Tag Archives: salad

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.

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June’s here…

…and changes continue.

IMG_5676There is so much to see, as one walks around the farm right now. Spring crops are finishing up. The asparagus is growing up and beginning to “frond”. It will continue to send up wiry, ferny stems until late in the fall, when it yellows and dries out. January or February next year, the bed will be “cultivated” or cleaned-up and spears will begin emerging in February or March.

Bye-bye chives...

Bye-bye chives…

We’ve had a spectacular crop of shelling peas this year. (I’ve even been able to put some in the freezer. Feels like money in the bank, they are that good.) The peas are almost done, beginning to dry in their pods. Another thing that is finishing for us is Salad Mix. We don’t grow a mix in the summer. It saves the crew having to fit that labor intensive task into their Tuesday and Thursday, while there are so many other things to pick. The salad mix is a wonderful convenience for our customers and we love it ourselves, but a break gives us the chance to look forward to Salad Mix coming back in the fall, to practice patience for produce we love. Beginning tomorrow, head lettuces will have to do.

There are a number of crops right around the corner … Romenesco (a green cauliflower with a most unusual shape), raspberries, potatoes and cucumbers, basil, raspberries, green beans …

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German butterball potatoes are flowering like crazy.

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Romanesco grows on an enormous plant.

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The white cauliflower seems like a prize, all wrapped up.

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Cucumbers are crawling.

And what will take up so much time in the coming months, you may ask? What will be on the menu in our household and others’ in our community and beyond? Standard summer fare with a few curveballs thrown in to keep everyone on our toes, to keep those routines from becoming a rut. There are naturally tomatoes, peppers and eggplant, melons and beans,  even some sweet corn this year, surprise, surprise!

Our farm stand opens on Saturday, June 14th. Lots of buzz and as much as we love sharing all the bounty, we’re relishing the last few weekends without it. The summer hustle is about to begin!

This bed of just planted shallots is growing on buried drip line, a refinement we hope will save precious water.

This bed of just planted shallots is growing on buried drip line, a refinement we hope will save precious water.

 

The first planting of tomatoes has been staked

The first planting of peppers have been staked. These padrons grow so tall, and they are rather fragile. Staking keeps them from tipping over and breaking.

 

Peppers are flowering and have been staked for support.

The first planting of tomatoes and have been staked for support.

 


Shorter Days

Rows of salad ingredients

Rows of salad ingredients

The beauty of this fall is remarkable. The days have been warm, 65-75* F. and though the mornings are chilly, we have not yet had a freeze. It really couldn’t be much easier for the farm. The shorter days certainly are felt throughout the fields.

Rosehips

Rosehips

The last of the raspberries

The last of the raspberries

Eggplant and tomatoes nearing their finish...

Eggplant and tomatoes nearing their finish…

Tomatoes are almost through.

Tomatoes are almost through.

Cabbages are thriving

Cabbages are thriving

Another shift happens in our marketing. Our one local night market closed last week so we begin our CSA (community supported agriculture) box program this week running until the spring next year. It’s small and local (members pick up at the farm) and another way to connect with our customers. You can see more information about the CSA by clicking on the tab above.

CSA boxes

CSA boxes


Morning

Thanksgiving is tomorrow.

Yet there is plenty to do at the farm.

The morning is cool and quiet.

Rain is expected later today.


Making Salad

Paul’s assistant, Austin Blair, has a film maker (among other things) for a girlfriend. Casey Beck is making a film which chronicals a year on the farm, with a special focus on young farmers, namely Austin. She will be shooting until next spring, so you might see Casey around the farmer’s markets. It’s due out next year sometime. She sent us a little clip yesterday… watch it here.


Playing with Herbs

I cut a variety of herbs this morning…dill, tarragon, parsley, sage and thyme.

Herb vinegars are easy to make. Shove herbs of choice into a jar and topped it off with a white wine vinegar. Let it will sit for a week, then strain out the herbs and voila! I used dill and tarragon this time.

Some of the herbs that didn’t make it into the vinegar were chopped up and added to a rice salad, along with sweet antohi peppers and chopped  red onion (salted first to soften the “bite”). Parsley, a little tarragon and dill season the salad along with salt and pepper and pomegranate olive oil.

Another way to use an overflow of herbs is to make a simple herby sauce. Parsley, capers, shallots, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, salt and pepper are the essentials. Proportions are up to your taste. I make enough to freeze into herb [ice] cubes for use specially on fish, but this sauce perks up everything!

Then the rest of the herbs will just sit for a week and dry. Give them some air… a fan will speed up the process… or just put them in a wide basket and carefully turn them over everyday until they are thoroughly dry.

Taragon and sage drying.


Salad Planting Strategy

The salad mix is a rather complex part of our business. Paul’s been growing it for many years now and continues to find ways to simplify systems. Controlling weeds to keep the picking fast keeps our labor costs down. By preparing a “bed”, watering, letting the weeds come up, running the roterra through to knock out those weeds, then planting the salad, the bed stays much cleaner. Sometimes things just don’t work out. We get a curve ball like late rain, and the weeds outgrow the lettuces.

Farming is a labor of love and letting go.

Sometimes salad picking is really slowed by the weeds.

Asian greens are still under covers for the salad mix.

Ready to plant


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