This week we have baby lettuce, baby bok choi, mesclun mix, baby arugula, baby spinach, pea shoots, green garlic, green curly kale, lacinato kale, baby chard, bunched chard, rhubarb, parsley, salad turnips, radishes, and cucumbers.
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 7 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.
Since I am writing this a week early, current farm news would not reflect what’s going on when you are reading this. This week I offer you some farm history, instead. Ryan and I lived and worked at a therapeutic community farm for adults with special needs right after college, followed by two years living and working at my favorite summer camp in the world: Check out Journey’s End Farm Camp in Pennsylvania if you have kids between ages 7-12: https://www.journeysendfarm.org/camp We ran our first CSA for two years at Journey’s End, and then with all the blinders and self adulation that 24-year olds might have when beginner’s luck makes their first CSA a raging success, we decided to write a business plan, borrow lots of money, and start our own farm in Vermont. During college we each had other various farm experiences at college and abroad, but generally we dove into this project without a lot of formal training or experience, which made for so many hilarious rookie mistakes. Today’s episode in farm history is simply a list of the ridiculous things we did at other farms, on our own farm, or in the kitchen with fresh produce. The most recent of these was 8 years ago, so truly you don’t need to worry if your farmers are capable… this is just to enjoy the follies of starting a farm as liberal arts college grads.
Transplanted dozens of baby poison hemlock plants thinking they were cilantro. (Update, no one died because we realized our mistake before harvest.)
Transplanted 6-foot tall tomatoes from outdoors in September to an adobe greenhouse for “winter production” and proceeded to enjoy dead tomato plants with no new fruit.
Removed every pepper plant that was companion planted around tomatoes in someone’s garden because pepper plants were unfamiliar at that point.
Seeded about 20,000 broccoli plants in about 24 square feet, using several years of a farmers’ broccoli seed. (For reference, we grow about 6 to 8 broccoli plants in that same amount of space now, so 20,000 was about 19,992-19,994 too many plants for that space.)
Served cut up, raw winter squash (imagine melon chunks) for breakfast to a full boat crew because I didn’t know what winter squash looked like. (I have come a long way in the kitchen since that fiasco.)
Fed a herd of milking cows carrot tops. (Carrot tops suppress milk production in lactating mammals.)
Tried transplanting wild ramps into a garden.
Made pesto with the ENTIRE basil plant (woody stems included) because I wanted my college food budget to go as far as possible. (It was gross and inedible even for college students.)
Tried to sell stinging nettle at our first market without a way to avoid getting stung, and was shocked that people didn’t want to handle it with their bare hands.
Tapped a handful of maple trees with the hole going up. (The concept of gravity, and sap running downward was apparently lost on me.)
Milked cows in high heels.
Placed a half acre garden directly in the middle of a well traveled deer path with no deer fencing.
Tried to brake on a tractor using the clutch and plowed right through a fence.
Planted potatoes in unprepared ground. (Grew fewer potatoes than we originally put in the ground.)
“Hilled” potatoes with raked leaves.. This created a perfect habitat for mice, stocked with a food source. Harvested fewer potatoes than we planted.
Overfilled a manure spreader with compost to “save time” when we needed to amend a field fast and snapped our PTO. Several hours and several hundred dollar repair later, we broke a different part of the spreader.
Actually too many machine mistakes than are worth listing.
We bought a farm along a river. We all know how that worked out the first time;)
That’s probably enough for now. I swear we are actually a lot smarter than this list sounds!
Stay tuned for next week, and more timely farm news. Thank our crew this week if you see them. It is an enormous gift they give us to hold down this operation so we can recharge as a family.
Have a great week!
-The ESF Team: Kara, Ryan, Taylor, Dan, Cindy, Sam, and Sam
I usually include this one once a year because they are an awesome snack, kids love them, and you probably would too if you don’t normally like kale. Kale is one of my favorite vegetables, but honestly most people love kale chips. You can use either variety for kale chips, but I usually prefer using green curly because I like their shape better for kale chips.
1 bunch kale
1 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder (optional)
Preheat oven to 350. Remove the stems from the kale, and roughly rip the leaves. Toss all the ingredients together in a bowl and mix well so all the leaves are coated. Spread the kale out on a baking sheet. Bake until crispy, about 10- 15 minutes, but check often so they don’t burn. Enjoy!