Fall Farm Share – Week 7

Here’s our week 7 share for the fall season:

Blessing Falls 2017 Fall season Week 7 “Mini” Share. Clockwise from top left: Bok Choy, Butternut Squash, Cucumbers, Cilantro, Dill, Swiss Chard, Butterhead Lettuce, Broccoli, Radishes, Kale, Spinach

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Fall Farm Share – Week 6

Here’s our week 6 share for the fall season:

Blessing Falls 2017 Fall season Week 6 “Mini” Share. Clockwise from top left: Cucumbers, Bok Choy, Spaghetti Squash, Cilantro, Kale, Dill, Butterhead Lettuce, Leaf Lettuce Mix, Swiss Chard

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Heritage Wheat and Grain Experiment

We’re experimenting with heritage grain plantings. We have 4 different wheats (Turkey Red, Marquis, Sonora, Red Fife) and 1 rye (Danko) from Barton Springs Mill in Austin. We’re planting in two different field conditions and will monitor the growth, insect pressure, and harvest amounts to see what would be the best grain and what conditions are required for growing heritage grains annually on our farm.

On November 7, we planted in our normal vegetable garden area and in the field. Most were sown and tilled in. We planted one section in rows to simulate how a grain drill might plant the wheat.

All sections were fertilized with cottonseed meal and soft rock phosphate. Cottonseed meal was applied at a rate of 250 lbs/acre which amounted to 2 cups for each of our rows. The rows were all 35 feet long and 4 feet wide for 140 square feet total.. Soft rock phosphate was applied at 140 lbs/acre which is about 10 ounces (by volume) on our rows.  The cottonseed meal is a natural source of nitrogen.  Our fields and pastures also have a healthy amount of burr medic, a clover-like legume which will fix nitrogen in the soil naturally. Soft rock phosphate is a natural source of calcium and phosphorus.  The garden soil was tested in September and pH was found to be 6.8.  No major mineral deficiencies or imbalances were found.  The field area was garden area about 3 years ago and was amended/balanced at the time.  It has not been recently tested but is expected to be similar to the tested garden area, as all were amended at the same time.

For the plantings in our prepared garden, we applied fertilizers, sowed seed and tilled to mix it in. For most rows we used a tilling depth setting of ‘3’. For one row of Turkey Red wehat we tilled at ‘2’ (which is deeper than 3) and for another row of Turkey Red we tilled at ‘4’ (more shallow than 3). For plantings in the field, we tilled the area twice – one lengthwise and the other at a 90 degree angle. We then applied fertilizer and sowed the seed and tilled a third time to mix it all in. All these tillings were at the deepest possible setting, which was ‘2’ – any deeper and the tiller would bind.

All seeding rates were 1/2 pound per row which works out to 150 lbs/acre. The ground was moist from rain a week ago. No water was applied after planting but we’re expecting rain tomorrow.

Grain Planting Layout Field/Garden - November 2017

Turkey Red Wheat
Danko Rye
Marquis Wheat
Sonora Wheat
Red Fife Wheat
Turkey Red Wheat
----------------------
Turkey Red Wheat
Danko Rye
Marquis Wheat
Sonora Wheat
Red Fife Wheat

For the part of the garden that will not be planted until spring, we sowed oats as a cover crop. No fertilizers were applied in this area.

Here’s a look at the planting.  We’ll post updates as the growth progresses.

First tilling of open field, next to normal garden area

First tilling of open field, next to normal garden area (at left)

First field tilling complete, adjacent to garden area

First field tilling complete, adjacent to garden area

Weighing seeds for planting

Weighing seeds for planting

Fertilizer - cottonseed meal and soft rock phosphate

Fertilizer for first row – cottonseed meal and soft rock phosphate

seed sown, ready to till

Seed sown/broadcast, ready to till (click photo to see detail)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seeds in the row, ready to cover

Seeds planted in the row, ready to cover

Final row of grain planting, sowing oats for cover crop on the rest

Final row of grain planting in garden, sowing oats for cover crop on the rest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second tilling on field section, crossways from first tilling. Planted garden area visible at top

Second tilling on field section (finished on right), crossways from first tilling. Planted garden area visible at top

Field area fully planted, 3rd tilling to incorporate fertilizer and seed completed. Each row has a different type of seed.

