Farmin' In the Moment

Winter Farm Shares now on sale!

Winter Farm Shares now on sale!

Good Morning Folks!

First of all, thanks to all of you who sent such thoughtful emails and offered such encouraging words at the market on Saturday.  It means more than you know to your farmers and the team here and we feel uplifted after such a difficult week.  We are in recovery mode this week, assessing damages, prioritizing tasks...and then reprioritizing...the rule book has been thrown out the window and we are just farmin' in the moment so to speak.   There are plants to foliar, fruit to trim, weeds to whack (still too wet to get the tractors in the field), and oh the endless onion harvest.  Some of the produce will look less than perfect at the market stand this week and as painful as it is to present you all with blemished product, we have little choice.  Much of the blemishes are just scaring, the plant naturally healing itself on the vine after the injuries.  Although we have sorted through the product that did not heal itself (aka, rotted), it would be best not to store scared veggies in your fridge for too long (a week or two is good) for risk of pre-mature spoilage. 

Many of you have asked what you can do to support the farm through this storm and after assessing our situation, we have decided to try to double down on our winter production.  We have increased our goal for winter CSA sign ups, so please spread the word! Signing up for a winter CSA share with the farm would not only help us cash flow through the end of the year but also provide you and your families with delicious winter produce during the dark months. And quite honestly, its fun! Pick ups are every other Wednesday at Equinox Brewing so it is the prefect mid-week winter treat.

There were a few winter crops that were hit by the storm, but we feel confident that if they do not pull through, we will be able to find another local organic source to substitute them. Many folks find the winter share is great to split with another family as we only offer one size.  If you are interested in a winter share but don't know anyone who might split with you, just shoot me an email and I will start connecting folks.  Finally, if you are in the Loveland area, we have some folks who are interested in setting up a pick-up rotation to make it more convenient to get your winter vegetables.  Please let me know if you are interested in getting on that list. You can find more info and sign up for the winter CSA share here.

Ok, enough storm talk.  Its time to get back to what we all have in common and that is food!  And given the current state of the farm, we are going to be celebrating the ordinary and giving thanks for what survived.  Yes, believe it or not, we are going to make cabbage sexy this week.  We grow several types of cabbage on the farm, almost exclusively for the late summer and fall months and so this is just the first of hopefully several types to come.  This is a green, fresh eating variety which means it will store for at least a month or more in your fridge but is not a nice,thick head like our winter varieties.  Our favorite way to eat it is making a delicious slaw for fish tacos with chopped carrot and sweet onion, but there are many other ways to prepare it such as making a big batch of sauerkraut to slather on burgers, braising it with sweet peppers, or stewing it down with some delicious tomatoes.  If you are feeling very fancy, check out Melissa Clark's recipe for cabbage and onion torta, it is sure to break even the most stubborn of cabbage haters.

Looking forward to seeing many of you soon,

Katie

P.S. This availability is somewhat fluid, so we may not have everything at every market.  I know it makes it hard to plan, but its just the reality of the situation, sorry!


This Week's Harvest

Kale

Beets, Loose

Carrots

Beans, mostly green but some yellow

Italian and Asian Eggplant

Sweet Peppers

Summer Squash, just a little bit

Salad Cucumbers

Shallots

Sweet Onions

Heirloom Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes

Green Fresh Cabbage

Flowers, just a few bouquets

Garlic, plenty :)

Its all a state of mind

This brings a whole new meaning to the term Green Thumb!

This brings a whole new meaning to the term Green Thumb!

Hello Folks,

This summer has flown by, faster I think than any other year and I feel like I have a bit of whiplash trying to catch up with all the stuff we have to do in the next few months.  We are almost to the middle of the lake here on the farm, the time when we are equal distance from either shore and we have no choice but to just keep swimming.  Not a bad thing really as the light is starting to change and the temperatures (in theory) should be slowly but steadily decreasing.  Who am I kidding, we live in Colorado, it will just be hot until one day it will just start snowing.  The slow slide is a nice state of mind though. This week has your farmers busily harvesting summer's bounty, beating back the last big weed push from the field edges, germinating winter carrots, beets, and storage radishes, and prepping for September's loose leaf crops.  AND we are still harvesting onions...forever onions.

Its ratatouille time folks!  I have no idea how long we will have zucchini as the cucumber beetles are attacking those plants as well, but I'm hoping for another few weeks.  Just enough time for you to make one of summer's most lovely treats.  Traditionally done in the oven, you can make a big batch and freeze it if you don't cook it all the way.  Otherwise, I like to make a quicker version with peppers, eggplants, summer squash and tomatoes on the stove top.  I must admit that the oven version is better, but sometimes you just don't want to get your house all hot after a long day in the sun.  Serve it with basil, lots of olive oil, crusty bread, and some good wine. Groan with delight and be thankful for summer. Our slicing cucumbers are officially done.  Which would be sad news if we didn't have a nice substitute in the "pickling" cucumbers.  I use quotations because they are really just small cucumbers that you can use the same way you might use a slicing cucumber.  We can call them salad cucumbers if that makes it not to eat them pickled.  Again, its all a state of mind.

