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Posts Tagged ‘sugar snap peas’

June has come and gone too quickly. The rain has mostly missed us, besides a few gentle showers. Every day it looks like it will rain but the gardens are so very thirsty. Others who live not far from here are experiencing the opposite. We do our best to be adaptable to whatever the weather brings.

Farmer Andrea started the CSA this month, here are some highlights …

Veg-Head Andrea

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Garlic Scapes, Peas, Lettuce, very HOT days

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Photos by Andrea Nickerson

The most beautiful Kohlrabi I’ve ever seen, ‘Azur Star‘, pictures cannot do it justice.

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Photo by Andrea Nickerson

Market Set-up for Week 1 of fresh, local produce

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Photo by Andrea Nickerson

The Farm Toddler helping with the Garlic Scape harvest + cleaning

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Photo by Andrea Nickerson

Andrea also took some beautiful panoramic pictures of the raised beds …

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Our family gardens are coming along nicely. We’ve eaten our fill of pea shoots and sugar snap peas and are leaving the plants as a seed crop. We’ve also been collecting onion seeds. We found this beautiful surprise in our ‘Rattlesnake‘ Pole Beans, little leaves that resemble the seeds and bean pods …

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A look at our Pole Bean bed, using a re-purposed swing set, with marigolds as a companion plant to deter bean beetles …

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And the view from the other end of the bed …

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Most of the beans in this bed will be a seed crop as we need to grow out the ‘Trail of Tears‘ beans we started saving in 2008, and we’re starting to save the seeds from other varieties so we have seeds that are regionally-adapted. Beans are the perfect starter seed-saving crop as they’re super easy to save.

A teeny tiny Lunchbox Pepper on a tiny little plant …

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A new favourite, an heirloom Lettuce “Grandma Hadley” from Seed Savers Exchange

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Another example of companion planting that Rashel has wanted to try for many years, but couldn’t make feasible on a larger scale, is using radishes as a trap crop to protect Cucumbers from flea beetles, cucumber beetles, and squash bugs. The radishes will be left to go to seed and be another seed crop.

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In the trellised Cucumber bed we’ve also planted Lettuce as a companion but there were these beautiful “weeds” – 2 Sunflowers and a blooming Cilantro – that we decided to leave in the bed because they were just too nice to pull out.

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While we’ve seen many Insect friends – especially a variety of Swallowtails – we only got this one picture is a newly hatched Praying Mantis.

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We’ve had our first Lavender blossom harvest of the season …

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A medicinal plant harvest of Yarrow, Wormwood, Bergamot, St. John’s Wort, Red Clover, Plantain, and Comfrey. Most of these will be dried for later use and some will be infused in oil for later use. All but the Comfrey have come from the new wild area Rashel started in 2016.

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We are harvesting Chamomile and Calendula every couple of days, and dehydrating them to use later in teas and salves. In honour of the Summer Solstice why not try some of these recipes using a variety of edible blossoms ~ Sweet Magic: Honey Cookies

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A little bit of housekeeping – Before the season began we intended to have a “swap box” so that folks could swap a veggie they don’t like for one they will enjoy. If you have a pre-packaged bag and you get something you won’t use please feel free free to swap it out for an item of equal value from the market table. If you’re on the “market shares” program please feel free to swap out a fixed veggies from the list for something of equal value from the market table. We want everyone to be happy with the veggies they receive each week *smile*

VEGGIE OF THE WEEK IS ….. ALLIUMS!

From Wikipedia, “Allium is a genus of monocotyledonous flowering plants that includes the cultivated onion, garlic, scallion, shallot and leek as well as chives and hundreds of other wild species.”

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Perennial Onions also known as Egyptian Onions and Walking Onions

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The Farm Children are comparing their Onion picks.

While not all Alliums are included in this week’s shares we will have plenty of Scallions (purple + white), whole Chives (they’re almost identical to Scallions), and Perennial Onions (the whole plant is edible – bulb, stem, and bulbils on the tops). The Allium family is among the most healthy of all plants, more info on the benefits from The Wonderful World of Alliums.

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Scallions, whole Chives, bunch of Chinese Cabbage , Rainbow Leafies, Grape Leaves, Peas, Radnips, Rainbow Radishes, Wild Rainbow Salad Mix, Allium Bulbils.

New this week: we’ll have whole grape leaves that can be used to make traditional dishes like Dolma and other stuffed grape leave tasties. They can also be used as a part of a green smoothie mix. The peas are pretty much petered out for the season but we’ve got new plantings of Radnips and Radishes that are wowing us! There won’t be mushrooms available for the next 2 weeks.

