Posts Tagged ‘garlic’

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 18, 2009

IN YOUR BASKET THIS WEEK

Scarlet Nantes Carrots
Ruby Ring & Cortland Spring Onions
Red Ace Beets
Lincoln Leeks
Fiero Radicchio
NOTES FROM THE FIELD
If you saw us at the Ukiah Saturday Farmers Market, you already know the story about this week’s lettuce. We harvested beautiful dark lolla rossa and tango lettuce only to find the super frilly leaves had caught on to the plastic fibers of the row cover that protected them all winter. Because the plastic was too difficult to remove, and we don’t want you eating plastic in your salad, we sadly had to chuck them. Lesson for the future: use more and taller wire hoops to keep the row cover off those varieties of lettuce. However, next week, we should have baby pac choi and lettuce that we planted about a month and a half ago. It’s amazing to see how much more quickly these greens grow in the spring versus in the winter! Hopefully, the last planting of cauliflower will be heading at that time, too.

Speaking of next week, we hope many of you CSA members can make it to the farm event. Many of you who signed up for the CSA after our kickoff party in October have yet to even see the garden site and farm. We hope in the future, we will have membership gatherings at the farm more often.

This week, Adam spaded up the corner of the garden for potatoes, as well as half an acre of the Hale Ranch. The wind was very challenging; it’s one of the drawbacks of farming on the hill at Heart Arrow. We had to secure down our greenhouse plastic, and many of our tomato, cucumber, and summer squash plants were damaged by the strong wind. But fortunately, it is warm now, and we are starting more plants. We also moved the sheep onto the rangeland outside the deer fence and had some good cow chasing happen this week as well.

Eat well!
Adam Gaska and Paula Manalo

corner of the garden. spaded up for potato planting.
corner of the garden. spaded up for potato planting.
garlic for this coming winter CSA season.

garlic for this coming winter CSA season.

NOTES ON THIS ISSUE

Right now, there is a Pine Siskin on the Blue Oak tree outside my window, meticulously hunting and eating whatever bugs she can find on the new leaves and catkins. She plays her part in keeping the tree healthy while getting enough to eat. It’s comforting to see nature at work, with all the critters doing their part. If only we present-day humans could work with nature in the same way as the Pine Siskin. The Pomo Indians did work with nature, and consequently managed to keep their eco-system in balance for 10,000 years. More likely than not, we present-day humans aren’t going to match that record.

Now we are severely out of balance and it’s the fault of present-day humans. When we try to regain that balance, as Michelle Obama did recently in starting an organic garden at the White House, the purveyors of poison criticized her. She should, they said, put “crop protection products” on the garden! Calling pesticides “crop protection products” doesn’t make them any safer; they retain their water polluting and bird-killing characteristics, no matter what they are called. Birds will die and children sicken while agri-business makes a lot of money selling “crop protection products.” If we stopped using them all together could the planet regain that balance?

This weekend Bill and I watched two documentaries on water. We saw Chinese rivers so polluted with pesticides that they were in horrific condition. The rivers were mostly dry, polluted messes. Soon, there won’t even be water for Chinese industry to produce the cheap products that are exported to the rest of the world. What then?

We present-day humans have to say “no” to the purveyors of pesticides and cheap products that really aren’t cheap at all when you figure in the destruction that isn’t immediately obvious to use as consumers. The CSA is one small step in putting nature in balance. Nature in balance is beautiful.

Janie Sheppard jsheppard@pacific.net

Basket 19 Salad

(Bill Radtkey and Janie Sheppard)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 head fiero radicchio leaves cut crosswise into 1/3 inc ribbons
  • 1 ruby ring onion, bulb part sliced thin as possible into circles
  • 2 scarlet Nantes carrots, grated
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Instructions:
  1. Place radicchio, onion rings and grated carrots in a bowl.
  2. In a small spice jar put the remaining ingredients for the salad dressing.
  3. Shake the salad dressing ingredients to emulsify them and pour over the radicchio, onion rings, and grated carrots. Toss. Serve.

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July

For some reason (perhaps because we were in a rush?), our last post did not save, so sorry we haven’t had any updates recently! We have harvested some potatoes which are in storage now. Of the ones we have planted, there are about 3/4 more to harvest; these are all by Adam’s house on Tomki Road. They look really good despite a few bites from potato beetles. Unfortunately, there isn’t much we can do about those bugs. We’ll be planting more potatoes at Heart Arrow.

I’ve also been on top of keeping the onions weeded, which keeps them happy, and the winter squash is growing fast! Also growing is the cover crop (below)

That’s Adam in the photo! The cover crop is taller in some places probably because the soil fertility is better there than elsewhere. Probably in the coming week, Jerry or Adam will till it in, then we can start adding compost. Adam has been diligently collecting horse manure from some friends in Redwood Valley (for free!) and growing a yummy pile of poop to make the vegetables happy. We are very excited to start making beds and terrace the steep slopes.

If you or anyone you know is thinking about joining our CSA, please contact or have your friend contact Adam. Seed, remay, amendments, and labor, among other inputs, need to be purchased now for us to have vegetables ready by December. The garlic we are distributing this winter was planted in October 2007. A lot of time and investment is required to produce good food; plants take time to grow. Signing up sooner is better, so don’t wait!

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Garlic

Behold the beautiful garlic we have harvested! Adam planted the garlic last October at Frey Vineyards. Unfortunately, probably because it was so wet this past winter in the field they were planted, a lot of the garlic (30%?) had cloves that started to sprout. Those garlic heads will not store well, so we have less garlic to give you than what we had hoped for. However, there is a lot, and it’s quite beautiful.

Below, you can see how some of the potatoes are growing. The wildflowers attract a lot of wonderful beneficial insects.

And this is just a tiny portion of the winter squash we have planted. There is still a lot in the greenhouse! For now, Adam is planting squash between some of the brassicas he has in other beds not pictures. The squash are still small, but they will grow quickly. In the photo, to the left are a bed of carrots and a bed of peas.

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