Tuesday, November 13, 2012

{2012 CSA Season @ a Glance}

Here's a shortcut to the entire 2012 season :)


1               7              13

2               8              14

3               9              15

4              10             16

5              11             17

6              12             18

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

{Preserving the Harvest} Kale & Broccoli

Cooling blanched kale, to stop the cooking process and prepare for freezing.
Today I spent a little time cleaning out the cooler and making good of the last bits of harvestable produce out in the garden yet. The kale and broccoli are still going!

My blanching pot, cooling pot and draining baskets. Muffin tins at the ready for freezing portions.

Kale portioned into muffin tins for easy freezing.
 I found that removing the kale from the muffin tins was easiest done when it wasn't quite 100% frozen, or if it was, letting it thaw a tiny bit before prying it out with a fork. Then I popped 4 in a freezer baggie, and packed those freezer baggies in a large baggie. The rest of the kale was packed in freezer containers, also in manageable sizes.

We use kale for soups all winter, as well as in our eggs.

Draining blanch & cooled broccoli.
I love seeing broccoli turn instantly bright green when blanched--it's so pretty! We freeze our broccoli in vacuum seal bags, in usable portions. Generally I pack them in the bags, stick them in the freezer for a while, before I seal them, just until the water freezes to make things easier.

Fall Planting

What? Planting in fall?! Yes indeed.

Of course the main fall crop we plant is garlic. Garlic is planted in the fall to have enough time to grow to it's fully mature size, come July next summer.

This is Russian Red, one of three varieties we are planting this fall.

We also planted our first fall shallots. These (below) are a French Gray variety.

This (below) is the bed we prepared for the fall planting. Five rows planted down either side, with a skinny foot-path down the middle. The planting is now dressed with wheat-straw mulch.

Above and below you can see the planting method we were using. John rigged up a planting marker we used to mark the holes, so it made a nice grid. When we were working together it was pretty fast and efficient, with him marking, me lying the seed out, then we would both go back and plant. It took a little longer by myself, but it made for easy planting.

Here (above) you can see the shallots layed out on the planting grid. With the planting marker stood up it can be stepped on, then the bolts mark the planting holes.

Hooray! Can't wait to see these guys poking up through the mulch come spring--when everything else is brown and still waking :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

CSA :: Week 18

We delivered the last week of boxes yesterday--a fabulous end to a great season! You can find the Week 18 newsletter online here. Have a great off season!

October 9th, 2012 CSA Box ~ Week 18
In the final box: Red Russian kale, butternut squash, 1.5lbs apples, yellow onion, Black Krim tomatoes, German Pink tomato, Valencia tomato, 1lb parsnips, 2lbs Green Mountain potatoes.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

CSA :: Week 17

Wow, I can't believe it is Week 17 already--it's been a great season, and it seems to have gone fast at this point.  You can find the newsletter for Week 17 here.

It is great to have the fall veggies here--the fall carrots are the best, it's time for delicious parsnips, and the fall cabbage has come in nicely, despite the heat.

 A a little sneak peek inside the box...

October 2, 2012 CSA Box • Week 17
In the box: fall apples, mixed heirloom carrots, cabbage, cherry tomatoes, green bell pepper, German Pink heirloom tomato, kohlrabi, Green Mountain heirloom potatoes, parsnips, kale, garlic, red onion.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

CSA :: Week 16

Week 16 boxes delivered--only 2 weeks more left in the season! You can find the Week 16 newsletter online here. Wonderful to have fall veggies, such as butternut squash! I have included an extra picture of INSIDE the box this week--it was just so pretty I couldn't help myself!

Inside the Week 16 box.
Inside the box: green bell peppers, red bell pepper, fall apples (Honeygold, Regent, Haralson), butternut squash, Red Russian kale, ground cherries, cherry tomatoes, Green Mountain heirloom potatoes, Black Krim tomato, Costoluto Genovese tomato, leeks

Sept. 25, 2012 CSA Box • Week 16

Monday, September 24, 2012

CSA :: Week 15

Week 15 boxes were delivered last Tuesday, Sept. 18th. Fall officially started Saturday the 22nd. You can find the Week 15 newsletter online here.

Sept. 18th CSA Box ~ Week 15
In the box: red & green bell pepper, apples, acorn squash, green & red cabbage, ground cherries, cherry tomatoes, tomatoes, green onions, yellow onion, sage, carrots, Sultan's Golden Crescent wax beans, poblano hot pepper.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

CSA :: Week 14

The Week 14 boxes were great--beautiful watermelon and delicious wax beans! You can find the Week 14 newsletter online here.

