Availability and Produce Notes for July 10th, 12th, and 14th, 2012

Special note on a change in the Availability and Produce Notes –

For the past several months I’ve sent out different notes to the different CSA member groups. I currently have 3 groups. KTF members, On Farm Pickup members, and Molalla Delivery members. I’ve sent out slightly different notes to these different groups based on what I anticipated being available during different times of the week. but production is up high enough now (and will be indefinitely) for me to send out the same note and list to everyone. This reduces the time I need to spend taking inventory and doing office work. Which time I can shift to work outdoors.

KTF members – Delivery on Tuesday July 10th pickup at the usual time.

On Farm and Molalla Delivery – Thursday July 12th (pick up after 3:00pm)

On Farm Pickup – Saturday July 14th after 2:00pm

:: Vegetables and Greens ::

Snow Peas – This is the biggest harvest (because of last week’s skip) of the snow peas. It will also be the last harvest for this particular crop. Everyone will be getting snow peas in their share. Probably at least one pound. The next crop is up and ready to be placed in the rows. The current crop was 100 row feet. The second crop will be 600 row feet. This second crop will have plenty of extra for putting up. So if you want extra snow peas this fall, let me know about how much you’d like.

Dock – A wild green. Large broad leaves are excellent steamed or sauted.

Southern Giant Curled Mustard – Large enough for cooking greens and pretty hot. You can use them for salad greens if you dress them with a vinegarette.

Radish Pods – There may be radish pods in your share this week, at least enough to sample. I picked them out pretty good on Tuesday, but if there are enough on Wednesday I’ll include them in your share. If not you’ll get some next week.

Beet Greens – Limited availability, these larger greens are almost like young chard. They’re not actuallly green, but are Bull’s Blood, so they’re red, but very tasty.

Cilantro – Mature cilantro. The second and third plantings are looking good. The second may be ready for harvest next week.

Fennel stalks and flowers – This is from second year fennel.  No bulbs, but the stalks have lots of flavor and the flowers do as well. To use the flowers, remove them from their clusters. Use raw or in cooking. These flowers have their pollen, which is prized as a spice and used sparingly. It’s supposed to have as great effect on the seasoning of your food as saffron and is used as sparingly.

Radish cooking greens – and possibly some actual radishes. I had planted radishes around two tomato plants for weed suppression and a companion crop. The weed suppression worked like gang busters! Unfortuntely, the slugs have found the radishes. Some are still OK, others have ‘bites’ taken out of them. These radishs are ready for harvest and while the roots aren’t looking too good, the greens are nice. They will be a part of the default share as I need to harvest them in order to plant another companion crop.

Kale – limited availability of Lacinato and blue curled. On request only.

Pie Cherries –

Very limited. On request only.

Special Note – Container Change

KTF Members –

During July, I will be shifting from the bags to totes. When I do this you will need to start bringing your own bags/boxes. What I will do is to either fill your tote, which will have your name on it, or I’ll bring in totes of packaged produce and you can select from them what you want according to the default quantities and selection as well as your requests.

Before I make the switch, I’m taking a poll. What would be your preference?

A – Totes with your name on it. You’ll have to bring your own bag or box and transfer the produce from the tote with your name on it to the one you brought. If there’s extra, I’ll bring bulk totes for you to select extra from that will be first come, first served.

B – Bulk totes that you can select your produce from according to default values and your personal requests.

C – Bulk totes with the default produce that you can select from, AND your requested produce in bags. That way you know you’ll get your preferred produce, but then there will be enough of the default produce in the bulk totes that you can take from that as well.

My preference is A.

Majority will rule here and you have 2 weeks to vote. I’ll announce the results on the 23rd of July. The totes will be the way produce will be delivered from August on.

This will be for the regular CSA shares. Bulk produce that you’ve requested will be delivered to KTF in a seperate tote with your name on it. Or, if you like, you may come out and pick it yourself on the weekends or during the week (except Tuesdays) in the evening after 5PM.

