Wild little Callie trying to make a break for it in the snow! photo by Adam Ford

Wild little Callie trying to make a break for it in the snow! photo by Adam Ford

What's Available This Week

This week you can choose from yellow potatoes, fingerling potatoes, green cabbage, garlic, red onions, carrots, baby carrots, beets, rutabaga, Gilfeather turnip, spinach, meslcun mix, baby kale, Japanese lettuce, and cilantro. 

 The botanical name for Japanese lettuce is "Tokyo Bikana," and is a tender, mild salad green that I use like a baby romaine leaf lettuce, photo by Adam Ford.

The botanical name for Japanese lettuce is "Tokyo Bikana," and is a tender, mild salad green that I use like a baby romaine leaf lettuce, photo by Adam Ford.

Farm or Ludlow CSA Pickup

Please use this form if you want to pick up your share at the farm or in Ludlow. Thanks!

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSewzn_VdO-qNORGtls6yuqaubDZ7mUtrc-UcSx1SSVvvKnWhQ/viewform?c=0&w=1

 The tunnel gets so hot on sunny days in the winter, when there is so much snow, and we cannot roll up the sides to cool it off. The best we can do is put this giant fan in teh front door way to pull in cold air to cool it off, photo by Adam Ford.

The tunnel gets so hot on sunny days in the winter, when there is so much snow, and we cannot roll up the sides to cool it off. The best we can do is put this giant fan in teh front door way to pull in cold air to cool it off, photo by Adam Ford.

Farm News

All our plants are moved to the propagation house and out of our bathroom, hooray! I have started the lengthy project of potting up all the tomatoes from their small cells into large cups, so they can take off from their 3-inch size, and start booming. For this early tomato plan to pan out, we have to install the used pellet boiler within a month to start heating the soil for early tomatoes. Ryan visited two other farms this weekend who use a similar ground heat system to do a bit more research before he sets up the plumbing for this big project. It's a blessing to have such a skill set on our team.... I wouldn't know where to start with setting up this boiler or getting all the tubing installed correctly in the ground. And as he focuses on that, all I have to do is pot up and take care of a couple hundred tomatoes so they are ready when he picks up his head from installing the boiler!

 Scallions popping up in their cells, photo by Adam Ford.

Scallions popping up in their cells, photo by Adam Ford.

Meanwhile, more and more seeds are growing in the propagation house. Right now we have bok choi, salad turnips, scallions, onions, shallots, leeks, hot peppers, sweet peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes, basil, celeriac, oregano, and husk cherries eagerly growing on the heated table in there. Our ginger tubers should arrive soon, but we keep those in a special 80 degree chamber (in our bathroom, again!) for a couple months: as a tropical plant, they need to be kept extra warm.

 Irrigating the tunnel, which we do about twice a winter on a warm enough day, photo by Adam Ford.

Irrigating the tunnel, which we do about twice a winter on a warm enough day, photo by Adam Ford.

The biggest accomplishment from this week is that I finally submitted our 30+ page organic certification application! We are hoping to be certified some time this spring! We have always followed organic standards with our growing practices, and the main reason we dragged our feet in the past has been my reluctance to add more office work to my life. As our business has expanded, and our data collection and paper work has become more of a routine within the daily production of the farm, it has made sense for me to get over my paper work aversion and start compiling the records we are already keeping and submit them for certification. The main motivation at this point in the business to certify is that the Rutland Farmers' Market no longer has a certified organic vendor. Boardman Hill Farm had been certified organic for many, many years, but after they stopped doing it, we felt compelled to make sure customers had at least one certified vendor at the market. There are so many, many reasons to support the organic label, and so we took the plunge. Since our veggies are now sold to a wider audience than just people who get to know us or the farm, it felt important to have a third party approve our growing practices. As a consumer of the foods I don't grow, purchasing organic is a hard line for me, so I felt like I wanted to offer that assurance to anyone who eats our food. I could write long essays on the importance of organic agriculture, and the evolution of my thought process to join the establishment label, so perhaps you will get snippets of those ideas in future newsletters!

 Dope picture of a paw print in the snow, photo by Adam Ford

Dope picture of a paw print in the snow, photo by Adam Ford

Perhaps the other newsworthy story I keep forgetting to share with our wider community is that we are preparing to welcome another baby into our lives this July! (And I can't keep it hidden in my sweatshirt anymore.) Definitely not the best timing for our line of work, but we are excited anyway. We haven't put enough planning into how I will be able to take some time off in July to birth a child and then recover from that, but I imagine even if we don't get around to planning it as thoroughly as we are used to planning everything else, it's going to happen one way or the other! It's been fun to notice all the differences already between Sky and whoever is growing in me this time: When Sky was growing inside me, I craved all the goat milk and greens in the world, making great use of food we produce here. (And now he is a goat milk vacuum and we enjoyed a garlicky spinach salad together yesterday... He prefers the stems, but impressed me that he ate quite a bit of the leaves, too! Check out the recipe below for the dressing we were enjoying.) This new human that I am growing now wants me to consume all the tropical fruit and dark chocolate I can find. (Between being due in July, and craving tropical based food products, I don't think this baby got the memo that it's being born on a veggie farm in the northern hemisphere.) 

 Next round of mesclun mix just emerging in the high tunnels, photo by Adam Ford.

Next round of mesclun mix just emerging in the high tunnels, photo by Adam Ford.

Next week we hope to collect all the shiitake logs Ryan cut down for inoculation last week, as well as continue seeding and repotting all our baby plants. 

Have a great week!

-Kara and the ESF team

 Some of the trays on the heated table in the propagation house, photo by Adam Ford.

Some of the trays on the heated table in the propagation house, photo by Adam Ford.

Garlic Yogurt Dressing

(With all these great salad greens, we have been enjoying a salad with every meal these days, which inspires me to keep a few different dressings in the fridge to change it up each time. We especially love this dressing for it's creaminess, and garlicky-ness. Imagine it as a probiotic-infused Caesar dressing!)

 Mesclun for this yummy dressing, photo by Adam Ford

Mesclun for this yummy dressing, photo by Adam Ford

4-7 cloves of garlic (based on how much garlic you like)

1 cup olive oil

1 cup lemon juice

2 tsp maple syrup

salt and pepper

1 tsp dried parsely

2 cups yogurt

In a food processor, blend the olive oil and garlic until smooth. Add everything except the yogurt, and blend. Transfer to a jar and whisk in the yogurt. (Blending the yogurt too forcefully makes it a bit more watery.) Keeps in the fridge at least 3 weeks.