Tuesday, November 15, 2016

In the Share: Week 7 extended season

SWEET POTATOES  orange-fleshed Beauregards

LETTUCE MIX  More mix from the fields






ROOT MIX  A mix of radishes, turnips, beets and carrots

HERB CHOICE thyme, rosemary or dried herbs

NEXT WEEK:  The 2016 CSA season is over.


What a week!  As I said in an email to the membership after the election, no one is going to build a better world for us.  That is true no matter who is in the White House.  We must work together to create a world that is just, fair and based on love and mutual respect.  In our small way, these lofty goals were visible this past Sunday at the CSA meeting.  Thanks to all who participated.  For the full rundown on what transpired, check your email inbox.   We appreciate everyone's interest and support of our plans for sabbatical in 2017.

The end of the CSA season has arrived with the final shares to the extended season members.  This usually is cause for bittersweet celebration at the farm.  The first shares went out in mid-April, almost 7 months ago.  Since then we have been on a weekly CSA schedule that is relentless.  Until now.  We are looking forward to the winter work of maintaining equipment, organizing the barns and planning for the year ahead.

What to Do With Your Share---Extended Season Week 7

Well this is it for 2016. Thanks once again for the support that helps us be able to keep doing the work we are doing. As always the season was filled with good food, fun work crews, unpredictable weather, and life.

This closing chapter includes a wonderful variety of produce and seasonings. Today we harvested the marjoram in anticipation of low temperatures that will finally do it in. This Mediterranean herb may just be my favorite. Nothing is more aromatic among our dried herbs.
Beautiful marjoram growing robustly in mid-November
With this week's share, and any vegetables you may have left or stored up from previous shares, your options are many right now. A few suggestions include: tagine sweet potatoes, leek and tomato pasta, angel hair pasta with leeks, and curried hakurei turnips. Remember you can always search the blog. With 9 years of posts you should be able to find something good.

Taking time to walk the grasslands of the farm

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

In the Share: Week 6 extended

LETTUCE  salad mix from the fields



SWEET POTATOES  Bonitas with yellow flesh





HERB CHOICE  Cilantro, dill, or cutting celery

NEXT WEEK:  sweet potatoes, garlic, greens, herbs,

I am beginning to write this on Monday night before the election.  That's a day earlier than usual due to the fact that I may not be able to tear myself away from the election results tomorrow.    I hope for a brighter day after a year of intolerance and division.

Besides voting, the big task tomorrow is preparing for frost.  Looks like we are going to have one Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.  I happy to see cold weather in the forecast after what has been a very strange fall season.  Perhaps the crisp mornings will remind us that Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away.  We encourage everyone to go local and organic for your holiday meals.  For those in the extended season, you get your last share the week before Thanksgiving.  For all of our other members, feel free to order off of our email bulk list.  And for everything else, consider shopping the  KC Food Circle Holiday Pop-up   .  Fair Share Farm will be in the house with ferments, sweet potatoes, garlic and greens.  Click the link to see a list of all the awesome vendors.  Hope to see you there!

What to Do With Your Share---Extended Season Week 6

Not your average blog night. They've started calling states and my attention is being drawn in another direction. A big night in American history.

We still have to eat though, and the fields have been quite generous lately. We have been making quite a few stir-fries, and have been using the lingering flavors of past meals to make our sauce. As an example, we cooked up some ribs recently in our dutch oven, and kept the pan drippings for future use. Namely, to add some umami to a pan of sautéed vegetables.

Volunteer bok choi
We are getting the kitchen warmed up, taking what time we have as we wrap up the season to build up an inventory of ferments. It has been a pleasure to have such a functional space to prepare our products.

An early morning view into the kitchen

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

In the Share: Week 5 extended

SPINACH   The leaves are large and in charge.

SWEET PEPPERS  The weather has forgotten that it is November and so we still have sweet peppers ripening in the fields.

HAKUREI TURNIPS  The leafy growth and warm weather has attracted some aphids in the high tunnel.  You might want to wash your greens extra carefully if you don't want extra protein.

LETTUCE  We continue to try to make the lettuce last.  Huge heads of red leaf had to be picked on Friday.  A salad a day keeps the doctor away.

