Wednesday, September 21, 2016

2016 CSA Share 17

2016 CSA Share 17


Smaller share for our shareholders this week, the rain today took away a lot of harvest time and when Farmer Figgins got back into the field it was to find the last section of sweet corn was almost entirely infested with corn earworms eating away at the cobs. At least we got corn last week though! 


In the garden summer favorites like summer squash and green beans are slowing down, and cucumbers are all done. Filling those gaps in the shares, we'll soon have winter squash and pumpkins, watermelon and a return of fresh greens! Tomorrow is officially the first day of fall and we are starting to feel it. Colder nights and misty mornings, shriveled brown leaves on the basil from cold damage, the first change in the tree's leaves. 

The older piglets and Cordelia enjoying extras from the garden and bug filled corn and the husks.

A rainy harvest day here on the farm, and bad timing for it too. We just had the hay cut yesterday! But if the next few days are clear and sunny we can still salvage the hay. In other news on the farm, the piglets are getting bigger but still not interested in eating grain, they are quite happy and content with their mother's milk still. They were still so small last week that we decided to hold off on the castration. The older piglets and their mother Cordelia have been enjoying the extras from the garden, cornworm filled cobs, and fallen buggy fruit from the orchard. As the garden wanes down Farmer Figgins will remove old plants like broccoli, cauliflower and corn and feed them to the pigs rather than compost them. 



Our Livestock Guardian dog Korra came into heat today, soon she will be having a play date or two with a male Great Pyrenees/ Maremma who lives down the road. We may have puppies in December /January then! If you are interested in reserving one, let us know!


If any of our shareholders has extra plastic bags they would otherwise recycle, please bring them or your own reusable bags to the share pickups! We are running out of plastic bags!

Large Share pictured: 6 okra, 2 banana peppers, 2 cubanelle pepeprs, 2 anaheim peppers, 8 red paste tomatoes, 4 heirloom tomatoes, 2 summer squash, 3 lbs snacking tomatoes, 2 lbs green beans, 2 bunches kale, 2 bunches herbs

Small Share pictured: 3 okra, 1 banana pepper, 1 cubanelle pepper, 1 anaheim pepper, 1 summer squash, 4 red paste tomatoes, 2 heirloom tomatoes, 1.5 lb snacking tomatoes, 1 lb green beans, 1 bunch kale, 1 bunch herbs





Kale


A return of kale again this week, and fresh salad greens likely next week! Enjoy these leaves as kale chips or sautéed in olive oil, garlic and a little cayenne, or add them to a soup, or a frittata, or a quiche, you can't go wrong with kale. 

Kale Chips

Okra


More okra this week. We like to use our Okra by slicing it and dicing a jalapeno and adding them to a cornbread recipe.  Okra can also be grilled, sauteed, fried, stir-fried, or added to soup.  


Tomatoes

We have heirloom slicers, snacking tomatoes, and red paste tomatoes this week!


Peppers

Cubanelle, banana and Anaheim peppers this week! Enjoy some fresh salsa with this mix of hot and sweet peppers. Cubanelle peppers have sweet, mild flesh with rich flavor great for cooking and frying. It is thinner-walled, best suited for quick cooking. Popular in spanish, italian and slavic dishes, many cooks prefer it to bell types. 


Summer Squash 

Our summer squash are slowing down, and soon we'll be having winter squash from the garden. Try these sautéed or grilled with our carbonara recipe or in a cooling summer pasta salad. The larger zucchini are great shredded and then made into muffins or bread. Summer squash are starting to slow down, so enjoy them while we still have them. 



Green Beans

More green beans this week, though they are slowing down. The yellow beans are yellow throughout, and will keep their color when cooked, the purple beans however are only purple on the exterior and will change to green when cooked. 


Herbs

For herbs this week we have parsley, apple mint and lime basil.  