Sept. 11 CSA Box ~ Week 14
In the Box: Apples, Moon & Stars watermelon, Dino kale, red bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, ground cherries, yellow wax beans, broccoli, Black Krim & Valencia tomato, green snap beans, red onion, yellow onion, Wapsipinicon Peach tomatoes.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

CSA :: Week 13

I can't believe how deep we are into the season already :) I am thrilled to be back into the part of the year where rain is more likely, however. You can find the Week 13 newsletter online here--there is a nice little article on food waste, a fresh salsa recipe, and a warm cabbage-slaw recipe! Enjoy.

September 4, 2012 ~ CSA Box Week 13
In the box: a bunch of basil, parsley, apples, Thelma Sanders acorn squash, yellow onion, kohlrabi, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, cabbage, carrots, ground cherries, celery, sweet corn, cherry tomatoes, garlic, tomatoes, wax beans, snap beans, serrano peppers, kale.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

CSA :: Week 12

We are two thirds of the way through the CSA season with delivering the Week 12 boxes this week. The boxes were bountiful & unable to close! This the season :)

You can find the newsletter for Week 12 online here. If you would like to get on our mailing list, please just shoot us an email--we have some produce for sale at this time of the year & we will send out updates to our mailing list, or you can also see these updates on facebook here.

August 28th, 2012 CSA Box ~ Week 12
In the box this week: bread zucchini, baby beets, celery, apples, ground cherries, broccoli, baby cabbages, cucumbers, kale, cherry tomatoes, tomatoes, All Blue potatoes, Dragon's Tongue beans, onions.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Orchard Photo Update :: Apple Picking 8.26

We had a wonderful volunteer day out at the orchard on Sunday! We had a nice crew of about 12 people helping us to clean up the orchard floor, from dropped apples and harvest ripe fruit.

 Getting ready to start the day--John had a little demo area all set up.

 Heading out into the orchard to pick!

 John's dad Larry, John and Mark Dauer, previous orchard manager from about 10 years ago. Mark came over to help in identifying the apple varieties that were ripe. We believe we have some McIntosh, Wealthy, Harelson, Honey Gold, and State Fair, among others. What an amazing help! Thanks Mark. Also a big thanks to Larry for helping to map and take notes!

 Thanks Megan, Matt & Miles for your help :)

The Orchardist
John picking apples, in between instructing volunteers.

 Loading up the dropped apples. Some will be burned, to eliminate pests. Some will be pig food.

 Nicole and Ben--thanks for your help!


 At the end of the work day, after a generous meal of Goose Stew--cooked with apples from the orchard--made by orchard owner Marv Augustin. The crew all had a great time, and we have some great apples!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

CSA :: Week 11

Week 11 boxes are delivered, you have find the newsletter here. We were very excited to included 3 new items that are all FRUIT in this weeks box--watermelon, tomato and apples! It is very exciting to start picking apples. Copied below is also a note about the orchard we included in the Week 11 boxes.

In the box this week: baby Detroit Dark Redbeets, Golden & Forhook giant swiss chard, red & yellow apples, Kentucky Wonder green beans, genovese basil, Creme de Saskatchwan watermelon, Aunt Molly's ground cherries, Early White Vienna kohlrabi, Red Baron & Yellow of Parma onions, Costata Romanesco zucchini, Early Jalapeno peppers, California Wonder green pepper, tomato mix: Black Krim/Valiencia/Costoluto Genovese, DeCicco broccoli.

"The weeks until apple harvest are quickly arriving and we are already starting to pick the fruits of our labor.  Although this is very early in the apple season, due likely environmental conditions, apples are beginning to ripen—and WOW are they good.  To an apple eater, drought during the ripening period is a good thing, since it concentrates the sugars in the apple, making them sweeter.  In your box there are a variety of apples of different sizes, flavors and colors.  When we started managing the orchard there was no map or identification of the individual trees, so at this point, until we identify them when they are fully ripe we are only guessing at varieties—but I assure you that your pallet will be pleasantly surprised.  Take the time to sample the apples separately and enjoy the different flavors, some are super sweet and some are more tart—one even tastes like wine!"

