Thursday, August 29, 2013

Hello from the farm,

We are irrigating this week, the first time that we have needed to do so this season, which is a testament to how frequently it has rained this year.  As fellow farmer Steve Groff is fond of saying "irrigation is irritation," but after a few days of installing hoses, cleaning out lines, adjusting sprinklers, replacing hose ends and more, our ship is sailing fairly smoothly. The most important nutrient for plant growth?--water.

farm work is colorful

We've been celebrating Elizabeth's birthday all week, digging potatoes with shovels after the potato digger sheared a connecting bolt and required some rewelding, working on an improved carrot lifter, finally concluded the marathon weeding work in the fall greens, broccoli and cauliflower fields--woohoo, way to go farm crew! and we welcome a new member to the farm crew today:  Marci, who will be the distribution diva when you pick up your produce here at the barn.  Please say hello. 

Where there's smoke, there's Flanagan!

Hot pepper come in all shapes and degrees of burn ;-)

Serving Suggestions for the Harvest:

Sweet Peppers: notice I didn't say bell peppers. There are other shapes that are sweet too. Diced sweet pepper is great on a salad, or pepper strips on a relish are sweet and tasty too. They also freeze well in strips or dices after core and seeds are removed.
Onions: mm, onions are exciting! The Redwing Red Onions are a great storage onion and can be kept in a cool and dry place for months.  They are super for grilling and burgers.

Potatoes: by the thousands of pounds...yep, it's tater time. Potatoes are a wonderful source of nutrients, versatile to cook with, and very satisfying to the eater--they even help you sleep well at night. (Potatoes not Prozac book)
Carrots: A great carrot crops this year! Carrots are one of the most finicky crops for us to grow, so we are pleased to have a good year with them. Check out the Yellowstone yellow carrot. Farm fresh carrots are a tasty treat, much different from bagged store carrots.

Eggplants: Asian eggplants are mild and sweet, dark Italian types are probably what you grew up with.  Slice and put on the grill rubbed with oil, soy sauce, and miso paste. Tasty and easy to use.
Beets: I have fond childhood memories of eating these still warm from being blanched, prior to them being turned into pickled red beets. great roasted with olive oil, grilled with oil and balsamic vinegar, or grated in salads.
Chard: remove the lower portion of the stalk as it is usually tough. Sautee leaves in butter, olive or coconut oil, add salt, and red pepper, top with Paresan cheese.
Greens: the greens are growing great guns and you will be seeing kale and company soon.
Arugula is just around the corner!


Watermelon: these did better than expected, but not as well as hoped for. A friend from Lancaster South Rotary told me that watermelon growers in Delaware lost 3/4 of their melons. June was cool and cloudy and the honeybees slept in and did not pollinate the watermelon's morning access-only flowers.
Cantaloupes: We hope to have enough for everyone to get some across two or three week's time. A super great taste of summer. Try eating with a just a bit of freshly ground black pepper.
Cucumbers: The crop was really good this year--now finished 
Cabbage: We'll keep finding a few of these over the next couple of weeks. Cut into wedges and serve with a sprinkle of salt, make sauerkraut
Summer squash/Zucchini: these are finished as well (some people cheer) stir fry, grate and use for zucchini bread or freeze for later.

Beans: The beans did well, and there is a chance we will have fall beans as well!
Scallions: goodbye until next year.
Broccoli: an awesome broccoli crop this year--will be back in the Fall.
Bok choi and Napa: these have run their course and we will see them again in October and November--a great time to make kimchee with the cool weather.
Cilantro: coming soon.
Turnips: coming soon.

Thank You

Thank you to Flanagan Welding for working on the carrot lifter, Bob McClure for nearing the final stretch with the wonder weeder, Homefields board for continued work on preserving farmland and looking out for the future of this farm, and the hard-working people that make up the farm crew!


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