To preserve your herbs you can hang them to dry out of the sun and rain where there is good air flow until dry, then crumble into a paper bag and transfer to a storage container. Tarragon leaves can be frozen or dried. If left to dry for too long though, the leaves lose their flavor, so make sure to store them in airtight containers as soon as the leaves are dry. 



Wednesday, September 14, 2016

2016 CSA Share 16

2016 CSA Share 16

Some new summer favorites for our shareholders this week--sweet corn, apricots and pears and some ground cherries! We'll be seeing more apricots and sweet corn this week, but we only had a small harvest from our pear trees, so enjoy these this week!

Some of our basil has gotten some early cold damage, so enjoy the basil while we still have it. Fall is coming and nights are getting cooler, we have a few more weeks of shares from the garden left, but summer is beginning to wane. 

In other news on the farm, we had piglets born last Friday, starting early in the morning and going into the evening and having 9 piglets in all. Our sow Buffy did a great job, needed no assistance and had no stillborn or mummified piglets, a great relief to these farmers. Buffy's previous liter had been all of three dead piglets, and if she had a similar liter this time around it would have meant she wasn't a good breeder and would be sausage. 



We're very happy she did well and will be staying with us as a breeder. All her piglets are orange with black spots, great fall and Halloween colors. Soon we'll be castrating the boys, but for now they are all happily exploring their pasture with their mom. We'll be selling all of the piglets because we prefer to raise ours on pasture and seasonally. We're asking for $90 for each, contact us if you are interested! We have a very cute video of them suckling on mama on our Facebook page, check it out there!


Large Share pictured: 4 summer squash, 2 cucumbers, 2 lbs pears, 2 lbs apricots, 14 corn cobs, .5 lbs ground cherries, 2 lbs green beans, eggplant (optional), 4 red tomatoes, 2 heirloom slicers, 2 lbs snacking tomatoes, 2 lbs tomatillos, 6 okra, 2 cubanelle peppers, 2 bell peppers, 2 jalapeños, 2 bunches herbs

Small Share pictured: 1 lb pears, 1 lb apricots, 1 lb tomatillos, 2 summer squash, 1 cucumber, 1 jalapeño, 1 cubanelle pepper, 1 bell pepper, eggplant (optional), 3 okra, 7 corn cobs, 2 paste tomatoes, 1 heirloom slicer, 1 lb snacking tomatoes, 1 bunch herbs.


Corn

New this week are the first of our corn, better late than never! We found some worms in the corn cobs, so we shucked them to make sure everyone got good whole, worm free cobs. The sugar breaks down quickly in sweet corn, so the sooner eaten the sweeter they will be! 

Pears 

New this week, Pears from our orchard! We got a small harvest of pears this year, but enough to share with our shareholders.

Apricots

New this week, apricots from our orchard! This is the first year we've gotten a harvest from our apricot trees, so the fruit is small but tasty! 

Ground Cherries

This strange golden berry is related to the tomato plant, and is indigenous to the new world. It has a similar texture to the tomato, but in flavor is more like strawberry or pineapple. The fruit are rich in cryptoxanthin, and contain pectin and can be used in pie filling. They can be eaten raw and used in salads, you can add them to dessert, use as flavoring, make into fruit preserves, or dry and use like raisins. 


Ground Cherry Jam

Ground Cherry Pie

Okra


More okra this week. We like to use our Okra by slicing it and dicing a jalapeno and adding them to a cornbread recipe.  Okra can also be grilled, sauteed, fried, stir-fried, or added to soup.  


Eggplant (optional)

Not everyone's favorite, we don't have quite enough for everyone this week, so please only take one if you want one! Also known as aubergine, brinjal or garden egg, the fruit is widely used in cooking and is related to both the tomato and potato. The raw fruit can have a somewhat bitter taste, but become tender when cooked and develops a rich, complex flavor. The great is capable of absorbing large amounts of cooking fats and sauces, making for very rich dishes. Try is roasted, skinned, mashed, mixed with onions, tomatoes and spices and then slow cooked. It is often stewed, as in the French ratatouille or deep fried for eggplant parmesan. A simple way to try it is sliced and grilled with cumin, salt and pepper seasoning. 