LETTUCE OR ARUGULA  A choice of a second head of lettuce or arugula.

BROCCOLI/GAI LAN  We are down to side shoots of broccoli which are much like the gai lan.

SWEET POTATOES  Orange type this week.

RADISHES  red globes from the fields and high tunnel.

HERB CHOICE  Cilantro, parsley or dill.

NEXT WEEK:  Greens, turnips, garlic, bok choy, lettuce, sweet potatoes, kale, bulb fennel.

With us now in November a killing frost is surely not too far away although there is no sign of it in the 10-day forecast.  It has happened that it waits until practically December.  It has been very dry as well as warm and so we have fired up the irrigation pump to keep the peppers and the field greens going.  We gave the strawberry patch a good drink as well so that they will be healthy and strong while they are dormant.  The high tunnel is the opposite of dormant right now.  We continue to struggle to keep up with it's leafy growth.

Pretty fantastic looking, really!  Makes a farmer proud.  All this leafy-ness is not all fabulous, however.  We plant beneficial alyssum to draw in predators like brachnid wasps, but we still have aphids especially on the radish tops.  Which if you have to pick a leaf for an aphid to go after, it could be worse.

On Saturday we completed the tomato teardown and expanded the chicken yard into it.  They really enjoyed the old hay that we use to mulch the tomatoes and quickly put their heads down into it hunting bugs and seeds.

What to Do With Your Share---Extended Season Week 5

It is often amazing to see just what influence the weather has over our crops. The weather of late has allowed our plant to "put on growth." We are fortunate with modern weatherforcasting to have know to harvest before the mid-October frosts, so that we can enjoy the new fruits and greenery of this late fall burst of produce.

Our latest sweet pepper harvest ever
I was talking to one of my sisters the other day and she said that they had a large garden harvest of peppers last week and proceeded to make stuffed peppers. I searched our archives and found a couple recipes that should help a resourceful cook also make some stuffed dishes out of what is in recent shares.

The first, of course, is stuffed peppers. Our newsletter from way back in September 2004 (our first CSA season), has a great recipe for cheese stuffed peppers. While the recipe calls for cherry bell peppers, you can use whatever ones are in your share.

The other is stuffed chard leaves. Kale can also be used for this recipe. Just about any vegetable in the share can be added to the stuffing.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

What to Do With Your Share---Extended Season Week 4

As the climate changes we try here at the farm to adapt. We have learned from fellow farmers that ginger, a tropical plant, is something you can grow here in Missouri with some technique. We are working too at growing other hot weather crops, like lemongrass.

We had a nice little patch of this aromatic in our herb garden this year to see how well we could grow it in a raised bed. You will be tasting the result. According to Wikipedia,  "It is believed to help with stress-related disorders, and has been shown to have antifungal and antimicrobial properties."

I have an affinity for its flavor. I first sampled lemongrass in the mid-1980's at a restaurant in Rochester, New York where I lived. I asked the waitress about the incredible lemongrass chicken I was eating and she came back with the recipe. So, if you eat chicken, I highly recommend this dish.

This was apparently a very quickly translated recipe at the chef spoke only Vietnamese, so I have found that the ratios can be suited to taste. For a whole chicken I would grate a full tablespoon of lemongrass. The grated onions are the carrier of the marinade, and I will grate up to 1/3 cup for a whole chicken.

Broiled Lemongrass Chicken
1/2 chicken boned
1/4 tsp fresh ground lemongrass (use a grater)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp grated onion
1 small clove garlic (crushed)

Mix all seasonings together. Pour over chicken and marinate 2 hours to overnight. Bake chicken at 375 deg F for 45 minutes, turning once.

To use the lemongrass you need to trim, and then grate the base of the plant. The stalk that remains is then in perfect shape to steep for a healthy tea.

In the Share: Week 4 extended

HAKUREI TURNIPS These are the best.  The roots have ice-cream centers and the tops are big and leafy.

RED LEAF LETTUCE  This is held over from last week's picking, so use it soon.

BROCCOLI OR CAULIFLOWER  These are spicier than usual and reminds us that they are arugula's relative.