Field area fully planted, 3rd tilling to incorporate fertilizer and seed completed. Each row has a different type of seed – see table above.

Heritage Grain seeds from Barton Springs Mill

Heritage Grain seeds from Barton Springs Mill

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Fall Farm Share – Week 5

Here’s our share for week 5 of the fall season

Blessing Falls 2017 Fall season Week 5 “Mini” Share. Clockwise from top left: Cucumbers, Spaghetti Squash, Carrots, Chinese (Napa) Cabbage, Yellow Squash, Swiss Chard, Bok Choy, Mizuna, Kale, Lettuce, Green Beans

Blessing Falls 2017 Fall season Week 5 “Mini” Share. Clockwise from top left: Cucumbers, Spaghetti Squash, Carrots, Chinese (Napa) Cabbage, Yellow Squash, Swiss Chard, Bok Choy, Mizuna, Kale, Lettuce, Green Beans

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Fall Farm Share – Week 4

New for week 4 of the fall season: spaghetti squash, lettuce.  Here’s the “mini-share” for this week.

Blessing Falls 2017 Fall season Week 4 "Mini" Share. Clockwise from top left: Mizuna, Bok Choy, Kale, Lettuce, Jalapeno, Asian Eggplant, Lemon Squash, Spaghetti Squash, Cucumbers, Yellow Squash, Zucchini

Blessing Falls 2017 Fall season Week 4 “Mini” Share. Clockwise from top left: Mizuna, Bok Choy, Kale, Lettuce, Jalapeno, Asian Eggplant, Lemon Squash, Spaghetti Squash, Cucumbers, Yellow Squash, Zucchini

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Fall Farm Share – Week 3

It’s week 3 of the Fall season and the harvest is increasing.   New this week: green beans, bok choy, Chinese (Napa) cabbage, Swiss Chard, scallop squash.  Here’s the “mini-share” for this week.

2017 Fall season Week 3 "Mini" Share. Clockwise from top left: Kale, Mizuna, Zucchini, Swiss Chard, Cucumbers, Chinese Cabbage, Lemon Squash, Scallop Squash, Bok Choy, Green Beans

2017 Fall season Week 3 “Mini” Share. Clockwise from top left: Kale, Mizuna, Zucchini, Swiss Chard, Cucumbers, Chinese Cabbage, Lemon Squash, Scallop Squash, Bok Choy, Green Beans

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Fall Farm Share – Week 2

Here’s our “mini-share” for week 2 of the fall season.

2017 Fall season Week 2 "Mini" Share. Clockwise from top left: Zucchini, Yellow Squash. Lemon Squash, Mizuna, Kale, Bok Choy, Asian Eggplant, Cucumbers

2017 Fall season Week 2 “Mini” Share. Clockwise from top left: Zucchini, Yellow Squash. Lemon Squash, Mizuna, Kale, Bok Choy, Asian Eggplant, Cucumbers

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Fall Farm Share – Week 1

Our fall season begins this week.  We’re offering shares for pick-up at the farm.  These are ‘mini’ shares smaller than our usual full size shares, at a reduced price.

2017 Fall season Week 1 "Mini" Share.  Clockwise from top left: Cucumbers, Jalapeno Peppers, Asian Eggplant, Zucchini, Kale, Lemon Squash, Mizuna, Yellow Squash.

2017 Fall season Week 1 “Mini” Share. Clockwise from top left: Cucumbers, Jalapeno Peppers, Asian Eggplant, Zucchini, Kale, Lemon Squash, Mizuna, Yellow Squash.

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Fall Shares Available Weekly for Pickup at the Farm

We have a limited number of shares available for weekly pickup at the farm east of Austin.  We’re planning a 7 week season October 4 – November 15.  For this “mini” season we’re also offering “mini” shares which are smaller and less expensive than our usual spring/summer shares.  There’s also a money-back guarantee in case the produce harvest turns out to be less than we anticipate.  Our natural pasture-raised eggs and grass fed beef are also available with your weekly share.

If there are shares available after our local/pick-up members sign up, we may offer shares for pick-up in Taylor and/or Round Rock.

