Monday, June 14, 2010

FARM WEEK # 4 - Wednesday, June 16, 2010 and Friday, June 18, 2010

June 14, 2010

garlic scapes
pea shoots (I never ate mine. Here is another chance.)
head lettuce
greens - 1 or 2 of these, let me know if you have a preference: kale, collards, mustard, spinach, lamb's quarters
thinnings - 1 or 2 of these: chard, beets, kale, collards
broccoli? I have just a few of these from plants given to me by a gardening friend.

Similar to Full Shares but lesser amounts. Probably no radishes, maybe no turnips, definitely no broccoli.

some kind of green or thinning (see above)
garlic scapes

Bugs! Weeds! Woodchucks! Yikes!

Well, I am eating as many of the weeds as I can. And remembering that they also attract pollinators and hide the vegetables from predators. But I do see a bunch of weeding and mulching time in my future. The woodchucks are the biggest challenge at the moment. Last night I covered up all the beautiful kale and collard plants. I do not want to share with the woodchuck(s)! I also transplanted 126 kale and collard plants to the field. I find that having each vegetable planted in more than one location is good insurance. Keep your fingers crossed. If you are visiting the farm and want to bring your dog, on a lease, please do! The smell of a dog is another good deterrent.

The plants are looking pretty lush. There is chickweed growing in some of the paths and when I walk on it I can actually hear a watery, squishy sound. Lots of rain lately! The lettuce is especially tender and delicate. I transplanted some head lettuce seedlings to the bed nearest the screen house. So when you are picking up your share, you can observe their growth. So far, so good.

Most of the seedlings are now in the ground. The rest (basil and flowers) should be out in the next two days. Soybeans, shell beans and storage potatoes are planted. The hop vine is now a foot above my head and the young kolrabis are about the size of a golf ball. Strange as it may sound, it's time to plant for the fall - rutabagas, broccoli, cauliflower, daikon radishes, carrots, beets, etc.

There is no work requirement at our little farm but I do welcome visitors. Mostly I am here gardening on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with picking happening on Wed. and Fri. mornings. You are welcome to visit or help with picking, weeding, mulching, planting, etc. There are plenty of choices. This coming weekend I am actually taking the weekend off to spend time with both my sons and Dan's girlfriend, who will all be visiting at the same time.

But ask me another time, I will probably say "yes, thank you!"


We have a lot of lamb's quarters popping up all over the place. I look on this as free food and find it to be just as delicious as spinach. I won't be inundating the shares with "weeds" but if you like them, let me know and I'll bear that in mind. I checked online to make sure that the flower buds are edible, and they are. In fact there are recipes that feature the buds. (

Some lambs quarters information and recipes for the leaves:

Interesting Egg Video:

I will be posting pictures of last week's shares and the garden at our csa blog later today.

Thanks for your support,

Laura Timmerman
910 Greenfield Rd
Leyden, MA 01337

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

FARM WEEK # 3 - Wednesday, June 9, 2010 and Friday, June 11, 2010


June 7, 2010
Good morning, good people,

I feel like I am hitting my stride here on picking for the shares. Mostly I need to be well prepared ahead of the day so I can get picking by 6:00. This Thursday I plan on making a smoothie so that Friday includes me having food before 4:00 pm. Learning every day.

Still busy planting, both seeds and seedlings. But I am getting very close to being done with the main planting. Then it will be time for the next round of re-plantings! It is totally gorgeous outside today. I look forward to setting out the okra and sweet potatoes and the last of the peppers and eggplants tomorrow. I still need to plant cucumbers and pumpkins.

Everything is growing well. The combination of rain and sunshine is working. The tomato plants are getting huge and dark green already. Rob planted some hop vines this year and the tallest one is up to my chin! And that was yesterday; it's probably bigger today. Seriously.

There will be a delay on CILANTRO this year as it turned out that my seed was not viable. I have more seed and will be planting a bunch but there will be none for the early summer. Also, my RHUBARB patch needs a rest this year so there will be no more picked for the shares. I plan on doing a major re-haul of the area, weeding, dividing, and fertilizing. Maybe even getting more plants.

