Wednesday, July 27, 2016

2016 CSA Share 9

2016 CSA Share 9


We got a decent rain this week, and the plants and weeds are loving it. We have a host of new crops for shareholders this week, jalapeño and cubanelle peppers, tomatillos and green beans and cucumbers. Summer pests are making appearances--flea beetles on the kale and broccoli, cucumber beetle on the cucumbers and squash, squash beetles on the squash, Japanese beetles on everything, and a herd of deer that mowed down our swiss chard and trimmed back the Brussel sprouts. We lost a few zucchini plants to a wilt, but a second planting will be flowering and fruiting soon. The spraying of Neem oil has begun to combat these pests. We've been trying to stay out of the heat this week, working most in the cool mornings and evenings outside, making sure everyone has water and shade available. The hay fields are full of purple flowering alfalfa, ready to be cut come another stretch of dry weather. It's summer on the farm!

We'll be at the Portland Farmer's Market this weekend 8 AM-12 PM. We'll have extra produce from the garden, pasture raised eggs, gently used books, handmade leather bound journals, plant starts, farm grown herbal tea, and fresh baked goods with fruit grown on the farm. We'll have our famous sour cream Apple pie, Wineberry muffins, raspberry bread and scones, and wonderberry muffins and scones!

Large Share pictured: 2 onions, 2 jalapeno, 2 bags tomatillos, 4 cubanelle peppers, heirloom tomatoes, 2 summer squash, 2 cucumbers, 2 lbs green beans, 2 bunches herbs

Small Share pictured: 1 onion, 1 jalapeño, 1 summer squash, 1 cucumber, tomatoes, 1 bag tomatillos, 2 cubanelle peppers, 1 lb green beans, 1 bunch herbs


Green Beans

New this week are the first green beans! We have purple and yellow beans on the way and currently flowering. 


Cucumbers

New this week are the first cucumbers of the season. These are dual purpose cucumbers, great for enjoying fresh or pickling. We'll have more cucumbers soon for cucumber salad or pickling, but for now try adding them to a sandwich, wrap, or pasta salad. Lemon cucumbers soon to follow! 


Tomatillos

New this week are the first tomatillos of the year! 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 year's first ripe tomatoes! The first ripe tomatoes are mostly our heirloom Kellogg's Breakfast, brandywine and  Black Krim slicers. Enjoy these on a BLT , wrap, or adult grilled cheese! 


Peppers

New peppers this week for everyone, the first jalapeños and cubanelle 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. Jalapeños are the most popular chile pepper in the United States. Thick-walled, moderately hot pods. Use jalapeños on nachos, or in salsa or guacamole, or to season meat. 



Onion

Another red onion from our greenhouse. You can't beat the smell of onion cooked up with butter or olive oil and garlic, and a great start to many a dish!


Summer Squash 

Try these sautéed or grilled with our carbonara recipe! The larger zucchini are great shredded and then made into muffins or bread. 



Herbs

For herbs this week we have onion chives and Italian basil. Use the onion chives to flavor chicken, fish, eggs, and potatoes. Italian basil goes well with tomatoes, summer squash, cubanelle peppers, chicken, beef, and fish. Try it in caprese salad or the mothership tomato salad! 

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. 


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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

2016 CSA Share 8

2016 CSA Share 8


Another hot and dry week on the farm, but we're not alone. The nation is sweating under a heat wave this week, not due to end until next week. We've been watering in the mornings and adding mulch to help keep more of the soil moisture, but it's going to be a hot one. New this week are the first of our tomatoes and broccoli! Both the first of the ripe tomatoes and some large green tomatoes for everyone to enjoy as fried green tomatoes or to be ripened and enjoyed later. Also the first of our  Farmer Figgins will be at the Portland Farmers Market Saturday 8-12 selling plant starts, herbal tea, gently used books, baked goods, handmade journals, pasture raised eggs, and more!  




In other news this week on the farm, it looks like our plastic on our greenhouse could not withstand the heat on the steel poles. We woke up Monday morning to find a steel rib sticking though the plastic, and 2 more on their way. The wind took care of the rest of the job of taking the plastic off for us that day.  







On the bright side it will make the water needs less in the greenhouse and lower the temperature, so we'll be waiting until Spring to put new plastic on the greenhouse. For our winter crops we'll be building a cold frame for ourselves. 

