Week #4 Tuesday, July 30 – Friday, August 2, 2019

 Farm News

What abundance in the gardens right now! We’ve had plenty of rain each week and, since so far we’ve avoided damaging storms and plant disease, the gardens are bountiful. The garlic has all been harvested and it won’t be long and very soon it will be on to the onion harvest. We’re about to plant the last round of fall crops; a batch of beets and kale, maybe kohlrabi. Fall radishes get planted about now too along with some greens. Cover crops will be an important piece too as some gardens make the shift from vegetable production to cover crops.

Speaking of cover crops, we’ve begun preparations for our monarch butterfly habitat planting. You may remember that we are 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. This year, we planted buckwheat to be followed by another dense cover crop planting that will winter kill smothering weeds and holding the soil in place. Then, NEXT spring we’ll be planting a little over an acre with milkweed and other nectar rich plants for monarchs. We could have done that planting this year but we’re hopeful that we’ll get a better stand of the plants monarchs love by doing it this way. We’re also putting in a planting for the honeybees very near their hives. Right now that planting is buckwheat which we will let flower for the bees and eventually that patch will be planted to a honeybee pollinator mix. 

 In Your Bag

New Red Potatoes
Fresh White Onions
Garlic
Carrots
Green Beans
Eggplant
Cucumbers
Broccoli
Zucchini
green and yellow
Spicy Salad Mix
Colorful tomato mix!
Jalapenos
Cilantro

Veggie Notes

Once again, these are new red potatoes. The skins are ever to tender which makes them delicious but not keepers. The spicy salad mix is a mixture of red mustard, mizuna, tatsoi, kale, and arugula. Try it with the olive oil, red wine vinegar, mustard vinaigrette. It’s delicious! The tomatoes are just beginning. We tried a colorful mix this year of yellow and chocolate pear tomatoes and green tigers. They’re a beautiful addition to a cucumber salad.

Looking Ahead to Next Week 

The cabbage I mentioned last week will come in next week’s bag! We’ll likely have carrots again, more tomatoes and peppers, and probably either beets or fennel. We’ll keep those fresh onions and garlic coming. 

 Next Week’s Harvesters

Tuesday, August 6 – Sandra Haff, Erin & Taylor Carik, Louise Hotka & Jill Meyer, Nicole Gallagher & Shelly Johnson, Michelle Steffen 

Friday, August 9 – Laurie Reed, Sara & Blake Christiansen, Adele & Tom Reichel, Christi & Tim Anderson, Jenny Hokanson 

Week #3 Tuesday, July 23 – Friday, July 26, 2019

Farm News

More and more of our time is spent harvesting.  This is good.  It’s why we plant crops in the first place.  It also feels a little funny in an odd sort of way.  We begin our planning in January, order seeds in February, start up the greenhouse in March, begin field work in April, plant, plant, plant, weed, weed, weed in May and June and then by the end of July, we’re actually putting parts of the garden to bed.  How quickly it all goes.  It’s a bit like spending a good chunk of time preparing a meal, gathering friends and family, and before you know it, the meal is over.  It’s delicious, just finished up way too soon!  

Right now we’re focused on the garlic harvest with the hope of being done by the end of the week.  As soon as the garlic’s out, we’ll  look for a window to prepare and plant that garden to a cover crop.  The greenhouse, once filled with plants, is now home to the garlic as it cures. 

We did have to pause the garlic harvest midstream after a major storm blew through our region on Friday night; not too much wind damage here (tree branches rather than trees) but major stuff just to the north.  Trees down everywhere, major power outages, lots of clean-up work.  Although we didn’t get much damage, the storm came with over three inches of rain, and that was on top of the two inches we had last week.  The ground was more than saturated.  We hope to get back at the garlic harvest on Tuesday!