I want to remind you all to wash your vegetables. Even if I do wash things, which doesn't always happen, I am only rinsing off the larger bits of earth. It's your job to make sure your food is table ready. One reason I do it this way is that then there is another pair of eyes checking for twigs and other non-food items as well as unintentional ingredients in the salad mix. I am very careful while I pick. When I rinse I check again. Then you folks can recheck for odd items. There are a lot of kinds of leaves in the salad mix, including some "weeds" like chickweed and purslane. If you have doubts, set it aside and ask me about it.

I also try to maintain very clean picking and sorting areas for the shares. I use particular sanitized containers for picking and washing and I am vigilant about hand washing. I process everything in the kitchen, which is just an ordinary household kitchen that I am asking to do very heavy work. Each year I figure out ways to make the process smoother, quicker and safer. I welcome your suggestions.

Note: One thing I figured out last week is that the descriptions of the upcoming shares need to refer to the Wed. and Fri. of this week. It's not practical to guess what will be in the pick up shares a week from Wed. So this email is referring to Wednesday, June 9 and Friday, June 11. I ended up starting the mini shares this past Wednesday anyway, since there was so much ready in the garden.

On picking days, I usually send a quick email when the pick up shares are out in the screen house. Wednesday shares should be ready by 11 and Friday's by 12. Feel free to call. 773-8325

Hakurei Turnips
Here are few web sites I found related to the sweet white turnips that the garden is producing now. At my house, I can't seem to get them as far as a cooking pot. I just eat them raw.
(describes them as the "Hello Kitty of turnips")
(from Easthampton, MA)

head lettuce - These are looking so beautiful!
turnips with their tops
lamb's quarters

herb bundle
turnips with tops
head lettuce
mesclun - new in the mix is purslane (fat and juicy leaves) and borage (fuzzy leaves that smell like cukes)
lamb's quarters
kale? a bit - it looks so pretty and close to being ready.
mixed mustard greens - kind of spicy but great for soup or stirfry
bouquet featuring Sweet William

smaller amounts of the same items as the full shares but no kale or mustard greens

I have more shares available for sale if someone asks you about your CSA.

Have a great week,

Laura Timmerman
910 Greenfield Rd
Leyden, MA 01337


Saturday, June 5, 2010

June 4, 2010 Delivery and Pick up

Hello Friday people,

Picking and delivery went fine today but took a long time. It's 4:00 and I am all done except for uploading pictures and cleaning up the kitchen. Plus I am now preparing my first meal of the day. SO, I need to work on my systems a bit. I miss my glorious farm intern, Heather, of course. And I am still working on the set up for this year. A fun, but long, day.

Please remember to save and return all your containers and bags. That is very helpful to the farm.

I skipped the lamb's quarters this time because there seemed to be more than enough without it.
Enjoy your vegetables!

Approximate quantities.

Full Shares:
White Turnips 14-15
Turnip Greens 1 lb. 4 oz
Spinach 2 lb.
Mesclun 1 lb.
Head lettuce 2 big, 2 little
Radishes 2 bunches
Arugula 8 oz

Half Shares:
White Turnips 7 -8
Turnip Greens 1 lb.
Spinach 10 oz.
Mesclun 8 0z.
Head lettuce 1 big, 1little
Radishes 1 bunch
Arugula 2 oz

Mini Shares:
Mesclun 8 oz
Turnip Greens 1 Lb or Radishes 1 bunch
small bouquet

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

FARM WEEK # 2 (MINI SHARES Starting!) June 4, 2010 Delivery and June 4, 7 and 9, 2010 Pick Up

Happy Memorial Day, everybody! What a beautiful day.

I spent the entire day in the garden planting and digging and weeding and watering. It felt great and it is great to be making progress.


The pole beans are in (32 teepees) and I planted 50 more feet of bush beans, purple and yellow. Other recent planting includes: hot and sweet peppers, and lots of winter squash. The earliest peas are starting to bloom. The potatoes are growing very quickly, one foot tall in a week! The head lettuce looks beautiful, full and tender. The kolrabi are swelling and the fava beans are making buds. In one week I have gone from anxiety about maybe not having enough, to having way too much lettuce. The 2 days of high heat last week made some plants start to bolt, including some of the spinach, arugula and radishes. Fortunately, we have lots more of all of these. The big storm on Wednesday night damaged our extra tomatoes in the field. The wind ripped the plastic mulch right out of the ground, pulling out and breaking over half the plants. I am so glad that we have 50 more plants up near the house that look happy, settled in and green. Phew!

