Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Friday, November 2, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Here we are at the end of the CSA season- yet the farm is still vibrant and green. Twenty-one weeks of growing, harvesting and packing boxes has ended. As the cooler fall evenings settle over the beds, our lettuces and kales are doing so well. You can find them at the Heritage Store and Virginia Garden at the VB Farmer's market. The battle with heat has subsided - yet we are still ready for a good rain!
Over the fall and winter, we'll be firming up our list of sharers for next year, receiving deposits and hopefully, forming our Core Group. These folks, members of the CSA, will help us set policies and guidelines for next year. They'll look over the end-of-season surveys that so many of you kindly completed.
For those of you who discover this web blog and are not members, we have a long waiting list and are not opening to new members at this time. We'll have to see how many of our 2007 members are returning and how many folks from the waiting list we can invite to join the farm.
In the meantime, think about growing some of your own fall or spring vegetables. Call us at 427-6515 and leave a message if you need some plants or soil amendments to get your garden started.
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Unfortunately, her little boy, River, stepped in a fire ant mound and got several stings. We treated him with ice water , Sting-Stop and monster tatoo bandaids. It's a shame we have to deal with these imported visitors to the farm.
These little bok choy plants give the impression of new beginnings- which sounds redundant. But on the farm, autumn heralds the Return of the Greens. Last week, volunteers planted many kinds of greens and this week, with cool weather, watering and a little raing- they're thriving.
There's an excitement on the wind as the farm continues to thrive.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Burgeoning Celeriac Root
James, Kristen and John working on transplants.
This Week's Share: Arugula, Basil, Eggplant, Garlic, Green Beans, Peppers, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Squash
This week's squash comes to us from Farmer Patrick. These are delicata squash.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
We've been doing some thinking about the relationship of volunteering to the CSA. It seems that most CSAs require volunteer hours, and some CSAs allow a lower fee for those who do more volunteer hours. Some people think that a CSA is about " getting a box", while others come to walk in the fields and ask what's coming up, what got eaten by not-so-good bugs and so on. For these two years, I've felt the lingering appreciation for the folks who come of their own good will to help turn "produce" into vegetables that will turn into meals. They say " it takes a village " to raise a child, but it also takes lots of willing workers to make the CSA be much more than a food buying club.
Folks who want Organic Food any way they can get it- can get it- online, in big stores like
Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. But the people who want to be connected to a farm do their best to find a CSA near them. Sometimes they have to get on a waiting list. Sometimes a member invites a friend to share the share. It works.
Membership in a CSA isn't like getting married- but it is about staying with it through the season, even when you're tired of okra or eggplant. You hang in there because you belong to a farm.
Today, Farmer John was feeling really tight in his muscles-as a hard working farmer, carpenter, he counts on his body for all his labor. We talked about all the wonderful healers who are members of our CSA, and I suggested that we ask Stephanie or Chris Wall about a massage. Stephanie said she'd be glad to help. When John asked about her fee , Stephanie said, " John, you're my farmer." Of course John intended to pay for his massage, but it was her response that moved me. How many people can say " You're my farmer"?
I want to thank all CSA volunteers anywhere. If not for CSAs many farmers would have given up the thing they love most- growing food. If not for volunteers, there might not be so many CSAs.
Muchas Gracias, Volunteers!
Monday, August 20, 2007
This amazing behavior inspires one to research more about the world of the apiary and also brings to mind Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). I am sure most of the people reading this post have heard about this, but for those who haven't, CCD is the recent discovery that bees are leaving the hive and not returning. They are not turning up dead in hives or near them, they are just disappearing all together. There are many theories about the cause (increased cell phone signals, GMO's and others) and anyone wanting to learn more can research it on the web.
The issue, though, deserves to be more widely noted in mainstream media. If bees go, not only will we lose a fascinating part of nature, but the key to our food pollination as well. There is a quote attributed to Einstein: "If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live." The validity of this statement could be debated, but is a world without pollinators really a world be want to live in?
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Sunday, August 12, 2007
The CSA pickup on Saturday the 11th of August was one of my favorites this season. Part of the reason may be that I was away on retreat at a Cistercian Monastery for four days, and returning to the farm confirmed for me the good work that is being done here- how farming serves so many people, physically and spiritually. When we formed the CSA, we couldn't imagine the feeling of warmth and community that was being created. Each week, John, Jonathan and Craig are out in the fields by 6 a.m., harvesting. Volunteers arrive a little later and help pack the boxes- this week we had Kristen, Tanya and Olga( from Columbia). Then as soon as Cathal shows up, he's got his hands busy helping, taking photos, assisting with sharers' arrivals. The more the merrier, they say, and in the case of a Saturday morning at the farm, the axiom couldn't be more true!
We have such wonderful families who are members of the farm as well, and the kids are kind, curious and lovely. And let's not forget to mention the canine members of the farm- Dee's dog, Sasha( a miniature dachsund) and Scott's dog Fletcher( the Portuguese water dog). It seemed that this Saturday was filled with energy and joy. I was also surprised by the arrival of another teacher, Ruth, who works with me at All Saints Day School, with our member Kate. We had a grand tour of the farm, snacking on purslane, lamb's quarters and sungold tomatoes along the way
I hope to read more of your thoughts here. The blog is for us all. See ya next time!
