I'm starting to get emails asking about when garden share season will start so it's high-time I give an update. This is also a great opportunity to talk about some of the aspects of farming in general and eating locally in particular.
Last year we had an amazingly early spring. Remember? We had some seeds planted in February and by the middle of May were really starting to see lots of crops coming along strong and we were able to start shares three weeks earlier than expected. Then, in early July, the rain stopped and it was all we could do to scrape together enough items to provide for all of our shares. By late September we were very thankful for that early start because there just wasn't anything left. We lost entire crops to the drought.
That is one of those shared risks our "member terms and conditions" mentions. Juxtapose 2012 with 2011 and you may recall the flooding we had in the spring and then the dry late-summer. Farmers of all shapes and sizes are subject to the vagaries of the weather. We can control many things, but not the weather.
Now for this year. It has been a fairly calm spring, no severe storms, but we've had frequent rain. Thankfully, we are well out of the severe drought. The downside is that the ground has to be dry enough to plant. I won't bore you with the details of what's dry enough, but suffice it to say that it's been a long slow process getting plants in the ground this year, even with the addition of raised beds and containers.
All that to answer the question: "When will garden shares start?" I have an answer: I don't know. There are still too many variables. I will tell you, though, that we hope to start garden shares around the beginning of June, mid-June at the latest. In the meantime, let me share with you what we do have in the ground, just so you know what you have to look forward to at some point during the next few months.
2012 Garden (it's raining as I post)
If you'll visit our crops pages
, you'll find descriptions of most of the things we grow and when they might be expected to turn up in your share. They are arranged both by type and alphabetically at this point.
All of the greens listed (both leafy greens and cabbage types) are in the ground and coming along except cauliflower. Leafy greens particularly (lettuce, kale, spinach, beet and turnip greens, Swiss chard, mustard greens, and more) are cool season crops so can be expected to be a heavy part of the share in the spring/early summer and in the fall. Greens from the cabbage family (cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower) are growing but they take longer to "make" than the leafy greens so expect those a bit later. If you're not sure what to do with them, check out our recipe pages
and our preservation pages
There are several species of vining crops, some earlier, some later crops. We are starting to see a few blossoms on some of the summer squashes (yellow squash, zucchini, patty-pan) so we're hopeful they'll make a nice showing to keep all those leafy greens company in the early shares. Melons (cantaloupe and watermelon varieties) are in the ground but it will be quite some time before you see them. They are mid-late summer crops. Winter squashes aren't planted yet - they generally go in the ground some time in June to make squash and pumpkins for fall and winter shares.
Like vining crops, root crops appear throughout the season. We should see some green onions soon, as well as radishes. Then the beets and carrots should appear sometime in early-mid summer, followed by the kohlrabi, turnips, onions, potatoes, and so forth toward the end of the summer and into the fall. If the potatoes do well enough (they hate wet ground) we may be able to pull some new potatoes in a few weeks.
The last early season crop we have coming on are peas, both garden and snow. We also have planted green beans, both bush and pole, and yellow wax beans, along with sweet corn, eggplant, okra, peppers (hot, sweet, and bell), and tomatoes. Those are all mid-late summer crops.
Some of our herbs are doing nicely - so far we have strong stands of sage and oregano but we're hoping some of the others will catch up sooner or later. I'll speak to fruit below.
If you didn't see something you've been looking forward to, drop me a line. It's entirely possible I've simply overlooked it.
Yumminess to look forward to
As you know, Jim planted many strawberry plants early in the spring. They're coming along, but the nature of strawberries is that they don't produce much the first year. So next year we have yumminess to look forward to. We have also made great strides in re-creating an orchard here on the farm and have planted a variety of apple, cherry, peach, pear, and other fruit trees. However, fruit trees can take 4 or 5 years before they start to produce. Berries, on the other hand, we should have some of those for you, if the weather is nice to us. I can see mulberries starting to appear on the mulberry trees and, if we're lucky, you may get some in one of the first shares. They are an incredibly fragile fruit, though, which is why you don't ever see them in the store. The blackberry bushes are also loaded with blossoms.
Ohio Pick-Up 2010
The Owensboro pick-up this year will be at the Owensboro Farmers Market at Community Christian Church on Saturday mornings. Farm pick-up will be, well, here at the farm. We don't as yet have a set day or time so if you have input on that, please drop a line.
