Week #16 Tuesday, September 25 – Saturday, September 29, 2018

Farm News 

What a week! Hot and humid, heavy rains, and then first frost followed by a weekend of some of the most beautiful weather of the year.  It’s been a bit of a scramble but we’ve managed to get the harvesting done between rains. Well, now that I think about it, harvesting hasn’t always been between rains, it’s sometimes been in the rain.  It’s been a warm rain though so not much complaining on our end, just some extra laundry of wet muddy work clothes.  The other scramble has been working to protect the frost sensitive vegetables (squash mostly) from some cool nights.  Tomatoes and beans have run their course, peppers can take a little bit of frost and our basil was done in with the downy mildew so really it’s been just the squash we’ve been concerned about.  A bunch of it has been harvested – some at the fall work day – and is up in the greenhouse curing and we’re working our way through the butternuts.  We covered the patch with the huge mats we’ve been using for occultation on Friday night and began the harvest with Saturday’s crew.  We’ll continue working to get it harvested and moved to the greenhouse throughout the week and by the time the next frost is predicted (Thursday) we should have it all tucked away.  The good thing about the frosts is that they should sweeten up the Brussels sprouts!  They need a good frost or two before they’re ready to harvest. Fall has arrived, no doubt about it!

In Your Bag

Satina Potatoes
Winter SquashSweet Dumpling & Acorn
Leeks
Fennel*
Yellow onions
Garlic
Broccoli
A mix of PeppersPoblanos, Reds & Yellow, Jalapeno**
Kale
Herbs

*Fennel has a strong flavor.  If that flavor is not your favorite, try Kristin’s recipe below or try roasting it with potatoes and onions.  Cooking really mellows the flavor. 
**
If you’ve got more peppers than you can use, they are really easy to freeze.  Wash, core and seed, cut however you want (I usually do ½” slices or halves), lay out on a cookie sheet covered with parchment or freezer paper to freeze.  Once frozen, put them in a freezer bag.  When you want to use them, take out whatever amount you need.  This works really well for peppers you want to saute – not the best for a fresh salad!

Coming Soon

Butternut and delicata squash next week, I think.

We’ll have some turnips for you and we hope to send Brussels sprouts too and one final round of leeks.

Next Week’s Harvesters

Tuesday, October 2  Gerri Barosso, Troy & Amy Sinykin, Patricia Jones & Allen Gibas, Mark Werley, Lampe Family

Saturday, October 6  Barb Wright & Paul Engstrom, Janelle & Mike & Ian Waldock, Michonne Bertrand, Pat McKee & Doug Meisner, Aurelia Wills/ Jessie & Eoghan O’Neill

Week #15 Tuesday, September 18 – Saturday, September 22, 2018

Farm News

What a fine day we had on Sunday! The event was a great combination of work and play and chit-chat and food. Thanks to all who ventured out to the farm to be part of the day and to all those who volunteered to take on a designated task – really helpful! A special thanks to Spring Hill’s Community Events committee for their planning and their good work in making the day a success. The day was indeed a community effort.

We dug a trailer full of potatoes, harvested a whole patch of sweet dumpling squash, cleaned up a big batch of garlic pressed some really delicious apple cider and gleaned bushels of tomatoes. Karen Melander had the young ones exploring the farm on a scavenger hunt that sent them off to “pick a milkweed pod, carefully hold the pod high above your head so the milkweed fairies can fly free” and “head for the big trees near the picnic tables, look for paper and crayons to do a bark rubbing” and finally landing at the weeping willow tree to make a wind wand. “When your wand is done; run as fast as you can to make it catch the wind.” Delightful! Aeron Ridgeway had the attention of the adults as he demonstrated how to make a fermented hot sauce with jalapenos, onion, garlic, tomato, and salt. We’re excited to sample the results after the fermentation has done its magic.

As is true of most everything on the farm, weather rules the roost. The heat of the day had us changing our menu for the day; changing many, many years of tradition really, from cooking up a pot of vegetable soup and a pot of potato leek soup to stirring up a gazpacho soup and kale salad. When I ran the plan by Kimberly Laudert, she had this to say, “Gazpacho and Kale salad, sounds good to me as an embracing of late summer and early autumn.”That about sums up the day.

Thank you all.

In Your Bag:

Satina Potatoes
Acorn squash
Leeks
Yellow onions
Garlic
Romano Beans
Cucumbers
A mix of Peppers
Roma Tomatoes/Tomatoes – last of the season
Amara *
Sage
*Amara is a new green for us, it can be eaten fresh,
and mixed into salads, or cooked in oil with garlic. Our
seed catalog tells us it’s technically a mustard and is
also known as Ethiopian kale.

Coming Soon

Fennel next week, some kind of winter squash, more
leeks and we’ll see what else the garden offers.

