Thursday, August 5, 2010

CSA Delivery August 5

Reminder: I will most likely(unless the tournament is cancelled) be at the theater parking lot across from the regular lot due to a softball tournament.

This week was a scorcher!! We have a great delivery this week.

You will receive the following:
  • eggplant
  • summer squash
  • tomatoes
  • jalapenos
  • green bell peppers
  • cucumbers

I'll see you there!


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Delivery July 29

This week, I am going to do things a little differently. I am going to let you pack your own bags! I will have the veggies set out with the number you can take and you can choose your veggies and pack your own bag. This is due to space getting tighter in the van and it is easier to haul them down in boxes of the same vegetables, and it will save some time for me~about 3 hours of packing. I think you will enjoy getting to pack your own bags too!

This week you will get the following:
  • tomatoes
  • green peppers
  • summer squash
  • cucumbers
  • bouquet of flowers

The amounts will be determined when I get it all counted.

Important!!! Next week, August 5 delivery will be at the movie theater parking lot across the street because there will be a softball tournament. If you have any questions call me at 573-694-5986. Also, if there is every a very bad thunderstorm, I may also be at the theater parking lot since I have been told that the Larry May Park is a lightening magnet.


Delivery July 22

This is another late post, but for record keeping I will list what the delivery was on July 22:

1/2 share:
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 3 summer squash
  • 4 green peppers
  • 3 jalapenos
  • 2 cucumbers
  • small bag of greenbeans
  • bouquet of flowers

Full share:

  • 12 tomatoes
  • 6 summer squash
  • 8 green peppers
  • 6 jalapenos
  • 4 cucumbers
  • small bag of greenbeans
  • bouquet of flowers

Also this week, you received extra tomatoes and large zucchini if you wanted to take them.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Delivery Week of July 15

This week is a great one! Here is what you will be receiving:

Everyone gets the following (full share people are full portions, half share are receiving half portions):
  • jalapenos
  • green peppers
  • tomatoes
  • summer squash
  • cucumbers
  • basil
  • flower bouquet

I recommend that you refrigerate everything but the tomatoes and basil when you get home. Some of you have asked for suggestions for using the basil. I suggest making bruschetta with the tomatoes or putting it in a nice soup. Pesto is always an option, but the amount you are getting may not be enough.

Here is a link to a plethora of zucchini/summer squash recipes:

Enjoy the weekend!

July 8th Delivery

This is a late post, but for my virtual record keeping I will still post what was delivered July 8th.

Everyone received:
  • potatoes
  • tomatoes
  • kale
  • flower bouquet
  • cucumbers
  • summer squash

Full share members received:

  • double the amount of the half share members
  • plus collard greens

Thursday, July 1, 2010

CSA Delivery July 1

Hi Everyone!

Reminder: Our location for pickups has changed and is now at Lea May park in Rolla! The time is still 3-5 pm.

This week you will receiving the following:

1/2 share:
  • small assortment of cucumbers (includes asian burpless and pickling varieties)
  • small assortment of summer squash (includes patty pan and zucchini)
  • bunch of chard or collard greens
  • bunch of green onions
  • bunch of basil

Full share:

  • large assortment of cucumbers
  • large assortment of summer squash
  • bunch of collard greens
  • bunch of green onions
  • bunch of basil
  • bunch of dill
  • bag of kohlrabi
  • several tomatoes

I hope you are enjoying the produce and the weather! Our greenbeans, tomatoes, and sweet corn are all looking really good:)


Thursday, June 24, 2010

CSA Delivery Week of June 24

Woohooo!! Summer has finally arrived....along with summer squash, cucumbers, basil, tomatoes, and very very hot weather! I was up today picking basil and packing up the shares at 5:30 am. I cannot believe how hot it got just by 7 am. This week, you will finally start seeing some summer vegetables in your share. On the left is a picture of some of the squashes you may get this week. The saucer shaped ones are called patty pans and some of you may see those in your bags.

