Wednesday, August 24, 2016

2016 CSA Share 13


2016 CSA Share 13



More rain this week on the farm, and the plants are soaking it up, the corn tasseling and tomatoes ripening. New this week from the garden are the first cabbage of the season, the first purple and yellow beans, and a return of more kale. In the garden Farmer Figgins has been focusing on clearing aisles and mulching with a thick later of wood chips. Meanwhile, in the greenhouse, tomato hornworms and squash beetles are making their presence known, and taking a few plants down with them. Neem oil can help with the squash beetles, but tomato hornworms have to be manually squashed, and there are always new ones appearing. Luckily the tomatoes in the garden are just starting to ripen as the tomato hornworms do their most damage in the greenhouse, taking bites out of green and ripening fruit alike and stripping the tomato vine of all its foliage and fruit. 

Out on the pasture the sheep and cow are keeping cool and enjoying the regrowth of grass since the last cutting and after the new influx of rain. The chickens have been free ranging and helping peck through and spread our cow Rosie's manure on her pasture. We have a few too many old hens though, and we'd like to put 10-20 in our freezer this fall. If anyone is interested in joining us this fall for a chicken processing date, lending a hand or learning the process from us, we'd be happy to have you! 



One of our sows, Buffy (right), will be due with piglets in early September. She's just starting to show some udder growth and filling in. We'll be separating her from the rest of the pigs soon, with a hut to give shelter when she farrows. All of her piglets will be for sale, after 5 weeks old minimum. We prefer to raise pigs for meat seasonally, but these piglets would need to be finished inside. Our other sow, Cordelia, has not been cooperative in having her tested for standing heat, so we may be considering having her go with a boar in the late fall. We do still have Pasture Raised Pigs for sale for your freezer for this fall/winter, contact us if you are interested in getting some Shire Farm pork for your freezer. 



Large Share pictured: 2 bunches kale, 2 heads cabbage, 4 lemon cucumbers, 2 long green cucumbers, 4 summer squash, 2 herb bundles, 2 bell peppers, 2 poblano peppers, 2 red onions, 4 jalapeños, 4 cubanelle peppers, 1 lb tomatillos, 2 lbs green beans, 2 slicer tomatoes, 4 red tomatoes, 2 cartons of snacking tomatoes.

Small Share pictured: 1 lb green beans, 2 summer squash, 1 long green cucumber, 2 lemon cucumbers, 1 red onion, 1 slicer tomato, 2 red tomatoes, 1 carton snacking tomatoes, 1 bell pepper, 2 cubanelle peppers, 2 jalapeños, 1 poblano, .5 lb tomatillo, 1 head cabbage, 1 bunch kale, 1 bunch herbs.   





Cabbage

New this week is cabbage! Try some Sauerkraut or Coleslaw or Corned Beef and Cabbage this week. We always enjoy making egg rolls with our home grown cabbage, which is another way to use some onion, kohlrabi, and cucumber! Below is a good template for making egg rolls, but feel free to change up some of the ingredients.

Egg Rolls

Cucumbers

More lemon and long green cucumbers this week. 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 time bristles are edible but may be easily removed. These are 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

Our tomatoes in the field are starting to turn red, starting with the roma tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, just in time as the greenhouse tomatoes begin to fall under the onslaught of tomato hornworms. Everyone gets an heirloom slicer, red tomatoes, and snacking tomatoes this week.  


Peppers

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



Onion

More red onions 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! Use these this week with the cucumber or tomato, or tomatillo green salsa. You can't go wrong! 


Summer Squash 

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



Green Beans

More green beans this week, and the start of our purple and yellow beans! 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, catnip and onion chives. 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. 

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. 




Wednesday, August 17, 2016

2016 CSA Share 12



This week's harvest
2016 CSA Share 12

We finally got some decent rains this week, the winds were strong though and have bent over some of our sweet corn unfortunately. The major doings on the farm right now are garden related mostly, fighting back the weeds, mowing the aisles and trying to mulch over them to prevent regrowth. 

We have a return of some crops this week, broccoli and eggplant, and some roots for our Large Shares. Lots of summer squash and bell peppers this week, so if you don't think you can keep up, preserve them for winter! 


Large Share pictured: 8 summer squash, 4 long cucumbers, 4 lemon cucumbers, 2 large slicer tomatoes, 4 small tomatoes, 1 lb cherry tomatoes, 2 lbs green beans, 14 jalapeños, 10 bell peppers, 2 root bundles, 2 eggplant, 4 cubannelle peppers, 2 bags of broccoli, 2 bags of tomatillos, 1 lb ground cherries, 2 banana peppers, 2 purple onions, 2 root bundles, 2 bundles herbs.