Honey Makers at work
We've had a presence at the Farmers Market every Saturday for the past few weeks with honey and eggs. Sadly, Kentucky regulations prohibit our selling anything else there since it comes from Indiana. However, if you need jelly or would like to pre-order pork, poultry, beef, or whatever else we may have, give a call or drop a line. Or show up at the Farmers Market and grab a brochure or ask questions.
Speaking of meat, we have a couple specials going so don't miss those. I try to keep them updated on the Front Porch
(AKA home page) but if you have questions, just give a holler.
Mulberry Creek Farm NewsBlog
published occasionally at the whim of the editor
Volume 4: Issue 2 – 5/23/12
In this issue:
Jams, Jellies and Honey
On the Home Front
Question of the Month: Reminders are interwoven throughout the blog; that will suffice for this month!
Recipes of the Month: Greens
I have some very awesome news - when I popped you the question about whether you were up for getting a few veggies early (and received a resounding YES) we thought that's what we'd have - a few. But conditions have been so great that we have a complete share for you this week. We're pretty sure we won't be able to do weekly shares just yet - especially if we continue to not get any rain - but in the world of gardening, you never know. More on this below.
Before I continue, I know it’s lengthy, but please at least skim through this entire newsblog even if you think you already know what I’m going to say or it doesn’t apply to you. You never know what might turn out to be helpful to you or to someone else. I’m including our annual “very important reminders” in this one as well as the ongoing stuff.
One tip, since I’ve been posting short updates pretty regularly on our Facebook page (there’s a link on the front porch of the website), I haven’t been as active with the blog. That and the sheer number of folks we’re growing for this year (a 500% increase over last year) has kept me pretty busy outside and away from the computer. (Nothing wrong with that, really – it’s a great exercise plan!) Anyway, if you’re on Facebook be sure to like our page(s) so you can stay in the loop. If not, be sure that anything of vast importance I’ll e-mail to the group.
A couple notes on pick-ups. First, please bear with us as this is the first time ever we’ve attempted two pick-up locations on the same day. It may end up being a disaster, but hopefully it will work like a dream.
Newburgh pick-up will be Thursdays from 4:30-5:00. I’ve already sent that info out but remind you that since this is a private residence, please be prompt in picking up. We can’t leave vegetables there for very long as there is no place to store them. If this time and day proves to be a huge issue for you, let me know ASAP so we can fix it.
Owensboro pick-up will be Thursdays from 6-7pm at Settle Memorial UMC, off JB Miller between 4th and 5th St, by the little fenced-in playground. Again, there’s no where to leave shares so please try to be prompt. Since this is the last drop off we can be a little more flexible, but won’t hang around waiting for you unless we know you’re stuck behind a train or something!
Another reminder, if you cannot pick-up on any given week, you may certainly have someone else pick-up for you. It’s helpful but not absolutely necessary that you let us know beforehand, just be sure the person picking up tells us “I’m picking up for (your name here)”. If you can’t be there and don’t have someone else picking up for you, please let us know a couple days out so we don’t pick something that will end up going to waste. Of course, there are those times when the unforeseen happens – a sick child, road delays, car trouble, or you just plain old forgot it was share day. It happens! Just give us a call – we can almost always work something out. And you’re always welcome to swing by the farm within a couple days to pick up your veggies. You can see the critters and the actual gardens that grow your nummies. And the weeds that keep them company J.
Which brings me to a very important reminder and that is the C in CSA stands for community. You aren’t a customer and we aren’t a drive through grocery; we are all a community of folks with a shared interest and investment. We all have different roles to play in that community, but we’re a community nonetheless. We’ve found that the folks who really invest in the community aspect of this thing get the most out of it.
The first thing most of you will want to know: what’s in the share this week! So here goes:
lettuce, radishes, green onions (a few)
garden peas (you need to shell them)
spinach, spinach mustard, mustard greens (see below for some cooking tips)
turnips with greens
maybe kohlrabi, maybe summer squash
So the first reminder is that investing in a CSA means investing in seasonal eating. I know that isn’t a change for many of you, but it may be for some. Early on shares will be heavy with greens. Later in the summer you will be flooded (we hope!) with summer squash and tomatoes. Toward the end you can expect to seek lots of ways to prepare winter squashes and cool weather veggies, and so forth. We’ll do our best to keep fresh ideas coming, and, with that, a second reminder is to please share your favorite ideas and ways to prepare these items (even if they’re links to a recipe on a website somewhere). I like to include a “Recipe of the Month” or two but will also try to keep updating the recipe pages on the website throughout the season.
