
Baby potatoes?

Braised beet greens with almonds:
¼ cup sliced almonds
½ lb. Beet greens (or Arugula/spicy greens )
2 T. Butter
1 small clove minced garlic
1/3 cup milk
Toast almonds in dry skillet for several minutes, tossing often.
Melt butter and add garlic. Add coarsely chopped greens and saute until they wilt. Add milk, cover and cook a few minutes, uncover to evaporate the liquid. Serve hot sprinkled with almonds. From a to z book

Tompkins Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition
Spring Local Food Kick Off!
Sat. June 14th at Stewart Park in the large pavilion. 4-7 p.m.
Join us for community celebration of our local bounty!
Hands-on fun for children such as mixing potting soil and planting seed trays
Come waltz to the gorgeous harmonies of the women of Five2, be inspired by the "thanks and praise" music of Kevin Kinsella, and stomp along to Burke and Bone playing 20’s and 30’s blues.
Please bring a dish-to-pass and a place setting so we can reduce and re-use before we even get to recycling!
Local Food Kick-Off Kickball Games!! All ages!!
Tompkins Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition invites you to celebrate the abundance! Bring your family and friends to Stewart Park on Sat. June 14th and get in the CSA circle! Eat food grown where you live!
There will be the opportunity to learn about and support the Healthy Food For All program which provides subsidized CSA shares to income-eligible families. This is a practical way to make a difference right here in our community!
Community Supported Agriculture is an agreement between community members and farmers : A family invests in a farm and the farm grows them food! This keeps our dollars in our hands, ensures that food producers are stewards of the land, and hugely minimizes our carbon footprint. We find that knowing who grows your food and the land they grow it on greatly increases consumers’ healthy peace of mind. Small-scale farming is safe for the land, the food, the economy and you.
TCSAC is a new organization of CSA farms and farmers who are working together to build awareness around local food, to strengthen our CSA communities, to collaborate on business strategies and support each other as farmers.
We serve approx. 1000 CSA members in Tompkins County. This means there are approximately 1000 households who have a share in a local farm and eat local produce all summer long in Tompkins County!
Participating Farms:
Early Morning Organic Farm
Full Plate Farm Collective –
Stick and Stone Farm
Remembrance Farm
Three Swallows Farm
Sweet Land Farm
Hendy Hollow Organic Farm
West Haven Farm
Three Sisters
Thomson Farms
Muddy Fingers Farm
For more information: Katie Church 607.342.7632 or

Monday, June 2, 2008

First week of the CSA!

Hey and welcome to the 2008 csa season! Things here have been busy as the often are in the spring, and they have also continued to be pretty dry lately. We are watching the weather forecast carefully and hoping for some of those thunder showers that are on tap for later in the week. We have been irrigating from our pond, but are a cautious bunch and would like to keep some water in the pond for later in the summer in case its even drier during the blistering heat of August and September.

Last time, i mentioned the killdeer couple that had taken up residence in our field. I had estimated that the chicks would hatch about june 7th, but the nest is now empty. Either my estimate was wrong and they hatched and we'll start to see them around the farm, especially around the pond, or they were eaten by something. If they were eaten, then someone else got a nice meal, and the killdeer had a better chance than normal, with their nest safely within a half mile of electric fence that keeps out larger predators, but not smaller things like weasels. If they hatched, they are tiny and hard to see since they hide well and keep it pretty quiet until they can fly, last year we saw them several times before they grew wing feathers and fledged (takes about a month). We'll certainly be keeping our eyes peeled for them, they are super cute with little stilty legs and two white bands around their necks.

