Week #12 Tuesday, August 28 – Saturday, September 1, 2018

Farm News

We’ve gone from working in extremely dry soils to working in mud.  Friday brought us 2.7 inches of rain.  Sunday morning gave us an additional couple of tenths and then a storm on Sunday night/Monday morning dumped another ¾” of rain on the fields.  There was a little bit of hail with that one and we can see the result of that in the Rainbow Chard we were hoping to send this week.  We’ll now have to wait and see how much recovery time the chard needs.  We’re pushing four inches of rain in the last three days and it looks like there’s more coming tonight and tomorrow.  All this rain has made harvesting a challenge as we attempt to dodge thunderstorms and avoid being in the gardens when it’s extremely wet and muddy.  It’s just not that great for the soil, the plants or the humans.  We have now determined that the irrigation pipes and pump can officially be tucked away for the season.  Once it dries out, we’d like to get one more planting of greens in but otherwise just about everything has well established root systems and will do just fine with the soil moisture that’s there. 

We received some exciting news this past week that Spring Hill Community Farm has been approved to be part of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Monarch Butterfly Habitat Development Program.  The program is about ensuring that monarchs (and other pollinators) have the habitat they need as they migrate from Mexico to Canada and back again.  Ten states have been targeted from Texas to Minnesota and Wisconsin.  Next spring we’ll be planting a little over an acre with milkweed and other nectar rich plants.  The USDA will provide us with financial and technical assistance.  Several of our neighbors are also participating in the program which means we can all learn from each other.  I know many of you are monarch experts and enthusiasts.  We’d love to hear from you.  We’ll keep you posted on the progress of this project!

In Your Bag

Satina Yellow Potatoes
Sugar cube melons – petite and flavorful
Red Tropea onions  & Yellow onions
Beets
Garlic
Wax beans
Cucumbers OR Eggplant
Peppers  Sweet Yellow & Sweet Red – both long & tapered
Shishito Peppers – green & red & wrinkly
Arugula OR Rainbow Chard
Tomatoes
Roma Tomatoes

Coming Soon

A cabbage and carrots will be coming your way next week.  We’ll have salsa fixins again – tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers,  and cilantro (I’m hoping).
We’ve got another batch of broccoli that will be ready fairly soon and some cauliflower too.  We’re keeping an eye on the Romano beans, they won’t be long!

Next Week’s Harvesters

Tuesday,September 4  Leilani Hotaling, Stacie Warejoncas, Randi Roth & Mike Bander   NEED TWO!!

Saturday, September 8  Peg LaBore & Myrna Tautant/Rosemarie Merrigan, Christi & Tim Anderson, Sara & Blake Christianson, Courtney & Andrew Billing, Michelle Grabowski/Jose & Mateo Hernandez 

Week #11 Tuesday, August 21 – Saturday, August 25, 2018

Farm News

Golden rod in full bloom, sweet red and yellow peppers ready to pick, onions curing in the greenhouse, a touch of red in the sumac, cool nights, talk of the state fair and students returning to school; it would be hard to deny that fall is creeping its way down the road.  I have no idea where summer went.  It’s a blur that began with a late April snowstorm, a frantic game of garden catch-up, long days of hard work and good eating and now, all of a sudden it seems, summer is coming to an end.  There’s still plenty of work to do and good eating to be had, but there’s definitely a shift happening. 

We did get some rain last Thursday, a very localized storm that brought us ½ inch or so of rain and with it the buckwheat cover crop has jumped, the newly planted fall greens and turnips germinated and the carrots swelled.  We needed that one!  And now, some dry air would be appreciated.  The high humidity of the last week has plant disease written all over it.  We just lost a planting of basil to basil downy mildew which UW-Madison tells us, “thrives in humid, warm environments and can spread rapidly, decimating an entire basil crop.”  Yes indeedy it does.   UW Madison also tells us there’s no known cure and, in response to the question, how to avoid it, they suggest avoiding planting sweet basil.  Not an option!  We’ve got another planting just about ready for harvest which we hope will avoid the yucky stuff.   

This week, with the help of farm members and Erin and Micah, we began “boxing up” the garlic in the greenhouse to make room for the onions.  On Saturday and again on Monday we gathered up the yellow and red onions from the field and brought them into our shade covered greenhouse.  It feels good to have them safely tucked away and ready to be sorted and cleaned up each Tuesday and Saturday.   Love that!

In Your Bag

Purple Majesty Potatoesmaybe a few yellows too. Check these purple potatoes out – gorgeous!
Sugar cube melons – petite and flavorful
Fresh onions
Carrots
Garlic
Eggplant
Wax beans
Peppersthe dark green ones are poblanos and we’ve got a sweet yellow and red pepper for you too!
Collard greens (a few appearance issues, but very tasty!)
Tomatoes
Roma Tomatoes
Parsley

Coming Soon

Shishito peppers next week we think and likely beets as well.  We’ll have more roma tomatoes, and either arugula or rainbow chard.  A cabbage may make an appearance and we’ll see what else is ready!

Next Week’s Harvesters

Tuesday, August 28  Shelley Thron/Karen Melander, Anne Holzinger & Caron Moore, Harley Gee, Sara Nagler, NEED TWO MORE!!
Saturday, September 1  Koehler family, Carrie Pomeroy, Kate Kysar, DeGeorgeo family, Forrest family

Week #10 Tuesday, August 14 – Saturday, August 18, 2018

Farm News

So those onions all got pulled up on Saturday! They’re field curing at the moment, soon to make their way up to the greenhouse. But first we have to make room! That will be this week’s project. We plan to get set-up up for clipping and sorting and boxing up garlic on Tuesday and on Saturday working our way slowly but surely through the garlic. Once the benches are cleared of garlic, the onions can take over! 