Here's what you can expect in your bags:

1/2 share~

  • lettuce

  • basil

  • cucumbers

  • summer squash

  • potatoes

  • green onions

  • greens mix that includes kale and beet greens

Full share~amounts are double what the 1/2 share receives this week, plus you get a couple of tomatoes and cabbage

I am including a recipe below for a summer squash dish that uses basil:

Summer Squash Ribbons with Oregano, Basil, and Lemon

You can also toss the ribbons with wide flat pasta, such as pappardelle, for a delicious entrée. While we recommend basil and oregano, use whatever fresh herbs you have on hand. Serve with a crisp sauvignon blanc and crusty bread.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup vegetable mixture and 1 1/2 teaspoons cheese)

3 small zucchini (about 1 pound)
3 small yellow squash (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shaved fresh Parmesan cheese

1. Shave zucchini and yellow squash into ribbons using a vegetable peeler, stopping at the seeds; place ribbons in a large bowl. Discard seed cores.

2. Combine oil, rind, juice, salt, pepper, and garlic in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Drizzle oil mixture over vegetable ribbons; sprinkle with basil and oregano. Toss gently. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve immediately.

CALORIES 50 (52% from fat); FAT 2.9g (sat 0.9g,mono 1.6g,poly 0.3g); IRON 0.5mg; CHOLESTEROL 3mg; CALCIUM 62mg; CARBOHYDRATE 4.4g; SODIUM 207mg; PROTEIN 2.8g; FIBER 1.3g

Cooking Light, JULY 2008

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Delivery Week of June 17

Hi Everyone! This week has been quite rainy and things are growing at a snail's pace. We got 6 inches one night last week and every night since we have had more rain so things aren't really getting a chance to dry out and grow like they do most summers. Nevertheless, we have a nice bag of produce for you to take home this week, and are looking forward to the bounty that awaits in the field:)

This week's 1/2 share includes:
  • a bag of greens for cooking
  • a cabbage
  • bunch of green onions
  • green garlic
  • bunch of basil

This week's full share includes:

  • a bag of greens for cooking w/ some broccoli
  • 2 cabbages
  • small onions
  • green garlic
  • summer squash
  • basil
  • kohlrabi

Crops to look forward to: yellow summer squash, patty pan squash, cucumbers, green beans, corn, eggplant, celery, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, watermelons, zucchini, winter squash, collard greens, brussels sprouts....all this is planted and then some!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

CSA Delivery June 10

Hi Everyone! This week you will be receiving the following:

1/2 share:
  • small cabbage
  • 1 lb. new potatoes
  • bunch of swiss chard
  • parsley or mint (choose when you arrive)
  • homemade rolls
  • homemade strawberry jam

Full share:

  • large cabbage or 2 small cabbages
  • small bag of broccoli
  • 2 lbs. new potatoes
  • 1 lb. lettuce mix
  • bunch of swiss chard
  • parsley or mint
  • basil
  • homemade rolls
  • homemade strawberry jam

I hope you enjoy it all!


Thursday, May 27, 2010

CSA Delivery May 27, 2010

We are glad that the weather has finally mellowed out and the crops are looking normal again! I am looking forward to seeing everyone again this week. You'll get some new things this week, one of which is kohlrabi, which is related to cabbage. We peel the bulb and eat it raw, or you can chop it and put it over a salad. The tops can be cooked as you would any other green. Here is a link for a great recipe using mustard greens:

This week you can expect the following:

Half share:
  • one small bag of lettuce greens
  • one small bunch of mustard greens
  • one kohlrabi
  • one pint of local wildflower honey
  • 1/2 dozen local farm fresh eggs

Full share:

  • two medium bags of lettuce greens
  • one small bunch of mustard greens
  • one bunch of chard
  • two kohlrabi
  • two pints of local wildflower honey
  • 1 1/2 dozen local farm fresh eggs

Sunday, May 23, 2010

"Keep your chin up!"