With that, here are a few more thoughts on the CSA in general and ours in particular. In a true CSA, the farm plants very specifically based on the number of shares sold, for instance, 1 zucchini plant per share, or whatever. Then each week the farmers pick everything that’s harvestable and distribute it equally among shareholders/members. We actually tried that our very first year and found that most people just didn’t want 6 heads of lettuce in one week (seriously, the lettuce was that great a crop that year). We also found that to be a bit risky. Every year, some crops just don’t do very well and others go great guns. So we have modified what we do. We have a basic formula for planting based on the number of shares sold, but with most things we plant extra in case something doesn’t come up or the critters eat half that particular crop, or some other disaster falls. In a CSA there is shared risk – we all suffer a bad crop together. In a true CSA, if a huge drought came and we lost everything, we’d all lose everything together. (Please, start praying now if you haven’t already that something that horrific won’t happen!) In our experience, though, *something* always grows. We always lose something but we always have more than we need of something else. One of our values is honoring that 8 item minimum so we grow extra. We also grow enough to feed ourselves and we preserve most of our vegetables for the winter so that means we plant more than the CSA specifically needs.
When we harvest each week, sometimes it is literally “we pick it all and divvy it up equally”, but sometimes there’s way more than most of you would want. When we have more, we’ll be happy to sell you more if you want more and are willing to come to the farm. (There are too many of you this year for us to be able to bring a lot extra to drop-off.) On the other hand, sometimes there’s just not enough to go around. Which brings me to the next reminder. If you don’t get something this week that someone else got, you’ll get it another time, or some close equivalent. So when I said maybe kohlrabi and maybe summer squash this week, you won’t get both. Unless we have vastly underestimated what’s out there in the garden. Another reminder: the posted share list is subject to change once we actually start picking. Sometimes there’s a lot more than we thought. Sometimes there’s a lot less. It’s the nature of this kind of farming. I will try to get the share list out Wednesday (earlier than that is often just too far out to call) but it may not be until Thursday before we know or I get a chance. If you’ve just gotta know how many peppers you’re getting so you know if you can make your world famous stuffed peppers for a dinner party, just give me a call or drop an email and I’ll do my best to give you an answer. BTW – you won’t be able to make that recipe for a while yet. At least not from our peppers!
Now for a bit of an update before moving on. The gardens are nearly planted. Phew! Weeding is a constant task, and we remind you that this is your garden, too, and we welcome, we delight in, in fact, visits from folks to lend a hand for an hour or two now and then. A long time ago I promised you a list of what we were planting and I’ll do my best to give a rundown.
In the upper garden nearest the house, we mostly have greens. Here’s where we grow lettuce, kale, spinach (both standard and New Zealand), spinach mustard, mustard greens, chard, turnips, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, okra, and probably more that I’m just not thinking of at the moment. Here’s also where our temporary herb beds are until we get the permanent spot done. We also have a planting of sweet corn here.
Then in the lower field just across the road are the tomatoes, some of the summer squash, cucumbers, and potatoes. There are a variety of each and I’ll try to get a run down on exact varieties. We also have a few of the Indian vegetables in this garden.
The far garden is way back in the old homesite and houses our melons and more tomatoes and summer squash. Can’t have too much! This is also where the rest of the Indian vegetables are.
Down the road at Glenn’s brothers is where we’ve planted our pumpkins and winter squash and two more plantings of sweet corn.
Around the farm here and there are little plots of peas, beans, and dry beans, as well as other things. Perhaps one of these days I’ll get a map of what’s where! I’m sure I’ve forgotten several things – I’m running this from memory at the moment so I can get this sent out (been working on it between tasks all day).
Egg Update: Just a reminder that summer egg shares don’t technically start until June 15. For those of you with summer egg shares, if you’d like to start your shares now to coincide with your garden shares, it may be possible. It all depends on how many of you are interested.
Chicken (to eat): They’re growing, I promise. Not all that quickly, of course that’s the nature of this kind of chicken, but they are growing.
Turkey: We have several young turkeys that will be ready for November/December harvest and we still have some available. So if you’re interested, consider getting your down payment in as soon as you can.
Waterfowl: Apparently we aren’t meant to raise ducks! We had 15 come from the hatchery but have only 4 remaining. (We’ve had serious problems with hatcheries this spring – probably largely the reshuffling going on with the postal service because that’s how they’re shipped.) That being said, duckling won’t be available this year.
