Archive for August, 2012

NO FARMER’S MARKET THIS WEEK

There will be no Farmer’s Market this week due to Labor Day Weekend.

We will be selling WATERMELONS Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. during pick-up time at the farm. You do not have to be a CSA member to buy WATERMELONS. You are not limited on the number of WATERMELONS you can buy!

Stock up on some great WATERMELONS for the long week-end. Perfect addition to any picnic, camp trip, or cook-out! Melons are priced from $4 to $10.

SEE YOU FRIDAY at 1049 Washakie Ten–Worland. 🙂

CALLING ALL CANNERS–Or what do we eat in the winter?

The Yellow Wax snap beans have doubled last week’s yeild!! That means we have 80# for the Shares, 20# for the Second Street Bakery, and NOW we need volunteers for 100# more of beans. I will start if off by canning 20# this week-end. SOOOO…that leaves 20# for 4 more busy ants preparing for the onset of winter.

As this is surplus and we need to have them moved and I don’t want to can more than 20#, I will drop the price from $40 to $35.

Beans are a no fail project for the beginning canner, and fast and easy for those experienced. Pack the raw beans into canning jars, add 1 tsp. of salt, fill to within 1 3/4″ of top with hot water, and seal with canning lids. Pressure cook for 25 minutes (QTS) at 13# pressure. As beans are a low acid food they must be canned using a pressure cooker; hot water bath will not work.

BUT–You can also freeze beans: Blanche for 3 minutes, cool immediately, and pack into quart size freezer bags. Spread out inside the freeze, then the next day stack them in one corner or cluster closer together.

Enjoy all WINTER! CALL NOW TO RESERVE YOUR 20#’s–431-1219… (Well, leave a message or call tomorrow–I left my phone in town…LOL)

THIS WEEK’S SHARE–Fifth Week in August

Some of our favorites:
BROCCOLI
BELL PEPPERS
ONIONS–either bunching or large bulb
RED BEETS
CUCUMBERS–Sultans only…others are done for the season
CORN
TOMATOES
YELLOW WAX BEANS
WATERMELONS

New Additions:
POTATOES
ANAHEIM PEPPERS
BABY LEAF SPINACH–Fresh crop

Options:
CHARD
TURNIPS

NOTES FOR THE FOURTH WEEK IN AUGUST

STICKY BELL PEPPERS—the stickiness on some of the bell peppers is aphid ‘juice’, the elixir of the ants, harmless and easily washed off. We thought we had it hosed off, but when I was putting some into the Shares I noted otherwise. The Farmer has sprayed them twice—my theory is that the Pyganic, which is a contact botanical insecticide (OMRI approved), makes the sticky critters implode. The Lady Bugs are present but I think their numbers are affected by the insecticide application, too. We will weather this infestation, probably sacrificing some plants, but the Bell Peppers, plants and fruit, are abundant.

WORMY CORN—it is inevitable that the corn earworms will show up sooner or later. We missed them the first planting, but they have reared their ugly heads on this second planting. Our solution is to clip the tops of the ears when we harvest them. We will tend to the third planting currently maturing; No organic insecticides will be applied to this harvest.

SQUEAKY CLEAN BROCCOLI—no aphid infestations noted…an occasional cabbage-looper which is picked off after the broccoli’s ice bath when we are bagging the shoots. No flutterbys noted in the broccoli rows. 🙂

MICE DAMAGE—our Front Garden has been ravaged by mice chewing the drip irrigation lines. We can’t repair the damage—too many spots and too extensive. We talked about flood irrigating, but there is no place to go with the waste water. The pumpkins are turning and it looks like they will ripen on their own. Pickling cucumbers are done. We will start harvesting the potatoes next week. The tomato lines do not seem to be damaged. (That’s a hallelujah!)

MINI-HEADS OF LETTUCE—you will remember that in your very first Share this season you got some luscious lettuce. The replants are coming along beautifully and you will have them before season’s end. Also, planting more radishes and purple kohlrabi.

PRAYER FOR THE FARMER—we have a horrible infestation of sunflowers in the pinto beans. The Farmer and His Son are having to walk and chop a couple of hours every day. Sunflowers interfere with the combine and get hung up in our bean cutter. Not all 150 acres are affected, but 38 acres is still a lot of walking, and chopping is hard on the shoulders. They started when the plants could be pulled, but the weeds are growing faster than the guys can travel the field.

