Thursday, December 20, 2012
Monday, December 17, 2012
The weather forecast had me a little worried about today's harvest but its actually been very nice out, for the most part. I can say that partly because I'm fully suited up in rain gear and I wore nice cozy mittens on my ride to the farm this morning.
Today's share has two chicories, frisée and sugarloaf (pan di zucchero), a small leek and a few small Egyptian flat beets. I haven't grown this beet (successfully) before so I'm curious to try it. The sugarloaf is one of my favorite chicories, very crunchy and sweet, and mildly bitter. These heads are slightly immature, which means they haven't reached full sweetness yet. I ran out of time though, and they're still good eating. I used to always roast these heads, split in half and drizzled with olive oil and coarse salt, but I've been enjoying them like escarole in salads recently.
This is the final week of fall shares. The next two weeks will be a winter break before getting back to the harvests in 2013.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Monday, December 10, 2012
Another lovely share today, benefiting from the warm weather we've had so far this fall. The last of the celeriac is in this weeks bag and mâché makes a first appearance. The mâché is a delicate salad green, which does take quite a bit of rinsing to get clean. I've also put a head of escarole and the tops of the kale, which you'll want to strip the leaves from.
Planning for next season is well underway. Last week I made my first serious pass through the seed catalogs and picked out a few new items. You'll have to stay tuned for more details on those, but I will say I'm excited.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Monday, December 3, 2012
Today's share has radicchio, kestrel beets, and gold ball turnips and greens. Radicchio is tricky because it seems like just as the heads are really getting good the voles always find them and they must be a favorite because they can take out quit a few in short order. If you're not familiar with radicchio it is like the other chicories in that it is sweet and crunchy and has a slight bitter edge that many folks really like. That bitter is tamed with cooking, but it can also be eaten raw and goes well with strong salty, sweet, or fatty foods, contrasting nicely. The gold balls and their greens are thinnings from the winter planting. The greens can be a little stringy so cut them up before cooking. I have a lot of beets to get out of the field so there's a nice little bunch of roots today, and there should be one more distribution before the end if the season. It has been an unusually bountiful beet year on the farm so enjoy it while it lasts.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Monday, November 26, 2012
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Monday, November 12, 2012
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Monday, November 5, 2012
A couple of new items for the year in the share today. Beets come back once again as I continue to work through the fall plantings of Kestrels. There are a few beet greens in the shares as well, although the leaves are starting to die back quite a bit so not a lot in the share. There is a big bunch of collard greens. My favorite way to eat these is to remove the rib and then slice them cross wise and boil them in water with a good amount of tamari added. They also work as a substitute for kale, but they leave are a little heartier. Also a new addition for the fall is celeriac, also called root celery. I've left the tops on and the tops can also be cooked as a green, or used like celery to flavor soups or other dishes. The root is great in salads, sliced into sticks and then par boiled, or mashed with potatoes. It has a very similar texture to potato, but it tastes like celery.
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Today's share is about the same as Monday's so no new photo or notes. The photo above was taken on Monday which turned out to be a really nice day. I was kind of hoping that today would end up being dry like Monday since the weather forecast was more or less the same - 90% chance of rain. It wasn't completely soaking, but it was a bit drizzly and definitely no a lot of cloud breaks. I've had a few folks comment on how hard core I seem riding in the rain. I have to say that it's all about the rain gear and dressing right. For a farmer who works in rain gear out in the rain all of the time it's not a big leap to hop on a bike in the rain. The main difference is that I have to shed a few layers when I'm on the bike to keep from overheating. Also I have to wear gloves, which I don't do when I'm harvesting. I'm still loving riding the boxes into town and really hardly ever getting in a car.
I'm posting a couple of photos of the new box for the delivery bike. I'm not sure how many other folks will be excited about this, but it's pretty revolutionary for me. When I don't have boxes on the bike it holds my bag from sliding around, which was always a problem with the flat bed. When I'm riding home after deliveries I don't have that huge box on the bike, and I don't have to take it on and off the bike to get into and out of the house. All around it's much better, except that I can't carry long tools with it. The old box is still serviceable when I need to carry tools. The design below was just proof of concept. I have a number of improvements that I'll add soon.
Monday, October 29, 2012
Thursday, October 25, 2012
It was a nice dry day today, perfect for getting a little clean up done in the field after harvest. The share is basically the same as Monday. A few folks got an extra head of lettuce. I cleaned out every last lettuce head today so that's it for lettuce this season. I also tore out the pepper plants and the beans, which were long done. In their place I seeded cereal rye as a cover crop. It's on the late side for seeding cover crop but I think it'll be fine looking at the weather forecast. I also did a bit of weeding and hoeing in the chicories and covered them all with row cover. They're all a bit behind where I'd like to see them right now so maybe the cover will help speed things up. Unfortunately the voles have found the radicchio and so I set some traps hoping to minimize the damage. They love the roots and eat both the root and the heart out of the plant, just leaving the outer leaves. I could use another day or two like this to finish cleaning up the last of the summer beds.
