Sunday, June 12, 2011

FARM NEWS: 6.12.11

Howdy all, here is our first newsletter of the season!
The above pictures are garlic scapes still on the plant and radishes and scallions ready for CSA distribution.

We've got a great share to start of the season:
Scallions, Spinach, Lettuce mix, Arugula, Dandelion Greens, Radishes, Garlic Scapes.

A note about some of these items: Dandelion greens are bitter so they'll add a bite to your salad and would be great sauteed with your garlic scapes. Scapes? These are the flower buds of garlic plants. We pick them off to encourage more growth at the bulb. Lucky for us they are tasty - our first taste of garlic long after last year's garlic supply has run out. Cut off the very pointy thin tip up to the point of the chubby flower bud. Then chop fine as you would garlic (they are more mild) or cut into 2 inch lengths for a bigger bite.

June is our busiest month of the season. This week we'll continue starting seeds in the greenhouse - scallions, basil, beets, fennel, dill, broccoli as well as direct seeding lettuce, lima beans, edamame and arugula in the field. We'll be plowing and preparing beds for transplanting cabbage, winter squash, beets and romaine lettuce. We'll be cultivating (shallowly working the soil with the tractor) and hoeing leeks, beets, parsley, celeriac. (As you can see with reference to the beets we plant many successions of the same item several times through out the season so you can have them in the share during different points of the season.)

And we also begin our CSA harvest. The first week is always a big week as our crew is learning our harvesting systems. We are fortunate enough to have 3 out of 4 apprentices with farming experience but each farms' practices vary a little bit. There are inevitable kinks to work out and little last minute details to attend to. All part of going with the flow.

Besides the field work, harvesting and CSA distributions we are also hosting an apprentice visit on Monday. We belong to a collaborative of farms that train apprentices. Apprentices from each farm visit the other 8 farms throughout the season for a farm tour and talk on a specific specialty - drip irrigation, cover cropping, tractor safety... that sort of thing. The apprentices gain a glimpse of how other farms operate and a chance to meet other aspiring young farmers at a pot luck after the meeting. If the farmers get a chance, they come along to the potluck and get to crop talk and commiserate about growing conditions with their colleagues.

So all in all we've a busy week ahead of us. We hope you enjoy your first taste of the season!
Tracy and Dan

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