Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Work Day Schedule

There will be two work days next week:

Thursday, Oct. 6 from 8:30 to 10:30 we will weed the root crops, build compost, thin the carrots and beets, plant more radishes, spray fermented equisetum preparation, and plant vetch in some of the beds that will be resting over the winter.

Saturday, October 8, if anyone is an early bird I'll be at the garden from 6:45 to 8:45 in the morning weeding the flower and herb beds.

Come join me if you can.  If you can't, feel free to come out to the garden and look around any time.  I often come just to sit and rest in a peaceful place.

The garden is really looking wonderful now that we've had cooler weather and some rain and thanks to everyone's help.  The children and not quite adults (high school students) are taking on most garden tasks with vigor and enthusiasm.  Harvesting seems to be a favorite task for some while others love loading and dumping wheelbarrows full of whatever needs moving.

Here are a few younger siblings of our third graders hanging out in the shade next to some flats we had just planted.

And here is Christy, weeding the sorrel bed.  

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tuesday Market, Sept. 27

7:45 to 8:45 in the morning and 2:45 to 3:45 in the afternoon. In the gazebo, rain or shine.  Come get your fresh veggies, herbs and flowers and support the farm program at the same time.

Tomorrow we'll have...

Radishes, $1.50/bunch

Arugula, $1/bag

Mustard, $1/bag

Flowers, $2/bunch

Basil, $2/bunch

Sorrel, $2/bag

We are also offering parents at the school the opportunity to sell produce from their own gardens for a $5 per day table fee.  If you are a parent at the school and are interested in renting table space, please contact Mary Beth Mueller.  This week parents will be adding chestnuts and turnips to our sales menu.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Work Days - September 25 -Oct. 1

Next week there will be 4 short (2 hours) work days.  Come if you can and stay as short or as long as you like.  Even 15 minutes of extra hands helps tremendously!

Sunday, Sept. 25, 9:00 to 11:00 we'll finish prepping the new bed we started last week for the 3rd grade grain crops and weed and feed the tomatoes, raspberries and strawberries.

Wednesday, Sept. 28, 3:00 to 5:00 we'll turn as many beds as we can (up to 4) and plant them in cover crop (vetch), add more layers to the compost, and weed, thin and add more plantings to the root crop bed.

Friday, Sept. 30, 1:00 to 3:00 we'll weed and feed the flower beds, stake up some of the tall plants that are falling over, and plant a few seeds that need fall planting for an early start in spring.

Saturday, Oct. 1, 9:00 to 11:00 we'll add more plantings to the leaf bed, weed and feed the leaf bed and the asparagus bed, and start prepping a brand new leaf bed if there are enough hands to take on the task.

Below is a photo of one of our regular volunteers, Therisa, in the middle of weeding one of the flower beds.  The photo I didn't get was of the adorable baby bunny who ran and hid in the weed patch.  He was just too fast for us!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Tuesday Market, Sept. 20

7:45 to 8:45 in the morning and 2:45 to 3:45 in the afternoon. In the gazebo, rain or shine.  Come get your fresh veggies, herbs and flowers and support the farm program at the same time.

Tomorrow we'll have...

Arugula, $2/bag

Mustard, $2/bag

Flowers, $3/bunch

Basil, $2/bunch

Sorrel, $2/bag

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Upcoming Work Days

Just two short work days next week:

Wednesday, Sept. 21, 9:30 to 11:30 we'll be weeding the shade flower bed, planting more buckwheat, feeding all the flower beds and digging up some iris corms that are currently in the woods and don't flower due to lack of shade.

Friday, Sept. 23, 1:00 to 3:00 we'll stir and spread the fermented weed jauche, plant some spinach, arugula, mustard and cilantro, weed and feed the asparagus and leafy greens beds, weed the nettle and collect the top portion of the plant, and divide and replant some of the sorrel.

Come join me if you can!

Below is one of my favorite Fall sights in the garden.  Spiders have always made me a bit nervous, but knowing that they eat the bugs that want to eat our growing plants helps me to like them better.  Seeing how this one loves and cares for her babies is both fascinating and heartwarming.  Yes, all those little bumps all over her body are her babies!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sorrel Soup Recipes

Several people have asked about what to do with the sorrel that our market offers in such abundance in spring and fall.  Sorrel has a lemony flavor that goes nicely mixed in with salads or with anything that benefits from a touch of lemon.  It also makes a wonderful soup.  Here are two recipes:

Creamy Sorrel Soup
1lge potato
3 T butter
1 lge shallot or 1 med. onion, finely diced
about 4 C sorrel
4 C stock or water (stock is tastier)
1 t salt
1 C cream or milk

Cut potato into 1/2" pieces and boil in 1 C water with 1 t salt until it is cooked through but still holds its shape.  Drain, save cooking water and set potato aside.
Melt 3 T butter in a soup pot and cook shallot or onion until translucent.
Chop sorrel and add to shallot/onion.
Cook briefly just until sorrel changes to drab green.
Add stock, potato water, pepper and salt to taste.
Bring to a boil and turn off the heat.
Add milk or cream.
Blend in batches until silky smooth.
Return soup to pot and add cooked potatoes.
Reheat gently and serve.

