Monday, July 27, 2015

CSA Week 7


Happy heat wave! It is doing wonders for our summer crops, even if the farmers are a little warm. A fantastic garlic harvest kicked off harvest season. It starts with the garlic, then we harvest potatoes, then tomatoes, pears, onions...before we know it, we will be harvesting fall squash and apples. 
Garlic harvest 2015

Our potatoes grow on another farm, Singer Farm Naturals, in Appleton that is certified organic (bonus!). We will harvest new potatoes on Tuesday morning and finish right before pick-up starts. You will get to fill up your own quarts, bag them and take them home. Talk about fresh from the field!

 Harvest List: Certified Organic Purple new potatoes, Zucchini, 4 kinds of Summer squash, Cucumbers, Pickling cucumbers, Fresh garlic, Bell peppers, Cabbage, some Carrots, Beets, Asian eggplant, Hot wax peppers, Kohlrabi, Kale, Swiss chard, Collards and the last Peas.

A note on lettuce: There won't be lettuce or mix for a few pick-ups because our next summer planting did not handle the heat. We will have more as soon as they are ready. Thank you for your patience.
Pick-Your-Own Garden: Green & Yellow wax beans are open in the upper u-pick garden! The rows will have a name marker and green flags. It will be a light picking this first week, but check out the blooms; there will be many beans in our future. In the herb garden, the basil is amazing right now, along with chives, lovage, thyme, rosemary, mint, sage, marjoram, both flat leaf and curly parsley, cilantro, dill, lavender and chamomile flowers.

Farm Happenings: We are excited to harvest the first eggplant a whole week earlier than we anticipated. There are several varieties of peppers for you to try this season and two types of eggplant - Asian, a long, slender type that is great grilled or sauteed, and the more familiar Italian comes later.
Speaking of trying new things, we love hearing your stories of a new veggie or recipe you tried and you and your family enjoyed. CSA eating is a big change from supermarket eating. Your experiences of preparing and enjoying great food with locally grown products are really important. Rich and I gain inspiration from your community each week. On pick-up days, we see CSA members chatting, kids check out the chickens together, and folks swap recipes over the cilantro hedge. We are deeply appreciative that the farm is a part of your week. The CSA community is a big part of ours!
Summer harvest

Recipe: Roasted purple potato wedges with garlic and herbs
We have purple potatoes, fresh garlic and fresh herbs - what could be better? Purple potatoes are less starchy than yellow potatoes; they tend to cook faster.

Heat the oven to 400. Cut the potatoes into halves or wedges. Coat them in a mix of olive oil, 3 smashed/minced garlic cloves and rosemary or thyme or both. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes. Take out, maybe sprinkle with some fresh chopped parsley and serve. OPTIONS: Maybe cut up a bell pepper and roast that with the potatoes. You can also make smashed purple potatoes with garlic and herbs. They also make great fries.
 
See you in the share barn,
Bree & Rich

Monday, July 20, 2015

CSA Week 6

Hi Everyone,


We just walked inside from transplanting out the last of the fall kohlrabi and boc choi. Finally, all the thousands of seedlings are out of the greenhouse and in the field. And just in time for the start of garlic harvest 2015. The shaded and breezy greenhouse is a perfect place for drying all that garlic for the next few weeks. So far, it's our best garlic harvest ever. Read more about the garlic harvest in the Farm Happenings section below.

Littlest farm helper
Harvesting carrots

Harvest List: Carrots, Fresh garlic, some Bell Peppers (limit 1), Zucchini, 4 kinds of Summer squash, Onion Scallions, Cabbage, Cucumbers, Pickling cucumbers, Radishes, Kohlrabi and greens, Salad turnips, Swiss chard, Kale, and Lettuce heads. There are enough bunches of carrots for every CSA member. Full shares choose 10 items and Half shares choose 5. Extra Greens shares receive more lettuce heads. Fresh garlic is meant to be eaten promptly and won't store well. It has a stronger taste than storage garlic, but mellows when cooked.

Pick-Your-Own: 3 kinds of Basil, Flat leaf parsley, Thyme, Oregano, Mint, some Lavender, Lovage, and Chives. There are some final peas for the intrepid. Looks like the Green & wax beans start next week!

Farm Happenings: We are in the middle of garlic harvest of almost 3,000 plants. We grow four varieties of garlic. German and Siberian are hardneck varieties that withstand our cold
winters. We also grow two "wild" heirloom varieties that we found growing near old burn piles here on the farm. They were probably commercial varieties from previous generations that got thrown out and a few survived near the burn pile.We have cultivated the wild garlic we found for four years, choosing the biggest, healthiest cloves to plant each year. We are very pleased with this year's harvest! The wild garlic has a lovely purple skin and rich garlic flavor that you will get to taste no where else but here. 

Recipe: Three delicious summer squash recipes are available, shared by your fellow CSA members! Calabasitas con Queso, Chocolate Zucchini Muffins, and Turkey Santa Fe Zucchini Boats. I will make copies and put them on the counter in the share barn.


