Happy Summer!

BEETS.JPG

Greetings Folks!

Happy Summer!  With highs soaring into the mid-nineties this past week, it sure does feel like summer and its time for your farmers to beat the heat...in more ways than one.  After a hot morning on the farm, there is nothing better than a lunch time wallow in the cold mountain water of the Poudre River.  With only a 12 hour travel time from the top of Cameron pass, the water will take your breath away and leave you feeling as crisp and perky as a chilled kale bunch.  Ok, bad farmer joke, but I swear that is what you feel like.  Then its time to do some serious cooling on the farm.  To keep things like head lettuce and broccoli from going to seed, farmer Nic has to double down on the evaporative cooling which actually works for farmers too.  A wet long sleeve shirt goes a long way on a hot afternoon.  Aside from trying to stay cool, your farmers have been busy harvesting like crazy.  For some reason, our vegetables are behaving some what like the weather this year...unexpectedly.  Some things are early, some things are late and some things are just surprising.  Either way, it is making for an extra busy June.

We are having a serious broccoli glut on the farm this week and it is equally as beautiful as it is abundant...so come and get it!  Spring broccoli can be hit or miss, but apparently this stuff liked that snow storm that we got in May.  I love it roasted or sautéed at on high heat, but in this weather, do it on the grill.  Just marinate it in some soy sauce and balsamic and throw it in your grill basket on high for 20 min or so.  It is awesome.  Be sure to eat the stalk!  It is nutritious and tasty and can be chopped up and grilled with the broccoli OR do 'em fried...check out a good recipe here

It's finally time for the great escape!  Garlic scape that is.  Many of you have been asking and they have finally arrived.  The scape is the seed stalk of the garlic and is magically delicious.  Sorta like garlic favored asparagus.  Many folks grill them or make pesto with them, but they are lovely chopped into a curry or stir fry too. We have a limited supply because the heavy snow knocked over a lot of our garlic and it never really stood back up.   They will be available this week only.  Speaking of this week only, last week for sugar snap peas.  They have surprised me a lot with continuous yields and that is great news for you pea lovers.  Get em while you can, we only have them once per year!  Finally, other surprises this week include cauliflower.  It is not usually ready until July and so I was surprised to see their heads peaking out at me while I was drowning in broccoli.  Some heads are more like art installations than actual food, so treat them gently.  Roasted cauliflower is my favorite, but I think I'm going to try it grilled this week, maybe marinated like a steak as I can not make my house warmer than it already is.  Don't forget the parmesan and garlic, it takes the cauliflower to the next level.

Looking forward to seeing many of you real soon!

Katie


This Week's Harvest

Kale

Collards

Chard

Salad Mix

Head Lettuce

Spinach 

Arugula

Salad Turnips

Radishes

Garlic Scapes

Sugar Snap Peas

Broccoli

Cauliflower

Zucchini

Baby Fennel Bunches

Beets

Spring Onions

Signs of June

Hello Folks,

Things are moving fast on the farm these days!  Our mid-June food push is officially underway with a lot to bring to the market stand this week as well as a lot to do in the field. More tomatoes to trellis, fall brassicas to plant, peas to pick, and weeds to pull!  Albeit dry, the weather has been particularly delightful these days (unless you count the tornado, apparently I was buried in beets and did not notice it) and it helps tremendously with all of the work that needs to get done in June.  Other sure signs of June...the dragon flies are back and busily being their carnivorous selves.  It is so magical to watch them hovering 2 feet from the ground, looking for prey in the evening light.  It is an assurance that some biological systems are still functioning in this crazy world.  Speaking of this crazy world, you can see pictures of much of the stuff we are doing on our Instagram and Facebook pages, so check it out if you are curious! 

This week we are back in baby mode, baby vegetables that is.  We have baby beets that are nice and easy to prepare, no need to peel them just chop the tops and roast them whole at 375 for about 30-40 min.  Slip the skins off if you want and toss with sautéed beet greens and balsamic.  Add some goat cheese or feta if you enjoy the dairy...nothing goes better with beets than goat cheese!  You can save some for a baby beet and goat cheese pizza too.  Add some arugula and you will be thrilled.  Substitute pasta or salad for the pizza part if you are so inclined.  Baby fennel is also back. One of my favorite spring treats, I slice this stuff thin and add it to a barley or farro salad...raw!  Roast it with the beets if you would like a more caramelized version.  Slowly cook it in a caste iron for pizza with pesto from the freezer and figs.  The fronds are much stronger than the bulbs, use some if you would like in pasta or as a finishing herb but a little goes a long way! 

Many folks are asking if you can eat the Kohlrabi greens, the answer is yes, but they are a bit tougher than many of the other greens...I like to refer to them as greens for the end times.  Your chickens will like them.

Looking forward to seeing you all real soon!

Katie


This Week's Harvest

Kale

Collard

Chard

Spinach

Arugula

Salad Mix

Radish

Salad Turnips

Baby Bok Choy

Kohlrabi

Baby Beets

Baby Fennel

Zucchini

Sugar Snap Peas

Back in the Swing of Things

native_hill_crops.jpg

Greetings Folks,

This week finds us already 4 weeks into the summer program and we finally feel like we are back in the swing of things.  With most of our summer crops planted out, it is time to fight back the jungle of grass and weeds that always threatens to engulf the farm in June.  As organic farmers, we like to create habitat for native beneficial insects along our roadways, ditches and field edges so that we can encourage the good bugs to compete with the bad ones.  This is often a blessing and a curse as we only have a few tools we can use to try to tame the habitat when it starts encroaching on our fields.  We do a lot of "grounds keeping", meaning mowing and weed whacking as well as flame weeding (which is basically what it sounds like, walking around with a propane tank on our back and a burning back the smaller weeds, and yes we feel like a bada**).  It is also time to start trellising tomatoes...a seemingly relentless task in June as by the time you get to the end of the row, the tomatoes have grown so much its time to start again (only exaggerating a little).  

