This week you can choose from yellow potatoes, carrots, beets, rutabaga, Gilfeather turnip, spinach, mesclun mix, baby arugula, pea shoots, baby bok choi, salad turnips, and plant starts for your garden or windowsill. As the season goes on we will have more vegetable starts to choose from, but for now what we have available as starts are: (in 4-packs) parsley, dill, brussels sprouts, rainbow chard, lacinato kale, green curly kale, broccoli, green beans, cosmos, sunflowers, marigolds, zinnias, cilantro, basil, (and in 2-inch pots) slicing cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, Italian eggplant, husk cherries, sweet Italian red peppers, pablano peppers, jalapeno peppers, serrano peppers, and cayenne peppers. The 4-packs are 1 item, and the 2-inch pots are half an item. (If you choose any of the basil, green beans, peppers, eggplant, husk cherries, or cucumbers now, they should still be protected from frost.)
You can pick up your share at the farm on Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. (Veggies will be displayed in the cooler to pick out, rather than having a pre-packed bag at the farm.) You can pick up your share from the outdoor Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm. If you want your share delivered to Ludlow, use this form by 9 am on Friday to select the veggies you want for the week: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSewzn_VdO-qNORGtls6yuqaubDZ7mUtrc-UcSx1SSVvvKnWhQ/viewform?c=0&w=1. Then you can pick up your share from Four Season's Sotheby's International Realty between 2 pm and 5 pm. They are next to Java Baba's in the shopping plaza across from the main entrance to Okemo Mountain.
Extras Available at the Barn Pickup
If you pick up your CSA share in our barn, and are looking great local, grass fed beef or local maple syrup check, we have both available for sale from neighboring farms. The beef is in the freezer to the left of the CSA sign in board, and the maple syrup is right next to the board. It is important to note that these are not things that can be swapped for items in your CSA. These are completely separate from our business: we are just offering the space to our neighbors. If you want to buy any of these products, fill out the sheet in front of the CSA sign in board, and leave payment in the CSA payment box, and we will pass it along to them. The Squire Family Farm beef is grass fed, and their organic certification is pending. The Kreuger-Norton maple syrup is produced in a wood-fired sugar house, and I am be biased since we used to sugar at a farm that did all their boiling with wood we personally harvested, but I notice a taste difference when it is boiled that way.
This week starts the second half of the spring share, so your remaining CSA balance is due. If you don't know your balance, let me know. If you need a different payment schedule, that's always ok, just let me know!
We are taking some risks this spring planting some frost sensitive crops out earlier than the frost date we use, which is June 1st. The long term forecast looks pretty safe, and everything that is frost sensitive has row covers on them, so we aren't being entirely reckless! Yesterday we transplanted all our peppers. (We are SO EAGER to have earlier peppers, since ours are always SO LATE!) We will also try putting out or husk cherries this week if we have the time. The tomatoes in the first tunnel are slowly getting away from us, and we hope to finish trellising them by the end of the week. We have gotten all the onions and shallots transplanted which leaves us with 4 beds of leeks to go for the epic annual allium planting!
Ryan and I had a magical morning this morning when our toddler slept in longer than us (what?!) and we got to have tea and talk like adults without juggling a hyper-mobile, loud, love-muffin. We got to talking about how many of the things that haven't worked for us in the past that we have put a lot of strategy and brain energy towards this winter seem to be improving. Most notably is the much reduced weed pressure in our early baby greens and carrot seedings outdoors. Usually by now, they can be kind of swamped, and we have no time to save them as we rush to get all the transplants out. This year we have been able to stay on top of them with some simple tine weeding, and therefor not lose those early greens. How fun!
The biggest event this week was that an organic certifying inspector came out for our first inspection! We did a LOT of work to prepare for her visit, but it definitely paid off: She kept saying how we an A+ for having everything ready and organized. The most exciting part is that she said in all the 22 years she has been inspecting farms, this is the first time she inspected a new producer just joining the program that had no corrections to make. It's completely reasonable to have corrections to make when you first join the program since it would be new protocols to that farm, but my obsessive (and tiring) attention to detail, as well as Ryan's tight farm ship made the inspection go smoothly with no corrections to make. Our paperwork just needs to make it's way through the organic offices, but I imagine we will get our official certification in a couple weeks! Getting us to this point is certainly a team effort, with all our crew adeptly learning the systems that make this farm hum, and following all our protocols and record keeping procedures. So hats off to everyone here who makes this operation fly. Thank you.
New to the organic certification program this year is a seed to sale audit. I did not know this would be part of the inspection process, but we were still able to pass, which certainly surprised me, and the certifier, since she had never done one either. The way it works is we had to provide a paper trail for every event a random vegetable went through on our farm from bringing it in as a seed to selling it. This required documentation of seed purchases, seeding dates with what amendments it was seeded with, transplant dates with records of how the beds were prepped, harvest dates and yields, and then sales destination and records. This was the first time all our nerding out with data collection seemed to pay off.
On mother's day our other mama goat gave birth to two large bucklings. This goat usually has 3 or 4 teeny tiny babies, but this year she went for two large boys! They are cuter and cuddlier than most baby goats, if you can even imagine that. I might be sad to see this pair go!
Next week we hope to fit in the remaining shiitake inoculation we need to do, hopefully plant our potatoes, as well as catch up on some seeding and weeding before continuing on the major outdoor transplant push.
Have a great week!
-Kara, Ryan, Morgan, Sam, Taylor, Peter, and Mikayla
Bok Choi Salad
Even though bok choi is usually cooked, this is an excellent, fresh salad to enjoy!
1 bag of bok choi, thinly sliced
2 carrots, grated
1 TBSP sesame seeds
1/4 cup crushed nuts, toasted (cashews, almonds, pine nuts, anything)
2 TBSP toasted sesame oil
1 TBSP lime juice
2 tsp maple syrup
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
Finely chop bok choi using white and green parts. Spread nuts evenly on a pan over medium bit. Stir regularly to keep from burning. After the nuts warm and turn lightly brown they are toasted well for the salad. Remove from heat. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and enjoy! Keeps well in the fridge for at least a week.