Tag Archives: Farmers’ Market

Winter crops are coming

Yes, celery root and parsnips are making an appearance on our table at the farmers’ market this week. We’re all longing for cooler, wet weather. Wandering around the fields this early evening, I am speechless for the beauty.

The crop of beets (red, gold and chioggia) look lush. Should begin to harvest in a few weeks.

The crop of beets (red, gold and chioggia) look lush. Should begin to harvest in a few weeks.

Parsnips were harvested out of this row for tomorrow's market.

Parsnips were harvested out of this row for tomorrow’s market.

Paul's reluctant to pose for me, too busy.

Paul is reluctant to pose for me, too busy.

The romaine this week was huge!

The romaine this week was huge!

Leeks dashes

Leeks dashing across the ground

Brocoli

Brocoli and cauliflower

I promise there are small carrots coming. This is the next 6 beds.

I promise there are small carrots coming. This is the next 7 beds.

Aren't these brassicas Amazing!

Aren’t these brassicas Amazing!

A little creek planting, to slow down the water. Looking ahead toward rain.

A little swale planting, to slow down the water. Looking ahead toward rain.

The onion baby bed

The onion transplant bed

Artichokes

Artichokes

Next week's Little Gems.

Next week’s Little Gems.

Chocolate brown pasilla peppers. Dry them for a traditional mole sauce.

Chocolate brown pasilla peppers. Dry them for a traditional mole sauce.

The low field has been cover cropped.

The low field has been cover cropped.

Pumpkins to sell tomorrow

Pumpkins to sell tomorrow


Fall is in the air.

Hard to believe but we’re more than half way through 2015. Pumpkins and other winter squash are ripening. The corn is finished, much to the disappointment of our local customers. Tomatoes are ripe and the melons are so aromatic the bees are tumbling around in their flowers. The pictures should speak louder than my words.

August 11, just before the onions began drying down.

August 11, just before the onions began drying down.

August 23, onions drying down

August 23, onions drying down

Paul preps the field for planting chicories.

Paul preps the field for planting chicories.

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Winter squash is thriving, with Santos planting chicories in the background.

Winter squash is thriving, with Santos planting chicories in the background.

Serrano peppers are loaded!

Serrano peppers are loaded!

Two types of lettuce, ready to transplant, with a bed all ready.

Two types of lettuce, ready to transplant, with a bed all ready.

Four successions of sunflowers, planted every two weeks.

Four successions of sunflowers, planted every two weeks.

Eggplant! The first planting was lost. This crop is coming very soon.

Eggplant! The first planting was lost. This crop is coming very soon.

Fennel and radicchio dot the field.

Fennel and radicchio dot the field.

Our kales and other greens have had a hard summer.

Our kales and other greens have had a hard summer.

The next two crops of beans. We've been gapping on beans. They should be back at the market next week...

The next two crops of beans. We’ve been gapping on beans. They should be back at the market next week…

Giant pumpkins are revealing themselves by the Farm Stand.

Giant pumpkins are revealing themselves by the Farm Stand.

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"Sunshine" kabocha squash

“Sunshine” kabocha squash

Shallots and red onions dry under the big old oak. Nice place for the bees, huh?

Shallots and red onions dry under the big old oak. Nice place for the bees, huh?


Hello again…

I am amazed I have not posted in such a long time. I am sorry to jump over months of farm activity.

This year, as always, we have much less produce coming out of the fields, than at other times of the year. We’re running into shortages at the market, running out of salad crops within an hour of the start. Beds in the field are damp and cold, not conducive to plant growth. But ground is drying and things are being planted. Our tables will again be full in a month or so. Let me catch you up, visually.

Fava beans are blooming madly.

Fava beans are blooming madly.

This crop of artichokes is especially delicious. Hope you can get some at the market while they last, another month or so.

This crop of artichokes is especially delicious. Hope you can get some at the market while they last, another month or so.

Yesterday's brassica planting

Yesterday’s brassica planting

This crop of Red Butter Lettuce should be on our market stand next week.

This crop of Red Butter Lettuce should be on our market stand next week.

Kales

Kales

Peas in full flower. We'll have sugar snaps and English shelling peas this year.

Peas in full flower. We’ll have sugar snaps and English shelling peas this year.

Second planting of peas

Second planting of peas

Paul is very busy this spring.

Paul is very busy this spring.

Baby lettuces

Baby lettuces

The greenhouse is  wonderful place to work on a blustery day.

