In The Greenhouse

owosso organics nursery greenhouse
owosso organics nursery greenhouse

    We are planting seeds everyday and have loads of activity happening in the nursery greenhouse. I wanted to post some pictures so you can see what the nursery greenhouse looks like, some baby plants etc. It is our smallest house at 9’x45′, so is the easiest to heat which we do with a simple propane heater.

   We have begun to take CSA shareholders commitments for the 2009 season. All previous shareholders should have gotten a brochure in the mail last week. If for some reason you didn’t receive a brochure from the farm, e-mail me and I will get one out to you ASAP. More than likely we will take approximately the same amount of shareholders as last year so if you know you want to do CSA again this year, don’t delay. Good to hear from all of you. I’ll add pictures later.

2009 Season Begins!

140800181     We are up and running! Most of the seeds have arrivedfrom our favorite seed companies and we have started planting. Yesterday we seeded in some leeks, snapdragons, early greenhouse tomatoes and the first lettuce of the season. I plan to send out the 2009 CSA brochures on March 1 so you should be getting them in the mail next week. If you did not get a brochure and  would like to join our CSA or just find out more info, e-mail me your adress and I will get one off to you. We are very excited about this season with some new veggies varities to try and some refined planting schudules to keep those veggies coming all season long.I hope to do some regular blogs to keep everyone updated on our season.

Remembering Summer

owosso organics gladshot peppers in september14080095140800861The thermometer reads -4 degrees this morning! Wow, about makes your snot freeze when you go outside.  My good buddie, CSA member and fabulous musician Doug Berch continues to teach me more about managing this website so hopefully I will be able to add some pictures and have a continuing communication via this blog part of Owosso Organics. I’m working on getting the 2009 CSA  brochure up on the website so folks can download a copy, fill it out and mail with payment to the farm.  I’ll be mailing all former CSAers a copy in February.  For now, here are some pictures from last year so we all still remember what the weather was like when it was warm.  Stay warm everybody.

Janurary 2009

Bitter cold winter day.  Sadly,our big winter greenhouse collapsed on December 19 due to heavy snowfall followed quickly by 25+ mile per hour winds.  We are waiting to hear from our insurance company to see what will happen for rebuilding. It is very sad to look at each day right out the front door of the farmhouse. Also a ton of cleanup work once the weather warms. Other than that we are ordering seeds, working on the website and planning for this spring. Keep in touch. I’m hoping to be adding some pictures soon also the 2009 brochure should be on the website soon. I will be mailing everyone a brochure via snail-mail in February. Stay warm everyone…

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 #17 NEWSLETTER

   Here we are, down to the last two weeks of the 2008 CSA. I’m sorry I’ve been remiss about the newsletter for the last few weeks. Things got pretty crazy around here handling the lisianthus harvest, beans, summer squash, tomatoes, too much rain after not enough rain…. Life on a vegetable farm. Every year my goal is to do a better newsletter, more recipes, more news of the farm etc., but the farm seems to take over from lisianthus to tomato harvest. So if anyone is interested in helping me with the newsletter for a discount on your share in 2009, let me know.

In your box is a survey for the season. Please fill it out as honestly as possible. Your feedback is vital in making your CSA more fitting your needs. Thanks you for taking the time to fill it out. You can mail it back to us or return it at the last pickup next week. Remember next week is the last pickup so please return all those boxes that have been filling the corner of your garage.

It’s been a great season and we want to thank everyone for being apart of our farm. I’ll be sending out a 2009 brochure to everyone next winter.

In your box this week:

1. Tomatoes: With all the rains last weekend (6″ to be exact) we had to harvest hard. I know this is a lot of tomatoes but they are fading fast.

2.Winter squash: They can keep for up to 4 months. Store in cool dry place.

3.Sweet peppers:Again a lot of peppers. They are soooo easy to freeze.

4.Celery: Very strong and pungent. Use the leaves to flavor soups and casseroles. The celery itself is very delicious.

5.Leeks: Probably the last distribution of leeks. They are smaller than the first two harvests.

6.Garlic: More this week and more for next week too.

7.Hot peppers: A nice mix. Fresh salsa can use up lots of tomatoes, sweet peppers, leeks, garlic and hot peppers. Hmmm.

8.Kale: See recipe below.

SQUASH AND KALE with WHITE BEAN STEW

A very hearty fall meal that gets better the next day.

3 cups cooked white beans

2T olive oil

1 large onion diced

1 head garlic, about 4-7 cloves

1 bay leaf

1 T sage, fresh or dried

1 t cumin

pinch red pepper flakes or fresh hot pepper sliced to taste

1 large winter squash, Acorn, Carnival, butternut, your choice peeled, seeded, cut into 2-inch cubes.

3 cups veggie or chicken broth or water more as needed.

1 bunch kale, thick stems removed chopped or coarsely torn.

Heat oil in deep dish baking pan or dutch oven. Add onion garlic sage cumin and fresh hot peppers or red pepper flaked and cook until translucent.

Add the squash; stir to combine. Add stock. Bring to simmer. Add the kale; cook until the squash and kale are tender, about 20 minutes. season with salt and pepper. Stir in cooked white beans, simmer until beans are heated through.

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.

