Farm Newsletter July 23, 2019

Farm Newsletter July 23, 2019

Farm News        Crop Forecast

U-Pick       Recipes       Nuts and Bolts

Lunch Plate Pic

Come help Harvest Garlic this Wednesday 24th!  

The best smelling day of the year!! More details below.

Greetings!

What a wild ride last week was!! Hot and thick air, plenty of mosquitoes for everyone to have their own colony, strong storms forming every day or other day….this stabler weather system is a welcome relief for several reasons, not just the 35-40 degree temperature drop!  The mosquitoe-lessening isn’t probably due to the weather, but it’s nice whatever the cause is.

We’ve seen damaging hail so many times we can sometimes sleep through severe storms now…we feel bad for the people who got the big hail, tornadoes and even high winds.  It can change the course of a whole growing season and harvest in just a few minutes.  One of the many reasons this farming business is a roll of the dice.

We were fortunate to come through last week with “just” around 5″ of rain.  In hard bursts mostly, on top of 5″ earlier in the month.   When that is fortunate, we know it’s a wet stormy year!  The crop diseases that rains like these can make worse, are so far staying mostly at bay — a couple are teetering on the edge and might take off , but with dry weather for a while the plants should be able to fight them off.

This week’s weather is wonderful — the heat pushed along the crops that had been moving slow in cold, and they’re getting closer to a more normal maturity level.  Tomatoes are starting to pick up, and melons might be ready by the first week of August.  These dry sunny days are exactly what we need to try to keep up with all the weeding, cultivating, harvesting and planting.  This week we plant the fall kale, plus some lettuce, greens and late beets.

Maybe we’ll see you in the garlic field!

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Crop Forecast

Sweet Onions!!!  The special ingredient to sweeten and deepen so many summer recipes!  They keep awhile in the fridge, take a few and you’ll probably use them up, and we’ll have plenty for 3-4 weeks.

Summer squash and zucchini , and now cucumbers are here.  They’ve slowed down a little with the 40-degree drop, but we should have enough.  Broccoli we should get a good harvest from the 3rd planting, after a little gap last week.

We’ll continue to have greens and lettuce, kale, chard and a few turnips. We should have plenty of cabbage, fennel, baby leeks, carrots and beets.   We might run out of scallions; leeks add a similar, though milder and more complex, flavor.  You can use the whole leaf in soups etc. Eggplant  is trickling in too.

Tomatoes will be 1 or 2 this week, and should be a couple more next week.  After that the main planting should kick in and the numbers will go up.  They look amazing.

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What’s for U-Pick?

We Still Need U-Pick Containers!!!  If you have any hanging around, please bring them in.

Cheery Tomatoes! — On their way.  They will trickle in and within 2-3 weeks will be oodles.

Beans — The first planting is a little stunted and the plants aren’t making a second round of flowers … they’re not in great soil, we think that’s why.  That, plus the second planting not germinating at all and the 4th planting germinating a little thin…. makes it look like it will be a modest bean year here.  We think the germ issues are due to old seed…it passed our germination test in the house, but in the field with stresses of hot/dry and wet/cold, it seems like those seeds were too old to hang on and pop up.  We’ll have new seed for next year for sure.  The yellow, purple spotted and edamame came up well, so you can fill in with those, but we might have to limit them at times unfortunately.

Peas —  As usual, were fast and furious, and are done.

All Herbs are Unlimited, and looking beautiful.

Flowers! — Wow!! The more you pick the more flowers they make.  They look happy.

Please always check the U-pick board when you’re here to see what’s available and picking amounts.

U-Pick Help:  If at any point in the season you are not physically able to  U-pick due to an injury or any other reason, please let us know.  If you’re interested in being on the volunteer list to pick for other people, please let us know too!

Please bring your own scissors for herbs and flowers.  Many shareholders just leave a pair in their car so they always have them.  If you happen to forget, we have a few “kid” scissors that we are happy to lend out.   

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Nuts and Bolts

GARLIC HARVEST THIS WEDNESDAY– If you’re available and want to come for a couple hours or all day, we love the extra hands !!   The primary task is cutting stems off garlic bulbs. Please bring water, a hat, and pruning shears if you have them (scissors don’t cut it).  We’ll be east of the barn, come anytime between 9-4 this Wednesday 7/24.

Garlic Head Pic

BLUEBERRIES NEXT DOOR!   

Little Hill Berry Farm is having a great berry harvest , and is open for picking this week and next week.  Looks like it might be a short but bountiful blueberry season.  Check their website for uipck times or sign up here on their website for their email updates.  You can also follow them on Facebook or Instagram. Pre-picked available, and strawberries too.

