CSA Digest

CSA Digest 4-6-16

In Your Box:

Every Week & Every Other Week
Red Russian kale
Bok choi
Red beets
Fava beans
French breakfast radishes (Full Belly)

Farm News

By Justin Roberts

Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’ ~Robin Williams

Here the past few weeks, a considerable amount of time has been spent thinning the small immature fruits on our peach trees in the orchard. Fruit trees often set more fruit than they can develop and support, so thinning is a vital factor in producing good tasty fruit year after year. Thinning the young fruits 3 to 5 inches apart allows the remaining fruits to reach their full potential in size and color with less shade and more sunlight. This also reduces the weight on the young fruiting limbs and decreases the likelihood of them breaking; while also helping reduce the spread of disease from fruit to fruit. Thinning is a time consuming process that can feel slow, so it’s important to use both hands and systematically go limb to limb, fruit to fruit. However, it can also be a very relaxing and meditative time if you know how to enjoy the peace and wildlife all around you. Knowing that by thinning out these young fruits, we will soon be enjoying big delicious peaches in the warm summer sun!

Over in the vegetable field, Elle has been busy on the tractor tilling the field and prepping beds for the likes of potatoes, summer squash, tomatoes, and peppers. Next week we will be cutting our potato seed getting it ready to be planted in the field. This is especially exciting to me ‘cause I love me some taters! The red russian kale and bok choi in your CSA boxes this week are the first vegetables planted and harvested by this seasons 1st year apprentices at Soil Born Farms. Both of which are tasty and beautiful. It is exciting to feel the season coming in and thinking about all the hard work that is ahead of us. We are pumped for this season and ready to bring you all delicious fruits and vegetables!

Featured Veggie: Fava Beans

You have had the fava greens, but now it’s time for the beans! To shell the beans, bend the tip of the pod and pull down the seam of the pod and unzip the entire pod to reveal the beans inside. Discard the fuzzy outer pod. But wait, you’re not done. Now take the shelled beans and drop them in boiling salted water for 30 seconds to loosen the outerskin. Remove and place into ice water, and peel off the beans’ thick waxy outer covering. Now they are ready to use in recipes. Fava beans are a versatile vegetable that can be used in stews, soups, stir-fries and more. Fava beans are high in protein and a rich source of fiber. They have a good amount of vitamin-B6 and are one of the highest plant sources of potassium.

Featured Recipe: Beet Risotto >>

CSA Digest 3-30-16

In Your Box:

Every Week
Red beets
Fava greens
Braising mix
Scallions or leeks
Broccoli greens

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”
-Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Farm News

By Griffin Cassara

The farm season seems to be picking up all around us. The greenhouse is full to the brim with healthy plant starts and seedlings, the fields are filling up weekly with newly sown beds, the Midtown Market is expanding this weekend with more booths and vendors, and the general pace seems to be quickening. Straw hats are out, butterflies are abundant and the plants seem to be delivering quite nicely.

The farm at Hurley Way has been slower to change its pace and transition to Spring however. I will be spending most of my time at Hurley this year alongside Clara and a 1st year apprentice, growing mini lettuces, salad, arugula, basils, cilantro, mustards, radishes and a few other varieties that you will find in your CSA boxes and the farm stand. Because the soil has a heavier clay composition than the soil at the Ranch which is more sand based, the soil is retaining moisture for a lot longer from all of the heavy rains we received the last month. For the last three months Clara and I have been teased by the idea of starting to work the soil and starting to produce at the urban farm.

I have the serious itch to start farming- to finally put the seeds in the ground and see the farm take shape- the wait has been hard. While I never anticipated it, I have learned more patience this season than anything else. At this time last year I was just starting my training as a farmer and was learning what hard work really meant. I was learning lessons in time management and perseverance. This time around I am learning that as much as you plan your season- your crop plan, when you want to put things in the ground, your harvest schedule, etc- your farming experience is largely impacted by natural forces and the seasons themselves. Quite an appropriate lesson for a second year farmer I think 🙂

I am happy to report that after checking the soil moisture today, Clara and I have decided that we can start prepping the beds next week! Today I am feeling extremely grateful that the waiting has paid off and the space is ready to be farmed and worked with. We will mow all of the cover crop, rototill the beds using the cover crop as a green manure, add some compost to the beds, shape the rows, set up drip irrigation and will be ready to plant by the end of the month. I am appreciative of the lesson to let the soil and land speak to you- pushing the soil before it was ready could have been detrimental to the soil structure and more harmful in the long run. Being patient and working communally with the demands of the space (as hard as it was) means that the crops produced at the farm of Hurley Way will be strong and healthy (fingers crossed!).
Here’s to a good growing season at Hurley, kicking it off next week! I can’t wait to fill your boxes with the Hurley produce soon! Happy Spring : )