October 23, 2014

October Glance

We started out this month hosting a high tunnels field day, which was fun and informative. It made me even more proud of Jay, seeing how expensive the kit buildings are and knowing how much less we spent on materials for ours.

At that field day, I had quite a few people come up and tell me they love following our blog. And with that, I felt pretty sheepish, as I know we have been posting more on Facebook and less and less on here. I will try to remedy that.

But for today, just a couple images of our buildings right kow. Jay has been busy tearing out summer crops, transplanting hundreds of greens and lettuce seedlings, and weeding weeding weeding.

In this, the carrots are in the foreground, and kale and other greens in the mobile building. To the left of the building, the green patch is oats planted to renourish the soil. And in the back you can just see or still-producing fall zucchini.

This is Building A, loaded with bok choy, lettuce, green onions, and I think tat soi.

And this is Building B, with kale, collatd greens, Swiss chard and I think spinach. I should be more sure, but I've been running kids to activities while he's been doing all this planting.

There is more growing outside, but this is a glimpse at our winter crop in its infancy.


August 28, 2014

What's Growing, August 2014

We get asked often what we have growing currently. So, in picture format, here is a partial list for this week:








Tat soi

Cherry tomatoes, still going strong

More tomatoes


Fall crop of rye vetch, to add nutrients back into the soil

And unfortunately, lots and lots of weeds:

Carrots covered with grass


Any guesses what we'll be doing for Labor Day this year?


May 22, 2014

Salad Season

It's salad time!

I love salad. I'm kind of a nerd that way. I guess it's a good thing I married a vegetable farmer.

This time of year, our salads are made up primarily of five types of greens. You can mix them up anyway you wish, or eat just one kind. Either way, they are delicious, better than you are probably used to. It's like the difference between the cheapest store brand toilet paper and super soft Charmin. Seriously.

Anyway, back to salads. The five types of greens we have right now are tatsoi, tokyo bekana, arugala, romaine, and summer crisp lettuce. (and yes, I had to ask Jay to know those last two.) So, what's the difference? And what do you do with them?

Tatsoi is also called spoon mustard, spinach mustard or rosette bok choy. It's similar to spinach in texture, with a little less overwhelming flavor. It will add crunch to your salad mix, some good bite to it. And it's good for you, providing a healthy amount of Vitamins A, C, beta-carotene, calcium, folate, and of course fiber.

Tokyo bekana, also known as mini Chinese cabbage, doesn't have anything near the texture of cabbage. In fact, in my opinion, it's the softest of the greens we have right now. But the flavor is great, and its light green adds a nice color to the salad. Plus, it absorbs the flavor of your salad dressing so well. But more on that later.

Arugula is not new to most people. It has a strong peppery flavor, very distinct in any dish. Personally, I don't enjoy a salad of just arugula, but rather prefer to mix it in with any of the other greens.

Romaine lettuce is making its debut for 2014 on our market tables this Saturday. Romaine is an excellent source of Vitamin A, but also provides a healthy amount of potassium, fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Iron. Of all our offerings this week, Romaine offers the best crunch to your salad.

Summer crisp lettuce, in both red and green, will be also for sale for the first time this season. This salad component offers some color to the bowl, as well as a medium texture.

Really, you can't go wrong with any of them, alone or mixed together. Our salad mixes are picked fresh just prior to the market, so you can rest assured they won't get all slimy by the time you get home.

But what to do with it. It just depends on your taste. My favorite is a mix of all the greens with fresh green onions, chopped fresh asparagus, maybe a boiled egg, and homemade ranch dressing. From the packet. I'm not that pioneer here.

The Tat Soi is also great with fresh strawberries, sliced almonds, and Kraft's raspberry vinaigrette.

If you want a darker, stronger flavor to your salad dressing, you could whip up some balsamic vinaigrette. Just mix together 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Whisk it right before pouring it over your salad, because it will re-separate if you make it in advance. Or, just go to the store and buy a $2 bottle of salad dressing. That works too.

Or if you need a sweeter dressing (you know, something the kids will love), whip up some honey mustard dressing. Whisk together 1/4 cup mayo, 1 tablespoon mustard, 1 tablespoon honey, and 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice. Trust me -- it's yummy.

Either way, we hope to see you this week at our market. Weather permitting, we will be able to offer these salad options for weeks to come. We will also have radishes and haikuri turnips at the market this weekend.


February 8, 2014

It has been a long winter.......

With school kicking into high gear, 2 new sets of standards for 5 grades, 2 brand new curriculum series for 2 subjects at 5 grade levels, posting to my website has been a challenge and honestly haven't had time. If I did have time, I usually filled it with something else that had to be done! Well this is what we have been doing this winter. Due to school and a very late spring, everything got pushed back last fall and we didn't get crops in the ground as soon as I would have liked. Therefore I paid the price. I don't have as much produce this winter. That was a double edged sword. Less produce meant, I was unable to do our online market, less winter income. However, I am thankful that we don't have much produce available because we have had a little more family time and I haven't had to run myself ragged to get everything done. Also with the winter we have had so far, I probably would have been more upset with loosing crops. So in the end it all worked out! We have had enough produce to supply the winter market we attend in Manhattan. We got enough planted to make a nice big display and I feel as if I am the largest locally grown produce vendor in the winter there. If I had all 6 high tunnels in production right now, I know I would say I was. Well I try to take a picture at each market before anyone shows up to buy. Sometimes they are good, sometimes I am an in a big hurry! Here is what our winter market offering have looked like this winter. November 2nd November 2 photo Nov1_zps7fdbf976.jpg November 23rd November 23 photo Nov2_zps2691f5ca.jpg December 7th  photo Dec1_zps5045fb75.jpg December 21st The day following this market, I got sick and eventually was diagnosed with walking pneumonia, needless to say it was a very uneventful Christmas break!  photo Dec2_zpsfae3ba71.jpg January 4th  photo Jan_zps91ee1e4a.jpg February 7th  photo Feb_zps55ab57eb.jpg We still have 3 more winter markets. I am hoping to plant a few things to try and attend the last two. We will be out of town for the next market in February. Winter markets have been very good for us, it is just a challenge to get everything harvested and processed when there is snow on the ground or freezing temps. It is a challenge that I am use to. I just wish I was able to afford to build a nice indoor packing facility!