Saturday, August 11, 2007
|In this week's colorful share:|
Friday, August 10, 2007
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Monday, August 6, 2007
UPDATE: Here are some more, one (from the Times) about food production vs. transportation and two more on the varying costs of how food travels, here and here.
Sunday, August 5, 2007
The recipe for this Frittata with Swiss Chard comes from Madhur Jaffrey's cookbook entitled World Vegetarian. It calls for 3/4 lb swiss chard, which was a great use for all the chard we received in our box this week. Both leaves and stems went into this dish. The white splotches you see are feta cheese that I added (not part of the recipe). What is your favorite frittata recipe?
Saturday, August 4, 2007
This is the time of year when having a volunteer or two or three makes it possible to get farm chores done. Thanks today for Kristen, Ted, and Rich who helped weed the sweet potatoes - completely! John, Craig and Jonathan carried on till 2 p.m., and John continues to make compost with the heaps of ingredients that have gathered beside the barn.
Thanks to all of the CSA members who are bringing positive comments and ideas for using the produce! We had some lovely visits with members this morning, including Daphna Sonenthal, who shared that the CSA membership has enabled her and her children to have deeper experiences of cooking and planning meals! Lori Barnhill offered great words about our eggs, veggies and recipes. We both loved the Thai Basil Cucumber dish.
Hope y'all are enjoying everything that the Farm team is providing!
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
From my vantage point, we are seeing one significant difference in the CSA this year- more of the members stay and visit, and there are always extra folks here on Saturdays to see what other produce we have for sale. It makes Saturday a productive, busy day.
We know there are lots of folks who are just finding out about the CSA at this time of the year- when produce is bouncing off the vine. All over the world, it seems, people are discovering the health benefits of local and sustainable agriculture. If you know people who are interested in this CSA, you'll have to tell them that we are full for the moment and they'll have to wait till the fall to get on a waiting list for next year. We want to serve the folks who want to do this, but there is a rhythm to the seasons. Many CSAs require that their members pay before the season begins, rather than during the busiest time, and there are always exceptions. It just makes sense for everyone to begin together, like camp or school.
I also want to thank Cathal Woods for his dedication in keeping this site updated and in order.
It took the will of the universe to get the website together- but it took Cathal to move us through the door.
I hope some more folks will get inspired to write...
Monday, July 2, 2007
Very short term: put a handful of cut basil in a jar of water and keep it fresh inside the house; snip with a pair of clean scissors.
Long term: To freeze: strip the leaves (tops can be left on the smallest stems) and place into a container with just a little force from your hand.
(This advice comes from Todd Ewen at the Heritage Store on 314 Laskin Road, down at the beach.)
if you have any other advice about storing or using basil, please add your comments.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Here is the dinner that we made Monday from our most recent haul from the farm. On the left is a salad with the lettuce, beets, carrots, and sauteed radishes. We added some goat cheese and a sort of dijon vinaigrette. The other dish is sauteed kale, endive, and garlic, as well as some white beans, cous cous, and a few other veggies that we threw in. I thought the beets and the endive were the standouts of their respective dishes. Everything tasted great!
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Saturday, June 16, 2007
How about a period of weather in mid-June with low temps in the 60's and highs in the 70's?
It makes for a beautiful morning picking produce, welcoming CSA members and in general,creates the feeling that all is right with the world.
We are still delighted when members bring children and dogs to the farm. Sam, Lee Ellen Knight's son, and his friend Max came today and went right to the young chickens for their visitation and human-orientation class. Ella Earp brought Farmer John a golden dot to put on his head. Scott Van Gilder's Portuguese Water Dog, Fletcher, brought smiles and joy, and Dee Murdoch's dachsund, Sasha, was on alert for larger mammals and walked on the leash, longing for a run. Barbara Gardner's granddaughter , Deja, was introduced to the glory of squash bloosoms. Chris Birdsong brought godson Jager and his dad, Les for a walk around the gardens.
Living on the farm, one can become complacent at times, feeling that this is a place of work for John, Craig, Jonathan and our wonderful volunteers- including New Orleans visitor Aurin , Skye's friend. Yet, on Saturday mornings, when the farm becomes a well loved destination, where children and dogs romp and the wonders of nature become enchantments, I remember that at least one creation story started in a Garden. I realize that the folks who come to visit get to breathe the fresh farm air, walk among the growing things and feel thankful that somebody has a farm where some of their food starts. Thank you all!
Monday, June 11, 2007
Farmer John just got in several varieties of sweet potatoes: Japanese,Beauregard, White Yam, Nancy Hall , Vardeman, Georgia Jet, and Vineless PortoRico which are being planted in the morning. Some folks think they are among the most perfect of foods- and to think, I didn't even like them as a child! I think it was when I worked at the Whole Foods Co-op in Norfolk that I learned to love sweet potatoes. We would heat one up in the microwave, open it up , slather it with fresh, Amish butter and then sprinkle it with cinnamon. Oh, my goodness, I thought- this is what all the hoopla is about!
John also picked up 100 blueberry plants from Finch Nursery in Bailey, NC, near Wild and Wonderful Wilson. They'll be available for sale-however, you may want to know they were not raised with organic methods. Talk to John on Saturday if you'd like to try a few bushes.
That's all for the evening! Enjoy the cool nights and lovely days.
Saturday, June 9, 2007
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