Bite size news from the farm…
October 17, 2017
A groundhog saw its belly today and declared 6 more weeks of veggies. As a heavy frost came in last night, we’re eyeing the end of the summer treats and moving into a new time. Flavors are changing, tastes are changing. Kale gets to sit with the cool kids again. Seems like folks are ready for warm, sweet squash roasted in the oven and filled with melty butter. Or maybe a curry squash soup for some comfort food! Pie pumpkins are in the house, too! Fall Shares start this week and run right on up to Thanksgiving.
September 20, 2017
Second summer appears to be here as official summer comes to a close. The warmth is pushing some growth along in the fall greens and keeping the summer fruits ripe and sweet for now!
There are 3-4 signs to determine if a watermelon is ready. The tendril on the vine closest to the stem has turned from green to brown, a colorful spot has appeared on the underside of the fruit, and when you plunk plunk plunk on the base of the fruit it sounds hollow. The fourth sign is not encouraged in market farming but is that you take a slice out of each melon to see if the inside looks, smells, and tastes like a watermelon. Oh, how we wish we could. It seems that something odd is happening to the melons this year, on our farm and among our farmer friends as well. The signs of ripeness are all present but when we slice in, some are ripe, some are not. Some are overripe. One local farmer is using an app on his phone to tell him if the plunking has the right pitch. It’s a rough year to be a melon, good year to be a slug. SO, there will be Melon Roulette available at CSA pick-up today, place your bets, take your melon. No promises. If it’s not ripe, try pickling the rind, or smashing it on a stage like that crazy guy Gallagher did back in the 90s. Don’t worry, there’s apples and peaches available in the share this week, too!
South of the Border
September 11, 2017
Although I resisted my annual temptation to grow okra this year, saving myself hours of marketing efforts such as pamphlets, recipe cards, and door to door rejections (you really don’t know what you’re missing, it’s delicious!), I DID go ahead and plant another southern treat that I am going to take this moment to proselytize about: collard greens! Kale’s cooler, sweeter cousin with an endearing southern accent has a much more appealing taste in the cooler days of what’s usually fall but is this year summer. Easy to prepare – saute with eggs, toss in a soup, boil for greens and beans, or if you’re feeling more hands-on, they make a great ‘dolma’ type wrap:
Are you freezing? I don’t mean your toes when you step outside for the morning paper. Are you freezing veggies, planning ahead for cold dormant months that are still so very far away? My favorite online resource for canning and freezing instructions is here: http://pickyourown.org/allaboutcanning.htm
, their language and instructions always make it seem much less daunting than other guides. We have a lot of peppers, finally!! If you would like extra peppers for freezing, they will be available this week for a bulk discount for members!
August 22, 2017
Well we’re a little short of pumpkin pie yet, but we’ve got the apples and peaches in the barn, as well as blueberries and nectarines! All courtesy of our friends at Lagoner Farms. We do have delicata squash in the share this week. Delicata, think ‘delicate’. The skin is tender, so you don’t have to peel these guys. They’re so sweet and delicious: cut lenghtwise, scoop out the seeds, slice into half moons and my preference in the summer is to bake in the toaster oven instead of heating up the whole kitchen with the big oven. Little oil, little salt, good to go!
Speaking of moons, if you’ve read this far, I take it that you did not look directly at the sun without your special space glasses during yesterday’s eclipse. What a wondrous world!
It’s hard to believe that Labor Day is just around the corner and I haven’t even invited myself over to jump in your pool yet. There’s still time. We hope you’re all enjoying your summer and eating well!
I like to eat, eat, eat
August 7, 2017
Apples are in! Crispy crunchy apples from Lagoner Farms (or more blueberries) will be available in your shares this week. One of the bittersweet reminders of the coming of fall in these parts. I went out and got a big new jar of peanut butter just for this. Looking forward to snack time between the bustle of harvesting from all the early plantings and prepping the fields for planting up the fall now, too. As the days get shorter, we have to do weird farm-math to calculate the supposed ‘days to maturity’ of each veggie in accordance with decreasing daylight hours in order for crops to mature before the cool commences and the growing ceases. And then we just have to hope in one hand that the fall will be what fall is supposed to be, weather-wise.