With mother's day, graduation, and summer vacations out of the way, June is here and its time to open the windows, pull out the grill and settle into that luxurious pace of summer (although technically it doesn't start for another 2 weeks).  Green salads are always a fast and easy way to pack in the vegetables, but I'm partial to branching out a bit this time of year. Massaging heartier greens like kale and chard in your favorite dressing will leave you feeling oh so satisfied and make you something of a standout at your next bbq. I like to use a lemon and honey based dressing for mine and combine it with some fruit, nuts and delicious cheese.  Pasta salads are also a nice change and can absorb most vegetables well.  Blanched greens blend well with sliced kohlrabi and turnips in an early summer pasta salad.  Speaking of Kohlrabi, I love to eat it raw but it is great combined with radishes in spring rolls or Asian dumplings or even just sliced and grilled. Sugar snap peas and zucchini will be trickling into the market over the next week.  Our peas took a bit of a beating with late snow storm and some early deer pressure, so we are expecting loweryields.  I know they are a favorite of everyone, so we apologize if they are a bit sporadic at the markets.  Can't win them all every year.

Looking forward to seeing many of you soon,

Katie


This Week's Harvest

Kale

Collards

Chard

Radishes

Turnips

Salad Mix

Spicy Mix

Spinach

Baby Bok Choy

Broccoli Rabe

Kohlrabi

Zucchini (just starting, will have more soon)

Sugar Snap Peas

Moving into "June Mode"

collard_greens.jpg

Hi Folks!

The town seems to have transitioned over night to happy folks in their vacation garb...flip-flops, sunnies, and fancy hats...everyone is ready for summer.  Things are also heating up on the farm with highs this week in the low to mid-80s and we are cranking up the irrigation for the heat wave.  In addition to extra watering, this week we move the farm into "June" mode, meaning it is time to multitask.  Plants take advantage of the long day length and warmer evenings to do A LOT of growing and it is often hard for a vegetable farm to keep up not only with the plants' needs, but also all the weeding!  Another round of beans have been planted along with fall celeriac, parsnips, and pop-corn.  June also keeps us busy scouting and protecting the farm from pests both big and small.  We are imprisoning our head lettuce in a maximum security facility in hopes of keeping out our four hoofed foes while we are also calculating "degree days" to help us know when to look for cucumber beetles and the next round of cabbage moths. Oh June!

starters.jpg

Still enjoying greens this week and we are adding to the arsenal of verde at the market.  Baby bok choy is a spring favorite at our house.  We enjoyed a 30 minute meal of steamed bok choy and pea shoots with glazed mushrooms over rice last evening which was both delicious, healthy, and quick. I also love to grill bok choy with some delicious garlic chili glaze or saute it with turnip greens and add it to a stir fry with turnips from the said greens.  Speaking of turnips, they are back for the spring and ready for your indulgence.  Always a crowd pleaser, these little dudes can be eaten raw in a salad, steamed, or roasted.  I love to dip them in pea shoot or arugula pesto or glaze them in a skillet as a nice side.  The greens are oh so nutritious and delicious, so be sure to work them into your meal plan somewhere. Finally, broccoli rabe is back.  Strangely bitter but juicy and satisfying, this green is actually in the mustard family.  Italians pare it with spicy sausage and pasta and they are right, it is awesome that way.  I love to pile it high on pizza or steam it with salt and a little bit of malt vinegar.  It is very delicate, so don't overcook to maintain optimum flavor and texture.

Looking forward to seeing you all very soon!
Katie


This Week's Harvest

Kale

Collards

Chard

Salad Mix

Spinach

Arugula

Spicy Mix

Radishes

Salad Turnips

Pea Shoots

Baby Bok Choy

Broccoli Rabe

Getting Creative on the Farm

Hello Friends,

Your farmers are in a tizzy to get some stuff in the ground before the next storm and there is much to do while the sun shines.  We have late tomatoes, summer squash, cucumbers, peppers, and celeriac to get in the ground, as well as seeding July beans, cultivating garlic, potatoes, onions and mixed greens. We have peas to trellis and of course lots of food to get out of the ground, wash, and bring you good folks at the market this week.  Diversified vegetable farming is tricky business in Colorado when it rains.  We are perhaps the only farmers on our ditch system that need water in the ditch right now to keep planting and watering but no one else is calling for water...so we have to get creative as to how to move forward in our planting windows.  Good thing we have a farmer/engineer on the team that can rig up water to come from almost anything....a neighbor's well, a 250 gallon tote, a city tap with a really long hose...you would be surprised what we do on our farm for that life sustaining element that is water!

native_hill-Farm.jpg

Due to the snow, we do not have any salad mix for the market today.  We should be back up and running either this weekend or next, depending on how fast we have some regrowth.  We have some arugula that we will be selling at a discount because it is from last week's harvest.  We do not normally do that, but we also don't normally have snow in late May!  Other than that, we should have a good variety of greens for you folks this week, although we may come up a bit short on volume due to the storm.  Please be patient with us while the plants recover.

Native Hill Farm Stand is open every day from 8am-6pm. Come on by!

Native Hill Farm Stand is open every day from 8am-6pm. Come on by!

Just a quick FYI, Beaver's market is a little challenging to get to right now as Shields Ave is closed from Laporte to Vine.  If you are trying to get there from the North, just get over to mountain from Laporte before you get to shields.

See ya soon!

Katie


This Week's Harvest

Spinach

Spicy Mix

Discounted (but still delicious) Arugula

Radishes

Kale

Collard Greens

Rainbow Chard

Green Garlic