Elysian Fields Farm
Community Supported Agriculture

Wednesday May 19th, 2004
Week 5

What's New This Week!!!

Produce
Half Share
Full Share
Recipes
Sweet Peas
1/2 lb.
1 lb.
1
Strawberries
1 quart
2 quarts
-
Spicy Lettuce Mix
1/4 lb.
1/2 lb.
-
Escarole
1 head
1 head
-
Lettuce
1 head
2 heads
-
Broccoli
smaller head
large head
-
Cauliflower
smaller head
large head
1
Dill
1 bunch
-
1 2 3
Cilantro
-
1 bunch
1 2 3 4
Beets
1 bunch
-
1
Swiss Chard
-
1 bunch
-

What's growin' on?

Hello! So we are trying something new this week - Escarole. This is a bitter Italian green that can be mixed in with your salads. You may or may not like the bitter flavor of the green, so please let me know how you feel about it. I would love to know directly from you folks if this should be something I should continue growing or not. There were about 11 folks who expressed that they did not like it on their 'likes and dislikes' form earlier this spring. These folks will not receive the escarole today, but I hope to hear from everyone else about how they like it.

We finally have the sweet pea harvest this week that I have been hoping for. I hope everyone enjoys more of them. The pods were covering the vines and it was a pleasure to pick them. Beets have been giving me some trouble, but we will have more in a couple of weeks. The carrots are looking good. It is fun to pick some randomly to check on their progress and be pleasantly surprised when a long bright orange root appears. I have grown some of the yellow carrots this spring as well.

This week on the farm we are going to transplant the second planting of tomatoes and winter squash. I am trying a no-till planting of these two things. I flail mowed down a rye and vetch cover crop that had grown all winter long in that area. The crop was about as tall as I am at the point of mowing, which is good because you want a lot of organic matter for a no-till system. The rye and vetch once mowed lay flat on the ground and act as mulch. If you can achieve a good ground cover with the mulch, it will act to prevent weeds from germinating and to hold in moisture. In order to plant the young transplants I need to ripe a line with an implement on the tractor called a coulter. We fertilize and plant within this narrow worked up line in the soil. I have learned a good deal about this technique, but have not tried it to date. It is good for the soil in that you are not disturbing the microbial communities that live below, or burning up organic matter in the soil by excessive tilling. It has the potential to be pretty bad though if the cover does not sufficiently act to suppress weeds. I feel pretty good about the thickness of the cover in this area and am excited about the process. I will keep you informed!

Produce Info and Storage Tips

I hope the cookbooks have been helpful for everyone. I have ordered the additional books and will have them in a week or two to distribute to those who expressed an interest. I have been trying to put everything in the boxes this year in plastic bags so to hold in moisture and maintain freshness while at the drop off points. I thank the folks who have been returning their bags with their boxes; it is helpful in cutting down costs on packaging.

As you may know the cookbook does not cover strawberries - bummer. If I haven't mentioned already, strawberries do not hold very well. They will only hold a day or so if they are not refrigerated, so put them in a cool fridge. Even then we are looking at a couple of days, so enjoy them early and fresh! Don't forget you can freeze them as well. Wash them first then cut off the green top. Put them in a freezer bag and enjoy them at your leisure.

What to look forward to...

Next week you will receive strawberries, lettuce, cauliflower, fennel, sweet peas, beets, kale?, and more! The strawberries will at least last one more week, but we will have to see after that. There is more broccoli in the ground but it may not be ready for next week so we may be looking at two weeks form today for more of that. Summer squash is on its way, as well as basil and other summer goodies! Elise.

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