Tuesday, September 23, 2014

CSA Week #15

It has been a beautiful week full of sunshine, which welcomes the official arrival of fall and Week #15 boxes.

CSA News Week #15

In the box: garlic, red and yellow storage onions, 1.5 lbs Wealthy heritage apples, parsley, 2 lbs German Butterball potatoes, Thelma Sanders heirloom acorn squash, Dinosaur kale, carrots, green peppers, 2.5 lbs heirloom tomatoes, celery, leeks.

Apple Boosters: Honeycrisp apples

Herb Boosters: Basil, sage, thyme, lemon thyme

Apple Shares: Honeycrisp & Red Baron

Monday, September 22, 2014

Apples :: Red Baron

Mid-Season • Sweet

Crisp flesh with a mild sweet flavor. Cherry red and yellow skin, on a medium-sized apple. Good for fresh eating, pie, sauce and fruit salads.

Red Baron at market.
Introduced by the University of Minnesota in 1970.

Parentage: Golden Delicious x Daniels Red Duchess.

Stores 4-5 weeks.

We have several trees at the off-farm orchard.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Photo Update 9.18.14

Whew! It has been busy, busy, busy. It has been a loooong time since I have done a photo update, our posts have been a bonanza of apple facts and CSA box content. Here are some photos from over the last couple of weeks, which have been filled with multiple markets, the most abundant apple harvest we have yet experienced, CSA harvest and deliveries (we just finished week 14) and a fall member potluck.

Packing shed and clouds.
Thelma Sanders acorn squash.
 Winter squash has been delivered in CSA boxes now; both acorn and butternut.

King of the North red bell pepper.
Red peppers are slowly ripening. Real veggies have variability, they don't all look exactly the same - I love that.

Marconi Red Italian frying pepper.
 The pigs have been enjoying the spoils of apple harvest. Receiving a multiple 5 gallon buckets of apples per day. We haven't been able to bring them out to the orchard yet, as we were not confident in bringing piglets off our farm, out of supervision (oh, teenagers). This has meant more work for us cleaning up apples, but we may be able to get the herd out there yet this season.

Vera having a regular apple snack.
Jostling position for the best snacks - Suzy, PBJ, Elsa and Dafney.
 Look at this beautiful bed of cover crops! Protecting the soil and feeding the soil microorganisms. Caring for the beds, after we are finished with them for the season. The tops of the buckwheat was burned by the frost, but it's still standing. It will be scythed and worked into the soil to adds wonderful organic matter (beneficial for building soil health and structure).

A view of part of the field, with row covers for protection from cool temps. We cover the tomatoes, peppers, ground cherries and basil.

Earlier in September, before apple harvest really took off, John took time for a short break up North. He crossed an item off of his bucket list - harvesting wild rice. Ricing is done by canoe, with traditional harvest tools. John and Eugene harvested one full day, 9 am - Noon, and brought in 20 lbs for processing. John was also able to stay over with our friends Mike and Marina, who have Farmucopia farm and have been amazing mentors and friends over many years now.

Apples are in abundance this year! John's dedicated and passionate orcharding over the past few years is really showing in the current health and productivity of the trees. You can find our freshest and newest varieties at the Saturday farmers' market at Runnings (9 am - Noon), at the New Ulm Community Market & Co-op every other Saturday (9 am - 1 pm), Tauer's SuperValu in Springfield, or by contacting us at any time!

McIntosh are currently in season.
German Red garlic at the farmers' market.
 Heirloom zinnias add color to the vegetable garden.

John harvesting McIntosh. We have a Apples page on our website that we are building to bring you all the information you need about each of our varieties, what is in season and what is coming up next for harvest. We hope this is helpful for you :)

Both of us up in the tree harvesting by ladder.

John just brought home the first picking of Wealthy and Cortland last night, so expect some more apple facts coming your way! We feel so fortunate to have so many great heirloom apples in this orchard, without planting them ourselves. Wealthy was discovered circa 1860 and Cortland circa 1915. Many more great heirloom apples to come this season and in future seasons, as our new grafts begin to produce.

See you at the farmers' market this Saturday!

Recent Blog Posts:

Apples :: McIntosh

CSA Week #14

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

CSA Week #14

Week #14 brought the sun back! It also brought Waltham butternut squash, French Gray shallots, German Red garlic and McIntosh apples to CSA boxes for the first time. Nothing was lost to the frost, which was not already going by in the field - diversity and freshness continues!

CSA News Week #14

Beautiful alliums (onion family members) of the Week #14 box - French Gray shallots, a gourmet variety with a spectacular flavor wonderful for sauces; German Red garlic; Red Baron onion; Stuttgarter yellow onions.

A diversity of colors, textures, tastes and aromas!

In the box: Red and yellow storage onions, garlic, shallots, mixed heirloom tomatoes, butternut squash, carrots, beets, Swiss chard, basil bunch, 2 lbs McIntosh apples, sweet green bell peppers, either King of the North sweet red bell pepper or Marconi Red Italian frying pepper, and 2 lbs German Butterball potatoes (Half Shares only).

Apple Boosters :: 2 lbs McIntosh.

Herb Boosters :: Basil, Thyme, Sage, Parsley.

Optional items CSA members could add :: more basil, hot peppers.

Apple Shares Week #12 :: 3/4 lb McIntosh apples.

McIntosh apples.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Apples :: McIntosh

Mid Season • Sweet-tart • Heirloom


Bright white flesh and a refreshing sweet-tart flavor with a crisp juicy texture. A high-quality apple great for fresh eating, applesauce, pies and cider.

A heritage variety. Originates from Ontario, Canada, where it was discovered by John McIntosh growing as a wild seedling in 1796.

Parentage: Unknown. Maybe Fameuse, potentially crossed with Detroit Red. Offspring: Cortland, Fireside, Jonamac, Jubilee, Britemac, Empire, Enterprise, July Red, Liberty, Lobo, Macoun, Merten Charm, Milton, Novamac, Priscilla, Pristine, Spartan, Sunrise, Victory, Tydeman's Early Worcester.

Maintains crispness for 1 month. Less crisp stores for 6 months.

We have three McIntosh trees at our off-farm orchard.

Apples :: Sweet 16

Mid-Late Season • Sweet

A sweet, crisp and juicy apple, with aromatic yellow flesh. A complex flavor - fruity cider flavors and sugar cane, with a hint of spice and wine around the edges. Large, striped-red fruit. Good fresh-eating apple.

Introduced in 1977 by the University of Minnesota.

Parentage: Northern Spy x Malinda.

Keeps 5-8 weeks.

At our off-farm orchard we have four trees in production.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Apples :: Zestar!

Early Season • Sweet-tart

Late August - Early September

A pleasing crisp texture, juicy, sweet-tart flavor with a hint of brown sugar. Skin is 60-85% red, where the sun hits it, contrasting with a creamy yellow skin. Round 3" diameter fruits. Excellent for fresh eating, storage varieties and great for cooking too.

This apple was developed by horticulturalists at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum's Horticultural Research Center and was introduced in 1998. It was bred to survive in cold climates. Parentage: State Fair x MN 1691. Offspring: SweeTango.

Excellent storage qualities. Keeps 1-2 months.

We have one Zestar! tree at our off-farm orchard. It came into production for the first time in 2014.