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Sweet Potatoes

September 29, 2011

yesterday.  we harvested our sweet potatoes.

As we dug our way through the earth we both kept reflecting, what a magical thing potatoes are.

You plant them in the spring, and in the fall….

we get down on our hands and knees digging through the earth, to discover these beautiful golden nuggets strewn about.

Each one seems like a miracle, a reminder of how much life grows

beneath the surface of all things.

We are grateful for this magical crop.

Grateful for the fall harvest.

September 13, 2011

September on the Farm

Collards

Beets and Kale

diakon radish

Leeks

Fennel

Cabbage

 

A Caterpillar eating our fennel before it turns into a black swallowtail  butterfly.

Apparently they have quite an appetite for fennel and dill.

rain

September 8, 2011

The rain we were begging for in june, july and most of august is now HERE.  It has not stopped raining on again/ off again since last Saturday.  It has been a wonderful reprieve from the intense bustling we found ourselves participating within the summer months.  This week our pace has slowed immensely.  Our greens in the field look so incredibly happy.  Everything is truly bursting forth with vigor.  Such a change from the summer months of drought.

Last week – as Kate mentioned in her newsletter- and many of you saw- our Dad and Uncle Joe came to visit.  They were great helps in harvesting on Thursday Morning, and helped us weed on Friday (in the days while the sun was still shining) :)

Thursday morning harvesting, loading the truck up in the field:

The ride back to wash and pack:

Something we have neglected to share with all of you is our wash and pack system.

Once we harvest all your veggies on Thursday morning, we come back and rinse them off, and re-pack them – so they won’t be all dirty for you when you put them in those lovely bags ;)

Our  very complicated system, consists of a large tank and a hose in my back yard.   Here is the chard bathing:

Sweet peppers being rinsed:

Kate and Dad washing the lettuce:

This is our ‘roots table’.  It’s a lot easier to spray all the roots down with the hose, as they hold onto the dirt particularly well.  We built this table in the spring and it has made our washing so much easier!

Kale! The most beautiful item to wash:

The water clings the leaves so beautifully

It always reminds me of being introduced to Mercury as a kid in science class.  The little beads of liquid floating on the surface and taking on lives of their own.  I am always mesmerized by it.

We have been braving the rain… weeding some necessary beds, harvesting, and clearing parts of the field that we will no longer need.  The clean-up has officially begun.  But we have also been able to take some time for ourselves, and preserve some of the vegetables we have grown – so our winters will be filled with as many nutrients as our summer has been.  Kate has been blanching chard and freezing it, canning sauerkraut and good wholesome vegetable stock.  I have been up to my elbows in pickling: beets, carrots, and pickles!  I Love pickling :)  Thus as the rain pours down outside… we have been taking some small comforts in the joy of being inside as well. 

The view from our window these days:  Grey.
 I hope you all got to pick up lots of greens this week at distribution!  And that it wasn’t too rainy in Baltimore.

 Enjoy the week ahead; officially saying farewell to the summer days and embracing the changes of the fall to come.

August 17, 2011


Glimpses

into the future of your share.

August 12, 2011

  I used to think of farming as a way to be fully present within each season.  The longer I have farmed the more I have realized it is a constant of looking towards the future.   Thus we are beginning to look towards fall within this August light.

Our green house has now converted into our ‘curing house’ piled high with the beginning contents of falls’ shares.

spring onions curing

shallotts

Return to summer:

As many of you commented this week at distribution – we had quite the variety of crops.  Welcome to August :)

The night shades (i.e. tomatoes, peppers, eggplant)  are really starting to come in.  The lowering in temperature and the fabulous amounts of rain, have made both the plants and ourselves quite a bit happier.

In the month of August – thus far- it has rained more than twice the accumulation for both June and July put together.  More rain is in the forecast and we are very thankful.  The rain has caused our crops in the ground to delight.

A lot of you were asking this week about “blossom end rot”.  It is a dreaded disease that is often times found on Tomatoes and Peppers this time of year.  It can be caused by numerous things: too much water, too little water, lack of calcium in the soil.  If there is not adequate water on either end, the plant is not able to absorb the calcium… thus you are left with a beautiful tomato on top – and blackened rot on the bottom. :(   Sadly we have been suffering from this due to our lack of rain.  Even with our persistant watering of our night shades it has still seemed to find us.  But, it seems that we are on the up-swing with it.  I wanted to include a picture for those of you whom have never witnessed BER:

Yuk!

