Monday, July 28, 2008

Extras for the shares!

Farm extras!

Tom Ashley of Dancing Bear Farm has some pickling cukes and squashes to add to your shares, if you wish. Our pickling cukes won't be ready for awhile yet so if this is a good time for you to make pickles, Tom has a bunch ready now. The way this works is you email back with your order, I let Tom know, and he will pick what you want to add to your share. At delivery you can leave money for Tom and I will get it to him.

Picklers - 4/$1.00
Squash - Zucchini, Summer squash (yellow) and Zephyr (yellow with green tip) - $1.50/lb

Please let me know by Thursday morning what you would like from Dancing Bear Farm. If you are not familiar, Dancing Bear is an organic farm on Frizzell HIll Rd in Leyden.
Thanks, Tom!

Delivery #10 - August 1, 2008

Hello farm members,


Everything is growing and growing, including the weeds, of course. It seems like the only way to beat the weeds is to clear an area and then IMMEDIATELY throw on some mulch. Otherwise the rain comes along and the the next time I look the weeds are already getting big. We are so lucky to have enough water. I am looking forward to some sunshine this week. Maybe I'll even weed the flowers...

The night blooming cereus has not bloomed yet. Keep your fingers crossed. To see a picture of the bud, check the farm blog. The snapdragons are back in bud, the pink lisianthus and crocosmia has started blooming and the dahlias are producing. The cucumbers are running and in bloom. Happily, the slicing cukes (planted first) have come back after being eaten by woodchucks and the woodchucks seem to have moved away. The leaves of the pumpkins are tremendous! The baby chicks are in the garage and seem happy to have more room. They seem more like chickens now too. They tuck their heads back to sleep and sleep at night instead of napping around the clock. They scratch at their greens and love to run around and flap their wings, especially if it includes chasing a chick with something interesting (ie anything) in its mouth.

I really am such a beginner at this farming business. Although I have gardened for years, the whole process of producing food in quantity and continuously is a challenge, especially doing it part time. You all are wonderful to allow me to learn about farming while providing food and flowers for all of us. Thank you for your patience. I wish I had lots of lettuce and mesclun for you but for a little while there will only be small quantities of mesclun, with no lettuce in the mix. If the mesclun is too intense for you with no lettuce, use it for stir fry. Karen and I planted lots of leaf lettuce and mesclun on Saturday but it will take awhile to be big enough to pick. As always, the CSA shares get priority over the farm stand.

I still dream big. Looking at the peaches and baby chicks this morning I was imagining future shares that will include lots of fresh fruit and eggs, and last from early spring to late fall, with an option of items to store or can...
This whole project makes me very happy.

Remember to check the blog for details about what's in your share each week and perhaps, recipes.
Oh yes! Speaking of recipes, please do send me your favorite vegetable recipes and I will post them at the blog. Thanks!

raspberries (assuming they last)
mesclun (a bit)
summer squashes
mixed greens - kale, collards, turnips
baby carrots?
red onions


Today's Delivery - July 25, 2008

I just realized that I forgot to post anything about last week's delivery! Sorry about that.
Well, in case you didn't figure it out, this is what was in the delivery.

mesclun - includes Lemon Gem Marigold flowers but no lettuce
summer squashes - Magda cousa, Rampacante, Romanesco zucchini or Yellow Crookneck
turnips & their tops
beans - just a taste
Asian onions (use these like giant scallions)
1 red onion
1 Watermelon Radish
dill and cilantro

Because of all the rain I was unable to pick raspberries but you are welcome stop by and pick a pint.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Today's Delivery - July 18, 2008

Hi folks,

Karen and I finished picking and prepping your shares. Hurray! There are raspberries and red currants for everybody. Also the first of the summer squashes - Yellow Crookneck, Romanesco Zucchini, Magda Cousa, and Rampacante. The Rampacante (sort of trombone shaped) is new to me so let me know what you think.