Our geese, on the other hand, are growing nicely and, depending on gender, we should have a few available for your holiday table. As with turkeys, you’ll want to get your order in as soon as possible.
Just a couple weeks ago the larger portion of our pig population (pig being immature hogs) went over to the Louisville vicinity to a farm raising Mulefoots for Louisville restaurants. Great news for us (fewer mouths to feed) but not so much if you were counting on a hog this Fall. One of the reasons getting an order in early is important! However, we do have a few left so if you’re on the fence, here’s your incentive to hop to one side or the other as we anticipate more of our porcine friends to be making the journey east this summer.
Since we don’t (yet) have a cleverly named section on beef, I’ll say here that we are in partnership with Copperhead Hill Farm and their grass-fed beef. This is actually Glenn’s brother, Alan, who is a neighbor and regular helper on our farm. There are some pages under the Barn heading on our website about his farm and cattle and he has a Facebook page, too (managed by yours truly).
Jams, Jellies and Honey
Bee Buzz: We have pounds and pounds of honey! Unfortunately, it’s thus far still in the frames, but extraction will happen soon. I hope. It will keep virtually forever where it is and there are far higher issues on the priority list. Like getting the rest of the gardens planted!
Jelly Jive: Mulberries have had a great season so far – unfortunately, we’re not really set up to harvest or process them this year. A handful off one of the trees is all, but the critters love them! I never knew cows liked fruit so much.
On the Home Front
This is one of the busiest times of year for us. School will be out for the summer this week and Maggie’s been busy with end of year activities. She is working on completing her 4H projects for the fair next month and hopes many of you will come see her show her hogs! We’ll let you know dates and times, but the Spencer County 4H Fair is June 21-27 at the fairgrounds south of Chrisney. Don’t confuse it with the carnival in Grandview that goes by a similar name and has no agriculture except items fried in vast amounts of batter that might once have been vegetables.
When you visit, you’ll notice a variety of things, I’ve no doubt. We generally begin every conversation with apologies for how the place looks, which is kind of weird. Glenn’s family has been farming here for several generations and back in 1968 a neighbor retired and, having no children, sold their farm to Glenn’s parents. They had no need of the house or buildings, only the fields, so the farmyard has been little used. Various family have lived up here now and then since and the last time anyone lived up here (for that’s where we are) was in the early 1980s. Hence, there’s been a 30-year-plus build up of junk, overgrowth, and cast off stuff. The house burned down about 40 years ago, but the barns are still here and almost intact. They weren’t used much either and were let go. When we moved here a year and a half ago, we pulled a mobile home in that we were able to find cheap and quick until we’re able to come up with something more permanent and have been concentrating on getting fencing up, repairing the buildings a bit at a time, clearing the woodvine and poison ivy and general overgrowth and collecting trash and junk to haul away. It’s a work in progress. It’s hard to believe the amount of progress we’ve been able to make and we envision a beautiful place one day in the not too distant future.
We’re planning a couple events for sometime this summer, as soon as we can figure out the logistics, and we do hope you’ll all come for a visit to your farm and a time of meeting your farm community!
Recipe(s) of the Month:
I just went to the website to see which greens recipes I’ve posted and, oh my! I haven’t even posted a veggie recipes page yet! That will rapidly move to the top of my priority list but not tonight. I’ll post a couple here and then I’m calling it a day because those roosters will start crowing around 4:30 regardless of when I turn it.
For starters, some of you will be old friends with greens, some of you will not. Cook’s Thesaurus, www.foodsubs.com, is an excellent place to look if you just don’t know what to do with something or even what something is! Not everything we grow is on here, though, so don’t hesitate to ask questions. For this week, click on Vegetables then on Greens and there will be some helpful tips.
Greens are marvelously healthy and marvelously diverse. They’re basically interchangeable, recognizing that using mustard greens instead of kale will produce a quite different flavor. They can be eaten raw, boiled, grilled, roasted, and used in any number of recipes from soup to pie to omelet’s and dips. Some are quite mild while others are very spicy, even bitter. There are ways to tone down the spice or bitterness if you don’t care for that. Most folks have certain ways they cook certain things. The only person I’ve ever met who likes virtually all greens is Glenn! He can’t get enough. Me, I have a few preferences. Following are a few recipes for greens. There are many more online and if you find one you really like pass it along!