GREENS, Glorious greens! I know, I know, its that time of year. See, we live in new york state, and no matter how much we may want to eat vine ripe tomatoes in June, we can't eat local ones yet. If you see large lovely red tomatoes at a local farmers market, chances are extremely good that they were grown somewhere much warmer, picked by low paid labor, probably immigrants, shipped up here, sold at a produce auction, and passed off if not on purpose, at least on perception as being grown by the person who is selling them on their stand. This is a practice that i personally find deplorable. Not so much buying produce for resale, but passing off produce purchased at auction as one's one. Farming is a noble, some times trying profession that takes planning, ingenuity, and a certain amount of luck to excel at. For someone to buy an agricultural product on the cheap, mark it up and sell it for more than they got it for, but often still much less than the cost to produce it on a localized scale and to then to pretend either on purpose or by omission that they grew it is irksome, but more deplorable yet, is that it tells local people that tomatoes in June in New York must be possible and there is something wrong with a farmer that doesn't have them at that point in the season.

This is a great disservice to people attending farmer's market. At a farmers market, we should be demonstrating what is in season, that is locally available, not shipped 1,500 miles (the average for a piece of food in america, before it is consumed) at this time of year. We as a society have become so disconnected from our food that we don't know what we can eat that is local anymore, but with oil at $127 a barrel today, we need to begin to transition to local food economies again, and we need to learn the beauty of eating our way through the seasons. And that, my friends is the journey we are embarking on this week! For the next five months, we will eat what new york state provides, or at least we will provide what new york provides, you can eat what ever you want of course, but we hope that with your CSA share and some recipes, you can enjoy what is local and in season now!

Now, why is it that we can't have tomatoes in NY in june? Because tomatoes are a warm season crop. Prefering days in the mid 70s to mid 80s and nights in the mid 50s to mid 60s. Tomato plants will be killed at temperatures below 32 degrees. They take between 60-90 days to make those beautiful, colorful fruits after being transplanted into the ground. (Generally plants are about 4-7 weeks old at transplant, so they are started in a greenhouse around mid march or early april.) Night time temperatures are not guaranteed to be above freezing every night around here until the end of May, and in fact we did have freeze here last monday night, and woke up on the 27th wondering if we had covered the plants that we had in the ground well enough- we did- but tomatoes can't go in much earlier than memorial day weekend. First local field grown tomatoes aren't around until mid July or so.

Comments-- we have been receiving some feed back on this new on-line newsletter and we really appreciate it! We want to know how you like it, things you'd like to see, and things that are easier or more difficult for you this way. You can contact us by email or by hitting the post a comment link. Please do keep in touch with us one way or the other! We are definately still perfecting the system, so help us make it very user-friendly.

This weeks share is Rainbow Swiss Chard, Baby Carrots, Baby Spinach, Arugula, and Cilantro. Also we will have tomato plants that produce tomatoes in all colors of the rainbow if you would like to take a couple home to plant and see for yourself first hand when local tomatoes are ripe. I can see some killer salads this week, we enjoyed one tonight, with cilantro just snipped up and tossed with the greens, yum! Another idea, here for your eating pleasure is a dressing recipe that uses that fresh cilantro.

Creamy Cilantro Vinaigrette:
6T sesame oil
2T apple cider vinegar
2T cilantro, coarsely chopped
½ tsp. Sea salt
Blend ingredients until frothy (or shake in a jar), best prepared just before serving to retain pretty green color of the cilantro. Makes about a half cup.

Swiss Chard is nice lightly cooked (steaming or sauteing preferred) or raw in salads torn into smaller pieces. Here is a basic recipe that we enjoy...

Super Simple Savory Chard:
1 bunch Swiss chard
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 T water
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Lemon cut into wedges
Wash chard and coarsely chop. Heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes until golden
Turn heat to medium high add greens and stir to coat with oil. Add the water, cover and cook until greens are wilted, about 5 minutes.
Taste the greens to make sure there is no raw edge to the flavor, turn off the heat, season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Serve hot with lemon wedges for squeezing.
From Greens Glorious Greens

We still have some space in our Elmira pickup that we'd love to fill up. So, if you know anyone who likes to eat food that is grown locally and without herbicides, pestices, fungicides, insecticides or other junk, and would like to pick those vegetables up in elmira, please get us in touch with each other. Hope you have a great week! liz