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April 2011
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June 2011

This Week's Share: Introducing Chinese Cabbage

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(this photo via Krossbow on Flickr)

Here are the details on this week's share!

  • 1 pint strawberries
  • garlic scapes (number TBD)
  • 2 baby zucchini
  • 1 head chinese cabbage
  • 1/2 pound total chard + radishes
  • 1/4 pound total asparagus + basil + arugula + mustard greens + spicy mix

 

On U-Pick this week:

  • Herbs: There is a large variety, including mint, oregano, sorrel, lemon balm, thyme, lavender (it's flowering), sage and others!
  • Rhubarb. Word of warning, it's a hike to the field. Directions can be found at the wash station.
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Spicy MIx
  • Arugula
  • Swiss chard
  • Some wild mulberries are also growing all over the farm. They should be around for a few weeks.

A preview of next week.

  • Garlic bulbs are coming in two weeks
  • Sugar snap peas are coming in two weeks
  • The first cucumbers will likely be here in two weeks.

Questions or comments?  Let us know!

-- Clay


No u-pick strawberries, and other updates

This dry weather has definitely reduced the size of the berries this week, but it should also make them more flavorful, and they should keep a little longer in your kitchen without rotting. 

The E field has passed its climax of berries.  That field was also the first to begin ripening.  So we're taking all strawberries off the you-pick list until we've picked for Tuesday's shares.  If there's plenty left after we pick for shares, we'll open them up to you-pick again tomorrow afternoon. 

We would love to leave them all for you to pick, but it was clear from last week that half of you do not find picking your own strawberries convenient. 

We're definitely picking chinese cabbage for your shares tomorrow, and there should be a few zucchini for at least some of you.  Lettuce and spinach will be you-pick only, but we'll have some spicy mix, arugula, chard, kale and collards in your share.  I think this will be the last week of garlic scapesFresh garlic bulbs coming soon!  The peas are not flowering yet, but the plants are looking tall and healthy.  I'm guessing they are two weeks away.  We'll probably see our first cucumbers in about a week. 

I'm a little concerned that the carrots and kohlrabi are not sizing up yet.  They are later than normal.  I think it's because we were not able to till the field before planting (due to the month of near-constant rain). 

We'll be spending the week laying out irrigation on everything we can get to.  For reasons of convenience, we're starting with the eggplants, so if any of you remember the drought we had a few years ago, get out your eggplant recipes! 

Just planted:  watermelons, cantaloupes, cucumbers (2nd succession), summer squash (2nd succession), okra, pole beans for u-pick (this is new for us), sunflowers, lettuce (our last planting until fall), tomatillos.

The good news about tomatoes is that we got them mulched and staked sooner than ever before, and they look great.  The bad news about tomatoes is that we had some trouble in the greenhouse and we don't have nearly as many plants in the ground as we wanted.  So if you planted any in your garden, take good care of them.  We may not have as many this year. 

Finally, I'd like to shout out to the AmeriCorps team that helped us for a whole month.  You're incredible!  Thank you!  Our peas, strawberries and tomatoes especially thank you! 

-Carrie


This Week's Share: Strawberries, Garlic Scapes and Kale

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(this photo: TheBittenWord.com)

 

Here are the details on this week's share!

  • 1 pint strawberries at your pick-up location, OR 3 pints if you pick them yourself at the farm
  • 1/4 to 1/2 pound garlic scapes
  • 3/4 pound lettuce (see note below)
  • 1/2 pound combination kale, collards, radishes or bok choy

Plus a choice of one of the following:

  • 1/4 pound combination basil, arugula, spinach, spicy mix or popcorn
  • 1 bunch asparagus

A Note on Using This Week's Ingredients

  • The lettuce is beginning to turn a bit bitter, so you may want to consider a dressing that is either a bit thick or sweet.  Here are two that I've done on my other blog that may work well here: Creamy Feta Vinaigrette or a Honey-Lemon Dressing. Do you have a favorite dressing?  Please share it in the comments! 
  • Garlic Scapes are an interesting ingredient, and can be challenging if it's your first time using them. Pestos are one great use for them, and we've previously featured recipes that use almonds or walnuts in place of more expensive pine nuts (see: pesto ideas for garlic scapes). They can also be sauteed and then either added to salads or as an accompaniment for other dishes (see: Recipe for Sauteed Garlic Scapes).

