This week we have baby lettuce, baby kale, spinach, baby arugula, baby bok choi, pea shoots, mesclun mix, green curly kale, lacinato kale, rainbow chard, red potatoes, yellow potatoes, garlic, red and yellow onions, red and green cabbage, fennel, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, jalapeno peppers, husk cherries, leeks, acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, red beets, golden beets, and carrots!
Bulk Buying Opportunities!
If you are interested in any items when I list them, send me an email and I will get them packed up for you to pick up when you pick up your share. Bulk availability comes and goes, so if you are planning on doing preserving, don’t wait: they get spoken for quickly. This week we have:
jalapenos: $6 per pound or $20 for 4 pounds
rainbow chard: $25 for 10 bunches or $40 for 20 bunches *we use this like spinach, freeze in small batches for winter quiches, omelettes, pasta dishes, etc*
green curly kale: $25 for 10 bunches or $40 for 20 bunches *we use this like spinach, freeze in small batches for winter quiches, omelettes, pasta dishes, etc*
lacinato kale: $25 for 10 bunches or $40 for 20 bunches *we use this like spinach, freeze in small batches for winter quiches, omelettes, pasta dishes, etc*
elderberries: $60 for 10 pound bag of frozen berries (available fresh, not frozen upon request, and this is the last we will have fresh ones)
garlic: $12 per pound we have both seed and table garlic available
You can pick up your share at the farm on Thursdays and Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. (Veggies will be displayed in the cooler to pick out.) Walk into the barn, check off your name on the right, and turn left to find all your veggies in the cooler. You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm. You can pick up your share at the Ludlow Farmers’ Market on the Okemo Mountain School Lawn between 4 pm and 6:30 pm. Please do not come before 4 pm: The market has challenging neighbors and the entire market’s permit will be revoked if products leave the market before 4 pm. Important note: For the rest of the summer season, the Ludlow Market ends at 6:30 pm due to the dwindling day light. Sorry for that inconvenience!
I believe the most exciting thing that happened this week was 24 Hours Of Farming. Early this season Dan had the glorious idea of trying to farm for 24 hours straight to see what that was like. (Was this a joke, was he really serious? I don’t know.) In my past I have worked 12 hour overnight shifts as an EMT and I also sailed on a boat doing overnight watches, but now as a sleep deprived, working parent the idea of working 24 straight hours farming was completely unappealing to me. (So I didn’t.) But throughout the season the anticipation and excitement spread, so last Friday, the crew started their normal work day at 8 am, and those who felt wild enough (most of the crew), kept going all night, wrapping it up with helping Ryan pack the van for the Farmer’s Market in the morning. It was totally a party: we shared dinner and the wilder crew members shared coffee and yerba mate deep into the night, trimming hemp ALL NIGHT LONG. I believe the most prodigious folks trimmed 20 pounds of hemp each through the night. Not only was this helpful for the farm, it set an epic precedent, and we believe it will be an annual event at Evening Song Farm to have a day where we host a late night hemp trimming party, in future years opening that up to more than our crew. Stay tuned for next year’s shebang.
Getting to pop in briefly in between when our kids went to bed and when I needed to go to bed to run market the next morning, I was reminded seeing how joyful late night farming was just how lucky we are to work with the people on this team. We have always had the privilege to work with stellar humans over the years, and it is such a gift to not only work with lovely individuals, but also a group of humans who mesh into a fun team so well. Farming is draining, and as I type this, our crew is harvesting mini roma tomatoes in the rain, the plants totally flopped over and escaping the poor trellis we put up this year, necessitating lifting and squirreling under heavy, wet, gross tomato branches, and yet somehow they still willingly work with us, knowing at least every day we have at least one uncomfortable, difficult, heavy, tiring, or repetitive job to tackle. We are all able to find the joy in this work, knowing it’s important to be part of a future food solution to large farms that likely won’t make the climate transition as graceful as smaller farms. I know I write about our crew a lot, and I know many of you have gotten to meet them yourselves, but our farm will only be as awesome as our crew puts into it, and after watching them farm for 24 hours and then work this week in the cold rain, I want to add another shout out for their place on this team this season.
As for the veggies, all the winter squash has been harvested and is stored in the root cellar. This year we applied and won a food safety grant to upgrade a few boring but essential pieces of equipment we use on the farm to improve our food safety plan. One of those items was new bulk bins. These are large 5 foot cubes that hold veggies for us in the root cellar. We mostly use them for winter squash, cabbage, Napa, and sometimes head lettuce, but now that we have more, we may use them for other veggies as well. We used to make these bins out of several pallets nailed together, but they had to be replaced every year because wood can’t be adequately sanitized. Our new bins are a sanitize-able plastic that we can use forever. They also collapse, so we can store them more easily when they aren’t in use storing veggies. This is such an important feature. With how seasonal farming is, we use large amounts of tools and supplies during different times of year and then we need them to disappear essentially because believe it or not, we get space limited. It’s so nice we can fold these up and store them out of the way. There are many other aspects to the food safety grant that we will unfold on the farm now that the funds have finally been unlocked, but the other one we started last week was using new tomato crates that are also more easily sanitize-able. (That’s a major theme with food safety… Can I get this surface completely free of whatever was on it last?)
We continue to plant things in the winter tunnel and make slow and steady progress on the new third high tunnel. We also run around and remove any large flowering weeds this time of year to hopefully remove excessive weed seed drop for future years. Looks like the end of this week will bring our seconds solid frost of the season, so we will have to decide what crops we cover and what crops we harvest before the cold. Fall is a fun time of year because we are harvesting all sorts of fall goodies (for example, winter squash), alongside summer crops (for example, tomatoes), but that window closes after a strong frost, so enjoy this week’s bounty in the summer bounty this week! Have that last tomato sandwich!
Have a lovely week!
-ESF Team: Kara, Ryan, Taylor, CIndy, Dan, the Sams, Grace
Roasted Tomato and Fennel Soup
2 pounds of tomatoes, cores removed
1/4 cup olive oil
2 heads of garlic, peeled
1 onion, cut in large chunks
1 fennel bulb, core removed, cut in large chunks
4 cups broth (veggie, chicken, beef, whatever, feel free to make half of this milk for a creamy alternative)
salt and pepper
Put tomatoes and garlic in a deep baking dish and 1 TBSP olive oil. Toss onions, fennel, and the rest of the olive oil in another baking dish. Bake both trays in the oven at 425 for about 35-45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, empty both trays into a large pot, add broth, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes after a boil, puree the soup, add salt and pepper as needed.