Sunday, September 14, 2008

Week 15

Today is the rescheduled potato digging potluck. We'll start at 4. Looking forward to seeing you all if this weather holds....We'll send you an email in the event that we get rained out again.

After a few nights of chilly weather, the growth of tomatoes and other warm weather crops are at a stand-still. The same lack of growth happens for other crops when things get wintery. The secret to winter greens-- whether on your window sill, or in a greenhouse is in getting them started when the weather is still mild. That means getting plants started and growing well in the early fall-- just when us gardeners are wanting to slow down. That has always been a challenge for us, and by mid-winter we are buying greens from supermarket shelves, and wishing we had put more effort into a winter garden. Well, this fall we have things in place to potentially keep us eating greens after our garden goes by. Thanks to the work of Tim, our long season apprentice, who is still sticking to the farm, as well as a new face for the fall: Jordan, who joined us a couple weeks ago. Jordan has some good experience working on gardens already, and like some other farm interns, she seems somewhat addicted to a healthy lifestyle of good food, physical work, and positive activism.
You will have a chance to meet her and the rest of us if you come for our potato dig this Tuesday. It was rescheduled because of last week's rain, but the weather looks good for this week, so put it on your agenda and we'll enjoy a great potluck afterwards.

If you live in a dwelling with a yard that collects leaves in the fall, please keep us in mind. Leaves from any and all trees can be an important resource on the farm-- we can make compost with them, bed animals on them, and mulch garden spaces with them. If you're going to clean them up anyway... send them our way. Spread the news to any landscapers you know-- we'll take lots of leaves! An organic farm thrives with organic material. This often comes in bulky amounts which makes the process of moving and spreading it, expensive. Mulching our small 1/3 acre of strawberries with straw for example will cost about $1000, just to get the straw here! (Spreading it on the field will be a multi-day task!) Manure is another bulky material brought in with expensive handling. Thanks for thinking of us!

The Cut Flower Garden is open to you all for a flower harvest free-for-all . Pick your own beautiful bouquets for your table. We will be mowing down the flowers after Friday's pick up. Don't hold back....they'll just get mowed if you don't take some home.

If you don't already have plans for the weekend, consider a trip to Unity for the MOFGA Common Ground Fair this weekend. It is the 35th anniversary of the largest fair in the region that celebrates organic and sustainable agriculture. Check out the MOFGA website for more information about speakers, vendors, and childrens' activities. We'll be there at some point this weekend and if you want to say hi, you can probably find Stacy in line for a delicious lamb sausage sandwich with peppers....a true favorite. The food alone is worth the drive.

The harvest:
  • Lettuce
  • Corn
  • Tomatillos
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Acorn SquashCelery
  • Watermelon
  • Cilantro
  • Hot peppers and green peppers
  • Onions
  • Eggplant

Our watermelon this year was especially tricky, with the erratic weather. They would prefer to be grown in a hot, dry climate (they originated in the Kalahari Desert in Africa), so this August's cold rain spell did not encourage the best production. Nonetheless, it looks like we have just enough for the CSA. The light green striped melon has yellow flesh-- its not supposed to be red! The dark green melon is a red flesh variety.

Tomatillos are best turned into a salsa verde with the hot peppers, onions and cilantro. Peel off the papery skins, place the tomatillos into a baking dish and roast for 30 minutes at 450 degrees. Let them cool. Then place tomatillos, onions, garlic, cilantro, lime juice and salt into a food proccessor and whiz it up. I usually add all the ingredients to taste so I'm sorry I don't have specific amounts. This salsa freezes really well and maintains its flavor and texture. We like to eat it in place of traditional tomato based salsa on nachos, fish or turkey tacos, and burritos. To freeze, just place an appropriate portion for your family into a freezer bag and freeze flat to save space. Then, you can "file" away your flat bags of salsa in the freezer.

This week's silver queen corn should prove to be tender and sweet. It's our favorite variety and we hope you enjoy it! If you don't think you can eat it all, consider scraping the cobs and freezing the kernels for a delicious winter treat. John prefers the corn raw, right out
of the field.

Blessings on the meal,
Stacy and John

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