It’s still dry out there so we’re continuing to irrigate the young stuff. We did get a bit of rain which was lovely for everything but particularly nice for the cover crop which had been waiting for just such an event. The birds were enjoying the seed, but we’re happy to see it now not only having germinated but growing nicely. 

We snuck away for day at the big lake –Superior that is – last week. What a treat to be on the lake. We have a few regular stops when we head north, the beach being the primary one but also Halvorson’s Fish Shop in Cornucopia for smoked white fish and often Ehler’s General Store for a treat of some kind. This trip it was ice cream. As we meandered our way north, we noticed a sign for the Spooner Agricultural Research Station and decided to drive by to take a peek. That led to getting out of the car and wandering around which led to chatting with the people that worked there which led to an informal tour. The station is run by the UW-Madison system and, along with other agricultural research, is currently part of trialing vegetable crops for the Seed to Kitchen Collaborative. This project is bringing together seed breeders, growers and chefs to “bring flavor back into fresh market vegetables,” a worthy goal, we think! They’re trialing some winter squash, melon, cucumber and tomato varieties at the Spooner Station. There’s also a research plot dedicated to organic potato production and some very lovely display gardens, a cooperative project between the station and the master gardener volunteers featuring flowers and vegetables that grow in zone 3. It was an unplanned, delightful stop!

 In Your Bag 

Potatoes
Melon
Fresh onions
Carrots
Garlic
Zucchini/Summer squash
Cucumbers
Peppers
White Russian Kale
Tomatoes – lots of them!
Herbs – Pesto size bunch!

Coming Soon

I think the wax beans will be ready next week. You’ll also see some carrots in your bag too, I bet. Shishito peppers will arrive soon. Collards too. We’ll give you a break on cucumbers beginning next week. We’ve got one final planting which should be ready in a couple of weeks. Zucchini and summer squash are slowing down. We may get another week out of them, but that may be it for the year. Roma tomatoes may start next 

 Next Week’s Harvesters

Tuesday, August 21 – Cichanowski & Beitz family, Mary & Michael Vanderford, NEED 3 MORE!!! 

Saturday, August 25 – Sally Silk & Tom Wolfe, Laurie Reed, Bryna & Chris Wiens, Nesbitt/Westbrook family, Tony & Ashley Barnes, Blue/Koszalka

Week #9 Tuesday, August 7 – Saturday, August 11, 2018

Farm News
About a half an inch of rain came down on the farm over the course of the last week.  Not as much as we’d hoped for but a nice drink for the newly transplanted and seeded crops.  We’ll take it!

On this week’s list, we’ve got the onion harvest.  First step is to knock the onions.  Once we notice that a significant portion of the onion tops are falling over on their own, we head to the field with rakes and knock down (sort of a folding over of the greens) the rest.  We let them die back like that for a week or so.  Next step is pulling them.  We like to see that we’ve got a dry stretch in the forecast (which we do) and then we (typically with a group of farm members) pull the onions out and lay them out in windrows to begin curing.  Once the tops have dried down, we (again typically with members) pull the tops and bag them, bringing them up to the greenhouse to hang out with the garlic.  The shallots have already been pulled and the storage onions have been knocked down.  We’re hoping to pull and layout a bunch of those storage onions with Tuesday’s crew and we’ll continue to whittle away at the rest over the next while.  The onions are a great many hands job!

Tomatoes are coming in strong.  We’ll continue to send a carton for each share and we’ll send a box in of extras as long we there are “extras” and we have room available.  This year we’ve got Estiva, Geronimo, Jetsetter, Damsel, Taxi, Pink Boar, Jaune Flamme and Green Zebra tomatoes.  It’s a colorful bunch!

In Your Bag

Cabbage
Beets
Melon
Fresh onions – red tropea and white
Garlic
Zucchini/Summer squash
Cucumbers
Green beans
Peppers
Salad Mix  with a little kick!
Tomatoes
Herbs  cilantro bunch & parsley, dill, basil bunch

From Spring Hill member, Milo 
(son of Alex Fowler & Jon Black)

ODE TO FARM DOGS

I go to the farm every year and when I go, I go to see the dogs.  When I first met Sunny (the first dog at the farm), I just would follow him all day.  I didn’t do my chores because I was only like five.  I would go home and say, “I’m tired.”  My mom would calmly say, “Let’s go to sleep.”  Now, I know she was probably thinking, “We were the ones actually doing the work.”

The first time I met Wally, he was going into a mini pipe stream and drinking the water.  I asked Patty and Mike about this stream, they said it was fine, so I just laid off. I usually was begging for the dogs.  I bet Patty and Mike were like, “Sigh.  Here comes Milo.”  That’s my story about the dogs on the farm.

Next Week’s Harvesters:
Tuesday, August 14 – Karen Abraham & Ray Wiedmeyer, Russ Heuckendorf, Divya Karan & Vinay Gidwani, Andrew Koebrick & Christine Douglas, Myrna Tautant & Peg Labore

Saturday, August 18  Cassandra Herold & Martin Perkins, Rachel Brown & Lew Anderson, Nancy Dilts & Dan Philippon, Karin & Reed McEwan, Brian & Kathleen Devore