Flukey Frost

11 Jul

On Wednesday morning Seth came in from chores with a blade of grass and a some clover covered in what I thought had to be a heavy dew.  Seth insisted that the moisture was melted frost.  I was certain he must be mistaken, a frost on July 8th, impossible, right?   I stopped what I was doing, pulled on my blue rubber boots and headed out to the meadow to see for myself.  As I walked with my eyes glued to the ground I saw dew covered grass and then reached the lowest point in the garden where I made a positive confirmation on a pocket of frost.  This frost occurred after an 85 degree day on Tuesday.  I am not sure how it is even possible to have such a difference in temperature.  My guess after looking around and talking to folks is that cold air was draining off the slopes of the Collegiate Peaks from the west into the low spot in our garden.  Luckily there was no damage to the crops.  The frost was isolated to a very small portion of the pasture about 20 ft north of the garden.

For more reading on frost pockets and how to predict frost check out this link from Organic Gardening.

http://www.organicgardening.com/feature/0,7518,sl-5-19-1370,00.html

Garden Variety

Garden Variety

Garden Shares

Napa Cabbage

Chard

Chives

Garlic (West Slope)

Purple and White Kolhrabi

Green Leaf Lettuce

Red Pac Choi

Cherriette Radish

Salad Mix (from Erin’s Organics)

Fruit Share

Bing Cherries

Peaches

Apricots

Apricots

The apricot fruit set on the West Slope was adversely affected by a late spring freeze going as low as 10 degrees F.  We are lucky to have located a source for at least a few of these little yummies.  Glen Austin has a neighbor whose apricot crop  escaped the freeze.   We will try our best to source more, but this may be the only time we get them, so savor them.

Let Your Fruit Ripen

You may notice a varying stages of ripeness in your fruit share contents.  For the best eating, your share may require a little bit of management.  Sort your fruit so you are eating the  ripest first and allow unripe fruit to sit out on the countertop until ripe.  With the exception maybe of cherries and melons, the fruit quality will be better without refrigeration.  If you are trying to ripen fruit a ripe piece in with the unripe fruit might hasten the process, but be careful as the old adage says, one bad apple (or any bad fruit, or attitude) spoils the bunch.

The Many Shades of Greens

The Many Shades of Greens

Chiffonade Greens

The other night Seth and I chopped up a bunch of  Tuscano Kale left over from the market last week as a side dish to our bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches.  I was reminded of how much I like to cut greens, like kale and chard, using the chiffonade knife technique.  So here’s what I do.  This technique works best with relatively flat leaved greens like chard, tuscano kale and collards.  Destem your green of choice by cutting the stem out up into the leaf, but not all the way to the leaf margin.  Make a stack of leaves and then roll them up tightly the long way.  Cut thin slices off the roll.  I love eating these chiffonade greens sauted in garlic and olive oil or added to pasta sauces.  Here is a little demo with a basil leaf.  Click the link and them scroll down to chiffonade.

http://www.how-to-cook-gourmet.com/usingakitchenknife.html

Erin’s Organics Salad Mix

Along with my farm responsibilities, I (Caitlin) am also lucky to work part time for Erin Oliver in her geothermal greenhouse.  I work 3 days in the middle of the week harvesting and planting greenhouse goodies.  Our relationship with Erin has been hugely beneficial to the success of our farm.  Along with providing another source of income for our family, we also lease precious start growing space in Erin’s greenhouse. With an already short growing season, it is essential for us to start crops indoors to meet our production goals.

This week we had an especially large harvest of salad mix.  Though we have had lots of greens lately and I am sure folks have had salads for many meals lately, we wanted to include Erin’s greens in the share for a little variety.

To learn more about Erin’s operation check out this great article from Dustin Urban.

http://www.southmainco.com/index.php/articles/business/115-erins-organics

Wilted Lettuce

A good way to cut the bulk out of your lettuce supply is to make a wilted lettuce salad.  Here is simple description using leaf lettuce and scallions (in the share last week).  I read another recipe that suggested adding sliced radishes. 

http://www.kountrylife.com/content/rec14.htm

Napa Cabbage Slaw

This is a great cabbage slaw my Mom always made with grilled bbq chicken and adapted from a Sunset Magazine Recipe.

1 c. strawberries, quartered

1/4 c rice vinegar

1 sm onion, thinly sliced

1/2 c. mayo

1/4 c. drained pickled, slivered ginger

1 T sugar

1-2 tsps caraway seed

1/2 tsp pepper

8 c. shredded napa cabbage

Mix all together. Garnish with strawberries. Cover and chill for up to 4 hours.  Serves 8.

Chicken Reminder

We will harvest chickens on Monday.  If anyone wants fresh chicken please contact us by phone, 719 (207) 2287 or email, info@weathervanefarmbv.com, A.S.A.P.

The Juniper Report

It is always an adventure keeping our daughter Juniper occupied during harvest day.  She loves to help and we are always looking for ways to make the day fun for her so she will continue to love to help.  Along with using a variety of little bucket to pour water out of the wash tanks, one of her favorite wash station activities is to have a crate house built up all around her.

Juniper's Crate Playhouse

The Beginnings of Juniper's Crate Playhouse

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