Archive for June, 2009

Week #2: This box is dedicated to Nutrient Density

What’s in the box?Week #2

red oak lettuce

romaine lettuce

kale!

broccoli

spinach

radishes

Sorry, but the pea sprouts failed to make the cut.

    This week we dedicate this box to Nutrient Density!  A good farmer friend of ours, Ken Keppers (also an amazing potter and if you are ever on Hwy 8 near Turtle Lake,  look for his sign and stop to check out some beautiful handmade pottery!) told us that kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods around!  Also on the list of highly nutrient dense foods is broccoli and spinach.  This weeks box is off the charts when measuring nutrient density!  There have been studies comparing organically grown produce to conventionally grown produce and it has been shown that organically grown produce averages 25% more nutrients than their conventional counterparts.  Maybe that’s another thing to consider when deciding whether the price of organic produce is worth it.Jeanette lovingly bagging your spinach. The reason that our way of raising produce grows more nutritious food is because most conventional growers add synthetic nitrogen to the soil.  Most only consider the “NPK” of the soil.  We get a soil test that includes trace minerals such as calcium, iron, copper, magnesium, sulphur…  We know that the nitrogen that the plant needs cannot be absorbed by the plant without the right amount of calcium and organic matter in the soil.  Instead of putting synthetic fertilizers on out fields, we use rock powders, compost, and nitrogen fixing cover crops.  In the end you get more nutritious food without all the questionable pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.  It’s also freshly harvested and has low food miles.  So this week, eat up and know that you are treating yourself to some of the most nutritious food out there!  Annie, Rama, Adam, Jeanette, and Josh (not pictured) packing boxes!

 

This week on the farm we got the brussel sprouts, cabbage, and pumpkins planted in the field.  We also planted some cilantro, dill, salad mix, and fall carrots.  Hopefully the dill will be ready with the new potatoes and cucumbers and the cilantro will come on at the same time as the tomatoes!  We also got a bit of rain right after planting.  We really love it when that happens.  The peas are flowering and things just keep growing!  

What’s Growin On:

broccoli

radishes

onions or green garlic

lettuce

perhaps peas

Comments (1)

WEEK 1. This box is dedicated to our volunteers!

Can you believe it?  It’s already here.  It seems like just weeks ago that we were putting tiny little collard seeds into the soil mix and just days ago that we were waiting for the basil to put on it’s true leaves…  But here it is BOX 1!  

Jeanette and Annie harvesting lettuce

Jeanette and Annie harvesting lettuce

 

 

What’s in the Box?

Spinach

Collard Greens

Green Onions

Head Lettuce

Potted Basil 

Rainbow Chard

 

 

Josh and Jeanette and the rainbow chard

Josh and Jeanette and the rainbow chard

 

 

 

As previously explained, it is quite light and leafy.  It’s been cool and dry.  But with that inch of rain that we got, it almost seems like you can watch as everything grows in the field.  We are quite happy with the Collards.  They are very nice; tender and not at all bitter.  If you have eaten Collards before and think you don’t like them, I’d urge you to try these out.  We just might change your mind!

How they all started.

How they all started.

 

We want to dedicate this box to some really wonderful helpers that we have had last fall and this spring.  There was a lot to do to get ready for this season and we had some generous (and tough) helpers.  

Martha and Joleen helped out last fall by coming out to do a little Rock Picking from what was to become the garlic patch.  Josh’s step dad Daryl was also there.  This was our first time picking rock and by the end of the day, I can fairly say we were all experts.  After all that rock picking, they have even offered to come back and help more.  They really enjoy toiling.

Last fall we also had the help of a dear friend, Linda.  We knew that she was a willing helper because she had been a work-share at Big River Farm for two years.  We really put her to the test when we pulled plastic over the hoop house.  We pulled the plastic (which became a sail) with the wind pulling us nearly off our feet.  When we recovered from that we planted the garlic!

 

Josh, Joleen, Martha, and Rock Pile #1

Josh, Joleen, Martha, and Rock Pile #1


Linda and Josh after the plastic was pulled.

Linda and Josh after the plastic was pulled.

We were also lucky that our friend Evan came by and stayed for over a week!  (Evan worked with us at Big River, too) He brought along another friend, Emily, who is now working at Dream Acres CSA.  These two picked A LOT of rock with us.  Emily said that she was practicing for her work at Dream Acres.  We tried to convince them to stay, but Evan went to his job at a dairy (milking the cows that make Cultural Revolution Yogurt) and Emily went to learn to farm using draft horses and Oxen.  