Easy Eggplant recipes


Cucumbers


The last of the cucumbers this week, just the long green cucumbers left. Enjoy these while we have them!


Tomatillos

Also known as the Mexican husk tomato, this plant is in the nightshade family along with tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes. It bears small, spherical green, yellow, or green-purple fruit inside paper-like husks. They are the central ingredient in Mexican and Central-American green sauces. They keep longer with the husks removed and refrigerated in plastic bags and can be frozen whole or sliced. 


Tomatoes

The greenhouse tomatoes are slowing down, but just as our field tomatoes are kicking in. We have heirloom slicers, snacking tomatoes, and red paste tomatoes this week!


Peppers

Cubanelle, bell peppers, and jalapeños this week! Enjoy some fresh salsa with this mix of hot and sweet peppers. Cubanelle peppers have sweet, mild flesh with rich flavor great for cooking and frying. It is thinner-walled, best suited for quick cooking. Popular in spanish, italian and slavic dishes, many cooks prefer it to bell types. 


Summer Squash 

Try these sautéed or grilled with our carbonara recipe or in a cooling summer pasta salad. The larger zucchini are great shredded and then made into muffins or bread. Summer squash are starting to slow down, so enjoy them while we still have them. 



Green Beans

More green beans this week. The yellow beans are yellow throughout, and will keep their color when cooked, the purple beans however are only purple on the exterior and will change to green when cooked. 


Herbs

For herbs this week we have Italian Basil, thyme and sage. 

To preserve your herbs you can hang them to dry out of the sun and rain where there is good air flow until dry, then crumble into a paper bag and transfer to a storage container. Tarragon leaves can be frozen or dried. If left to dry for too long though, the leaves lose their flavor, so make sure to store them in airtight containers as soon as the leaves are dry. 



Wednesday, September 7, 2016

2016 CSA Share 15

2016 CSA Share 15

Cool weather and rain are coming, and the first day of Fall is only two weeks away. The summer squash and cucumbers are start to slow down, plants withering and shriveling. Tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos and green beans are still going strong though, and there is corn and winter squash and watermelon and more still to come. 

Special goodies this week are more cabbages, more okra, a new this week Anaheim peppers, a mild chili pepper great for salsa or sauces. Also lots of snacking tomatoes this week, with five different varieties in each bag. Tell us which is your favorite! We are liking the black cherry and orange cherry varieties the best here. 



Things have been quiet on the farm this week, we've been waiting and watching our sow Buffy who is getting close to farrowing and giving birth to piglets. We've got the piglet birthing kit ready, and are just waiting for the telltale signs before it starts. The biggest sign is that her udders will become engorged and you can actually milk them with ease. Piglet watch soon to commence!  This will be Buffy's second birth, her first this Spring did not go well and resulted in three dead piglets. We're hopeful for her this time around, she is the better behaved and friendlier of our two sows, and we'd prefer her to be a good mother and breeder than sausage in the freezer. 

But that's farm life. 


Large Share Pictured: 4 summer squash, 2 heads of cabbage, 6 okra, 4 lemon cucumbers, 2 long green cucumbers, 2 heirloom slicing tomatoes, 8 red paste tomatoes, 2 lbs snacking tomatoes, 2 lbs green beans, 2 lbs tomatillos, 1 eggplant (optional), 4 anaheim peppers, 4 cubanelle peppers, 4 jalapeño peppers, 4 bell peppers, 2 bunch herbs. 


Small Share pictured: 1 lb tomatillo, 1 lb green beans, 1 lb snacking tomatoes, 1 cabbage head, 1 eggplant (optional) 2 summer squash, 1 long green cucumber, 2 lemon cucumbers, 3 okra, 1 heirloom slicing tomato, 4 red paste tomatoes, 2 bell peppers, 2 cubanelle peppers, 2 jalapeño peppers, 2 anaheim peppers, 1 bunch herbs.