Chunky Sorrel Soup
1 C chopped onion
1 C chopped carrot
2 T flour
1/4 C chopped garlic chive or 2 cloves minced garlic
3 T butter
3-4 C sorrel, coarsely chopped
4 C hot stock or water (stock is tastier)
grated parmesan for garnish (optional)

Saute onions and carrots in butter until soft.
Add flour and saute about 2 minutes.
Add sorrel and chives or minced garlic and saute another minute or two.
Slowly add hot stock while stirring, then simmer 3 to 4 minutes.
Serve in bowls and sprinkle with grated parmesan if desired.

You can also serve this soup pureed if you don't like chunky soups.

If you have any other recipes for sorrel, send them in an email and I will post them.

Bon Appetit!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tuesday Market, Sept. 13, 2011

We will be offering the market twice on Tuesdays from here on out.  From 7:45 to 8:45 in the morning and from 2:45 to 3:45 in the afternoons.  This week we will have the following produce:

Sorrel:  $2/bag

Flowers:  $3/bunch

Leeks:  $1.50/bunch

Basil:  $1.50/bunch

Income from the market helps to purchase seeds and tools for the farm program.  Come support our kids learning about gardening and stock up on fresh veggies too!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Upcoming Work Days

Next week there will be 3 short work days.

Sunday, Sept. 11, 9:30 to 12:00 we will tend the flower beds by weeding, feeding and edging them.

Wednesday, Sept 14, 8:30 to 9:30 we will stir and spray fermented horsetail.  Stirring and spraying the biodynamic preps is always a pleasant experience.  Small children especially enjoy sprinkling the preps around once they have been stirred so feel free to bring them with you.  Come join the fun!

Friday, Sept. 16, 2:00 to 4:30 is a day when I can really use all the extra help I can get.  We have one more bed to prepare for the grain crops that 3rd grade traditionally plants in fall.  Bed preparation is simple, but time consuming because we choose to do it all by hand at Emerson Farm.  If four people were able to come and work hard for 2 hours we should be able to get it done.  Are you one of the four?  :-)

Here is a candid of someone I caught in the tomato patch recently.

Eastern box turtles are omnivorous so he could be after the slugs or the tomatoes, or both.  I asked him if he would please stick to slugs and tomato hornworms as a special favor.  I hope to see him around again soon.

Monday, September 5, 2011

First Fall Market of the School Year

Our first fall market will be tomorrow, Sept. 6 2:45 to 3:45 in the gazebo, rain or shine.  Here is what we have to offer this week:

Flowers:  $3/bunch


Garlic:  50 cents/bulb

Sorrel:  $2/bunch

Leeks:  $1.50/lb

Basil:  $1.50/bunch

Starting next week we will offer the market on Tuesday mornings 7:45 to 8:45 and Tuesday afternoons 2:45 to 3:45, always in the gazebo, always rain or shine.  Bring your cash or check and come help the farm program while getting your fill of fresh herbs, vegetables, and flowers.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Upcoming Work Days

Next week the garden work days will be:

Sunday, Sept. 4, 8:00 to noon:  Want to actually experience some labor on Labor Day weekend?  Come on by and help with thinning and transplanting and planting arugula, mustard, collards, chard, lettuce, and dill.  Of course we'll also do some weeding as well.

Tuesday, Sept. 6, 8:30 to 10:30:  We'll be weeding and feeding our baby apple tree and raspberries staking and weeding the tomatoes and green beans, weeding and feeding the strawberries, prepping a bed for the grain crops that 3rd grade will be planting, and pulling out the early tomatoes.

Thursday, Sept. 8, 10 to 1:00:  We'll add another layer to the compost pile, plant more carrots, beets and radishes, spread some straw around the base of the root bed, weed the sweet potatoes if they need it, and work on the fence.

As always, you are welcome to come for as little or as much time as you wish on work days.  Hope to see you there and many thanks to those who have come in the past!

My camera doesn't really do it justice, but here is a picture of a butterfly I found in the flower and herb bed.  I didn't realize until after I had taken the picture that the yellow thing is actually a crab spider feasting on a very gourmet meal!

Tomatoes, Compost and Root Veggies

The Militante family, Renee and Felix Jr. and Senior came out to help weed the tomatoes last Sunday.  The bed was full of tall weeds.  They went through the bed with amazing speed and efficiency so now we can actually see the tomato plants and their fruit.

Yesterday Loren's dad, Zach spent the full four hour work time out at the garden.  Zach works full time at Minka Farm  so he brought a lot of good advice with him and we flew through the task list.  We  added several thick layers to the compost:

and planted a section of carrots, beets and radishes in the root bed:

Rula and her youngest son also helped with weeding the sweet potatoes.  The fence is only about half finished so the plants are still lacking a lot of their foliage because of 4 legged marauders that keep getting in, but at least they aren't competing with the weeds for sunlight and water any more.  

Zach also had a look at our leeks and declared them more than ready for harvesting.  They'll be for sale at the first fall market.