If there are other ideas you're looking for, let me know. As we start to diversify ingredients and introduce new things into the share, we'll also be sharing many recipes for ways to use them.

On U-Pick this week:

  • Herbs: There is a large variety, including mint, oregano, sorrel, lemon balm, thyme, lavender (it's flowering), sage and others!
  • Strawberries, per our update earlier this week.
  • Rhubarb. Word of warning, it's a hike to the field. Directions can be found at the wash station.
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Spicy MIx
  • Arugula
  • Some wild mulberries are also growing all over the farm. They should be around for a few weeks.

A preview of next week.

  • Chinese cabbage is on its way, growing more by the week. We think it will be ready for next week's share.
  • The zucchini is flowering and we expect
  • Some turnips may also be available next week.

Questions or comments?  Let us know!

-- Clay

 


 


U-Pick Strawberry Update: MORE!

All that rain followed by sun has done a great job of ripening some really sweet berries.  For those of you who want to pick them for yourselves, we'll let you take more than if you make us pick them for you.   

For this week's CSA share, you may either:

A)  Take one pint of strawberries that we have picked for you OR

B)  Go to the field yourself, pick and eat your fill, and take up to 3 pints with you back home. 

You may pick the berries any day this week, beginning now, through the end of the day Saturday (5/28).  When you come to your pick-up to get the rest of your share, just refrain from taking the pints we picked for people who aren't u-picking this week. 

FIELDS:  We're opening all of both "D" and "E" fields this week.  Don't forget the 3 pint maximum (plus whatever you eat while picking).

WHO:  This is still limited to CSA members and worksharers who are taking a share this week (5/24-5/28).

Were you picking strawberries Saturday 5/21?  A few people did not know that there was a one quart strawberry limit this past week.  If you were one of the people who took extra, please do not pick strawberries this week, so that others can have a chance to pick some.

WHICH BERRIES:  Please pick only the dead ripe, ALL RED berries.

And please do us a quick favor, and uproot a few weeds while you're out there.  We can see you've made progress.  Thanks--it's a big help! 

SHARE PREVIEW:

The rest of your share this week will be very much like Week 2:

  • garlic scapes for everyone
  • greens for everyone (some combination of spicy mix, arugula, lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, kale, collards and basil)
  • asparagus for a few (hopefully you all have had a chance to get a bunch)

Coming soon:  chinese cabbage, zucchini, carrots, turnips

On the way out:  We're guessing this week or next will be our last for spinach--heat and long day length make it flower and stop growing leaves. 

 

 


U-Pick Strawberries: limited time, limited space, limited amount

We have an opportunity to put some of our strawberries on the you-pick list for a limited time.  We want to keep a handle on how much people take, to make sure there is enough to pick for Saturday's share.  Between Tuesday and Saturday of week one, and Tuesday of week two, I think most people have had an opportunity to get a pint of strawberries, and there are just a few Saturday members who haven't gotten one yet.

Here's the rules:

WHEN:  Now through the end of the day Saturday (5/21). 

WHICH FIELD:  The first 6 rows of the "E" field.  You will see signs when you come onto the farm.  There will be other rows in E that are NOT on the you-pick list, so please pay attention!  The berries in "D" field are NOT on the you-pick list, so don't pick those either. 

WHO:  CSA members and worksharers taking a share this week.   

WHICH BERRIES:  Strawberries that are ALL RED.  Do not pick under-ripe berries.  They don't taste as good, and you're robbing a future you-picker of the joy of a ripe berry. 

HOW MUCH:  Please limit yourselves to 1 quart or less.  One quart is equal to 2 pints.  We picked one pint for you in your share.  So bring that little basket with you, if you'd like, and don't fill it more than twice while you're picking.  If you're splitting your share with another household, you can each get one pint.  Strawberries with bug holes and bruises don't count.  You can eat all you want of those.   

