Happy Sizzling Spring!
Our second delivery of the year is here, with more greens and a few splashes of delicious color headed your way. We hope that everyone was able to enjoy all within the box, and if there is ever anything that won’t get eaten just pass it on to a neighbor or a friend.
The weather has us saying adios to spring and welcome to summer! Intense hot temperatures and steady winds continue to dry out the fields rapidly and we are thankful for the wells that exist on the farm. Farmer Jon, being from Colorado, is a master at setting up watering schedules that leave no plants left behind. With a combination of sprinklers and drip irrigation we are assuring that our precious crops are wet enough to keep on growing. Drip irrigation is a system where there are main header lines that connect to hoses that connect to well pumps. Then smaller plastic tubing is connected with valves to the header line and laid down our plant rows. There are little slits in the tubing or emitters, every 12 inches and this provides direct and thus efficient watering to the base of our plants. We set up a smaller version of this method at our drop of site at Clarke in Saint Charles. We highly recommend this set up to anyone that is tired of spending too much time watering their garden!
In the greenhouse the pumpkins and winter squash are soaking up the 80-90 degree warmth and are nearly ready to be transplanted into our 1 acre patch that we’ve prepared especially for them! Other than that the greenhouse is much too hot for other seedlings and will be taking a break for a month or so before we start seeding fall brassicas (kale, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kohlrabi).
In the field we celebrated the victory of completing our big spring planting. What does that mean exactly?! It means that all of the seeds that we started since the beginning of March have grown into sturdy plants ready for the field, and the potatoes and sweet potatoes have all been sown. Everyday possible, we have been out on our hands and knees, tucking each plant into its space in the field. I thought that my life-time as a serious athlete would help me endure through the grind of the spring but I can honestly say that the fatigue that we have felt out here the past two weeks in unparalleled by any 4 hour tennis match! What an absolutely humbling experience this spring has been. We will put 600 more leeks in and the first round of pumpkins/winter squash in next week but the huge load is complete and for that we definitely gave each other high fives.
However, unlike the large Mansanto farmers who put their seeds in all at once and spray chemicals until harvest time, we continue to gently sow throughout the year. We directly seed (not start in greenhouse) 30-day crops or otherwise called succession crops. These include salad mix, radishes, turnips, and arugula. They mature in just over 30 days and we try to seed them every 2 weeks to ensure a steady supply throughout the season. We also strive to seed beets and carrots on this schedule. On the subject of carrots and beets, we also accomplished our first full day of weeding! Yeehaw! A friend of ours came down and helped us weed carrots, beets, brussels, fennel and much more. The plants all look so happy now that they are free from the constraints of the weeds. For the rest of June, weeding, watering and adding organic amendments will provided the tender love and care that our plants need in order to promote optimal growth…..which then leads to the best veggies possible for our CSA members!
As for the lil’ Russians, aka my youngest brothers, they are in full summer swing with sports camps and games and a whole lot of fun. Timmy’s obsessed with a video game called Farm Simulator; creating his own farm (organic of course), driving tractors, collecting eggs, doing farm things by simply moving a controller around. He asks me every day if I want to sit and watch him play the game and due to a very busy schedule I’ve turned him down which is kind of sad…..so tonight I am planning on hanging out with him in his room and experiencing farm simulator. Joe has quite the busy schedule as well but still managed to help our grain farmer Paul, with some much needed tilling. Between basketball camp in the morning and a baseball game/chasing girls around at night, he managed to fit in several hours in the afternoon driving a large John Deere tractor for Paul!
EXTRA DELICIOUS GOODS FOR PURCHASE:
Last year we worked with the sweet and talented Susan-Marie to promote the amazing products that she creates in her kitchen. It was a hit and we want to do it again this season. Our CSA program may have us driving away from our immediate community but we still like to stay connected with the local folks in Bureau County. Susan-Marie is an excellent baker, granola maker and hummus master just to name a few. We want to offer her products each week to our CSA members and each order will be delivered at the same time as the boxes. A list of weekly products and prices will be sent to everyone at the time of the newsletter and members that are interested simply email her their personal orders. I will attach her products and price list to this email and we can start getting orders sent her way for next week’s delivery! I hope that everyone will take advantage of this awesome add on to the veggie boxes.
What to expect in the box on June 8th, 2017:
Head Lettuce – Time to make salads or even better, lettuce wraps!
Spicy Salad Mix – The crunchy, mustardy, horseradishy taste is irresistible! Like I mentioned last week, if you don’t care for the kick from these greens then simply stir fry or sauté to lighten the flavor
Cilantro – My favorite herb and it is so yummy right now! Taco night will be that much better!
Radish – Two different varieties this week, some boxes will have the pink beauty variety and others will have the French breakfast (longer with pink and white). Both are in their prime right now and will go great with a salad or branch out and cook the radishes in the oven or on the stove top. The spice goes away when cooked and sweetness shines!
Garlic Scapes – A twisty, curly, amazing part of garlic. We cut this part of garlic off so that it doesn’t form a flower and thus the garlic bulbs are able to grow as big as possible. Chop up all of it, minus the tip of it (where the flower was going to form) and add to anything that calls for garlic.
Lambs Quarter – This delightful plant is often mowed down or pulled out of fields, yards, etc. How sad that is because it is tasty and so healthy. Nature’s spinach we like to call it. Farmer Jon and I will stir fry it with all of our other veggies and add that to rice….. or dry it and grind it in to a powder that we add to our smoothies EVERY morning. It is full of health benefits that must not be overlooked! Needless to say we also munch on it raw throughout the day!
Recipe Ideas and how to use:
Spicy Salad and Garlic - http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/249833/spicy-green-salad-with-soy-roasted-garlic-dressing/
Cilantro and Radish - http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/steak-tacos-with-cilantro-radish-salsa
Garlic Scapes - http://www.abundantharvestkitchen.com/garlic-scape-hummus/
Lambs quarter - https://chestnutherbs.com/lambs-quarter/
*Always wash produce before indulging*
*Collapse and return boxes each week at pick-up site*
Happy seasonal eating to all!
“Grow, inspire, repeat.”
Edgewood Farm Organics