Tuesday, July 28, 2015

In the Share - Week 12


TOMATOES F/P  It is tasting like summer now!

CHERRY TOMATOES F/P  The perfect summertime snack.

CARROTS F/P  The last of the Spring harvest, sadly.  Enjoy them now, we won't have more until Fall.

BASIL, MINT OR HOT PEPPERS F/P  We grow jalapenos,  Anaheim and banana hot peppers which will be a choice with the mint and the lemon and Genovese basil this week.

SQUASH OR CUCUMBERS F  Still not much of either.  The second planting is succumbing to bacterial wilt spread by the cucumber beetles.

SALSA PACK OR SWEET PEPPERS P  The tomatillos have started to really kick in so expect more salsa packs in your future.

ONIONS F  An assortment of some of our sweet varieties.  The onion harvest is in full swing now. 

SWEET PEPPERS F  The peppers survived the wet weather in good shape and making some nice early peppers. 

EGGPLANT F  Ditto on the eggplant.  Our black Italian variety is putting out lovely fruit right now.

NEXT WEEK:  tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers and potatoes and garlic.

Finally it is starting to feel like a normal summer on the farm.  The heat is high, the tomatoes are ripening and we are in the middle of the fall transplanting.  

With nothing but sun and heat in the forecast the broccolis got irrigation tape laid next to each row as soon as they went in the ground on Friday.  For the first time this year, the irrigation pond is put to work.
Back at the greenhouse shade structure, there are many more plants awaiting the same treatment.

What to Do With Your Share---Week 12

My records show that in the last 8 days we have received but 0.3 inches of rain. The dryness, along with 90 degree days and 70 degree nights have made it finally feel like a real stretch of summer. Hoping that this halfway point of the season marks a change.  One never knows.

Today for lunch I made roasted salsa for the apprentices. Megan noted that she liked the natural sweetness of the tomatillos, and that store-bought salsas have added sugar. I looked it up, and even Newman's Own is sweetened. So we hope that you enjoy the natural flavors that you get from the farm.

BBT sandwich
On Sunday Rebecca and I treated ourselves to that summer-time specialty, a bacon, basil and tomato sandwich. Our version was especially good, as the bacon was from Parker Farms, and the bread was my favorite Companionship Bread, fennel and golden raisin. A side of Fair Share Farm Summer Kimchi rounded out the lunch. Yum yum.

A nice shady job, cleaning red onions

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

In the Share - Week 11

TOMATOES F/P  The hot weather has finally kicked the tomatoes into ripening.  Everyone will get a few heirlooms and hybrids this week.  The heirlooms come in a rainbow of colors, even green when ripe.  Their flavors are as diverse as their colors, shapes and sizes.  We grow Cherokee Purple, Rose, Goldie, Aunt Ruby's German Green, Black Krim, Green Zebra, Amana Orange to name a few.  The hybrids we grow are red and a bit thicker-skinned than the heirlooms, which is a good quality during a wet weather pattern.  We are trying a new orange hybrid variety, Sunkist, thanks to my mom's advice.  Let us know what tomato is your favorite!

RED ONIONS F/P  Not as big and beautiful as last year's crop, but they did survive the wet unlike some other crops I hate to mention (carrots)

PURPLE VIKING POTATOES F  We are very grateful for the good potato harvest that continues to feed us as we recover from the deluge of the last two months.  And they are high in Vitamin C.

SQUASH OR CUCUMBERS P  The cucurbit family is struggling in the fields.  Last year at this time we were swimming in zucchini and cucumbers.  Same number of plants in the ground, same fertility program, very different result.  Only variable:  weather.

GENOVESE BASIL F/P  A nice bunch for pesto-making.

SWEET PEPPERS, EGGPLANT OR SALSA PACK F  The first of these three with many more to come.  The salsa packs are in limited quantities this week.  See Tom's post for the rundown on this member favorite.

GARLIC F/P  There is nothing like fresh, juicy garlic in the summertime.