Creamed Kale (Greens)
Boil water and cook coarsely chopped, stems removed Kale in the water for 7 minutes. Then plunge in ice water to stop the cooking.
Cook potatoes in cream (or milk) until soft.
Put them together! Salt and pepper.
Some people run the potatoes and kale together in a food processor to make them creamy. I combined them and used a potato masher to get everything just a little smoother.
(Thanks to Ohio MCFCSA Member Christa Novicki)
Roasted Kale with Sea Salt
Any firm leafy green works fine in this recipe. Collard greens or Swiss chard could easily be substituted for the kale.
Preheat oven to 375º F.
4 cups firmly-packed kale
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. good-quality sea salt, such as Maldon or Cyprus Flake
Wash and trim the kale: Peel off the tough stems by folding the kale leaves in half like a book and stripping the stems off. Toss with extra virgin olive oil. Roast for five minutes. Turn kale over. Roast another 7 to 10 minutes until kale turns brown and becomes paper thin and brittle. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve immediately.
Makes 2 servings.
(Thanks to Judy Shell, Ohio MCFCSA member)
Spinach (or any other greens) Pie
Wondering what to do with kale, turnip greens, cabbage, chard, or even broccoli or beet greens?
Pre-heat oven to 350º F
Cook, drain, chop finely 2 quarts fresh spinach or greens of day
1 onion: sauté in 2 Tbsp oil
1/4 tsp nutmeg,
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
2 beaten eggs
1 cup grated Swiss or fave cheese.
Pour into pie shell. Arrange top crust and seal.
Bake 30-40 min. at 350º F.
Options: Diced ham, chicken or turkey.
If you're adventurous, mix in some chopped (sautéed or pre-steamed) zucchini, squash, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, green (or other) peppers and/or mushrooms.
Garlic and/or black pepper? Cumin or curry?
Serve hot, in pie wedges.
(Thanks to Larry and Lois Ramey, Ohio MCFCSA members)
Save for Later
And don’t forget, you can preserve them for next winter, too! It’s simple. Blanch them in a couple gallons of boiling water for 2 minutes, plunge them into cold water (iced if possible), then pack them in baggies, label, and toss them in the freezer. I’ll try to post a more in depth piece on how to blanch and freeze vegetables soon. If I don’t, remind me.
Drop me a line any time or give a call to share your stories, recipes, questions, concerns, or just chit chat! We really do want to focus on that “C” in CSA.
Thanks for eating locally!
published occasionally at the whim of the editor
Volume 4: Issue 1 – 3/23/12
In this issue:
Jams, Jellies and Honey
On the Home Front
Question of the Month: What do you ask a CSA Farmer?
I’m not even going to lay out an excuse for how long it’s been since I’ve postd a newsblog. Well, on the other hand, between this crazy weather, general farm life ups and downs, and switching the entire website to a new server, time totally got away from me.
But it’s spring, officially as well as behaviorally, so I have incentive now to keep at it!
If you’ve sent an order for garden share, eggs, poultry, or anything else and have not received an e-mail from me saying your order arrived, please contact me ASAP. I have sent out confirmation e-mails to everyone I have order forms from. Garden News
We opened shares to previous members in February and then to the general public in March, admittedly without much fanfare, and within a week of opening shares we were nearly sold out. A couple days later we were doing math to see if we could squeeze a couple more couple shares into the mix. We’re now maxed out on summer shares for this year but still have room for a few winter garden shares. Since we plant those seeds now, too, though, we need orders as soon as possible. As always, if we have room closer to harvest time, winter garden shares will remain available.
For those of you who are interested in such things, we have 19 Garden Shareholders this year spread out between three pick-up locations (here at the farm, Owensboro, and Newburgh)! That’s an increase over last year’s 4. (For those of you interested in numbers, we have 10 full-share equivalents.)
We already have thousands (literally) of seeds started and have a very cute greenhouse up at last. We’re already anticipating the tomatoes that will come off some of those plants! Yum! Since the weather has been so delightfully dry and unseasonably warm (can anyone spell summer?), we already have potatoes, onions, carrots, and some greens in the ground. We’re hopeful that the weather will cooperate and we’ll have an excellent and varied harvest all season this year. One thing about farming, you have to be optimistic. I’ll try to get the complete crop list posted soon, especially as we are growing a couple new and (for us) unusual items this year.