On Facebook we posted and interesting link to a map that shows where most of our food originates from. If you love food, plants, history, and geography this is a great resource! You can find it at NPR.org.

We also came across this great resource from Epicurious – A Visual Guide to Cooking Greens (we’ve added this to the Veggies! page).

Don’t forget that we’ve got Jackie from Another Way at the farm this Saturday June 2nd doing complimentary Angel Card Readings!

We’ll leave you with pictures from around the farm this week …. enjoy!

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This broody hen hatched out several baby chicks!

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Coming soon!

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Red Cabbage beds

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An Heirloom Cherry Tomato called 42 Days, these wonders will be ready in a few short weeks!

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Collected the dried up seed pods from a large variety of Kale plants that successfully overwintered. Now we’ve got our own regionally-adapted Kale seeds!

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Strange and mysterious “eggs” found on an Onion plant. Anyone know what this is? Friend or Foe?

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A Farm Child took these pictures of Mushrooms growing in a Lettuce bed and is curious about what kind they are …. any ideas?

 

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Happy Summer Solstice ~ a most beautiful time of the year!

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A wonderful day was spent last Saturday at our first foraging walk of the year. Many thanks to Wheatley Woods for coming out with fruiting plants for sale, we’re grateful for them and for all the new and familiar faces who came to the walk!

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Farm Market on Saturday June 18th

We love when children come along to the farm …

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Fun for everyone!

Thank you to Susan Platsko for sharing the pictures she took at the foraging walk …

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Wild grapes; Tandem bike with Mugwort; Market Table; Red Mulberry; Pawpaw Tree; Gooseberry; unripe Juniper Berries; Feasting on Serviceberies.

VEGGIE OF THE WEEK …….

PEAS !!!

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Hanging out, like an earring.

 

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Two sweetie-pies in a pod, snuggling.

And these beauties … because if it comes in purple, we will grow it 😉

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Royal Snow from Johnny’s Seeds

There is something about peas that makes for a lot of inappropriate jokes. We call this #lifewithyoungboys and we’ll leave that up to your imagination …. but we did manage to find a few we can share …

Q: What do vegetables wish for, more than anything else in the whole world?
A: Peas (peace) on earth!
Q: Why do vegetables want that so much?
A: Because it will give them peas (piece) of mind!
Q: What do you get when two peas fight?
A: Black-eyed peas

We mostly grow Sugar Snap Peas but also some Snow Peas and the Purple Peas. Peas are available for a short time only so now is the time to get your fill of these super sweet, crunchy, family-favourite snacks!

We’ll be running out of Garlic Scapes soon and wanted to share a member recipe from Facebook for a lovely Scape Pesto, from Stephanie Fisico: Plant Based Wellness Coach ~

“T’is the season for garlic scapes (!!!) and tonight’s Monday Night Recipe Feature is a super quick and super easy garlic scape pesto that pairs well with pasta, crostini, crackers, or anywhere else you would like to use it (sandwich/wrap spread, perhaps?)

I had fun just tossing ingredients into the food processor and taste-testing along the way until I had achieved my desired flavours and consistency. As such, I do not have a perfectly precise recipe for you but here is an approximation – have fun adjusting it to meet your own preferences!

(p.s. my delicious garlic scapes were grown with love by Locally Germinated: a farmer’s cooperative !)

Fresh Garlic Scape Pesto

Ingredients:

1/4 cup of cashews
1/2 cup of nutritional yeast
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
7-8 garlic scapes, chopped into pieces
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
Handful of baby spinach
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a food processor until you achieve a crumbled texture. Scoop out 1-2 tbsp and set aside to use as garnish.

Add remaining ingredients and process until relatively smooth.

Serve over pasta (pictured) with leftover cashew Parmesan as garnish or use as a dip or spread.”

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Garlic Scapes, Peas, Rainbow Leafies, Cilantro, Scallions, Radnips, Fresh Flower Bouquet, Rainbow Radishes, Salad Mix. Picture by Andrea Nickerson.

Other veggies available this week include: Rainbow Leafies (Kale + Chard), Fresh Herbs (the last of the Cilantro), Scallions, Rainbow Radishes, Radnips (the last for a couple of weeks), Salad Mix, Portabello Mushrooms + Button Mushrooms. We are now offering small amounts of Green Smoothie Mix and will highlight some of the wild edibles in these mixes and how to use them in a future post. If you’re struggling with how to store and eat leafy greens this is a good post from Nutrition Studies.

