What's Available This Week

This week you can choose from yellow potatoes, carrots, beets, lettuce heads, baby lettuce mix, baby arugula, baby bok choi, red radishes, salad turnips, rhubarb, green garlic, scallions, cilantro, baby kale, baby lacinato kale, bunched green curly kale, bunched lacinato kale, baby chard, basil, pea shoots, cucumbers, shiitake mushrooms, garlic scapes, and plant starts for your garden.  This will be the last week of plant starts, so take what you want this week!

 Ryan did the first round of hilling potateos before a big thunderstorm would have made this garden too wet to get in there with the tractor, photo by Adam Ford

Ryan did the first round of hilling potateos before a big thunderstorm would have made this garden too wet to get in there with the tractor, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details

You can pick up your summer share at the farm on Thursdays and Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. If you are new to coming to the farm, use "680 Shunpike Road, Shrewsbury VT 05738" to get to our driveway. Then pull up to the barn. Enter the barn up the ramp, check off your name on the right as you walk in. Non-refrigerated items will be on display as you walk in. Everything else will be displayed in the walk in cooler. Walk into the barn, and make a left, and you will see the big door. We have two very sweet dogs, one who is poorly behaved and may jump on you despite all our best efforts. We apologize in advance if she jumps on you. The other dog is super sweet as well, but can have an intimidating bark if you haven't met him. Neither of these dogs will pose a danger to you or your kiddos. 

 I love this photo of Peter packing one of the tents into the van before market... I feel like packing our market van is a higher stakes game of tetris, photo by Adam Ford.

I love this photo of Peter packing one of the tents into the van before market... I feel like packing our market van is a higher stakes game of tetris, photo by Adam Ford.

You can pick up your share from the Ludlow Farmers' Market on Fridays from 4 pm to 7 pm on the front lawn of the Okemo Mountain School right on Route 103, just south of down town. Heads up that the market has a strict policy of selling before the bell rings at 4 pm. Even though you aren't buying things and just picking out your share, coming early can apparently still jeopardize the market's permit, so do your best to come after 4 pm.

 Morgan and Peter working on other parts of that tetris game, photo by Adam Ford

Morgan and Peter working on other parts of that tetris game, photo by Adam Ford

You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm, right downtown by the Walmart parking lot.

Thank you for your summer CSA payments last week. If you have not paid your deposit, plus the first half of your share, and you haven't planned an alternate payment schedule with me, try to get those payments in this week. Thank you!

 I can't put my finger on what I love so much about this picture, perhaps the light, perhaps the chaos of our barn on the wya to the cooler to pick up your veggies.. who knows, photo by Adam Ford.

I can't put my finger on what I love so much about this picture, perhaps the light, perhaps the chaos of our barn on the wya to the cooler to pick up your veggies.. who knows, photo by Adam Ford.

Farm News

Early this week we replaced a bunch of eggplant starts in one of the tunnel beds, because the voles have made their advances on our tunnel crops finally. Usually they create so much more damage and havoc earlier in the season, but now they are out, taking down the eggplant and green beans. We had enough backup plants to replace eggplant, but we have to plant a later planting of green beans, thanks to these little trouble makers. 

 one of our hives on the edge of a wild flower field, photo by Adam Ford

one of our hives on the edge of a wild flower field, photo by Adam Ford

We finally got our peas trellised! We also kept on top of the weekly transplantings that needed to go in. We are bummed we have to keep row covers on all our beets and chard now, thanks to our new neighbors, the leaf miners. It feels like soon the whole farm will exist under floating white row cover!

 vetch in one of the cover crop mixes in the field, photo by Adam Ford

vetch in one of the cover crop mixes in the field, photo by Adam Ford

Our cover cropped fields continue to come in nicely, and we are eagerly watching so many fruiting crops set flowers for the future, like zucchini, peppers, and eggplant. Our early tomato plants look amazing, and we continue to trellis them... heavily pruning their bottom leaves, lowering them down, trellising the growing tips, and removing suckers. We are just as eager as you all to start seeing some substantial ripening on these wonders, which we imagine will be in just a couple short weeks. 

