Archive for June, 2012
Aside from having more helping hands, one of the great things about having the full crew on board is the crew lunch. Throughout the season we all eat lunch together on a daily basis, and take turns cooking as well. The result is a nice break as a group, a brief chance to rest, and an opportunity for great food. Everyone seems to have a different style and it’s great to see and taste other people’s creations. One day might be salad and sandwiches and the next handmade ravioli a homemade chevre and chive filling. And in either case, I have no hesitation to say that our lunches are amazing! I just don’t know how you can beat wild game, goat cheese made from goats within sight, or a salad that was picked ten minutes ago. I was telling a friend of mine about the lunch we had one day, and she asked, “do you all ever acknowledge just how great it is that you made this food together?” And we certainly talk about food a lot, enjoy everything as it comes in to season, and love sharing the bounty on a regular basis, but it made me think about what a group effort it really is. Sure we all work on the farm, and the food comes from the farm, but when we are sitting around the living room sharing lunch, someone in that room put those seeds in the ground, and someone irrigated it, and someone weeded the beds when the seedlings were young, and someone harvested it themselves. And even before all that someone in that room tilled that bed and got it ready for planting back in April, someone spread manure on the field way back in January, and someone may have seeded a cover
crop last summer all leading up to the beautiful veggies on our plates.
A nice bonus to all those inputs is that it is not just us that love what is grown here. By moving a number of crops to the newly lease field we have been able to up our greens production, and we’ve seen a healthy rise in demand to match it. We harvested several hundred pounds of greens this week, and the time may have come to expand our washing/packing facilities to keep up. Greens have more or less been the name of the game so far, but we are starting to see some exciting things around the corner as the peas start climbing their trellis, kohlrabi and turnips are bulking up, and strawberries are just starting to appear….
Sarah made this lasagna with goat milk ricotta, spinach, and garlic scape pesto… photo doesn’t do it justice
I see now why people say it’s difficult to keep up with a blog…. Back in January when Matt and Jacy asked me to take it on, a entry and a photo every week, I was really excited and absolutely certain that I would get an entry up every week. For a long time I was just looking forward to the spring season when everything would be getting underway and we would be planting different things every week and I would have so much to talk about. And I guess it back fired on me, because we have been doing so much that I haven’t given myself a chance to get online and report any of it, and now two months have gone by! So here’s a quick recap -
Not long after my last post we had an unfortunate event on the farm. The heater in one of our greenhouses failed on a sub-freezing night, and what was once a house full of spry young cherry tomato and cucumber plants became rows of withered limp plants the next. It was a big blow, a
little heartbreaking maybe. But, with the bigger picture in mind, no time was wasted in trimming back and saving the plants that might make it, and re-planting what we lost. I know there’s a passage in an Elliot Coleman book where he mentions that there are unfortunate things that happen every season, even to the best and most experienced growers. And he says something like the successful ones know how to accept it and move on, to take
the blow and keep going. It would have sounded nice if I had found the quote and just put it in here instead, but it’s something like that. Nevertheless, the greenhouse is vibrant again, and packed with tomatoes, basil, and scallions.
The new field this year has been going well so far. It is an additional five acres located out near Belgrade. The crew has been out there several times this past month, sometimes all together, and sometimes splitting up between there and the home field. Between onions, shallots, potatoes, winter squash, sweet corn, celeriac and dry beans we’ve managed to fill up most of the field by now. The home fields are filling up as well. We have several successions of greens seeded that include lettuce mix, arugula, spinach, and baby kale. Baby kale is something that we trialed in fall and it was received so well by local chefs that we’ve incorporated it into our ongoing greens production this season. It seems like a great cross between a braising and salad mix, something that could easily be eaten either way.
The crew arrived one by one throughout the month of May, and we have a great group this year. Chris has returned from last season, and Katie, as well as two new interns. Britni from Colorado and Dean from North Carolina are both new this year and have been great additions. We also have Sarah with us on harvest days, she volunteered with us last season.
And by now the Bogert Farmers Market is underway, and we are in week one of the CSA! More weekly news to come…
Veggies for the week of June 11-15, 2012 Click here for the newsletter!