This coming Saturday we’re holding a foraging walk at the farm from 1 – 2:30 and there are deeeeeelicious red mulberries at their peak of sweetness! A green smoothie will be available at the end of the walk. We’re also pleased to welcome Tilbury native Wendy Rose for a “Ask A Nutritionist” booth at the farm from 11 – 1 on Saturday. This is a free event, find out more about the event and about Wendy Rose on the Facebook event page.12715668_1704469386438055_2495647984793201048_n.jpg

Another event we have coming up on July 2nd is Angel Card Readings with Jackie of Another Way. “Angel cards are a fun and positive way to connect with your Angels, Source and Guides. Angel cards offer gentle loving guidance. They are a wonderful way to bridge the gap between what is going on in your life and angelic guidance and assistance. Jackie will bring several decks so you can choose a deck that feels best to you or she will choose a deck intuitively. Ask a question or ask for guidance. She will draw you a card or two to bring you angelic guidance.” Find out more on the Facebook event page.

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Around the farm this week we’ve been busy planting more veggies, replacing some dead seedlings, fighting with cucumber beetles (who are voracious fornicators and squash eaters), and watering, watering, watering. It looks like cabbage will be ready soon and we’re excited for that! We’ll leave you with a friend who was watching us work this week.

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How do frogs send messages? Morse Toad.

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VEGETABLE OF THE WEEK IS …. GARLIC SCAPES!

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The Farm Children keep a close eye on the Scapes, it’s one of their favourite things to harvest on the farm.

For those familiar with Scapes they wait all year for this limited time item, it’s a high demand luxury! As you can see in the picture the Scape is a curly-cued part of the Garlic plant that would eventually turn into seeds. In order to make our Garlic focus it’s energy on creating large and powerful bulbs we must remove the Scapes. For our efforts we get to enjoy a very versatile but limited time only special treat that we call a Garlic Scape.

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Each Scape has a unique curl.

 

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Garlic

These are fabulous roasted or grilled, they can pickled, they can be frozen, they can be dried, they can be made into Garlic powder, they can be made into pesto, and they can be used in any way you would use Garlic. Check out these 7 recipes from The Crisper Whisperer. More info on our Veggies page and if you search “garlic scape” in the search index on this blog site or click on the “tag”, along the right-hand side of this blog site. Past posts with amazing recipes include this beauty from 2012 and this one, also from 2012.

Jokes from the farm children:

How did the garlic get out of the garden?

It eSCAPEd!

Why did the garlic book travel tickets online?

It needed an e-scape!

Yuk yuk yuk 😉

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Farm baby helping to carry the bin full of Garlic Scapes.

Last week at our Saturday on-farm market we had a visitor ….

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As you can see from some of our pictures you’ll know that we love babywearing and we came across a lovely post that showcases various every day dad babywearing while cooking or grocery shopping and thought it would be a good share for other babywearing lovers out there ~ http://www.thekitchn.com/10-sweet-photos-of-baby-wearing-dads-in-the-kitchen-232143

Other produce available this week (may vary depending upon location and availability): portabello mushrooms and button mushrooms, Radnips, Rainbow Radishes, Wild Rainbow Salad Mix, Green Smoothie Mix, Cilantro (almost done for the season) and other Fresh Herbs, Rainbow Leafies (various Kale varieties + Chard), Scallions, Broccoli, and new this week – also for a limited time – Snow Peas and Sugar Snap Peas (they melt in your mouth!) We’re also getting larger amounts of Calendula for anyone who wants to order them on their own to make their own healing teas or salves – please let us know if you’re interested.

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Mushrooms as big as your head! Or a plate!

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Every Pea picked by a hand, our hands.

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Our artistic rendering of this week’s veggie offerings ….

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Pictured: Cilantro, button Mushrooms, Arugula, Radnips, Wild Rainbow Salad Mix, Scapes, Sugar Snap Peas, Portabello Mushroom, Scallions.

Our event with Wheatley Woods is still on for tomorrow – a foraging walk and plant sale. See the details on Facebook.

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Native Service Berries

You can also see the details for a foraging walk next Saturday June 25th (we may be having another special guest that week, check out Facebook for that announcement!). We’re currently taking registrations for Session 2 of the Kids Gardening Club, you can find out more at this link and on Facebook. We post every new event we’re hosting on our farm on this website as well, check back on the Foraging + Market Events page for update.

One last announcement …. a new CSA member has started a twitch live feed that will feature foods they will be making with their CSA veggies each week. You can find it at twitch.tv/margaret_haddad . This is a new live feed, they’re only in their second week, and comes with a warning that the language might not be appropriate for all ages 😉 The schedule is Mondays at 3 pm for art, Wednesdays at 8 for Community Sourced Cuisine (featuring veggies from Locally Germinated and eventually their own garden), and Friday at 9 for Food with Friends. Looking forward to seeing how this progresses!