BOK CHOY OR TAT SOI  High tunnel-grown and huge.  Bring an extra bag to carry it home and get your wok ready.

FRISSEE ENDIVE Frilly and fancy salad ingredient.

PEARS  What?! Not a usual item to have for the CSA, but the farm's crazy old pear tree growing next to the driveway is making decent pears this year.  We have no idea what type of pear it is, but once they ripen to a brownish gold they are pretty sweet.


LEMONGRASS  A new offering to the CSA.  It enjoyed our tropical summer.  See Tom's post for more info.

NEXT WEEK:  lettuce, turnips, radishes, sweet potatoes, greens, garlic.

Despite the warm weather hinting otherwise, the farm continues to prepare for winter.  We removed one big item on the list this past week when the final touches were made on the new chicken coop.  After scavenging the farm for materials, we found enough to remodel the livestock trailer into a cozy home for our new hens.  Sheet metal left over from re-siding the barn joined corrugated plastic from siding the greenhouse joined old windows from the family stockpile.  The secret ingredient, however, was Farmer Tom and his knack for putting it all together.  If you want to see more of the project and other photos from the farm, consider visiting us on Instagram: 


Last night while I was wrapping up the last CSA distribution of the regular season, Tom moved all the three-month-old chicks into their new home.  After dark is the time to move them while they are inside their little coop for the night and sleepy-eyed.  Today we kept them inside so that hopefully tomorrow night they will remember where to go when it gets dark.  Some cleanup in the chard patch gave them a nice snack while they were "cooped up."

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

In the Share: Week 24

LETTUCE F  This hot weather is kicking the lettuce out of the high tunnel, where it would "normally" be cozy during frosty fall days.  Instead, it is all going out in the next two weeks.

GREENS CHOICE F/P  Kale, gailan, chard or arugula


BULB FENNEL F/P  See Tom's post for a bit more on this ferny bulb.

SWEET POTATOES F2/P1  Full shares get some of each type, partial shares have to choose.

LEEKS F/P  Potato-leek soup is the recipe on Tom's post.  yum.



HERB CHOICE F  cilantro, dill or cutting celery.

NEXT WEEK:  Regular season folks, you are on your own.  Extended seasoners:  lettuce, greens, hakurei turnips, bok choy, sweet potatoes.

We were just lightly nipped by the frost last week and most plants survived.  Then summer came roaring back and sent the crops into a heady growth.  The last couple of morning harvests have started with your farmers frowning at the exuberant green growth in the high tunnel.  What can hold for the extended season and what needs to be picked now is the trouble.  Perhaps this warm weather will have us eating peppers in November.

We began deconstructing the summer crops this past weekend.  There is a long way to go to clean up the fields and prepare them for the winter.  All are welcome any Wednesday or Saturday mornings to join in the work from now until Thanksgiving.

What to Do With Your Share---Week 24

As the regular CSA season comes to a close I would like to thank the membership for another great year of agriculture and community. And thanks to all who filled out our annual survey in August. Looking over the survey results and comments provides a lot of satisfaction in knowing you feel well served.

I especially liked reading the comments of what members like best about the farm shift. The words love, experience, and process are common, and we are glad that we have been able to provide not just vegetables, but a real connection to your food.

This week's share is one we've been holding out for, letting the leeks and fennel grow for as long as possible to help them bulk up. The leeks this week would be great in a soup. In particular a potato leek soup which is made with your white sweet potatoes. Here is the recipe from our blog of 5 years ago today.

You can chop up the bulb of the fennel and add it to the soup above. Or if you need some other ideas and a primer on how to clean a fennel bulb, go to our November 2010 blog for some help.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

What to Do With Your Share---Week 23

The peppers were plentiful this morning during our final harvest of the year. It is always a treat to participate in a bountiful day, and the afternoon sweet potato harvest didn't disappoint.

So the question is what to do with all of these seasonal beauties. With the sweet potatoes it is important to make sure that for any that you accumulate, to store them at between 55 and 78 degrees F. Do not put them in the fridge. With proper storage they can keep well into the new year.

The peppers need more immediate attention and can be used right away, or preserved for future use. The recipe of green tomato and pepper relish gets you a condiment for burgers and dogs, and an ingredient for homemade salad dressings and deviled eggs.

