CSA WEEK #7

     Wow, what a crazy growing season. This recent chilly weather continues to set the season back. It was 49 degrees last Thursday morning. The cool weather crops like this weather but the tomatoes and peppers just don’t know what to do. On the good side this keeps some insects at bay, but the plants are just not growing with the vigor they should have for mid-July. With such slow growth patterns we are still scrambling to have consistent harvest patterns for the Monday/Wednesday distribution. By now we should have enough produce to have each days CSA box look the same. So some things listed may not appear in your box; some things in your box may not be listed.

In the boxes this week:

Leaf Lettuce: Green and or Red. We are coming close to the end of the lettuce season.See dressing recipe below

Braising Mix: This is a mix of Turnip greens, kale ans Swiss Chard. See recipe below

Radish: They love this cool weather.

Garlic: The first of the season. BUT we just harvested it today so you must let it cure before using it. Leave it on a windowsill for a couple of weeks for the skin to dry out. Otherwise you will peel the flesh of the garlic off with the skin.

Onions: Really tasty summer onions. Probably just for Monday??

Swiss Chard: Remember use like spinach.

Monday boxes will have popcorn and popcorn topping.(Wednesday boxes had this two weeks ago.) You can use the popcorn topping on potatoes, fish and chicken also.It is our secret recipe.

Richard’s Potato and Greens

5-6 potatoes. Red or white work well

1 large onion

2 minced garlic cloves

3T olive oil

1 bag mixed cooking greeens/ braising greens. About 6oz

  Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add minced garlic (don’t let burn. It will taste bitter and bring you bad luck) chopped onion and let wilt. About 5 minutes. Add partially cooked potatoes. (you can either par-boil them or microwave them until they are a little over half way cooked.) Slice potatoes into pleasant size pieces. Cook until potatoes are almost done and all is well blended. Add cleaned, chopped  greens on top of potatoes. Cover with lid and cook slowly until greens are wilted down. Serve with a generous  topping of fresh grated Parmesan cheese. 

A CSAersuggested a great way to use your radishes. She chopped them thinly and added them to her sandwich along with a delicious piece of fresh lettuce. It added a great zip to her weekly lunch. 

Lemon Parmesan Vinaigrette Dressing

1T Mayonnaise

1/4c (1once) grated Parmesan Cheese

3T fresh lemon juice

2T Balsamic vinegar

1/4 extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Place mayonnaise, cheese, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar in a blender or food processor. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream until the dressing is well blended and thickens. Yummy new dressing for all your CSA salads.

    Thanks everyone for you patience while we wait for this season to kick in…………Enjoy! Pooh

Week #5 Already!

     It’s hard to believe that we are already into week #5. As most of you know from our complaints, this season has been particularly slow in coming. All the area farmers (and even a farm I follow in Vermont) have been concerned with how long it has taken for crops to yield. We are STILL in the green leafy stage waiting desperately for other more exciting crops to come in. In part the coolness of this summer and also the massive rain in June have slowed things way down. All we can do is wait and cultivate. Wow, that rhymes! 

In the boxes this week: Monday and Wednesday boxes differ this week due to some crops maturing at different times. Some things may appear in your box that aren’t listed; some listed thing may not appear in your box.

Growers Choice: Another mixed bag of lettuce and other greens

Leaf lettuce: Mostly the last of the green or red.

Onions: Baby onions for Monday box only

Greens: Either Kale or Swiss Chard. Both in Monday box.

Peas: Maybe….. probably just in Wednesday boxes. Next Monday will get peas.

Beets: Maybe…..

Herbs: A mixture of whats ready. Probably Curly Parsley and or Sage.

    That’s about it folks. Thanks for your patience.

CSA Newsletter Week #3

  Summer has really arrived: the heat, the rains and the weeds! We are still accessing the damage from last weeks rain. We got a total of 5″ for the week and with our heavy clay soil that is just too much for the ground to handle. As of today we know we lost a few hundred tomato plants and the second planting of beans. Luckily there is no rain in the forecast for the week so hopefully we can dry out.

