This week you can choose from yellow potatoes, carrots, beets, rutabaga, Gilfeather turnip, spinach, mesclun mix, baby lettuce mix, baby arugula, pea shoots, baby bok choi, red radishes, french breakfast radishes, salad turnips, rhubarb, and plant starts for your garden. The available 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, (in 2-inch pots) slicing cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, Italian eggplant, husk cherries, sweet Italian red peppers, pablano peppers, jalapeno peppers, serrano peppers, cayenne peppers, green zucchini, summer squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, acorn squash, delicata squash, and cantaloupe. The tomatoes all come in large 4-inch pots, and the varieties available are: beefsteak, pineapple, black krim, kakao, sungold, red cherry, black cherry, yellow cherry, juliet plum, san marzano, and speckled roman paste. The 4-packs are 1 item, the 2-inch pots are half an item, and the 4-inch tomato cups are 1 item.
If salad turnips are new to you, they are a sweet, mild, crunchy vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked. You can grate them over salad, slice them for dip, eat them like and apple (like our toddler does!), roast them, bake them, and saute them. Usually people become big fans after they try them.
Starting this week, the Ludlow Farmers' Market opens on Fridays from 4pm to 7pm right on Route 103 in front of the Okemo Mountain School. That means you no longer have to fill out a form for us to pack a bag. Now just come to the market to pick out what you want! You can pick up your share at the farm on Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. You can pick up your share from the outdoor Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm.
So this week we got our written notice that we are officially certified organic! It's not a surprise since the inspection went so well, but it feels a bit funny, surreal, and adult-y. I know we have been technically running a farm business for 9 years, and we are parents, but for some reason becoming certified organic feels like we just became adults.
We just finished planting all the potatoes for this year! And we only have 2 beds of leeks left to plant before all our alliums are in the ground. This team is rocking this year. We are continuing to stay on of all the smaller weekly transplanting of lettuce, cilantro, beets, and scallions. The garlic planted last fall is looking glorious, and the early outdoor greens we are harvesting this week seem to have been well protected from those pesky flea beetles. Check out this week's arugula for some of the smallest, most tender, flee-beetle free, first cut arugula.
In larger agriculture new, the House vote on the 2018 Farm Bill got postponed until the end of June. This gives us all more time to connect with our representatives if the content of the Farm Bill is important to you. The Farm Bill is something that has turned in to something of a political jumble over the years, wrapping programs into it that are not necessarily directly related to agriculture. There is a lot of great stuff that the Farm Bill funds each year for agriculture, and a lot of more complicated, less good stuff that has been shoved in there by larger corporate agriculture lobbying groups. There are programs that make a big difference to small farms that are only a drop in the overall bucket of the $876 billion 2018 Farm Bill.
One of those was proposed to be cut: the cost share for organic certification. One of the main reasons that we are able to hold our prices steady even after becoming certified organic, is that there is a federal program that covers 75% percent of the cost of certification fees for organic farms. Without that program, many small farms would either find certification cost prohibitive, or need to raise their prices. So if organic certification is important to you, let your representatives know you want to see that stay in the 2018 Farm Bill.
Another program, that is getting some pressure for $20 billion in cuts, as well as work requirements, is the SNAP program which helps food insecure Americans afford to eat and feed their families. I feel blessed beyond belief to not be food insecure, especially now that we raise a kid, and I can't imagine the challenge of affording food for my family. If it's important to you to see the SNAP program fully supported to continue providing food assistance to families across the country, let your representatives know. Every year, I try to write a newsletter about how your decision to be a CSA member already inherently supports food insecure neighbors in our region: By supporting a small farm, you are enabling a food business to exist that will always have less marketable produce that gets donated to several places in our region. Each year, we are lucky to donate several thousand pounds of food to places in Rutland and Ludlow that can make it accessible to families. So by simply choosing a CSA for your family, you are already boosting the charitable food stream in your area. And if you are as jazzed as I can be about keeping federal programs in place that provide safety nets to our most vulnerable neighbors, now you know the SNAP program is at risk.
Next week we hope to start catching up on some of the weeding of the earliest crops which feels a bit overdue, as well as do more tomato and cucumber pruning in the first tunnel. It has been so fun to watch those early tomatoes and cukes grow!
Have a great week!
-Kara, Ryan, Morgan, Peter, Sam, Mikayla, and Taylor
Roasted Salad Turnips and Radishes
This is a great side dish, warm or room temperature, for your Memorial Day BBQs. (These can also be made in foil packets on the grill!
1 bunch radishes
1 bunch salad turnips
2 TBSP olive oil
salt and pepper
Remove the tops from the radishes and turnips. Quarter all of them. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Lay on a baking sheet and roast at 400 until lightly browned. They come out super sweet! Enjoy!