Speaking of fall…. If you’re enjoying the summer share, it’s time to check out the Abundant Fall Share: 6 weeks of veggies all the way up to Thanksgiving, loaded with the continued bounty of summer and cool greens like spinach, kale, arugula, lettuce, plus winter squash, potatoes, onions, ginger, turmeric, and more!
Grow your own! May may be the hippest time to plant, but August ain’t too late! Ginger and Turmeric plants are available at the farm. Try growing a tropical treat, in a pot or in your garden. Use the root and the leaves of both plants for flavoring your favorite dishes.
July 30, 2017
Here’s some Monday Myth-busting News from the Eggplant Underground:
“There is long-standing controversy about male and female eggplants, which is an inaccurate approach considering the fact that fruits are the product of sex and do not have it. However, it is folk wisdom worth some attention Eggplants have a dimple at the blossom end. The dimple can be very round or oval in shape. The round ones seem to have more seeds and tend to be less meaty, so select the oval dimpled eggplant.” Sourced From the University of Illinois Extension.
We grow several types of eggplant including some Asian and some Italian varieties. They’re all my favorite. The Asian varieties supposedly have thinner skin and a more mild flavor. Really though, isn’t eggplant just an amazing sponge to soak up all the flavor with which you cook it? In conclusion, I really struggle to describe the nuances in taste between crop varieties, and there will probably be eggplant in the share this week.
Now here’s my top secret way to not cook an eggplant: Dice eggplant (peeled, unpeeled, you do you) and marinade in balsamic vinegar for 2 hours, put it on your salad or in your wrap. Enjoy.
Reci-peace on Earth
July 23, 2017
A friend shared this gem on social media this week and I can’t wait to try it: Blueberry Basil Balsamic Grilled Cheese ( I think you’ll figure out the steps)
- 2 tsp. Coconut Oil
- 6 oz. Fresh Blueberries
- ¼ cup Fresh Basil Leaves
- 1 tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
- 4 slices Sourdough Bread
- 6 oz. Brie
It’s time to pickle!
We are abundant with cucumbers, and will have bulk quantity available with discounted Member pricing on Wed/Thurs at pick-up. Interested? Ask!
Do you have a favorite recipe to share? Send it our way!
July 18, 2017
Murphy’s Law of Farming states that the more a farmer invests in irrigation, the more consistently it will rain. And it’s worth every cent to not be running around trying to keep crops alive, though rain does bring it’s own slough of issues to our plans and production. The field irrigation has been off for the majority of the season as the rain and the cool continues to be the norm here. The greenhouses are keeping their resident fruiting plants in a nice state of ripening while outdoor fruits are tortoise-ing along more slowly than hotter years. Alas, what’s bad for one crop is good for another, and we continue to have head lettuce heading up consistently through a normally embittering time of year. Long remain Romaine!
Paul and Chris made the rounds among our farmer friends this week, and we’re bringing you a smorgasbord of delectables in the shares! This is a Full & Half Share week for Wednesday Pick-up, and there will be some options for box shares and debit accounts. See you at the farm!
July 10, 2017
Defying all odds, your farmers took itty bitty getaways last week!! And the sky did not come crumbling down. We love our work, sometimes too much, and it’s important to 1. occasionally clock out and 2. spend time with the #1 reason we do all this anyways. So we each took some much needed QT with our nearest and dearest and much refreshed are we.
And while we weren’t looking, blueberry season started. Blueberries from Lagoner Farms are in the Full Share this week, and a limited quantity are available by pre-order for debit members. And what you don’t eat, I gladly will. My old Googler was prancing around the internet finding recipes for blueberry thyme cocktails and scones. Yes, we have thyme, too.
Go Forth, Squarsh
July 4, 2017
Is that an adorable squashling? So much involved getting this little punkin to market. Beds tilled and prepped with compost from Smugtown’s mushrooms, the town’s leaves and wood chips, and local chicken manure, then mulched with hay from the neighbor’s farm. A reminder that it takes a lot of farms to make this farm farm.
The squash will sit out in the fields now for the next 3 months soaking up every bit of sunshine and then essentially self-canning their sweet golden center, so we can crack open their cured peel in the dreary January days when we need some Vitamin C. Good idea, Nature.
