Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Turkey Hill CSA Newsletter - Week 1

From the Farm

This week I thought I would run down all of the vegetables and let you know how they are doing. Some of you might be concerned about the late season, our extremely late (June 8) freeze, and the cold wet spring that slowed down the spring planting. As a result of the late season, everything is a little behind, and the first few weeks of harvest will be particularly slim.

Please don't be alarmed by the size of your box for the first few weeks. we will make up for the slim selection later in the season (also, full shares are going to get a lot fuller than the half shares as the crops fill in - for now they are the same. again, we will make this up later in the season). The overall harvest season is looking great this year, with nearly everything planted, watered and weeded! Here is the scoop on some of the main vegetables:

Beans - we grow green beans, as well as yellow and purple beans. we have several strong plantings with multiple varieties this year and they look great - weeded, thinned and starting to bush out, so expect an extended harvest beginning in mid July and lasting over a month
Braising Mix - this tender baby greens mix is great for a side dish, we offer this for the first few weeks until more crops are available.
Broccoli - looks great, we got a great planting of broccoli in this year, and its all weeded and growing well. Harvest will begin by the end of July and last for a month or more
Beets - the first bed of beets has been thinned and the first baby beets will be ready in the next week. We should have beets or baby beets for at least four weeks, we have several strong looking plantings.
Cabbage - also a great planting of red & green cabbage, some savoys and Chinese cabbage (napa) as well. Harvest will begin around week 7 (Aug. 4) and lasts for a month or more
Cauliflower - we have good plantings of white cauliflower, as well as the intense purple and delicious orange cauliflower varieties. expect cauliflower mid-season this year, by early August
Chard - a good planting of rainbow colors: red, green, yellow, pink & orange. Harvest begins this week with baby chard (washed and bagged), then continues with bunched chard by week 3 or 4. Chard lasts all season, but expect it in your box for the first 4-6 weeks until the box fills out with the main season crops.
Corn - we have several good sweet corn plantings this year, including our favorite 'delectable' - a super sweet bi-color (yellow and white) corn and the classic Silver Queen, a large eared white corn. Our corn will be coming in late in the season, mid September, but we will try to pick up some of the local Organic 'Olathe Sweet' corn which is now available in the our area by sometime in August.
Cucumbers - The cucumber plantings look good - we have several varieties, the standard slicers, some thin skinned Asian types and pickling cukes (we'll alert you when these become available for bulk ordering). we lost some of our early plantings to a late freeze, but still expect a good long harvest.
Eggplant - The eggplant was hit by the late freeze, but most came back and we also replaced some. still eggplant is always late, expect a bit of eggplant in late September
Herbs - we rotate culinary herbs in your box each week. Tender cilantro lasts for the first month of harvest season, and you'll also get over-wintered thyme, marjoram and oregano early. later you'll get fresh basil - the planting looks great, but won't be ready until mid-august. bulk basil (or cilantro) for making pesto available for special order. most herbs can be dried very easily in our climate - if you find you don't use the fresh herbs each week, hang them to dry and store in a jar for winter use.
Lettuce, Head - we have a great looking planting of head lettuce, lots of romaine, butter and leaf lettuces. we will start picking these next week and harvest should last for four to six weeks. expect a rotating selection
Melons - they are planted and growing, but melons are a marginal crop in this area, expect melons in September if we have a long hot season
Onions, Leeks, Shallots - we have a beautiful crop of onions planted and weeded this year - yellow sweet walla wallas, white storage onions and red sweet 'burgermaster' onions. we'll start picking onions around the end of August. Onion harvest lasts all fall. The leeks and shallots also look great, expect these late September
Peas - the peas are a little later than usual this year, but we have several strong plantings that are growing well. the shelling peas are filled with peas that are sizing up - we'll start picking them in the next two weeks. the sugar snap peas are just flowering and will be ready in three weeks. Pea harvest lasts three to four weeks
Peppers - these come in late in our area, sometime in September. our early batch was frozen, but we replanted
Potatoes - a nice planting with reds, blues and yellows as well as fingerlings. potatoes are available for the last few weeks on the season.
Scallions - ready in a few weeks, these will last for just a few weeks
Squash, Summer - some of the early plantings made it and are flowering now. we expect a trickle of squash in a few weeks, then a flood later in July and August - we have zucchini, yellow crookneck, patty pan, straightneck and other varieties.
Squash Winter - we have a great planting of delacata, butternut, acorn, buttercup, kabocha, red kuri, spaghetti and more. these come in late in the season, late Spetember
Tomatoes - we did loose some to a late freeze, but we have replanted even more. tomatoes will be late this year, if we can find some organic early tomatoes for sale from palisaide or delta we will add them to an earlier box.