If anyone is interested in reusing the plastic for their own greenhouse/row cover/other project, please let us know and you can have it for FREE! It's in 3 pieces, roughly 10'x75' each piece. We wouldn't recommend it with steel, but it may work with PVC and/or wood. 


Large Share pictured: 2 red onions, 2 bags of mixed greens, 2 tomatoes, 4 green tomatoes,
2 kohlrabi, 2 summer squash, 2 purple bell peppers, 2 bags of broccoli, 2 bunches of herbs


Small Share pictured: 1 red onion, 1 tomato, 2 green tomatoes, 1 summer squash, 1 bag of greens,
1 kohlrabi, 1 purple bell pepper, 1 bag of broccoli, 1 bunch of herbs



Tomatoes

The year's first ripe tomatoes! The first ripe tomatoes are mostly our heirloom Kellogg's Breakfast and Black Krim slicers. Enjoy these on a BLT , wrap, or adult grilled cheese! 

Green Tomatoes

New this week are green tomatoes! You can set these on top of your fridge and let them slowly ripen, or you can try an old southern favorite, fried green tomatoes. 


Broccoli

New this week is the first of our broccoli. The heads are small due to the heat and lack of rain, but we're glad to see this vegetable in our fridge again. We like to add these to stir fry and quiches and salads, but there are plenty of ways to add broccoli to your meal! 

Pepper

More peppers again this week! You will find a purple bell pepper or banana pepper in your bag of broccoli. Banana peppers are not very hot and are great in proscuitto and cheese or in a sandwich. We also have the first of our bell peppers, the purple beauty variety which are usually the smallest fruits, with a terrific sweet flavor. 

Onion

Another red onion from our greenhouse. You can't beat the smell of onion cooked up with butter or olive oil and garlic, and a great start to many a dish!


Summer Squash 

Try these sautéed or grilled with our carbonara recipe! The larger zucchini are great shredded and then made into muffins or bread. 


Kohlrabi

The last of our kohlrabi for this year, so enjoy! The word Kohlrabi is German for cabbage turnip, and it can be eaten raw or cooked. We usually eat them raw, just peel off the skin and slice them like an apple and sprinkle with a little salt or dip in your favorite dressing and enjoy! They're also great raw on a salad, or roasted, or baked. They are also popular in Indian food, in dishes like Kohlrabi Curry.


Kohlrabi Curry

Roasted Kohlrabi

Butter-Braised Kohlrabi 


Mixed Greens-Mizzuna, Mustard, Arugula, Swiss Chard, French Sorrel, Mixed lettuce greens


We have a mix of some of the last greens left in the garden, it's getting too hot and too dry for us to enjoy greens for much longer. We've seeded more, but there just tiny seedlings right now and will hopefully survive this weeks heat.  

Herbs

For herbs this week we have citrus mint and tarragon. Use the citrus mint fresh to flavor meat or soak in ice water to impart its flavor. Or hang it to dry to use for tea. 

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, July 13, 2016

2016 CSA Share 7

2016 CSA Share 7




It's been another hot and dry week on the farm, but we got some rain Monday and Tuesday to help the garden along. We have a few new crops this week for our shareholders, summer squash, onions, and peppers. Broccoli and cucumbers are on their way, and we should be seeing those soon in our shares. In other farm news, we said goodbye to two of our lambs on Tuesday, brother and sister George and Margaret left for their new home in Claire, Michigan, where they will be raised and used as breeders on a small, family farm. We have only one lamb left available, and one half hog, so let us know soon if you are interested! 

In the greenhouse, our tomatoes are now as tall as we are, and we are seeing the first fruit start to ripen!



Large Share pictured: 2 onions, 2 banana peppers, 2 bell peppers, 2 summer squash, 2 bags peas, 2 bags mixed greens, 2 bags lettuce mix, 2 kohlrabi, 2 bunches herbs. 

Small Share pictured: 1 banana pepper, 1 bell pepper, 1 kohlrabi, 1 onion, 1 bunch herbs, 1 bag lettuce mix, 1 bag greens mix, 1 summer squash, 1 bag of peas


Farmer Figgins will be at the Portland Farmers Market Saturday 8-12, and the Trufant auction and market on Thursday from 7-12 selling plant starts, herbal tea, books, handmade journals, pasture raised eggs, and more! 