CSA WEEK#10 NEWSLETTER

This week on the farm…..We have an amazing crew on the farm this year and I’ve been meaning to introduce them to you all for quite a while. All our work would not be possible without them.  For the past three years we have had two young women work with us: Regina and Jaycee. They are good friends and some of the hardest working people I have ever had the pleasure of working with.  Quite honestly they work me into the ground every day ( young people these days). They are poised, elegant and beautiful and we are most grateful for their efforts. Also working with us is Brian who goes to Owosso High School and super worker share workers Todd and Angela. It’s really quite a blast here most days….well, most days.

Also I want to mention super CSAers  Tom and Linda Dufelmeier who own the fabulous store Mackerel Sky in downtown East Lansing. It’s a very cool store full of amazingly beautiful things,” a gallery of art and articles for everyday life.” Which reminds me of another super CSAer Mary Jane Helder who happens to have an exhibit at Mackerel Sky of her  “jewel-like landscapes and garden portraits in felt.” The exhibit runs through September 22. Check it out.

Thanks to John Lowman at the Wrought Iron Grill a new restaurant in Owosso that  features Owosso Organics produce. We have had lots of comments from CSAers and other folks who have seen our name on the menu. They have a website: wroughtirongrill.com to check out their menu and daily specials. Thanks Chambre!

In your boxes this week:

1. Tomatoes: delicious red slicers and for full share a tiny smattering of the very first heirlooms.

2.Green Peppers: just a few this week. Remember you can freeze them easy/easy.

3.Onions: Yellow this week. These are real good keepers.

4.Garlic: Really yummy…

5.Lettuce:Finally it’s arrival back. This is a summer crisp variety. Some green some red.

6.Zucchini: Not too much. We will try not to overload you.

7.Herbs: Fresh basil, Thyme and Oregano. Use with pleasure!

8.Eggplant: We have about 7 different kinds. Most are harvested as baby. A great way to prepare them is to roast them. A little olive oil, some fresh herbs. Cut Eggplant in half, grill or roast in 400 oven until tender, about 15 minutes.

9.Broccoli: For full shares….More to come next week.

10.Beans: They keep on coming. A 1# bag for everyone.

11.Kale. Eat your kale….It’s really good for you.

12. Hot peppers: Serrano, jalapeno and anaheim.

I think that’s it though I may have forgotten something. I’m sorry no recipe this week, it’s almost pick-up time. I may post a recipe mid-week. If anyone wants to share a recipe you can e-mail it to me or post it at the web-site. I hope,hope,hope to learn how to do pictures on the web-site soon.

Enjoy your veggies. Remember to keep bringing those boxes back. Only 8 weeks to go in the season. Thanks!

                                      Always, Pooh, Richard, Cody and Taylor

CSA WEEK #9 NEWSLETTER

CSA NEWSLETTER WEEK #9

This week on the farm:

This week has been named CSA member appreciation week. To thank you all for supporting our local organic farm,you should all find a lisianthus bouquet in your boxes. We have had a great season so far, and expect it to get even better.

We are in need of rain, as always. But there is a chance of rain tomorrow in the day. Keep your fingers crossed…

On a more personal note, i finally splurged and bought myself my first digital camera. It is a Sony A350, and I will be using it to make my infamous Garden Greeting Cards. Also to post pictures on the website as soon as I learn how.

In your boxes this week:

1. Tomatoes: Our buffalo tomatoes are just coming on in the tomato hoop house. Some will be riper than others, so you have some for now and some for in a few days. We just started to harvest our heirloom tomatoes, so that’s something to look forward to in a couple of weeks when we have enough to give out.

2. Green Peppers: Very delicious. Also purple peppers, which taste about the same as the green ones.

 3. Onions: 2 bunches for full shares and 1 for half. A wonderful companion for all your cooking needs. 

4. Beans: We are absolutely swimming in beans right now. This week you are getting green beans, but we also have yellow and purple beans.

5. Garlic:Can be stored up to 9 months, or ready for you to enjoy today!

6. Peas:These sweet sugar snap peas can be eaten whole, and are perfect for crisp summer salads.

7. Zucchini: Our yellow and green zucchini are just coming on. In a couple weeks we will give you a recipe for them.In the meantime, bear in mind they will be here for quite a few weeks.

8. Basil:This aromatic herb can be used in a variety of ways, including the recipe below.

9. Hot Peppers:CAUTION!!! these medium to hot peppers are delicious for those that like it hot. This week we are giving out Garden Salsas. 

10. Chard:Can be used in place of spinach in recipes and is packed with vitamins and minerals.

Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto

This variation on pesto is so delightful, it’s a surprise it’s not more common. The tomato flavor so superbly highlights the rich basil. This pesto is great on pizza, pasta, and an omelet.

serves 2

                                        1 large fresh tomato

        2-3 cloves             garlic, peeled, halved

     3 tablespoons       pine nuts

     2 tablespoons         extra virgin olive oil

                      1 cup          fresh whole basil leaves

                  1/2 cup          freshly grated Parmesan cheese

     2 tablespoons          butter, softened

                                            salt

                                            freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine the tomatoes, garlic, pine nuts, and oil in a blender and process until just combined. Add a handful of basil and process again briefly, continue adding the basil in small amounts until all is combined.

2. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.

 Hope you enjoy, and thanks again for supporting our farm!

                                                Richard, Pooh, Cody and Taylor