Thursday, August 11, 2011

Notes from Your Farm

Th 3-7
Fri 11-7
Sat 9-1

News Flash: unlimited U-pick tomatoes for saucing, salsa, freezing, canning--in addition to the tomatoes that we pick for your share.  Bring baskets or whatever you like to carry them in
hello from the farm!

The bleached out August foliage and parched tan soil received a wonderful, soaking, one inch rain Tuesday. It was delightful. We almost danced for joy, well our hearts rejoiced anyway. The bumper crops of sweet and storage onions is amazing, and harvesting them finished up right ahead of the rain. Peppers and tomatoes are in their glory and expect to see a lot of them in the weeks ahead. Melons are winding down as are zucchini and cucumbers.  

Some of you asked about seedless watermelons--they are produced by crossing melons with incompatible chromosome numbers, resulting in a sterile fruit when the second generation is grown. (Similar to crossing a horse and a donkey to get a mule)  A nurseryman friend musing on seedless fruits, speculates that seedless fruits may be less nutritious since a host of nutrients are created in the seed formation process.  Seedless melons are notoriously finicky and tempermental to grow, but there seems to be enough desire for them among shareholders that we'll try a test row or two next season to see how it grow.

Homefields Incorporated

Homefields 15th Annual Golf Tournament to Support Homefields
Friday September 16, 2011, 7:30 and 12:30 shotgun start, scramble format.  A great way to have fun and support Homefields, the owner and founder of the farm at the same time.
Registration: 7:00–7:30 a.m. and 11:30 –12:30 p.m. Breakfast 7:00–7:30 a.m., Lunch 11:30 –12:30 p.m., Dinner 5:00 p.m.Lunch is available to afternoon golfers at a reduced rate. Open driving range beginning at 7:00 a.m. Prizes follow each round.  Register early to secure a spot at  and check out as well.

Sweet or Hot, Green or Red?  Getting to know Peppers
Green Peppers are simply unripe peppers, and red, orange and yellow and purple peppers are ripe, therefore having a sweeter and richer flavor.  Why do colored peppers cost more?  Like most fruits, immature ones are less likely to to succumb to rot and mold diseases, so they are much to easier to grow and harvest.  In others words, you are getting one sweet deal with our organic colored peppers!

Although bell peppers are what we usually see in the store, there are other shapes of sweet peppers that are equally tasty or better than bell-shaped peppers.  And no, they are not hot.  We won't mix hot peppers with the sweet ones except on April Fool's day.
Peppers freeze well--halve or quarter, remove seeds and membrane, freeze on trays so they don't stick together, then put in bags or freezer bags. Easy. 

A Big Orange

Speaking of colors, we have a shiny orange tractor, A Big Orange, which we all relished this week. Its arrival was the fruition of several years of grant writing and process.  Special thanks to the Goodwill Industries Keystone Area Foundation for the grant which provided the bulk of the funding, and to John McHenry, Jenn Diaz, Sue Soderburg, Jen Hess and Christine Roggenbaum for their support.

Looking a bit like a large sandbox toy, it will be used for chisel plowing, high clearance cultivating and harvesting, as well as having the oomph to lift the transplanter safely with no seesaw effect.  We haven't had this much excitement around here since I fell into a vat of fish emulsion...just kidding about the fish emulsion.

Children's Saturday Event at the Farm:
Just a reminder, this Saturday is family time at the farm. Join Aaron Joseph at the sunflower house, 10am, for a little learning, a little music, and a lot of FUN!!
Also--take note, swallowtail caterpillars are loving the fennel and dill in the herb beds..There is a chrysalis up on the table for everyone to check out..but you may want to keep an eye out for more!

 Thank You: 
 a hearty thanks to the Goodwill Keystone Area Foundation and Goodwill for providing the grant and funds for the tractor. Thank you Elizabeth, Law Reh, Kim, Brian, Pat, Brad, Scott C, Eric, Matt, Adam, Cameron, Shawn, Earl, Del, and Glenn for an excellent season so far. Thanks to you for being a part of the farm and appreciating what we do.
Scott Breneman
Farm Manager 

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