In Your Bag:

New Red Potatoes
Carrots
Beets
Fresh garlic!
Fresh White & Red Tropea Onions
Cucumbers
Broccoli
Zucchini
green and yellow
Lettuce
Collard greens or Red Russian Kale
Fresh herbs

Veggie Notes:

Fresh white and red onions this week!  These mild onions are great for salads and sandwiches.  You may notice some tearing on the lettuce leaves, particularly the red lettuce.  That’s the result of Friday’s storm.  The inner leaves look fine.  Some of the red potatoes are a little scabby.  The damage is cosmetic only and they are oh, so tasty!  The skins are not set on these new potatoes.  Plan to eat them sooner rather than later.  Try Kristin’s recipe! All the rain has kept the broccoli sweet and tender.  Pam Werley passed along a recipe for broccoli salad , a “must share” she said.    

Looking Ahead to Next Week

Look for green beans next week and maybe the first of the tomatoes too!  Eggplant may also make a showing.  We’ve got beautiful heads of green cabbage taking shape.  They may be ready next week.  We’ll have carrots too, a spicy salad mix and onions and garlic too.

Next Week’s Harvesters:

Tuesday, July 30 – Joelle & Carson Hoeft, Barry Schade, Hannah Steblay & Robin Schow,  Robbie Bray, Jane, Joan, Rebecca & Micheal Thompson

Friday, August 2  Max & Samir Keller,  Kathy & Mike Lauer, Michonne Bertrand, Sean & Mallory O’Brien/Mary Dolan O’Brien & Clark Furlong, Alex Fowler, Jon and Milo Black.

Week #2 Tuesday, July 16 – Friday, July 19, 2019

Farm News

It’s been a full week on the farm! It felt good to harvest and pack vegetables and to get into the rhythm that delivery days bring; lots of harvesting and washing on Mondays and Thursdays, more harvesting and packing on Tuesdays and Fridays and the mad scramble to get everything else done in between. The “everything else” includes things like fencing out the deer who also love your vegetables, staying on top of cultivation, trellising tomatoes and planting. We continue to plant! Just this week, we direct seeded cilantro, salad mix, and the last of the beans (a Romano type). We planted beets that will be transplanted to the field in a few weeks and we transplanted the last of the fall broccoli, savoy cabbage, and some cutting celery. Spring Hill members Cassandra and Martin got a ride on the transplanter on Friday, tucking in what will be September’s beets. Mike drove the tractor at about .1 miles per hour while Cassandra and Martin, in seats at the back of the transplanter, placed a cluster of beets into each hole that had been made and filled with water by the transplanter. It sure beats crawling along on hands and knees! This week’s big project was haymaking. It seems inevitable that we make the bulk of our hay when it’s hot and humid and indeed, that is what we did. We got a nice rack full of hay though and it should take care of most of what we hope to mulch. Lots of mulching has already been done. The tomatoes, peppers and leeks were mulched by Tuesday and Friday’s workers and we’re hoping this week’s crew will take care of the raspberries. Cucumbers, zucchini, melons, broccoli and Brussels sprouts were mulched early on and soon we’ll get to the next batch of zucchini and some of the fall crops. It’s always good to have the soil covered and especially so when we see forecasts of heavy rains. We hope you’re enjoying the vegetables and look forward to working with you this season! 

 In Your Bag: 

Napa cabbage
Kohlrabi
Fennel
Salad Turnips
Fresh garlic!
Scallions
Broccoli
Zucchini
green and yellow
Cucumbers
Lettuce
Basil bunch
Cilantro 

Please note: All vegetables from Spring Hill will need to be washed. We rinse just about everything here, but you’ll want to wash the veggies before eating them. 

 Veggie Notes:

The Salad Turnips, or hakurei turnips are a wonderful treat! They can be sliced and added to a lettuce salad or they could be sautéed and served over their steamed greens. This week brings the first head of Spring Hill garlic! It’s fresh out of the field and best stored in your refrigerator. The kohlrabi is amazingly sweet and tender! We like it best raw. Peel off that outer skin, cut it in slices for a nice crunchy snack or try the refreshing salad that Kristin shares in the recipe section. Kristin also has a nice recipe for a fennel/orange salad. If the fennel flavor is too strong for you, try sautéing it with garlic and olive oil over low heat until it’s’ nice and tender. The flavor mellows quite a bit when cooked. 