That is all I can say. I have planted so much and had so many things in the ground on time and then we got a couple weeks of rain and absolutely no sun. Well, plants like to photosynthesize and kind of need that to grow and survive. I have never seen anything like this and have never seen my garden so ugly so early. I have plants and seeds that need to get in the ground, not to mention the weeding that needs to be done but can't be because of how ridiculously wet it is. It is hard to hoe when you are losing your shoes in the mud!
Izzy and I planted some parsley and basil into some plastic mulch that kept some of the soil dry-ish last week. Today, I got out and weeded some of our beets and tomatoes. I had to water our flats of plants on our benches for the first time in two weeks. I cannot even believe that we got enough rain to kill, yes kill, our spinach, cilantro, dill, and several tomato plants. "Keep your chin up," is all I can say!
Those of you that belong to the CSA, I so appreciate your understanding and kind words after having to cancel last week's delivery. There will be times of bounty coming! We have replacement plants for what we lost to this rain. We have about 60-80 summer squash plants that are growing well, along with about that many cucumber plants that we got in before the rain hit. They are in ridges under plastic mulch, so they are doing very very well.
We will have a delivery this week that will include honey and eggs to supplement the produce that we are harvesting.
Let's hope we will get some milder weather...I'm not so sure about this extreme heat right after all this rain either. There are 1,000 sweet potato plants staring at me and wanting to get put in the ground (that is not yet able to be tilled).

Thursday, May 13, 2010

CSA Delivery May 13

Hello everyone!
I am so glad we have gotten this rain, but it is a bit soggy around here! Missed the boat to plant greenbeans and corn this past week, but we got cucumber, eggplant, and summer squash plants in the ground and everything else is coming along beautifully! I hope you enjoyed last week's delivery.

For this week, here is what you will be getting:

Half Share:
  • 1 lb. lettuce mix (includes some arugala and spinach)
  • 1/2 lb. greens for sauteing (includes chard, kale, mustard)
  • small bunch of radishes

Full Share:

  • 2 lbs. lettuce mix
  • 1 lb. greens for sauteing
  • 2 small bunches of radishes
  • bunch of green onions
  • white and green flower bouquet

In the ground or planted in seed flats are: potatoes, peas, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, beets, onions, garlic, tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, eggplant, basil, dill, parsley, cilantro, peppers, chinese cabbage.

See you today!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Recipe Suggestion

Hi Everyone,
I am passing along a delicious recipe from a member. You will most likely get to try it with some more kale or chard this week:

Kale with beans soup
1 ½ teaspoons olive oil

4 large cloves garlic

½ medium yellow onion, chopped

2 cups chopped raw kale

2 cups low-fat, low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

1 [15 oz.] can white beans such as cannellini or navy, undrained

2 plum tomatoes, chopped

1 teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste

½ cup chopped parsley as garnish, if desired

1. Heat olive oil. Add garlic and onion; sauté until soft.

2. Add kale and sauté, stirring, until wilted.

3. Add 1½ cup broth, 1 cup beans, and all of the tomato, herbs, salt and pepper. Simmer 5 minutes.

4. In blender or food processor, mix the remaining beans and broth until smooth.

5. Stir beans and broth combination into soup to thicken. Simmer 15 minutes or until ingredients are as soft as you prefer. Garnish with parsley before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Cals. per serving: 182

Total fat per serving: 2.5 g

Cholesterol: 0 mg

Sodium: 269 mg

Total carbs: 31 g

Dietary fiber: 7.3 g

Protein: 1 g

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

First CSA Delivery This Week!!!!

The past month has been a doozie. We had a great visit with some of our CSA members this past Saturday at the Open House/Farm Tour. It was great to visit with everyone and we look forward to meeting everyone at the first delivery. If you are a CSA member, directions have been emailed to you and we will see you between 3 and 5 p.m. on Thursday.

Leading up to the Open House, we lost the plastic on our greenhouse. The wind won, unfortunately. The timing is just fine, though, since we are not worried about frost at this time of year. I was in the greenhouse when it ripped off half of the greenhouse and I thought I was not going to make it out before the whole thing collapsed. It was more loud than actually dangerous, but the winds kept flapping the plastic with the heavy metal tubing that it was connected to on the bottom. All 100 feet of it!!! Needless to say, Andy had to come home from work that day to help me detach it from the rest of the structure before it caused any more damage.

Replacing the plastic will be done in the late summer.