UPDATE ON THE WATERMELON FUND-RAISER–We are piloting a fund-raiser in Ten Sleep. If this works well it will be a model for next year. KINDA EXCITING!

FIRST SIGNS OF THE APPROACHING AUTUMN

Today as The Farmer was tending to his new broccoli and cauliflower plants (which are only in the cotyledon stage of two funny leaves that don’t necessarily resemble any that will follow), and I was picking and picking and picking those hellacious green beans (AGAIN), we were reminded by the flocks of Canadian Geese flying overhead that Fall is on its way. The geese, flying in formation and honking, were close enough for us to see the stripes on their necks. I had to pause as their squadrons in turn swooped down and landed in the harvested barley fields next to our gardens. It was quite a spectacular exhibition—one I am sure will continue as they feast on the barley seeds which were kicked from the combines or knocked off the stalks in their ripeness during harvest and have since sprouted into tender grass shoots. This will be the geese’s sustenance as they make their migratory flight South for the winter.

CANTALOUPE & WATERMELON UPDATE–

“We have to move those melons!” The Farmer says…and I hear “YOU have to move those melons!”

You know the rest of the story–I posted a call for aid and assistance…And I got wonderful responses from half a dozen members…Thank you each and every one!

The Fund-Raiser Idea seems the best. BUT with a little change that is probably for the better. We will only be selling Watermelons as a Fund-Raiser. They are easier to transport and have a little longer ‘shelf life’ than the cantaloupes, and we believe we still have several hundred in the garden. They are not ripening all at the same time as the cantaloupes did–Cantaloupes may have responded to the heat differently than the Watermelons.

We will put the information together on base cost and logistics for the FUND-RAISERS, and can help with a Sale Sheet and some simple flyers. This should be ready Wednesday. Thanks Kathleen and Brenda for your enthusiasm and rapid response–

Now a little sad news: After clearing out the cooler of the cantaloupes that were going soft–we don’t keep them around or sell them if they’re not solid–we threw out over a hundred and had SIX left. The Farmer then walked the Cantaloupe beds and picked what was still good–AND he got 80. That is JUST ENOUGH for the Shares this week–so this is it guys. The cantaloupe ripened abruptly and has come to an end in the same manner.

I have to be honest: it is somewhat a relief and we can now focus on other parts of the garden and the Watermelons…but we might have a cantaloupe surprise in September if the Athenas do well in the hoophouse! They are growing and have set on enough melons for a fore-taste to carry us to CSA Season 2013!

Canteloupe & Melons

WE HAVE A TON OF MELONS!–AND MORE TO COME–

A FULL SHARE includes 20# of canteloupe and 36# of watermelons–Honey Dew and Galia Inbar are included in the 20#’s. Any extras that you have taken during Pick-Up day, or we have offered for you to try, are not a part of the SHARE–more GIFTS!

So–what are we going to do with all these MELONS? Hopefully supplement the CSA income through sales at FARMER”S MARKET and elsewhere. It is the elsewhere where we need your help–After a couple of weeks of Farmer’s Market we have come to realize we are only moving about 130 melons, less than 30% of one picking. So here are some ideas I’ve had:

1. Consider being a ‘retailer’ for us…we’ll provide you the melons at a discount…sell in your neighborhood, to co-workers, other family members, the mailman. Any of those wonderful people you come in contact with on a daily or weekly basis. Take names one week, send us an email or call by Sunday with the amount you need, and we will have them picked for you for pick-up on Wednesday. A caution: cantaloupe (especially) need to be kept cool to prevent deterioration. We will have them cooled the night before at 45 degrees–if you keep them out of direct sunlight and are just driving to town, you should be okay. If you live in one of the outer reaches we’d want you to consider some ice in the pick-up box, or other creative ideas.

2. How about a Fund-Raiser? Get the school kids involved or your Youth Group–Same idea as above: take orders for delivery the next week. You should be able to keep 50% of the sale price–that is a higher percentage than other fund-raising programs, and a lot less work than a Bake Sale. We will help you get things set up.

3. Consider ordering a DOZEN for a family reunion–picture the watermelons floating in the still waters of the creek as family and friends play horseshoes or just horse around. Going on a retreat, or a camping trip? Watermelons transport easy and are refreshing when away from home. Discounts apply for volume purchases.

