Monday, September 1, 2008

Week 13

Welcome to September! The Farm enters another phase, as hay-fields get mowed, older crops get tilled in and replanted to winter cover crops, and the harvest of Livestock gets underway. We slaughtered two of our ram-lambs this weekend, and put up plenty of lamb sausage, roasts, and ground meat into our freezer. In our grass-based system, the passing of lush grass in the pasture, means that some of our animals-- turkeys, lambs, and our steer, get slaughtered and butchered for our delicious wintertime meals.
This looking towards colder months defines September, even though it still may feel like summertime. Our short growing season sometimes feels like a 100 yard dash to get it all in-- not only grow our own food (meats and vegetables for freezer, root cellar, and greenhouse), but also make a living growing food for others. During that race we barely have time to squeeze in that essential element of gratitude. To sit back for half a minute and soak in the blessing of it all; these cycles of life, and the gifts of the natural world. That also, to me is September.
Our three farmhands, Ariana, Clare, and Amanda are off to their next adventures, and we welcome a new face to the crew: Jordan. She will help us with the job of bringing in the harvest and wrapping up the season. A HUGE heartfelt thank-you goes out to our summer season camp and farm crew.
A few notes on the produce:

  • The tomatoes are a mixture of heirloom and hybrid varieties chosen for a balance between production, yield and taste. Don't be scared off by the big yellow-orange goldies. They have a sweeter flavor and pair well with the reds on a plate of sliced tomatoes or a tomato salad. And always....the basil accents it all. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the amount of tomatoes, they store well through the winter in the freezer. To freeze tomatoes, all you need to do is peel and core them and stuff them into a freezer bag. This is a bit quicker than canning and yields a versatile tomato for winter time sauces and stews.

  • This week's basil is abundant and we refer to it as "pesto basil". Pesto is a snap to make in a food proccessor and freezes well. We throw in some garlic, parmesean, olive oil, walnuts or pine nuts and salt with the basil and proccess them in the Cuisanart. We correct for seasoning and amount and them scoop into freezer bags for a midwinter treat.
  • Growing organic corn is always a challenge. Sometimes we are plagued by hungry corn worms. Intimidating in appearance, these guys can just be left with the shucks and the damaged part broken off.
  • The turnips are small and great raw in a salad.
  • The beans are DELICIOUS! The are yellow with purple speckles but their taste is similar to a green bean and they can be used and handled in much the same way. They are called dragon tongue beans

Harvest list:


red/yellow onions

pesto basil
salad turnips

fingerling potatoes



purple hot peppers

dragon tongue beans (like a colored green bean)


A reminder about upcoming events:
  • Tuesday, September 9th, Potato digging potluck work party 4-7:30
  • Saturday, October 18th 1-3 garden clean-up work party

Blessings on the meal-
John and Stacy

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