25 Jun

2014 – CSA : Your second week

It was so nice to see you all last week.  Some familiar faces and lots of new faces graced the garden shed so things are off to a grand start.  The weather has been cool, so those heat loving plants like the peppers, eggplant and basil are just sitting there wondering what they are supposed to do.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that we do not get any hail this week and night temperatures increase.  I am hearing that next week is going to really hot!  Extreme temperature fluctuations are really hard on the plants, as they do not have the time to acclimate.

This weeks harvest will of course provide lots more greens.  Don’t get discouraged, as when things heat up, there will not be as many, so take advantage of the bounty and blanch and freeze them for your winter soups and stews.  This weeks share will include radish, scallions, lettuce, spinach, braising greens, broccoli and herbs.   The snap peas are looking wonderful and setting their pods, so they will be in next weeks share.  The cabbage is soon to follow.

I will have strawberries for sale for those of you who would  like some.  They sell for $7 a quart.  You can pre-order larger amounts if you want to make jams or chutneys, or freeze some for your smoothies.  They will  only be available for another week or so, and then the raspberries will follow.

Just a reminder to please remember to bring your bags or boxes in which to place your share, as I will not be providing them.

 

 

 

15 Jun

2014 CSA’s first week is here!

This is going to be short and sweet, as I am so busy getting everything ready for your first CSA share, which is this Thursday, the 19th from 4 to 6 PM.  Remember to bring you cooler, box or shopping bags in which to to place your veggies, as I will not be providing boxes or bags.  I do this not only  to reduce my costs, but also to cut down on the packaging that usually goes into the landfill.  I encourage you to recycle as much as you can for a cleaner environment.

For those of you that are new this year, you can park anywhere in the front.  I will have the big gate on the east side of the driveway open and you can just walk down to the shop, where Bodie,  my faithful German Shepherd  and I will be waiting for you.  He is always a little excited to see people, so don’t be alarmed by his exuberance!  He is quite friendly and it’s just his way of saying  “Hi” and  welcoming you.  On your way down the driveway, on your right will be only one of the gardens that will be providing food for you this summer.  The gardens are starting to look so vibrant, so take your time and take it all in.  You are welcome to walk through all of the gardens and property at your leisure.  I certainly encourage you to do just that.  I am proud of what I do here, and welcome all of your questions.

I have always found it challenging to grow the broccoli right!  Last year I planted it too late and it bolted as it just got hot quickly.  I transplanted my starts out earlier this year, and they were ready to harvest a couple of weeks ago!  I am not going to get discouraged though!  Every year is a learning experience, so eventually I will get it!  You will get broccoli this week, but it is not in tight buds, but I love it stir fried or roasted.  Your share will also include lettuce, spinach, braising greens, radishes, rhubarb, fresh dill leaf, spearmint, thyme, chives, and I am hoping that I can harvest you some scallions. There may some other things out  there, too.  Have to wait until Wednesday to see.   So get ready to cook with lots of greens and make some healthy wonderful salads.

I am looking forward to seeing you all!

 

 

01 Jun

Garden News – June 2014

It’s been an interesting few weeks to say the least!  One day hot and dry, the next, damaging winds and hail.  The Sunday hail storm two weeks ago did major damage to my roof, shop, greenhouse.  I was able to save the majority of the garden by covering the larger plants with buckets and pots….over 200 of them!  It took me all day.  The pots got broken up but everything survived.  The row crops of greens and the the new seedlings coming up were set back a little, but I think everything right now is doing pretty good.  I am so thankful the storm predicted yesterday did not manifest.  I would have been in a world of hurts, with over 100 tomato transplants out there just getting started!  I have a strong feeling that we are going to be in for it this summer.  I have never experienced hail storms this early in the season.  The garden devas will certainly have their hands full keeping everything safe .

 

The direct seeded crops of beets, snap peas, radish,  carrots and cucumbers are up and the scallions that I transplanted out earlier are starting to bulk up.  I still have to transplant the bulb onions, peppers and direct seed all of the summer and winter squashes and melons.  I am being more than a little cautious because of the weather.  Barb and I are hoping to get all  of this done this week so that we can concentrate on weeding and installing supports for some of the heavier plants.  With the winds that we have been having,  I don’t want them to topple over.

I have to admit that at times I feel overwhelmed by all of the work that goes into an organic market garden.  Maybe it is because I am not as young as I used to be and work at a little slower pace, but the joy I experience when I see the fruits of my labor far exceeds the stress and sore body.  Being a able to share the garden with you provides me with a great sense of accomplishment and I know that we all  benefit on so many different levels.

I have been sending herbs and greens to the Good Earth Market and it is great to be able to have an outlet for some of my early harvest.  So if you shop there, look for my products.  They are all bagged and labelled “Kate’s Garden”, so you can’t miss them.  FYI…The GEM really walks their talk when it comes to their support of local producers.  I was really disappointed in “Lucky’s Market”.  They are not set up there to purchase from local producers.  All of the purchasing is done through their corporate office out of state, so it is next to impossible for producers here in our area to market to them.

I am also planning on being at GEM for their summer Saturday Farmers Market which will be held in their parking lot every week in June until the downtown Farmers Market begins in July.  So come by for a visit.

We are still on track for the first CSA pick up day beginning Thursday, June 19th which is just a little over 2 weeks away.  Hopefully the weather will be good to us.  I will be in touch with you before we begin with more garden news.  In the mean time here is a wonderful recipe to take advantage of early spring spinach or broccoli.  It’s still a little cool out there in the evenings, so what could be better than a stuffed baked potato?


Spinach and Goat Cheese-Stuffed Baked Potatoes

A healthy, yummy twist on stuffed potatoes. While spuds contain their own vitamin C and iron, spinach and cannelini beans offer even more nutrients. If you’re not a fan of spinach, substitute broccoli florets for an extra dose of vitamin C.

Serves: 8

Ingredients

4 large russet potatoes, pricked several times with a fork
4 ounces goat cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 can (14-19 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

2. Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack and bake for 1 hour, or until soft when squeezed (wear an oven mitt).

3. Remove the potatoes from the oven and cut each lengthwise in half. Let stand until easily handled but still warm.

4. Scoop out the potato pulp into a large bowl, leaving a 1/4″-thick shell. Place the potato shells in a 13″ x 9″ baking pan.

5. With a potato masher, mash the pulp with the cheese, sour cream, oil, milk, salt, and pepper. Fold in the spinach, scallions, and beans. Spoon into the potato shells. Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.