Monday, October 22, 2012
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
|Crossing the St. Johns Bridge|
photo pulled from video by Ryan Creason
Back in May I posted about this being the last year that Slow Hand Farm will farm on Wild Goose Farm's Land. It's been a great four years but it's time to move on. I've managed to put off finding a new spot, growing in my own backyard and my neighbors' yard for the winter season. At this point I need to start up the search again. It's not that there aren't options out there, but for now I'm being picky.
- At least 5000 square feet of growing space, but 1/2 and acre or more might be nice for possible expansion (I am also considering contracting, so maybe less space?).
- I need at least 5 gallons per minute of clean water (more is better).
- It needs to be within a 12 mile radius of North Portland.
- No pests whatsoever (I can dream can't I?)
- Space and capacity for hosting small workshops, parties and visitors
- Good access to town by bike
Monday, October 15, 2012
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Monday, October 8, 2012
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Monday, October 1, 2012
Kji did the first harvest for solar fall last week, but today is the first day of fall for Slow Hand Farm shares. The summer crops are just barely hanging on and for those who are continuing from the summer season you may notice the seasonal differences.
Today's share has some beautiful Napoli carrots. The voles have started to show up so it's time to start trapping before they eat the rest if the roots. Lettuce continues along with what is probably the last if the cucumbers and summer squash. Tomatoes are slowing down but as long as the weather stays dry they will likely be with us another week or two. Peppers are in their peak right now. I've put some bell peppers in the shares that have a little sunburn. Most of the pepper is good, but the white part needs to be cut out. All of the peppers will benefit from sitting out an coloring a bit more. Rounding out the shares are a few sprigs of dill.
In the field I'm busy clearing old beds and making way for cover crops. I'm loving this dry weather but one good soaking rain would make seeding the cover crops much easier. I'll take the dry though and see about running some extra overhead water.
Monday, September 24, 2012
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Monday, September 17, 2012
I usually try to only include vegetable parts that can be eaten, or that allow better transport. For example, I always include beet greens and turnip greens if they are in good shape because they are tasty. Carrot greens I've gone back and forth on. They are edible, but I've never eaten them. There ate some recipes in this quarter's Edible Portland so I thought I'd include the greens today. The carrots are juane du doubs, big, yellow and especially good for cooking. They store better with the tops off. Also in the share are stocky red roaster peppers. These are just starting to color and sweeten as they turn red. If you want more color just leave them on your counter for a week or so. Lettuce is very small this week. Growth on plants is slowing way down. Cucumbers, summer squash and tomatoes continue, and there's also a bit of parsley in the share.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
If you look closely at the photo above you might notice a guy with a video camera. OSU is using the farm in a training video series they are developing so the camera was out all day and even followed me on the road as I hauled boxes on the Bullitt this morning. I'm not sure if the video will be made public but I'll let you know if it does.
Monday, September 10, 2012
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Thursday, August 30, 2012
I'm still working on the final plantings for fall and winter. With a little luck I'll be done with those next week. Today I pulled all of the shallots to make way for frisee and spinach. Turnips are also on the list to be planted.
Monday, August 27, 2012
Monday, August 20, 2012
After last week's heat it's nice to have our NW weather back. Lots of planting is scheduled for this week so the transplants should appreciate it too.
Friday, August 17, 2012
Monday, August 13, 2012
Monday, August 6, 2012
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
The photo and share description is a bit late this week, but better late than never. Danny sent me this photo of the share: romaine lettuce, summer squash, basil and chard. I'm posting (or attempting to post) from Newport. My partner and I made it here to good cell service and a reliable power outlet this afternoon after riding our bikes from Portland, through Astoria and down the coast, camping all along the way. Kji will be harvesting tomorrow and I'll be back to the farm on Monday. We've been lucky with excellent weather, beautiful views and great camping spots. Two or three more days of riding and we'll be back.
Friday, July 27, 2012
I was getting together bags for next week for Danny since I'm headed out of town and I need to prepare in advance. My stack of returns sitting in the office was very short so I went to see if there happened to be any on my porch. Lo an behold, some wonderful member had hung a collection of 15! bags on my porch! Jackpot.
Just a few little reminder to CSA members: try not to collect the bags in bulk before returning them. Also, I love it when they're returned dry and inside out.
If you are going to hold onto the bags, at least take them out in public so everyone can see how cool you are for being a member of the very small CSA!
Today's share is a repeat of Mondays, just with Kweik butter lettuce instead of the Brown Golding romaine. We had to start packing the vegetables on the other side of the barn today because there's a huge trench on our usual side, the beginnings of Yianni and Jessica's new house construction. All day today a huge back hoe was running back and forth making a little parking lot and digging trenches. The old house was a real eyesore and it's great that it's gone. Mostly the construction is on the far side of the property so it really doesn't impact our farming at all.
The bike continues to be a great part of the farming day for me. I've been hauling not only the vegetables in to town, but also my tools and some transplants back and forth to the winter farm site at my house. The cart is another great pair of wheels and saves me many trips back and forth for harvest and tools and it makes it possible to move large piles of plants, compost, etc. into and out of the fields with relative ease.