On a Roll…
June 24, 2017
We hope you all are enjoying the veggies and flavors this week as you munch on chard and crunch on cukes.
I planted some scallions in one of our fields over a year ago, but they didn’t size up very well for harvesting. I have since gone over that entire field with a mower and a tractor with heavy discs to chop up everything, I have let weeds grow back up, and very recently rototilled it to plant celery this spring. Between each of these steps, those scallions have come back, looking better every time. You may have had some of them early this spring! I’m endlessly awed and usually humored by plants’ resilience (weeds and crops alike) but these scallions take the the savory cake with their undead-ness, for which they’ve earned the title of “Zombie Scallions”. As farmers we’re often just facilitators and the best thing we can do is get out of the way, and cheer crops on into favorable conditions. All this to say: I’ll be bringing in the zombies to add some flav to your shares this week.
It was a pleasure meeting our novice CSA members this week and wonderful to reconnect with the varsity team of folks who’ve been supporting this farm for years now.
June 16, 2017
So good to be Friday! Our annual Organic Certification Inspection came on Wednesday and although we await official stamped signed sealed delivered notification, all proverbial ducks appear to have been in their figurative rows. The literal ducks quacked and waddled away, as usual. A 3 hour tour and interview about our practices and plans and documentation gave us cause for pizza on Wednesday night, to say the least. There are many aspects to USDA certification that go far beyond the commonly known, like pesticide use restrictions; hens, for example, must be granted daily access to outdoors, and granted a specific square footage per bird. We, your farmers have always farmed with a commitment to the health of our soil, our bodies, and our community, and it’s nice to have that familiar national label as affirmation.
June 8, 2017
I hope you’ve found some time to get out and enjoy the sunshine and warm weather. Crops grow at amazing rates with so many daylight hours right now. The fields are filling up quickly with a diverse array of crops for the remainder of the season. A splash of this, a dash of that, no big deal. Cottonwood fluff is flying around at will, decking out the fields with delicate white farmfetti.
BBQ Spinach, perhaps
May 24, 2017
Save the date! Wednesday, June 21 from 4-7pm will be not ONLY the first pick-up for box share CSA members, but also an Open House for the farm, complete with walking field tour at 6pm guided by your friendly and knowledgeable farmers. Engage your senses including that of wonder as we wander the fields and bump into bees, crops, flowers, and weeds. Find out what all that mess is about behind the barn! Yes, please do invite friends! Bring boots or other close-toed shoes, for sure.
In spite of trials and tribulations and inches upon inches of rain…. there are cucumbers to celebrate. These are very limited in quantity for the time being. They are Manny and Tasty Jade, which are referred to technically as parthenocarpic, or more amusingly as ‘burpless’ varieties due to their lack of seeds. –First come first serve.
Things are moving along nicely on the farm although nobody can believe it’s Memorial Day Weekend already! It’s time for planting and plenty of edible favorites for you garden are available at the Farm store, 602 Peck Rd.
The Farm Store is now open Wed 4-7, Thurs 4-7, and Sat 11 – 3. Stop by!!
This Memorial Day, be the friend that brings the one healthy dish to the BBQ.
May 18, 2017
Yes, we’re drying out best we can. Doing a little bit here and there to get into the fields, till up a little dirt, and get to planting. So much food to grow! For awhile there things were just sprouting and sitting around with their little cotyledons popped out of the ground with no apparent intentions of going any further- no goals, no drive. But then the sun came back! Stems are moving upward, roots downward, weeds and crops alike and we’ll do our best to keep our team in the lead. Soon enough the fruits of summer will soon bring an end to the greens greens greens.
Plants plants plants. Our plant sale continues. Many of you have stopped in and stopped in again to pick up plants for gifts and home gardens. Several interesting varieties of tomatoes are available including one of my favorites: Sungold Cherry tomatoes. The bite size fruits are so bright and beautiful and the taste is fantastic. Prudens Purple makes a large gorgeous sweet brandywine tomato that would be perfect with basil, mozz, and a little balsamic drizzle. We have 3 types of basil, including the standard genovese, red basil, and a petite patio basil that forms a beautiful round bush, perfect for growing in a small pot.
