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Archive for May, 2014

Busy activities in the garden last week.  A “focused hustle” was our mantra every day.  The chilly nights of threatening frost caused us a bit of worry.  Scott covered many of the cold sensitive plants with white protective row cover to keep them safe from a harsh chill.  In the morning sun it all had to come off and then back on again in the night.  I think (hope) we are finally past the threat of frost and this duty can disappear until Autumn.  We finally finished the huge job of planting all the onions.  About 4000 starts all went in by hand.  1 at a time. I’m not going to say it was an easy task,  I needed to take a power nap 1/2 way through, rough to stand upright when the job was done after being scrunched over for hours on end. But it is done!!!  Another duty that was floating around at the top of the “to do” list too long and kept getting pushed back by the rain.

The looooooooong looooong row of onions!

The looooooooong looooong row of onions!

 

The hoop house has been cleared out and transformed with new seedlings.  It amazes me how the crops change so quickly.  We are readying ourselves for the start of the Summer Share Season.  Warm loving lettuces have been planted, a fresh rotation of Asian greens, an experiment with early beans, more radishes and a few more surprises for the summer all nestled in.

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We are going to take a few weeks off before the start of the Summer Share Season…..PROJECTED START DATE IS MONDAY JUNE 9th.  We want to give the outside garden plants a chance to catch up with the hoop house growing.  We will keep you posted.

Tomatoes, Peppers and Eggplant growing big and strong in the greenhouse.

Tomatoes, Peppers and Eggplant growing big and strong in the greenhouse.

Heirloom tomato plants.

Heirloom tomato plants.

Assorted lettuce and celery for the garden.

Assorted lettuce and celery for the garden.

I gotta say we have a really good feeling about this year!  We are on track and not feeling pulled along or overwhelmed by the work load.  Maeve enjoys her time “helping” in the gardens, hoop house and greenhouse or playing in the sandbox making us imaginary food for our breaks in her “cantina”.  My personal favorite- pretend chocolate cake cooked for 29 minutes at 875 degrees with a dandelion sprinkle garnish.  Life is good.

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WHAT IS IN YOUR BOX

Hard to believe that this is the last box of our 1st Spring Share Season…..Thank You!  We loved the experience and are gratefully amazed with the fantastic bounty we were all able to enjoy these first cold weeks of Spring from the hoop house.  After a long Winter fresh greens sure taste delicious and we were happy to share with you.

It’s pretty amazing this week……A 9.50 pound box of culinary delights!

Loose Leaf Lettuce Mix-A big 1/2 pound bag of mixed lettuces.

Saute Mix-A blend of mildly spicy Asian greens.  Perfect for a light sauté or can be enjoyed raw in salads.

Spinach-An absolutely beautiful variety called Pink Kitten.  Isn’t that a funny name?  Honestly, I wanted to grow it just because the name made me chuckle.  We started this variety last Fall and it is a stunning!  1/2 bag of this gem.

Pretty Pink Kitten Spinach after harvest.

Pretty Pink Kitten Spinach after harvest.

Scott double rinsing the Spinach.

Scott double rinsing the Spinach.

Pink Kitten in it's final rinse.

Pink Kitten in it’s final rinse.

Red Spring Turnips-Spicier than the white variety.  Again, remember that the greens are delicious raw or braised.

JUMBO bag of assorted radishes-3 varieties in the mix.  Keep in an air tight bag in the refridgerator and they will last until Summer Share starts up again.

Radishes ready to be picked.

Radishes ready to be picked.

Diakon Radish-A big white early variety that we started in the hoop house in February.

Arugula-A smaller bundle.  A delicious Spring and Autumn treat.

Rhubarb-2.75 pounds in every box.  Rhubarb is a favorite of mine.  I love a crisp or pie.  We have the family heirloom rhubarb plants  from my grandfather’s garden.  These plants are very special to me and bring many memories of my grandfather to me each Spring.

Grandpa's Rhubarb planted near the pond.

Grandpa’s Rhubarb planted near the pond.

Herbs!

Chives-A nice big bundle.

Sorrel-A delicious Spring herb.  A hint of lemon.  Wonderful accent to a radish salad or with strawberries.  I love it with fish too!

Cilantro-The perfect fresh garnish.

Potted Basil- Several little starts in the pot.  Snip and enjoy or divide up and transplant into larger containers for a full summer of basil.

