Tuesday, October 17, 2017

In the Share: Week 14



ARUGULA or ROSEMARY  The first harvest from the fall high tunnel.  Spinach, lettuce, greens and roots will soon follow.

SWEET PEPPERS  We picked alot this week in case it frosted.  Everyone gets a bag of assorted colors.

LETTUCE  Two heads from the patch.  One will be red leaf lettuce, the other either a green romaine or a crisphead from Italy we are trialing.

CARROTS  Orange sweeties.

GREENS CHOICE  Kale, sprouting broccoli or bok choy/tat soi

GARLIC  silverskin

IN TWO WEEKS:  sweet potatoes, leeks, lettuce, radishes, spinach, greens.

FARM REPORT:
This morning we awoke to the first frost of the season.

strawberry plants kissed by Jack Frost.

Luckily it was a light one and damaged little.  We had spent most of Sunday picking peppers and covering the tender lettuces just in case.  Frost is actually beneficial for the strawberry plants as it signals that it is time for the plant to begin to go dormant for the winter.  After a few more frosty mornings we will cover the plants with straw to protect them from the cold.

The farmers are also preparing for winter.  The push to clear the fields began last week with the dismantling of the tomato trellises.  We have lots of irrigation tape to wind up and store and there is another 300 + ft. of sweet potatoes yet to dig.  Our seasonal workers are done for the year so it is just Tom and I scurrying around the fields trying to wrap things up.  There is plenty of space on the Saturday CSA schedule, so for those of you who haven't completed your one shift of the year, please do so soon. We look forward to welcoming you to the beautiful fall fields!


What to Do With Your Share---Week 14

The cool down that has been October has started my cravings for cold weather comfort food. Soups and stews are back on the menu, and there is a bounty on the farm this fall. It has been a good season to preserve, and hope you can take advantage of the opportunities this year has presented. Check out the bulk list for recipes for pickled beets and green pepper relish.

The ripe sweet peppers that are still filling the harvest crates are a great compliment to the other vegetables in the share. A stir-fry with this week's greens is always enhanced by colorful, fresh peppers. Add some broth, stock, ferment juice, or other cooking liquid and you can have a wonderfully hearty soup.

Stir-fry ingredients


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

In the Share: Week 13



LETTUCE  The first heads from the fall patch.  Forellenshluss, the Austrian speckled romaine starts the season.

BEETS  We were going to offer a choice with salad turnips, but alas the turnips are not that great.  We'll supply some to the swap boxes for any extreme turnip lovers.

GREENS CHOICE  Kale, chard or sprouting broccoli.

SWEET PEPPERS  Good harvest of ripe sweeties!

POTATOES  Desiree variety:  pink outside, creamy yellow inside.

ONIONS  Red ones

HERB CHOICE  thyme or parsley.

IN TWO WEEKS:  lettuce, greens, peppers, carrots, garlic and sweet potatoes.

FARM REPORT:
Fall is my favorite time of year.  The pressures of planting schedules are behind us and the weather is still warm enough to ripen peppers but cool enough for leafy greens.


A new fall tradition began last week with the first ever harvest of native grass seed on the Graff farm.  While Tom and I manage the 20 acres of the vegetable farm, buildings and ponds, my father manages the other 260 acres. Back in 2012, he had the farm seeded with a mixture of native grasses and forbs.  Unfortunately, 2012 was a drought year and much of the seed did not sprout.  We followed the advice of conservationists, and over the last five years we have burned the grasses every Spring.  Much of what was bare ground in 2012 is now covered by a beautiful blanket of Indian grass along with lots of wildflowers and other grasses.  Not only do these prairie plants prevent soil erosion and provide habitat to wildlife, but the seed can be combined and sold to others who want to plant native grasses on their land.  Our first harvest was over 10,000 lbs. of seed.  Not too shabby!


Our newest member of the farm family, Sandy, has been adjusting to his new life on the farm.  He went in to Lawson Animal Hospital for his first checkup and received his first round of vaccinations.  They reckon he is about 5 months old and in good health.  He joins us in the fields when the weather is nice but spends his night indoors for now.  There is still much for him to learn about being a good farm cat and we hope that Mommakitty will provide him a mentor.

What to Do With Your Share---Week 13

The weather remains beautiful this year. Lots of sun, rain in showers not buckets, comfortable chickens, and a great bounty. As we head deeper into fall the meals change to comfort food, with lots of hearty root vegetables and savory greens.



It's beets for all this week, as we pull them at their prime. While we know they are not for everyone, we hope that our September 2009 suggestion of Beet Hash will become a favorite. Either thyme or parsley goes well with this dish. You can add a little honey and vinegar to give this recipe a sweet/sour edge.
August 8th

October 3rd

The last view of our sabbatical fields was in our August 8th blog post.  At this point in the season all of our 2017 cover crops are planted and we are tilling in the last of the sorghum sudan grass. This feeding ends a good rest for this field, one we hope helps with future production.

The grasses in the chicken yard have grown almost high enough the hide the movable coop. It is a nice feature for some cover crops, to regrow after mowing or tilling, giving us a second crop of biomass before the winter sets in. All of this composting in place is your meal's meal.