Small Share pictured: 2 lemon cucumbers, 2 long cucumbers, 4 summer squash, 1 large slicer tomato, 2 small slicer tomatoes, .5 lb cherry tomatoes, 5 bell peppers, 2 cubannelle peppers, 1 banana pepper, 7 jalapeño peppers, .5 lb ground cherries, 1 bag tomatilllos, 1 eggplant, 1 purple onion,1 bag broccoli, 2 bundle herbs. 


Root Bundle (Large Shares Only)

Our later root crop plantings didn't do well with the heat and lack of water, so we only have enough root crops to share with the Large Shares. They get radishes and beets this week! 


Eggplant

New for this week are eggplant! 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


Broccoli

A reappearance of broccoli this week for everyone. These are smaller heads and offshoots, but just as good to add to a stir fry, salad, or quiche! 

Ground Cherries

More ground cherries this week, about a half pound for small shares, and a pound for large shares. 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


Green Beans


Lots of green beans this week, small shares get 2 lbs, large shares get 4 lbs. Try freezing or canning some to save for winter! We have purple and yellow beans on the way and currently flowering and forming small pods. 


Cucumbers

New this week are lemon cucumbers!  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 time bristles are edible but may be easily removed. These are 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

Our tomatoes in the field are starting to turn red, starting with the roma tomatoes. We've also been seeing the distinctive trail of the tomato hornworm and crushing them wherever we find them. Many of the tomatoes in the greenhouse split under the high heat of the plastic, but we can still enjoy some Brandywine slicers,Kellogg's Breakfast and Black Krim heirloom slicers and this week some yellow cherry tomatoes! 


Peppers

Cubanelle, jalapeño, some banana peppers and lots of bell peppers this week! Cubanelle pepepers 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. Banana peppers are not very hot and are great in proscuitto and cheese or in a sandwich.



Onion

More red onions 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! Use these this week with the cucumber or tomato, or tomatillo green salsa. You can't go wrong! 


Summer Squash 

Try these sautéed or grilled with our carbonara recipe! The larger zucchini are great shredded and then made into muffins or bread. Lots of squash this week, so consider saving some for winter! You can easily quick blanche and cool and then freeze them to enjoy later. 



Herbs

For herbs this week we have Italian Basil, lime basil, and tarragon. 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.

Lime basil is a new one for us this year, and like the lemon basil we grew in previous years this goes well with chicken, pasta, and fish. We are interested to try it with salsa and guacamole this year! 

Tarragon hs a perppery, licorice smell and goes well with root and leaf crops, chicken, beef, lamb , eggs and fish. Try it in a salad dressing or omelet! 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. 


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, August 10, 2016

2016 CSA Share 11

2016 CSA Share 11

Another hot and dry week on the farm, but we're hoping for some showers Thursday or Friday to perk up the garden, though the weeds seem to be doing just fine. The garden is growing well, with our annual fruits of ground cherries and wonderberries ready to harvest just as the raspberries and wineberries have tapered off. 


We've moved the pigs to a new pasture, and they are grazing and turning it up quick quick. Buffy the sow is starting to show her pregnancy, we expect her to be due early September. The piglets are slightly wild, but growing well and enjoying produce from the garden. The hay dried well and came out green and rich, 110 bales, if we get some decent storms we'll hopefully get a third cutting in this year. 


Today is Farmer's Don's 30th Birthday! We're having a fun day off farm, but we'll be back for shareholder pickup tonight at 6:30 pm. See you all there! 


Large Share pictured: 2 bags of ground cherries, 2 bags of tomatillos, 2 cauliflower heads, 2 bell peppers, 4 cubanelle peppers, 2 jalapeño peppers, 4 tomatoes, 4 cucumbers, 4 summer squash, 4 lbs of green beans, 2 onions, 2 bunches herbs.

Small Share pictured: 1 bag of ground cherries, 1 bag of tomatillos, 2 summer squash, 2 cubanelle peppers, 1 jalapeño, 1 bell pepper, 2 tomatoes, 2 cucumbers 1 onion, 2 lbs green beans, 1 bunch herbs. 


Ground Cherries


New this week are 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

Cauliflower


The white head that we think of when we think of cauliflower is composed of a white cluster of  many flowers arranged on a stem. This head can be roasted, boiled, fried, steamed, pickled or eaten raw. When cooking, the outer leaves and thick stalks are removed, leaving only the florets. The leaves are also edible, but often discarded. Break the florets into similar sized pieces so they are cooked evenly. 