Pepper

New this week is the first of our peppers! Banana peppers are not very hot and are great in proscuitto and cheese or in a sandwich. We also have the first of our bell peppers, the purple beauty variety which are usually the smallest fruits, with a terrific sweet flavor. 

Onion

New this week are the first onions from our greenhouse. You can beat the smell of onion cooked up with butter or olive oil and garlic!


Summer Squash 

New this week are the first of our summer squash.  Try these sautéed or grilled with our carbonara recipe!

Snap Peas

More of our snap peas this week. They haven't been dealing well with the heat and dry conditions, so enjoy them while we have them! Enjoy these on your salad this week, or add to a stir fry or just snack on them by themselves. 

Kohlrabi

More giant kohlrabi again this week! The word Kohlrabi is German for cabbage turnip, and it can be eaten raw or cooked. We usually eat them raw, just peel off the skin and slice them like an apple and sprinkle with a little salt or dip in your favorite dressing and enjoy! They're also great raw on a salad, or roasted, or baked. They are also popular in Indian food, in dishes like Kohlrabi Curry.


Kohlrabi Curry

Roasted Kohlrabi

Butter-Braised Kohlrabi 


Mixed Greens-Mizzuna, Mustard, Arugula, Swiss Chard, French Sorrel, Romaine


We have a mix of some of our more unusual greens again this week. This is great by itself or mixed with the lettuce mix. If you find the greens too hot, try cooking them down a bit by braising, sautéing, or steaming. 

Lettuce Mix


Our favorite lettuce mix variety from Johnny Seeds, this is a mix of green oak leaf, red oak leaf, green romaine, red romain, lollo rossa, and red leaf lettuces that always gets rave reviews from our customers.  


Herbs


 For herbs this week we have the Italian favorites oregano and basil. Try a oregano pizza crust with basil topping, or check out the  below Herb Cooksmart Guide. 

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. 




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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

2016 CSA Share 6

2016 CSA Share 6


It's been another hot and dry week at the farm. The heat and weed pressure overtook our 2nd planting of roots and leaf crops before we could weed and water them back to health. Farmer Figgins has weeded and reseeded, and we're hoping for rain these next two days to water it in for us, but we won't be seeing much greens or roots for some time unfortunately.  Broccoli are starting to form florets though, the squash have their very first fruit, still too small to harvest, and the cucumbers are just beginning to flower.  We are in between crops, so we're boosting this week's share with a herb start to add to your garden or windowsill. Lettuce Leaf Basil, an heirloom Italian basil variety from Seed Saver's Exchange.  

Farmer Figgins will be at the Belding Farmer's Market this week  Saturday 9-1 pm and will have our lettuce mix, mixed greens mix, pasture raised eggs, plant starts, herbs, homegrown herbal tea, handmade journals and more available!


Large Share Pictured: 2 bags of mixed greens, 2 bags of lettuce mix, 2 kohlrabi and turnips, 2 herb bundles, 2 bunches kale, 2 bags of peas, 2 basil plants.

Small Share pictured: 1 bag of lettuce mix, 1 bag of mixed greens, 1 kohlrabi and turnip, 1 bunch kale, 1 bag of peas, 1 bunch herbs, 1 basil plant.


Kale


Some more kale for everyone this week. Enjoy these 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

Snap Peas

More of our snap peas this week. They haven't been dealing well with the heat and dry conditions, so enjoy them while we have them! Enjoy these on your salad this week, or add to a stir fry or just snack on them by themselves. 

Kohlrabi

More giant kohlrabi again this week! The word Kohlrabi is German for cabbage turnip, and it can be eaten raw or cooked. We usually eat them raw, just peel off the skin and slice them like an apple and sprinkle with a little salt or dip in your favorite dressing and enjoy! They're also great raw on a salad, or roasted, or baked. They are also popular in Indian food, in dishes like Kohlrabi Curry.


Kohlrabi Curry

Roasted Kohlrabi

Butter-Braised Kohlrabi 


Mixed Greens-Mizzuna, Mustard, Arugula, Spinach



We have a mix of some of our more unusual greens again this week. This is great by itself or mixed with the lettuce mix. If you find the greens too hot, try cooking them down a bit by braising, sautéing, or steaming. 

Turnip

This week we have the last of our purple top turnips. We've seeded more but it will be some time before we see them again, the second planting was lost to weeds, heat, and lack of water. 


