Week 17: Window of Opportunity

chickensky17This week in the Produce Pack we expect to have pears; melons; ginger root; cucumbers; cabbage; tomatoes; hot peppers; sweet peppers; onions; summer turnips; tomatillos; beets, kale, chard, or beans; herbs; and eggs.  Recipes are at the end of this post.  **Please note: this week is the last week to get some of Huntleys’ fabulous no-spray blueberries. Let Jen know as soon as possible if you want any.  The price is still $4/pint.

Eggs: We are still sorting out eggs.  Our new hens are laying well, but the eggs they lay are small at first.  Soon, most of the eggs in the produce pack will be from this farm, which is a good feeling because we know exactly how they are produced and handled.  Until our hens are on track, we will continue to offer some Good Morning Eggs; some Canaan Land eggs; and some of our eggs.  For a short time, small eggs from our farm will be offered at two dozen for the price of one.

Farm News:  Open Farm Day has been shifted by a week to Saturday September 21.  David came in the front door of the house the other day, looking more exhausted than usual.  He said “Don’t let me schedule ANYTHING during the first two weeks of September.”  We are realizing it is such a critical window of opportunity for so many different farm jobs, that that we absolutely can’t take anything else on during that time.  Period.  We still have our regular schedule of planting, weeding, harvesting.  On top of that, we are processing and preserving.  It feels like all kinds of fruit is ready to harvest all at once.  We also took on the job of producing most of the eggs for produce pack, whereas we used to buy most of them (what were we thinking?!).  But there is something else that happens in the first two weeks of September… Something that is really important to David and I.  That we’ve never really got it together on.

It is a critical period to plant cover crops because it is early and warm enough for the cover crops to grow well and achieve adequate growth to control weeds and produce carbon to add to the soil.  And it is late enough that summer annual weeds germinating during this time don’t have enough time to set seed and become a problem the following year.  Over the last 10 days, David has been very focused on tilling in summer cover crops or food crops to get as much land as possible ready for fall cover crop seeding.  Below is a photo of an area where onions, shallots, and other salad crops were growing. David incorporated crop residues, and seeded it to rye.  We did this to a little over half of our cropped land.  This will save us a pile of weeding work next year and improve the soil too.  Pretty exciting for farm geeks like us!ccseeding17

Here are some other photos from the week.

Rye planted between leeks is germinating

Rye planted between leeks is germinating

Thank you sheep for eating all that nasty napweed!  The pasture is starting to fill in with clover.

Thank you sheep for eating all that nasty napweed! The pasture is starting to fill in with clover.

The crew did a lot of harvesting in the rain.  At least we've got some styling' rain gear!

The crew has done a lot of harvesting in the rain lately. At least we’ve got some styling’ rain gear!

This is exciting: potatoes on right from our experimental seed is not getting blight like the potatoes on the left

This is exciting: potatoes on right from our experimental seed is not getting blight like the potatoes on the left

A dry job getting onions ready for storage

A dry job getting onions ready for storage

Red onions

Red onions

Making sure to have enough wood in the sheds to take us (and the seedling greenhouse) through the winter

Making sure to have enough wood in the sheds to take us (and the seedling greenhouse) through the winter

We harvested hazelnuts this week

We harvested hazelnuts this week

Buddy protected the nuts from squirrels.  A very important job!

Buddy protected the nuts from squirrels. He was busy!

Cassie picking sungolds

Cassie picking sungolds

tomatoplum17

Gotta love those colours!

Forgive me.  Another sungold tomato photo with Stephanie picking.

Forgive me. Another sungold tomato photo with Stephanie picking.

Recipes:

Tomatillos can be used in a variety of ways.  Here is a page with lots of tomatillo ideas.  David loves to cook with them and shares a simple busy farmer recipe:

Chop up tomatillos with onions, garlic, and hot pepper.  Cook with some water in a heavy-bottomed pot until soft.  Add meat, fish, other protein, or crunchy vegetables until done.  Garnish with parsley or cilantro.

We were inspired to grow baby ginger root by Misty and Casey at Old Friends Farm in Massachusetts.  We love it because it is so fragrant and you don’t have to peel it!! Misty has shared a few ginger storage tips and recipes that are fantastic!

ginger_dill_dip

pickled_fresh_ginger

best_ginger_cookies

teff_ginger_molasses_cookies

See you soon at the pick-up on Tues and Thurs,

Jen, David, Bruce, Cassie, and Stephanie

2 thoughts on “Week 17: Window of Opportunity

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