Monday, July 25, 2011

Farm Visit Recap & Farm News July 25th

We want to thank everyone who was able to come to the farm visit! We're sorry that more of you weren't able to attend, so here's a recap of what you missed.

The tour began in the washing area, where we prepare all the harvested veggies for CSA and market. Recently the washing machine we used to spin the washed greens dry died, and Clemens found a good deal on a used professional salad spinner, an improvement because it has a much greater capacity.

Here Clemens is showing the greenhouse to the group. This is where most of the seedlings planted in the field began their life (very early on the seeding began in the house, which is heated; the greenhouse isn't currently heated). The planting is mostly done for the year, so a few weeks ago we moved all the remaining seedlings outside and inside are 3 of 4 beds which are being used to extend the growing season for tomatoes, flowers and lettuce.

We walked the length of the field, stopping at various beds to talk about what was planted and how it was going. We got to sample the first sungold cherry tomatoes and sweet corn of the season!

At the very end of the field are the peppers. Here's the group looking them over, and here also is Clemens with his mouth on fire from the hot pepper he tried out! Don't worry, we grew bell peppers, too.

Back at the house, we dug into the potluck food which was really yummy, and finished the evening with a viewing of the documentary film Gasland.

In other news at the farm, last week Jenny and Clemens spent some time working on clearing more land for planting next year. They rented a stump grinder, here is Jenny using it.

Finally, here is the share for last week, which included carrots, onion, braising greens, red cabbage, green cabbage, 1.5 lbs. of string beans (green, yellow, purple and french), lots of zucchini, a pint of snap peas (sorry, probably the last for this part of the season, though we might plant some for fall harvest) and cucumbers. This week we hope to give you sweet corn; so far, we haven't seen any of the corn worms which are common in organically raised corn, but if you do see one just cut off the affected top and enjoy the rest.

As always, we welcome your feedback, questions and comments! Looking forward to seeing all of you tomorrow! ~ Kimberly

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Farm Visit Invitation & Farm News for July 17th

Solstice Hill Farm CSA Farm Visit, Potluck & Movie
Sunday, July 24th
Rain or shine!
Arrive: 3pm
Tour: 4pm
Potluck: 5pm
Movie: 6pm
Directions and parking arrangements to follow.

We hope you will save the date, we'd love to have you see how your veggies are being grown, and to get a chance to mingle with you all (and for you to mingle with each other) at the potluck! The movie will probably be Gasland (watch the trailer here).

This was the share for last Tuesday, July 12th: kale, broccoli, lettuce, cucumber, snap beans (two bundles: green beans, French green beans, and a few purple beans), sugar snap peas, summer squash (zucchini and yellow pattypan pictured here) and fingerling potatoes.

The potatoes were our first, and so far only, harvest of the potatoes. Clemens was very excited to dig them up and give them to you this week, but we're going to wait a couple of weeks before digging again to let them size up a bit more. The summer squash is beginning to come in strong; we hope you found the pattypan shape and color was a nice addition to the traditional green zucchini. Pattypans are a good shape for slicing and grilling, or even stuffing and baking. Here's a yummy looking (though defnitely not low calorie!) recipe for stuffing:

I haven't tried the above recipe, but I can report that we did try one of the Just Food Veggie Tip Sheet recipes, the one for stuffed chard, and I highly recommend it! Jenny used ricotta instead of the cottage cheese, but I imagine you could use any creamy/curdy cheese you have on hand, or even silken tofu. It reheats really well, too. We'll probably be giving you chard again soon, let us know if you try it out.

In other farm news, it's been a very dry and hot week, and so the sprinkler irrigation system was set up to water the newly direct seeded bean beds. The neighboring beds probably didn't mind getting a bit of water, too. We also added and moved some drip irrigation lines; we move the plastic drip lines when we're ready to till in an old bed so we can reuse rather than throw them out. The goal is to use as little plastic as possible. We also began using BioTelo, the biodegradable plastic mulch row cover film, instead of the traditional plastic mulch row cover film.

To wind this post up, I'd like to share a great story from member Eileen. A couple of weeks ago when we gave heads of lettuce (rather than the cut lettuce) her younger daughter was snacking on the leaves, going into the fridge and just taking some when she was hungry. One day when she came home from work, her daughter said to her, "The lettuce they gave us this week is really great, it tastes just like broccoli!"--turns out the head had been finished off, and the daughter had moved on to the cabbage without realizing it!

As always we welcome your questions, feedback and comments!
~ Kimberly

Share for July 5th

Carrots, radishes, kale, head of lettuce, head of cabbage, broccoli, sugar snap peas (2 pints), beets.

The sugar snap peas have been popular with even our youngest members, like this pair of sisters shown snacking immediately on the peas inside. But don't forget that these are snap peas so you can eat the pod (we don't grow shelling peas, the kind where you can't eat the pods)!