Saturday, June 28, 2008

Friday's Delivery - June 27, 2008


mesclun - Yes, you can eat the nasturium flowers. They taste peppery like the nasturium leaves.
1- 2 heads of lettuce - Crisp Mint - green romaine, Forellenschluss - speckled romaine, Four Seasons - red romaine, Buttercrunch - softer, bibb type
Snap peas - eat the shells on these, raw or cooked. Good for dips and general snacking.
snowpeas - includes some Golden Sweet snowpeas
shelling peas - Early Frosty and Canoe mix
greens: collards/kale mixture
Remember, you can eat the tops of both the radishes and turnips. Very tasty and nutritious. Plus there is a blues song about "eatin up them turnip greens".
bouquet - Yarrow, Sweet Peas, Veronica, Rubeckia, Snapdragons, Lady's Mantle, Clary Sage, Artemesia

Monday, June 23, 2008

Delivery #5 - Friday, June 27, 2008


mesclun - now includes chickweed, purslane, and soon will have nasturium flowers
1- 2 heads of lettuce - Crisp Mint, Reine d'Glaces, Forellenschluss, Four Seasons
shelling peas?
greens: collards/kale/chard mixture
bouquet - Yarrow, Sweet Peas, Veronica, Gypsophilia (Baby's Breath), Rubeckia, Dianthus, Shapdragons, Lady's Mantle - all of these are in bud or bloom

Dang, I forgot the receipts last week. I will include them this time for sure as I am home for a farm week so in a way life is less hectic than normal. I forgot to mention in my email last week that the share price is based on an expected 20 deliveries. If things go really well and we get up to 24 or more deliveries and you feel inclined, you may pay more but I will not ask for more.

Since we have done this for a month now, I want to check in with you all to see how things are going. Is there anything that needs to be different for the delivery to run more smoothly? Are your vegetables and flowers arriving in good condition? How do you like the bags? Are there foods you especially like? Are there foods that you don't want in your delivery? How about quantities? Anything else? Since I am new at farming, there is so much that I want and need to learn. Your feedback is really important to me. Since the farm is so small, it's easy to adapt your share to suit your needs. Thanks again, for being part of my tiny fledging farm.

I been having some technical difficulties at the blog so haven't been able to post recently. In general though, you can see what is actually in your delivery and sometimes find some recipe ideas at: I try to post by Saturday.

Each Monday before I write this email, I like to wander about the garden taking note of what looks ready or nearly ready or gone by and noting the progress of various plants. Equally important, I like to soak in the general atmosphere of the farm. Today things are very moist and weedy. There is a certain sense of burgeoning lushness that could develop into being wildly out of control but I hope to steer towards an abundance of good eating and fine bouquets. The shell peas are loaded with young pods that are starting to fill out. The Red Milan turnips are finally forming and the white Hakurei turnips look just right for picking on Friday. The head lettuces are lovely and enjoying the cool moist weather. Happily, the carrots are thinned, so I hope they will swell up soon. Inside the greenhouse it's a whole different world, sort of hot and humid and dry. I've got tomatoes, sweet peppers, black eyed peas, basil and okra in there.

Of course the weeds are loving all the rain too and there are woodchucks nearby. Mostly the woodchucks are eating grass and I keep putting up barriers and deterrents around OUR plants. Keep your fingers crossed. I will be dog sitting for a month starting mid July and that may send them on their way, I hope.

Some of the Red Russian Kale from last year came through the winter and is now in full bloom. I plan to harvest and store the seeds. I also noticed that the Seckel pear tree seems to have a good crop this year so if the CSA is going into October, there should be pears for all. Perhaps eggs too as I am expecting a delivery of chicks in a couple of weeks. Busy, fun times here. I am grateful.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Delivery #4 - Friday, June 20, 2008

Head lettuce - 1 -2 heads
A handful of snow peas?
Mixed greens, mostly kale, collards and Zen
Peppermint - I'll try to pick enough to dry for winter tea
Bouquet - Veronica, Daisies, Lady's Mantle, Snapdragons?, Yarrow?, Peonies?, Mock Orange, Rubeckia

Remember to check the blog for a description of what gets delivered each week. I try to post by Saturday. And call me if you have any questions.
There is a chance that there will be spinach at the stand this week from Peter Tusinski's farm on River Rd.

Based on some cloth bags I saw in a mail order catalog, Karen has made us some lovely bags to store our mesclun. Wash your mesclun and put it in the bag while still damp. The leaves keep fresh in the frig. Karen will be making more bags as time allows so that you will able to return empty bags to us so we can use them for future deliveries.
I am determined that eventually we will have a system that does not require plastic bags.

Several people have asked me about the cost of the shares and when they ought to pay.

Each share costs $400 to $550 on a sliding scale.
Half shares are $225 - $300 on a sliding scale.
You decide where you belong on that scale.

All members made a minimum deposit of $100 by April 1.
The balance is due by August 1.