ORGANIC PEACH BULK ORDERING !

Our old friend Ed Muniak is now running the bulk fruit orders we’ve told you about in recent years, and peaches are coming up.  Quality organic peaches from Colorado at good prices.  We get 2 boxes, eat part of 1 fresh and freeze the rest, and it’s an awesome compliment to strawberries from us and blueberries from next door, all winter long.  Other fruits are available in season too.  Peach order deadline is August 1, and Delivery/ Pickup is August 11.  For more info email Ed at ed.muniak@gmail.com.

Remember your reusable bags and also to sign in when you pick up your share. 

Share Pickup Hours Tuesday and Thursday 1:30 – 6:30pm. You can U-Pick any time (when U-pick crops are in season.)

We are now offering herbal products! For sale in the barn.  Our farm, along with our friends at Spring Wind Farm and Keepsake Cidery have partnered together to create Prairie Fire Herbal. Over the last year we have sourced medicinal herbs from the three of our farms (all grown organically) and made a few tinctures and salves to sell. Our tinctures are: echinacea tincture for helping stimulate your immune system, echinacea and elder flower tincture for that double flower power immune strengthening, and nettle tincture for helping with allergies. All of our tinctures use herbs from our 3 farms and organic vodka locally made at Loon Liquors. We also have made 2 kinds of salves from herbs from our farms, with organic olive oil, coconut oil & beeswax. Healing Herbal Balm for many many skin issues, from dry skin to healing wounds and rashes—one of our friend calls it “magic salve” because of all the skin issues it has taken care of for her and her children. Also Muscle Soothing Balm that helps your aching muscles and is a great way to end the day. All products are $10 each–cash only please. If you have any questions, please ask Erin in the barn.

Change Pick-Up Day Form — Click here.

Please Drive Carefully —Children are everywhere.

On the note of children, please know where yours are at all times.

Thank you for making this such a great place to be! Thank you so much for your support!!

Your farmers,

Erin and Ben, with Allia, Alissa, Danny, Ed and Emily

Recipes

Summer Tomato, Onion and Cucumber Salad

From Eating Well, August 2011

3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or more to taste
2 medium cucumbers
4 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1 Vidalia or other sweet onion, halved and very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, chives and/or tarragon

Whisk vinegar, oil, honey, salt and pepper in a large shallow bowl.

Remove alternating stripes of peel from the cucumbers. Slice the cucumbers into thin rounds. Add the cucumber slices, tomatoes and onion to the dressing; gently toss to combine. Let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Just before serving, add herbs and toss again.

White Bean and Caramelized Onion Calzone

By Melissa Clark from The New York Times

2 servings

about 1 hour

The calzone, like the pizza, is a crowd-pleaser, and a excellent vehicle for using up odds and ends in the fridge. This version, which is filled with lemony mashed white beans, caramelized fennel and onions, happens to be vegan. Full-
flavored and soft-centered, it’s not a traditional calzone but a delicious tart-like creation unto itself.

INGREDIENTS
1 large fennel bulb with fronds
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil,
more as needed
1 large white onion, halved root to
stem and thinly sliced
1 1⁄2 teaspoons fennel seed
3⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt, more as
needed
1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper, more as
needed
1 3⁄4 cups cooked white beans, from a
can or homemade
1⁄2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
All-purpose flour, as needed
1 8-ounce ball pizza dough,
homemade or purchased
1⁄2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
Lemon wedges, for serving

Step 1
Remove the stems from the fennel bulb. Chop 2 tablespoons of fronds
and save the remaining fronds for another use. Halve the bulb
lengthwise, remove the core, and thinly slice each half.
Step 2
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 3 tablespoons oil,
fennel bulb, onion and fennel seed. Cook, stirring occasionally, until
vegetables are very tender and caramelized, about 25 minutes. Season
with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
Step 3
In a small bowl, mash the beans with 2 tablespoons oil, lemon zest, 1/2
teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper until they form a chunky puree.
Step 4
Heat the oven to 500 degrees. Lightly oil a baking sheet.
Step 5
Lightly flour a work surface, and stretch or roll the dough into a 12-
inch round. Spread the bean mixture on half of the dough, leaving a
half-inch border. Top with the fennel-onion mixture and sprinkle with
fennel fronds. Brush the edges of the dough with water, and fold dough
in half, over filling; pinch the edges of the dough together to seal.
Step 6
Transfer calzone to baking sheet. Brush the top with olive oil, and
sprinkle with flaky salt. Bake until crust is golden brown and firm, 15
to 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving with lemon wedges.

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