You can also store the peppers by freezing. No need to blanch or otherwise process the peppers. Just cut the cleaned pepper into large chunks, put them into a freezer bag, and freeze. Easy.

Our 48 hours off the farm that Rebecca talked about also included some short walks. North of Atchison we checked out Independence Creek and tromped the same ground as Lewis & Clark and the Kanza Indians. 


In the Share: Week 23

SWEET PEPPERS F/P  This morning we picked them all and came away with quite a haul!  There will be 2-3 lbs. per share this week.  See Tom's post for a pepper relish recipe.

LETTUCE OR ARUGULA F/P  The high tunnel is a bit ahead of schedule and so we are picking some of the greens that just couldn't wait any longer.

TOMATOES/GREEN TOMATOES F  With frost in the forecast, the tomatoes are stripped bare and coming to you in shades of green.

HERB CHOICE F/P  Cilantro, dill or parsley.

BEANS OR BROCCOLI P  The last of the beans and the broccoli is attempting a comeback.

EGGPLANT F  Baby fruit picked ahead of the frost.

SWEET  POTATOES F/P  Your choice of Beauregard (orange) or Bonita (yellow).

GREENS CHOICE F kale, chard or gailan.

RADISHES OR BEETS F  This is a tricky one.  We aren't sure how much we will have until we pull them tomorrow.

NEXT WEEK:  the last week of the regular 24-week season.  Sweet potatoes, leeks, greens, bulb fennel, herbs, garlic.

The forecast for Thursday morning stands at 34 deg. F at the moment.  That's cold enough with clear skies and a calm wind to kill the summer crops.  To every thing, there is a season and so we say goodbye to the summer with one last mega harvest.  With one day left to bring it all in, we still have a big list.  Today we harvested the last of the sweet potatoes, all of the peppers, eggplant and tomatoes, over 1,000 pounds total.  Tomorrow once the CSA harvest is complete, we will turn our focus to the crops that remain, adding row cover for frost protection and installing the doors on the high tunnel.  If anyone wants to come help, the more the merrier!!

Before frost threatened, your farmers snuck in a short vacation.  Shocking, I know!  Not since Tom and I traveled to Arkansas in January had we both left the farm for an overnight.  Between chickens, greenhouses, and the fields, it is pretty impossible for both of us to be gone at the same time.  With the greenhouse empty, the fields all but harvested, and a couple of conscientious human beings to care for the chickens, we made our escape.  Wednesday night through Friday we transplanted ourselves to Leavenworth, Kansas.  Part foodie roadtrip, part genealogy research, we spent our time eating Korean food, tromping around cemeteries and exploring the pre-Civil War history of the county.

On our way back we tracked down the graves of my great-great grandparents, Catherine and Peter Graff.  Peter was born in Germany and married Catherine from North Carolina.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

In the Share: Week 22

LETTUCE F2/P1  The last of the lettuce, mainly red leaf.  We have some in the high tunnel for the extended season, but that's it for the lettuce outdoors.

BONITA SWEET POTATOES F/P  See Tom's post on these camotes muy bonitas.

SWEET PEPPERS F  More ripe ones thanks to a warm week.

ONIONS OR POTATOES P  Last of both for the season.

TOMATOES F  Dwindling amounts of these.

GREENS CHOICE P  Kale, chard or gailan.

GARLIC F/P  Silverskin softneck

BEANS OR BROCCOLI F  More roma beans or broccoli.


NEXT WEEK:  Leeks, sweet potatoes, eggplant, greens, peppers.

On the same day that our commercial kitchen was approved (See Tom's post for more on that) we were greeted by a rainbow shining in our fields.  Happy day!

The chicken coop seems to be located at the end of the rainbow.  Perhaps our pot of gold is in the form of golden orange egg yolks from our free-ranging flock.

Another natural beauty visited us at the wash area this week.  This praying mantis hung around for several days on the underside of the drain table and here on our water cooler.

What to Do With Your Share---Week 22

It has been a glorious time lately to spend your days outside. The weather has been beautiful and the plants and people have appreciated it. Inside things have been pretty good to, as the Clay County Department of Health has given us approval to ferment and sell the vegetables we grow on the farm.

