Rainbow of Roots!

DSC_0221We are starting to harvest the first round of radishes for 2014.

  • White Icicle
  • French Breakfast
  • Cherry Belle
  • Watermelon
  • Pink Beauty
  • China Rose

Radishes can be eaten fresh as a salad topper, roasted, or sauteed with a mix of vegetables!

All CSA Memberships are now FULL for 2014

If you or someone you know have interest in purchasing a CSA share or would like to be added to our waitlist, please feel free to contact us. Contact information is provided below.

Half Shares – $275

Full Shares – $450

For more information on CSA memberships or if you would like a copy of the membership application for the 2014 growing season contact us at: thelocalfarm @ gmail.com

Fruits of Labor

DSC_0732This is an exciting time of year to be a gardener.  It is when all of the planning, early mornings, late nights, and physical labor from winter and spring surface with full garden beds of ripening cantaloupe, watermelon, okra, green beans, hot peppers, tomatoes and more zucchinis than you can count. It is a glorious time of year (minus the swarms of mosquitos that this region is host to).

Our first growing season on the farm has gone surprisingly well. We have been able to grow a wider variety of foods this season and supply 7 families with organic vegetables. Not to mention our eating habits have become much more healthy.  The gratification of seeing a tiny seed turn into something delicious on your plate is amazing.DSC_0361DSC_0727

Prepare and Cook Greens

Some of the most nutrient rich vegetables like Kale and Spinach can also be some of the most unfamiliar when it comes to preparing and cooking often scaring folks away from purchasing and/or growing these amazing greens.

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Most greens such as Kale, Spinach, Swiss Chard, and Mustard Greens can be prepared in many different ways (sauteing, boiling, eating raw in salads, and even baking). We love to cook in our house and there are several  “foodie” blogs that help in our efforts to preparing meals with these various greens.  Here are a few of our favorites!

http://www.americastestkitchen.com/

http://smittenkitchen.com/

http://joythebaker.com/

http://101cookbooks.com/

http://thepioneerwoman.com/

WHEW!

For the past few weeks we have barely had time to stop.  Everyday we have a new “to do” list that is daunting and exhilarating.  Josh and I both secretly love our lists, seeing checks by all of the items accomplished for the day.  My Type A personality is rubbing off on him.  School is just about out for the summer which means more time to dig, plant, weed, harvest, repair, etc., etc.  Josh’s mother flew in from Colorado this week and has been a tremendous help during this time of planting.  Words cannot express our gratitude for all of the help.  There are not enough hours in the day and it only reaffirms my constant thought that time just goes by way too fast.

What’s New: Fence, Lots of greens growing in the hoop house, 20 + tomato plants transplanted in the garden rows and in the hoop, 100 + leeks transplanted into the ground, 25 + cabbages transplanted, cantaloupe, herb beds growing, mustard greens, potatoes, and red, yellow, white onions in the ground.  Unfortunately the bunnies got a hold of all of our broccoli transplants before the fence was completed; we will need to re-sow.  The chicks do not look like chicks any longer and literally change in appearance overnight.  All-in-all, things are looking good for our first season and a VERY late, cool, wet spring.

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The beauty and chaos of Spring

DSC_0904 DSC_0910When the snow melts you have to start and thankfully the weather has finally allowed for some good work time outdoors.

The farm is coming alive as spring arrives and the list of “to do” is continual. We have four raised beds of  greens planted in the hoop house with the sowing being in 3 week increments: Tat Soi, Arugula, Kale, Swiss Chard, Loose Leaf Black Seeded Simpson, Loose Leaf Red Salad Bowl, Bibb Lettuce, Lincoln Sweet Peas, and radishes.

The greens are coming along nicely and should produce a decent salad by the first of June for our members.  We have started to harden off other vegetables (brussel sprouts and leeks) that were started in the green house, always a good sign of warmer weather. Once we can be sure that overnight temperatures are going to be consistently warmer we can transplant 45+ tomato plants!

In the evening after school, Handy J has been building a layered fence around the pasture garden to prevent the herd(s) of deer that meander through the area.  He also finished the chicken coop just in time for the arrival of our 10 Rhode Island Red chicks which arrived on Monday afternoon. So far all 10 are still peeping, eating, drinking, and pooping. The signs of life are all around us and the adventure continues!

