Wednesday, July 21, 2010

CSA 2010: Week 6

This week from the CSA we got Beets, Collard Greens, Kale, Broccoli, Zucchini, Thyme, many bunches of Lettuce, Beans, and Blueberries (yes, I know this is the last thing we needed this week!)

Local Food Field Trip: Derrick Farm in Oakham

Today, I tried to take the boys blueberry picking at Berries & Bloom, but apparently they are closed both Tuesdays AND Wednesdays this summer. So, I decided to take a 20 minute drive out to Derrick Farms out in Oakham.
It was definitely off the beaten path, but once we wound our way there, we found a very large blueberry farm. We walked back to an area and they sat us chairs in front of bushes packed with berries.
Miles and I picked a lot, but Calvin ate far more than he put in his bucket. At just a little more than $2 a pound, Cal may have consumed 5 dollars worth while we were there!
In less than 30 minutes, picking from 3 different bushes we collected nearly 7 pounds total in all.
...and now we get to eat them.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Backyard Find: Wild Blackberries

I discovered a small group of wild blackberry bushes in the back yard! A nice tasty treat, and there will be a low more in about a week.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Local Meal

The fridge is constantly packed with local foods now so it is easy to make local meals. Tonight we had grilled steak from Blood Farm and grilled zucchini and steamed beats from the CSA.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

CSA 2010: Week 5

This week provided:
· Beets
· Carrots
· Kale
· 2 lettuce
· Zucchini
· Snap peas/snow peas
· Red raspberries
· Basil
· Parsley
· Cabbage

The First Tomato!

The 4th of July we have growing on our deck yielded this ~2 inch beauty. It did not last through long once it was off the vine!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

CSA 2010: Week 4

Food this week: Beets (Sue had already cut and cooked the beets by the time I took this picture), a tiny bunch of Broccoli, Fava beans, Kale, Chard, Cilantro, Parsley, Basil, Raspberries, Shell peas, Snap and snow peas.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

CSA 2010: Week 3

In the CSA this week we got:
- Radishes and lots of lettuce bunches used in a big salad for our 4th of July BBQ
- Garlic scapes used in a steak tip marinade and they were served with Beets. The beet greens and remainder of the scaped will likely be stir fried.
- Asian greens blend an Kale which I plan on stir frying
- Snow Peas, Snap Peas and Shell peas that I just eat raw as a snack until they are gone. I love these!
- Red raspberries which are Sue's favorite snack
- Cilantro and Parsley which honestly I never us all of, but they smell very nice

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fruit in the Yard

The apples and blueberries that I planted last summer are producing some fruit. Here is one of the half-dozen-or-so red delicious apples growing right now:
And this is one of the 6 blueberry bushes that is starting to yield a few ripe berries:

Thursday, June 24, 2010

CSA Week 2: 2010

Week 2 of the CSA included the following:
· Cilantro
· Chard
· Lettuce
· Collards
· Onions
· Radishes
· Dill
· Blizzard snow and sugar ann snap peas

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

CSA Week 1: 2010

Week 1 of our CSA has finally arrived from Many Hands Organic Farm. As expected, it is very green heavy. It included 2 bunches of green onions, some sort of Chinese cabbage, namy heads of lettuce, kale, beet greens (with a few small beets mixed in), garlic scapes, spearmint, peppermint, and strawberries.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Today, the family returned to Tougas farm to pick Strawberies.
This year we only had to walk a couple hundred yard to the fields where they were picking and spend about 30 minutes our in the field.
We picked just shy of 13 pounds.
Sue froze 2 cookie sheets worth of berries (2 - 3) quarts and tomorrow I plan to make Jam. I have a feeling that the 13 pounds will be gone before we know it!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Garden is in

While I have not been blogging the past 2 months, I have been working on the garden. Back in Late March I made a garden plan:
I then placed an order to Johnny's Seeds. I actually planted only Soybeans in the back row (no butter beans) and Garden of Eden's instead of the Marvel of Venice. This year I added lots more beans, cucumbers, and a second variety beets. Sue started seedlings back in early April, but then I got swamped with work and coaching. I never managed to clear the garden and plant the early crops. Last Friday the garden looked like this:
On Saturday, I managed to clean the garden and plant the the ledt and middle quadrants of the garden. The soil is awesome! I added buckets of compost to each bed I planted, but even without the additions, the compost, rock phosphate, and green sand from last year clearly had an impact on the soil.

I wrapped up the planting this afternoon and here is what the garden looks like now:
I was not able to plan as many squash as I planned (only 1 winter and 1 summer) because the seedlings did not come through. Sue did start some pumpkins which worked great so I planted them in that area too. Also, the far left I planted the potatoes in bags. I am hopeful this will boost the yield.

More later, I promise.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Boiling Down the Sap

I had collected nearly 4 gallons of sap over the past 2 weeks, so I decided to boil down the sap to syrup. For this I broke out a new toy that I bought last month: the Bayou Classic Propane Burner. I bought this for 2 reason, making syrup and making beer.
Compared to last years very slow boil down on the grill, this thin was Awesome! I was able to get from 4 gallons to 1 gallon in about 3 hours and then moved it into the kitchen to boil off the remaining water.
I finished with just under 16 oz which is a good yield. Hopefully we have one more stretch of sap running days before the month is out and I can make a bit more.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Collecting Sap 2010

Today was a beautiful Saturday morning so Miles and I went out and tapped Maple trees to make syrup. Last year we did this for the first time. Now we have a tradition!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Goals for 2010

In the dark days of winter, I do think a lot about my garden goals for the upcoming year. While I have a lot of things I could work on like increasing the garden size, trying new vegetables varieties, and more local food field trips, the main goal I have for this year is being able to complete a Dark Days Challenge next winter.

I wanted to do this this winter, but I knew that I did not preserve nearly enough to make 20 local meals this winter. I did a fair job last year even though I didn't really have a plan, but I know I could do better.

To do this I will need to grow more in the garden, freeze and can more from the CSA, and possibly preserve items from the local farmers market in order to be ready. I will keep these things in mid as I plan my garden next month.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Renewing the CSA

Today I sent in the check for or CSA at Many Hands Organic Farm. Last year was a rough year for growing fruits and vegetables in New England, but considering the weather, they did a nice job giving us a reasonable share each week. I have signed us up for a Summer CSA vegetable and fruit share with pick-up on Wednesdays. The pick-up times and locations changed a bit this year, but I think it will still work out fine for us.

Shares are still available if you you live in Central Mass and are thinking about joining a CSA.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Slacker Blogger Returns... With News Link

So once the snow piled up on the lawn and my preserved vegetables were gone from the freezer, I stopped having a lot to blog about. I have not lost my interest in local food and environmental issues, I just stopped posting. I did decide that it was time to kick off my 2010 year with a post about Lawns. Today, I read this yahoo story about how green lawns may be contributing to global warming. To me, this is not really news and, in fact, more incentive to rip out my whole lawn and plant a bigger organic garden. It did make me wonder: are people unaware that maintaining a green lawn is not environmentally friendly?

Fortunately, I will not need to change my lawn care practices to be more "green," much to the chagrin of my neighbors.