I still remember the raspberry patch when it produced 12 quarts a day for weeks at a time. It got pretty darn weedy for a while there but I have been reclaiming it and it's starting to bear fruit. The pints you are getting in your order today are just a taste of what will be coming in future years.

Along with your Rapa turnip greens and Siberian Dwarf Kale, there is also 1 Watermelon radish. Eat the radish as spicy treat and add the tops to your Red Milian turnip tops.

Enjoy the snow peas, they may be the end for this year as the vines don't last in the heat.

Today's bouquets are short and sweet, full of sweet peas, echinacea, bee balm and more. Karen makes beautiful bouquets.

Just a small amount of mesclun today. I will be planting soon. In the meantime, enjoy everything else.

Oh yes, there are 2 inch long beans on the Northeaster pole bean plants...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Delivery #8 - July 18, 2008

I am amazed to think that this is Delivery #8! The summer seems to be flying by. Deliveries are going so smoothly that they have begun to feel like my normal routine. Karen and I have worked on our system of harvesting and prepping so it's a bit less confusing. For the next month my work schedule is such that Fridays will be less of a hussle so that's nice too. It also means that I may be delivering late morning to noon instead of at least aiming for earlier. Please let me know if that doesn't work for you.


a mix of kale and turnip greens
summer squash or zucchini - these look really close
red turnips and their tops
red currants?
snow peas?
The delivery feels a bit smaller than usual but then again, if the squashes, currants and raspberries are plentiful it will feel big. Soon there will be carrots, beets and red onions. I must be patient.

bouquet - Yarrow, Sweet Peas, Veronica, Gypsophilia, Rubeckia, Dianthus, Shapdragons, Agrostemma, Lilies, Calendula, Centaurea, Delphineum, Cosmos, Zinnias, Dahlias? ETC!

This morning the garden is quiet and peaceful. The day is still cool and I can hear green frogs and birds. It feels like the restful sanctuary I need.

I keep poking into the soil to check the carrots and they still look tiny but orange. The pole beans are blooming and the baby squash are so cute. How can the weeds grow so fast and yet I wait and wait for certain things? How can there be so much planted and yet I feel so behind?

Of late I have been concentrating on weeding and pulling out plants that have bolted and the next step will be to plant and plant and plant. It's time for continued plantings of mesclun, lettuce and greens and for the first plantings of some of the fall items. Learning to plant for the fall, winter and spring while making use of the greenhouse is a whole new gardening arena for me. Naturally I have high hopes for harvest through the fall and winter and for extra early vegetables in the spring. I love that having the CSA means learning. I am amazed at how much I want to do and to learn. For instance, next spring I plan on planting black currants, quince, pears, plums, asparagus, strawberries and blueberries, as well as a giant (to me) cutting garden. I seem to have boundless enthusiasm. Thanks for your support and appreciations.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Yesterday's Delivery - Friday, July 11, 2008

Yesterday's delivery went well despite my not prepping the kitchen the night before. First step: lots of dishes and cleaning of counter tops. Karen and I decided that doing the vegetables and flowers separately works better. That way we can use the large table for each step. (This once was known as the dining room table. I think Rob and I used to eat there...) Of course we always have kept the two items separate in certain ways, using separate tools, tubs, counters, etc. and washing our hands between flowers and vegetables. We don't want to get flowers mixed up into your vegies - except for the mesclun flowers, of course. Mesclun flowers now include Johnny Jump Ups, Borage, Nasturium, and Shungiku. Later there will be Calendula and maybe more. Mesclun also includes Purslane and Chickweed. These are both tasty and included on purpose. AND I do like adding vegetables to the bouquets, anything that looks pretty or interesting.

kale - Red Russian, Dwarf Siberian or Winerbor
baby pak choy
beet thinnings - all edible but the stems and roots are a bit stringy so you might want to just use the leaves.
turnips and their tops - mostly Hakarai with 1 Red Milan in each bunch
snow peas - just a taste
shelling peas - Alderman - the last row to bear this year
herb bouquet - sage, cilantro, rosemary, tarragon

bouquet - Yarrow, Sweet Peas, Gypsophilia (Baby's Breath), Rubeckia, Dianthus (smells really sweet), Shapdragons, Day lilies (my own special mango-colored ones I grew from seed), Calendula, Centaurea, Hosta, Meadowsweet, Cilantro, Garlic scapes, a bit of everything!