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2013 Growing Season…It’s On!

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Our resident artist, Handy J’s mother, designed wonderful garden bed labels during her recent visit.  Each label drawn by hand with plant/growing specifics. We look forward to getting a ton of use out of them and are so thankful to her for helping make our garden beds an organized system! A big thank you goes out to Handy J’s family: father, mother, sister, brother-in-law for helping on the farm and getting some big projects checked off the list!

Although it has been a less than desirable spring due to snow, cold temps, and more snow, we are still very excited to get the growing season underway. We have already started many plants and have high expectations for a plentiful bounty for our shareholders for the 2013 growing season!

  • peas
  • salad mix greens: Arugula, Tat Soi, Head Lettuce, Loose Leaf, Romaine, Kale, Collards, Swiss Chard
  • tomatoes (many varieties-all heirloom)
  • zucchini and squash
  • beans: dry beans, shell beans, & fresh snap
  • peppers
  • cucumbers
  • cantaloupe
  • watermelon
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • wild blackberries
  • leeks and onions
  • jalapeño
  • herbs (planted/fresh cut)
  • eggs (Rhode Island Red – brown eggs)
  • maple syrup (1 Jar)
  • turnips
  • potatoes
  • rutabagas
  • pumpkins and gourds
  • carrots
  • radishes
  • Variety of annuals: marigolds, diablo cosmos, bachelors buttons, one perennial butterfly bush

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Springing Upward


It would seem that Groundhogs are bad at predicting the weather. Our winter this year struck hard in the month of March reminding us of its cold fury. I have been wondering if it will go out like a lamb or like a lion? Thankfully we have had some days with upper 30′s and with sunshine it feels like a heat wave!  Winter can’t hold out to much…the signs of spring are beginning and hope is just around the door.

One of the surest signs of spring for us this month has been the rise and fall of the river with the spring thaw and freeze. One week it is rising then next it is frozen solid. This same freeze/thaw cycle is the reason we have Maple Sap runs in the woods right now. The rising temperatures get the freeze/thaw cycle moving for the sap runs in March. As of now we have collected just under two gallons of sap from 6 taps. Mind you this is paltry to the 30: 1 ration of gallons to sap to finished Maple Syrup. I think that we will hit a more regular flow this week with temps starting to ebb upwards into the 40′s. This is fine by me as the wood stove that I plan on finishing the Maple Syrup off in arrives next weekend.

This being my first year the  learning curve is steep. Reading extension bulletins, DNR guides, and magazine articles I put together a somewhat planned and organized attempt.

What is going well: 3/25/13

  • Purchased Taps arrived on time 
  • Re-purposing plastic food grade tubs attach nicely to tree and are easy to pour out with a turn.
  • 7/16 drill bit for my brace was on sale!
  • One of the trees is out producing the others dramatically. So I tapped it again  on (3/24)
  • Using Re-purposed Ice Cream buckets for storage in fridge until boil down.
  • We have around 2 gallons of sap so something must be working!
  • Wood burning Stove arrives soon!

What is not going well:

  • One tree has been completely dry.
  • Squirrel is onto me. Gnawed a bucket to get in. Squirrel=0 Me=1
  • Stag-horn Sumac tap creates an amber color as it drains thru the Hollow Branch
  • One tap was too shallow and it leaked Sap the first day. Bad tap = little sap
  • The lids the containers have rub up against the bark so that debris falls into sap. This will be filtered….but…
  • I maybe should have ordered a few extra taps

Update as of 4/8/13

  • We had a run last week basically from March 28th to about April 6th.
  • Pulling in maybe 8-12 gallons a day on 6 taps.
  • Boiling down on the woodstove is slow but worth it in the long run. I love the hint of smokey flavor.
  • Finishing inside has been a learning process. Our first batch was highly concentrated and a beautiful dark amber. The next batches were not concentrated enough and hence were a lighter grade honey like color. This has been adjusted.
  • I almost couldn’t keep up with the sap. We were running out of containers and I had a lot.