Friday, September 17, 2010

Notes from Your Farm September 17

Hello from the farm,

This is coming to you a day later than usual--yesterday was a day of carpe terra "seize the soil" as rain was in the forecast and the window of opportunity for getting the cover crop seed planted was narrow. So the race was on--weighing out the seed, innoculating the hairy vetch with beneficial bacteria, mixing in the tillage radish, and measuring out the oats, and then spinning them onto the fields with a shoulder bag spinner seeder walking as quickly as I could. The blend is a good one: the oats provide biomass and something for the hairy vetch to climb, the vetch "fixes" atmospheric nitrogen from the air and translocates it to the root nodules for free nitrogen fertilizer, and the tillage radish aerates and penetrates hardened pathways and brings up trace minerals from the subsoil. Within the hour after all four fields were planted, it began it rain. There is nothing better to a farmer than the rains falling gently after planting!

Fall is in the air, and as you can see, the pumpkins are doing splendidly this year. The arugula is starting is starting also--it's a delicious peppery green with a bite, best used sparingly as an accent in salads.

Pumpkin Land
And the reason for for great pumpkin and squash harvest?...Serenading them of course...

Serenading the Squash Ok

And one more picture--Can you tell Elizabeth likes squash?

Wonderful Squash

Herbed Spaghetti Squash

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse


  • 1 small spaghetti squash, about 2 1/4 pounds
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped mixed softherbs, such as basil, chives, chervil, parsley and sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Using a sharp knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise and place, cut side down, in a baking dish. Add enough water to come 1/2-inch up the sides of the baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes, until the squash is easily pierced with a paring knife. Turn squash over and cover with foil again and continue to cook another 15 minutes, until the squash is very tender. Remove from the oven, uncover, and allow to cool slightly. Using a spoon, remove the seeds and discard. Using a fork, gently pull the strands of squash away from the peel and place the squash strands into a mixing bowl.

Heat a skillet. Add the butter, spaghetti squash, herbs, salt and pepper and toss thoroughly but gently to heat and combine. Serve immediately or cover and keep warm until ready to serve.

Enjoy! and thank you for being a part of the farm program and for appreciating the food and what we do.


Scott Breneman

Farm Manager

Goodwilll at Homefields Farm

PO Box 38

150 Letort Rd

Millersville, PA 17551

P: 717-871-3110

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hello from the farm

This week we were visited by the Santa Ana winds here at the farm: the low humidity, strong sunshine, and gusty winds are extremely effective at drying everything out. At twenty-seven percent humidity, even breathing was affected, imagine how those plants feel.

It's been weeks since we've had rain, so instead of the usual putting away of irrigation supplies, we are setting up more. Elizabeth, Law Reh, and the trainees did a great job of getting water to the broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower yesterday--nice work guys.

We've also been watering the fall seeds and seedlings with the "water tanker" attached to the tractor, but the frame started to twist from the weight and couldn't be used. A call to the welder down the street put us back in business, but then it became apparent that the new design wasn't strong enough either, so this morning the reinforced version was completed.

Water tanker

Short Video clip of the Water Tanker:

The fall harvest continues this week with probably the most favored squash for baking and cooking--the butternut squash. Butternuts are high in Vitamin C, minerals and fiber, and they are low calorie, not to mention that they taste delicious! See the recipe below

Bringing in the Butternuts makes us smile

Upcoming Events of Interest:

A Reading with Gene Baur at F&M Sept 16th 7:30pm A look at the treatment and mistreatment of industrially farmed food. More info at:

Fall Potluck October 9th 5-9pm Details and flyer coming soon!

Garlicky Baked Butternut Squash

By: Anita Bukowski
"The mild garlic flavor in this dish makes for a deliciously different treatment for butternut squash. --Anita Bukowski"


  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. In a large bowl, combine the parsley, oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Add squash and toss to coat.
  2. Transfer to an ungreased shallow 2-qt. baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees F for 50-55 minutes or until squash is just tender.

    Hope you are enjoying the fall harvest flavors and season!


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Notes from Your Farm

Hello from the farm!

Well here it is September already. Hot and dry pretty much sum it up. This is probably the hottest summer of our eleven seasons here at the farm, with forty days over 90 degrees. It also hasn't rained significantly for several weeks and the crops are suffering from the combination, making a leaner time of the season more lean than expected. To counter the dryness, we had the trial run of a mobile sprinkling tank that we rigged up this week and were very pleased with the results. Hopefully we'll receive some of the hurricane remnant rains this weekend.

We have a good neighbor in Amy Yocum just down the road at Promised Land farm, and are able to offer some of her produce this week. It sure is nice to have another organic farmer nearby. Thank you Amy! We're also pleased kick of the winter squash season with acorn squash this week.

September Surprises and the Rumor Mill

If you've heard any rumors about the farm progam having any connection to Funk's Farm Market, it closing, or using or losing access to Funk's land, none of that is true.

Some things that are true:

  • Homefields owns the 8.7 acres that you see when you are here at the barn
  • We lease the five acres of Baker land to the west behind the trees.(the Washington Boro side)
  • The Hampilos property to the east of us (the Millersville side) has been slated for development multiple times, but it has not yet happened.
  • We would like to continue to farm the Baker land and would like to see the Hampilos land remain as farm land!
  • The surprise--the Hampilos farm has just come up for auction as of today, auction date is Oct 9th.

The Pick Your Own Field and Pick Your Own Items:

Most of the pick your own items have slowed down considerably. Please keep in mind for this week and the future to respect other shareholders who come to the Pick Your Field:
  • 174 other shareholders may come later to pick whatever it is you are picking
  • Other CSA farms typically charge for these extras--we offer it as a little something extra.
  • The limit for flowers is 9 stems total and all other items, one pint unless indicated otherwise.
  • If an item is scarce, please take only a little to sample
  • Next year we plan to grow greater numbers of fewer things in the PYO field--concentrating on cherry tomatoes, basil, zinnias, and hot peppers in particular.

Whew, It's hot...Scott C. cooling down at the misting fan

Whew, is this really September? Scott C. cooling off at the misting fan.

Easy Baked Acorn Squash Recipe


  • 1 medium acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Turn acorn squash upside down onto a cookie sheet. Bake in a 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven until it begins to soften, approximately 30 to 45 minutes.
  3. Remove squash from the oven and turn onto a plate so that the flesh is facing upwards. Place butter and brown sugar into the squash, and place remaining squash over the other piece. Place squash in a baking dish (so the squash wont slide around too much) while baking.
  4. Place squash in the 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven and bake another 30 minutes.

Nutritional Information open nutritional information

Amount Per Serving Calories: 189 | Total Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 15mg

Hope you are enjoying the harvest and staying cool,


Scott Breneman

Farm Manager

Goodwilll at Homefields Farm

PO Box 38

150 Letort Rd

Millersville, PA 17551