It has taken about 3 years to get to this point, and we are glad to finally be here. The support we have received from the CSA, friends, family and the community has really helped to bouy us along through the many stages of this project. Thanks to all!

In the share this week we are able to enjoy a great variety of vegetables, as the summer hangs on and the fall slowly takes hold. The sweet potatoes are enjoying this weather pace, giving them more time to bulk up.

We have a new variety of sweet potato this year called Bonita that has replaced the O'Henry. It is also a type of white sweet potato, but with a pinkish-red skin. They are creamy and sweet, good as a mash, roasted, steamed or boiled. They make a very nice potato salad also.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

In the Share: Week 21

SWEET POTATOES F/P  A sweetheart of a potato harvest is cheering up your farmers. See Tom's post for a recipe.

TOMATOES F/P  Tomatoes and cilantro at the same time is a treat!

LETTUCE x2 F/P  There is no stopping the lettuce.  We must pick it all this week and will hold it in our coolers for this week and next. Enjoy them while they last.

GREENS CHOICE F  kale, chard or gailan.

EGGPLANT F  This is always the best time of year for the 'plant.

OKRA OR CUCUMBERS F  Both are winding down but there's just enough to make a choice of the two.


ROMA BEANS P  Tom wrote about them last week

HERB CHOICE F  Cilantro or sage, both great with sweet potatoes.

NEXT WEEK:  Peppers, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, greens, and leeks.

Fall is finally here and the lovely weather is much appreciated at the farm.  The work day starts cool and crisp.

Our tasks take us across the fields harvesting lettuce in the early morning, weeding in the high tunnel and then out for an afternoon of sweet potato digging.  If you haven't yet made it to the farm for your shifts, come on out and help us bring in the sweet potatoes this week or next.  We are getting closer to our average first frost date and all the "sweets" will need to be safely indoors by then.

What to Do With Your Share---Week 21

We welcome the fall with the first harvest of sweet potatoes. It is always nice to eat seasonally and welcome a vegetable that you have not had in awhile.

We enjoyed some tonight using the method of steam then brown. Cut the sweet potatoes into on 2-inch chunks, steam for 10 to 12 minutes, drain, and return the potatoes back to the same pan. Add some butter or oil to the pan and brown them.

We then spiced ours with a spice blend called tagine (curry is good too) and some salt.  A garnish of yogurt and chopped cilantro can't be beat.

Out in the field we are chopping down some summer cover crops and getting ready to turn them in. It is nice to be able to look down after mowing and not be able to see the soil, knowing there is a lot of good organic matter to chew into the soil

The frogs hear the tractor coming and leap out of the way. This one landed nearby and I got a pic. A frog in the field is an indication of diversity and health.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

In the Share: Week 20

LETTUCE F/P As soon as I said that the lettuce didn't need another gully washer, guess what happened?!  This photo is after the four inches of rain that fell Tuesday night into Wednesday last week.  More water encouraged the already bolting lettuce all the more.  So far we are keeping up with harvesting the ones that are most threatening to bolt while they are still nice, but expect some emergent stalks in your heads.

TOMATOES F/P  Today sure felt like tomato season with a heat index at 100 deg. F.  What a weird weather year.  The heat and humidity has been unreal and our organic tomato patch has suffered as a result.

GARLIC F/P  From storage.  We are finishing up the artichoke variety and are moving on to the silverskin.

SWEET PEPPERS F  There are lots of peppers on the plants, but fewer are ripening so only the full shares get them this week.  Partial shares get them next week.

POTATOES OR ONIONS F  The last of both for the year.

EGGPLANT OR OKRA P  Both are doing well right now. You've got to savor the summer while it lasts!

ROMA BEANS F  It has been a very weird year with the bean crop.  All season long we have not been able to get our bean seed to sprout.  Finally we got half of a planting to come up.  After much cajoling we have a bit of a bean harvest.  See Tom's blog for more info. on this Italian-type bean.

CUCUMBERS F  Last hurrah of these for the year.

GREENS CHOICE P  Kale, chard or gailan

HERBS OR HOT PEPPERS F/P  Numex (green or red), Hot wax (yellow), and jalapenos (dark green or red) or cutting celery.