We’ll still be planting seeds in sets for quite a while and will be planting more directly into the ground, as well, so if you want to spend an hour or two helping out, please give us a call. Take note – this *is* a farm and there are loads of bugs creeping, crawling, and flying around as well as what looks like the beginnings of a bumper crop of poison ivy in various places.
As always, I need to remind you that we practice sustainable farming and use as many organic practices as possible but we are not certified organic. We use pesticide and herbicide only as a last resort/rescue and our fertilizer is organic.
Please e-mail us or call us with any questions, concerns, comments, etc that you have. As I have time, I’m going through old newsblogs to glean the best of the information and will be posting them as I can. Those of you who’ve been around for any amount of time know that we’re more than happy to discuss all things farming pretty much any time. We have been described as “chatty” – we won’t deny it! We love discussing and sharing the things about which we are passionate! Poultry Products
Why did the chicken cross the road? To prove to the possum it could actually be done. Egg Update
: Egg production is going well and we have (most of) our hens laying where we can reliably find their eggs, so that’s a great thing. We have room for a couple more egg shares, especially as some of our young pullets are nearing laying age. Hopefully by summer season, we’ll be in full egg production. Chicken
(to eat): We’ve had a series of problems with getting our meat birds raised. We’re plugging away at it but between one thing and another, it’s been slow going. Those who have been patient enough to wait, though, have appreciated the birds.
This is as good a time as any for a little reminder about what we do and don’t raise. We primarily raise heritage breed Dark Cornish chickens for our meat with a few dual purpose heritage birds like Dominique and Rhode Island Red for good measure. The Dark Cornish is not the same bird as the Cornish X Cross raised for grocery stores. Additionally, like all our livestock, our meat birds are free to roam and eat what they feel naturally compelled to eat which, we think, makes a fine tasting and healthy bird. We will also remind everyone that, contrary to popular belief, it isn’t the breed of bird that makes up how tender/firm the meat is as much as it is how it is raised. Our birds will have firmer meat (and be tastier, honestly) because they run around
eating bugs and grass.
Here’s my moment to remind you: please thoroughly cook your meat and eggs! In our opinion, people get sick because they don’t properly prepare their food much more often than they do because of what did or didn’t happen at the farm. Turkey
: Our turkey hens are laying like crazy and we have several eggs in the incubator. In addition, we have a few poults (baby turkeys) coming from the hatchery in a couple weeks to infuse some new blood into the flock. As a reminder, the earlier you get your holiday turkey ordered, the more likely you are to actually get one. Last year, we ran out and had to eat old birds, ourselves. Waterfowl
: Sadly, over the winter, predators made away with the remainder of our duck flock. We have Cayuga ducklings coming from the hatchery and, depending on how many little boy ducks we end up with (because we only need one) we may have some duckling available next fall. Cayuga is the best tasting duck out there. Just ask us!
We’ve also had some real issues with our goose population and are switching the breed we raise to the Pilgrim goose and have goslings coming at the same time as the ducklings. Since geese mate for life, we can’t promise limitless goose next fall. It will all depend on how many of what we end up with and what they look like. If you’re interested in either duck or goose, get your order in as soon as you absolutely can. We’re sure to have at least a couple of each.
Keep your fingers crossed! There’s nothing so good as a Cayuga duckling on the table and we hear Pilgrim goose is a great holiday treat! Hog Hearsay
We have lots of pork. And I do mean lots. Most of it is happily running around out there rooting in the dirt or mud, chomping down grass and small trees, and generally enjoying life while simultaneously growing into fine meals. Mulefoot pork is becoming more and more readily noticed on the meat market as an exceptional pork product and we are proud to be able to offer that meat to folks in the Tristate.
If you’re interested in a sampler, give us a call. If you just want to see these amazing hogs, drop by the farm and we’ll be happy to introduce you (give us a call first, please). If you want to order a whole or half or quarter hog, check out the appropriate page(s) on the website and send in your order form. We can usually have one butchered to order fairly quickly as long as our butcher doesn’t have something else going on. (For instance, deer season is a bad time to expect a quick turn around.)