Then Ryan (aka Proto-Human) came for a couple of weeks.  This guy.  Geeze.  Josh went to highschool with Ryan and worked with him at the other farm, too.  But Ryan has a lot of carpentry experience that came in super handy as we built the packing shed and the cabin.  And I should mention that he picked some rock, too.  Ryan went back to Iowa to start his own CSA this year.  

Ben, Ryan, Laura, Annie, and Jeanette in the new packing shed.

Ben, Ryan, Laura, Annie, and Jeanette in the new packing shed.

 

 

Mikael (who some may remember fondly from Big River Farm) was visiting from Portland where he is managing a farm, now.  He helped us out for a day by picking rocks, transplanting tomatoes, driving the tractor, and crackin’ jokes.  

There have been lots more people stopping by to lend a hand and lots more offering to put in a day.  It’s not required, but if you are in the neighborhood, we’d love to show any of our members around the farm (after all, it’s your farm too!).  We promise not to put you to work unless there’s something that needs to get done!  Many Thanks to our wonderful friends and members!

WHATS GROWIN ON

pea sprouts

radishes

kale

lettuce

onions or green garlic

maybe broccoli (depending on how the weather goes)

 

Comments (3)

First Delivery, saddle up, June 11th 2009

 

june 7 peas, hoed by farmer Ben.

peas, hoed by farmer Ben.

And so it begins…

After a cool and dry spring, we still start on the day predicted for the first delivery.  We had our doubts that we would make it.
The boxes will be light and leafy for the first couple of weeks. But don’t panic. They WILL increase in variety and quantity.

This week:

Collard Greens
Green Onions
Spinach
Head Lettuce
Potted plants (in 4″ peat pots) you will need to plant them out in your garden or a pot on your porch. We are testing your green thumb. quiz later.

Pretty potted strawberry plants

Pretty potted strawberry plants

 

 

 

Tasty potted Basil plants

Tasty potted Basil plants

 

 

 

 

teeeeeny tiny broccoli.  Hey Broccoli, Grow Up!

teeeeeny tiny broccoli. Hey Broccoli, Grow Up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Broccoli was anticipated for the first box, but the drastic swing in temps (40-80 degrees in 12 hours) and the lack of rain stressed those little guys out and they went reproductive on us too soon.   We call it ‘buttoning up’.  They make heads, but they are only a couple of inches in diameter. It’s a bit of a dissapointment, but we are optomistic with the rain we have gotten that they will put on nice side shoots that will make it into the boxes.

pea sprouts sprouting

pea sprouts sprouting

 

Peas sprouts are also on the radar for your box. it something a bit new we are trying this year. The pea sprouts are great tasting and fun to have around. They taste just like peas and go raw in a salad or lightly sauteed with a little butter and salt. Just like peas. Super Sugar Snap Peas should be ready by week 3 or 4.  Right now they are about a foot tall and climbing rapidly to their epic 5 ft height. They are creating a hedge row of wonderful white flowers and dangling little peas. A rabbits paradise.

 

Peas - Knee high to most, but only ankle high to Josh.

Peas - Knee high to most, but only ankle high to Josh.

We will post again on the delivery day.  Recipes will be printed out and put in the boxes, but the news letter will be posted here.  Yay for Thusday!

lovely Oak Leaf Lettuce

lovely Oak Leaf Lettuce

Collards love the cool weather and won't be bitter because of it.

Collards love the cool weather and won't be bitter because of it.

 

Onions!

Onions!

Spinach - coming soon to your plate.

Spinach - coming soon to your plate.

Lookout for the delivery van!

Lookout for the delivery van!

Comments (1)

Getting busy.

For two days it drizzled/rained steadily and we worked madly in the fields. Our hands turned into mud paws and our boots grew heavy. The seven of us were picking rocks, laying down beds, and covering up tomato/squash/melon/basil plants until the soil became too wet too work with. It all paid off today as the feilds basked in sunlight and the plants grew noticeably bigger. The fields were still too wet too work in so we built a picnic table, mowed the orchard, planted almost 100 sunflowers around the yard, found a duckling, and watered the new kitchen herb garden. Sheep shearing Dan came! The sheep are without their pajamas and their three month old lambs are almost bigger than their moms.
The next week a miraculous event happened. We watched in awe as Rockpicker Randy in four minutes picked what took three of us twenty minutes to do. For the next few days Randy cleared all the rocks from the field and planting progressed much more quickly.

Leave a Comment