NEXT WEEK:  lettuce, greens, peppers, eggplant, okra, sweet potatoes


At least this time, the rain actually fit in our rain gauge.  Large rain events have become common enough that we should probably buy a bigger rain gauge.  No joke!   See Tom's post for a soggy photo.  Crops like the radishes, turnips, and arugula that were already stressed from the last rain are worse now.  After each rain event we have re-planted in the hopes of things turning in our favor, so far no such luck.

At the moment, the shares are full thanks to the summer crops that will be done soon and storage crops that we have pretty much gone through.  Expect lighter shares for the last few weeks of the season.  On a bright note, the sweet potato harvest has begun and it looks fairly respectable.  They will start appearing in the shares next week and for most of the rest of the season.

What to Do With Your Share---Week 20

In an old episode of Cheers, Norm and Cliff were discussing what the sweatiest movie was-Cool Hand Luke or Body Heat. Around here, the title of most humid season so far is descriptive of 2016. 

These warm sunny days have helped some plants, like okra and peppers, to thrive of late. We are also going to finally see a few beans in the share. A spell of poor germination means that the harvest will be smaller than desired, but these Roma beans serve well as an accent as much as a main ingredient.

One way we like to use green beans this time of year is in a hash. Our recipe from July of 2007 for potato, onion and bean hash fits well with the recent shares. These beans can also be steamed, cooled, and added to a cold salad.

This recipe is in one of our old newsletters. This summary of the week from 9 years ago notes that we were featured in the first issue of Greenability. It also shows our old gas powered irrigation pump (spewing fumes not pictured.) Give it a read.

In the fields the 4 inch rain a week ago put a hit on our latest attempt to re-seed everything we can before it is too late in the season. This picture is a good visual of our challenge.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

In the Share: Week 19

LETTUCE F/P  Dainty Forellenschluss heads first from the lettuce patch, which is looking good as long as we don't get another gully washer.

GREENS CHOICE F The first picking on the fall kale, chard and gailan will be light to start.

SWEET PEPPERS F/P  The peppers don't want to stop growing.  Expect lots of ripe peppers, and once the frost threatens, lots of green peppers in your future.


POTATOES F  More of the Desiree variety with pink skin, yellow flesh.

EGGPLANT F  The plants are making nice fruit now.

CUCUMBERS P  Not many more cucumbers left. A sign of the end of summer.

TOMATOES F/P  A last little flush is slowly ripening.

HERBS F/P  Chives and thyme

NEXT WEEK:  Peppers, sweet potatoes, garlic, eggplant, lettuce

We had a beautiful day for the CSA harvest dinner.  The community came together and put on a great party with lots of fun for the kids, homebrew and good conversation for the adults and no injuries have been reported.

Since we spilled the beans last week (see here if you missed it), Tom and I had to take a few minutes from the festivities to talk about our plans for next year.  Sustainability is sometimes described as a three-legged stool comprised of social, environmental, and economic components.  We think the CSA is rocking the social component with the sliding scale, coordination with food pantries, distribution sites and so much more.  Our environment benefits from the farm's commitment to organic practices, the purchase of wind power from our electric co-op, and a myriad of other things that are done to conserve resources on the farm.  The economics of the farm are strong thanks to the support of the membership.  With the commercial kitchen almost complete, the farm hopes to complement the CSA income with sales from fermented foods.  We are excited to begin the next chapter of building our farm business with the community and the land. 

What to Do With Your Share---Week 19

It was great on Sunday to be able to have such a wonderful gathering here at the farm. It seems the kids might have outnumbered the adults this year meaning we must have achieved some type of critical mass. We are hoping we can keep that going as we head into the future.

While the summer harvest is starting to slow down, we still seem to have one of our more productive okra patches out in the field. There are plenty of recipes for the okra lover on the web, but if you are new to okra or not crazy about its texture, we suggest reading our August 2010 blog. This wok dish is a great way to keep the okra crispy.

beautiful okra
Out in the field we are beginning the process of mowing down the summer cover crops so we can feed them to the soil. Annually watching these great mass of greenery grow tall, get shredded, and then disappear into the soil really helps one understand that the soil is literally eating all of it. After all, the soil is the stomach of the plant.

mowing down the sorghum-sudan grass/cow pea cover crop

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

What to Do With Your Share---Week 18

We appreciate everyone listening to our plans and the changes ahead. The buoying of the farm by the CSA has helped to keep the farm sustainable since 2004. As my high schools motto says "Onward."