The biggest news is that the MINI SHARES will be starting on Friday. Depending on what day you chose for pick up, that means your share will start either June 4, June 6 or June 8. I will be out in the garden picking by 6:00 AM. The shares should be out at the screen house in coolers, ready for pick up by 10:30 on Monday and Wednesday or 12:00 on Friday. If you have a preference for your MINI and let me know which items you would like before 6:00 AM on your picking day, I will accomodate that. Otherwise, it will be farmer's choice.


Turnips or Turnip greens

THIS WEEK'S FULL SHARE (Quantity estimates are for the full shares. Half is less. Just estimates, of course.)

White Turnips with their tops (6-12) (I like to eat the turnips raw.)
Turnip Greens? (I think these will still need thinning.)
Spinach (1/2 - 1 pound)
Lamb's Quarters (1/2 - 1 pound) These are so yummy. Just as nice as spinach. When you get them, the stems may seem tough but once they are cooked, they become completely tender.
Mesclun (6 - 12 ounces)
Head Lettuce 1 - 3
Radishes (20 - 40) There are many radishes ready and they don't hold well in the field.
Arugula (6 - 8 ounces)
Bouquet - Peonies, Iris, Snapdragons, Sweet William, Lady's Rocket, whatever is ready.

What's in the MESCLUN these days:
Many leaf lettuces, Chickweed, Red Russian Kale, White Russian Kale, Collards, Wrinkled Crinkled Cress, Ruby Streaks Mustard, Golden Frills Mustard, Red Garnet Mustard, Red Komatsuma, Mizuna, Spinach, Johnny Jump Up flowers, Nasturium leaves, baby Chicory leaves, Purslane, Lemon Gem Marigold flowers

TURNIP GREENS are one of the most nutritious greens you can eat. They are packed with vitamins and minerals. AND they taste great. AND there is even a song about eating them.

We have lots of LETTUCE these days. If it's too much for salad, try cooking your mesclun mix in a stir fry or adding chopped lettuce to soup.

Anybody know a recipe that uses LOTS of RADISHES? And remember, radish tops are edible so you can add them to soup or cook with other milder greens.

The hens are laying nicely. I can add eggs to your share any time you want them. Just let me know ahead of time. They are $4.00 a dozen. You can just leave the money in your cooler (or mine, if you are picking up).

That's all for now. Thanks for being part of the farm and helping me live my dream.

Laura Timmerman
910 Greenfield Rd
Leyden, MA 01337

First Farm Share of 2010 - May 27 & 28, 2010

(We had a big storm here this past week. Power was out for 2 days. Trees down all over the place. Many towns, including ours were declared disaster zones. So picking and delivery was delayed until Saturday when everyone's refrigerator was really empty after no electricity for 2 days. One share was delivered on Friday to some people with a generator.)

Good morning!

It sure looks like a beautiful day after some unusual weather this past week! I am setting out the sweet peppers today and imagining all those tasty flavors and pretty colors.

We all got through the storm and the power outage. After that, the first delivery went very smoothly. Thank you everyone for your cooperation and patience with the changing schedule.

The full and half shares were pretty much what I had expected, with the addition of some Buttercrunch head lettuce and a little bundle of herbs - apple mint, spearmint and sweet cicely. The sweet cicely seed pods are an ephemeral item in the garden, lasting just a few days. They are for chewing on and taste like licorice. Most folks spit out the rough fiber but it's perfectly edible.

SHARE # 1 (amounts are approximate. Full - Half)
mesclun 12 oz - 8 0z
arugula 10 oz - 7 oz
radishes 2 bunches - 1 bunch
pea shoots 1 # - 6 oz
rhubarb 1 1/4 # - 1 #
Chinese cabbage 13 -7
head lettuce 2 - 1
turnip thinnings 13 oz - 0
herb bouquet - apple and spearmint, sweet cicely
bouquet 1 - 1

Pictures of share # 1:

Let me know what you think of the pea shoots and if you discover any good recipes for the farm, please send them. You can check for other recipes at the farm blog.

PICK YOUR OWN - through Monday.
I have lots of Leaf Lettuce, Radishes and Turnip Greens for the picking. If you want more, come on by and pick some. I'll be here Sunday morning and evening and all day on Monday.

I keep forgetting to tell you that I will happily add eggs to your share any time you need them. Just let me know ahead of time. They are $4.00 a dozen. You can just leave the money in your cooler (or mine, if you are picking up).

Have a good holiday,