Posts Tagged ‘carrots’

red express cabbage

red express cabbage

lacinato kale, broccoli

lacinato kale, broccoli

red Russian kale, Lincoln leeks

red Russian kale, Lincoln leeks

spinach, beets, Swiss chard

spinach, beets, Swiss chard

collards, Brussels sprouts, tendersweet cabbage, Napa cabbage (under cover), red romaine lettuce (under cover), tadorna leeks, cassius cauliflower, bolero & napoli carrots

collards, Brussels sprouts, tendersweet cabbage, Napa cabbage (under cover), red romaine lettuce (under cover), tadorna leeks, cassius cauliflower, bolero & napoli carrots

Napa cabbage

Napa cabbage

red romaine lettuce. you can see how the recent rain has brought forth the weeds!

red romaine lettuce. you can see how the recent rain has brought forth the weeds!

zucchini and lemon cucumbers still in production

zucchini and lemon cucumbers still in production

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As we near the end of August, we are sensing the close of Summer. Our ewes are beginning to lamb again, the days are getting noticeably shorter, the grapes are ripening…Autumn is coming! This also means that we are also deep into our winter vegetable farming…

napoli carrots

napoli carrot

We have carrots growing. Carrots take a very long time to germinate (2-3 weeks), and in the heat, we have to keep them moist and cool to get the little plants going. That means hand-watering them twice a day. It’s a lot of work, but we love carrots 🙂

looking over the south section of the garden

looking over the south section of the garden

To the left of the oak tree, you can see a brown, cultivated section of the garden. With the walk-behind tractor, Adam roughly shaped the beds. We have started to shovel compost on the beds, shovel up the sides, and rake them flat. Then we laid out the drip tape from last season and started seeding beets and spinach. The next couple days, we’ll be doing that to the rest of that section and transplant our chard and seed more root crops.

flats of kale, cabbage, and cauliflower

flats of kale, cabbage, and cauliflower

In the green section to the left of the oak tree, the cover crop will be cultivated in, and beds made in the same way. We’ll transplant many of the brassicas (picture above) there.

acorn squash

acorn squash

We are very happy with how well the winter squash and pumpkins are producing. At this point, now that the squash plants are in the ground, we just have to irrigate them until harvest. We had to do a couple rounds of cultivation as weed management, but we’ll be under-sowing the plants with cover crop soon.

potatoes

potatoes

And the potato plants are doing their thing. We don’t do much with them since they’ve been planted. Some weeding and watering in the beginning, but we just wait to harvest them now.

So, we have a lot going on with the winter vegetable farming. It would be great if more people sign up and send deposits soon. We’re putting in a lot of time and energy on the winter crops instead of the summer crops, meaning we’re not selling a lot of summer produce, meaning we’re not making a lot of money from produce right now. It will be a few months before we have lamb to sell, and we are not raising a lot of extra meat chickens outside the poultry CSA because their organic feed is so expensive. Please sign up for the winter CSA today!

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This month has been the first full month of full-on winter vegetable planting. It’s kind of neat to see where we were with the winter CSA last July. In some ways, we are ahead this year, and in others we are behind. We know what has to get done when, but as last year, the dearth of sign-ups, and more important – money – has been an obstacle.

Despite the heat and lack of financing, we are busy bees on the farm. We had a handful of folks keep the CSA afloat so far such that we’ve been able to purchase seeds & some irrigation parts, and to pay our bills.

Some of the garlic we harvested earlier this summer for the winter CSA. It tastes as great as it looks!

Some of the garlic we harvested earlier this summer for the winter CSA. It tastes as great as it looks!

The winter squash & pumpkin field right after laying the irrigation drip lines and right before planting.

The winter squash & pumpkin field right after laying the irrigation drip lines and right before planting.

We saved a lot of onion seeds. The flower heads of old spring onions are finally drying out, and we are able to gather that seed.

We saved a lot of onion seeds. The flower heads of old spring onions are finally drying out, and we are able to gather that seed.

We cleared out spring vegetables by hand. Then with shovel, wheelbarrow, and hoe, we top-dress the beds with compost, incorporate it into the top soil, and flatten the surface of the bed. Ready for planting!

We cleared out spring vegetables by hand. Then with shovel, wheelbarrow, and hoe, we top-dress the beds with compost, incorporate it into the top soil, and flatten the surface of the bed. Ready for planting!

