Monday, September 28, 2015

Harvest Newsletter

Greetings from the Garden!  This week we have tomatoes, lettuce, salad and braising greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and garlic, raspberries and winter squash

Field Notes.  Still no frost.  This has become more and more common.  Summer crops continue to produce and we will enjoy them until frost!  Ken has been cultivating in garden, by mobile tunnel, and in the field.  He has been getting as much ready as he can so once frost hits we can then move the mobile high tunnel.  That should help prolong our fall greens season

From the Kitchen I keep enjoying those summer favorites - it will be a long time before the 2016 cucumbers for example.  But the squash plants were dying back so Ken pulled his first planting and he baked up some with blemishes for us.  Wow did that taste like fall! Right now the acorn squash and pie pumpkins are in their prime

'Til Next Week, Judith

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Harvest Newsletter

Greetings from the Garden!  This week's CSA box has tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, eggplant, corn, lettuce, spinach, braising greens, and raspberries

Field Notes.  This week marks the autumnal equinox.  Now the days are shorter than nights and there is still much to do!  The heat loving crops have all "crested the wave" as we say.  Crops usually start slowly reach a crescendo and then each harvest yields less and less.  Ken is moving animals - possibly the last move before winter.  He is working to get his brooder house ready for a batch of chicks for next spring's eggs.
And I have been sorting jars of tomato sauce, apple juice and other items we can and keep in the root cellar.  Next I will be cleaning out freezers and moving roots to the root cellar for the winter months.  

From the Kitchen.  After a few cool nights I get up in the morning and look to see if the kitchen is below 60 degrees.  When it is cooler than 60 I light the wood cook stove.  This moves us to adjust to fall cooking - roasted chicken and vegetables, chili and soups.  Ken is a master at concocting interesting soups and chowders from our surplus vegetables.  

Enjoy those heat loving vegetables like cucumbers, summer squash,  peppers, and herbs like basil that are gone with the first frost. 'Til Next Week, Judith

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Harvest Newsletter

Greetings from the Garden!  This week's CSA box has apples, potatoes, peppers, onions, melon, summer squash, eggplant, corn, beans, tomatoes, and greens

Field Notes.  Shorter days, but no frost - yet.  Tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash and eggplant have all slowed down, but will continue until we have frost.  Enjoy the last of these summer favorites.  We are on the cusp of fall this week. 

Ken continues to harvest and plant and thin and plan for fall.  We also start to assess how crops did, which crops are less popular (should we grow eggplant?) and what we will have to harvest and store over winter - onions, carrots, etc.

From the Kitchen.  Ken has been busy on all those dark and cool mornings.  He is a master of use whatever is in the kitchen. Chowders with onion, tomatoes, peppers, left over roast and grated cooked potatoes and corn.  

He has created a streamlined and gluten free version of his upside down pizza - no crust, just a summer vegetable bake topped with cheese.  Place olive oil in a flat pan like a pie plate, add sliced eggplant, zucchini, onions, tomatoes, garlic, herbs, he used some Organic valley pepperoni, topped with grated cheese and baked at 350 for about an hour and a quarter.  He checks the firmest vegetable in the mix to determine if it is done.  Great with rice and a salad or sweet corn on the side.

'Til Next week, Judith

Fall is at Hand

Here we are in September.  The fall greens look great! 

 Ken has planted and been thinning.

Colors are changing out in the field.  Last spring's asparagus is busy with its last growing for storing energy for next spring

Flowers continue, but the colors seem less vibrant.  

Cucumbers are slowing down, but will continue to produce until frost.

Indeterminate tomatoes have climbed up to the top of the mobile high tunnel

Soon we will be filling the root cellar!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Harvest Newsletter

Thursday morning garden tour for weekly listing
Greetings from the Garden!  This week's CSA box has mini greens, cucumbers, onions,  tomatoes, beans, cabbage or broccoli, potatoes, ripe bell peppers, melon. basil, and sweet corn.

Old lettuce seed Ken saved
 Field Notes.  Fall greens are growing! Ken has been thinning for two weeks for salad greens.  We usually have a couple weeks in August when lettuce is scarce.  Lettuce loves cool and damp;  When we get hot it bolts and becomes bitter.  But the micro and mini greens are a nutritional power house!  And Ken will add some lettuce that popped up from some very old saved seed.  Our saved seed has much higher viability than purchased seed.  It seems seed becomes more expensive and less viable and not true to type.  We save more and more seed as time passes.

The rain this season has been amazing - LOTS of it.  It is a far cry from the many years of drought we have had.  There can be problems with so much rain.  Melons are not so sweet, raspberries are pummeled to the ground or become soft and a magnet for either picnic beetles or spotted wing drosophilla - a new arrival from Asia.  The male has spotted wings and the female has a serrated back end so she can cut a hole in ripe fruit and lay eggs.  Soft fruit is vulnerable and we saw this last season for the first time.  Due to wet weather one year the fall squash and pumpkins were like water balloons and did not keep well.  We just have to wait and see!

From the Kitchen.  Ken has been whipping up several tasty meals - what he is calling "nightshade bake - a combination of eggplant, peppers, tomatoes with onions, garlic, and summer squash that he bakes with some grated cheese on top.  It was delicious with a side dish or sweet corn.  

He has also cut kernels off left over sweet corn and used it in savory chowders with onion, potatoes, spicy meat and red peppers.  And speaking of peppers, this is the week to make some stuffed peppers!  They freeze well for future meals, too.

'Til Next Week,  Judith