Here’s what we should have in early October: yellow squash, zucchini, lemon squash, cucumbers, kale, swiss chard, mizuna, tomato
adding soon: green beans
adding in later October: spaghetti squash, cabbages, bok choy, carrots
adding in November: cantaloupe, broccoli, lettuce, spinach, snap peas, butternut squash

Depending on the harvest and garden conditions, we may extend the CSA later into the winter.

More details and signup form here.

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Austin 2017 Farm Share/CSA Week 16 – Summer

Since this is the final week of our Spring/Summer season, members are reminded to return all canvas bags and egg cartons this week.

Here’s our expected harvest for week 16:

Full Share: Squash or Cucumber, Chinese Cabbage, Tomatoes, Okra, Carrots, Basil, Eggplant, Peppers, Winter squash, Yellow onion, Red onion

Half Share: Tomatoes, Okra, Carrots, Basil, Eggplant, Peppers, Winter squash, Yellow onion, Red onion

Recipe

One of our CSA members created her own version of a Moroccan Stew using the eggplant, basil, and yellow onion from her share.  (You can follow her public Facebook page here)

– saute 1 yellow onion in a few tbsps of ghee
+ diced eggplant and chopped cauliflower and saute a few mins
+ 1 can stewed tomatoes and a cup chicken broth (homemade is yummiest)
+ 2 tbsps paprika, 1.5 tsp sea salt, 2 tsps turmeric, 2 tsps coriander, 2 tsps fennel seed, dash of black pepper and simmer for a bit
+ 1 lb ground pastured pork. I browned separately so I did not smoosh my veggies, simmer a few more mins
– just before done + several cloves minced garlic, several handfuls chopped basil, and the juice of half a lemon and cook 1 or 2 mins.
Stir. Serve. Enjoy.

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Austin 2017 Farm Share/CSA Week 15 – Summer

Here’s our expected harvest for week 15 of our Spring/Summer season:

Full Share: Squash or Cucumber, Beans, Tomatoes, Okra, Carrots, Basil, Eggplant, Peppers, Winter squash, Yellow onion, Red onion

Half Share: Tomatoes, Okra, Carrots, Basil, Eggplant, Peppers, Winter squash, Yellow onion, Red onion

Blessing Falls Farm Spring/Summer, Week 15 Farm Share

Blessing Falls Farm Spring/Summer, Week 15 Farm Share

 

Recipe

Here’s a pesto recipe for your share veggies – great in a variety of summer dishes.

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Austin 2017 Farm Share/CSA Week 14 – Summer

Here’s our expected harvest for week 14 of our Spring/Summer season:

Full Share: Squash or Cucumber, Beans, Tomatoes, Okra, Carrots, Basil, Eggplant, Peppers, Winter squash, Yellow onion, Red onion

Half Share: Tomatoes, Okra, Carrots, Basil, Eggplant, Peppers, Winter squash, Yellow onion, Red onion

Blessing Falls Farm Spring/Summer, Week 14 Farm Share

Blessing Falls Farm Spring/Summer, Week 14 Farm Share

Recipe

Try these delicious Jalapeño Poppers this week!

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Austin 2017 Farm Share/CSA – Week 13 Summer

Here’s our expected harvest this week:

Full Share: Tomatoes, Okra, Beans, Chard, Carrots, Basil, Eggplant, Peppers, Winter Squash, Yellow onion, Red onion

Half Share: Tomatoes, Okra, Carrots, Basil, Eggplant, Peppers, Squash or Cucumber, Yellow onion, Red onion

Blessing Falls Farm Spring/Summer, Week 13 Farm Share

Blessing Falls Farm Spring/Summer, Week 13 Farm Share

Recipe

We made this Stir-Fried Eggplant last night and it was very good.  A great way to use your share’s eggplant, red onion, and basil.  We made these changes:
Sriracha Sauce instead of red chilies
6 or 7 Asian Eggplant instead of just 2 the recipe mentions
Coconut flour instead of cornstarch for a low-carb alternative

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Austin 2017 Summer Farm Share/CSA – Week 12

Our Spring/Summer season has definitely transitioned from spring to summer.  Here’s our expected harvest this week:

Full Share: Carrots (triple portion), Basil, Eggplant, Peppers, Squash or cucumber, Yellow onion, Red onion, Tomatoes (triple portion), Okra, Beans, Chard, Rosemary