Green Beans


Lots of green beans this week, small shares get 2 lbs, large shares get 4 lbs. Try freezing or canning some to save for winter! We have purple and yellow beans on the way and currently flowering and forming small pods. 


Cucumbers

More cucumbers this week! We harvested the first of our lemon cucumbers, but didn't have enough for everyone so we will likely be seeing those next week. These are 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

Our tomatoes in the field are still all green, we've seen the first few fruits turning red. We've also been seeing the distinctive trail of the tomato hornworm and crushing them wherever we find them. Many of the tomatoes in the greenhouse split under the high heat of the plastic, but we can still enjoy some Brandywine slicers,Kellogg's Breakfast and Black Krim heirloom slicers or take a container of yellow cherry tomatoes. 


Peppers

Cubanelle, jalapeño and a bell pepper for everyone this week. Cubanelle pepepers 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. Banana peppers are not very hot and are great in proscuitto and cheese or in a sandwich.



Onion

More red onions 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! Use these this week with the cucumber or tomato, or tomatillo green salsa. You can't go wrong! 


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 Italian Basil, lime basil, 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.

Lime basil is a new one for us this year, and like the lemon basil we grew in previous years this goes well with chicken, pasta, and fish. We are interested to try it with salsa and guacamole this year! 

Orange mint is perfect for summer drinks and fruit salads. Medicinally mints have been used to brew tea that aides in digestion. 


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, August 3, 2016

2016 CSA Share 10

2016 CSA Share 10

Last week we had a cool break from the hot and dry summer weather that has been characterizing our summer so far. We received a few inches of rain and many cool, cloudy days for plants to enjoy and recover from the previous heat. This week we've got a few hotter days but lots of sun and clear skies, prefect for our second cutting of hay to be cut and dried. The sheep are getting to enjoy some of this sweeter pasture too. We still have one lamb and one half hog available for sale, let us know if you are interested! 



The garden is really starting to produce now, and we've got enough tomatillos and green beans this week for shareholders to save some for winter if they decide.  New crops this week are eggplant and cauliflower. We won't be at the Portland or Belding Farmers Market for the rest of the season, extra vegetables and products made from the farm can be requested and purchased on the farm or at the Turk Lake bookstore and bait shop on Saturdays. 


Large Share Pictured: 2 bunches Kale, 4 cubanelle peppers, 2 banana peppers, 1 eggplant (large share only), 4 red onions, 2 summer squash, 2 cauliflower, 2 lbs tomatillos, 4 tomatoes, 4 lbs green beans, 4 cucumbers, 2 bunches herbs
Small Share pictured: 1 bunch kale, 2 lbs green beans, 2 red onions, 1 cauliflower, 2 cucumber, 1 summer squash, 2 cubanelle peppers, 1 banana pepper, 2 tomatoes, 1 lb tomatillos, 1 bunch herbs. 

Eggplant (Large Shares only)

New this week, the first of our eggplant! We only had enough for our Large shares for this week, but look for them again soon! 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

Cauliflower

New this week are cauliflower! The white head is composed of a white cluster of flowers arranged on a stem. Cauliflower can be roasted, boiled, fried, steamed, pickled or eaten raw. When cooking, the outer leaves and thick stalks are removed, leaving only the florets. The leaves are also edible, but often discarded. Break the florets into similar sized pieces so they are cooked evenly. 


Kale


Flea beetles have been enjoying our kale, but there was enough for a harvest 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
All the Kale Recipes You Will Ever Need

Green Beans

Lots of green beans this week, small shares get 2 lbs, large shares get 4 lbs. Try freezing or canning some to save for winter! We have purple and yellow beans on the way and currently flowering and forming small pods. 


Cucumbers

More cucumbers this week! We harvested the first of our lemon cucumbers, but didn't have enough for everyone so we will likely be seeing those next week. These are 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 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

More Cubanelle peppers  and Banana peppers this week for our shareholders. Cubanelle pepepers 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. Banana peppers are not very hot and are great in proscuitto and cheese or in a sandwich.



Onion

More red onions 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! Use these this week with the cucumber or tomato, or tomatillo green salsa. You can't go wrong! 


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 Italian Basil, catnip, and tarragon. 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!

Tarragon goes well with vegetables like potatoes, carrots, leeks, and mushrooms, in salad dressings and omelets and with chicken, beef, lamb or fish. 

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. 





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