News and Blog
Supposed to be a hot one tomorrow. Come early so your produce will be fresher. We will continue with Squash and Zucchini and Red Norlunds. We will add the first harvest of Fingerling potatoes and a large heirloom tomato. The Cherry tomatoes are very prolific. Part of the deal with the CSA philosophy is that when we have a bumper crop, you share in the increased bounty. That means this week you will get THREE pints of cherry tomatoes. Enjoy.
We are starting to see some recovery in our crops that were smothered in weeds. Last week we were able to aggressively attack the weeds and it is paying off. Also, I am trying a new technique for deterring deer. It involves small flashing lights that mimic the eyes of predators. So far it seems to be working. We will see.
Thank you for continuing to support us. Encourage your friends to come shop at the market. Our son Matthew will also be at the Rainbow Blossom Market on Lexington Rd. from noon till four on Sunday.
The summer bounty of local, organic produce continues. We invite to come the the St. Matthew's Farmer's Market from 8:00-noon tomorrow (Saturday, July 19, 2014) to see what Harmony Fields Farm is offering. Squash and Zucchini are plentiful this time of year. Local and organic is much harder to find. Unless you come see us.
You will also find produce not available anywhere else. Ronde de Nice Zucchini is from the south of France but it is found south of the Ohio River this week. Will not find this in the grocery. Not even the fancy, expensive ones.
Same applies to the Boothby Blond cucumber. Milder and sweeter that the traditional green cucumbers, this one is wonderful in salads or pickled.
A new study, just published in the British Journal of Nutrition, extols the nutritional benefits of organic food. They really emphasize the increased level of antioxidants in organic food. Check it out at organic-center.org. We have noticed that other studies have emphasized the importance of color. We will have beautiful purple potatoes this week. Flavorful and nutritious.
We will also be at Rainbow Blossom (Lexington Rd. location, in St. Matthew's) on Sunday, July 20 from noon till 4:00 p.m. as a part of their weekly Farmer's Market.
Please come see us. We are your source for local, organic produce.
Larry D. Brandenburg
Will have to be a quick note tonight. We have worked hard all week and still feel that we are behind. The weed pressure is really oppressive right now and we must get caught up next week. We are extremely pleased that we will have lettuce for you. This is the latest we have ever been able to produce lettuce and I thought last week would be the last. This is a real serendipity for us. And you.
Zucchini, Beans (still a lot of deer pressure), and cucumbers will continue. We will add Yukon Gold potatoes. They are wonderful for mashed potatoes. We had them last night. Will continue with the Red Norlunds too.
Thanks for supporting local, organic farming.
Larry and Beth
Happy Fourth of July!! What a beautiful day for a holiday. Also a beautiful day for harvesting your bounty for the week. It's amazing how much quicker and more energetic we are when we aren't fighting heat and humidity. What I'm trying to say is -- we are almost done and ready to start prepping your produce. And this week -- there is a lot.
Yellow Squash and Zucchini. Ronde De Nice Zucchini. What is that? Originating in the south of France, this heirloom round zucchini is best prepared by stuffing it much as you would a pepper. However, it can also be sauted, grilled, etc. We will will bring you a recipe for stuffing with ground beef. If you don't eat beef you could substitute something else. Also, internet searches turn up lots of recipes for this highly desirable, hard-to-find vegetable. I'v never seen one at the grocery.
Also, I've never seen a Boothby Blond Cucumber at the grocery. This heirloom cucumber has recently been recognized by the Slow Food Ark of Taste as a historic variety in need of preservation. Its unusual stubby,plump and oval appearance combined with a sweet, delicate flavor gives it a wonderful addition to your plate either fresh or pickled.
Deer have been enjoying a feast with our beans. However, we were able to get enough this week for you to have a bag of Provider Green Beans. I made up a spray of Cayenne Pepper two weeks ago but the rains have washed it off each time (and no, it doesn't penetrate beans and make them hot beans! It only goes on the leaves) and therefore they keep coming back for more. But, we have some really tall weeds that I think are hiding some of them and the deer can't see them. Sometimes weeds can be your friends.