Maggie, our daughter for those of you who don’t know her, will be showing a Mulefoot market gilt at our county 4H fair this summer. Since they’re not a breed recognized as worthy of the fair, she’ll expect a red ribbon, but it’s a great way to get Mulefoots out there. If you’re in the area, come cheer her on! (It’ll be in later June.) Jams, Jellies and Honey Bee Buzz
: The honeybees are just loving all this warm weather and blooming flowers and trees! They’re already making the honey they need for their colonies and it’s possible we may be able to harvest honey early this year. Jelly Jive
: As long as we don’t have a cold snap now, we should have a pretty good fruit crop. Most things are at least beginning to blossom and bloom out so a cold snap now would really hurt all the fruit in the area. And, of course, our jelly and jam production will depend completely on what kind of fruit harvest we have this year. So stay posted! On the Home Front
So much has happened here since the last time I posted an update! Maggie’s working hard on her 4H projects (come cheer her on at the Spencer County Fair this June) as well as on getting ready to bridge from Brownies to Junior Girl Scouts at the end of April. Her involvement in the Kentucky Youth Chorale has been a delight for us all.
The population of our farm animal community has made some shifts, too many to note by name – lots of piglets, cows and calves have come and gone, chicks have arrived in a variety of ways, and so forth. Life on a farm is always in motion. Recipe(s) of the Month
Here are three awesome springtime recipes. The first is for Rhubarb Crunch – it won’t be long! The other two are for what to do with all those hard boiled eggs many will have April 8th. Rhubarb Crunch
1 C. rolled oats (uncooked)
1 C. flour
1 C. packed brown sugar
1 stick butter
1 C. chopped nuts
3 C. rhubarb (cut, uncooked)
Cut the rhubarb into bite sized pieces and put in a deep baking dish. Mix together oats, flour and sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in nuts. Sprinkle over rhubarb.
Bake at 350º F for 45-60 minutes.
Serves 6-8 (very yummy hot with vanilla ice cream!) Best Hard-Boiled Eggs
Place eggs in pot, cover with cold water. Add a sploosh of vinegar (the vinegar will help with the peeling). Bring to a rolling boil, lower heat and simmer 5 minutes, covered. Remove from heat, leave covered, and let stand 15 minutes. Drain and cover with cold water. To cool faster, replace water when warm. When cool, crack and peel the eggs. Stuffed Eggs (AKA Deviled Eggs)
1 dozen eggs
3 heaping T. mayonaise / salad dressing
2 t. sugar
2 dashes each salt & pepper
2 t. vinegar
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
2 t. mustard
Hard boil the eggs (see recipe above for best hard-boiled eggs), let cool, then peel. Cut eggs in half, length-wise. Remove yolk; mash yolk and combine with other ingredients. Beat until smooth. Refill egg whites with yolk mixture. Garnish with paprika, chives, or other herbs or seasonings as desired. Random Question of the Month
This month’s Random Question is actually a series of questions posted on LocalHarvest.org for people interested in starting with a CSA. Even though we’re full-up, many CSAs aren’t and you may be still in the market. And we thought our shareholders might want the answers to these questions! Questions You Might Ask your CSA Nothing beats a personal conversation with the farmer. Here are some questions you might ask. How long have you been farming?
Glenn has been farming and gardening all his life (that’s more than 5 decades), and Maggie can say the same thing (one decade for her!). Gail was forced to weed as a kid and teen (didn’t like it so much) and eat fresh veggies (this part was awesome). How long have you been doing a CSA?
We started our CSA in Ohio in 2009 and moved to SW Indiana after the 2010 season. So this is our 4th year as a CSA, but only our second in the Tristate. Are there items in your box grown by other farms, and if so, which farms?
Only occasionally. We will sometimes include items from other farms we don’t grow (like apples), or when we’ve had a crop failure (last year and sweet corn). We will always tell you where other items came from and, as much as we know, what their farming practices are. How did last season go?
Surprisingly well considering it was our first season here, we were sustainably farming land that had been conventionally farmed for several decades, and the weather patterns weren’t ideal. We base our success rate partly on the fact that we retained all but one of our shareholders from last year and that one is doing their own garden this year, so we don’t really consider that a fail. I'd like to talk with a couple of your members before I commit. Could you give me contact info for a couple of "references"?
We do post testimonials on this website when we have them, but we’re also happy to refer you to someone else. We have also given sample shares from time to time (as produce allows).
If you haven’t found your CSA yet, these are a few great questions to ask. There are lots of others. Here are some other tips: http://www.localharvest.org/csa/tips.jsp
Check out our FAQ pages, too!
Drop me a line any time or give a call to share your stories, recipes, questions, concerns, or just chit chat! We really do want to focus on that “C” in CSA.
Thanks for eating locally!