CHERRY TOMATOES F We grow cherry tomatoes in every color of the rainbow too.  Some are heirloom, some hybrid.  Tomatoes are ripe when they are brightly colored and fleshy to the touch.

NEXT WEEK:  Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, salsa packs, squash, cucumbers, garlic, herbs, onions and potatoes. 

Yes, the spring carrot crop is a big bust.  Rot set in like we have never seen before.  Our second planting has succumbed as well as most of the first.  That's 1800 ft. of carrots gone.  But no time to linger on that sad note, the fall planting get going.  So far we have planted cauliflower, cabbage, carrots and beets.  Tomorrow we hope to plant broccoli, turnips and radishes.  The rain has held off just enough to work the soil and plant.

While the humans dart across the fields at the farm, we are missing one of our crew.  Rocky, our canine companion and co-worker, has been boarded at the vet these past two nights.  He either stepped on a thorn or has a spider bite on his paw.  The medication has been unpalatable to him and we had to resort to kenneling him at our vet in Lawson, MO to manage to get him to take the pills.  We hope to pick him up just as soon as we can.   Not only do we miss him but the crops are unguarded without him.   Already some critter is going after the tomatoes in the field.  Yesterday morning we found many half-eaten tomatoes on the ground likely the leftovers of a possum or raccoon party the night before.  We cleared the plants of ripening fruit, but what we really need is our Rocky back on patrol.

What to Do With Your Share---Week 11

Missing Rocky here at the farm tonight, but reunite tomorrow at the vet's. Stubborn dog can smell medicine coming.

It is nice to see some crops coming on. The 90 degree days were a shot in the arm. Because of it the tomatillos began filling out and salsa packs will be a choice in the coming weeks and months. The fresh salsa recipe is here, and the roasted one here.

Such an easy treat
The partner vendor shares continue to delight. We get them all and find that they really round out our stock. It is nice to be able to regularly eat such high quality bread, cheese and meat. On Sunday I did some quick cooking---Companionship Bread semolina loaf, Goatsbeard feta, farm lemon basil, some salt and olive oil and a toaster oven. Real flavor.

Digging potatoes on a rainy day

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

In the Share - Week 10

 spider guarding the lettuce crop

LETTUCE F/P  Crispheads that are heat-tolerant this week only.

SQUASH OR CUCUMBER F/P  Its been a paltry harvest so far but the second planting is just beginning to fruit, so hopefully more soon.

PURPLE VIKING POTATOES F  These are especially good for mashing or baking.

GARLIC F/P  The 2015 garlic harvest is all in the barn to dry.  Big thanks to all who participated in the mud-slinging!

HERB CHOICE F/P  Basil, lemon basil, or summer savory.  The lemon basil is a new one for us.  It is resistant to the mildew that took out our entire crop last year.  So far all of the basil shows no signs of trouble this season.  Fingers crossed!

CABBAGE, KALE OR CHARD F  The weather has been very Irish up until the last few days and so has the harvest.  Cabbage and potatoes have sustained us through the dreary days.  This is the last of the cabbage until fall.  See Tom's posts for some thoughts on fermentation.

TOMATO/EGGPLANT OR PEPPERS F/P  The tomatoes are producing a bit more with the heat.  We hope to get them to all of you that we can this week even if it is just one.   The peppers and eggplant are in pretty limited quantities.

NEXT WEEK:  Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, cucumbers, herbs, onions.

Summer has finally arrived in all its sweaty glory.  The farm crew had to take the mental leap from cursing the rain to laying irrigation tape.  The air may be steamy, but it doesn't take long for the ground to dry when it is 100 deg. F.  The irrigation pond has been full and overflowing since September; the solar panels are catching the sun's energy and the pump is good-to-go, so by Friday we will be irrigating (baring unexpected circumstances, of course).  The plan is to transplant the cabbages and cauliflower and seed the fall roots late this week.   A good omen for the plantings to come was seen on the farm on Monday afternoon.  The rain stayed away but a rainbow appeared.

What to Do With Your Share---Week 10

A change has entered the air lately, it's the sun and heat that make a Missouri tomato so good . We are hoping this taste of summer continues.

