Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hello from the farm,

Crisp cool mornings here at the farm conceal the fact that it is very hot and dry.  Taking soil temperatures yesterday showed ninety degrees in the arid soil.  Most vegetable seeds are highly reluctant to germinate at 85 degrees or warmer, so we began watering yesterday with the water buggy both to cool the soil and to aid the seeds in sprouting.

Fall is a glorious time to be farming and it brings the opportunity to wipe the slate clean of all the crops that are finished, and the unruly accompanying weeds and start anew with either fall vegetables or winter cover crops. We always relish making a good slaw out of the overgrown pigweed and lambsquarter! There are many fall crops on the horizon including more edamame, arugula, spaghetti squash, butternuts, to name a few.

Spotlight on Elizabeth Swope

Position at the farm: Assistant Farm Manager
Number of years working for Goodwill:   8 years
Favorite thing to grow at the farm: winter squash and sunflowers
The animal she most connects with is: the slug
What she wanted to be when she grew up: a ballerina
Favorite thing about the farm:  our amazing staff and crew
Someday she would like to visit: every continent
Elizabeth’s family includes: her mom, dad and sister
Something Elizabeth can’t live without is:  yoga
Elizabeth enjoys: cooking, reading and getting outside

Q.  Are all of the things you grow ripe, they are different colors than what is in the grocery store? 
A.  Yes, everything we grow is picked ripe. We grow some heirlooms and international varieties that might surprise you with their color or shape, to bring you great food and flavors. We love to talk about what we are growing, just ask us and see if you can stump us. (easier some days than others :-)

Answer to the Farm Riddle:  It is a flame weeder that uses fire to make ice, although we use it for heating tiny weed seedlings to wilt them ahead of the carrots or other crops popping up through the soil.  Hats off to Peter Emerson, Farm Manager Emeritus, for coming up with the right answer.

Raising Funds for Homefields:
Non-profit Homefields has launched a campaign to raise $250,000 to pay for the farmland which adjoins us on the east side.  Giving to Homefields has direct and tangible results that you will be able to see and watch over the decades to come.  Would you consider giving to Homefields now?-- or if you are working on estate planning, it's a great project and organization to support.  Talk to us when you pick up your veggies, or email for how to give or for more information, or go to    

Suggestions for the harvest:

Edamame: this green soybean is tasty and nutritious to boot. Boil in salted water for about 7 minutes in the pod.  Drain, salt lightly, and eat by squeezing the beans into your moth.
Storage Onions:  the red and white onions are storage onions for the pantry.  Great for burgers or whatever.
Sweet Peppers: The long red Carmen peppers are outstanding--sweet and flavorful.  great for salads or fried with onions and garlic.
Potatoes: We have many different varieties. Yukon Golds make the best fries according to your farmers.
Carrots: may be the last week.
Eggplant: coat with oil and soy sauce and grill, or bread them and fry.
Chard: use in lieu of spinach in babaganoush, salads,
Scallions: these are finished.
Cucumber and Zucchini: all done for the season

Thanks for being

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