Cabbage

New this week is cabbage! Cook up an old favorite recipe or try something new with these recipe ideas, or just freeze it for use this winter. 

Okra


More okra this week. We like to use our Okra by slicing it and dicing a jalapeno and adding them to a cornbread recipe.  Okra can also be grilled, sauteed, fried, stir-fried, or added to soup.  


Eggplant (optional)

Not everyone's favorite, we don't have quite enough for everyone this week, so please only take one if you want one! Also known as aubergine, brinjal or garden egg, the fruit is widely used in cooking and is related to both the tomato and potato. The raw fruit can have a somewhat bitter taste, but become tender when cooked and develops a rich, complex flavor. The great is capable of absorbing large amounts of cooking fats and sauces, making for very rich dishes. Try is roasted, skinned, mashed, mixed with onions, tomatoes and spices and then slow cooked. It is often stewed, as in the French ratatouille or deep fried for eggplant parmesan. A simple way to try it is sliced and grilled with cumin, salt and pepper seasoning. 

Easy Eggplant recipes


Cucumbers


More lemon and long green cucumbers this week, maybe we can eek out one more week of harvest, but the plants are calling it quits soon to the downy mildew. Resembling a lemon, these cucumbers originated in the Middle East and have a mild  pleasant taste complemented by a cool, crisp texture. The flavor is more delicately sweet and less acidic than the common green cucumber. The tiny bristles are edible but may be easily removed. These are both dual purpose cucumbers, great for enjoying fresh or pickling. Try adding them to a sandwich, wrap, or pasta salad or making a cucumber salad.


Tomatillos

Also known as the Mexican husk tomato, this plant is in the nightshade family along with tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes. It bears small, spherical green, yellow, or green-purple fruit inside paper-like husks. They are the central ingredient in Mexican and Central-American green sauces. They keep longer with the husks removed and refrigerated in plastic bags and can be frozen whole or sliced. 


Tomatoes

The greenhouse tomatoes are slowing down, but just as our field tomatoes are kicking in. We have a different heirloom tomato slicer this week, one that was given to us by another farmer and so we can't remember the variety's name. Also lots of red paste tomatoes for bruschetta or salsa or caprese salad this week and lots of snacking tomatoesas well with five different varieties in each bag! 


Peppers

Cubanelle, bell peppers, jalapeño, and Anaheim peppers this week! Enjoy some fresh salsa with this mix of hot and sweet peppers. Cubanelle peppers have sweet, mild flesh with rich flavor great for cooking and frying. It is thinner-walled, best suited for quick cooking. Popular in spanish, italian and slavic dishes, many cooks prefer it to bell types. Anaheim peppers are a mild variety, and are used most as diced chiles or in a sauce as in enchiladas, burritos, burgers, with rice or french fries. Try making a green salsa with your tomatillos! 


Summer Squash 

Try these sautéed or grilled with our carbonara recipe or in a cooling summer pasta salad. The larger zucchini are great shredded and then made into muffins or bread. Summer squash are starting to slow down, so enjoy them while we still have them. 



Green Beans

More green beans this week. The yellow beans are yellow throughout, and will keep their color when cooked, the purple beans however are only purple on the exterior and will change to green when cooked. 


Herbs

For herbs this week we have Italian Basil, garlic chives and catnip. Italian basil goes well with tomatoes, summer squash, cubanelle peppers, chicken, beef, and fish. Try it in caprese salad or the mothership tomato salad! This is an heirloom variety called Lettuce Leaf because its leaves are that large.

Garlic Chives have a mild garlic flavor and pair well with potatoes, chicken, fish, eggs, in dips, soups, sauces, risottos and rice. 