OUR LAST REQUEST:  Please uproot at least 2 weeds.  There's a lot of weeds, and if everyone pulls out a couple, we can keep them from going to seed and making more and more...  We want to keep increasing our strawberry acreage each year, and right now our biggest obstacle is keeping up with the weeds.  If you pull more weeds, we'll plant more berries!  Besides, the soil is really wet right now, so it's pretty easy. 

Once you've picked your berries, you can leave a note in the comments on this blog or on the dry-erase board at the washing station.  Let us know what you found, so other members can hear if there's still berries out there to pick. 

We will probably be able to put strawberries back on the you-pick list again later, but we don't know when or for how long. 

 


This Week's Share: The First Radishes, Bok Choy and Rhubarb

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Here are the details on this week's share!

  • 3/4 pound garlic scallions
  • Choice of 1 pint strawberries or 1 bunch asparagus (you may be asked to take what you didn't take in week 1)
  • 3/4 pound total any combination of chard, kale, baby bok choy or rhubarb
  • 1/4 pound total any combination of spinach, arugula, spicy mix, radishes, or popcorn

On U-Pick this week:

  • Herbs: There is a large variety, including mint, oregano, sorrel, lemon balm, thyme, lavender (it's flowering), sage and others!

Several members have asked when we will be offering you-pick strawberries. It is likely that they'll be briefly on u-pick for a week, but we're not sure when. We don't think we'll have massive quantities of strawberries for u-pick, so if you're wanting to get large volumes in order to can, you may need to find another source.

A preview of next week. 

Next week, we expect to offer the following:

  • More of everything we're offering this week.
  • Garlic scallions will switch to garlic scapes.
  • Chinese cabbage is coming soon, maybe as early as next week.

Have questions? Looking for recipes to use certain ingredients? Let us know in the comments!


Share Preview: Week 2

Clagett_5_16_11
(This photo: TheBittenWord.com

Happy Monday!

As we did last week, we're experimenting with offeirng a preview of each week's share on Mondays. By doing this, we hope to give you a sense of what will be included in the share so that you can plan ahead.

We'd love to know if this preview is useful to you. If you find it useful, please leave a comment here on the blog. We'll continue with the preview updates as long as our members are finding them of value.

As a reminder, we publish the details of what will be in each share after the first harvest of the week is complete on Tuesday afternoons. We aim to have that live by 3 PM on Tuesdays, depending on how long the harvest takes.

As we shared last week, we're working out the kinks for those of you who have subscribed to get these updates by email.

And now, here's a look at this week's share.  All amounts/weights are estimated and will be finalized as the harvest is completed:

Everyone Will Receive:

  • Kale and Swiss chard (about 1/2 pound total)
  • Lettuce and spinach (about 1/2 pound total)
  • Garlic scallions (1 bunch)
  • 1 bunch of herbs for the Dupont pick-up (farm pick-up will have herbs on u-pick)
  • Seedlings (a similar variety to last week will be offered)

We’ll also be offering the following in some form/combo:

  • Strawberries. At minimum, we’ll have strawberries for those who didn’t receive them last week. Our hope is that we’ll have enough strawberries this week for everyone.
  • Asparagus. We’re hoping that everyone who didn’t get asparagus last week will get it this week.
  • Arugula and Spicy mix. Much more Arugula and Spicy Mix is coming, but it’s just behind the lettuce and spinach in terms of growth.
  • Radishes. We’ll only have a few radishes this week but more next week.
  • Baby Bok Choy. This is coming along and we hope to offer a bit this week.
  • Rhubarb. We’re not yet sure how we’re going to offer this but we expect to have some this week.

We'll have more details and exact amounts/combinations tomorrow afternoon.

Have questions? Want to share your thoughts on these previews? Let us know in the comments!


This Week's Share: Garlic Scallions, Herbs, Greens and More

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(This photo: TheBittenWord.com)

Happy Tuesday!

Before we share the details of this week's pick-up, here's a little bit of housekeeping. Some of you are subscribed to get the blog via email. We're experimenting with the times that these emails deploy. At the moment, they're scheduled to go out between 1 and 3 PM (our aim each Tuesday is to publish prior to 3 PM). However, this may take us a few postings to get it working properly. Our other option is for the emails to deploy between 3 and 5 PM, but we found last year that some individuals did not receive the email prior to leaving work for the day. All that is to say that if you're waiting for the email on a Tuesday afternoon and it has not come, you may want to check here on the blog for an update. 

