Farm Newsletter June 27, 2022
Gee, feels like not much has changed since last newsletter — we’re still mostly chasing weeds!!
But a few good, gentle rains has reduced our irrigation workload, and made the plants smile. We got 1.5 inches total over a week and a half, and all of it gentle and soaking in. What a treat!
Last week the harvest diversified into summer a little more, which was fun. We went out Monday not knowing quite what we’d get and were pleasantly surprised by the carrots, beets, cabbage, broccoli, cukes and squash.
These temperatures have been perfect for the veggies, and the calm wind and lack of mosquitoes has made for a lot of dreamy days working in the fields! Lots of sunshine, occasional clouds to take the edge off, and nights that are cool enough for the fruiting crops to do their reproductive thing. And incredible plant growth all around! Including nearly all plants growing out of the bad potting soil we got this spring. It might decrease yields a little bit still, or make a couple things late, but with our fertile soil (from what is here and how we’ve added to it) and some careful foliar fertilizing, plants that looked terrible a couple weeks ago are now 2-3 times the size and looking stress-free. Phew!!
Random fun: all the fall carrots, beets and radishes are planted , and most of them have popped out of the ground. The watermelon radishes germinated less than 48 hours from planting!
We want to let you know that Erin tested positive for Covid over the weekend, and two of us had close exposure to her. To avoid your exposure, we will be mixing up who is in the barn. It might be a familiar face, and it might not, but you can ask any questions you normally would, and we’ll get you what you need. Erin and Ben and anyone else exposed will not be in the barn during pickup hours this week. Erin is feeling a lot better, not quite 100%, but starting to talk about 100% like it’s close. The share is pretty similar, in terms of bag size and U-pick, so much of it you’ve had one go-round of already. But do ask away to make sure you know what to do and where to go!
This week — more of the new veggies from last week!
Carrots, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cucumbers, Summer Squash and Zucchini! Plus scallions and a few kohlrabi and radishes; and Greens and Lettuce, kale and swiss chard.
Carrots will be small this week again, but we should have bigger ones next week. Broccoli might fluctuate, but we’ll try to have a steady supply. We may run out of scallions and then we’d pick some baby leeks — milder but can be used similarly, and like adult leeks too. And next week we should have sweet onions, they’re so so good!
Head lettuce made it the 4 weeks we plan for it, which is extra incredible given the heat wave last month. Last week we picked the final heads — we’ll miss the crunch but just can’t grow it reliably into the heat of summer. Turnips had a hard time in the heat, so we’re out of those, but we still have some straggler kohlrabi and radishes.
Often we eat the first red tomato by July 4th — all the plantings of tomatoes look incredibly good, but we haven’t even seen a blushing tomato yet. Eggplants are starting to change from flowers to fruit, so they aren’t too far off!
What’s for U-Pick?
Strawberries came and went super fast. We were hoping there’d be a few more for gleaning last week but they all ripened quick. Next year’s planting will have more of the good varieties, so should boost the harvest by a little.
Peas! Are looking great, and the sub-90 degree days are good for them. We’ll keep them watered and aim for a good harvest this week, and next week they’ll probably be open for gleaning. We will likely go unlimited after Thursday – we first want to make sure everyone gets their share. Remember when picking to hold the plant with one hand and pull off the pea with the other.
Cilantro and Dill are cruising along, and lots of Basil now too!!
Beans are here! Little bits at first, hopefully by next week the next planting will be in and we’ll have a few more to go around. The later planting had better germination and should fill everyone’s needs.
This spot in the newsletter will keep you informed, and always check the U-pick board when you’re here to see what’s available and picking amounts.
Nuts and Bolts
From LuAnn in the Medicinal Herb Garden:
From LuAnn in the Medicinal Herbs Garden
Do you all know plantain? No, not the banana! I’m talking about the garden “weed” that some homeowners try to eradicate from their yards. Did you know it’s a great remedy for bug bites of all sorts – mosquitoes, bees, even wasps and spiders! Simply pick a leaf, macerate (crush to release the juices), and rub on the bite. If it’s more than a mosquito bite, I typically place the clump of macerated leaf on the bite and cover with a bandaid – or another plantain leaf and tape. You will be amazed.