Catnip, also known as catmint, is popular for its effects on cats, which will react to the leaves dried or fresh. Its lesser known uses are for medicinal purposes for humans. It has a calming effect on the mind, body, and even stomach and has been used to treat anxiety and insomnia. It also has digestive uses for treating upset stomach, diarrhea and gas. Tea is one of the more common ways catmint is taken. Bring the water to a boil and remove from heat for a minute before beginning the steeping process with the dried leaves of the plant. Fresh leaves and the flowering top can be made into a tincture or essential oil. 

To preserve your herbs you can hang them to dry out of the sun and rain where there is good air flow until dry, then crumble into a paper bag and transfer to a storage container. Tarragon leaves can be frozen or dried. If left to dry for too long though, the leaves lose their flavor, so make sure to store them in airtight containers as soon as the leaves are dry. 



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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

2016 CSA Share 14

2016 CSA Share 14



As September approaches we are seeing the first hints of fall, and the corresponding change in the garden and in things to be done on the farm. New crops this week for shareholders are the very first of our okra and some more eggplant, optional to take for those who like it. In the greenhouse the lemon cucumbers are succumbing to downy mildew, the leaves turning yellow then sandpapery and brown, then shriveling up. The greenhouse tomatoes are slowing down, and the first hints of powdery mildew are appearing up on summer squash, signaling the coming end to those crops. Field tomatoes are coming in to full swing though, and the corn is getting close. We can spot orange pumpkins in the field, and fall apricots and pears will be ready in a few weeks.

Soon we will need to start hauling and storing firewood for winter. Fall butchering is also approaching, for our old layer hens and our lambs. The piglets were born later, so we will keep them up until the beginning of deer season, before the processor's get flooded with deer business. We still have one lamb and 1 and 1/2 hogs available, for those looking to source their meat locally. Buffy's piglets are due in the next two weeks, but we're taking reservations now for those who are interested. 




We've had some trouble with the piglets respecting the electric fencing this year, which underlined the importance of training them on it early and having a consistent charge--we were having issues with old batteries losing their charge on our solar powered electric fence chargers. As much as we love these chargers, the batteries have to be replaced about every year. So we purchased an AC powered charger and have been retraining the piglets to that fence, but have had issues with the ground rods and not getting the charge through. After trying and replacing everything we could think of, we decided to shift the 8' ground rods, and found that the first ground rod was in soil too sandy and too dry. Piglets are now respecting the fence again, and these farmers are breathing easy again.


In other news on the farm, we are looking to sell our Dorset ram Henry and our Texel/Polypay ewe Emma. While we've liked some parts of our experiment with sheep--less mowing and wool, we've had too many issues with escapes from the portable electric fencing that has taken time away from other things on the farm. We've concluded that if we want to do sheep we would need permanent pasture fencing. And because we prefer rotational grazing, this would be a lot of fencing, which we are not ready to make that kind of investment in. We've already found a home for Simone this Monday, and are now looking for a home for Henry and Emma. Both are young, Henry 5 and papered, Emma 4. Emma has always thrown twos or threes, with no problems as assistance necessary. If interested, contact us to come take a look at them. 




Large Share pictured: 2 heirloom slicing tomatoes, 8 red paste tomatoes, 4 long green cucumbers, 4 lemon cucumbers, 1 eggplant (optional), 1 okra, 4 lbs green beans, 2 bunches kale, 6 summer squash, 2 yellow onions, 2 banana peppers, 8 jalapeño peppers, 4 bell peppers, 2 cubanelle peppers, 2 lbs tomatillos, 2 bunches herbs.


Small Share pictured: 3 summer squash, 1 lb tomatillos, 1 eggplant (optional), 1 okra, 2 lbs green beans, 4 jalapeños, 1 heirloom slicing tomato, 4 red paste tomatoes, 2 bell peppers, 1 yellow onion, 1 banana pepper, 1 cubanelle pepper, 2 lemon cucumbers, 2 long green cucumbers, 1 bunch kale, 1 bunch herbs



Okra


New this week is the first of the Okra, so only one for each shareholder.  We like to use our Okra by slicing it and dicing a jalapeno and adding that to a cornbread recipe.  Okra can also be grilled, sauteed, fried, stir-fried, or added to soup.  