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

CSA :: Week 10

Week 10 boxes were delivered yesterday. It was exciting to deliver the first tomatoes--even if they were little yellow pears! The Week 10 newsletter can be found online here.

August 14, 2012 • CSA Box Week 10
In the boxes: Snap beans (Kentucky Wonder), Wax Beans (Dragon's Tongue), Basil, Ground Cherries, Broccoli, Beets with greens, Poona Kheera (yellow) cucumber, Suyo Long cucumber, Dino Kale, Onion, Kohlrabi, Shallots, Green Peppers, Yellow Pear tomatoes.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Photo Update 8.8.12

 Aunt Molly's heirloom ground cherries--2 pounds worth. They are really starting to produce now, which is a great way to tide us over until we start getting tomatoes!

 Last weekend we were working on the packing shed a lot! The cooler structure is officially DONE now, which is a great, great feeling. We just need to install the CoolBot device and throw a coat of paint on the walls. The CoolBot is installed into the AC unit to help us get the cooler temperatures we need.

 Thanks to John's folks for coming out and helping paint & build the cooler! We got one coat of paint on the outside of the packing shed as well.

 Mammoth Red Rock heirloom cabbage.

Our three varieties of cucumbers we are growing this season: Suyo Long, Double Yield (regular green slicer, pickler), & Poona Kheera (whiteish-yellow, turning brown when sweetest, good fresh slicer).

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

CSA :: Week 9

Week 9 marks a half-way point in our CSA season! All our boxes had a special little treat in them this week--a reusable snack bag! Even better, they were made by one of our very own CSA members, Megan Burris, of Megan Louise Designs. Find the Week 9 newsletter online here.

CSA Box August 7, 2012 ~ Week 9

In the boxes: beets, red cabbage, 2 varieties of snap beans, sunflowers, ground cherries, reusable snack bag, onion, kohlrabi, zucchini, sweet green peppers, 2 varieties of cucumber.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


I have to say that I am really excited about our little rhubarb plants!

Glaskins Perpetual Rhubarb
I started these from seed on June 15th, so they are about 6 weeks old. I just potted them up last week and they are doing great. We have 27 plants here, and this variety is reputed for being able to cut the first year--hopefully we will have some to cut for our CSA boxes, and ourselves, for 2013 and general sale for 2014 and beyond!

This was just great--instead of buying potted rhubarb roots for $4-5 apiece (that would be over $100 for this amount), I paid $2.00 for an heirloom variety (a lot more choice of selection this way). Add a couple more dollars cost for soil and fertilizer and I saved $90 or more! Sweet.

Mmmm...rhubarb crisp.

Photo Update 8.1.12

Wow! It's August already, crazy stuff. We are working our way towards peak season, with new veggies becoming mature each week. This week our first green beans ripened and we picked our first jalapenos :) Good stuff. So far this season, all of our produce has gone to customers who had pre-payed for the season--CSA & Farm Share members; we have a made a few on-farm sales as well. Anything beyond this we have been using for our family. Here's a little peak of what's in the garden!

Waltham Butternut
Squash is on the vines!

Copenhagen Market
We've been harvesting cabbage for a couple of weeks now, and getting ready to make our first batch of kraut!

 Wildlife in the garden--we love those pest eaters!

Aunt Molly's Ground Cherry
 I am ready to make jam with these ground cherries! What do you do with your ground cherries? have you tried them before? Such a sweet little treat :)

Four successions of beets and kohlrabi.
 The next crop of beets is coming in strong!

Young green peppers! 
We have green & red sweet peppers, as well as jalapeno,
serrano and ancho hot peppers.
Three rows of peppers in the garden--lots of fruit on the plants!

Beautiful zinnias.

Curing produce.
Drying chantrelle mushrooms foraged up North, curing shallots, onions and potatoes.

Stuttgarter white onions curing.
Rostov sunflowers, grown for seed.
Acorn squash, affected by squash vine borer.
We have been battling the squash vine borer pest on most of our squash. We have lost about half of our acorn squash and pie pumpkin plants. Thankfully they did not impact our other members of the cucurbit family--butternut squash, watermelons, cucumbers.

Dragon's Tongue snap beans.
I love garden fresh green beans! I might eat a few while I'm picking...  I am excited to have green beans  ready--we'll have several more varieties over the next month.

Butternut squash and corn.

 That's some tall corn! We are growing three varieties of sweet corn and bloody butcher decorative corn, and Bear Island flint corn (meal/flour).

St. Valery carrots.