UPDATE: It seems this experiment didn't work in our favor. The preview post from Monday was delivered on Tuesday afternoon, and the Tuesday afternoon post with the specifics won't be deliverd until Wednesday. We'll adjust and see how the delivery works out. 

Here's what you'll find in this week's share: 

  • 1/2 pound spinach or lettuce
  • 1 bunch asparagus (the strawberry harvest only brought in 30 pints but there will be more in coming weeks)
  • 1/4 lb popcorn
  • 1 bunch garlic scallions
  • 1 bunch herbs
  • 3 seedlings

 

On U-Pick this week:

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Herbs

 

A preview of next week. 

Next week,we expect to offer the following:

  • Kale
  • Swiss chard
  • Garlic scallions
  • Lettuce
  • Strawberries
  • Seedlings
  • Asparagus
  • Radishes (or maybe in 2 weeks)

Enjoy the first share!

 

 


Share Preview: Week 1

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The first share of the season kicks off tomorrow!

One thing we're going to do a little bit differently this year: We're going to provide an early preview of what you can can expect in each share. This was something several of you asked for in last year's member survey.

Don't worry -- you'll still get the usual Tuesday afternoon update telling you exactly what's in your share based on the harvest that day. (Those who pick up on Saturdays will receive the same as the Tuesday share unless otherwise noted.)

Before we get to the share details, though, Carrie has some updates from the farm and the crops:

The rain set back some of the crops we expected to seed in the ground in mid-March, such as turnips and spicy mix.  But the ones we started in the greenhouse, such as the lettuce, are doing well. 

The garlic looks fantastic.  We’ll get garlic scallions for two weeks, then garlic scapes for two more.  We planted some very early basil, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed, hoping to give it out with the scapes so everyone can make some spring pesto. 

It took over a month to get all the potatoes planted, because of the rain, and none of them have sprouted yet, so we’re a little nervous.  

We haven’t got any idea what excitement stink bugs will bring this year.  So far, they’re just a nuisance in the house.  There seems to be no good organic remedy for stink bugs if they do become a problem for our crops, although a co-worker at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation plans to buy some guinea hens to see if they’ll eat the stink bugs off his farm.  Not a bad idea! 

The peanut-butter-baited electric fence kept the deer off the strawberries this winter, so those two fields are looking great.  There are lots of flowers right now, so we should have berries for about a month, which is terrific.

The rain kept the tractor out of our cabbage/kale/kohlrabi field, so out of desperation we planted them without tilling and then covered them with floating row cover to warm up the soil and keep off the bugs, deer and groundhogs.  They look great but weedy.  I’m not sure if I’m a fan of no-till spring cabbage, but sometimes we just have to roll with the punches.  You’ll get Chinese cabbage soon.

The asparagus is growing like gangbusters!  We’ll harvest until mid-June, and then throw in the chickens and ignore the plants until next spring.  

Thanks, Carrie!

Now on to a preview of what you can expect in this week's share!

Continue reading "Share Preview: Week 1" »


Worksharer wanted for some Saturday pick-ups

We have a team of worksharers who help us with our CSA pick-ups.  Our Saturday team needs another member. 

We need someone who can work from noon to 4:30pm.  This person will be in a team of three people, so they only need to come one Saturday out of three from May through November, including Saturday September 3rd (Labor Day weekend). 

This person should be able to lift a bin of produce that's up to 40 pounds (most bins are 5-20 pounds).  They should be polite, reliable, neat, and enjoy meeting people. 

The people who work during pick-ups help us set out and label the produce from noon to 1:00pm.  Then they help sign in customers, re-fill bins and answer questions until 4:00pm.  From 4:00-4:30pm they collect their share, put away the produce and supplies, sweep up, and take the compost to the pile.  It's all outside but in the shade, and busy but pleasant. 

We'll exchange one week's CSA share for each Saturday worked. 

Send us an e-mail (clagettfarm@cbf.org) if you're interested. 

Washing 60lbs of chard 
Above: Roshani Kothari and Nora Sullivan; photo by Sumana Chatergee