   In the boxes this week:

Growers Choice Salad mix: a lovely blend of salad greens including lettuce, baby beet greens, baby Swiss chard, and spinach. We wash and spin the mix but as always suggest that you wash the mix before you eat it.

Red and or green leaf lettuce: The lettuce is wonderful this time of the year, great on sandwiches, burgers ….

Cilantro: Fresh from the greenhouse.

Turnip greens:  This is a first for us. Use them as you would Swiss chard or spinach. They have a slightly spicy/sweet flavor. Think Gone with the Wind. Cook them is a little olive oil with your garlic scape. Steam lightly.

Garlic Scapes: This is the funny looking twirly things. They are the flower of the garlic plant. We remove this part and it encourages the bulbs to grow. Use the scap as you would a green onion. It had a lovely slight garlic flavor.

 Thanks everyone for bringing your boxes back. I’ll try to do a recipe for the turnip greens later this week. I think we have ironed out the pick-up bugs.

WEEK #1 IS HERE!!!

We are here. It is finally time for the 2009 CSA season to begin. Pick-up starts today, June 8 for the Owosso/farm. Pick-up is from 5:00 to 7:00pm.  And Wednesday, June 10 from5:00 to 6:00 pm for the East Lansing/Okemos pick-up at 4919 Van Atta Rd.

   See you all there!!!!!!

Busy-Busy-Busy

richard in greenhouse, owosso organics
richard in greenhouse, owosso organics

    Things are slowly drying out on the farm and we have been able to get some planting done. All of the brassicas are in the ground, leeks went in last week, peas are up, onions are finally in and one of the early greenhouses is planted wall to wall. Now if things could just warm up. The last two nights it went below 32. We are wary of planting the warm crops remembering the frost we got last year on May 28.

   The CSA is now full and we are putting folks on a waiting list or asking them to contct us early next year. Thanks to everyone!  We will contact everyone if we  decide we need to push back the first pick up date.

A Wet and Cool Spring

   It has been quite a few years since we have seen this much rainfall in Shiawassee County in the month of April. I think there has been almost 5″ this month. We have tons of standing  water here at the farm and haven’t been able to even get in the greenhouses. Whereas usually this time of the year we would have most of the early greenhouses planted, we have only about 30% of one of the drier houses planted We are kind of freaking out, well really I am freaking out. Richard is walking around cool as a cucumber as usual talking to me about patience. It’s like the last couple weeks of pregnancy when you are really, really ready for this baby to come out of the cooker but you just have to wait because you have no choice. We have transplants, huge, healthy, beautiful transplants ready to go into the greenhouse and the fields but we just have to wait.  I follow Richard around the farm complaining. Then I remember Doris Day. My mom was a huge Doris Day fan and that is some of the first music I remember as a child. You remember it too (song written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evens) “Que Sera Sera, What ever will be will be.” I calms be down….slightly.

    On the good side our CSA is pretty much full. I will have to put any new inquires on a waiting list. But, we will more than likely have to delay the first pick up until later in June when we actually have food to distribute. I will contact all CSA members on this decision.

I’ll post some pictures of the wet soggy farm this evening after my camera charges.

Grafting Tomatoes

Owosso Organics Grafting Chamber
Owosso Organics Grafting Chamber

     One of the things we are trying this year on the farm is grafting tomatoes. Lots of research, especially out of Cornell University shows that grafted tomatoes are much higher yielding and grafting helps control the foliage growth which is especially important in the greenhouse. We will plant some in the greenhouse but we thought we may trial some in the field and see how they do. We started about 200 rootstock plants in February and we are doing the grafting today. It’s really important to provide a very warm, very humid healing chamber for four or five days after grafting, so Richard built this out of scrap materials from the cooler project.

   The nursery greenhouse is almost full! We will move into the Quonset greenhouse (30’x45′) in a couple weeks. It is amazing how fast things move along once the earth warms up.