Just a quick reminder on veggie storage, most crops want to be in a sealed plastic bag in your fridge.  Eggplant, summer squash, peppers, and cucumbers do well with a towel in the plastic bag.  If you are afraid of head lettuce prep, here is your easy cheat.  Just cut off the end, chop coarsely and put it into the salad spinner basket.  Put the basket in the salad spinner bowl and fill with water.  Pick up the basket, pour out the water and repeat.  Spin when done and store in the spinner in your fridge for ease of use later. If you don't have a salad spinner, there are other tricks, but really just get a salad spinner, you can thank me later. Finally, our heirloom tomatoes are ripe when we pick them.  Do not get more than you can eat in 2-3 days because that is how long they will keep on your counter.  Yes, you heard me, your counter.  Tomatoes will last longer in the fridge, but their texture will change and they will not be nearly as delicious as they should be for all the TLC we put into them.  Also, don't be fooled by their color, if they are supple, they are ripe, I promise.

Looking forward to seeing you all real soon!

Katie

 


This week's Harvest

Kale

Swiss Chard

Head Lettuce

Carrots

Beets

Green and Dragon Beans

Eggplant, Asian and Italian

Bell Peppers and Hot Peppers

Zucchini and Summer Squash

Sweet Onions

Heirloom Tomatoes

"Salad" Cucumbers

Garlic

Basil

Flowers

Cloud cover and summer crops

Lucky double farm rainbow!

Lucky double farm rainbow!

Hello Everyone!

Hip-Hooray for some much needed cloud cover and a forecast for the foreseeable future in the 80s!  It couldn't have come at a better time as our irrigation pumps are in need of some serious maintenance and your farmers need to catch up on their own hydration.  Hard to believe it is already the last week in July and its time to start the downhill slide to fall.  After the summer solstice, the onions start to size up and continue to do so until their necks get soft and the plants fall over.  That means its time to stop watering and get them out of the ground for curing.  Its a big job that takes several days, especially because we are growing all our onions that we will be selling this winter...hint hint, winter CSA!  The onions cure for a month and then we cut the tops off and put them in the cooler for storage.  I tend to breath a little easier once our onions and garlic are in storage for the winter months, as geeky as it sounds I feel very ready for the cold months with a serious pantry of alliums at our disposal.  

This week we are plugging away on the summer crops and tomatoes and peppers are just starting to trickle in.  Pepper ripening depends on your average daily temperatures, so those cool nights that we enjoy here in Colorado lead to slow ripening of these fruits.  The sweetness of colored bells comes from the actual ripening of the fruit and so most peppers start in some form of "green" then turn to a red, yellow, or orange pepper.  We of course grow some exceptions that are purple, white, or lime colored in their unripen form.  They will taste similar to a green pepper are great on pizza, for fajitas, or just for dipping in carrot tahini dip.  We are having a bit of a cucumber beetle apocalypse on our farm this year and I think time is running out for the slicing cucumbers...well all cucumbers really.  We are doing our best to have them as long as possible, but there is just nothing that we can do to stop the little monsters.  The pickling cucumbers have just come online and you can eat them like slicing cucumbers, no problem.  If you are interested in bulk pickling cucumbers, please email me and get on the schedule as I am unsure how long we will have them this year. Dragon Lingerie beans (aka, sexy beans), will be at the stand this week. With a flat pod and a beautiful cream and purple color, these beans are a fun break from the greens guys.  They have a more delicate flavor, so don't over cook!  AND, of course we will still have the green ones for posterity. 

Looking forward to seeing you all real soon!

Katie


This Week's Harvest

Kale

Chard

Head Lettuce

Carrots

Beets

Basil

Zucchini and Summer Squash

Bell peppers

Asian and Italian Eggplant

Broccoli

Sweet Onions

Cucumbers

Green and Dragon beans

Garlic

Tomatoes (just starting, not too many!)

Flowers

Ripening Weather

native_hill_eggplant.jpg

Good Morning Folks,

Hope y'all are finding good ways to stay cool out there!  These 95 degree days are really only good for tomato and pepper ripening and that is exactly what I'm thinking about when we are struggling through the heat of the day.  Looking like we might be getting a little relief in the next few days with a 30-40% chance of afternoon showers.  The good folks at the National Weather Service are calling for heavy rain...just time for us to seed our winter carrots.  Most moisture is good for farmers this time of year but heavy rain can wash the tiny carrot seed away and cause our soil to crust.  We are keeping our fingers crossed for some gentler showers so that we can all enjoy sweet winter carrots in December. We are just starting to see the first heirloom tomatoes ripening in the hoop houses, so it won't be long now before we will all be reaping the rewards of the summer heat.  This week also marks the start of our big fall planting push which lasts for the next month or so. Fall broccoli, storage kohlrabi, napa cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and chard are all going in the ground this week and we will be prepping for weekly plantings of spinach, radishes, and turnips over the next few weeks.