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Harvest day pick list; new beds for perennials

 

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Funny accident, panoramic picture

 

 

 

 

 

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This has been a week of illness, injury and serious raining that has kept us from being able to be at some of our pickup locations and seriously hampered our ability to get into the fields and do more planting. A very big thank you to Marie, Deb, Andrea, Amanda, and Mike for stepping up and stepping in when they were needed. Big, big appreciation for these folks. Note: We are open this holiday Wednesday for CSA pickups and for our on-farm market at our regular time of 4 – 7 pm. We’ve had to look at our plans and to abandon some crops as it’s just too late to be able to plant them at this point. So sad to not have a Watermelon crop this year though we managed to sneak a few in for a small crop because otherwise the farm children would never have stopped pestering us to plant them. There is still a chance we’ll get more Cucumbers and Squash in but that possibility is slim at this point. There are many crops still waiting to be planted and we’re not sure what the veggie offerings are going to look like in several weeks from now with such a large gap in our planting schedule, only time will tell. Life around the farm this week as told in picture collages….

From top L - Beets are germinated and waiting for the Rain to cease to be planted; Squash blossoms; Tomatoes are fruiting!; Beans inter-planted with Chard have blossoms and small fruit!

From top L – Beets are germinated and waiting for the Rain to cease to be planted; Squash blossoms; Itty bitty Tomatoes fruiting in their tray!; Beans inter-planted with Chard have blossoms and small fruit!

From top L - Fungi popping up everywhere; Unknown Caterpillar; Zebra Caterpillar (a crop damaging insect); Brussel Sprouts looking good under floating row cover

From top L – Fungi popping up everywhere; Unidentified Caterpillar; Zebra Caterpillar (a crop damaging insect); Brussel Sprouts looking good under floating row cover. This week we’ve also seen a Grasshopper emerging from it’s old “skin” and Tortoise Beetles being “born” and feasting on Thistles (yay!) as well as several Snakes who are helping our Farm Cat take care of the Mole/Vole/Mouse problem.

From top L - Cool view of our greenhouse; more Beehives have arrived!; beautiful Rainbow Chard; Pumpkin Patch.

From top L – Cool view of our greenhouse; more Beehives have arrived!; beautiful Rainbow Chard; Pumpkin Patch (with BIG thanks to Daniel, Tammy, and fam for helping to lay down the rotted hay between the rows).

From our Facebook page this week….

It was a thrill to get some of our produce into the hands of the chef at the Iron Kettle!

It was a thrill to get some of our produce into the hands of the chef at the Iron Kettle in Comber!

An awesome foraging walk around the farm for Wild Strawberries and Mulberries, we had a feast!

An awesome foraging walk around the farm for Wild Strawberries, Mulberries, and Service Berries – we had a feast! A young friend picked himself a “tree” as a “treat to-go”. Most of the Mulberries will have been knocked down from all the wind now….sadly for us humans.

Swallowtail Caterpillar eating Dill, there's enough for everyone; CSA pickup outside ShopEco.

Swallowtail Caterpillar eating Dill: There’s enough for everyone; CSA pickup outside ShopEco.

How to properly store our Rainbow Salad Mix: Spin dry or pat dry the leaves and then store in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge, add a towel for extra moisture absorption. We got an industrial salad spinner this week that will dry off the leafy greens more efficiently so that your Salad Mix lasts longer. 10400032_791581667629189_705065778279196958_n It is possible to change your pickup location if you need to make a change. Just let me know 1 day in advance that you want to pick up at a different location so that I can plan to bring enough produce. This week’s crop list (as far as I can tell without having been out harvesting due to the torrential rain and winds): Sugar Snap Peas – they have plumped up and sweetened up, a really delicious seasonal treat! There will be some Purple Peas mixed in there, too, a new crop we’re trialing this year. Wild Rainbow Salad Mix, Rainbow Kale, Rainbow Chard, Dill, Arugula, a limited number of Scallions (green onions), mini-cucumbers, mushrooms, portabellos, and eggplant. I hope to find something new as a surprise….you never know what you might find out there! One last note – if you’re ever willing able to help out at the farm we won’t turn down an offer of help! We’d love for every member to see the farm at least once so that you know how and where your food is grown so please let us know if you’d like to come out and see us!

Garlic is coming soon! With thanks to Andrea Nickerson for most of the photo credits in this post!

Garlic is coming soon!
Thanks to Andrea Nickerson for most of the photo credits in this post!