Eggplant (optional)

Not everyone's favorite, we don't have quite enough for everyone this week, so please only take one if you want one! Also known as aubergine, brinjal or garden egg, the fruit is widely used in cooking and is related to both the tomato and potato. The raw fruit can have a somewhat bitter taste, but become tender when cooked and develops a rich, complex flavor. The great is capable of absorbing large amounts of cooking fats and sauces, making for very rich dishes. Try is roasted, skinned, mashed, mixed with onions, tomatoes and spices and then slow cooked. It is often stewed, as in the French ratatouille or deep fried for eggplant parmesan. A simple way to try it is sliced and grilled with cumin, salt and pepper seasoning. 


Easy Eggplant recipes

Kale


This week we have the first kale of the season, enjoy these young leaves as kale chips or sautéed in olive oil, garlic and a little cayenne, or add them to a soup, or a frittata, or a quiche, you can't go wrong with kale. 


Kale Chips

Cucumbers

More lemon and long green cucumbers this week.  The lemon cucumbers are succumbing to downy mildew, so likely next week will be our last week of lemon cucumbers, hope you all enjoyed them while we had them!  Resembling a lemon, these cucumbers originated in the Middle East and have a mild  pleasant taste complemented by a cool, crisp texture. The flavor is more delicately sweet and less acidic than the common green cucumber. The tiny bristles are edible but may be easily removed. These are both dual purpose cucumbers, great for enjoying fresh or pickling. Try adding them to a sandwich, wrap, or pasta salad or making a cucumber salad.


Tomatillos

Also known as the Mexican husk tomato, this plant is in the nightshade family along with tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes. It bears small, spherical green, yellow, or green-purple fruit inside paper-like husks. They are the central ingredient in Mexican and Central-American green sauces. They keep longer with the husks removed and refrigerated in plastic bags and can be frozen whole or sliced. 


Tomatoes

The greenhouse tomatoes are slowing down, but just as our field tomatoes are kicking in. We have a different heirloom tomato slicer this week, one that was given to us by another farmer and so we can't remember the variety's name. Also lots of red paste tomatoes for bruschetta or salsa or caprese salad this week! 


Peppers

Cubanelle, jalapeño, banana and bell peppers this week! Enjoy some fresh salsa with this mix of hot and sweet peppers. 


Onion

Some smaller yellow onions from the field for your salsa this week. 


Summer Squash 

Try these sautéed or grilled with our carbonara recipe or in a cooling summer pasta salad. The larger zucchini are great shredded and then made into muffins or bread.



Green Beans

More green beans this week, enough to preserve some for the winter, and we'll have more available at pickup for those looking to put away more. The yellow beans are yellow throughout, and will keep their color when cooked, the purple beans however are only purple on the exterior and will change to green when cooked. 


Herbs

For herbs this week we have Italian Basil, onion chives and orange mint. Italian basil goes well with tomatoes, summer squash, cubanelle peppers, chicken, beef, and fish. Try it in caprese salad or the mothership tomato salad! This is an heirloom variety called Lettuce Leaf because its leaves are that large.

Onion Chives have a mild onion flavor and pair well with potatoes, chicken, fish, eggs, in dips, soups, sauces, risottos and rice. Orange mint can be added to water or juice and left for 10 + minutes to infuse their flavor, or they can be dried and made into a tea, or used as a mint in any cooking recipe that calls for them, goes well with eggplant, tomatoes, and zucchini.

To preserve your herbs you can hang them to dry out of the sun and rain where there is good air flow until dry, then crumble into a paper bag and transfer to a storage container. Tarragon leaves can be frozen or dried. If left to dry for too long though, the leaves lose their flavor, so make sure to store them in airtight containers as soon as the leaves are dry.