Friday, July 31, 2009

Here's to August!

I can hardly believe that it's the last day of July! The weather, with its cooler temperatures and consistent rain, has been reminding me of Pennsylvania, where Bret and I are from.

But with August comes the preparations for fall crops. We've pulled out all of the potatoes (with some much appreciated help from friends and shareholders), pulled out the first round of summer squash, and finally cleared the last of the spring beds. Some of the open space will be replanted in kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, lettuce/greens, carrots, and more. We will cover the rest of the open space with cover crops of daikon radishes, wheat, canola rape, or hairy vetch.

Also, August brings us to the beginning of the new school year. We have just over 2 weeks to continue working full-time in the garden before heading back to the classroom.

Well, I've got to start canning these tomatoes, so here (at last) is a recipe tomatillos!

Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa Verde)

8oz. tomatillos (husked)
1 small white or red onion (chopped)
3-5 peppers
1 garlic clove

Bret roasts the tomatillos, onions, peppers, and garlic in a skillet, though our recipe call for these ingredients to be raw. If you choose to keep them raw, chop the tomatillos, peppers, and garlic.
Remove ingredients to chopper, blender, food processor, etc. and process. For the raw salsa, add enough water to bring to a saucelike consistancy. Stir in 1/2 tsp of salt (or to taste) and an optional 3/4 tsp of sugar.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

thanks from (and to) greg

Bramble Hill Farm
(won't do you no harm - a poem)

the earth is a heart that feeds us
with roots and fruits and magic.
the earth we stand on is like this,
this hill that drinks up the sun
in big gulps
between the thunder and the rain.

look how many treasures it gives us
when loving hands pluck its fertile strings
and the earth sings sweetly beneath us.

much love,

Monday, June 1, 2009

Welcome to June!

With a bit more than 2 weeks left of spring, the weather is starting to heat up and the rain is slowing down. This weekend proved to be sunny and sweaty! Our potatoes have grown tall enough to be hilled. So we hilled... and are still hilling. Hilling potatoes means to pull up the soil from between the rows of potatoes, onto the potatoes to encourage more tubers to grow. It also makes them easier to harvest.

With the onset of 90* temperatures, some of our spring crops are heading to seed and leaving our CSA baskets. This will probably be the last week for the snap peas.. what a treat they've been! I wonder how everyone is eating their spring produce? Raw? Cooked? Leave a comment and share a recipe!

We've been enjoying lots of salad and stir-fry. I usually leave the stir-fry to Bret, he does a great job of improvising sauces. My favorite ingredients are tahini, soy sauce, sesame oil, and of course garlic...

Hope to see you soon!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Helping Hands

As I sit here on our front porch, listening to our rain barrels filling with rain, I am thinking about the very busy week that has just officially ended and am enjoying the break that the rain is providing.

This past week we were fortunate enough to have some extra hands in the garden. Great thanks to shareholders Emma and Dave, who came out to the farm on Wednesday to help prepare our tomato plants for the long season ahead. They weeded and mulched our whole tomato crop! What a sight to come home to after our first CSA delivery!

On Friday, my mom (visiting from Pennsylvania) and another Bramble Hill Farm shareholder, Beth, helped transplant another crop of lettuce and prepare for more of our cucumbers. Soon thereafter, Bret and 20 students from the Abintra Montessrori School arrived ready to get their hands dirty! They helped prepare beds for planting, created bamboo teepees for beans, weeded existing beds, and planted the second half of our summer squash. This was a great start to the weekend!
Bret, my mom, and I spent Saturday soaking up the sun in the garden. A bit behind schedule, we transplanted eggplant, peppers, cucumbers, squash, and flowers. As I type, a beautiful steady, light rain is falling…perfect for the new transplants!

I hope you all enjoy your memorial day, whether in-doors or out!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Beginnings, a continuation, and endings

full rain barrels and plants in waiting
Hurray for spring! The CSA will begin next Wednesday May 20th!
We have officially welcomed in the harvest season with working shareholders Emma and Dave. They came out to get their hands (and clothes) dirty last Friday and we shared a lunch of fresh picked spinach con queso burritos with homemade tortillas. Thanks Emma and Dave for helping us make the most of a (semi) dry day!

As the rain continues, we are appreciating our hilltop garden! Luckily for us, the garden has been draining well and we have not to had very much rain damage (only a few tomatoes were lost to the oversaturated soil). We are hoping for a week of dry weather so we can prepare more beds for transplaning cucumbers, squash, beans, more tomatoes, more lettuce, etc, etc, etc....

With the end of May comes the end of the school year. Bret and I will both be finishing the school year at Abintra Montessori and A New Leaf Preschool and are excited to have more time to spend in the garden!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

a break in the rain

blackberry blooms and bumblebees

I heard on the radio yesterday that this is one of the rainiest may's in 30 years! The rain has really slowed us down... its been a while since the garden was dry enough to transplant more vegetables.. The rain may slow down the start of the CSA, but filling the water table back up isn't something I'm about to complain about!
Needless to say, I really enjoyed today's sunshine and I hope you did too!

the chicken valley


growing potatoes

snap peas and 3 rows of trellis

Friday, April 24, 2009

Dogwood Summer

Hello All!

This weekends to do list:
- prepare chicken village for 30 new chicks!
- transplant more lettuce, onions, kale and TOMATOES!
- weed existing beds, mulch with grass clippings

- Cut and collect straw mulch with Hungry Gnome Farm!

Come Join Us!