To keep the newly planted carrot seeds moist (and to help germination), we cover the watered beds with soaking burlap. We have to make sure the beds remain moist.

To keep the newly planted carrot seeds moist (and to help germination), we cover the watered beds with soaking burlap. We have to make sure the beds remain moist.

Back at the squash field, this Waltham Butternut plant is growing happily.

Back at the squash field, this Waltham Butternut plant is growing happily.

So this is what winter vegetable growing looks like. This is what local food and eating with the seasons look like. For us to keep growing winter vegetables, we really need folks to sign up! If you have questions or concerns about joining the winter CSA, we are more than happy to talk (or email) with you.

USE THIS FORM TO SIGN UP

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April 4, 2009

IN YOUR BASKET THIS WEEK

  • Scarlet Nantes Carrots
  • Little Lincoln Leeks
  • Ruby Ring Spring Onions
  • Red Russian Kale
  • Various Lettuce
  • Cauliflower or Broccoli
  • Italian Dandelion

NOTES FROM THE FIELD

It has been another week of long days from sun-up to sun-down. Thank goodness our experienced farmer friend Charles Martin has been coing to help us sometimes. This will be the last week you’ll see red Russian kale in your baskets; the plants are flowering. You may have deduced this last week, but the third planting of broccoli and cauliflower has come one very sporadically. So, you have a choice of various cauliflower or broccoli. And we hope you have been enjoying the carrots each week. Every so often, we spot a jack rabbit in the garden probably sniffing out the carrots, but we have been keeping them under row cover and away from pests.

The garlic for this coming winter season is growing well. Paula spent some time weeding them as they especially do not like big weeds. With Charles’ assistance, we cleared about three beds of old broccoli and planted lettuce. Hopefully, you will be able to find this lettuce at the Co-op or Farmers Market in late May. Adam build another table for the greenhouse; our tomato starts are doing really well in there. Jerry, the vineyard manager, cultivated the lower part of the garden where we’ll be planting potatoes very soon. Those will be ready around June, and we’ll keep some of those to plant again and harvest for this coming winter CSA season.

So, while we’re quite busy with spring and summer planting, we have to think ahead to the next winter plantings already. If you did no hear, we are raising organic free-range broiler chickens again this summer and fall. They will be pasturing in one section of the garden, helping fertilize the ground and feed the soil for winter crops. While raising broiler chickens does not make us very much money, they have an external benefit. We strive for on-farm fertility in growing great vegetables for you. Let us know if you are interested in buying poultry from us.

Eat well! Adam Gaska and Paula Manalo

NOTES ON THIS ISSUE

Mendocino County is under siege. The Navy intends to expand its training area to the Mendocino County line and will increase its use of sonar, which harms marine mammals. Wave energy development threatens the coast off Fort Bragg. Although “under review” the Interior Department could still revive a plan to allow offshore oil drilling, more likely now that Congress failed to renew the offshore drilling moratorium. The headline on the April 4th Empire News section of the Press Democrat is immediate: “Quick drop in water level kills coho.”

The article tells us that frost protection measures to save crops resulted in stranded fish in Felta Creek in Sonoma County and the Russian River near Hopland in Mendocino County. And, if the foregoing catalog of horrors isn’t bad enough, now this: the developer, Diversified Development Realty (DDR), hiding behind the rubric of “Mendocino County Tomorrow” will begin circulating a petition to place an initiative on the ballot, which, if passed would plunk a mega-mall on the old Masonite site. Hard to know where to start swinging. My swings will be aimed at hitting DDR out of county. If you are interested in helping, please send me an e-mail.

Still, though we have to eat. That’s going to get harder as the effects of the drought take hold. And for that reason CSAs seem more important than ever because they offer the most food for the least water, or at least that is how it looks to me.

Janie Sheppard jsheppard@pacific.net

peach blossom at the garden site

peach blossom at the garden site

Carrot Salad

(The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters)

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound carrots
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegard
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • salt
  • fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Instructions:

  1. Peel and grate carrots.
  2. Make vinaigrette by stirring together in a small bowl the vinegard, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil.
  3. Taste and adjust as necessary.
  4. Toss the carrots with the dressing and add the parsley.
  5. Let the salad stand for 10 minutes. Taste again, and if needed, add more salt, lemon juice, or oil.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Save the date! Saturday, April 25, you are invited to come to the farm to learn about biodynamic agriculture and help us unearth biodynamic compost and soil preparations. Time, directions, and more details to come.

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Alluring Carrots

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