This will probably be the last week for lettuce. We have been able to extend it pretty far but now most of it is bolting.
Potatoes and Basil will continue and Beth has made a loaf of Zucchini Bread for each of you. All organic ingredients in the bread. Oops, almost forgot. A bunch of Beets this week too.
I think that's everything. We are now over the hump (not much of a hump this year) between spring and summer crops. We normally take a break sometime at the end of June/beginning July but not this year. Hopefully, sometime down the road, we will get to take a breather. Not today. Not this weekend.
Look forward to seeing all of you either today or on Saturday. Thanks for supporting our organic farm.
Sorry about communication last week. We had a labor challenge last Friday which kept me occupied for the entire day. It was just too late by the time I had a chance to sit down and email you. Every now and then this will happen so don't be shocked if you don't hear from me each week.
The weather has felt more like Kentucky this week. Hot and humid. I finally got the hay mowed and of course it rained today before I could get it baled and put up. We do need the rain, I just wish I had been able to get the hay done.
The heat and humidity has put most of our lettuce in reproductive mode. That means it is going to seed. Mesclun is still good and we have a succession planting of some other varieties that should be ready in a couple of weeks. We cut the first of the Basil today so start making plans for pesto this week.
We also dug some "new" potatoes today. They are Red Norlunds and are small, tender and delicious,
The transition between spring crops and summer crops is happening now. We are going to try to keep lettuce going as long as possible and we will continue to pull onions until we run out.
Looking forward to seeing you at the market tomorrow. Please come as early as possible. The heat and humidity cause rapid deterioration of your produce. So, the earlier you can get it home and in your refrigerator, the longer it will last.
Again, thank you for your commitment to organic farming. Without you, we couldn't exist.
Another beautiful day here on the farm in Shelby County. Lower humidity and temperatures are always appreciated. Lately it has been heat and humidity and the weeds are loving it! We can't stay ahead of them right now as we are concentrating on getting the rest of the crops in the ground and harvesting the ones that are producing now.
New this week will be snow peas and garlic scapes. Use the scapes raw in salads or saute them with other vegetables to give mild garlic flavor to your dishes.
This is a short one tonight. Been a long day and 3:30 a.m. will be here shortly. Good to see all the Shelby County people today at the farm. Look forward to seeing the rest of you tomorrow at the market.
Thank you for your support of local, organic food.
The bounty continues. Asparagus and Strawberries. We won't have enough Strawberries to sell this week so this is where the CSA partnership gives you a real advantage over our retail customers.
We are bundling our greens (Kale and Collards) this week in a larger bunch and calling it a Braising Mix. Hope you will enjoy it. If you would like to purchase any additional greens in straight bunches, remember that our CSA partners get a significant discount.
I still find the aroma of freshly pulled spring onions to be one of the most satisfying sensual delights of all the spring vegetables. So earthy. So satisfying.
This week we will share some fresh leaf lettuce all bagged up and ready to go. Radishes and Spinach will round out this weeks offerings.
Each week I do a price comparison of the CSA share vs. our market prices. As you know, you get an excellent value for your investment in us. This week your $18.75 (half-share) would cost you $26.00 if you purchased it from us at the market. Of course, you don't do this to save money -- you do it because you believe in supporting local, organic farming. So, if you happen to save a little (or a lot) along the way, be happy, consider it a perk for a job well done -- the job you do as a caring and conscientious human being who also wants to nurture our planet as well as yourselves.
Good job folks.
It was great seeing you all at the market last week. Perhaps the difficult winter we had has made this spring feel even sweeter, although, last Saturday's temps were not what one would expect for the middle of May. Today was a perfect day with temperature in the 70's and low humidity. I could take this year round!
We started digging spring onions today and the fresh, earthy smell as they come out of the ground is intoxicating. Pile a bunch of them in a tub and take them to the packing shed and they permeate the air with one of the most refreshing aromas of spring. We are happy to make them available for you tomorrow.
We won't have as much Asparagus as we did last week and all of it was gone within the first couple of hours. Just a word to the wise. And, you are wise because you believe in organic farming.