This Week's Box

Radishes - red and white mixed
Braising Mix - tender greens - eat raw or cook
Baby Chard - Delicious and tender. Recipes on the website - see cooking greens
Salad Mix - Starting slow, we should have this all season
Cilantro - Enjoy it while we have it, cilantro can't take the heat of summer and lasts just a few weeks
Marjoram - great for tomato sauce, dry what you don't use
Garlic - immature, with a slightly milder garlic flavor. the skins aren't dry, but you still need to peel the cloves. We'll have more garlic in the coming weeks, this is just so you have some for now.

Next Week

Beets, baby

Head Lettuce - Romaine, Green & Red Leaf


Coming Soon (1-3 weeks)

Sugar Snap Peas
Garlic, dried

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

From The Farm
Things are busy, busy here at the farm. As I write this, the last crops are ready to go in the ground and all of the 'cool weather' crops are in the ground (they can take our early season freezes). We just had the latest freeze of the spring since we've been farming in Western Colorado - June 8th. It was a mild freeze and it nipped or killed most or all of our early tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash and cucumbers. Ouch! A small backup planting is going in the ground tomorrow, but expect a later season unless we can fill in from other local growers.

A late season
Even without the recent freeze, this has been a late year. We've had a steady series of missed planting days due to rain or hail, wet fields as well as some really hard early freezes that damaged the local fruit crop. The farm machinery all decided this was the year to break down, and one implement after another has been down for repairs. The good news is that we have still managed to keep up with field planting and prep work, and the early spring plantings look great. The peas and beets are growing strong, as well as salad mix, radishes, baby carrots, spinach, cilantro, scallions, garlic, chard, kale and more as we prepare for our first harvests. Will all our early crops are in the ground, the weeding season has begun! Our big direct seedings - corn, squash, pumpkins, green beans, cucumbers, etc. are completed and salad mix is on its 3rd planting. A good crew has formed to plant weed and harvest, and the weather is finally warming up.

What to expect
Pickup/Delivery will begin the week of June 23rd. Farm pickups will be Fridays 3-7pm (or by arrangement), delivery into Crested Butte will happen every Sunday, starting Sunday June 29th, at 11am (see below for details). I will call every shareholder by June 16th to go over the exact pickup location and to verify you got this email!

Farm Pickup Directions
The farm is located just before 34830 Powell Mesa Rd. From Hotchkiss, head North on 4th St., travel 1 mile and take the 2nd Left on Powell Mesa Rd. (not the 1st Powell Mesa turn). Travel 1 mile, look for Round Earth sign directly ahead. Read the board carefully, grab a box and pack your share. Full/Half shares are listed separately, Fruit share is separate. Check the list if you aren't sure what you have. Please check your name on the list when you take your box so we know you got your produce! Please save your box and bring it back. Remember to pick up your box each week. If you will are unable to pick up your box, please send a friend and explain the pickup carefully, or call to arrange an alternate time to pick up your box.

Crested Butte Delivery
Crested Butte Deliveries - Our current delivery location is now FULL and we are seeking a second drop off location. We are looking for an existing or new member with a shady porch or north wall in an accessible downtown (ideally) location. We offer a generous trade/discount for hosting the pickup location - please call Adam at the farm (970) 872-4413 if you can help. For now, here are the directions to the primary pickup, at Stacee Vanaremans house:
421 White Rock, Stacee's is a tall green building. Please park on the street. Please meet the truck at 11:30am, or pick up produce any time that day from the shady East porch. Each share is in a box, fruit shares are separate. Please check the list of you aren't sure what you get. If you have any questions, please call the farm. Please save your box and bring it back to meet the truck, or leave it for us that day (please don't leave boxes all week). If you will are unable to pick up your box, please send a friend and explain the pickup carefully!