Saturday, June 18, 2011

Farm News (June 19)

Hi everyone, Kimberly here.

This week we finally got just enough warm dry weather to do some more tilling, so that we could begin to catch up with the planting schedule. Some beds needed moldboard plowing first (it's only the 2nd year this land is in production, so there are still plenty of grassy and weedy areas that need this extra step; it's better for the soil to keep moldboarding to a minimum...some in agriculture believe in a system called "no-till farming"...) so we're hoping for the sun and warm to continue a little bit so those beds can get the second step of being harrowed. Some just needed harrowing.

The other big task this week was hoeing, and even some hand weeding, to try and keep up with the weeds, which are just loving this weather. Hoeing can be a solitary task, and I began to ponder why more weeds aren't things we eat; it sure would make farming easier! Actually, a number of weeds are edible, including lamb's quarter (which also goes by the uglier name of pigweed; Jenny thinks its leaves are tastier than spinach) and purslane and lemongrass (which I mistook to be clover until one of the kids pointed out the difference in the shape of the leaves).

Going in soon are more melons, more lettuce (to keep us in lettuce all summer long; our first plantings have already bolted, making for lettuce much to bitter to eat) and lots more tomatoes. A variety of tomatoes are ready for field planting, from cherry to large slicing tomatoes, and varieties including yellow, orange and red, including a few heirloom varieties like Brandywine, Moskovitch and Cosmonaut Volkov (interesting name, isn't it? I had to look it up; it's a variety from the Ukraine that was commercially named after a cosmonaut that died on a mission).

This week we hope to have our first harvest of beets for you. We were able to harvest a couple (literally!) of decent sized ones the other day, and shredded them raw into a green salad, I highly recommend that as a quick and easy way to eat young beets, though my personal favorite way to eat beets is oven roasted with fresh goat cheese and a little balsamic vinegar. Other likely suspects for Tuesday are chard, kale and peas, but as you know it's all tentative 'til we go out to the field on Tuesday morning and see what's ready. :)

As always, we look forward to seeing you (or whoever you send on your behalf) on Tuesday evening, and would love to hear your comments and feedback on your share, recipe ideas, or whatever food related issue is on your mind.

And by the way, this Tuesday is the summer solstice (for which the farm is named!) so we also want to wish you all a Happy Summer Solstice and hope you celebrate it by eating some great, fresh veggies from the farm!

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