As it does, we are working on fermenting the last of the spring storage crops. We slated extra vegetables and time at the beginning of the year to scale up our fermenting business. We appreciate the support of the CSA in helping us progress into the trade of food processing and look forward to your feedback.

 The CSA is not just another market for us. Sending bulk shipments of ferments to distribution sites is convenient for us, and allows us to reduce the cost to members. As things proceed into next year we are hoping to design a once a month "ferment share."

Tasting booth
Right now we have two products for sale---Spring and Summer Kimchi. While both contain similar ingredients (Chinese cabbage, daikon radish, kohlrabi, ginger, paprika, cayenne and salt), the differences (garlic scapes v. garlic cloves;  carrots v. red radish, onion) show that it is hard to go wrong when you have good ingredients.

2 gallon test batch in the kitchen
 And while you may not have all of these in your fridge right now, you will notice most every ingredient is from the farm. So if you are so inclined, you can look into fermenting yourself. We suggest that you park yourself at the Fermentation on Wheels website to get started.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

In the Share - Week 9

CARROTS F/P  The carrot harvest is not good, but a few have survived the deluge.  Partial shares have a choice of carrots or potatoes

POTATOES F/P  See Tom's post for a nice recipe with sage.

CABBAGE F  I did an informal survey with the membership last week, and the results were seem to suggest that there will be no mutiny if we give you more cabbage.  Enjoy!

ONIONS F/P  More fresh onions from the patch

ROOTS CHOICE F  A choice of beets, turnips, radishes or kohlrabi.

HERB CHOICE F/P  Basil, summer savory, mint or sage.

TOMATOES OR FINGERLING POTATOES F  Not a fun thing for us to have to do, folks.  There just aren't enough tomatoes to go around.

SUMMER SQUASH OR CUCUMBERS F  I am hoping to get the partial shares some of these soon.  We'll see what is in the patch in the morning.

NEXT WEEK:  Potatoes, garlic, carrots, summer squash, tomatoes and herbs.

This summer we are enjoying the company of my 14- yr old niece, Ariel.  She has chosen to join us at the farm for the summer with some breaks for float trips and other fun summer activities with her cousins.  You can see her blonde head cleaning garlic with the CSA last Wednesday morning. 

Another 2.5 inches of rain fell last night after what was a nice little dry spell during which we were able to plant another round of cucumbers, squashes and beans.  We also got the chicken coop moved to a new a new spot. 

We like to move the chickens to fresh ground every three weeks or so.  This time they are on the highest ridge of the farm, but there were still puddles this morning after the rain. 

The first of the fall transplants, the cabbages, are a week or so away from being ready to go in the ground.

 If we can finds some dry ground in which to put them, that is.    The forecasters say it is about to get hot, sunny and dry.  That is exactly what we need to get the fall crops planted and get the summer fruits to ripen.  So, please no complaints if we finally get some summer weather!

What to Do With Your Share---Week 9

Still waiting for summer it seems this year, with more rain and a 55 degree night in the forecast. But lots of sun icons showing up by Friday. Looking forward to a warmup and drying out before Labor Day weekend.

Gorgeous potatoes continue to dominate the shares, and we are enjoying this bounty. Tonight we enjoyed some of the red-skinned and yellow-fleshed Desiree variety. Known as the world's most popular red potato, its ability to produce well during drought conditions has not been tested this year.

Tonight's recipe is a simple roasted potato dish that is accented by sage and garlic. While we normally reserve the sage for the fall sweet potatoes, a discussion while weeding the herb beds today prompted this dish.

1.5 lb potatoes, cut into wedges
2 tbsp. olive oil
1-1/2 tbsp. chopped sage leaves
salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped

Desiree wedges, ready for the oven

Pre-heat oven to 375 deg F
Toss potatoes with olive oil, sage, salt and pepper
Place on baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes
Add garlic, stir and roast for 15 more minutes or until golden brown

There are many other recipe suggestions on our group Facebook page, from roasted garlic with Companionship Bread to Chicken Yakisoba.

Renovating the strawberry beds for next year