So....for this week's delivery, I have compiled the following links and recipes for you to try if you need some suggestions. We will be delivering kale, lettuce mix, radishes, fresh oregano.

Honey Mustard Dressing (for the lettuce):

5 tablespoons medium body honey (sourwood is nice)
3 tablespoons smooth Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablesppons olive oil
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Serve as a dressing or a dip.
*courtesy Alton Brown @ Food network

Sauteed Kale:

1 1/2 pounds young kale, stems and leaves coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until soft, but not colored. Raise heat to high, add the stock and kale and toss to combine. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring until all the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add vinegar.
* courtesy Bobby Flay @ Food network

Radish recipes link:

Oregano recipe ideas:

I need to go move some irrigation around, see you soon!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Need I say more?
Posted by Picasa
Here's a little of what we have been up to.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 29, 2010

CSA Sign-up window is closed.....

Hi Everyone! I cannot believe it has been more than a month since my last post, time is flying, flying, flying~~~ After a slow start and wondering if we were going to be able to do the CSA...We have had an overwhelming response to the CSA this year. We currently have about 25 memberships, the majority of which are 1/2 shares. We are looking forward to meeting everyone and growing delicious produce for you! Because of the response that we have had, we are no longer accepting memberships at this time. Keep us in mind for next year, and there are thoughts of a Winter CSA in the works.

What we have planted in the ground or ready to go in the ground now: lettuce, kale, broccoli, chard, spinach, peas, radishes, beets, potatoes, garlic, cabbages, tomatoes (in high tunnel), cauliflower, green onions.

What we are expecting to have ready for the first delivery: lettuce mix, kale, chard, radishes...maybe, possibly goat cheese from our goats. We had four pregnant nannies that had a total of 9 kids. Two had triplets, one had twins, one had a single, and 8 out of 9 of them are females. How's that for stats?? The herd is growing by leaps and bounds. All this from a one mama goat and her daughters that were all given to us when our almost 5 year old was just 1 year old. Did I mention time is flying yet?

We hope you are as excited as we are! Keep in mind that early in the season the variety is less, as are the amounts of produce, but as the season goes on you will get more than enough produce for your money! We have had a very wet spring, and hope we get another window of drying winds and higher temps to get in there and plant much, much more outside.

If you have joined our CSA, be on the lookout for an email from us in the near future making sure we have your email address on file and that it got typed into our records properly:)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Officially Spring Fever!!!

What a week, oversold the greenhouse crops (lettuce mix, arugala, broccoli raab, red choi) and have had an abundance of interest in the CSA. Thanks everyone for your emails and phone calls about the CSA this year. I owe a huge thanks to Dan and Phyllis for getting the word out, as well as some others that have just helped spread the word about our farm and what we are doing.
I think we are officially saying we are doing the CSA this year. We will have enough folks signed up to meet our goal of the equivalent of 10 full shares. It looks like most of the people that are signing up are signing up for half shares, which is great. I am so excited to meet more people this way.
This week has been awesome---great weather. We will be putting some tomato plants in the greenhouse/hightunnel in the next two weeks. We will transition from calling our hightunnel a hightunnel to calling it a greenhouse with the planting of the tomatoes. In the past few years we have not heated the hightunnel at all since the cost of propane is so high. This year we have left over propane in the tank from when we did cut flowers (maybe from 2006) and want to take another stab at extra early tomatoes. We are growing Oregon Spring and Mountain Spring varieties and two others, that I cannot remember right now.
Plants I started this week are: bunching onions, swiss chard, kale. spinach, parsley, cilantro, and dill. Plants already started are: broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. In a week or so we will be putting up a lowtunnel to plant our radishes, beets, more lettuce, spinach and carrots into. I am getting hungry and I just ate. Yum!
I spent the majority of my weekend weeding, as well. The chickweed is taking over in the lettuce beds. Conditions are perfect for this weed. If you get our lettuce mix, you probably are familiar with it. I do my best to keep it out when I am picking, but you know....I am not perfect!
If you signed up for the CSA you will be hearing from me the second week of March. I will call to let you know I will be depositing the checks and to say "hi".
More later!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Lost Shoes

Hi Everyone!

