We recently posted a link to a great account by another farm about the dance between farmer and lettuce. It is well written and photographed. The dance is real, and we certainly don’t know all the moves yet. (Does anyone ever?) And this week, we the farmers were slightly out of step with the plants, soil, and insects around here.
Salad mix that we expected to be large enough to harvest is still too wee:
Sunflowers are stuck between harvests. Mostly Green Tomatoes hang from the vine, instead of red:
Spinach and carrots have taken disappointing turns for the worse. And on top of it all, our clay oven used to bake bread has lost its structural integrity. We knew it was not long for this world but were hoping it would hold on until the new one is finished. Alas. We’re trying some last-ditch repairs, but we don’t know how tonight’s firing and baking will unfold.
We love being able to just go dig up clay!
It wasn’t all stepped-on feet and awkward moves, however. Green beans are doing great and are crunchy delicious. Bell peppers are turgidly delightful.
Zinnias are doing beautifully.
And limited quantities of arugula are appearing on our tables tomorrow! (Welcome back!)
Tons of plants got put in the ground, pictured below and in other beds around the farm.
And in the insect world, we discovered the fabulously named Assassin Bug is alive and well in our summer squash rows, dining on the pests that damage the plants. This is the organic farmers dream to have beneficial bugs like this.
And — Thanks go out to a wonderful customer for mentioning roasting and freezing bell peppers. We have bumper crop of peppers this year and so for you, our gentle readers and dear customers, you have the opportunity to stock up this weekend and tuck them away into the freezer for winter, using this recipe for Roasted and Frozen Peppers. (The only question is why she is roasting bell peppers in March. This is definitely an August and September activity! ~ And we’re using all the colors of peppers that we have, not just red.)
For markets this week we have harvested:
Arugula, Basil, Bell Peppers (purple, green, red, and orange), Cucumbers, Green Beans, Jalapeno peppers, Malabar Spinach, Okra, Onions, Parsley, Shiitake Mushrooms (limited and @ Brandermill only), Summer Squash (yellow and zucchini), …and Eggs, Bouquets of Flowers, and maybe Bread.
Other Recipe suggestions this week: To enjoy now: so-good-it-gets-listed-again-Ginger Garlic Green Beans, the simplicity of Roasted Summer Squash with Parsley, and it’s apple season so please try Arugula Salad with Apples, Caramelized Walnuts, and Cheese.
To put things up for winter: Freezing Basil in Oil for Winter Use (can use ice trays like it says or spread thinly in a plastic bag and lay flat in freezer until frozen.), Pickled Green Tomatoes (can keep in fridge if you’re not into the water bath process), or again, Roasted and Frozen Bell Peppers.
Reminder: ~ * Fall Farm Tours: Sept 22nd and Oct 20th at 4:00 pm * ~
No fee, family friendly. Please, no pets.
Off the farm, this week was an eventful one in the media. There was a controversial report released that compared nutritional content of organic versus conventional produce, as well as numerous responses to that study. A link to report as well as a host of other articles that may interest you follow:
A Banker Bets on Organic Farming
Navigating Farmers’ Market Scams
Beyond Farmers’ Markets: Why Local Food Belongs on Grocery Shelves
Nutritional Comparison of Organic vs Conventional
Consumer Reports – Don’t Give up on Organic