Garlic Curing

Garlic Curing

We managed to do our garlic harvest in record time today. Two hours from start to finish! Approximately 3800 garlic bulbs pulled and hung up to cure. Using our new root lifter made the whole process easier than ever!
Cultivating between the rows of corn with a single row cultivator.

Cultivating between the rows of corn with a single row cultivator.

The sweet corn has been cultivated using a single row cultivator pulled by a horse being ridden. It is one of the few times we ride our draft horses. The aisles are then seeded down to a cover crop and cultivated again. The cover crop will grow up and keep the weeds from growing. After the corn is finished we will mow off the corn and the clover will grow on to fix nitrogen. The next big job for the sweet corn is to put up an electric fence around it to keep the racoons from eating it. They wait until it is ripe and then call in all their friends for a big party! It’s crazy how much damage they can do in one night. Ken thinks that if we lined up all the coons in the neighbourhood nose to tail they would stretch all around the block! We often see their little hand prints on the farm lane in the morning after they have been out carousing at night.
Aden Planting Buckwheat with Ken's Horse Drawn no-till Drill.

Aden Planting Buckwheat with Ken’s Horse Drawn no-till Drill.

Ken’s no till drill is working. Aden used it to plant a second crop of buckwheat into the cut off buckwheat cover crop. In next year’s CSA garden area Ken also rolled a cover crop of peas, oats and barley and planted a mixed cover crop of soybeans, millet, sun hemp and sunflower seeds into the mulch. Later this season we will divide the field up into different areas depending on what is being planted there next year and plant different cover crops. We are trying to do this without ploughing or discing in between crops with the new no till drill. Leaving the mulch that is created to add organic matter to the soil bed. Time will tell.

We have had some beautiful cauliflower coming off our early planting and there is more on the way. Here is a recipe from CSA member Sarah Van Pelt:

Cauliflower Shepherd’s Pie
Low Carb, Gluten Free
(recipe tweaked from www.mamaeatsclean.com)
Prep Time: 45 minutes • Cook Time: 45 minutes
Serves 4-6

Topping:
1 large head of cauliflower
3 Tbsp butter
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 Tbsp dried or fresh parsley
Sprinkle of pepper
Sprinkle of garlic powder

1 c mozzaralla or cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
Paprika

Base:
1lb lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 carrots, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 c mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp Worcestershire
1/2 c vegetable or beef broth
1/2 tsp soy sauce (if GF, make sure it is the kind with no gluten in it)
1/4 c bbq sauce (if GF, make sure it is the kind with no gluten in it)
1/2 Tbsp parsley
1 c frozen peas
1 c frozen corn

Instructions:
1. Cut cauliflower into florets, wash, cover with water in a pot, bring to boil, and
reduce to a gentle boil until mostly soft. Drain and let sit for 5 min. Blend it
with butter and spices until it has the consistency of mashed potatoes.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
3. Brown the ground beef, onions, garlic and carrots.
4. Add celery and mushrooms to the meat and vegetables.
5. Add oil, salt, Worchestershire, broth, soy sauce, bbq sauce and parsley to the
meat and vegetables. Simmer until everything is cooked and some of the
liquid has cooked off (so it isn’t runny).
6. Add peas and corn to the meat and vegetables for another 5 minutes or so.
7. Spread the meat mixture into a 9×13 casserole dish. Top with mashed
cauliflower. Sprinkle with cheese and paprika. Bake for about 45 minutes.

Beets on a Bed of Beet Greens with Fresh Butter and Vinegar

Beets on a Bed of Beet Greens with Fresh Butter and Vinegar

The first beets of the season are a treat. The greens on the young beets are delicious. I like to rinse them well and cook them like spinach. Over the bed of cooked beet greens I add the cooked beets. If they are small I leave them whole, larger beets can be sliced. To cook the beets leave them whole with the roots and tops on either boil or roast. After they are soft discard the skin with the root and top. Add butter to melt and sprinkle with rice vinegar and coarse salt.

Rose Cultivating Potatoes

Rose Cultivating Potatoes

We now have all the early transplants in. Both plantings of sweet corn transplants have been planted and the cultivating has begun. Our potatoes are up and they have been cultivated and hilled. All the interns had a go at cultivating with the two horse one row cultivator. I feel like we are poised ready for an explosion of produce. The broccoli and early cabbage are almost ready. The first summer squash and carrots are being harvested this week. Our hoop house cucumbers are starting and the peas, lettuce, greens and herbs are continuing to produce. Pretty soon we will be exploding out of the pick-up room.

The hay has been a challenge to make again this year, with all the rain. We have managed to squeeze in a few good loads into the barn. There is a field cut now now that is destined for the compost pile with all the rain last weekend. However, the rain will make everything else grow including the second cut on the hay fields that are already harvested.

The kale has been growing well with all the rain and cool weather. Here is a Kale recipe from CSA members Matthew and Ansley Ban
Massaged Kale Salad with Feta Cheese

INGREDIENTS
1 bunch kale
3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt or sea salt
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
3/4 cup small-diced apple
1/3 cup toasted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup crumbled Feta cheese
DIRECTIONS

Wash the kale and pat it dry. Slice off the stiff stems below the leaves and continue slicing the stem away from the leaf until you have cut a thin v-shape into the kale leaf and removed the tough stem all the way up. Stack the kale leaves two or three at a time, roll them up, and slice the leaves into thin ribbons.
Place the kale ribbons in a large mixing bowl. Add the salt and massage it into the kale with your hands for two minutes. You’ll notice the kale start to turn a darker green and the texture of the kale will begin to soften a bit.
Toss in the red onions, cranberries or raisins, apples, and sunflower seeds. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar and sugar. Pour over the salad and toss. Sprinkle feta cheese over the top and serve. The salad can be refrigerated for up to a day before serving (if doing this, refrigerate the salted kale separately from the other ingredients and toss the salad together an hour or two before serving).

Naomi Hilling Potatoes

Naomi Hilling Potatoes


Garlic Scapes are the flower portion of the garlic plant. We remove them so the garlic can put energy into growing the bulb bigger. One fun thing to do with the scapes is to pickle them. I just use a brine like I would for dill pickles.
Pickled Garlic Scapes

Pickled Garlic Scapes