On Farm Pick Up Members –

the end of July or first part of August, you will find the bulk produce totes set up on the carport where you’ve been picking up your produce. If you’ve requested anything special or extra, it will be in a tote (or totes) bearing your name. Other produce and, when available, plants that are available will be set out for you to take as you want/need. There will be a clipboard with a list of people picking up that day. Please feel free to take as much as you want out of the bulk bins and plants, but keep in mind that, unless you’re the last one to pick up, you’ll need to leave some for others. When you pick up, just check off your name on the list so that others coming after you will know how much they’ll be able to to take. Of course, if you’re the last one to pick up, feel free to take everything.

Molalla Delivery Members –

Your shares will be coming in the totes. When I have extra, there will be a bulk tote that you can take from as you want. Also, there will be extra produce at the farm if you’d like to stop by on your way home from work or on the weekends.

For people coming out to the farm to pick their extra produce and to pick up their birds, or just to visit and enjoy the place, there will be a couple of picnic areas set up for you to enjoy. And you can meet Bucky and Kicker (the veal calves), the horses (Melora, Rose, Rocky, Gizmo), Flash the mule, the goats (Ace, Trouble and Gimpy), Chaz the Wonder Dog, the cats (Sammy, JD, Squash Rodent Slayer), Buck the rabbit.

You can also see the meat chickens (if I actually have any) and see where the new orchard will be going in and the new greenhouses/aquaponics systems) as they are built.

New Crop Plantings – Summer Crops

Corn –

Not quite ‘Knee high by the 4th of July”, but it’ll be knee high by this weekend. The heat has really got it to going. So the first sweet corn harvest looks like it will be pretty much on schedule. Second planting will be this week. The second planting plants are actually the same age as the first planting, as they’re plants that didn’t make it into the ground when I did the first planting. I’ll be doing a small third planting as a direct seeded crop this week or over the weekend as well.  The third planting may or may not produce ears of sweet corn, but I may have it available as Halloween decoration and I’ll probably harvest some as fodder for the livestock. I’ll actually be planting corn for fodder until the end of August.

Beans –

Beans are up and will be placed in their rows this week. I’ll be using some of the beans for landscaping. I’ll be posting pictures on the farm’s blog and at Facebook.

Peas –

As I mentioned in the availability list, the second planting of peas is up. They’re about 2″ tall and will be placed in their rows this week. The first planting was 100 row feet. This second planting will be 600 row feet. So there will be plenty for putting up.

Squash Summer –

Will be placed this week. The hot weather has gotten these and so many other crops to going. Everything’s been in a kind of holding pattern up until this past week.

Squash Winter –

The first planting has flowers. I’ll be starting the second planting this week.

Cucumber –

Will be placed this week and the second planting will be seeded this week. The plants are up and have their first sets of true leaves.

Tomatoes –

I think I have a total of 350-400 tomato plants out here. Everything from tiny currant tomatoes to big slicers. The first planting all have fruit set (a few have been ripe enough to pick, but it’s just been one here and there), the second planting are in flower, and the third planting (150 romas) are all looking very good and may be in flower by the end of the month if the weather holds. The third planting will be grown in containers in the greenhouse. They’re the ones that will be producing fruit in October and November.

Peppers – 

Looking good. Some have flowers, some are still a bit young. The bulk of the bell peppers this year are Purple Beauty, a purple bell pepper that can be harvested either as a green bell or a purple bell.

Eggplant –

I have a limited number of eggplants of various varieties. They’re looking good and I cheated. I bought these plants.

Leafy Greens –

Planting/seeding continues apace for the late summer, fall and winter crops. The current crop of arugula looks good and should be ready in a couple of weeks.

Herbs –

I’ve bought 5 rosemary plants, as well as some Cuban oregano, lemon balm, pineapple sage. I will be seeding for basil this week as well as some other herbs. If you want basil for pesto, let me know and I’ll grow extra for you. I’ll also be making a trip to Al’s Garden Center in Woodburn sometime in the next week or so to pick up a couple of sweet bay plants.

