Friday, August 14, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Video: A Farmer and A Farmers' Market

9 min. video about NY's Union Square Greenmarket and one of the farmers who supplies it. (At, via

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Late Blight, The Food Chain & Home Gardens

An excellently wide-ranging article on the factors that might be involved in this year's severe and wide-spread late blight.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Friday, July 31, 2009

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Week 10 (July 25, 2009)

In this week's share ... basil, carrots, cucumber, lettuce, potatoes, peppers, squash, tomatoes, zucchini, 1 of green beans or kohlrabi or okra

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Where are the young farmers?

A frequent topic of conversation at pick-up. Reported on in

Related: video of Joel Salatin on the topic (and others).

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Week 5 (June 20, 2009)

In the share this week .... cabbage, cucumber, kale, lettuce (buttercrunch or romaine), Korean peppers, tatsoi, zucchini, beets or turnips.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Week 4 (June 13, 2009)

In the share this week ... Arugula, Beets, Broccoli or Chard, Lettuce, Tatsoi, Turnips

Included in this week's newsletter is a recipe for beet chutney. Looks delicious! Please email Kathleen at truehome0802 at yahoo dot com how you like the recipe if you decide to try it. Or you can always post feedback and recipe ideas below in the comment section of this blog.

Insect Duty:
The chickens are now being allowed roam the whole farm during the day, looking for bugs to eat.

Celery lookin' good. I'm happily anticipating celery harvest. John's celery is much more flavorful than the grocery store stuff.

Blueberries beginning to ripen.

Portulaca. Note the red stems. A relative of purslane. When I was chatting with Kathleen during CSA pick up time this morning, she mentioned that she had planted some at the front of the farmhouse this week.

No need for shovels right now. Harvesting is the order of business on Saturdays.

Empty boxes at the end of pick up time are always a good sign. See you next week!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Greens, Greens and more Greens!

Hi, fresh and local organic food lovers,

Here it is, the beginning of June, and though I'd love a big , red, juicy tomato and a cucumber, our fields are dancing with greens: Collards, Kales, Lettuces and Swiss Chard, to be precise.

As I assemble another newsletter for the CSA, I am learning that Greens of all kinds supply so many wonderful vitamins and nutrients- there's no need to worry about the veggies of the hot summer- they will arrive in due time. It is the time to love the greens, clean them,chop them, steam and saute them, put them in a stir fry with some onions and tofu, mix them into a fritatta, slice them thin and pile them on a pizza, swish them in minestrone soup. Yes, delight in the greens while we have them- and this farm's green production is such a treat- after a long winter and a rainy spring!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Week 2 (May 30, 2009)

In the share this week ... bok choy, collards, kale, lettuce and radishes.

Kathleen and AmberChickens under the truck

Friday, May 29, 2009

Contribute to the Blog

I sent out invitations to this season's members to become authors of the blog. If you didn't get one, or have any questions, feel free to e-mail me at cathalwoods at gmail dot com .

Remember that you can comment without signing up as an author.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Week 1 (May 23, 2009)

The 2009 season - New Earth's fourth - began on May 23rd. Members put together their own shares in the recently renovated gazebo pick your own and pack them into coolers and bags they had brought. (Produce for the Norfolk group was packed into a few large boxes.) The share included arugula, collards, garlic scapes, kale, lettuces, mizuna, radishes and spinach. I highly recommend the recipe for garlic scape pesto.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The beautiful month of May

Hello, CSA friends,

As I look out my window over the farm, the greens are brilliant- nearly as lovely as Ireland's landscape- well, not quite like that! The kale, collards, lettuces, and all are ready to be part of your life and a fourth season of CSA is beginning on Saturday.

New folks: welcome to the adventure! Regulars: We'll be ready to see you. Remember, please call if you want to volunteer on Saturdays- the temptation of the farm breakfast brings lots of people over early- so if you want to help with harvesting and washing veggies, Call ahead and get on our list.

We expect the greens to take center stage at this time of the year- you'll just have to wait for zucchini and tomatoes! Call ahead as well if you want eggs.

Our chickens are growing. And one of our laying hens, Eileen is featured in a commercial for Gubernatorial hopeful Terry McAuliffe. See it at John does a great job as the straight man/handsome farmer!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Gardening Classes Begin Now!

Now that the chicks are out of the barn, and our 2009 staff- Wayne Jones, Farmer John, Melissa Guingona and Nick Broerman can take down their hoodies- it's time to get into the soil with our bare hands- or rather your bare hands! Make a note to tell others about these opportunities on the farm.