That’s all I can think of right now…and it is better than what The Farmer is thinking: All he sees is the loads of melons headed to the dump. Bob Vines, when he interviewed us for the newspaper article, asked us what the hardest thing about the CSA and garden has been. The Farmer and I looked at each other with a total blank…now we know: The hardest thing is throwing away any produce–whether it is over-ripe and past its time, or whether it is deformed or disfigured. My refrigerator is full of those little orphans…today I had a funeral for a discolored head of cauliflower that had ‘riced’, and three bulbous cucumbers that were hard as a rock on one end and full of too big of seeds on the other. We will learn.

The Farmer’s Brain-storming Wife

THIS WEEK’S SHARE–Fourth Week in August

Hope your day of rest has been…restful 🙂

This is what the garden may bring forth this week:

NEW SHOWINGS:
SPECIALTY PEPPERS– bag of 5 different peppers (some hot, some not)
ACORN SQUASH– (if they have developed their flavor)
ONIONS– (we are giving the Guardsman bunching onions a rest this week)

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND:
CORN!!– just as good as last time!
TOMATOES– bring safe bag for transport (do not refrigerate)
WATERMELON– Mini Seedless for some, Crimson & Seedless Sweet Slice, Charleston Greys
CANTALOUPE– one of 8 varieties, including the Galia (Honey dew/Cantaloupe cross)
HONEY DEW–limited amounts
SALAD TURNIPS

MORE OF THE SAME:
SWEET BELL PEPPERS (These freeze easily–try snack bags for ease: a single serving!)
YELLOW WAX/GREEN BEANS (1# bags)
CUCUMBERS
EGGPLANT

OPTIONS:
SWISS CHARD–leafy green for the week
CARROTS–bagged tail-end of the Early variety…Midseason variety on its way…
ZUCCHINI/SUMMER SQUASH

THIS WEEK’S SHARE-Third Week in August

They say ‘Better late than never…but I’m not so sure’…here is the info on the bounty THIS WEEK!

HEADLINERS FOR THIS WEEK:
Melons–including WATERMELON
Tomatoes–a few until we complete our storage and handling ‘facility’

OLD STANDARDS:
Bunching Onions
Bell Peppers– Colors, too!
Green Beans–Green or Yellow Wax
Carrots– ‘early’ carrots coming to an end, new ‘mainseason’ variety ready next week!
Cucumbers–the season is changing and these may peeter out soon…
Eggplant–our young tender eggplant does not need to be peeled…fry, back, broil, or grille!
Broccoli- side shoots (The Gift that keeps giving!)

SURPRISE, BUT LIMITED APPEARANCE:
Lettuce– Coastal Star Romaine head
Specialty Peppers– a bag of variety

FRESH PRODUCE, LOCALLY GROWN 🙂

AUG 11th FARMER’S MARKET

FARMER’S MARKET—OPEN MARKET PRICES (August 11th, 2012)
Items are listed in order of quantity–

CANTALOUPE…………. $3.50 each
WATERMELON……….. $5.00 each

BELL PEPPERS……………. 4/$1
CUCUMBERS…………………….. 3/$1
Bagged Cucumbers…$1.00
GREEN BEANS……………………. $3/bag
BROCCOLI (side_shoots)……… $3/bag
CARROTS……………………………$2.50/bag
LETTUCE—ROMAINE…… $2.50/bag
EGGPLANT…….. $2.50 each
and…. two crates of
SUMMER SQUASH
Zucchini and Yellow…..med………….3/$1
Small……….. $1/bag
Patty Pan (limited quantity)…….. 2/$1

For the CANNER’S (by order):
GREEN BEANS (20#)…$40
BELL PEPPERS (15#)…. $9
PICKLING CUCUMBERS … $.90/lb.
CARROTS (25#)………… $22
($5)…………. $ 5

PLEASE NOTE—IF YOU HAD A CANTELOUPE LAST WEEK THAT WAS OVER-RIPE STOP BY THE TABLE AND WE WILL GIVE YOU A NEW ONE. WE VINE RIPEN FOR FLAVOR–THEY HAVE A SHORT SHELF LIFE. ALSO BEETLE DAMAGE CAN TAINT THE FLAVOR.