Tis the Season
May 12, 2017
It feels like Farmers’ Christmas. The first Outdoor Brighton Market of the year is on Sunday, We reach the “End” of frosty nights. Flowers blooming, plants ready for showtime. We’ve been getting ready for months; I feel like Santa, the elves, and the little kid who can’t sleep. Here’s the news:
The farm store will be open on Saturday, 5/13 from 10 – 5. We have mega-huge big-time plant sales including beautiful hanging flower baskets, just in time for Mother’s Day, how ’bout that? Veg will also be harvested and available by noon. Hope you stop by!
Brighton Market time and location changes this week! We move outside to the High School parking lot, it’s very easy to find on Winton Road. The time will now be from 9a-1p, which is a great time to eat at Le Petite Poutine Food truck, yum! Order by Saturday 10pm for Sunday pick-up.
May 5, 2017
Should we talk about the rain? Should we talk about the forecast? It’s a little bit wet out there. We’re hiding in the greenhouses plant plant planting.
Sunday Market moves outdoors on Mother’s Day. Speaking of Mother’s Day…
Plant sales are available at both locations. There are 6 packs of marigolds, nasturtiums, and herbs. Lots of basil, cilantro, and parsley. Many many tomato and pepper varieties are available as well!
New this week:
Green garlic, french breakfast radishes, and honey is back!
Oh My Chard
April 27, 2017
Sunshine! Springtime! The smell of mud the sound of lawnmowers revving up again. We’ve been planting like crazy around the farm, our dormant season has definitely ended and we are back in full swing, growing for you.
Pick up is available Sunday at Brighton Market from 1-4pm and on Farm (602 Peck Road) Wednesday 4-7pm. Please order for Sunday by Saturday 6pm, order for Wednesday by Monday 6pm.
Grow your own! We do an OK job growing you stuff if we do say so, but you can watch every miraculous moment of nature’s wonder if you plant your own garden. We’ve got lots upon lots of herb and veggie plants available for you. Parsley, dill, basil, cilantro, thyme, tomatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers, eggplant, strawberries…. just to name a few… Flowers, too! All available in the coming weeks at either pick-up location.
Something Different for a Change
April 19, 2017
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
I was reminded of Rachel Carson’s words on Monday when I peeked into the nest I’ve been watching a robin build by the barn over the past weeks right at tippy-toe level to see. The little blue orbs are such a treat to find, and a reminder that spring is here and four seasons are great!
Some new things to be harvested this week! Some very aromatic and flavorful scallions have survived the winter in the field. We also have whole hearty parsley plants, big things that over-wintered in the greenhouse and now need to make room for summer treats. They’ll be great quantity for dehydrating, or making pesto and massive amounts of tabbouli.
Arugula is here! Herb and flower plants are here! Even tomato plants if you’re ready!
And more is on the way… Coming Soon: Green Garlic, Pea Shoots, and Ramps (foraged wild leeks)
April 14, 2017
Good Friday with great weather and our low-lying sandy fields are draining out, which means it’s bigtime planting time! Moving organic matter around with the tractor and tilling up fields to get ready to plant the earliest crops. The chickens and ducks are out on new fields getting at the weeds and seeds and bugs they find.
Farm by the beach
April 6, 2017
It’s puddle splashing weather! Make like a duck, jump in, sing about it. Get yourself a stew hen to make chicken soup and slurp about it.
March 15, 2017
Our new batch of hens have started laying eggs, which means that the hens have plenty of space to roam, access to sunlight and outdoors, and they are eating Lakeview Organic Grain from Penn Yan, NY. And their eggs are delicious! As you may know, when hens start laying at around 6 months old, their earliest eggs are small and they eventually size up to a standard egg size over a couple weeks. We have dozens available of mixed size eggs available at Brighton Market and our Farm Store.
The Farm Store at 602 Peck Road in Parma is now open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4-7pm and on Saturdays starting at noon (through September).
Bringing in the harvest
July 14, 2016
Paul’s raising up the hardneck garlic to Chris in the barn. The garlic will cure there and be ready for sale soon!