 

Mysterious winged woodland fairy visitors appeared while we were harvesting in the garden last night.   They danced with magical pixie dust in the breeze and cast enchanted spells with a plastic wand……

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Feel free to return your white food box with the start of the Summer Share Season…..if you prefer to return earlier drop it off in the garage at your convenience.

 

ENJOY this last Spring Box of Goodness and again we thank all of you for sharing this early season with us!

 

 

 

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ANOTHER  rainy day today.  It has been a challenging week of many raindrops, mud and wind in the garden.  Slow progress with the outside garden duties.

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We attempted to plant  long rows of carrots between the many rainstorms and each time the wind would blow the seeds from my fingertips.  I did chuckle imaging what the “rows” would look like with the seeds blowing all over if I did not stop.  A week behind our planned schedule on the garden carrots but we are comforted with the fact that we have loads of  March planted carrots happily growing in the hoop house.  They are about the size of skinny pencils and will be ready soon for the early summer boxes.  The crops that are planted in the garden are thriving and definitely getting enough moisture…we are ahead of our last year planting schedule so not getting too shook up (yet) with this week’s delay.

Gorgeous Garlic!

A LOOOOONG row Gorgeous Garlic!

Beets seeded in under row cover to keep the pests out.

Beets seeded in under row cover to keep the pests out.

Early Cauliflower planted in white plastic mulch.  We are experimenting this year with 1/2 the crop in white mulch and 1/2 in black mulch and wondering if there are differences in the harvest.

Early Cauliflower planted in white plastic mulch. We are experimenting this year with 1/2 the crop in white mulch and 1/2 in black mulch and wondering if there will be differences in the harvest.  I took this photo right as another big dark storm was blowing in.

Snow Peas!

Snow Peas!

The one advantage to this wet weather is the greenhouse and hoop house jobs are all caught up and both are tidy and well weeded.  We had some big harvests come out of the hoop house this week and we able to successful adhere to our “24 hour rule”.  We garden for many in a pretty limited space.  We attempt to replant an area with a new crop within  24 hours after a harvest.  Scott cleans the area up, tills,  replenishes the soil with a bit of compost and marks the rows for me to come in and replant.

Maeve and Jennifer harvesting head lettuce.

Maeve and Jennifer harvesting head lettuce.

 

Maeve ready to deliver our lettuce to a local restaurant.

Maeve with a lettuce delivery.

 

The harvested lettuce area in the hoop house all replanted under 24hours!  Assorted Asian greens for the Summer Share.

The harvested lettuce area in the hoop house all replanted under 24 hours! Assorted Asian greens for the Summer Share.

Clyde, a Spring Share member stopped in the house house with his mom to taste test the delicious spinach in the boxes this week.

Clyde, a Spring Share member stopped in the hoop house with his mom to taste test the delicious spinach.

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WHAT IS IN YOUR BOX

Scott packing Spring Share boxes.

Scott packing Spring Share boxes.

 

 

Another delicious Spring Bounty!   Over 7.5 pounds of Spring Treats.  Our 1st year of hoop house growing has been wonderful.  We are thrilled with the quality and volume of produce we are able to grow.

Head Lettuce-2 heads for the week.  Juicy, lime green and sweet.

Spring Salad Turnips-The tasty Japanese variety called Hakurei that we love so much.  The texture is almost buttery.  Remember the greens can be sautéed too.

Pac Choi-The end of the pac choi run….finally!  These last weeks in the refrigerator in air tight packaging…. just so you know. Try adding a bit to a light broth soup.

Asparagus-A 1 pound bundle.  Our friend Eydie contributed this treat to the boxes this week.  She will be taking orders for next week if you would like some with your box pick up.  Preorder sign up will be on the cooler door.

Spinach-3/4 pound of gigantic spinach.  Referred to as “donkey ear”.  HUGE!  Really this IS the best Spinach we have ever grown!  I love the hoop house!  Double rinsed and amazing.  This is the crop we planted in February.

Arugula-A peppery gourmet delight.  A nice addition to salads or on pizza.

Tatsoi-The Asian Green of the week.  Dark spoon shaped leaves that can be added to fresh salads, braised or stir fried.

Potted Micro Mix- A new assortment. A growing garnish of mini brassicas, kale, mizuna, and mild mustards.  Snip with a scissors to “harvest”.  Keep on a sunny window sill and water when needed.

