Tuesday, September 19, 2017

In the Share: Week 12

KALE  The kale is the prettiest plant on the farm, lush and blue-green, full of nutrients.

CARROTS  big and sweet out of cold storage.

GARLIC hardneck

SPROUTING BROCCOLI  the first fall heads.

SWEET PEPPERS a few more continue to ripen until frost.

RADISHES  fresh from the muddy earth.

ARUGULA  the prelude to the lettuces that should be ready in two weeks.

TOMATOES  a few continue to ripen.

IN TWO WEEKS:  potatoes, onions, peppers, chard, kale, sprouting broccoli and lettuce.

Your farmers took a vacation last week and left the farm for the sand hills of Nebraska.  We had a great time camping, seeing the sights and exploring the natural world to our northwest.

A big bear hug of a thank you to Todd, Jody and Brendan who held down the fort while we were away.   It's not just anyone who can keep the farm running smoothly with the crops, chickens, high tunnel and greenhouse.  A big part of the daily chores is caring for the 100+ hens.  Half of the flock is working on the Spring cabbage beds; the other is working on turning in the sorghum Sudan grass cover crop.

Our first day back, we welcomed a traveler from part's unknown.  Sandy we are calling him at the moment is a clown and a snuggler.  We are hoping Mommakitty warms to him in time and maybe can teach him how to be a good farm cat.

Yesterday we planted lettuces, bok choy and tat soi, cilantro, chard and sprouting broccoli in the high tunnel. 

These plants will be in the shares in November, but for now we enjoy the harvest out in the fields where the wild creatures share the rows with us.

What to Do With Your Share---Week 12

Setting up camp, cooking and dining was the order for three nights of our vacation. State park fire rings are great places to cook. We have a nice dutch oven that can cook enough roasted vegetables to last a few days. Parker Farm brauts and some Fair Share Ferments round out a favorite meal.

On our way back from the Sand Hills of Nebraska we stopped at several parks with restored sites along the Oregon Trail. At Rock Creek the restored wagons are lined up right on the trail. The path ahead is worn down, and you can get a sense of just how busy the area once was.

On Saturday we went to Dunn Ranch to learn more about native grasslands in Missouri. Yet another way that carbon is sequestered biologically. It's a beautiful and diverse sight, too many plants and animals and fungus to know, and understand their interactions.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

What to Do With Your Share---Week 11

I cannot recall when I have lived through a milder August. A month in the 80's did wonders for the farmers and the plants. We planted the kale on 8/1 and they have grown into robust plants that we hope will produce until Thanksgiving and beyond.

These greens go well with the other items in your share, in particular the potatoes and rosemary. They say when things are in season they naturally go together, and this week's recipe is an example of that.

Potatoes and Kale with Rosemary
2 pounds of potatoes, cut into chunks and
1 bunch kale, destemmed and chopped
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter

1. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the kale, salt and pepper. Cook on high heat for 2 minutes.
2. Add the cooked potatoes, reduce heat to medium, cover. Cook for 4 minutes.
3. Stir in rosemary and oil. Cook for 5 more minutes or until desired tenderness.

In the Share: Week 11

GREENS CHOICE  The greens are back!  A mixed kale bunch or Swiss chard.

PURPLE VIKING POTATOES  Expect a good amount of potatoes for awhile.  Thanks to the CSA we got the last of them out Labor Day weekend.  Here's to Labor!

RED ONIONS  A nice mix of varieties.

SWEET PEPPERS  They are ripening slower now with the cool temperatures.  46 degrees F is the forecast for tonight.  Brrr!

CUCUMBER OR SQUASH  Last of the season we think.

ROSEMARY  One beautiful bush in the corner of the high tunnel is growing gangbusters!

IN TWO WEEKS:  Potatoes, garlic, carrots, greens, maybe radishes.

The natural world has been center stage on the farm for the better part of the summer.  The double rainbow/solar eclipse juggernaut continues.  Everywhere we turn there is some creature that is beautifully unique and intricately working on it's task at hand.  Gathering food from the fields is our work whether winged or on foot.

a blue-winged digger wasp on the garlic chives

The wild patch of sunflowers provide a tall offering of pollen and nectar.

Meanwhile on land others hunt live prey.

Praying mantis

This is not even including the large pileated woodpecker who has been in the trees surrounding our field for the past few weeks.  It's the size of a crow and just as loud.  Back on land the Monarch caterpillars are on the vining milkweed and growing nicely.   Hopefully cold weather holds off long enough for all of the farm's harvesters to finish their work.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

In the Share: Week 10

SWEET PEPPERS  the plants are loaded with red and yellow fruits.


GARLIC  hardneck

TOMATOES the peak has passed, so maybe this is the last week for awhile.

SQUASH a zucchini or yellow squash

CARROTS orange sweeties


IN TWO WEEKS:  more peppers, squash, potatoes and onions with maybe some greens.


This week was incredible.  I really have lost the words, so I'll mostly let the photos speak for themselves.

We cannot complain about this year's harvest.  One highlight are the purple potatoes.

On Friday the farm was covered in a full double rainbow.

And then on Monday we had a magnificent view of the solar eclipse.  The skies seemed to part just for our ragtag group of 100 members, friends and family.  See Tom's post for photos of the incredible eclipse.

What to Do WIth Your Share---Week 10

Hard to talk about anything but the eclipse watch party this week. Drama filled the day for the attendees. Rain, clouds, lightening and discouraging weather apps lowered expectations for the day. But then, just as the moon started its transit, the clouds cleared. It was the clearest of skies for totality, as the moon's shadow ran across Fair Share Farm.

Here are a few highlights:
Lots of rain

Pre-eclipse potluck
Here come the moon

Instant photo of totality

Videographer Paul Shirley from Austin took this video of the eclipse at our farm. Thanks for this wonderful record of this event @paullikescameras. 


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

In the Share: Week 9

SWEET PEPPERS  our pepper plants are growing gang-busters.  These waist-high plants are loaded with ripening fruits.  Our favorite, Carmen, has a slender sweet red fruit.

TOMATOES  Another nice round from our little tomato patch.  We have now picked over a ton (that's 2,000 lbs. folks off of 200' plants)


WALLA WALLA ONIONS  Sweet ones should be used soon.


SQUASH either 1 zucchini or yellow squash.


IN TWO WEEKS:  more peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and garlic.

With half of the harvest behind us and half left to go, 2017 is the running for the best season yet.  Add to it this beautiful mid-70s temperatures and you've got the frosting on the cake.  It is a good time to be a farmer, for sure!  The favorite vantage point to capture the beauty of the season is in front of the peppers with the sunflowers towering overhead.

While we tend the home field of crops, the far field continues to grow chickens and cover crops.  We moved both hen houses to new spots in the field this week.  When we move them it is a good chance to count as each chicken comes out of the coop.  We had been worried that we had lost some to predators, but nope we still have about 100 between the two flocks.