Green Beans have made it to the market stand this week and they are tasty!  Hard to go wrong with these guys as they are a lovely side for just about any meal.  Fresh green beans are such a summer treat and why they are part of a strange Thanksgiving casserole still baffles me (apologies to anyone who holds this tradition near and dear, I total agree that it is tasty, just strange).  Grill some nice pork chops, steam some of these beans and serve with shallot butter.  Can't go wrong. We continue to enjoy the fruits of summer in our family and have been trying to think outside the box.  This weekend we made a raw cucumber salad with shaved fennel and sweet onions.  Tossed with a lemony dill dressing and it was quite a refreshing treat.  The New York Times Cooking site has some great ideas for zucchini which I am excited to try this week.  I love the easy recipes like zucchini with fettuccine and pine nuts or zucchini fritters with feta and yogurt sauce.  Someone mentioned something about Shaksuka, of which there appears to be many variations of.  I think I will try it eggplant and zucchini this weekend.

A couple of logistics, I know many of you have been wondering how many weeks we have left in the CSA and you will be happy to know that we are not even half way there yet!  Counting this week, we have 15 weeks left, plenty of time for cooking and enjoying summer and fall bounty.  The last day to use your accounts in October 28th.  After that, we will be starting our winter CSA program that is an super way to keep eating seasonally and locally all the way through March.  We have been gradually increasing our winter CSA every year and every year we sell out, so if you are interested in the awesomeness that is the winter program, be sure to sign up soon.  Winter info can be found on our website here

Looking forward to seeing you all real soon!

Katie


This Week's Harvest

Kale

Chard

Head Lettuce

Sweet Onion

Beets

Carrots

Green Beans

Cucumber

Zucchini and Summer Squash

Broccoli

Basil

Garlic

Give your Famers a high five today!

Inside the lettuce fortress: We planted our next succession of head lettuce and harvested our first succession of carrots today! See y'all at the market!

Inside the lettuce fortress: We planted our next succession of head lettuce and harvested our first succession of carrots today! See y'all at the market!

Good Morning Folks!

And what a good morning it is!  The cloud cover and cooler temps feel so luxurious this morning, I just want to swim around in it until my fingers get all pruney and hope that the feeling sticks with me when we are back in the 90s. It is just what we needed, a break from the heat and the grind of July. I say it every year, so why change now, July is tough for farmers.  It is the crux of the climb, the time when you get your grit.  The time when everything seems like it is going wrong and you are just putting out fires, hoping to make it to August harvest time.  The stress is tremendous and everyone is feeling to some degree "hissed" (our combination of hot and pissed).  Coolers can't keep up, irrigation pumps are breaking (because they are running around the clock), and the pest pressure is intense.  Luckily there is swimming.  I often think back to 2012 when there wasn't any swimming in July, when it was 103 degrees and the ash from the fires made the river black and uninviting...and I'm reminded that we'll get through it just fine.   BUT, if you are feeling up for it, give your farmers a high-five today and let them know they are doing a good job.  They deserve it!

Carrots are back on the farm this week and they should be here to stay for a while.  I probably don't need to talk too much about what to do with fresh carrots, but in case you what to spice them up a bit, make some delicious dipping sauce.  Andrea Bemis has a very simple recipe for garlic herb butter that she swears is great for dipping all veggies.  (butter, shockingly good). Why not ditch the ranch and chop up some fresh cucumbers, carrots, and turnips and let folks go nuts.  Walla Walla onions are ready this week.  These early sweet onions are super on the grill, but really make you want some onion rings.  Don't have a fry daddy? Yeah, we don't either, those things just make it too tempting to fry everything.  Instead, make a simple batter with beer and flour and do a light version on the stove, only a little oil needed.  If storing longer than a couple days, keep the Walla Walls in the fridge as they are a fresh onion that has not been cured and they will not do great on your counter.  Broccoli is back this week and we are overloaded.  We combined two plantings in May when it had been too wet to get into our fields and now we have a tsunami.  Please email me if you would like to get some bulk broccoli for freezing, it is 2.00 per lb for 10lb or more (normally $3.25 at the market).  Just let me know which market you would like to pick it up at and I will have it packed up and ready to go when you get there. 

Finally, I'm sure many of you have seen the gorgeous flower bouquets at the market stand this year.  Please feel free to pick some up and put them on your market accounts.  Olivia, our dedicated flower farmer has been working hard to bring you beautiful, organic flowers and we hope you will treat yourself.  (they are almost as good as swimming when it comes to vanquishing the July blues...although those blues might just be reserved for farmers).  She also does weddings and other special events, so feel free to spread the word!

See you all real soon!

Katie


 

This Week's Harvest

Kale

Collard

Chard

Head Lettuce

Basil

Eggplant

Broccoli

Beets

Cucumbers

Summer Squash Zucchini

Carrots

Sweet Onions

Garlic