Spring 2009 – harvest starts soon!

From The Farm

Everything is bursting with spring on the farm. The last few days have brought overcast weather and some good soaking rains. Here are some recent pictures from the field

Click here to view the slide show in a larger size…

What to Expect!

Harvest starts soon, so I thought I would try to give you an idea of what to expect for the first 4-6 weeks of harvest. Its important to understand that despite our very early start this season in the field, the crops we harvest in June and July are limited! Overall, the fields are looking fantastic and I am expecting a bountiful harvest, but don’t expect too much at first – we are starting extra early this year which means a slightly longer wait until the veggies of summer hit – so enjoy all the greens of spring while we tend the corn, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, peppers and other summer crops.

Below I have listed all the veggies I can think of that we will be harvesting in the next six weeks. As for fruit, cherries usually start by the end of June, we will have fruit nearly every week after that until the end of the season.

Early Harvests
Here is what we plan to harvest for the first few harvests (spring starts green!):

Salad Mix – we strive to have salad nearly every week of the season by planting salad greens regularly.
Braising Mix – we only have this in the spring, one or two times. a bag of spicy greens for cooking – baby kale, tatsoi, chard, mizuna.
Bagged Spinach – the first few weeks we’ll bag the spinach, which is at its best in the cooler spring weather. We’ll switch to bunched spinach in July and have spinach regularly until the heat of summer arrives.
Green Garlic – We’ll dig up the growing garlic plants – these will mature into garlic bulbs by August, but for now try these for a delicious mild garlic flavor.
Radishes – we will have a variety of radishes for the first few weeks
Kale – we have beautiful kale coming in now. This year we have green frilly and purple frilly kale, plus red russian kale and tuscano or lancinato kale. The kale is really at its very best in the spring, but we usually have kale all season long. Email your favorite kale recipes and I will share them with the group! We will vary the type each week and may bag the baby leaves until they are large enough to bunch.
Chois – we will have beautiful baby chois for the first couple of weeks – these have been covered under floating row covers, but may show some small pert damage (flea beatles). This will probably be some of the only chois of the season, so enjoy their crunchy stems and mustardy flavor.
Head Lettuce – we’ll have romaine, green & red butter, summer crisp and some beautiful frilly, colorful & unusual types. Head lettuce lasts the spring, then fades away in the heat of summer.
Herbs: Early season herbs include cilantro, chives, marjoram, sage and dill. Later in the season we will have thyme, oregano, and lots of basil!

Coming Soon – week 3 plus
After the first few weeks more of the early harvest crops will begin to mature
Carrots – we will have baby carrots from time to time then later we will switch to full size carrots. Several types and plantings extend the carrot harvest over many weeks
Beets – we will start with baby beets, then switch to full sized beets for a few more weeks before beets are done. these are mainly a spring crop, but we sometimes have a few weeks in the fall as well.
– peas are a spring treat that come and go pretty quickly. Our first planting was eaten almost entirely by what I guess was a flock of birds shortly after they came up, but the second planting looks beautiful and should produce at least a few weeks of sugar snaps, snow peas and shelling peas.
Rainbow Chard – we have a large planting with some wild color variations this year, so you can expect a regular supply of chard. we will try not to overwhelm you with chard!
Scallions – we usually have these just a couple of times in the season.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What am I supposed to do with all these GREENS!?
A: Some people love cooked greens and can eat them every day, others can’t figure out how to eat all the chard, kale, spinach, lettuce and salad that the early CSA boxes contain! If you fall into the latter group, here are a few suggestions: check out our website for recipies, use a cookbook and try something new, or add the greens to something old, like a lasagna with spinach. Finally, see if you can find a friend or neighbor who might want them rather than just letting them go to waste! As we enter the summer season boxes fill out with other vegetables, we will lighten up on the greens, and offer these in the “extras” area.

Q: Why didn’t I get radishes (or kale, or spinach or something) in my box?
A: Each week I type out an email for members, and I make a best guess at what will be available for the box harvest later in the week. Sometimes what we actually harvest might be a little different than my list, or there might be a shortage of one crop and an abundance of another. As we pack the boxes each week, we try to ensure everyone gets the exact same box, but sometimes (usually as a particular crop is just beginning to ripen and we don;t have that much) there isn’t enough for everyone. In this case, we substitute another crop, so if you didn’t get carrots you got beets, or if you didn’t get braising mix you got extra baby chard. We also watch the overall dollar value of the box each week to insure you get a great deal for your box fee. The first weeks of the season are always slim, later season big boxes are more abundant!

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