 water on lacinato kale, photo by Adam Ford

water on lacinato kale, photo by Adam Ford

We thought it would be fun to introduce our CSA to our fantastic farm crew. Many of you have been with us since our first year (wow!), and have gotten to know Ryan and I pretty well. But there is so much more to this operation than the two of us. We often call our crew the most important farm tool. We couldn't run such a fun vegetable circus without all the hard work and commitment of everyone that works here, and we are grateful to find such lovely people to spend our time with. So every couple weeks, we will profile one of our crew members so you can learn a little bit about who is growing all this food.

 shiitake mushrooms on a log, photo by Adam Ford

shiitake mushrooms on a log, photo by Adam Ford

Meet Shain! Shain joined the ESF team last fall when we needed more part time help, and has been working with us every since. It's always cool for people to work through the winter season with us to see all the ways this farm produces food during the different seasons. This season Shain has been a pro at managing the bulk of the tomato trellising as well as the shiitake yard. He has been in charge of soaking, stacking, harvesting, and restacking the log rotation. When describing why Shain is interested in farming, he says: "Through farming I feel I gain a better sense of my own physical limitations and abilities, and how others own unique abilities compliment my own. Growing different foods involves many different skill sets, which is teaching me that each person has their own approach to learning and overcoming challenges. I think that farming also requires a good bit of open communication and self reflection; both of which I see as beneficial for developing humans!" Shain finds it amazing to watch the fields fill up with plantings over multiple weeks. He adds, "even more rewarding is seeing how our team becomes more and more responsive to challenges every day." 

 we cover the winter squash field to protect from quash beetles and to give them a little jump on the season, photo by Adam Ford.

we cover the winter squash field to protect from quash beetles and to give them a little jump on the season, photo by Adam Ford.

When Ryan and I started farming, we did some pretty ridiculous things from being so inexperienced, such as transplanting several trays of poison hemlock that we thought were cilantro back when we lived at our student run farm at college! We love talking about those early farming snafus with our team. Shain says that the most ridiculous learning moment from a farming mistake that he has made was pulling up a bed full of asparagus crowns thinking they were weed rhizomes! That's a pretty awesome one, Shain, (easy for me to say since it wasn't here!), and also makes a ton of sense... And good news is that snafu didn't nearly kill anyone, like our hemlock project. But now I am sure he is familiar with asparagus!

 Shain tucking broccoli transplants into the ground, photo by Adam Ford.

Shain tucking broccoli transplants into the ground, photo by Adam Ford.

Even though Shain spends a LOT of time farming these days, he is also super involved in the Manchester skate park fundraising initiative. If you want to check out that work, you can go to:  https://www.gofundme.com/ManchSkatepark In his shout out to that project, Shain says, "People learn so much from utilizing diverse outlets for recreation!"

Check out future newsletters to meet the many other great humans we work with, and have a great week!

-ESF Team: Kara, Ryan, Shain, Sam, Taylor, Peter, Morgan, and Mikayla

Herbed Potato Salad

 image from seriouseats.com, but I prefer the ptoatoes cut into smaller cubes

image from seriouseats.com, but I prefer the ptoatoes cut into smaller cubes

Surely there are a few other people out there like myself who are terrified of mayonnaise. If that's true for you, you will love this summer recipe!

1 1/2 pounds potatoes, cubed into bit sized pieces

2 green garlic stalks, chopped finely

4 scallions, chopped finely

2 tsp dill (fresh or dried)

1 bunch finely chopped parsley (optional)

salt and pepper

3 TBSP olive oil

1 TBSP lemon juice

1 TBSP red wine vinegar

1 TBSP spicy mustard

1/2 tsp maple syrup

Steam potatoes for about 8-12 minutes, or until just able to pierce with a fork. (Try not to overcooked.) Meanwhile, whisk together all the other ingredients. Combine with potatoes in a bowl and enjoy!