For more great home remedy ideas about dealing with mosquito bites, check out HealthyGreenSaavy, one of my go-to websites with so much useful information written by Susannah Shmurak, also a member at Open Hands Farm!
I’ve scheduled monthly plant walks and classes to be held at the garden through October. First up is a plant walk on Tuesday, July 19, at 6:30, where I will identify and share more about plantain and its many and varied uses for establishing and maintaining health. On Saturday morning, July 23, I am offering a “Herbal Remedy Making for Beginners” class where you will make an oil using plantain leaves – as well as some other remedies to take home with you – depending on what else is plentiful. For details and to register, check out my Classes Page.
I look forward to seeing you at the garden soon!
Push Pin Sign-In When you come to pick up your share, please “sign in” with the push pin by your name, inside the barn door. This helps us know how many people came each day, so we can be sure to pick/have more than enough for everybody.
For split shares — instead of leaving notes on the sign in sheet, you can email or text your share partner to communicate “Who gets what this time”.
Share Pickup Hours TUESDAY and THURSDAY 1:30-6:30 pm.
Change Pick-Up Day Form — Click here. Please fill out this form instead of emailing us. Thanks!
Where is the farm? 4151 320th Street West, Northfield.
Please Drive Carefully —Children are everywhere.
If You Send Someone Else to Pick Up Your Share — Please forward them the basic pickup videos that we sent you last week. Then just tell them to introduce themselves to us in the barn, just so we know.
We love having all of you come to the farm! Thank you for making it such a great place to be!
Erin and Ben, with Allia, Alexandra, Alissa, Emily, Maddie
Easy Cucumber Salad
This Cucumber Salad Recipe comes together quickly and with just a few ingredients. A refreshing and tangy side salad it’s a great accompaniment to chicken, grilled meat, seafood and so much more! Easy Cucumber Onion Salad is a must make for any Summer get together.
- 2 large cucumbers
- ▢1 red onion sliced
- ▢1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- ▢1/4 cup water
- ▢1 tablespoon sugar
- ▢1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ▢1 teaspoon black pepper
I recommend you use apple cider vinegar in this recipe rather than white as it’s less acidic, but if you are in a real pinch you can use white.
- Slice each cucumber in 1/4 inch slices and add to a large bowl.
- Add in the sliced red onion (sliced into half moon) and toss to combine.
- In a mason jar or small bowl whisk together the apple cider vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and pepper.
- Pour the dressing mixture over the cucumber and onion and toss to fully coat/combine.
- Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
Asian Cabbage Salad
FOR THE SALAD:
- 1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
- ½ small head green cabbage finely sliced (about 3 cups)*
- ½ small head red cabbage finely sliced (about 3 cups)**
- 1 medium red bell pepper very thinly sliced
- 1 cup shredded carrots about 2 medium
- 1 cup frozen shelled edamame thawed
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
FOR THE DRESSING
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the nuts in a single layer on an ungreased rimmed baking sheet. Toast for 4 to 6 minutes, until fragrant and crisp. Toss once halfway through and do not walk away during the last few minutes of cooking (TRUST ME). Immediately remove to a small bowl or plate (or if your salad is ready to go, you can add them directly to the serving bowl).
- In a large bowl, place the green and red cabbage, bell pepper, carrots, edamame, and cilantro.
- In a medium mixing bowl or large liquid measuring cup, whisk together the dressing ingredients: rice vinegar, honey, soy sauce, peanut butter, and ginger. Pour enough over the salad to moisten it. Toss to coat. Assess the amount of dressing and add more as desired. Add the almonds and give the salad a final, light toss. If time allows, let marinade for 30 minutes prior to serving. Enjoy!