Greetings everyone! The start of the 2017 CSA at the TC3 Farm is here. Welcome to our new members and thanks to our returning members for taking this journey with us once again. For new folks to the TC3 Farm CSA, this weekly post is meant to keep you abreast of farm happenings and an idea of what’s going to be in the share each week.
It’s been a very busy Spring on the farm, even with all the rain (I will definitely be coming back to this topic). Before the semester ended the Sustainable Farming and Food Systems students worked very hard on this year’s crop rotation, getting plants started in the greenhouse for both on farm use and for sale, and transplanting early crops. For most of them, this was their first time with these experiences and I have been impressed over and over again with their willingness to step outside of their comfort zones to try new things, work as a team to make decisions or to just get a job done.
Some other exciting things that happened in the springtime were that we planted a small orchard of currants and elderberries from our friends over at Edible Acres near the barn.
All in all there are about 100 plants and seven total varieties. These plants should start producing fruit next season. We may even get some tasters this year.
We also upped our mushroom game, inoculating close to 50 logs with 2 different strains of shiitake spawn.
We should begin seeing the fruits of our labor next year. There are some cool videos on our Facebook page.
Alright, let’s talk about the weather real quick and then we’ll get on to this week’s CSA share. I can’t get through my day without at least a few people bringing up the weather to me. My philosophy is that I can’t control it, so I can’t stress about it too much. Ya just gotta make do with what’s in front of you. I don’t wear a t-shirt with that philosophy on it, so the topic seems to be inevitable. Everyone knows that last season was b-r-u-t-a-l and I was feeling really good about this year. We had a decent amount of precipitation over the winter, a well dug and were plowing the fields the earliest we’ve had in our four seasons. Plants were going in the ground and life was good. And then it started to rain…. and rain… and rain. Now, I haven’t seen total accumulations for the last 6 weeks or so, but my gut is telling me that it’s more than we had all of last summer going into the fall. All that rain really slowed us down but the past 4 days have been great. We are mostly dried out and catching up on field prep for the rest of the season.
Okay, let’s talk about veggies in week 1 of the TC3 Farm CSA. For the first week of the CSA folks will have the choice of garlic greens, Japanese (hakurei) salad turnips, mini romaine lettuce, an assortment of mild Asian greens like Mizuna and Tokyo Bekana.
There will also be rutabaga and potatoes that we’ve kept in storage. They’ve gotten a little soft but I roasted a bunch over the weekend and they were super tasty. Oh, and I am very hopeful that there will be enough strawberries for everyone to get a box. I’m just not sure if that box will be a 1/2 pint or a pint. They haven’t been enjoying the cool, wet start to the season but have been starting to ripen over the last few days. I had the opportunity to pick a sample pint tonight and they barely made it home to share with my family. There will also be a mix of seedlings for you to choose from.
For those who haven’t ever had garlic greens before, they look like baby leeks or green onions but are actually very young garlic and the whole plant is edible. You can use it just as you would use garlic. The Japanese salad turnips might be new to folks, as well. Think mild radish. These delicious little babies can be eaten raw in a salad. The Asian greens this week are very mild and I think that they can be eaten as a salad green or lightly sautéed.
In the coming weeks, the new items will be radishes, garlic scapes, kale and swiss chard.
Have a great week!