Friday, July 11, 2008


Now I am typing. Monday I was singing. Tomorrow I am weeding!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Delivery #7 - July 11, 2008


baby pak choy
summer squash or zucchini?
snow peas
shelling peas?
sage - perhaps a sampling of other herbs

bouquet - Yarrow, Sweet Peas, Veronica, Gypsophilia (Baby's Breath), Rubeckia, Dianthus, Shapdragons, Agrotemma, lilies?, Calendula, Centaurea, etc. The flowers are really coming in strong.

I am getting a bit tired of rain. Especially when I look around and see how fast the weeds are growing. Luckily I have some time this weekend for the garden and sunshine is predicted so I plan on a weeding marathon.

Truly I am grateful for the rain. It makes everything grow. Yesterday I noticed that the summer squash plants are so big that I can actually bend down under them and look up! And there are little zukes and squashes under there so in a short time we will be eating squash. The currants are starting to turn red and I picked a handful of raspberries. I am hoping there will be enough raspberries to share with you all. Reclaiming the patch is long term project that seems to be bearing fruit...;). It's encouraging to see the progress. The baby corn is about a foot high. The beans plants are bigger every time I look at them. The zinnias look fat and happy. It's a jungle out there!

Late again this week with the CSA prediction; just having too much fun singing.


Friday, July 4, 2008



3-4 heads of lettuce - Crisp Mint, Reine d'Glaces, Forellenschluss, Four Seasons
shelling peas
tarragon and rosemary
Swiss chard
Turnip greens
Red Milan turnips (You can eat the tops as cooked greens too.)

bouquet - mostly Sweet Peas with some Dianthus, Shapdragons, and a few Salvia 'Lipstick', Salvia 'May Night', and Bachelor's Buttons

Since there were so many head lettuces that needed picking and they will be gone for awhile after this week, I just gave you lettuce and will bring mesclun next time.

Have a fun holiday!

Delivery #6 - Friday, July 4, 2008

(emailed on Wednesday morning)

mesclun - now includes chickweed, purslane, nasturium flowers, borage blossoms and shungiku flowers. Shungiku is an edible chrysanthemum from the folks at Baker Creek. They describe it as "Delicious green leaves are great in salads and stir-fries. The brilliant yellow flowers are also tasty! A beautiful Oriental heirloom, very colorful."
2 heads of lettuce - Crisp Mint, Reine d'Glaces, Forellenschluss, Four Seasons
shelling peas?
Swiss chard/Turnip greens/Collards
bouquet - Yarrow, Sweet Peas, Veronica, Gypsophilia (Baby's Breath), Rubeckia, Dianthus, Shapdragons, Lady's Mantle, Centaurea, etc.

Hot, sunny, and humid today in the garden. It's nice to see the sun for a change. It helps me get a good look at all the weeds! The bee balm has reached shoulder height. I am feeling way behind on my planting but I suppose that makes sense since it's been so rainy lately. Things look good and lush. So far the woodchuck has only damaged the slicing cukes but I believe they will recover.

One exciting bit of farm news is that yesterday I made my first wholesale sale. Greenfields Market bought 5 pounds of mesclun! Late in the day I stopped in the store and got to see it packed up and on the shelf with my name on the label! Thrilling. This might mean that the shares will have less mesclun this Friday. It's an experiment but one worth doing as there is so much mesclun in the garden right now. Also, it's a good week to try it out since the head lettuce is thriving and plentiful so there will be no shortage of salad greens for the shares.

Sorry to be a bit late on this email. I had car trouble on Monday. All better now but I am behind on my week.

See you Friday perhaps.
Happy summer and July 4.