Fall Crops are planted!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy Summer Solstice

Rows and rows of tomatoes - 12 varieties in all

Onions growing in bio-degradable plastic, seems to be minimizing weed pressure

Mowing down the buckwheat cover crop in the fall field

Plowing under the mowed cover crop in the fall field

Cheery little calendula bloom

Sunday, June 7, 2015

CSA starts Tuesday June 16 and Thursday June 18

Hello Members,
Welcome to Wildwood CSA. Share pick up will begin on Tuesday June 16 and Thursday June 18. Pick-up hours are 3-7pm at the farm. 248 N. Adam Street, Lockport. 
Planting peppers over Memorial Day 2015
Irrelevant irrigation on lettuce rows in early June





We have been busy planting, irrigating, weeding and getting everything ready to open up the farm. Our first few weeks of shares will feature lots of greens like Boc choi, kale, Swiss chard, spinach, collards and lettuce. Greens have great cleansing and fortifying properties - perfect for Spring. There will also be broccoli, cabbage, Chinese kale, kohlrabi, radishes, beets and carrots. The pick-your-own garden has lovely spring oregano, mint, cilantro, chives and lovage. Mint water is refreshing after a good day's work. Snap peas are climbing and should be ready to pick in a couple weeks. Look for an email from us this Tuesday with more details and CSA information. Looking forward to sharing the harvest with you!

 The weather is giving us whiplash this Spring. In May, there were 90 degree days and now in early  June we are trying to plant between rain deluges. That said, the farm is looking pretty good. We planted in our new fields that were cleared in 2012. Hard to believe the fields were overgrown woods just a few years ago. So far, the Spring crops are growing well. The summer tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and first squash and cucumbers are, too. As we expected, there is intense weed pressure in the new fields. We have planted cover crops on next year's fields to help manage the weeds and add nutrients for next year.

This year we are planting our biggest crop to date. Almost 1,000 tomatoes are in the ground! The workload has benefited from our newest piece of equipment: the transplanter. (Seen in the photo above.) We can now plant young seedlings in less than 1/5 the time it used to take us transplanting by hand. It has been a great time-saver, and back-saver!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

CSA 2015 is Now Full

Lettuce Mix ready to harvest
Our 2015 CSA season is now full! Thank you to all our new and returning members. We are looking forward to a great season and to sharing the harvest with you.
If you are interested joining the CSA, please email or call to be added to the 2015 wait list and 2016 priority list.
You can still find our fresh, organically grown produce at the Lockport Community Market on Saturdays, 9am-2pm from Saturday July 4 - Saturday, October 3.
Thank you for supporting your local farm!



Fields prepped for the season
Tractor implements ready to work

Saturday, April 11, 2015

CSA Shares Still Available


7th generation discovering flowers
Just a quick update from the farm. Folks are asking. Word is spreading. There are only 6 shares available for the upcoming season. If you are planning on joining, I recommend doing so this week. We would love to have you join the CSA! There are both Full and Half share sizes. Full Share ($525) is usually one full grocery bag of produce and 1/2 bag of greens. Half Share ($295) is approximately 1/2 grocery bag of produce and 1/4 bag of greens. Some weeks will be fuller. Please find more description on our CSA page. If you have questions on availability or shares, feel free to call us. We look forward to a great season full of delicious and nutrient-packed veggies, fruit, greens, herbs and flowers!

Around the farm, we are fine-tuning the tractors, equipment and tools to prepare the fields and plant the first crops by the beginning of May. The new greenhouse is complete and already filling up with young onions, leeks, celery, celeriac, broccoli, cabbage, and kohlrabi. Garlic is sprouting through its winter hay quilt. Pepper and tomato seedlings are beginning to pop. The bees are busy pollinating the first wildflowers. And the sun peeks through the window a little earlier each morning. Looking forward to sharing the harvest and the farm life with you this season.



2015 Garlic crop

Onions and Leeks

Broccoli and Cabbage

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Season for Seeds

2-day old Onion starts
Nothing like a little sunshine and a few days above freezing to get everyone in a great mood to farm. For us, the season has officially begun. With the tiniest of movements: Seeding. The seeding season always begins the first week of March with seeding onions and celery. We seed in March and harvest the crops in August-September, although last season we harvested the long-growing celery in October! Putting those tiny seeds in the soil brings a mixture of hope and reality. Hope for a great growing season and bountiful crop. Reality that the plans are set, and now it is time to carry out the actions to nurture another bountiful crop. Onions and celery seeds always take a week or two to show, so there's a lot of time for hope and reality to mix.

 
The break in weather has given us time to work on the seeding hoophouse. We are framing the ends now. If we have a calm day next week, we will cover with greenhouse plastic. It will be double- insulated so we can control the temps inside to grow healthy strong seedlings. Once the sides and plastic are on, the onion and celery starts will be the first trays to move into the new home (and out of our kitchen and dining room).

Building sides to the Seed Hoophouse
We are expanding every year and 2015 is no different. Our goal is 100 members in our CSA (Halfway there!) and enough for the Lockport Community Market and local restaurants. That's a lot of seeding! To make more efficient use of our time, Rich made a vacuum wand seeder. Using the suction from a household vacuum cleaner attached to this PVC wand, he picks up seeds on the end of each nozzle. Then, he moves the wand into place above seed tray, releases the suction, and gently taps the seeds into their holes. The dibbler in the corner of the photo helps us prepare several holes at a time. This method is a big time-saver already!

Dibbler + Vacuum Seeder Wand = Time Saved!
Come Chat With Us
Bree had a great time taking with the Lockport College Women's Club and the Lockport Rotary Club this past week. We have a couple more speaking engagements in March, if you want to hear us share our story and the history of the farm. Rich will be at the Niagara County Genealogical Society on Wednesday, March 25, 7pm. For the Delphi employees, we will have a informational booth at Delphi on March 30, 10-2pm. 

As winter breaks, we take a deep breath, look around and marvel that this old farm will once again take us through another growing season. We are privileged to be the stewards of this small piece of Earth. And when the winter gets to us a little bit, just think: Fresh vegetables will be here before we know it!