Build your own Earth Box! May 9

John and our friend Dave Reilly are offering a Build Your Own earth box workshop on Saturday, May 9 from 10 am-12 p.m. Bring a cordless power drill and a 1/4" drill bit if you have one. The cost is $50.00, and includes all your supplies. You'll bring home an independently designed growing box. Limited to 20 people. Please call the farm to register at 427-6515 or email to RSVP by May 7.

Intro to Organic Gardening May 16 or May 20

For novice gardeners and/or folks who think they are green-thumb challenged!

Farmer John takes you through the basics of organic gardening, with tips on developing good soil, planting, choosing plants, the value and application of compost and how to deal with insects. This class is held in the field and greenhouse. Wear a hat and covered-toe shoes and bring a water bottle along. Saturday May 16 from 10-12noon or Wednesday May 20 10am to 12 noon. This class is $30.00. Once again: please call 427-6515 to register at least two days before a class or send an email to

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Deep, Dark, Gorgeous Compost!

The people who KNOW about compost say that you should always have a bar of chocolate with you to see how good the compost is. In this case, I am holding a 67% organic cocoa bar next to a gorgeous pile of finished compost from Pennsylvania, delivered in a tractor trailer truck to the farm on March 23. John is selling this compost in larger dimensions for landscapers and gardeners- to folks like our new friend Heather Driscoll, one of the only landscapers in the area who had taken courses in organic landscaping and understands the Real from the Faux-green. Heather owns a company called Familycare Lawn and Landscape. She called us one day to find soil amendments because she decided that she was going to work with Organic Only products. Heather is the real deal. You can call her at 673-6981. Heather says she's working on a website which should be up soon :
Here are a few shots of the compost delivery. The driver left PA at 1 in the morning and arrived just after John fed the chickens. If you have the desire to get a bigger garden going this year, give us a call and we can give you the details on prices/yard of this stuff- plus John can show you all the data- this is certified, high quality stuff.

Friday, March 20, 2009

It's Happening on the White House lawn!

After a week of rain here on the farm, and watching John wade through the ditches to get to the chickens and collect the eggs, we decided not to have our Potato Planting party this weekend. It's just too muddy- and would be a sad, rough way to introduce folks to the joy of planting.
But in Washington D.C., Michelle Obama and friends will be planting the first food garden on the White House lawn since Eleanor Roosevelt had a Victory garden in the forties. It will be pretty big- 1,100 square feet, with 55 varieties of plants coming from organic seedlings started in greenhouses on the property.
I am over the moon with joy about this. Not only, is our First Lady making a choice for her own family- with a couple of pizza eating girls whose pediatrician urged her to adjust their nutrition-but she's getting help from the fifth graders at a public school in the district- and the Prez himself! What a great example she is setting for the rest of us.
So, once the ground dries a little, we'll get out there and plant the potatoes. And it will be great fun, and we'll be so happy a couple of months later on when we dig up our " precious" tubers.
For more info on the White House organic garden see:

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Signs of Spring in Frigid March

A flock of fifty chicks of various colors and kinds arrived on Sunday, March 1. It was a cold rainy day, preceding the mighty storm that brought snow and bitter temps to the farm and surrounding areas of Tidewater. John and I had to hurry up and create a nursery for the less than one week old chicks who were shipped via US Post Office special delivery from Iowa's McMurray Hatchery. The chicks were in a small cardboard box, all fifty of them squished together , with only nickel sized airholes for breathing during their journey to Virginia. The two at the left are going to be lovely hens, and there are several with furry feet often associated with hobbits! These chicks are FOR SALE! John will be happy to build you a little mobile henhouse and we have plenty of organic feed for them too! Call us at 427-6515 if you are interested. We're keeping them warm and fed till the spring sunshine makes the earth ready.

We have collected deposits from many of last year's CSA members, and are filling up the spots that remain from the ones who will not be joining us this season. Some of the 08 group are growing their own food this season, and many say they'll be purchasing produce from the Five Points Community Market that moved last year to 26th and Church streets in downtown Norfolk.

It should be a great year- the fourth for our CSA- and we'll be working with some new systems. For one thing, there will be no boxes this year- You can either bring your cooler or a cloth grocery bag to bring your produce home, and we'll use a choice system rather than pre-pack your share. We have enjoyed the calls and emails from our new members as they get ready for the season.

Keep March 21st on the calendar. From 9am to noon, we'll host the first annual PotatoPlanting/St. Patty's Day Breakfast party. Check back for more details! Here's another pic of the chicks gathering under the lamp for heat!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009