We have been losing our shoes and boots in the mud! The snow has finally melted outside and left behind a never ending trail of boot-sucking mud.

I have been busy picking about 40 pounds of lettuce and arugula each week, ordering seeds, plants, planting more seed. My kids have been very good about staying busy, even with the nasty weather we have had. Now I just let them go crazy in the mud and make them undress before they come inside.

I am getting kind of dismayed that the CSA isn't picking up like I had hoped. I have some families signed up, but we still need at least 5 more to go ahead and do it. I am still planning on growing enough produce to support a small one and if it doesn't come to fruition, then we will sell to The Root Cellar in Columbia and try and pick up some more wholesale accounts. That's the way it works, you need to order your seeds, plants, start your seeds now or sooner, so that is why I am growing enough whether enough members sign up or not. I have local farmers that would like to offer beef and bratwurst through the CSA as well as a honey producer that would like to offer some products through it. I hope that the local food movement catches on in this area!

Our lettuce has become very popular this Winter. It is exciting to think about all the places our produce is sold and served. It is funny to go to a restaurant and recognize the greens on the sandwich, which happend last Fall at Uprise Bakery. Our produce has been served at at least 5 restaurants in Mid-Missouri. The Broadway Brewery, Uprise Bakery, and Sycamore's all in Columbia, The Farmer's Merchant in Owensville, and Meramec Vineyards Winery in St. James.
We are growing all we can for our established accounts and can't wait to see what happens this Spring and Summer.

If you know someone that may be interested in joining the CSA please have them contact me soon, so I know it's a go for this year. I am willing to work with people and make payment plans, because I am well aware that it is a lot of money to pay out upfront. My email address is:
phone: 573-646-3789

Our website is under construction but has an easy to use link for the CSA membership form:

We have added some wonderful equipment to our arsenal this year, too! I mentioned we bought a tractor, but we also purchased a bed-former and a mulch layer. We are getting serious, folks! I can't see what happens when you move into the 20th Century with equipment. Remember, we had been doing this by hand and with horses and our tough BCS tiller for the past 10 years.

More later! Try and keep your shoes on this Spring!


Saturday, January 30, 2010

I thought it was appropriate to post this picture from 2003 or 2004 that our friend Dave took, since we bought a tractor today! We haven't had one since 2000. We have relied on horses for the most part since then.

We'll be doing a lot more now that we are as modern as 1977, I think the year of the tractor is.
I will get a picture of the new toy up as soon as it arrives.....

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Some FAQ's about our farm and CSA

I have received some similar or related questions from some curious gardeners as well as people that might be interested in the CSA we are offering this season.

First off, I am afraid that some people may not be able to find or figure out the link to the brochure for the CSA. If this is the case, I would be happy to email one to you directly. My email address is: answer those FAQ's:

What does the black irrigation tape do?