Half Share: Carrots (double portion), Basil, Eggplant, Peppers, Squash or cucumber, Yellow onion, Red onion, Tomatoes, Okra

check back later this week for a photo as we harvest and pack shares

Recipes

Here’s a family favorite from one of our CSA members – great way to cook the carrots in this week’s shares:

Carrot Roast

Very good with cranberry. Makes great leftover sandwiches

2 cups cooked rice (white or brown)
3 cups grated or ground carrots
1 cup peanut butter
2 cups milk
2 tbsp melted butter
1 or 2 chopped onions
1/2 tsp sage
2 or 3 eggs

Can use food processor for carrots and onions; Combine all ingredients
Place in a greased 8×8 dish and bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour or more
Can double recipe and bake in 13×9 pan.

You may also want to try this grilled eggplant recipe. The grill always seems to make everything better!

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Austin 2017 Summer Farm Share/CSA – Week 11

Our harvest for week 11: Carrots, Tomatoes, Okra, Beans, Cucumbers, Beet Greens, Onions, Squash, Italian Eggplant, Fennel, Peppers, Basil

Blessing Falls Farm Spring/Summer, Week 11 Farm Share

Blessing Falls Farm Spring/Summer, Week 11 Farm Share

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Austin 2017 Spring Farm Share/CSA – Week 10

Our harvest for week 10: Carrots, Cabbage, Tomatoes, Okra, Beans, Cucumbers, Beet Greens, Onions, Squash, Italian Eggplant, Basil, Peppers

Blessing Falls Farm Spring/Summer, Week 10 Farm Share

Blessing Falls Farm Spring/Summer, Week 10 Farm Share

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Austin 2017 Spring Farm Share/CSA – Week 9

At this halfway point of our 16 week Spring/Summer season, many summer varieties are just about ready.  Some of week’s shares will see the season’s first eggplant, peppers, cucumbers, and okra.  Tomatoes are more abundant this week with enough for all shares. Carrots, onions, and beans remain strong.

Here’s what to expect in shares this week: (may vary slightly depending on field/garden conditions)

Half Share: Eggplant or peppers, Tomatoes, Onions, Beans, Basil, Cucumbers or Squash, Carrots, Chard

Full Share: Eggplant, Peppers, Tomatoes, Onions, Beans, Basil, Cucumbers or Squash, Carrots, Chard, Cabbage, Dill, Okra or beet greens

Recipe

Here’s a tasty recipe we invented this week that’s perfect for this transition from spring to summer veggies!

Summer Turkey Pasta
Ingredients
16 oz. Penne Pasta
4 slices bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
1 summer squash, sliced (optional)
1 lb. ground turkey
1 TBSP. Minced garlic
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 bunch Swiss chard, chopped
1 cup cream (more if necessary)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/8 cup fresh basil, chopped
Salt and Pepper

Directions
1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2. In a large skillet, cook bacon and onions together on medium heat about 5 minutes. Add sliced squash and cook until soft. Remove from heat and set aside in another bowl.
3. Brown turkey in skillet. Add cream, garlic, tomatoes and chard and simmer until cream is bubbly. Add Parmesan and basil and mix thoroughly.
4. Pour onion and turkey mixtures over cooked pasta. Stir well, salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh basil, shredded Parmesan or red pepper flakes. Enjoy!

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Austin 2017 Spring Farm Share/CSA – Week 8

We’re starting the turn from spring to summer this week, with tomatoes making their first appearance in some shares.  Most of the blackberries have been harvested but we’ll have enough again this week for the full size shares.

Here’s what’s expected in our Spring week 8 shares:

(Shares may vary slightly depending on field/garden conditions)

Half Share: Onions, Beans, Chard, Carrots, Rosemary, Basil, Edible flowers

Full Share: Onions, Beans, Chard, Carrots, Rosemary, Basil, Edible flowers, Dandelion greens, Tomatoes or squash, Beet greens, Cabbage, Blackberries

Recipe

Rosemary Green Beans

Ingredients
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
2 green onions, sliced (about 1/4 cup)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
Garnish: fresh rosemary sprigs

How to Make It
Sprinkle green beans evenly with 1/4 tsp. salt, and place in a steamer basket over boiling water; cover and steam 10 minutes or until crisp-tender. Plunge green beans into ice water to stop the cooking process, and drain.
Sauté green onions and rosemary in hot oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes or until softened. Add green beans, pecans, lemon rind, and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt, stirring until thoroughly heated. Garnish, if desired, and serve immediately.