Next Week’s Harvesters:

Tuesday, September 25–   Troy & Amy Sinykin, Kristin & Tim Dyrhaug, Jane Mercier and Mark Taylor Julie Glanton, Hermann Weinlick
Saturday, September 29 – Cathy Fitch & Evan Roberts,
Cassandra Herold & Martin Perkins
Jigna Desai & Ruskin Hunt/Seema Desai & Thomas Sullivan,
Angie  Andrew Barker, Gina Rumore

Week #14 Tuesday, September 11 – Saturday, September 15, 2018

Farm News

Harvesting.  Our work these days is harvesting.  Garden clean-up too, but mostly harvesting with plenty of digging and picking and washing and even some bunching.  We did make some hay over the weekend, about a hundred and fifty bales or so, that we’ll use next spring.  We’d been waiting for a break in the rain for haymaking and finally we got it.  This time of year you need a good four day stretch between mowing and baling for the hay to dry. That’s been hard to come by – until the end of last week. It’s been quite a stretch of sunny and warm so we took advantage of it to slip in a little haymaking. We know we’ll be grateful in the spring to have it on hand.

Saturday, along with a great crew of pickers and packers, the bee team arrived to harvest honey. Brenda and Bob and Janet suited up and headed out to the hives about the same time we all began cleaning onions, bagging carrots and washing peppers. Spring Hill has two hives that sit at the far end of the valley and Spring Hill’s Bee Team of Brenda, Bob, Janet, Cathy, Cindy and Maria have tended them throughout the season. We often see the honeybees doing their work in the zucchini and cucumbers and raspberries. This fall they’ve been thick in the flowering fields of buckwheat. What a treat to watch them! Brenda’s been doing the coordinating of beekeepers and bee tending and Bob has lent his expertise to the crew. A huge thanks to the team for their work and enthusiasm.  I think we’ll have at least a couple of the team on hand at our fall work day to answer your questions about bees and beekeeping! 

On the home front, we’ve been working to get some food on the shelves and in the freezer for the winter.  We celebrated Claire and Wyatt’s (our twin grandbabies) first birthday and David’s (our son) twenty-seventh.  How did that happen??

In Your Bag

Russet Potatoes
Carrots
Yellow onions
Garlic
Cauliflower
Broccoli
Sweet Peppers  yellow & red – both long & tapered
Poblano Peppersdark green, tapered
Jalapeno Pepper
Roma Tomatoes/Tomatoes
Rainbow Chard
Cilantro

Coming Soon

Leeks and winter squash next week!  We’ll probably have carrots and pretty peppers too.

Next Week’s Harvesters

Tuesday,September 18  Janet Peters & Alan Torborg, Mary Yee, Candace & Dan Barras, Conrad Sowder, Mary & Brian Green

Saturday, September 22  Amy Votava & David Hemphill, Jess Nelson & Joe Slag, Shannon O’Brien, Kristin & Brendon Dennewill, Anne Holzinger & Sue Illg

Week #13 Tuesday, September 4 – Saturday, September 8, 2018

Farm News

People often ask us what’s done well this year and what’s been a challenge.  In the “done well” column this year, we could put broccoli – for sure the spring crop.  Peppers have done really well too as have tomatoes.  It looks to be a bumper of a winter squash crop.  Actually the vining crops generally thrived.  You may have noticed that with the cucumbers.   We are very happy to report that the garlic crop was a success which means we’ll have a nice batch for seed this fall.  

In the “bust” column, I’d put peas and spinach.  That hot dry spell in May/early June did not do them any favors.  We tried a new beet variety, Boro, that did not do well for us.  We’ll go back to our Early Wonder Tall Top.  Eggplant was another bust.  We tried a new variety there too and it just did not produce well.  

Another question we’re often asked is, “What are you growing that’s new?”  Sometimes it’s a new crop and sometimes it’s a new variety.  This year we tried and failed with Romanesco, a cauliflower-like crop that’s lime green with pointed, spiraled pinnacles.  Who could resist that in the seed catalog?  I can report that the deer LOVED it!  And that’s all I know about it.  We are also growing something known as cutting celery seed or leaf celery.  A farmer friend gave us some last fall and we chopped it up, froze it, and added it to soups all winter long.  Look for it later this fall.  Black Spanish radishes fall into that same category.  They’re in the ground and growing but not ready for tasting yet.  Look for them in one of the October bags.  Other new things were varietal choices.  We tried a new yellow bean and we were pleased with how it did both in terms of yield and flavor.  We’re just about to harvest the Romano beans so the jury is still out on that one.  It has a rather strange growing habit as though it can’t decide if it’s a bush bean or a pole bean.  As always some winners and some losers and always interesting.

In Your Bag

Cabbage
Melon  (sugar cube – small & sweet – last of the season) 
Carrots
Yellow onions
Garlic
Cucumbers
Cauliflower
Eggplant OR Broccoli OR 2ND Cauliflower
Sweet Peppers  yellow & red – both long & tapered
Bell Pepperred & green
Shishito Peppersgreen & red & wrinkly
Tomatoes
Roma Tomatoes

Coming Soon

Looks like the Romano beans and cilantro are going to wait a week before being ready.  I had been predicting this week but it looks like they’ll be coming along next week.  We should have more red and yellow peppers for you and some poblano peppers too.  Winter squash is coming along nicely so look for that soon.  We’ll probably have cauliflower and broccoli and maybe Rainbow chard. 

Next Week’s Harvesters

Tuesday,September 11  Kathy Steinberger & Jim Young, Cindy Hilmoe, Angela Gustafson, Divya Karan & Vinay Gidwani, Heather and Brett Struwe

Saturday, September 15  Karen Ansbaugh/Barb Ryan, Leah & Paul Robinson, Janice Kovala,  Heidi & Joseph Flores, Annalyse and Lucas Dazinger