You never know what vegetable will do well in conditions like we have been having. We are happy the pickling cucumbers have done well. They are naturally flavorful and crunchy. All they really need is a little salt.

We have been trialing putting perennial herbs in the corners of the high tunnel to take up space and allow us to grow plants that wouldn't otherwise survive a NW Missouri winter. We have one success in a rosemary plant. One bush will hopefully give everyone a sprig. A real community shrub.

We added a teaspoon of chopped rosemary to some peppers and garlic we were frying and caramelizing. It was delicious and it added that extra savory flavor to the dish.

In the Share: Week 18








HERBS F/P  thyme/rosemary or thyme/parsley bunches

NEXT WEEK:  lettuce, onions, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes

Okay, hold on tight!  We have an announcement:  Fair Share Farm, as it is currently configured, will be taking a rest in 2017.  Call it a farmer sabbatical.  And if you can believe wiki, the sabbatical year for farmers should be every seventh year.  Tom and I started farming here in 2003, making this year our 14th growing season, so we are long overdue.

Honestly, 2015 and 2016 exposed the limits of our land to recover from big rain events.  The problem is drainage.  There are things that can be done including longer fallow periods, chisel plowing and/or more mulching.  Thing is we need some time to rest the land, rest ourselves, research the options and do the work.  None of this is likely to happen with the weekly schedule of providing 7-9 produce items for 130 families.

Also on the list in 2017 is to work in our (soon-to-be-newly-certified) commercial kitchen fermenting krauts and pickles. We also plan to remodel the pack/wash area which includes replacing a load-bearing wall and roof.  And we also need to rebuild our perimeter fencing to exclude the cattle who will soon be our neighbors on my family's acreage.

As we look past 2017, we are hoping that a year off will make us better farmers and growers of produce for the CSA.  We hope that the CSA can continue during the sabbatical with some produce from us.  The strawberry patch is well-weeded and mulched.  We will have u-pick for sure, and maybe we can pick for everyone too.  We may grow some staple crops and keep a bulk list going.

What we don't want to do is lose the network of farmers and eaters that has grown up around us.  The Partner Vendors:  Parker Farms, Goatsbeard Farm, Skyview Farm and Creamery, Companionship Breads, Tiny Whole Farm, and Urbavore make up our most fantastic food hub.  We are so well-fed by these amazing food artisans and farmers.  We are equally grateful for their dedication to organic, natural foods that are good for their animals and the planet.

How this will all work is still to be figured out.  Right now Tom and I have more questions than answers and are open to suggestions.  Our one suggestion is that at our next Core Group meeting which is scheduled for November 13 at 1 pm we open the meeting up to all members who want to dream and plan for 2017 and beyond.

And surely this will be a conversation-starter at the CSA picnic on Sunday.

Here's the details in case you missed them:

Harvest Dinner at Fair Share Farm 
Come join the fun with great food, hayrides, music and fun activities!
We’re looking forward to seeing YOU at our annual Harvest Dinner!
Date: Sunday, September 11th
(rain date: September 18th)
Time: 2:00 pm to evening
Location: Fair Share Farm
18613 Downing Road
Kearney, MO 64060
Please RSVP as soon as possible to let us know if you will be able to attend 
and the number of people in your party.
What to bring:
 Your own dining set
Picnic chairs or blanket
Potluck dish (see details below)
Frisbees, kites, badminton, croquet, bocce . . .
anything else to enjoy with family and friends
Musical instruments
We are happy to serve up the main dish (burgers, brats, soup and chili) plus various drinks.
Please bring a dish to serve 12 people according to your last name:
A-G: salad or appetizer
H-O: side dish
P-Z: dessert
The event starts at 2:00 and we won't eat until 5:00, so please keep this in mind for perishable foods.  We have space for dishes in our walk-in.

See you there!