Monday, May 30, 2011

Week 2

Hi folks,

Did July come when I wasn't looking?? The spring produce is wilting in the field with this incredible early heat. We use row covers to cover crops that are susceptible to insects, it's the organic thing to do, but we had to take them off today as they do increase temperature a bit under them and with temps in the 90's.....kind of a catch 22 situation.

I was working with our new helper Liz, who just started today and was shocked when she said that she would be back tomorrow. What a trooper!

You'll be receiving a few new items this week, sugar snap peas, radishes and garlic scapes. I'm including a garlic scape pesto recipe with this email. The garlic scape is a shoot that the garlic plant springs forth this time of year and can be diced up and used in any dish that you might like a nice mild garlic flavor. For you Rousedale veterans, you know I waited a bit to long to harvest the scapes last year and they were somewhat tough, ok they were very tough, ok they were downright unusable. This year they are young and extremely tender and I think you'll get some nice use out of these weird looking things.

So in your crates this week:

pac choi
sugar snap peas (some have gotten a little big, but are still very tender and sweet..shuck a couple for the sweetest pea treat you've ever tasted)
spicy salad mix
mild salad mix
kale (nice comments from some surprised kale haters)
garlic scapes
spring onions

Have had a lot of inquiries about when the honey would be ready. We take our honey off the hives around the fourth of July and hopefully will have plenty to stock the shelves.

Hope you had a nice holiday weekend! See you Wednesday.

Steve and Vicky

Monday, May 23, 2011

Week 1

Hi All,

Week one is here and we begin a 23 week journey into the freshest organically grown food on the planet. I just tried a radish and wow...a nice little bit of hotness! I'm going to give the radishes one more week before they appear in your crates. This is what you will see in your crates this week:

Spicy Salad Mix (arugula, red mustard and green mustard greens)
Cress (I'm keeping that separate because it's a very unique taste and quite spicy, you may want to add just a little to salads)
Green Onions
Mild Salad Mix
Young Red Russian Kale
Pac Choi (Bok Choi)

A lot of green stuff. I hope our systems are ready for all those vitamins and minerals!

I do have to say that I'm a little disappointed in the strawberries so far this year. They don't seem as sweet as they have been in past years and I think it may because there has been very little sun helping to produce the sugar for the fruit. Just a hunch, but that's the only thing different from years past.

We have subscribed to the United Harvest Newsletter that is designed for CSA members that includes a lot of recipes. I will include it with this update twice a month and will post it on our web site under recipes. Many of the recipes this week use ingredients that aren't quite ready, but you can hold on to them or go back to our web site to reference those things when they show up in your crates.

Also we have had a totally weird chicken experience here at the farm. A chicken that has been here for a year and a half dressed as a hen(female) has suddenly started to crow like a rooster(male). The comb(top of the head) and wattles(under the beak area) are a little larger than a regular hens, but is not really rooster looking. Further investigation will follow.

Speaking of chicken...we will take the chickens we grow for meat to the processor tomorrow morning and pick them up Thursday. We will keep them in the cooler for the weekend before moving them to the freezer. So if you are interested a whole 3.5 to 5 pound bird is $3.99 per pound. We can cut to your order as well, but I will have to know by tonight. The cost goes up with cutting and de-boning of course.

That's it for now. See you Wednesday!

Steve and Vicky

Sunday, May 1, 2011

WARNING: Always wear your veil when working with your bees!

My eye really only looks like this after one of our bees decides to give me a Botox injection.

What's in the Mailbag

Hi Steve & Vicky
Just read your informative email. Exciting fresh garden harvest news. . .sounds like a great season ahead.

I had to let you know that the Asparagus that I got from you last week was so DELICIOUS!! And very tender and flavorful. That is the freshest asparagus that I have ever had. I took it home and cooked up some for lunch immediately. Then cooked some for dinner. Then two days later cooked up the rest. WOW!!

Good job!!! And thank you.
Mary Jo & Fred Carlson

thanks for the very long update--we love it. it's so good to have
someone who really seems to be enjoying tending the farm for us--bee
stings and all. the asparagus was great but you gave me so much i still
have a little left for soup. thanks again. we're looking forward to
our visits and your produce. we appreciate what you are doing.

Hi Steve and Vicky,
Great eggs - you guys are the BEST!!!!

Suz, Randy, Bill, Sage and Sherman

Farm Update

Subject: Farm Update
Date: Sunday, May 01, 2011 4:50 PM

Hi Everyone,

As I sit in our office waiting for the daily rain to stop, I thought I would drop you all a line and update you on what's happening with your food. I've decided not to complain anymore about the rain because I know there will be a time this summer when we're needing rain desperately. With that being said....the wetness of the spring has had an affect on the potatoes. They are beginning to show their faces, mostly their eyes, ahem....but are taking way longer than normal. I've even dug some of the seed up to see if it was rotted or not and it seems fine and beginning to sprout. We planted more today and I didn't plant them at quite the depth I had the first batch. Maybe that will help them sprout a bit faster. We have Kennebec's (white) Red Pontiacs and Red Norlands, Prairie Blush ( Yukon gold and red hybrid), Yukon Golds and German Butterballs. We have never tried the butterballs, so have just put in a few to see how they do and how they taste. The spicy lettuce, the Chinese cabbage, anything with a more waxy leaf than a shiny leaf are under row covers. The flea beetles will eat them up if not covered. They don't bother the plants with the shiny leafs like the milder lettuces. They also don't bother the broccoli or cauliflower which have totally waxy leaves. Only Mother Nature knows why. I actually looked under the covers this morning to see how the arugula was doing and tore off a couple of the the baby leaves to taste and it's so tender with that nice arugula bite. I tried the mustard greens and cress as well, and they to were tasty with a little kick. We put in the herb area this past week with basil, rosemary, chives and a couple of types of parsley. Peas, radishes, broccoli raab, kale, Swiss chard, kohlrabi, spinach, turnip, carrots, beets, onions, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, etc. all coming along pretty well. The strawberries and blueberries are LOADED with blossoms.

We have laid our black plastic mulch and will leave it without planting for about a week to warm up the soil to get it ready for the summer crops that we will be planting this month. Also our two other organic growing areas in Monkton (corn) and Baldwin (melons and winter squash) are shaping up as we get them ready for planting.

We have had many takers of the asparagus and it's still producing. It's slowing down a bit, so if you would like to get a little more, you should probably email or call first just to make sure. Some thought they had to pay for the asparagus, we consider that part of your CSA membership even though it's not during the CSA season.

We are raising this year's first batch of chickens for the freezer. The first 100 should be ready to go in about four weeks. There seems to be a greater interest in the chickens this year already. We can have them cut and packaged any way you would like. It is more expensive the more cutting and de-boning that needs to be done. We have them processed as whole chickens unless we have any special orders. One customer has decided to pick up hers when they're fresh and just cut her own before they go into the freezer. You can email us if you would like any more details.

We have installed 4 new packages of bees, which hopefully means four new hives. The first package I installed without any protective gear on, because some members were here, (I don't want to mention any names Melly, Mark and kids) to get asparagus and I didn't want to take the time to suit up and one of the girls stung me right above my eye. Well, for two days I looked like I had been in a bar fight and hadn't done to well! Honey will be extracted in July.

Please feel free to drop by and take a look around the farm any time.

Many thanks to Tina and Mason for all their volunteer help. They tell me it's their therapy and I don't argue with that.

We will be seeing you soon!!

Steve and Vicky