Strawberries. 'Nuff said.
Black Seeded Simpson in bags and whole heads of Red Romaine. These Romaine heads are beautiful to look at and even better to eat.
Radishes and Kale and Collards will round out this week's offerings. We are bunching the Kale separately by variety.
We are also offering Herb plants this year. They can be purchased individually or in specially made boxes handcrafted out of sustainable lumber from Beth's parents's farm in Breckinridge County. Beautiful walnut with streaks of sapwood and yellow poplar re-purposed from Beth's grandparents home make a wonderful display for your herb plants.
We look forward to seeing you tomorrow. Remember, the hours are 8:00-Noon. Come early and leave happy!
P.S. Beth will have a few flower bouquets available too.
Thank you for your support of organic farming in our community. Seven years ago we started offering an organic CSA for people in Shelby and Jefferson Counties. We are the only certified organic vegetable farm in our area and we thought that by adopting the CSA model it would help us in our efforts and provide a much needed service for you.
This is our last weekend for this years CSA. It has been a very good year in spite of the incredible challenges we have faced. The cool, wet early summer was unlike any we have experienced so far. However, we were able to find a way to continue to bring you wonderful produce each week.
We have had some disappointments. The deer this year completely destroyed several of our succession plantings (especially squash and beans) and also wiped out our watermelon and sweet potatoes. We try to work in harmony with nature but it seems that the deer won the battle this year. We will evaluate and come up with a better plan for next year. Out of 750 row feet of sweet potatoes we were able to to harvest only a half bushel. Pitiful. What makes it especially hard on us is the fact that we had to plant twice due to compromised slip quality on the first planting. Organic slips are very expensive and the labor involved in planting meant that we took a big hit financially. Next year. There's always next year.
And, we hope that you will be a part of next year. I will be sending an email at the end of this year or in January of 2014. You will have the opportunity to respond for a guaranteed spot in the 2014 CSA.
I am sorry that I have not kept current with these emails for the last few weeks. We have had labor challenges (following Labor Day weekend--ironic) and by the time we have finished on Friday nights, I am too tired to write anything.
We do appreciate your support. Without you, Harmony Fields Farm would not be possible. We are a family farm and without our family, especially our sons, we would not have made it these last few weeks. Matthew and Nathan have really worked hard to ensure that we would be able to continue after so many of our workers deserted us.
Be sure to let us know if you have any suggestions for making our CSA better. We want you to be happy. We love being your farmer and we want to be able to improve each year. Your feedback is important to us.
The farmer's market will continue through October 12 and if we have anything to sell, we will be there even though the CSA concludes tomorrow. Also, our son Matthew and his girlfriend are doing the Sunday market at Rainbow Blossom in St. Matthew's (Lexington Road) from noon till 4:00. They are also planning some production for our High Tunnel for this fall and winter. I will keep you posted if this works out.
See you tomorrow. Sad day, but--there's always next year.
Larry and Beth
Seems it's feast or famine with our labor lately. Fortunately, it was a feast today which meant we got a lot done. We have been wanting to dig Fingerlings lately but didn't have the forces to do it. Digging potatoes is just plain hard, dirty work. The kind of work that builds character and stamina. The fruit of this labor is some of the best fingerlings we have ever grown. We will be glad to share them with you this week.
Even though the squash has played out, the winter squash is coming along nicely and we will be happy to share a Butternut Squash with you. It may be a little challenging to think "winter" when the temps are in the 90's, but you can always hold this squash for a couple of weeks if you wish to wait for cooler temps.
Tomatoes and peppers continue as do beans and basil and garlic. I am a little concerned about a succession planting of Provider Beans we planted. When I checked them today, it appears that the deer are eating them. All of them. Not good.
I would encourage you to come as early as possible tomorrow as it is going to be another hot day. Your produce will do better if you can get it home and cooled down. When we harvest here we get it out of the field and into one of the walk-in coolers (we have two, each set at a different temps to meet the needs of the different veggies) as quickly as possible. Heat really effects the longevity of produce. In fact, this heat may be affecting my longevity as well!
So, good night and we will see you soon.