A race with Mother Nature

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Hi-Ya Folks,

Week 11 has proved to be an extra busy week on the farm and its doesn't look like we are stopping the party any time soon.  In addition to getting food out of the field we have been planting the heck out of our fall crops and starting to figure out the great cooler shuffle as we transition into mid summer on the farm. We are tuning up the carrot harvester for our big mid season carrot push and trying to make some curing space for the onions that will need to be pulled right about the same time.  Flowers are bursting, hundreds of little sunflowers with their heads turned to face the sun, make the farm a joyous place to be in late July and we are still playing twister in the cucumber and zucchini patches as we work around the monster plants that have over grown their fields. 

With food literally spilling out everywhere, this time of year feels like a race...a race with mother nature to see how much perishable food I can fit in my stomach before it gets too ripe.  Recalling the order of operations from seed to food, we have moved from leaf, to root, to fruit.  Fruit, for all of its glory, is by design a short lived being.  It holds the seeds for the next generation and when the plant drops its fruit, it will degrade and replant the seed.  Lucky for us, the fruits of many plants are delicious, but we have to gobble them up before they start trying to replant themselves. 

One way to do this is to cook them. When I can't keep up with all the beautiful fruits of the season, I know its time for ratatouille.  One of my favorite summer dishes, this can use up a lot of produce and fast.  I make an extra big batch and resign myself to thinking about winter, putting half of it in the freezer for the colder months.  One of my favorite ways to make it, is to chop up all the veggies, and add lots of oil and balsamic vinegar.  I cook it down in the oven until it is good and gooey and then slather it on some thick cut sourdough toast with ricotta or goat cheese.  It tastes just as great this way coming out of the freezer and can be served in a similar way as a quick appetizer for hungry winter guests. 

Freezer pesto is a must do in our family. We make a huge batch to get us through the long winter and now is the time to get it going.  With tons of fresh basil on hand, the kitchen literally turns green as we stay up late processing all the freshness.  Look for bulk bags at the market this weekend!

Looking forward to seeing many of you very soon!

Katie


This Week's Harvest

  • Kale

  • Chard

  • Head Lettuce

  • Carrots

  • Beets

  • Basil

  • Zucchini

  • Cucumbers

  • Heirloom Tomatoes

  • Cherry Tomatoes

  • Beans

  • Sweet Onions

  • Flowers and Herbs

  • Peppers (small amount)

  • Eggplant

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

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

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

Happy Summer!

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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