A tsunami of ripe fruits

cherry tomatoes.jpg

Hello Folks,

September is here and has ushered in some lovely cooler temperatures...at least for now...and your farmers will take advantage of it while it lasts.  This first full week of the month finds your farmers sticky with tomato sap as we push through a tsunami of ripe fruits that has recently hit the farm.  We harvested over 800 lbs of romas yesterday alone and we will have them at the market for the next few weeks for your saucing pleasure. 

Romas are great for canning because they are a more fleshy tomato and tend to yield more than heirloom or slicing tomatoes.  I like to put away a mix of different types of tomatoes so that I can use the bulky romas for quantity and the heirloom and slicing tomatoes for quality.  I tend to cook down my slicing tomatoes skin and all on the stove top and then either put them through a food mill or use an emulsion blender to take care of the skins.  Then I put the final product in zip lock bags and squirrel them away in the freezer for soups and sauces. 

Cherry tomatoes are great for roasting and then freezing.  I like to cook mine down with fresh rosemary, thyme, and basil.  Portion some out and add some sweet white balsamic and salt and spread over crusty bread with some crème fresh or goat cheese for a easy week night supper.  If you are feeling as though you have more time, cherry tomato and fennel risotto is certainly worthy of it.  Serve with a side of fresh broccoli and skillet chicken and you will feel like royalty.

We are harvesting winter squash today...and probably tomorrow too.  It will need to cure for a few weeks before it sweetens up, so you will not see it at the market, but it is a sure sign that fall is in the air.  Speaking of fall, we only have 8 weeks left of our summer program, so if you haven't signed up for your winter share, now is good time to do so.  You can either bring a check to the market and circumnavigate the pesky credit card fees or you can do it from the comfort of your home here.  

Looking forward to seeing many of you real soon!

Katie


This Week's Harvest

Kale

Chard

Collard

Head Lettuce

Carrots

Beets

Potatoes

Leeks

Broccoli

Savoy, Green, and Purple cabbage

Fennel

Heirloom, Cherry, and Roma Tomatoes

Eggplant

Bell Peppers

Basil 

Red Onions

Garlic

Flowers

Green Beans

Always new challenges here!

carrots.jpg

Hello Folks,

Hope everyone had a great eclipse holiday!  Even though your farmers didn't get to travel to a totality locality, we still were able to enjoy the magic from the tomato tunnels.  Pretty crazy experience! Now that it is a bit dryer, your farmers have been busy this week trying to figure out our new carrot harvester.  It actually works pretty well for a machine from the 1970s but now we have a materials handling problem.  The machine is too fast and we can't keep up with the washing and packing logistics.  Its always a new challenge here!  Speaking of carrot harvesting, I'm sure that you have noticed that we have been bagging our carrots at the market rather than bunching them.  No one seems to be complaining, but we changed because it is more efficient for the farm and there were enough folks at the market asking us to remove the tops before putting them in their bag.  We figured we would make it easier for everyone by getting rid of the tops ahead of time and giving you a handy bag to store them in.  Winning!

Its back to school time and we have lots of healthy, delicious stuff for sack lunches.  Carrot sticks, sweet peppers, sun gold cherry tomatoes, and fresh green beans all are easy things to pop in lunches to ensure your kids are eating well even when they aren't home for the summer any more.  We are at the glut of heirloom tomato season!  The plants will be producing high volumes of tomatoes for the next two weeks, so take advantage!  Last night the whole family enjoyed BLTs with a side of oven crisped new potatoes.  Talk about a satisfying meal.  New potatoes are great for all sorts of stuff including potato salad, hash browns, and just plan roasting.  I'm thinking of a new potato skillet hash with onions, cabbage, and sweet peppers.  New potatoes have a thin skin, so store them in a plastic bag in your fridge until you are ready to eat them.  This week we have Yukon Gold at the stand, but may have some other varieties coming down the pike.  We will probably start to have flats of heirloom tomato uglies at the market this week.  Not sure how many we will have but ask at the market stand if you are interested.  Boxes of romas will be coming on strong soon.

See you all real soon!

Katie


This Week's Harvest (Again, please be patient with the quantities of some things, we are going to be low for a little while.)

Kale 

Chard

Collards

Head Lettuce (sort of)

Green Beans

Italian Eggplant

Heirloom Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes

Sweet Bell Peppers

Yukon Gold Potatoes

Sweet Onions

Salad Cucumbers

Lemon Cucumbers

Cabbage

Basil

Beets

Carrots

Garlic

Yellow Squash

Flowers

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