 Looking Ahead to Next Week 

We’re thinking new potatoes and carrots and fresh onions for next week! We’ll likely have another round of lettuce, more zucchini and cucumbers and maybe, just maybe, the first of the green beans. It won’t be long and we’ll be sending the first tomatoes of the season! 

 Next Week’s Harvesters: 

Tuesday, July 23 – Colleen & Joe Bartels, Marilyn Johnson & Dave Bostrom, Louisa Keleher & Greg Tromiczak, Mary Yee, Karen Schilling 

Friday, July 26 – Katy Podolinsky & Larry Schmidt, Amy & Lee Friedman, David Hemphill & Amy Votava, Harper family, Anna Kleven

Week #1 Tuesday, July 9 – Friday, July 12, 2019

 Farm News

Anticipation! Thanks for your patience. The later start (we used to begin vegetable deliveries in mid-June) has taken the edge off here and allowed us to get things a little more settled before the harvest season begins. With the cool, wet spring, it also meant avoiding tough decisions around whether to push getting in cold wet fields or waiting for dryer, warmer conditions. The soil thanks you! Waiting has been hard though. We’re anxious to hear from you about what you think of the later start. 

We are so happy to have Erin Link back on board this year. This is Erin’s third season at Spring Hill and we’ve come to rely on her skills and knowledge. Erin’s other work is at her own farm, EB Ranch where she tends to a herd of the critically endangered and rare San Clemente Island Goats. Erin milks a few of those goats and makes a wonderful goat milk soap. You can learn more about Erin and her farm here: https://www.ebranchllc.com/ . This year Avery Hansen also joins us a couple of mornings a week until school resumes. Avery is here to help mostly with harvesting but she’s up for just about anything. We’re happy to have her! 

 In Your Bag: 

Salad Turnips
Beets
(the beet tops have been cut and bunched separately – solely for packing reasons)
Radishes
Garlic scapes
Scallions
Broccoli
Zucchini
green and/or yellow
Lettuce
Red Russian Kale
Dill bunch
Italian Parsley/Basil bunch

 Please note: All vegetables from Spring Hill will need to be washed. We rinse just about everything here, but you’ll want to wash the veggies before eating them. 

 Veggie Notes:

The Salad Turnips, or hakurei turnips are a wonderful treat! They can be sliced and added to a lettuce salad or they could be sautéed and served over their steamed greens. Check out this week’s recipe for roasting them! We saved the Garlic scapes so we can send this special spring treat! Cut the scape into 1” long pieces up to the flower. Saute those pieces on low in olive oil until they’re nice and tender. Add them to your salad, eggs, anything where some mild garlic flavor sounds nice. The yellow zucchini is a new variety for us. Goldy is its name. Isn’t it beautiful? Broccoli is coming on strong right now. There will be a bunch in your bag. Look for extras at your site too! 

Storing your fresh herbs can be tricky. We store them washed and dried, in a plastic bag in the fridge. 

 Looking Ahead to Next Week 

Look for more broccoli, zucchini and lettuce. We’ll have fennel too and probably kohlrabi. Our plan is to harvest and send the first batch of fresh garlic. Cucumbers may make a showing and we’re thinking the napa cabbage will be ready as well. 

 Next Week’s Harvesters: 

Tuesday, July 16 – Karen Melander/Anna Ridgeway, Patricia Turner, Kathleen Weflan & Lou Ferreri
Ann Risch & George Boody, Brenda Beyer, Tom Wells & Bailey, Tammy Hansen 

Friday, July 19 – Elaine Eschenbacher & Michael Welch, Dave and Mary Hedenstrom, Jan Search & Dave Stockdale/Diane Claeys & Doug Jones, Ann Peterson & Steve Petermeier, Brie Reid & Alex Ross-Stuart & Michaela Klein