The black irrigation tape is what we use to water all of the crops in our high tunnel (greenhouse). By using this kind of irrigation we are able to reduce the spread of diseases and rot that are common when growing cool season crops like lettuce and arugala. It is helpful also for when we grow tomatoes in there for disease reduction. By keeping the water dripping onto the ground next to the plants, you reduce the chance of fungal cells or bacterial cells getting spread by water hitting them with force and bouncing up on the plant or to other plants nearby.
Why go organic if you're not certified?
This is an excellent question. My husband and I started farming and worked in health food stores in the years before anyone ever heard of organic certification. I am sure people were getting certified back then (I am talking within the last 12 years, not decades ago). It just wasn't really an issue and then the government got involved and tried to establish rules and regulations that would need to be followed by EVERYONE regardless of the size of your farming operation. That meant that a huge corporate farming operation would have the same certification requirements and fees as the small local farmer. This seemed like an extremely unfair practice to many of us that were involved in the organic/health food industry. This does not even get into the things that are allowed in the USDA certification classification of organic. Things that we just would not allow on our farm....Sewage Sludge For Example. To us it is more important that you know your farmer and his or her practices and their ethics, rather than see a label on a product. I have heard this phrase repeated by several people lately: Local is the New Organic. It is true, really. A greater impact can be made in the vertically integrated food model for our economy, health, and environment by buying locally. Just because you are buying organic milk from the grocery store for example, doesn't mean that the company really upholds your ideals. They may have the same or higher rate of infection, but those cows are taken out of production and go to a conventional milk processing set up. They may be feed organic feed on a feed lot, with little or no access to grass or clean pasture. They are not allowed to give them injections of growth hormones, if they are producing organic milk. The milk that is certified organic travels thousands of miles to get to us here in Missouri and is ultra pasteurized. That means that it retains far less nutritional value than milk produced here. I would much rather buy milk from my local dairy farmer that feeds their cows locally purchased/raised feed, allows them access to pasture that might have fertilizer applied every year or so, allows him or her to make a living or maintain their family farm while still working another job (as most of us have to do), and know that it didn't require hundreds of gallons of fuel to get from California to Here.
Great information on organic certification:
Attra Organic Farm Certification
What kind of soils do you use?
We go back and forth between mixing our own soil mix that included mixing peat, vermiculite, and perlite. We used this method for about 10 years. Other times would use the standard potting mix that is available at most garden centers. This is not considered organic, however because it does contain a wetting agent that is traditionally considered a non-organic ingredient. This past year we used Miracle Grow's Organic potting soil mix. It contains some fertilizer, I believe. We started using that as a matter of convenience, but is by no means an economical choice for large scale seed starting. A note: When you start your own seeds using a mix of peat, vermiculite, and perlite that you mix yourself you will need to establish a fertilization program. We always used fish emulsion. You mix it up with water according to the label for the size of your seedlings to be careful and not "burn" them with too much nitrogen. You can purchase fish emulsion in quart and gallon, and I think 5 gallon sizes. Fish emulsion reeks! so you probably want to look into something else to use as an indoor fertilizer, unless you find the smell of rotten fish guts appealing.

Some other general CSA FAQ's:

How many people do you hope to sign up for this CSA farm?
Our goal is to have 10 people minimum sign up and a maximum of 15 for the season. Right now, we have had about 3 seriously interested people contact us and have had a lot of traffic on the website. It is early and people are just now thinking about fresh produce.
Do you have an idea if the crops grow as planned (not great but not bad, just average)of how much produce that each full share would buy($725)?
In years past, when we grew for some friends in the St. Louis Area and they would meet us at the Clayton Farmer's Market they were paying the same amount and would get 2-3 walmart grocery bags full of produce. Of course it depends on the vegetables that week and how bulky they are. A typical week included: two pounds of tomatoes, a bunch of basil, greens (collard, chard,etc.), 5-6 cucumbers, 5-6 zucchini and other summer squash, 2-3 pounds of potatoes, 2 pounds of greenbeans, and 3 or 4 peppers. The variety will change, depending on the stage in the season. Early season would be heavier on greens and salad mix, radishes, beets, peas, carrots, spinach.
I don't know how much you plan to plant vs how many people invest in it?
I am planning on planting a large amount regardless of what the CSA does, we have a few wholesale contracts that we will grow for instead or in addition to the CSA. The CSA would not be feasible for us if there are less than 10 families signed up due to processing/packaging/delivering, etc. If you sign up and pay, and we don't get the 10 families we need, you will be completely refunded by late February, early March.
What would be my expected/estimated return of veggies be?
The goal is that you will not to buy produce that is available around here from the store and can build the majority of your meals around the produce we provide. In our household it is me and my husband and our 1year old daughter. We are a family with two small kids and we would eat this amount easily, but most of our meals are heavy on veggies.

If you made it to this point! Congratulations, you have a lot of endurance as a reader and/or are very interested in local foods, veggies, and farming and I welcome you to send me any additional comments or questions you may have to me at One more thing, we don't have a tractor and have farmed with horses for the past 10 years, but are at a philosophical crossroads. We could get more done in a shorter period of time with a tractor, but....but...but....more on this next time.

