Angelic Organics Farm News

Week 14 -Sat - September 20, 2008

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This Week's Vegetable Notes - by Diana Nolden, assistant growing manager

Amy Luxenburger has been gracing us with her presence since the middle of July. A recent graduate of Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, she earned a degree in Art History. With a shrug of her shoulders and talk about a possible museum job, Amy makes the comment that she likes working here. Not to say she is losing her creativity amongst the crops, she has already transformed the “mallard” trailer into a cozy living space.

It is apparent that Amy enjoys the work, and has quickly made her way to the head of the pack as an excellent employee. She has some farm experience, mostly from her grandparent’s dairy farm in Southern Michigan. There have been a few times during harvest when we got to hear stories about her gramps, some of which could rival my own grandpa stories. Her ability to adapt to the work has made her an asset in leading crew activities as well as instructing new farm workers.

However good of a worker she is, it just might be her smile and laugh that endears her to us. Stories from camp and willingness to run-a-muck make washing lettuce and harvest pass with ease. Even as the days turn colder, she dons a puffy vest and continues to entertain. A true karaoke champ, Amy has goals of crashing a few Beloit College parties and dancing to Rock Lobster dressed as the clawed crustacean. (Possibly with back up, if Stacey and I create our own deep-sea costumes.) For now I think she is happy being a gossip girl convert and relaxing after the long days with a little antm (Americas Next Top Model). Look for Amy this Saturday at our open house.

*****

Third time's a charm…I have had really bad luck with the fall open house. For me, I think it would be the one that I would enjoy more. The air is cooler, there are lots of pumpkins, and there are not so many cucumber dishes. However, for the last two-seasons, events have kept me from joining in the festivities. My first year, I was in bed with a 103-degree fever. My mom came to visit, but I think it was more for the potluck. And the majority of us remember last year’s event that had me in a hospital bed. Stacey commented that this is the time of year I ought to be bundled in bubble wrap. Probably true. This year I plan on being at the fall open house and I hope to see many of you there.

 

 

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To the left is a photo from an

Open House in 1996.

What's In Your Box

Bob writes...

Please note: this box summary is written the week before you receive your box. It is updated but not all the boxes packed for your delivery day will be exactly the same, although it is likely that all the boxes at your dropsite will be the same. Some things may be in your box that are not listed, and some listed things may not be in your box. As always, be sure to thoroughly wash all your vegetables.

The page numbers listed below refer to cooking tips and recipes in Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables as provided to all shareholders. Some recipes are listed at AngelicOrganics.com/RecipeService

ROOTS

Beets-Decent beet greens; use these greens like you would spinach or chard; pp. 55-62

BRASSICAS-pp. 248-269

 

Broccoli - At least 2 heads; perhaps a quiche for Sunday brunch?

Cauliflower-maybe

FRUITING CROPS

Winter Squash-acorn(s), pp. 307-315

Peppers- pp. 215-222

Heirloom Tomato(es) -maybe; not bagged.

ALLIUMS

Onion(s)-yellow storage, pp. 121-128

Leek(s)-pp. 205-210

COOKING GREENS-pp. 81-94

Swiss Chard-Stacey likes to eat her chard in scrambled eggs with some sort of cheese.

Spinach-You can eat it cooked or in a salad.

HERBS-pp. 102-120

Dill

Cilantro

SALAD GREENS-pp. 136-141

Lettuce-likely; baby heads of Nevada (a green summercrisp, Cherokee (a red summercrisp), and/or Two Star (a green leaf).

 

Coming Soon...Spinach, Kohlrabi, Carrots

I went into Chicago last Sunday, September 14, to visit my son, Austin, while it rained most of the day. I knew we had had rain at the farm on Saturday -- more than I would have liked -- but not like some areas in Chicago. From the highway, I did notice some flooding as I approached the city. But, fortunately, I never encountered any blocked or flooded roads on my route. I understand parts of Chicago received almost 7 inches of rain on Saturday, a record, and probably at least another inch on Sunday. We, however, were much better off. Here’s the history of rain on the farm in September of this year:

3.2” on Thursday, September 4, 2008 (this was after a nice dry couple of weeks),

0.5” on Monday, September 8, 2008,

1.8” on Saturday, September 13, 2008, and

1.0” on Sunday, September 14, 2008

 

Overall, our fields handled this pretty well. And while last Saturday’s harvest was slowed down by the rain and Monday’s harvest was slowed down a little by the resulting mud, the fields are in pretty good shape. There are no significant standing pools of water in any of our crops and I do not anticipate losing anything as a result. Further, the rain was so gentle (with little wind) that even the delicate lettuce greens held up very well. And with a forecasted dry week ahead, I am hopeful that we will be able to clear out some of our root crops soon (like our fall carrots and our potatoes). It is true that wet, waterlogged soil can cause some crops to rot (like it did to all of last year’s carrots); however, I don’t think that this will be the case this year. When the crops are not too big, I like to have Primo or Parker cultivate with our Allis G Tractors to promote drying.

So that’s the news of the effects of the recent rains, our 4th significant wet pocket of the season. And while we lost a tiny bit of some cooking greens earlier this year (we were able to replant for these) and perhaps a nominal amount of squash (although the yields coming in right now are pretty good), the one crop that I feel was most damaged by the wet mid-Spring were the melons. Being at the lowest point in our fields, a portion of them sat in water for weeks and eventually died. Our yields on the melons were probably down over 33%. And while I was generally pleased with the taste of the watermelonds (I accidentally spelled it this way but decided to not change it), I was not pleased with the taste of the cantaloupes. Further, while I never did taste any honeydews (I’m surprised that I didn’t get around to this since I do like them), I didn’t hear any raves about them. There weren’t even that many of these anyway. I remember last spring, waiting for the melond (I did it again) field to dry and then when it finally dried enough to plant, it started raining a lot again and many melons sat in water. Next year our melons will be in dryer, but less fertile, ground. Still, we will continue to build up the soil that they’ll be on. Next week I’ll probably talk about our tomatoes.

*****

We hope to see you at our fall open house!!! -- Saturday, September 20th from 11 am - 4 pm, with pumpkins galore and more. Click here for more details.

*****

Reminder: Last week we placed a 2009 brochure in your box with a $50 discount coupon. This coupon expires September 30, 2008. The website is now updated with the current prices. The Multi-Year Offer(LINK) has also been extended to September 30, 2008.