   Thanks for all the shareholders who have signed up already.

CSA NEWSLETTER #18

  We made it! This is the last week of the season and just in time as Saturday morning on my way to the farmers market the thermometer read 34 degrees. Yikes that was cold! We lost most of the solanaceous crops that day, the field tomatoes, basil for sure, lots of the flowers, summer squash… It’s been a good long season; the frost came almost three weeks past our average first frost date. The plants and farmers are getting tired.

Thank you, thank you everyone! It was a great season. Thanks for picking your boxes up every week, thanks for bringing back the boxes (still time for that, even when the seasons over we sometimes find boxes appear out of nowhere on our door stop months after CSA is done) Thanks for trying new veggies you had never seen before ( Wow, we love Kale now! was a comment from a new CSAer this summer), thanks for all you support, thanks for putting up with yet another year of a bumper crop of sweet and hot peppers, thanks for wishing for but not getting again a CSA potluck on the farm (We are so lame but we promise to try again next year, really…),Thanks for supporting local agriculture and this crazy idea of making a living on a small family farm. We are so thankful for your support.

In your boxes this week:

1. Winter Squash: A mix of a few different kinds. I cook them all the same way. Cut squash in half, scoop out the seeds. Bake in a pan with and inch or so of water with the cut side down at 350 degrees for about 45 min until the flesh is soft. Mix with butter and salt. I am freezing some already cooked squash. I haven’t tried it yet but it looks good in the ziplock bag, retained it color nicely.

2. Popcorn: We just picked it today so it must dry for at least a few months. Leave it out in the open air to dry. Remove the kernels from the ears and pop. Try popping a few kernels in December and see if it pops. If it’s too wet, it just won’t pop at all. It is a gourmet variety of popcorn that is hull-less and delicious.

3. Garlic: So good! It will last about 4 months.

4. Sweet peppers:Too many? Of course there are too many: freeze, freeze freeze. Or roast them with potatoes, garlic, onions, cubed winter squash any veggies you have hanging around. It uses up a lot of veggies. Mix in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Spread on cookie sheet. Bake 375 degrees for about 20 min until veggies are fork tender.

5. Hot peppers: pablanos, Serrano and garden salsa.

6. Celery:Strong and aromantic. Be sure to use the leaves too. Put in an air tight bag to last longer.

7. Eggplant: The very last of the season. A beautiful mix.

8. Cabbage: Delicious and crisp. Coleslaw anyone?

9. Tomatoes: Lots of heirlooms of all shapes, colors and sizes.

10. Dried hot peppers:  Hot off the dehydrated. These are great for stir fry, in pasta on top of pizzas. Store in glass jar. They keep indefinitely. You recieved some of last years crop eariler in the season.

11. Kale: It gets better with the cooler weather.

 “The ground  is locked up, the farmer’s exertions must relent, and now for him is the time to indulge in thinking and speculating upon what is passed and what is likely to come.”

                                                     J.M. Gourgas, New England Farmer January 25, 1828

I’ll be sending everyone a 2009 brochure in Feburary. Thanks again everyone, it was an honor growing food for you.

                                                                                                                    Always, Pooh, Richard, Cody and Taylor

CSA WEEK 13 NEWSLETTER

Yes, we are staying on the same schedule for the labor day weekend. We will be at the  Okemos drop off site and here at the farm just like every other week. Hope to see everyone….the boxes look great this week!  

In your box this week: 

Winter Squash:A variety called Carnival. Very beautiful. 

Sweet Peppers: A mix of green, colored, and Carmen sweets.

Pablanos:slightly hot, very good.

Hot Peppers:serranos and garden salsa, both medium hot.

Potatoes:a mix of red and white. Perfect for a Labor day dinner.

Heirlooms:A variety  of color, texture, size, and flavor.

Garlic: Great on anything.

Broccoli: Finally we have Broccoli again!

Eggplant: So beautiful and great on the grill

Zuchini: A mix of yellow and green.

Lettuce: The return of our growers choice mix.