Planning, ordering, drooling

I have been having so much fun meeting new people lately. I have been getting the kids involved with a homeschool group and have met and re-met some great folks. This has been great for me, since I have been in front of the computer for the last couple of years for over 40 hours a week working. I was teaching online and wrote a textbook and now both are ended or coming to an end. I was extremely upset about the online teaching ending, but I truly believe it is a blessing in disguise. I have gotten some perspective and motivation to regroup and establish the CSA. If the CSA doesn't have enough members (ideally 10) to make it run, then the produce that is being grown will be ready for the commercial accounts we have already.

I ordered seeds today and should have ordered them sooner, of course. You never seem to be on time as a farmer. Either too early or too late. That goes for seed ordering, planting, weeding, getting the fencing up the keep the critters out, getting the irrigation set up, you name it.

The early batch of seeds that will be started as soon as they get here includes: broccoli, cauliflower, chard, cabbage, cilantro, parsley, kohlrabi. We have grown all of these before and have had much success with them. I have bought organic seed when possible and have peppered in some different varieties. For example I will be growing a lovely purple cauliflower along with the standard white one. I also ordered seeds and had some in the freezer already that will be planted out in the field under a low tunnel as soon as the ground thaws and dries out a little. Those seeds include: snap peas, beets (golden and red striped), radishes (long fancy ones), kale, spinach, carrots, lettuce. A low tunnel can be created a variety of ways. Johnny's now sells a contraption that will allow you to bend your arches so you can use them to support your plastic or row cover.

I am so excited for this season...and am starting to drool just thinking about the early stuff.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

CSA Registration Form

You copy and paste the above link and use the menu bar to print it off.

CSA Coming Soon!

For those of you that are interested, we are seriously considering having a CSA this year. A CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. The idea is that a group of families purchase "shares" in the CSA early in the season or before the growing season starts. This helps offset the costs that the farmer has at the beginning of the season in terms of seeds, plants, fuel, general farm upkeep. The families in return get local produce delivered to a predetermined location each week for the growing season. The families and the farmer share in the risks as well as the bounty of produce that comes with each growing season.
Most CSA's offer anywhere between 6 and 10 different items each week for about 24 weeks. Depending on the time of the season the variety may be more or less. For example, in early May a family might expect to get a delivery that is heavy on the cool season veggies like greens, lettuce, and radishes.
I plan on being able to offer a wide variety of produce that is organically raised (although we are not certified). More about certification in a future blog.
If you would like more information, feel free to send me an email at, or check back at the blog, where I will post some more details when it is more finalized.

Some of our Red Choi with the black irrigation tape running down the row.

This is Andy answering a question from one of our attendees.

Me, standing in the high tunnel discussing how we harvest and what we have planted.

Back in the groove...or at least trying

We have had many things happen since the last post in November. We have harvested about 100 pounds of lettuce since November. Unfortunately our last harvest was a bust. I picked 20 pounds of lettuce and then we had a snow/ice storm that made it impossible to get the lettuce to it's destination in Columbia.

On December 17, we hosted and ran a workshop for University of Missouri Extension. It was a high tunnel workshop that was catered by a local caterer and farmer, Les Witte. Les and Beth Witte run Brush Creek Farms and Catering about 3 miles from us. The meal consisted of all locally produced foods. There was delicious pork, scalloped potatoes, salad (our lettuce), and a berry crisp. There were over 70 people in attendance and there is a wait list of about 30 more people that would like to come to repeat of it in the upcoming months.

At the workshop Andy explained the economics and engineering of the high tunnel, while I gave a tour and demonstration with the lettuce inside the tunnel. We got coverage from our local paper, The Gasconade County Republican, thanks to our friend Dave Marner. He put some great pictures in the paper the week after Christmas.

I am now working on getting the greenhouse up and growing again after the hard hard frost we had for the last week. Temperatures are supposed to be in the 40's, which is promising. The Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce is looking the worst of all varietiesout there with some rotting and burnt tips. I cut it back and it will hopefully get looking a little nicer.

I will post some pictures from the workshop next.

Enjoy the warm balmy weather everyone!! As my friend Cari would say "40 never felt so good!"