Could you help us with Harvests?

I need some volunteer harvest help: 26th and 31st July, and 2nd August. (Most, and especially Tuesday the 31st of July, please.)

The harvest help entails a number of different things – some of which are full-force physical, others “just” bagging and sorting and filling crates for your fellow shareholders. There’s work for all, and, of course, families and kids are welcome too! I’ll write a bit more about this below.

We have a very small (though not insignificant!), family farm. We actively grow food on “only” about 2.5-3.5 acres, with about 6-8 acres of pasture each year. Everything we raise is grown organically. We own 40 acres of mostly rolling, wooded or shrubbed land.

Some would even question whether we have a “Farm”, or if what we do is “Farming”. It could be said that we have a “Market Garden”. Some neighbors just say, “You’re the ones with the big gardens”. Okay.

Any way it’s looked at, we are busy. I work full time plus at this. We have solid hired help too – one person, who wishes electronic anonymity, anywhere from 20-30 hours per week thus far. Kate pitches in, as able, on harvest days. It’s a tight ship. We cannot and we do not get anywhere near the work done that we could with more and more labor. Our limitation, of course, is affording that labor.

This season, 2012, we have 50 full vegetable shares. The bulk of the harvest is done by 2 people, all by hand and back; with one other pitching in, as able, for about half a day. We’re getting our legs under us, we’re hitting our groove better each time. It is a serious hustle though. We harvest only twice a week, on Tuesdays or Thursdays, rain or shine. In the early morning we cut and harvest the food from the fields. We usually cruise around and visit most of the small garden plots, harvesting the foods which are ready. We pull it all in, something like this:

We then tank most of the veggies, to cool and rinse. Then it’s about lunch time. Here’s some food in the tanks.

After a quick lunch we might harvest a few extra of this or that, or something we might’ve forgotten. Then we spend the next few hours sorting, rinsing, and packaging the foods. Then we place them into your individual crates for delivery. This is a very social and enjoyable time, lots of cold water (usually feels nice!), time in the shade (again!), and usually a chance to talk and visit.

So, if any of you has the time and inclination, we’d be ever grateful. Please just let me know as soon as you know – then I can fret less!

In Your Crate – July 10 & 12

chinese cabbage

bunched greens – kale, collard, and/or chard

broccoli

garlic scapes

salad mix

bags of greens

possibly head lettuce

potential for a surprise or two, hopefully pleasant!

 

LIZ’S CHINESE CABBAGE SALAD

This would probably serve 6-8.

  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup peanut oil
  • 1/2 cup white sugar (usually too much, so start with 1/4 c)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or more, to taste)
  • Few drops Tabasco sauce and sesame oil (optional, to taste)
  • 1/4 cup margarine or butter
  • 1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 T sugar
  • 2 (3 ounce) packages ramen noodle pasta, crushed, discard seasoning packet
  • 1 large head bok choy (2 pounds), cleaned and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 green onions, chopped (try garlic scapes)

We are riding the wave of this season’s gardens. We’re experiencing the joys of booms (think broccoli, leafy greens) and the bummers of busts (think spinach, peas). We are finding our harvests to be heaviest on the color green. The full crate is mostly full of green vegetables. Head lettuces and radishes have mixed in some other colors, salad mixes too. We arew heavy on green though.

And do we have weeds! Wow. What a wonder of survival, patience, persistence, sheer tenacity. Really admirable! For awhile, through the extraordinary early heat and dry, we were really pushing our drip irrigation hard. Drip irrigation is really fantastic for what it is: efficient, simple, exact…. As with many things we do in our way, it does take a lot of time and effort. It’s very management intensive. One thing I really do like about drip irrigation is the truth in advertising. You don’t see this enough anymore. “Drip” irrigation does just that, it “drips”. It is no substitute for a good, solid, steady, soaking rain. We can water with drip irrigation. We can water well, too. But if we are watering a very wind and heat dried sponge – we need some soaking rains. Our recent transplants have required serious, intensive nursing to carry through this early heat and dry. It’s taken much effort and time. Some have suffered severe transplant shock, some have not pulled through.

I see good harvests ahead: green beans and edamame, sunflowers sizing up. The early, white cauliflower we planted (some 360 plus plants) were beaten by the weather. Cauliflower needs lots of extra TLC, and it buttons under stress. Well, our white cauliflower found conditions too punishing. We do have a purple cauliflower we’re still working and rooting for!

We have Pastured Pork for sale: Let me know, and “Order-Up”

Here’re the prices:

Ground Pork $5.75/# (1 pound packages)

Sausage  $5.75/# (1 pound packages)

Chops  $7.25/# (size varies, 2 per package)

Sweet Italian, Hot Italian, or Regular Brat’s  $7.00/# (four per package)

Deli (sandwich) Sliced Ham  $7.15/#  (1 pound packages)

Ham Steaks  $7.15/# (size varies)

Bacon  $7.40/# (1 pound packages)

Roasts  $5.75/# (approx. 2# each)

Rack-o-Ribs $5.75/# (range 3# up)

Rendered Lard $5.50/#

Raw Lard $2.50/#

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