Week 1 2016: So what’s happening on the farm this week?

Hi everyone! We are so glad that you are on this journey with us this growing season. This is our 11th year of running a CSA and we are always excited for the new CSA year to begin. It is great to share the ups and downs with farming with a group of folks who really care about where their food is coming from. Our daughter Sadie (now 8.5) and Delia (now 5.5)looks forward to Mondays to see you all and help pack the bags for our Thursday folks. “Mama, is it time yet ” – in the early spring when we are setting out new transplants and seeding little tiny seeds – not yet. While we weed the wee little peas – “Mama, is it time yet” – no, not yet. While we transplant the tomatoes into their warm hoop houses and transplant the tender greens in the field – “Mama, is it time yet” – almost, soon very soon.

It has been quite the strange spring here – I’m not sure if we actually had winter this year 😉 The dry spring has helped us get on the fields sooner and able to transform them into the permanent raised beds. The heat and dryness progressed somethings further than others. Thanks to this cool spell we were able to slow down the peas a but flowering and the spinach from bolting. we planted 450 cucumber plants a few weeks ago …soo..there should be no shortage of cukes. We are using large pieces of silage tarps to keep done the weeds – and we are happy to say that 3 out of 4 beds of carrots are growing and are weeded! We are hoping to get to the fourth bed this week. We are hoping to get the third tomato house planted with sauce tomatoes this week along with planting potatoes. The sugar snap peas are looking great and are trellised and so are the cherry and heirloom tomatoes – all trellised up. Sometimes you think you haven’t gotten much done then you sit down and write it down and it looks not to shabby;) we still have a lot of work to get down too..

We have two amazing apprentices this year – Ashlyn and Mary Kelsey. Ashlyn was here 5 years ago and we welcome her back while she is working on her degree at Sterling College. Mary Kelsey is a native of North Carolina and will be embarking on a trip to spain to teach english in the fall. They are definitely well loved by Sadie and Delia (and us of course). For those of you who were with us last year, Julia is in Montpelier working in a group home for teenage girls and is doing well. You can see her occasionally at the Champlain Islands Farmers’ Market on Saturdays playing her music. Frank moved off our farm this spring and onto his farm on the VFW land here in Grand Isle.

This Spring we had 9 lambs, 4 piglets, 1 calf and so far 450 baby chicks..on top of all the veggies. We are milking our two cows – Annie and Maggie. These animals help add more nutrition back to our land by grazing it and fertilizing it

Feel free to email or call if you have questions. My hope and goal is to have one of these journals out each week with news from the farm and recipes.

As we harvest the spinach, and Delia and Sadie eat it in the field with eagerness,
As we wash the lettuce heads in the big cold tub of water,
As we pluck the juicy turnips from their earthen home,
As we spin the arugula in the washer, with happy girls sitting on the top for a shaky ride,
“Mama, is it time yet”
“Yes, sweet girls, it’s time – Let the CSA season begin.”

It is amazes me how much this land nourishes all of us – our bellies, our souls, our minds. Thanks for being part of it. Thanks for listening.

Have a great week.

We look forward to farming with you this season.
Peace, your farmers, Christine, Adam, Sadie, Ashlyn and Mary Kelsey

What’s in the share this week:
This list is what is in a full share this week. Things may change between Monday and Thursday and Individual and Salad share will get differing amounts and may not get everything on the list. Lettuce heads, arugula, bok choy. lettuce mix, spinach. radish or turnips, tomato plants, and herb plant.

Farm Fresh Raw milk for Sale
We are very lucky to have two milking cows – Annie and Maggie – both give us plenty of milk each and every day and we would like to share that with you and anyone else would like to have raw milk. We sell it $5 a half gal. We also can do a sliding scale if needed for the milk. You can buy milk at CSA pickup or anytime out of our barn fridge next to our house at 34 quaker.

Eggs for sale We have the pretty girls’ eggs for sale – these are free-range, certified organic chicken eggs that are brown eggs– with the brightest yellow/orange yolks you ever seen. The eggs are $6.00 a dozen. $3.00 half dozen
***FRESH CERTIFIED ORGANIC whole CHICKEN AVAILABLE at the FARM Soon in the next week or two – we will let you know 🙂

Recipes:

What we have done lately with the spinach and arugula – together – made them into a pesto with a nuts or sunflower seeds, olive oil and cheese. Yum – the girls love it.

Spinach you can eat raw or slightly steamed. We made some really great Chicken Saag the other night.

Arugula is peppery salad green and a maple balsamic vinaigrette is amazing for it.
Bok Choy is eaten the whole plant – leave and stem. raw or cooked. You can sauté them, stir fry them, chop them and add them to anything you would put greens in. You can eat them raw too. The other night I chopped pea tendrils, bok choy and cabbage and mixed them with eggs, cheese and pepperoni – yum. Don’t mind the little holes – the flea beetles gotten under the row cover and test tasted them…
Orange Maple Dressing – from the Accidental Farmer

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons of Vermont maple syrup
2 tablespoons of orange juice
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons if ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Whisk all ingredients in small bowl. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate in an air tight container or jar. Will keep for up to seven days.

Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 part maple syrup
1 part balsamic vinegar
1/2 part of olive oil
salt and pepper
and shake:)
It keeps well in the fridge – the olive oil may separate in fridge – but just shake and everything mixes together again.

Bread-and-Butter Radishes or turnips Recipe
By Regan Burns
Pickling radishes mellows their peppery bite, giving them a sweet-and-sour flavor while maintaining their crisp texture.
INGREDIENTS
• • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
• 1/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1/4 cup water
• 2 teaspoons kosher salt
• 1/2 teaspoon yellow or brown mustard seeds
• 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
• 1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 bunch red radishes (about 10 to 13 radishes)
INSTRUCTIONS
1. Combine all of the ingredients except the radishes in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the brine from the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the radishes.
2. Trim the leafy tops off (discard or save for another use) and wash the radishes. Thinly slice and place in a pint jar.
3. When the brine is ready, pour it into the jar, making sure to cover the radishes completely. Allow to cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Seal the jar with a tightfitting lid and shake or rotate it to evenly distribute the brine and spices. Refrigerate and let pickle at least 1 day before using. The pickles can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
SOURCE: http://www.chow.com/recipes/10909-bread-and-butter-radishes

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