Elysian Fields Farm
Wednesday April 23th, 2003
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Hello everyone, great to have the season starting again! I know I personally have been craving some early spring greens for months. I would like to welcome our new member this year, quite a few since the amount of shares has gone from 52 last year to 108 this year! That's right, a winter full of planning and preparation has allowed the farm to double its production here in the third season. I feel I have now reached the highest number of members I would like to subscribe, and hope to maintain around one hundred members for many years to come. This year the breakdown is as follows, 44 full shares, 64 half shares and 44 flower shares! I would also like to welcome back both second and third year returning members and thank them profusely for their loyalty and dedication to Elysian Fields Farm and sustainable agriculture.
After saying all that, I would like to let folks know that, as they can see, this weeks share is a bit on the light side. A reflection of the cool and wet past few spring months, the shares are low as many of the crops have been slow to come on this spring. This week and perhaps next will be like this but after that we shall see many and more yummy vegetables. The weeks are tallied on average, so for example if you received $7.50 worth of produce this week, you may receive $32.00 worth of produce a week in the summer. The average of all the 25 weeks combined will ideally reach $21 a week for full shares ($525/25) and $13.80 a week for half shares ($345/25).
So, there is much to tell folks about what has happened over the winter on the farm, what is happening now on the farm and what we expect to happen soon on the farm. I will share a little now about each then continue to do so over the next few weeks. I would like to start by encouraging members to visit the farm this weekend on the Carolina Farm Stewardship sponsored Piedmont Annual Farm Tour. I have enclosed a brochure explaining the events with your shares so please read them carefully and come out for a visit. The tours are between 1- 5pm on both Saturday and Sunday. Also, check out the back page of the brochure to learn more about viewing the Stewards of the Land audio, written and photo documentary of seven local farmers, of which I am one, that will be on display at the Century Center in Carrboro this Thursday evening during the farm tour kick off party (at Weaver St. Market, which all folks are encouraged to go to as well!).
As for this past winter, as I mentioned earlier it was a great time to plan, plan, plan and organize, organize, organize. Also, unfortunately the washing and packing pole shed that was used up until now collapsed in the ice storm we had this early winter. At first it seemed like the worst possible thing that could have happened, and now I view it as a necessary hardship. The pole shed was old an needed to go, and the new one I have been building this spring (and so so close to finishing) is much sturdier, bigger and has an extended roof to cover the hebel block walk in cooler.
In the fields now we have some very healthy broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage growing in addition to the recent plantings of summer crops. The first block of summer tomatoes has been planted out as well as the first and second plantings of sweet corn. The strawberries, which feed some of the deer this winter to my dismay, have re-grown and are looking just lovely.
Bok Choi, which may be written as bok choi, bak choy, or pac choi, is a traditional stir- fry vegetable form China. In eastern Asia, hundreds of plants in the Brassica family are cultivated, many of them bok choy types. Only a few of these crops have transferred to use in the western world and did not appear at all until the 1800's. Bok Choi is a great nutritional gift and often touted as the garden vegetable highest in Calcium. Whether this is the truth or not you can be confident that Bok Choi is an excellent source of vitamins A, B complex, C and some minerals. All of this for only 24 calories per one cup serving.
For Stir fry, separate leaf from the thick, white stem and chop both into 2" wide diagonal chunks. The stem pieced should be added to the sir fry several minutes before leaves as they need a longer cooking time. Bok Choi can complement a sir fry with other vegetables, or can be the stir fry. Try sauteing choy stems, tofu chunks, soy sauce and grated ginger root. Add the bok choi leaves last, serve with rice or noodles.
To store Bok Choi wrap in a damp towel, or put in a plastic bag in the hydrator drawer of the refrigerator. You can store the Kale the same way. The previous information was make available with permission from "From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce. If anyone would like to order this book you can call #608-226-0300.Green garlic is garlic harvest prematurely and can bee eaten as you would eat green onions. You can eat the greens and the white/read stalk.
What to look forward to...
Strawberries! I can hardly wait for the strawberries to come on as they are my all time favorite fruit (food). I have seen a few red ones here and there but the main crop we should see in your shares for sure the week after next. Lettuce has been slow this spring but will be on also for the week after next along with spinach and other goodies. The carrots and beets are looking good, slow, but good. There are a bunch of onions planted as well and they already look yummy, we should see those in a couple of months. The potatoe plants have grown to about six inches out of the ground and look very healthy as well. We will see them around the beginning of July. Okay, that is all for now folks, hope everyone enjoys this weeks share and if anyone has any questions or concerns please send me an email or give me a call. Elise.
Elysian Fields Farm: Community Supported Agriculture