On a more positive note, these Peppers are my absolute favorite:

They are called Jimmy Nardello peppers.  I wanted to share this with you all, because it seems that people have been steering clear of them while ‘pepper shopping’.  I know they look hot – but they are very sweet! Perfect in salads or light sauteing.  I didn’t want any of you to miss out.  They  taste delicious :)

In our ‘proper field’  the fall crops are beginning to boom.  It’s amazing how much the rain gave everything a boost.

Our adolescent Leeks

Rainbow Chard

I have been wanting to take this picture for years.  Kale, after we harvest it.  It always reminds me of palm trees.  They are the loveliest and sturdiest little plants.

Kale: (pre-harvest)

and lastly a bouquet of Kale for dinner’s salad.

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

July 21, 2011




The past couple of weeks have been hectic.  (thus the lack of blogging).  The lack of water has really been putting a damper on the natural flow we have been developing.  Instead of our regular schedule of seeding, transplanting, and weeding.  We are now spending entire days watering.  That meant going out alot of days last week with 5 gallon buckets and a watering can.

A lot of you were asking, last week at distribution, about the watering system we have set up.  Currently we have a 300 gallon tank that sits in our field (usually empty).   Then there is a well about .5 miles across the farm – that replenishes water up to 30 gallons a minute.  In off hours – such as lunch, morning and evening – we borrow a truck and put 50 gallon barrels on the back (the truck can only carry two at a time).  Then we truck those to the well, fill them up – truck them back across the farm to our tank and pump them over from the barrels into our tank.  To fill the tank it takes a little over an hour.  We have hooked our drip tape up to the 300 gallon tank, so once the tank is filled we open up the valve.   These 300 gallons water two of our 250 ft beds gently… meaning not enough to really soak em’through.

The positive to all of this is that our very dear family has been rallying around us so the two of us keep up the motivation.  Our mom came last week and was amazing!  She watered, weeded, and was fabulous company for distribution (where many of you got to meet her).  On Friday our older sister Alice drove all the way down from Pittsburgh and was like a little watering fairy.   She watered all of our plants in the field while Kate and I had to go to market on Saturday.  Their love and support has made the work all the more doable.

Here are some pictures from the last couple of weeks.  Enjoy!

our lovely mom.  filling up water buckets from the well.

pumping over water from the barrels into …

our 300 gallon tank!

mom and anna planting collards

kate preparing to water in our night shade field… filled with weeds!

anna weed wacking our night shade field

weed wacking complete!

kate watering our night shades with our back pack sprayer


kate and anna in the field
please keep us – and your vegetables in your thoughts this week.  We are all hoping very much for rain!
We had a bit yesterday :)  But more is definitely needed.
hope to see lots of you this afternoon!

Kohlrabi and Squash Empanadas

July 1, 2011

Kohlrabi and Squash Empanadas

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (1 inch) piece fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 kohlrabi bulbs, peeled and cubed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large yellow squash, cubed
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 (15 ounce) package pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in garlic and ginger; cook and stir until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in kohlrabi, and season with salt and pepper. Cook and stir until kohrabi has softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Toss in yellow squash and continue to cook until squash is tender for 4 more minutes. Stir in the green onion, spinach, and nutmeg. Add more salt and pepper, as needed. Cook until the spinach has wilted, about 1 minutes. Set mixture aside to cool.
  2. Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Beat the egg with water in a small bowl; set aside.
  3. Roll out the pie crust by running a rolling pin over it once or twice. Cut out about 16 6-inch circles using a large cookie cutter or cereal bowl. Fill the center of each circle with about 1 tablespoon of the kohlrabi mixture. Brush the edges of the pastry with water, then fold the dough in half. Crimp the edge of the dough with a fork to seal, and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pastry and vegetable filling. Prick each empanada with a fork, then brush with the egg wash.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown and flaky, 5 to 7 minutes. Serve hot from the oven.

Thanks Amy, one of our members, for this great recipe suggestion.

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