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Austin 2017 Spring Farm Share/CSA – Week 7

This week the bean harvest is hitting full stride as the blackberry harvest begins to wane. We’re also posting a soup recipe one of our members prepared last week.  We welcome your recipe ideas.  If you have a favorite or try a new one that uses several of the varieties in a weekly share, please send it to us so we can share with all farm share members.

This week we begin delivering pasture-raised whole chicken with our weekly shares. These are raised with great care by our friends at Humble Rooster Farm on non-GMO, soy-free feed.  When you sign up for our weekly produce shares, just add the chicken along with your choice of eggs and/or grass fed beef and have it all conveniently delivered right to your front door.

Here’s what’s expected in our Spring week 7 shares:

(Shares may vary slightly depending on field/garden conditions)

Half Share: Beans (double portion), Basil, 2 Onions, Chard, Carrots (double portion), Beets

Full Share: Blackberries, Lettuce, Basil, Beans (double portion), Carrots (double portion), Beets, 2 Onions, Chard, Fennel or amaranth leaves, Squash or Italian Dandelion Greens, Dill, edible flowers

Blessing Falls Week 7 Spring/Summer Full Share: Yellow and purple beans, basil, edible flowers (cosmos), blackberries, chard, red onion, yellow onion, lettuce, beets, dill, dandelion greens (or squash), carrots, fennel

Blessing Falls Week 7 Spring/Summer Full Share: Yellow and purple beans, basil, edible flowers (cosmos), blackberries, chard, red onion, yellow onion, lettuce, beets, dill, dandelion greens (or squash), carrots, fennel

Recipe Ideas

If you enjoy preserving vegetables, this would be a great week to store up some beans and carrots! Try freezing, canning or pickling this week!

Here’s the recipe one of our members prepared last week – many of the ingredients are in this week’s shares too: Creamy Fennel and Greens Soup

You can also try out this tasty recipe with your carrots and beans!
Ginger, Carrot and Sesame Green Beans

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Austin 2017 Spring Farm Share/CSA – Week 6

Blessing Falls - Weekly Flower Share for Spring/Summer

Blessing Falls – Weekly Flower Share for Spring/Summer

Our flowers are thriving this year!  We have flower shares available if you haven’t signed up yet.  Just let us know and we can get these to you weekly. Here’s a lovely arrangement from last year’s garden to give you an idea of what to expect.

The blackberry harvest continues and again this week we hope to have enough for all CSA member shares.  Some of you will get squash in your shares for the first time this season.  We should have plenty of squash for all in future weeks. And everyone will get beans this week, full and half shares.

We’re excited to begin offering pasture-raised whole chicken with our weekly shares. Our friends at Humble Rooster Farm raise their healthy chicken raised on non-GMO, soy-free feed.  When you sign up for our weekly produce shares, just add the chicken along with your choice of eggs and/or grass fed beef and have it all conveniently delivered right to your front door.

Here’s what’s expected in our Spring week 6 shares:

(Shares may vary slightly depending on field/garden conditions)

Half Share:  Blackberries, Lettuce, Basil, Beans, Carrots(double portion), Beets, Onion, Chard

Full Share:  Blackberries, Lettuce(double portion), Basil, Beans, Carrots(double portion), Beets, 2 Onions, Chard, Fennel, Dill, Broccoli or Cauliflower, Radishes

Blessing Falls Week 6 Spring/Summer Full Share

Blessing Falls Week 6 Spring/Summer Full Share: Blackberries, radishes, chard, basil, dill, fennel, onions, carrots, beets, broccoli, lettuce, beans

Recipe

We hope you enjoy trying your yellow and purple beans this week! These heirlooms can be cooked just like normal green beans.

Here is a perfect recipe for your baby carrots, baby beets, beet greens, dill and onions!

Baby Beet and Carrot Salad with Yogurt Ranch Dressing

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