Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Shares Available

From SHF 2011

The shot above is Kji out in the field last week. Today I'm in the office, trying to get the seed order in and letting everyone know that we have shares available. Spring, summer, fall 2011 and winter 2012 shares are available right now, and sign ups now help pay for that seed order and the work we'll be doing any day now to start the seeds and get the plants in the ground. Details on how to sign up for a share are at our other website.

Our plan for the season is to do 40 shares in the spring, 70 in the summer and fall and 30 next winter. This is a few more than we did last year, but not as many as we had planned for. Kji also is expanding his other business in edible landscaping and is hoping to sell a little a farmers markets, including plant starts. You can follow news on that front over at his Edible Horizons blog.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

More winter goodness

After a bit of standing around, scratching out heads, and looking at what we have left in the fields we decided to harvest a little heavier today. Our thought was that the way the voles and deer have been going for it lately, the vegetables are safer in your fridge, and really they'll probably last at least as long there. The share has brussels, maybe the last of them, although there are some small ones out there that could size up, and we'll probably get some raab in the late winter. We pulled the very last of the leeks out of the field. We stripped a few more leaves off the kale today, those should keep going for while. We also pulled out the last of the salsify roots. Some of the salsify has a bit of greens, which does make a nice salad addition.

I've given most of this info before, but if you're wondering about using the less usual vegetables, like salsify and brussels, here are a few tips. The salsify is very similar to scorzonera. Peel it, slice it and fry it, or chunk it and boil it. Either way it's a nice addition to greens or other roots. I especially like it with sauteed kale.

The brussels need a bit of peeling as well, there are some not so nice wrapper leaves on the outside, but the insides should be good. I like to half them, sautee them for a few minutes in olive oil and then add a bit of balsamic and water to the pan, cover it and let them steam for a few more minutes until most of the liquid is gone and they're dark green but still crispy. They're also excellent shredded with a similar treatment.

Kale and leeks, I assume those don't need much explanation at this point - good in everything, pretty much.

I"m not sure when the next harvest will be. We'll take a look in two weeks, but we might have to wait for some more late winter growth before we pull anything else out of the field. We'll let you all know and keep you up to date on the first seedings of the year that will be happening in a couple of weeks as well.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hoop House Happiness

From SHF 2011

Kji and I are slogging away in the office today, trying to hammer out the remains of the plan for 2011, and finish the accounting for 2010. While we're in the office the seeds we planted in December in the hoop house are starting to grow, and we're hoping for some fresh salad greens and radishes in late February or early March from these little guys. With the winter season we're only harvesting every other week so this week is an "off" week for us. No harvest today, but still plenty of work to do.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

First Winter Share

From SHF 2011

A bit smaller than we planned for, but it should all be tasty and I'm really looking forward to some vegetables right now. We managed to keep the deer away from enough of the red savoy cabbage to give out a small head to everyone. Keeping with the small theme we planted these on tight spacing to force them to make smaller heads, and for the most part it worked. They were little ice balls this morning, very cold on the hands. We also dug scorzonera (and a little salsify) out of the partially frozen ground.

From SHF 2011

Scorzonera is very similar to the salsify we gave out earlier in the year, and can be used the same way. It's sticky and browns quickly when peeled, but if you put it in acidulated water it prevents the browning, or you can just cook it right away. Sauteing or boiling both work well. To round out the share we pulled a few more leeks and these will be nice on their own, or in conjunction with the other two items.

The shares are smaller for a few reasons, mostly just because winter is unpredictable. There's a great article on this that I read yesterday by Courtney Cowgill that explains some of this. There are a lot of things that went wrong with some of the crops we were hoping to give out. The voles ate a lot of them, we're working on that problem. We were short on transplants when we went to plant due to poor germination, which was probably due to seeding during the only really hot weeks we got this summer. The list goes on, but really we're doing ok and we should even have enough for at least another harvest or two, or even more, this winter.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!


Nothing like a nice warm fire to keep you cozy on a cold January day (although I admit the photo is from September and I'm no where near a fire right now).

I also have to admit, I haven't actually been out to the farm for more than two weeks! Kji, on the other hand, spent his holiday out there house sitting and reports that things seem to be hanging on. I didn't get any report on the number of voles trapped in that time.

Winter CSA will start this week, weather permitting, and we'll see how many harvests we can pull out in the next three months. We've settled on a plan for the 2011 spring, summer and fall shares, as well as the 2012 winter shares; prices too, so sign up now before they're all gone!

Also, and the fire reminded me of this, we've set dates for seasonal open houses/farm parties so mark your calendars. More details will follow, but the dates for now are March 20th, June 18th, and September 17th. There will be fun involved, definitely food, most likely some portion of that food will come from the above pictured oven, and maybe Kji will show off his mad hooping skills during the party this time, not just after...