Wednesday, May 18, 2016

New Blog Location

We have incorporated our blog into the new web site.  For current entries go to

Friday, May 13, 2016

Frost Warning Special!

Tonight there are frost warnings.  Once asparagus grows above soil level it is vulnerable to frost.  And once frozen, it is inedible.

So, today Ken picked everything above soil level, and we have some short pieces.  

They are weighed out the same as the usual bunches of spears.  Advantage of shorties?  MORE TIPS!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Harvest Newsletter

Greetings from the Garden!  This week’s CSA box has greens – lettuce, spinach, salad and braising greens, cilantro, parsnips, sun chokes, onions and potato onions, potatoes, and asparagus.

Field Notes.  The big news this week is the first picking of asparagus!  Now Ken will be out every other day picking.  We will be watching the weather; asparagus does not take a frost.  If it freezes it becomes inedible.   If you get short spears they were harvested before a frost.

 This week we are moving perennial flowers from the center of our loop on the drive.  The long range plan is for a grab and go area for produce.
Ken has been busy – as usual.  The hot weather crops are in the mobile high tunnel.  He has also been transplanting and planting.  And weeding. 

The piglets have arrived.  We get feeder piglets each spring with pig projects in mind.  Pigs are like four legged rototillers; they live to dig.  This year they have started renovating a section of the garden.   Once the perennial flowers are out, they will renovate the area inside the loop on the drive. 

From the Kitchen.  Asparagus.  This is a wonderful healthy medicinal food.  Asparagus assists the kidneys in clearing uric and oxalic acid from the system.  If you have eaten LOTS of spinach which is high in oxalic acid, now is the time to add asparagus to your diet!  My first advice with asparagus is don’t overcook it.  And consider grilling or brushing with olive oil and baking as this will seal in the flavor.  I like to top with homemade mayonnaise or a dressing with sesame oil, a mild vinegar, honey, tamari, hot pepper if you like it, and toasted sesame seeds.

‘Til Next Week, Judith

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Ken's New Chicks

Ken encourages broody hens.  Broody hens want to sit on eggs and hatch out chicks.  In our experience chicks with good mothers have a head start - someone to care for them, teach them chicken skills, and protect them.

Once a hen continues to sit in a nest box over night, Ken starts to watch for a couple days.  Then he moves her to a quiet, undisturbed area, places some eggs under her, and she flattens like a pancake over the eggs and looks rather comatose for three weeks, she gets up only to eat and defecate.  

If all goes well, she has turned the eggs, kept them warm, and not broken any.  Then the chicks hatch!  She usually watches them until they go from puffy chicks to chicks with feathers.  Then she starts laying eggs again.

Piglets Have Arrived!

Each year we get piglets.  Pigs are an important member of the team here.  They are four legged rototillers.  We rotate them from project to project.  Some years the y clear new garden space, renovate areas, clear fence lines, etc.  They love to dig!  And they eat culls from the garden - lower cabbage leaves, broccoli plants, etc.

When they arrive they are small, and Oscar takes on the job of nanny.  This year we are pretty excited to have full blooded Berkshires.  A few years back we had Duroc Berkshire cross bred pigs, and they were great!  

We sell half and whole animals, and usually get only as many pigs as we have pre - sold.  Since pigs don't come in halves, and we had an odd number of families who have ordered, we still have one half available.

If interested, contact us for details.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Harvest Newsletter

Greetings from the Garden!  This week's CSA box has greens - lettuce, spinach, sorrel, arugula,  and potatoes, onions, garlic, parsnips, sun chokes.

Field Notes.  Ken is planting and transplanting and cultivating.  Saturday night he transplanted onions while he listened to Garrison Keillor on his radio ear phones.  
Sunday night he cultivated to Wisconsin public radio's Simply Folk show.  And today he is preparing for the arrival of piglets.  Pigs are useful four legged tillers.  They love to dig and Ken puts them to use.  Every year he plans out his pig projects for clearing fence lines future crop space, renovating current growing areas.  We sell the meat by the half custom cut.  Ask us for details if you are interested

From the Kitchen.  This year I am trying to make samples of the more unusual vegetables so people can taste them.  Last week I made sun choke chips.  I googled a couple recipes. 
Scrub, slice and salt.  Set on a towel to absorb some of the moisture.  Toss in some olive oil and herbs or garlic powder or paprika.  Bake at 375 on parchment paper about 15 min on each side.  Look for a change to golden color on edges, but catch them before they are charcoal!

Storage potatoes get wrinkly - they have less moisture, but are still plenty good.  Tuesday for lunch I made hash browns.  Scrub.  Shred, salt and squeeze out as much liquid as you can - I use that for a starchy thickener in cooking.  Get a heavy skillet hot with fat or oil that can take heat.  Drop the shredded potatoes in the skillet leaving space so the skillet stays hot.  Flip when crusty and top with some chives or onion tops.  I serve with Ken's home made ketchup (less sugar) or my home made mayo.  They also make great frittatas.  Use left over baked or boiled potatoes.  Add to egg scramble with sauteed onions and fresh greens.  Top with cheese and bake 'til eggs are firm and cheese is melted

'Til Next Week, Judith

Monday, May 2, 2016

Keeping it Cultivated

Ken is one of the most consistent cultivators I ever met.  He gets out once the soil has dried after a rain and breaks the crust and kills any weeds in the cotton stage

He has several "weapons of mass destruction" as he calls them!  He moves down the row faster than I can walk.  It looks great.  Sunday he listened to Wisconsin public radio's Simply Folk show and thinned carrots and cultivated all the crops by the mobile high tunnel and in the garden