The Dirt on Our Farm
We grow food year round, producing the freshest and tastiest Certified Organic vegetables and berries. The food we sell is grown exclusively on our own farm - no reselling and no buying at auctions and calling it our own. We raise all our vegetable plants from seed right here on the farm without using synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Cultivating our vegetables reqires a very limited use of fossil fuels each year because we farm mostly with our backs in the sun and hands in the soil. Furthermore, we limit our reliance on external sources by making our own compost, refusing to use black plastic sheeting over the soil, and growing all winter in a passive solar greenhouse that needs NO back up heat source.
The bottom line is, we want to feel great about what we do and the quality of what we grow. That feeling is only possible for me if I follow my heart, which tells me that I am a steward of this land - not a dominant force. And I care for my farm based on the understanding that it is what sustains my community and family, not just a resource to be tapped.
When a farmer strives for ultimate control over her farm, she will be disappointed. We aim to work within the natural systems of our land and micro ecology to grow our awesome tasting produce. This way, we're supporting our ecosystem and facing fewer production hardships since we aren't fighting with nature's cycles.
What does this mean in terms of production? Using regular soil tests and constant observation, we keep soil nutrients, micro organisms, and agregates in balance with compost, cover crops, naturally derived minerals and amendments, and don't add them if they aren't missing. Our goal is not to have the hugest of vegetables, but instead the MOST DELICIOUS! Huge can mean flavorless, and big tasteless vegetables, frankly, are a waste of space. We interpret system issues and problems based on what symptoms arise. For example, certain weeds can indicate deficiencies or excesses of nutrients and minerals in the soil. Vegetable crops could exhibit stress, telling us a piece to the soil puzzle is missing. Pest and disease pressure often means a farmer has not focused enough on crop rotation and soil health. The idea is very simple, but the practice requires diligence and a love of seeing the inseperable union of science and nature.
We love food at Everblossom Farm, and whether you're a farm laborer here or an eater of our goods, you'll come to realize that farming is more than just throwing seeds to the ground and reaping a harvest. For us, it's a connection to survival and happiness. And despite some overly challenging days and occassional disappointments, we're rewarded by this place and it's provisions every single day.
Posted by Elaine L. Lemmon :: Friday, July 18 :: 8:51am
Thank you to everyone who came out to our CSA farm party last week-we are so thankful for the support you give us. I think our gathering inspired what rain we did receive, and boy did we need it! Nothing is as satisfying to a vegetable than a soaking summer rain. Although it appears that Carlisle and everyone else received more rain that we did here. :/
I'd like to humble brag some more items that are in the cooler currently; last week we featured black raspberries and I hope you rose to the challenge to incorporate them into your meals. I did forget to mention that raspberries cook down very easily into a compote that you can add as a topping to any treat in any season; simply freeze the compote and add 2-4 tablespoons of water when you reheat it on the stovetop.
This week I am giving you one of Eric and my favorite recipes with summer squash. Use a mandolin (CAREFULLY) to cut your larger squash pieces into ribbons, brine them, and then use them as noodles. You can add them them to any hot or cold dish, as they are very versatile. *As I have heard countless horror stories from ER nurses/drs about misusing a mandolin, here is a video about safe mandolin use. If you have a steady hand, use a paring knife, or a regular vegetable slicer. (http://www.finecooking.com/videos/how-to-use-mandoline.aspx) Like this video shows, find a tool that includes a hand guard!
Let's chat about potatoes…we remove 90-95% of soil from our little buddies, but we do not wash them as that decreases its ability to store for any length of time. Please store them in a cool, dry place with the soil still on them. Only wash them if you plan to eat them that night. Same policy for berries-wrap them in a dry paper towel and put those in the fridge until you want to eat them, then GENTLY rinse them. Please note that we have several varieties of potatoes that make great presentations, as well as add some flavor into your potato salads, homemade chips, or attempts of the Spanish "tortilla." (Takes some time to master but ohhhhhh God, it is worth it.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3v7WbV1R2g. This youtube series comes from a Japanese mom who takes classic dishes from every culture and has her toddler daughter eat them-it is super easy to replicate and the daughter is adorable! (squeeeee! This info comes from part-time employee Alana) Cut the potatoes very thin and in smaller pieces so that it doesn't weigh down the egg mixture. And use a large spatula to flip it because a small one causes it to break apart or fall out of your pan (Alana achieved both of these failures).
Another item that we should highlight is the kohlrabi. Its knobby shape is not for smacking unruly teenagers, but rather, eating. Its flavor is between cabbage and broccoli stems. These recipes came from www.thekitchn.com: raw in salads (similar to mustard greens); added to cream of potato, broccoli, or mushroom soup (or in its own creamy, pureed soup with some mild spices); fritters; roasted; or steamed.
After meeting with people from across the world, I have found that slavic cultures use kohlrabi almost interchangeably with cabbage (cabbage soup, coleslaws, sauerkraut), as it is so versatile.
Remember that my sister, Jode, helps log many of her recipes and they are fantastic. Just click on the recipe link on the blog and you can explore hundreds of options if you are stuck on what to eat or how to prepare something.
Look for a post in the coming weeks that gives you all the information you need to know on a HIGHLY INVASIVE PEST called the Spotted Wing Drosophila, i.e., the fruit fly. These jerks are causing millions of dollars of damage across the north east, mainly in berries, and we are doing everything we can to control them in an environmentally safe manner. As I will explain later, we go beyond the Organic recommended control methods to one that uses no spray-we lose product this way, but it is a method that keeps me from losing sleep at night.
Enjoy this humidity free weather and eats lots of berries and veggies this week! Its great weather to grill meats, skewer some veggies, and make a pie.
All the best,