Best guess for next week-LAST SPRING BOX

Rhubarb, radishes, leaf lettuce, scarlet red turnips, saute mix, mizuna, chives, cilantro, baby basil + more!

 

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We found this nest in the rafters of the shed. We took a peek, returned it quickly and Mama Robin was back on it in minutes.

A long week of cold and wet in the garden.  Too wet to get much done outside beside maintenance and catch up jobs so our focus was in the green house and hoop house where it was dry and warm.  Tomato, eggplant and pepper seedlings all transplanted into roomy 4 inch pots!  A big job and pleased it is done. Exciting to revisit all the interesting varieties selected in December and imagine the tasty crops around the corner.

Tomatoes, Peppers, and Eggplants all in new pots.

Tomatoes, Peppers, and Eggplants all in new pots.

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Scott laying straw between the potato rows.

We spread straw between all the rows for weed control.  It also helps keep us a bit cleaner with wet and rainy harvests. No trudging through the mud.  Scott spent a few rainy days getting this messy job completed.

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Maeve watering in a Spring Turnip crop.

 

Our Spring is moving along at a controlled organized pace and we are thrilled that the crops are abundant for the Spring Share and Early Summer crops planted and robust.  It feels good not having the catch up frenzy filling our minds.  This year we are able to finally!!!! spend some thinking time on fun artsy garden “embellishments” that have been floating around in the back of our minds for years.

Freshening up a friend's typewriter with succulents.

Freshening up a friend’s typewriter with succulents.

AND!!!! Maeve’s vintage elementary school playground has started going up.  I started collecting pieces when she was born and they have sat dismantled in the back of the garden on the tree line.  A summer of fun awaits.

The riding horse swing set going up!

The riding horse swing set going up!

 

Last week’s box was wonderful and we enjoyed delicious greens with every meal and snacking too.  Pea shoots are a favorite and Maeve ate the whole bag all at once as her “appetizer” before supper one night.

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What is in your box

Another fantastic green bounty! 5.5 pounds again this week.   It is important to us that each week has new varieties for you to try and enjoy.  Loads of deliciousness to experience and welcome Spring into your home.

 

Spring White Salad Turnips-I look forward to these beauties and Maeve and I eat them raw like apples. After testing many different varieties this is our stand out favorite.  Hakurei.  Flavor is sweet and fruity and texture is crisp.  Can also be eaten warmed or sautéed with the flavorful greens which are also edible.

Scott washing the Turnips.

Scott washing the Turnips.

Radishes-Another early variety to try.  Celesta.  Long and smooth.  Maeve calls them “red carrots”.  Flavor not pungent just enough of a bite to enjoy with salads or sliced thin on sandwiches.

Leaf Lettuce Mix-I was very concerned mid week that we all would have an overwhelming pillow case sized bag to eat this week but 3/4 pound for everyone’s salads is how it weighed out. Abundant yet reasonable…. A  sweet mix double rinsed and spun dry.

Mini Head lettuce-A beautiful chartreuse green head called Winter Wonderland with thick juicy leaves like spinach.  Obviously grows slowly and enjoys the cold temperatures of Fall and Spring. This variety was started in February.

Head lettuce growing in the hoop house.

Head lettuce growing in the hoop house.

Braising Mix-Great for Sir Fry.  This mix includes Green Mustard, Red Mustard, Kale, Tatsoi, and Hon Tsai Tai.

Pac Choi-White Flash.  Larger than last week’s offering.  Try it as a fresh salad with berries or oranges.  Wonderful!  I have been eating bowls full all last week lightly braised with olive oil, garlic and a bit of soy sauce.

Potted Amaranth Seedlings-Our novelty garnish of the week.  It will absolutely glow in the sunshine on your windowsill. Very pretty and tasty too.  Snip and add a bit of color to your salads.  Nutty in flavor.

Daffodil Bouquet-Just because…..you can never have too many flowers.  A belated May Day to all of you.  An important holiday in our family to celebrate.

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Maeve delivering our May Day bouquets this year.

Best Guess for next week.  

Spinach, mizuna mix, head lettuce, arugula, turnips, asian greens, and more!

Next week's Spring planted Spinach harvest.

Next week’s Spring planted Spinach harvest.

 

 

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