The greenhouse is wonderful place to work on a blustery day.


Summertime Hustle

It happens every year. Juggling price changes, seed and box orders, soil samples to send, staff needs, signage plus new accounts, keeps everyone on their toes.

And then there is what’s happening in the fields. Multiple crops are ready to be harvested and sold. 5,000 heads of lettuce are seeded every two weeks, but now every 10 days, as demand increases. More is required of our bodies and our minds. It feels like a miracle that it all comes together each week… the orders are taken, the crops are picked, packed and delivered, the markets happen and we sell.

We are so grateful for our tremendous staff, in the field and at the markets. Our health and ability to make this all happen has much to do with eating our own great products!

Yellow raspberries are really strong right now.

Yellow raspberries are really strong right now.

Cherry tomatoes are so decorative.

Cherry tomatoes are so decorative.

Flowering potatoes

Flowering potatoes

Irrigation needs patching due to crow damage. Grrr

Irrigation needs patching due to crow damage. Grrr

The culprits ...

The culprits …

Kale

Kale

I'll take the sugar baby camouflage.

I’ll take the sugar baby camouflage.

We've been selling sunflowers at our farm stand on Saturdays.

We’ve been selling sunflowers at our farm stand on Saturdays.

Everyone loves the sweet corn.

Everyone loves the sweet corn.

Winter squash, melons and cucumbers create such a beautiful blanket.

Winter squash, melons and cucumbers create such a beautiful blanket.

Lovely delicata!

Lovely delicata!

Acorn is the first of the winter squash to be ready, maybe a month away.

Acorn is the first of the winter squash to be ready, maybe a month away.

The Rosa Bianca eggplant that won the beauty contest.

The Rosa Bianca eggplant that won the beauty contest.

 


That’s Farming

Red Butter Lettuce with exposed burned edges

Red Butter Lettuce with exposed burned edges

For the second week in a row, we have lost our planting of Red Butter lettuce to a pervasive burn which effects the edges of the leaves. It looks beautiful, until you start to pull it apart. We will face a lot of disappointed customers at the markets, but luckily have other lettuces to offer. The burn seems to correspond to heat during certain parts of the growth cycle.

The old saying, “Don’t put all your eggs into one basket” comes to mind right now. The farm has lots of baskets and they are full of many summer crops. Take a look:

This week's ruined Red Butter crop in the center. Last week's failed crop on the left.

This week’s ruined Red Butter crop in the center. Last week’s failed crop on the left.

The full crew picks beans.

The full crew picks beans.

Asparagus in frond stage

Asparagus in frond stage

Melons

Melons

Tomatoes are beginning to color.

Tomatoes are beginning to color.

Just harvested pea shoots

Just harvested pea shoots

The first row of of a new crop of carrots was picked today.

The first row of of a new crop of carrots was picked today.

Garlic chives are flowering.

Garlic chives are flowering.

Cloudy skys over the winter squash field. The plants are taking off, but not yet flowering.

Cloudy skys over the winter squash field. The plants are taking off, but not yet flowering.

The yellow raspberries are in full production.

The yellow raspberries are in full production.


New Spring Crops

First tomatoes

First tomatoes

First and second planting of peppers

First and second planting of peppers

Napa cabbage

Napa cabbage

Potatoes

Potatoes

Harvested carrot bed

Harvested carrot bed

Farm tools

Farm tools

Sage

Sage

Changes happen fast around here. Our second market of the week opened this week, Tuesday, with much fanfare and commotion. We had a busy and successful night. Thanks to all for coming and supporting us and all the vendors. We look forward to another great season.

We are growing some new varieties this year including a new English pea called Penelope (ahhh). It sports a densely packed pod of small, sweet peas, most picturesque. Also, to fan the kale-craze flames, a broader leafed kale called Rainbow Lacinato kale.

Rainbow lacinato kale

Rainbow lacinato kale

Penelope

Penelope

The farm stand will open soon. Still haven’t set a date, but the decor has been planted.

Farm stand is planted...

Farm stand is planted…


Summer Evenings…in January?

IMG_5057Yes, it’s weird. The days are gorgeous. We are hearing of snow and cold in much of the country and we sit in bliss with the whole day feeling like a warm summer evening. The sun stays low. It doesn’t get too hot.

We know we need rain. And we’d love to see it on the horizon. But we’ll put up with this loveliness as we don’t have much of a choice.

We’ll be back at the local Farmers’ Market this week, after a three week break. And we’ll have plenty!