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It was nice meeting all of you last week and seeing new faces as well as returning members – thank you all for being on this local farming journey with us!

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At Take Back The Farm in South Windsor

We haven’t had a break in the rain and so we haven’t been able to plant many new crops but so far the ones that were in the ground before the floods are doing just fine. We’ve been tending them while wading in water halfway up our knees and we tell ourselves we’re at the spa as the water is quite warm and that helps us get our work done. Our farming would be a total loss if not for our raised beds and we’ve been busy cleaning them up after getting out crops like bok choy and getting ready to put in broccoli and cauliflower and other fun goodies, we’ve had to use diatomaceous earth as the slugs as quite prolific this year. Our garlic crop would be a loss if not for the raised beds so we’re grateful for all the hard work we put in last year to create them.

IMG_0177Unfortunately most of the folks who signed up to do the work share option have not been able to come through and help us and we are in big need of some volunteers to help us with harvesting on Mondays from 8am-12pm. If you’re interested but want to volunteer at a different time or day please contact us as we might be able to use your help. Last week we had a lovely time with volunteers harvesting and sorting spinach, bok choy, kale, and garlic scapes (thank you to Marie for showing us a trick to get a more abundant harvest) – it’s great conversation and laughs 🙂

IMG_0231New this week you will see some fresh herbs….

L - R Cilantro, Dill, Parsley, Arugula

L – R Cilantro, Dill, Parsley, Arugula

We’re taking off a small amount of peas and by next week we’ll be swimming in them!

IMG_7601We’ll have some rainbow radishes as well but they aren’t faring so well with all the rain.

IMG_7594We’ll have more rainbow salad mix and rainbow kale as well as a savoury salad mix with “spicy” mustard greens and scallions. When we opened up some of our beds to harvest we found MONSTER kale and MONSTER collards in there!

IMG_0199We’re bringing in more mini-cucumbers, tomatoes, and mushrooms to help round out the baskets while we wait for the flush of peas.

Now if it would just stop raining so we can finish planting…..see you all soon!

Week 1 offerings at Take Back The Farm in South Windsor

Week 1 offerings at Take Back The Farm in South Windsor

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The Belle River Farmers Market opens this Sunday June 7th from 10am – 2pm at Optimist Park (705 Notre Dame St.) in Belle River. It’s still early in the season but here are some fresh veggie goodies we’ll have on offer at the market:

2 different varieties of delicious Spinach 'Butterflay' and 'Corvair'.

Two varieties of delicious Spinach, ‘Butterflay’ and ‘Corvair’.

Week 1 Market Produce

From Left to Right: Salad + Scallions, Bok Choi, ‘Olympic Red’ Kale, ‘Red Russian’ Kale, ‘Vates Curly’ Kale, Certified Organic Seedlings.

We’ll also have Sunshine Pickles, Sunparlour Honey, Mushrooms, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Eggplant, and ASPARAGUS.

Fresh goodies to come in the next couple of weeks….

Garlic is coming along beautifully; Snow Peas, Sugar Snap Peas, and Shelling Peas; a new crop this year - Fennel; more Spinach!; Onions.

Garlic is coming along beautifully; Snow Peas, Sugar Snap Peas, and Shelling Peas; a new crop this year – Fennel; more Spinach!; Onions happy under their leaf mulch.

We’re expanding our production space this year by not just doubling but tripling the amount of area we’re using to produce vegetables. We’re using more of our “back 30” for heat-loving veggies that are grown under black plastic and we’re using an old pasture that has been used by our free-range chickens for many years (using the fence to grow Pole Beans, for example). We’ve added more companion crops and beneficial crops like Horseradish and Tansy while re-using old tires for the farm children to grow their own personal crop of Potatoes.

ExpansionAfter receiving 4 inches of much-needed Rain all at once we are reminded of why we use permanent raised beds even for crops grown under black plastic (these beds differ from our boxed raised beds). If our crops were grown “on the flat” these precious seedlings would have been lost and drowned but the seedlings are raised several inches up off the ground while the excess water pools in the “valleys”. Underneath the plastic is also a “valley” where water can pool and where the roots of the seedlings have to work to get the water but in the process it strengthens the seedlings and keeps them from drowning.

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Tomatoes, Peppers, and Eggplant seedlings.

We are still accepting new members for the 2015 season at all of our locations so don’t forget about our referral program and have your chance to win FREE produce for the season! We will be sending out emails to current members in the next couple of weeks when we are ready to start the season for FRESH VEGGIES!, and to discuss the various share size options and final payments. We will also be announcing soon the details of our weekly on-farm farmers market so stay tuned here and at our Facebook page!

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