Always new challenges here!

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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

Happy CSA Sign-Up Day!

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Happy CSA Sign-Up Day! CSA farmers across the country – including us – need your support for a successful future harvest. Buy a share today and help us grow! 

As you might already know, community supported agriculture is the business model for direct-marketing farmers in which individuals and families commit to buy from one farm for an entire season. CSA Day celebrates this model and all that small farmers do to strengthen local agriculture, connect communities, and nourish families.

Tell your friends and family why you support community supported agriculture. Use the tag #CSAday to spread the word and help us strengthen the local food movement in Northern Colorado!

To learn more about Native Hill's unique CSA model click here. Thank you for your support!

Week 5: A Weather Yo-Yo!

Greetings Y'all!

I hope this cloudy June morning finds you all well.  We have been having quite the weather Yo-Yo in these here parts, humid to hot and humid, to super cells and golf ball size hail, to 90 and dry and now back to predicted heavy rains....and all this since I last wrote you!  Remember when you didn't really even have to look at the weather for Fort Collins because it was always 85 and a 20% chance of thunderstorms after 11am?  Oh the good 'ol days.  Aside from covering and uncovering, moving flats in and out and crossing our fingers on the storms, this week has been full of transplanting and seeding.  June is always a bit of a crazy month because everything starts growing super fast. We have greens to harvest and things still need to be planted, weeded, and watered.  I am curious as to how this June will compare to others as most growth revolves around the Summer Solstice.  For six weeks before and six weeks after the Solstice, we get the most growth on the farm.  For those of you who are keeping track, four of the first six have been rainy and cold...lets all keep our fingers crossed for an Indian Summer!  Hmmm, I just realized that I could probably write my own Farmer's Almanac for Colorado just by looking back at the last seven years of weekly newsletters....maybe I should start writing less about the weather and more about politics.  Just kidding. 

Zucchini has arrived for the summer! Photo by Claire Burnett

Zucchini has arrived for the summer! Photo by Claire Burnett

Magical and fun things are starting to happen on the farm these days.  In addition to the sighting of a mysterious weasel/mink/wood chuck type creature (a neighbors's tail-less cat perhaps?), we have been observing the scaping of the garlic, the elongation of the zucchini, and bulbing of the fennel.  Garlic scapes are the seed head of the garlic bulb that we planted way back in November.  If left to their own devices, the scape would keep growing, pulling nutrients away from the growing garlic bulb and eventually flower and produce garlic seed.  To ensure your garlic is as large and lovely as can be, we will snap off the scapes and as not to waste something so tasty, bring them to market for you all to enjoy.  They taste like garlic flavored asparagus and can be grilled or roasted with olive oil and salt for delicious side.  I will also just throw them into any dish that I want to impart that garlic flavor on...or try making some pesto...maybe with some spinach or arugula?  Zucchini has arrived for the summer.  Like that favorite scarf that can be used to dress up or dress down an ensemble, the versatility of the vegetable is unrivaled in the veggie world.  From a raw salad  to  pizza crust, just start at chapter one of the zucchini cook book and go nuts. I always like to start simple, enjoying the tender fruit for what it is.  You have all summer to start disguising it in breads, latkes, and soups. :)

Finally, don't forget to fill out our land survey!  I sent it out last Friday afternoon and we need your feedback! We will be thrilled to hear if you love the project, but more importantly we want to hear if you hate the project. This is part of our due diligence before we act so we need to make sure it is in our best interest to move forward with it.  If there is not support from our greatest veggie lovers out there, we will need to re-evaluate our current strategy.  Click on this link to take you to the survey now.

It should take five minutes to look over the background info and 2-4 minutes to take the survey. We are looking for responses by tomorrow evening.  Thank you all in advance!!!!

See you all real soon!
Katie