Brussels sprouts galore

Brussels sprouts galore

Red cabbages

Red cabbages

Young collard and kales

Young collard and kales

Lacinato kale is crowning up.

Lacinato kale is crowning up.

These lettuces were planted this morning.

These lettuces were planted this morning.

Three different varieties of sprouting broccoli with various maturation dates.

Three different varieties of sprouting broccoli with various maturation dates.


Picking Peas

IMG_3427_1_1We’re pretending it’s Easter today. We have spent Easter with my parents for years. My mom loves to decorate her house with a fabulous collection of baskets and eggs, chickens and rabbits, tucked into sweet, surprising corners of their lovely house. But my mom is not up to it this year, recovering from some surgery and we are making due on our own.

Our household includes my son Quinten, who has recently moved into our house. He’s been invaluable, helping with anything and everything, cooking, picking, packing and selling. We are so glad to have him share our lives.

IMG_3433_2_1I decided to have peas with the rest of the meal. We sold all that were picked yesterday at the farmers’ market, so I took the opportunity to pick them myself. I must preface this with I don’t do any of the field work for mostly practical reasons. But I love to do it. The peas were loaded with flowers and pods. Quite quickly I narrowed my focus to concentrate on the subtle color shifts and spot the peas of appropriate size. The colors are beautiful and I tried to imagine how to paint such a jumble, without any clear focus or line-of-sight. Could it be just an abstract pattern? And years ago I began a needlepoint pillow blocked in by the quite famous textile man Kaffe Fassett. It’s almost done, as you can see, folded up waiting for me to have the patience to make it into a pillow. IMG_3447_4_1I think I started it in 1990. I’ll stick with less complexity for my paintings, at least for now.

Picking peas was very meditative and internal. The birds were whistling and screeching. I heard small motors and insects. But as I got toward the end of the row the sound of cars whizzing by on Arnold Drive, over arched most everything else. I wanted to turn around…maybe I had enough? Well, that could be what the crew thinks too because at the end of the row, I IMG_3445_3_1found a bonanza of perfect peas. I picked more from that 2 feet at the end of the row than on the rest of the shoulder-height 200′ row.

We’ll have another “Easter” when my mom is ready. Pretend Easter is a good idea. Now we have Sunday to celebrate our almost anniversary!

The asparagus is right next to the peas. Two rows of have just been set as the rest of the field goes to frond.

The asparagus is right next to the peas. Two rows of have just been set as the rest of the field goes to frond.


Spring again…

bye bye sprouts_2_1_1It’s loud around here. From keeping grass along the roads tidy, to aggressively attacking weeds in the beds among the “cash crop”, mowing and spring go hand-in-hand.

The farm stand spot has been mowed.

The farm stand spot has been mowed.

Mowing the carrots(?!) and the weeds.

Mowing the carrots(?!) and the weeds.

asparagus and shamrock_1_1_1lettuce lines_4_1_1We have seen some signs of spring at the farmers’ market; green garlic, a smattering of artichokes and Easter egg radishes. Asparagus is right around the corner…

Easter Egg radishes were harvested Thursday for Friday's market. So tender and mild right now.

Easter Egg radishes were harvested Thursday for Friday’s market. So tender and mild right now.

open ground_5_1The crew is planting whenever there is time, as more ground is ready to go.

Onions being separated before planting.

Onions being separated before planting.


Busy Friday

IMG_3120_1_1Friday Farmers’ market comes to Sonoma, establishing a weekly rhythm to the farm as we load the truck with freshly harvested and washed, then boxed up salad, lettuces, celery root and winter squash. One team picks and packs, another sets up and sells.

Lauren and Seth set up the market.

Lauren and Seth set up the market.

And the customers gather.

And the customers gather.

After the market, walking around the fields the crew is on hands and knees, transplanting lettuces and kales, chard and collard. It’s physical yet quiet work.IMG_3144_1_1

Paul uses the tractor to shape the beds for planting.

Paul uses the tractor to shape the beds for planting.

The wheat, barley, rye experiment in the lowest field with another cover cropped field further south. The big oak is at the property line.

The wheat, barley, rye experiment in the lowest field with another cover cropped field further south. The big oak is at the property line.

Still, most of the acreage is planted in cover crop. It’s not warm enough plant summer crops out. A freeze is still possible and we hope we haven’t seen the end of the rainy, wet weather.

The artichokes may be making a come-back.

The artichokes may be making a come-back.

Though, after a 70 degree day, it’s easy to not wish for it.


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