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Cruising

It always seems like we really hit our stride right around this time of year.  We’ve settled into the routine of weeding, harvesting, and caring for animals.  Maybe a few too many weeds here or there, but you wouldn’t know it to look at the quality and quantity of produce coming out of the garden.  And so we settle in and keep cruising, and let the upcoming big tasks (onion harvest, winter squash harvest, corn picking, cover crop planting, etc, etc…) linger on the horizon just a little longer.

In the fresh onion department, we’ve moved from bunches of Rossa Lunga to loose Ailsa Craigs.  Many of you will remember the Ailsa Craigs, if not by name.  These are the big mild oh so sweet onions that are similar to (and better than) Vidalias.  Fresh sweet onions are a real treat.

Moving on to mustards and foreshadowing the coming autumn.  Our first round of mustard greens are ready to go, and we’re making bunches of young tender greens with the roots attached.  Great for braising or a stir-fry.  We also have nice young tatsoi, a favorite from last year.  Very mild, tatsoi is good raw in a salad or sauteed.  If you plan to cook it, order a couple of bunches (they’re salad sized).

Hot radishes might be an acquired taste, so get to work and start acquiring.  We’ve got three varieties of hot storage radishes, and I’ve only scratched the surface of what you can do with these bad Larrys. (Aside:  Bad Larrys is a pretty funny phrase – I wonder who was the original bad Larry, and what did he do that was so bad?)  Slice them thin, salt liberally, splash with vinegar.  This cuts the heat and makes for a nice snack with a cold beer.  In fact we grow one called Munchener Bier, a large white radish traditionally served in a similar fashion in Munich’s beer halls.  We’re also going to try pickling them, a common practice in different Asian cuisines.

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes.  So. Many. Tomatoes.  This is the best kind of problem.  We’re lowering the regular price to $4.00 / lb.  Furthermore, 10 lbs or more are $3.25 / lb.  Can or freeze some sauce and stock up for winter.  Get them while they’re good – organic tomatoes can go from great to gone all too quickly.

Speaking of gone – cucumbers.  Gone.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you!  There might be a handful here and there, but not enough to take orders.  If we find any stragglers, we’ll offer them for sale during pickup.

Beets, finally!  After a rough start, we have beets on the list at last.  This is the last planting of summer beets, and the first that produced more than a handful of harvestable roots.  I blame wild swings in moisture and temperature, but honestly it’s a bit of a mystery, and one that begs solving.  The upcoming fall beets look great, as usual.

And don’t forget add sausages, ground beef, and steaks to your veggie order!  Burgers with sweet onions. Grilled sausage and peppers.  Steak and fingerling potatoes.  We’ve got all that good stuff.

Finally, it’s time to get your deposits in if you want to stock your freezer with the best grass-fed beef and pastured pork.  Beef and pork shares are available through Short Creek Farm in Northwood, NH.  Our animals are still inhabiting Potter Hill’s pastures this year, so if you’re a MA local, let me know if you want to meet your meat.

Finally, it’s been a while, so here’s a gratuitous pastured pig video.  Enjoy!

 

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It’s sure yoomid around here

Wicked yoomid. The kind of weather where you if you do any sort of work at all, and the sun happens to be shining like it was yesterday, it’s an immediately sweaty situation. Yesterday was a two-shirt day, and I could have easily gone for three. But, what do you think, these fancy black T-shirts grow on trees???

As much as farmers (or farmers’ significant others) might not like this weather, the plants love it. The summer crops are still pumping out fruit, and the fall crops are growing great – I’ve never seen kale, broccoli, and cabbages look so good. Rutabagas look great, and the first crop of spicy radishes are just about ready to pull. Tomatoes had a great first flush of early ripening fruit, so let’s hope it keeps up for a while.

The Jimmy Nardello’s sweet peppers are coming on in full force now, starting to ripen and turn red on the plants. Sausage and peppers on the grill, anyone?

Celery!  If you’ve had our celery in the past, you know that it’s loaded with flavor.  If you’ve read my newsletter in the past, you know Potter Hill is a wet farm.  These things are connected.  Celery likes to grow in a rich organic muck.  We’ve got muck, and plenty of it.

Rosa Bianca Italian eggplants are starting to come in – these are the larger round, light purple beauties.  I’m just leaving the more-productive (and also delicious) dark purple Diamond variety on the list for now, but if you really want a Rosa, make a note with your order.

One thing not doing fantastically well – cucumbers.  I don’t blame them, that’s just their way.  They give and they give, and then they just quit.  We still have some good ones, but it seems to be the beginning of the end.  Get them while you can!

Note that I changed the unit on some of the items, e.g. beans. Now each item you add to your cart is a half pound. So add two if you want a whole pound. Sorry to make you do math. Or “maths” (Hi Fiona!!).

Don’t forget – we have ground beef and a few steaks for sale.  More steaks coming soon.

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A bountiful harvest

For us, the planting season is just about over – just a few more late lettuce plantings to get in the ground, and maybe a couple of rows of radishes and mustard greens. Now, it’s all about the harvest.  A bunch of new items on the list today, notably tomatoes, peppers, beans, eggplants, and leeks.  This brings the total number of different vegetables available to….. drum-roll please….. 27!  That’s 27 distinct items available to order, all heirlooms, and not even counting different individual varieties.

We’re into the second planting of chard and kale, and bunches are big and beautiful.

We’re taking a break from orange carrots to give them a chance to size up a bit.  Early plantings were a bit small due to all the wet weather (even the wedge-shaped, heavy-soil-loving Chantenays won’t grow into saturated soil), but upcoming plantings look great.

It’s tomato season! We made it through the wet weather relatively unscathed, with just a little bit of leaf mold in the wettest sections (not to be confused with the dreaded late blight).  Good fruit set all around, and the recent heat is forcing ripening across all varieties.  Let’s hope for a long tomato harvest this year,

And don’t forget to check the beef and pork sections on the website.  We have plenty of ground beef, and a fresh batch of our own handmade sausages.

Finally, check out our new farm in NH, Short Creek Farm.  We’re on Facebook!  Yeah, I know, crazy.  Check it out and like us, or follow us, or whatever it is the kids are doing these days.

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Good grazing

There’s always a time of year when I look around and think to myself, “Man, things look pretty darn good out here!”. That just happened the other day as I noticed the first tomatoes coming in, other summer crops fruiting, fall roots and brassicas growing well, and the weeds basically under control (at least as much as weeds will be controlled this year).

And as good as the garden looks, the pastures look even better.  The beef cows have consistently been grazing perfect pasture – not too short, not too tall – full of grass and clover.  And the pig pasture is growing back well, with oats, peas and buckwheat interseeded with the native sod.

I mentioned the first tomatoes are coming in, but there’s not enough to take orders yet.  You may be pleasantly surprised, however, to find some of these early heirloom beauties for sale when you come on Monday.

Also, we have ground beef (and a handful of steaks) for the grill.  Plus, more sausages coming in two weeks!

If you like our beef and sausages, please consider signing up for a CSA share of one or both.  We only sell a limited amount of retail pork and beef, so buying a share is the best way to get a variety of cuts in your freezer. 

Beef shares are very limited this year, so reserve yours earlier rather than later.  Plenty of pork shares still for sale (too many, honestly), so if you intend to sign up for the Pork CSA, please get your deposit in soon to help us pay the feed bill.

If you have any questions about the CSA programs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Thanks!