However, if you prefer to pay sooner than August 1, that is perfectly fine, in fact it is helpful to me as most of my farm expenses are in the first half of the year. If you would like to pay in installments, that is fine too. I will be sure to include a receipt in your delivery this week and I apologize for not giving you a receipt sooner.

It feels like there is a lot of news this week. The greenhouse is up, covered and planted. (Thank you Robin!) I am pretending it's Georgia in there and have planted some blackeyed peas, okra, hot and sweet peppers and tomatoes under cover. The Farm Stand opened for the first time this year on Saturday and despite my very low key marketing, there were enough visitors to buy everything that I had picked. I have also received some really encouraging messages from friends far and near in response to my announcement about the stand.

The peas are all in bloom, the snow peas have little pods, the Rat's Tail radish is blooming, the baby corn is up, the mock orange is blooming which always such a sweet smelling treat, suddenly the zinnia plants look BIG, and the baby peaches are as large as pecans.

Of course the weeds are also off and running but fortunately both Karen and I find weeding rather soothing. Plus we can chat across the garden bed. I am working on digging up a new area next to the garage and increasing the flower garden space. Karen is beating back the old weedy patch of the garden so we can set out more lettuce and plant more greens. Saturday is the beginning of my 3rd Farm Week so even though there is a ton to do I feel fairly relaxed about it all.

Happy Solstice!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Today's Delivery

The harvest: 3 containers of mesclun, head lettuce, escarole, radishes

Delivery - Friday, June 13, 2008

Garlic chives
Head lettuce - Forellenshuss (speckled romaine) or Webb's Wonderful (green romaine) or Buttercrunch (bibb)
Apple Mint
Cilantro and marjoram

Each order also included a cloth bag made by Karen. These can be used to store your washed mesclun in the refrigerator. We plant on making more bags so you will always have one available. Still working on good ways to avoid using plastic. Let us know what you think of the bags.

Violet Jelly - I noticed that the violet jelly goes moldy fairly quickly after it is opened so when you open yours, keep it in the frig and eat it up promptly. It goes well with meat, like basil or mint jelly.

Today's bouquet: Iris - blue, white, yellow, tan, etc., Deronicum - like a yellow daisy, Peonies - light and dark pink and white, Lady's Mantle - lime green, Kousa dogwood - 4 whitish green petals, Dictamus (tall purple and white streaks), Hosta leaves - white and green

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Yesterday's Delivery - Friday, June 6, 2008

Delivery was smoother and faster the second time. We picked some of the flowers on Thursday evening and that helped and it was exciting to pick five whole pounds of mesclun! It was raining off and on while we picked so the leaves were spattered with soil. We felt like 'real farmers' as we picked despite the rain.

I field washed the mesclun, mustard greens and radishes need to wash the vegetables yourself.

Delivery #2

Radishes - small, a taste of things to come.
Mixed greens - a small taste of Red Russian Kale, Winterbor Kale, Siberian Dwarf Kale.
Green Wave Mustard volunteers. (I know that some folks do not like spicy greens. Be unafraid. These young mustard greens are spicy when raw but when cooked they are very mild.)
Wild peppermint
Apple Mint
Rhubarb - full share members only
Bouquets - Each bouquet is a mixture of some of the following blooms:
Iris (mostly purples), Dianthus (pinks), Deronicum (yellow, daisy-like), Garden Peonies (coral with yellow center), Lady's Mantle leaves (big, round and fuzzy), Dame's Rocket (white), Amsonia (pale blue), Valerian (green buds), Ragged Robin (rose pink)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Delivery #2 - Friday, June 6, 2008

Hello folks,

Well the first delivery went smoothly and was a bunch of fun to do. It was amazing to me how different making up 5 orders was compared to 2 last year and also it was so helpful to have Karen helping me and contributing some flowers.

One thing I want to mention is that I try to deliver the vegetables in a relatively clean looking state but they are not ready for the table. You need to wash the vegetables yourself.

Mixed greens - a small taste of various greens, Red Russian Kale, Green Wave Mustard (not too spicy at this stage), Zen. These may or may not be ready.
Wild peppermint - great in tabouli or for drying for the winter.
Apple Mint - I like to put this and some sliced lemons into a large amount of water for a simple, non-sweet refreshing drink.
Rhubarb - maybe
Bouquets - Iris, Dianthus, Centaurea, Daisies, Deronicum?, Garden Peonies?, Chive flowers, Lady's Mantle leaves, Yarrow? Whatever looks good on the day.

Everything is growing very quickly of late. The other day I toured the garden in the morning and later the same day beans, greens, cukes and squash had all popped up where there had been bare ground in the morning. It made me think of Jack and the Beanstalk. The first head lettuces are forming heads and look lovely. Rob is making progress on the greenhouse set up and I started planting in that space already. Very satisfying. We have a resident woodchuck who loves to eat Bishops Weed, for which I am grateful, and also likes Hollyhocks, which is not so good.

Karen and I are creeping up on finishing the main planting. Still have winter squash, shell beans, potatoes, storage roots and pickling cukes to go. Plus I bought just a few more flowers recently...

Generally it is busy, hard work and fun. I am sleeping very soundly.