Lettuce Mix


Our favorite lettuce mix variety from Johnny Seeds, this is a mix of green oak leaf, red oak leaf, green romaine, red romain, lollo rossa, and red leaf lettuces that always gets rave reviews from our customers.  


Basil Plant

We are in between crops, so we're boosting this week's share with a herb start to add to your garden or windowsill. Lettuce Leaf Basil, an heirloom Italian basil variety from Seed Saver's Exchange.  Basil likes full sun, a good 6" of space and good soil. To make your basil last, pick the newer top leaves and leave the older leaves below alone to take in the sun to grow. Or, snip off the top of the stem just above a low growing point/node like in the picture below.

Herbs


This week we have three herbs for everyone, oregano, tarragon, and garlic chives. Soon we hope to have more of the summer favorites like basil, lime basil and cilantro and parsley. For an idea on what produce, meat and dishes these work best in, and how best to store them, consult the below Herb Cooksmart Guide. 

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, June 29, 2016

2016 CSA Share 5

2016 CSA Share 5


It's been another hot and dry week at the farm. We were hoping for rain on Sunday, but got only a tease of a storm and nothing else. The unusual heat and dry conditions of this summer thus far have slowed down many of our crops, most especially our next planting of greens and roots, upcoming crops like green beans and summer squash, and weak, recently transplanted young plants like pumpkins and winter squash. For shares this week, we have two new crops to add to the mix, kohlrabi and snap peas! 

We've buckled and done some hand watering in the garden, and likely will again this week. It has been perfect conditions for cutting and drying hay though, and this year we got a record cutting (for our farm) of 329 bales from 5 acres. We put up 240 in our barn for the winter, and struck a great deal with some friends of the farm to trade some of the hay for our cow Rosie's breeding costs when she stayed at their farm and was bred to their Scottish Highland bull. 

We will be at the Portland Farmer's Market this week  Saturday 8-12 pm and will have our lettuce mix, mixed greens mix, pasture raised eggs, snap peas, plant starts and more available!

Large Share Pictured: 2 bundles herbs, 2 bags lettuce mix, 2 bags greens mix, 2 bags snap peas, 2 root bundles, 2 kohlrabi, 2 bundles green onions


Small Share Pictured: 1 herb bundle, 1 root bundle, 1 kohlrabi, 1 bag snap peas, 1 bag lettuce mix, 1 bag greens mix



Snap Peas

New this week is the first of our snap peas! Enjoy these on your salad this week, or add to a stir fry or just snack on them by themselves! 

Kohlrabi

Also new this week are Kohlrabi. The word Kohlrabi is German for cabbage turnip, and it can be eaten raw or cooked. We usually eat them raw, just peel off the skin and slice them like an apple and sprinkle with a little salt or dip in your favorite dressing and enjoy! They're also great raw on a salad, or roasted, or baked. They are also popular in Indian food, in dishes like Kohlrabi Curry.


Kohlrabi Curry

Roasted Kohlrabi

Butter-Braised Kohlrabi 

Green Onions

New this week we have bunches of green onions, add these diced to your salad greens for a great salad! 

Mixed Greens-Mizzuna, Mustard, Arugula, French Sorrel, baby Swiss Chard



We have a mix of some of our more unusual greens again this week. This is great by itself or mixed with the lettuce mix. If you find the greens too hot, try cooking them down a bit by braising, sautéing, or steaming. 

Root bundle

This week we a purple top turnip and some beets to add to your salad. Unfortunately with the weather being so dry it has really set back our next planting of root crops. We like the beets shredded on salad and the turnip thinly sliced. Remember, these greens are also edible! Cut off the greens an inch above the roots and store those in a closed container. The greens are most often eaten cooked down, added to soup or egg dishes. 



Lettuce Mix


Our favorite lettuce mix variety from Johnny Seeds, this is a mix of green oak leaf, red oak leaf, green romaine, red romain, lollo rossa, and red leaf lettuces that always gets rave reviews from our customers.  

Herbs


This week we have three herbs for everyone, oregano, tarragon, and catnip. Soon we hope to have more of the summer favorites like basil and cilantro and parsley. For an idea on what produce, meat and dishes these work best in, and how best to store them, consult the below Herb Cooksmart Guide. 

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. 

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.