Thursday, May 29, 2008

New Arrivals

We're still waiting on La Chiba Blanca to give birth to her kids (and I wish it would happen soon - she looks so big & uncomfortable!), but baby goat #3 was born last Friday. He has beautiful grey eyes and is very adventurous.

Today, five new pigs were introduced to the pasture. The goats seem to be sticking to their corner & the pigs theirs, but I think they'll get integrated soon enough. And they definitely have enough space, with all the fencing that 's been done this spring!

Our fourth CSA box went out this week:

Sweet overwintered parsnips (last week for them)
Green Garlic
Chives with Blossoms
Hon Tsai Tai (a tasty & nutritious cooking green)
Red Bok Choy
Spinach, Arugula, or Sauté Mix

Plus it was coffee & cheese share deliveries this week. The cheeses this week were Colby, Blue Cheese, and Monterey Jack. Yum. Try this recipe:

Arugula Salad with Lavender Blue Cheese Vinaigrette
Serves 4 (with a little dressing left over)

1 green onion, minced
2 tsp dried lavender
1/3 cup white balsamic or white wine vinegar
1 ½ tsp honey
2 oz crumbled blue cheese
2 Tbsp fresh thyme (optional, but highly recommended when available)
Salt & ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup sunflower oil
4 oz arugula
4 oz mixed greens (spinach, lettuce, sorrel, etc)

-In a small bowl, combine shallot, lavender, vinegar, honey, blue cheese and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
-Slowly drizzle in oil while whisking continuously. Refrigerate for several hours before serving. Just before serving, taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Combine greens in a bowl, drizzle about ¼ cup of dressing on greens (or enough to lightly dress the greens) and toss to combine. Garnish the salad with sliced almonds or slices of radishes.

Field report this weekend, I promise. With lots of photos of all the good growing green things!

Friday, May 23, 2008

What''s in the Box May 22-24

I truly wish the interweb had smell-0-vision or scratch & sniff capabilities. There is just so much in bloom! The landscape and plant life changes everyday. Between plums, apples, and lilac scents blowing in on the breeze, I am in heaven.

In this week's CSA box: Overwintered Parsnips, Asparagus, Rhubarb, Green Garlic, Egyptian Walking Onion, Radishes, Spinach or Sauté Mix, Nettles, Sorrel & Garden Herb Packs.
Besides the trees & fields bearing fruit, so are the forest floors. Richard took us out to an amazing dead elm where we gathered all these morel mushrooms! All in one evening's trip. It was my first time mushroom hunting and Chef Nichole has prepared them for a couple evening meals - as a deep fried appetizer (fried in safflower oil) with a blue cheese/dill dipping sauce, in a red wine sauce with flank steak, and creamed in risotto with ramps. She also dried some for later. Yum. Well worth the slogging up hills & risking ticks.
Anna and the field crew have a new toy - the new Salad cutter. It does the cutting that people otherwise would have had to do (backbreaking work, no?), runs the greens up the conveyor & into the totes. Then they bring it back to the farm for a cool wash, dry & it gets bagged. But don't worry, we're not replacing people and going automated or to all machines. As you can see in the background, we still do a lot of weeding by hand. Big ups to all our hardworking crew!

Friday, May 16, 2008

What's in the Box May 15-17

The second CSA box of the 2008 season

Ten reasons to love spring! Overwintered parsnips, nettles, burdock, sunchokes, sorrel, rhubarb, ramps, chives, overwintered spinach and asparagus.

Plus baby goats! On the left, Rhiannon holds Baby Boy. On the right is Baby Girl. Both only 1 day old! The girl is the stronger of the two, but both seem to be doing well.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Happy Birthday!

It's been crazy busy here these last couple of weeks! We're in week two of CSA deliveries and they are going better than I expected. We're making good boxes, they're getting to the people they should be getting to (mostly) and most importantly, people are excited about and enjoying their veggies!

Last week, we celebrated Richard's birthday and Cinco de Mayo. Let's just say the cake was too small to fit all the candles on it.

That week we also got our baby chickens! They will soon supply us with all the eggs we'll need to feed the crew. I am no wildlife photographer, but I think you'll get the idea of how funny and skittish they are. We are all especially enamoured of this little white guy with the funny poofy pompadour.
Last night one of our three expecting goats gave birth to kids - a boy and a girl. Again, I am no wildlife (or domesticated life) photographer and Mama wouldn't let me too close, but say hello to the newest member of the Harmony Valley Farm crew! He's the spitting image of his proud father, too! The doe is behind mama. You'll see more of them as they start to wander the pastures.