Root vegetables –

I’m in the process of clearing out the tunnel beds that have been producing the snow peas. These will all be seeded for the fall/winter root vegetables. Over the next 3 weeks I’ll be seeding for carrots, beets, turnips, parsnips. If anyone likes rutabegas, let me know. I kind of look at those the same way as turnips. So I usually grow one or the other and since I have lots of turnip seed and no rutabega seed, I’m growing turnips this year. But if you like rutabegas and will be on through the fall and winter you can request that I grow rutabegas for you.

Fruit and Berries –

The apple trees are both LOADED! The gravenstein actually broke a limb yesterday. The goats get the low fruit, and I’ll be harvesting the upper fruit off that limb. I don’t know how many pounds of fruit I’ll get off the gravenstein this year but I’m thinking several hundred pounds. If you want gravenstein apples for putting up, let me know. I’m going to keep half the harvest for my own personal use, but ya’ll are welcome to the rest. First come, first served. Number one apples will be reserved for inclussion as a part of the default share when they’re ready, the number twos will be available for putting up.  I’ll have more info when I start to pick.

This looks to be a bumper year for the blackberries as well. The bushes are loaded and I’ve had the goats triming them back so the berries are easily accessible. There may or may not be berries available for putting up.

The cherries, on the other hand, have not done so well. There is a lot of fruit on the tree as far as eating cherries, but the late rains split a lot of them and the ones that didn’t split have a lot of mold. The tree also has pie cherries, and those look pretty nice. If you’d like pie cherries let me know and I can pick some for you. Very limited.

Potato Update –

This year I experimented with a new (to me) way of growing potatoes. Towers. If the plant growth is any indication, we’re probably going to have a pretty nice crop. I planted 7 lbs. of blue, 50 lbs. of Red Norland, and 50 lbs. of Yukon Gold. I’m hoping for a harvest of 30 lbs of blue potatoes, and 200 lbs each of the red and yellow potatoes. I planted them pretty densly, so the yield may not be as high as if I’d given them more room. But we’ll see. I’m thinking that we won’t loose much if any to the gophers this year, which is usually how I loose any of the harvest.  Only those who released money for seed potatoes will have access to the potato crop.  Potatoes will be a part of the default share for on farm and Molalla delivery members. Potatoes will also be a part of the default share for KTF members who released funds for the purchase of the seed tubers.

Meat and Poultry and Fish, Oh My!

Poultry –

The poultry has been challenging this year. Between loosing the majority of the first two flocks to the weather and predators, and difficulties with the hatchers, I’ve decided to shift from the local hatchery I was using to another one down in Tangent, Oregon. I’ll be contacting them this week and ordering another 100 chicks and will set up a regular schedule with them. So far I’ve invested over $150 in chickens, and I’ve got pretty much nothing to show for it. Just a few birds for my own larder. All current members will eventually get your chickens. They’ll be very late though. Even if you will be leaving after your current term, you will still get chickens. You’ll just be getting them after your term has ended.

Red Meat –

I will be getting my Pre Packaged Meat Seller’s License from USDA in the next couple of months. This means that I will be able to offer red meat as an extra. This year I’ll have veal available by the cut/pound. I may also be able to offer the poultry frozen. One of the reasons I’ve deciced to get the USDA license, is that it will let me have the poultry slaughtered by someone else, which will free up my time to do other things, like planting other crops. And, you won’t have to come to the farm to pick up your birds, they will arrive in your share as frozen birds as you request them.

I will be adding pigs to the farm system early next year and will have them slaughtered at the USDA inspected plant, so I’ll have pork available sometime next year.

You will also be able to request pork, beef, veal or lamb next year instead of chicken if you like. There will be an exchange similar to the one I have for poultry. Details to come this fall.

Fish –

With the help from a couple of gentlemen, I’m setting up an aquaponics system out nere. With it I’ll be able to provide everyone with plenty of greens and herbs through out the winter. I will also be able to provide fish eventually. We’re currently leaning toward a mixed system using trout and catfish. The greens and herbs will be available beginning in the late summer/early fall. The fish won’t be available until sometime late in the summer of 2013.

If you have a preference of fish, please feel to let me know.

As always, it’s my pleasure to serve you and I really appreciate everyone’s patience. This year has been very challenging on the farm, but things look to be shaping up nicely. So here’s to a bumper crop!