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Posted 6/9/2015 11:53am by Kerry Gawalt.

Dear CSA members and Farm friends,

This past week has been another busy one. We have planted all the field tomatoes, eggplants and peppers. We have put our heirloom tomatoes in the hoop house. The heat loving crops are planted on black plastic with a length of soaker hose underneath. This warms the soil and help control weeds and disease from dirt splash. We cultivate between the rows of plastic with the horses. More fall broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce flats were sown in the greenhouse. We are gearing up to make dry hay for the cows. We make small square bales to feed inside in the old barn. We will make about 6000 or so. The rest of our hay will be round bales about 350 which are equivalent to 20-25 square bales each. The round bales are easier to feed out in our big white barn. The round bales take less human labor to make. The process to make round and square bales starts out the same. The hay is cut with a mower/conditioner on day one. On day two the hay is turned over to expose the underside called tedding. On day three the hay is raked into windrows late morning or early afternoon. Then the tractor is hooked up to the baler with a wagon behind it. Every square bale is baled, kicked into a steel wagon and unloaded onto the hay elevator. The bales then go up the track into the hay mow and are stacked by hand. Round bales are baled, then wrapped in white plastic and moved and stacked outside. When we feed out the squares bales are thrown down and carried by hand to feed calves, young heifers, horses and to top dress in the pack barn. The round bales are moved to the feed alley and rolled out and forked into the manger. A mature cow will eat a bale of hay a day. The horses are very low maintenance and only need a ¼ bale a day each. We always make at least two cutting of hay, 1St cut and 2nd cut. The first cut hay is more volume and fiber. The second cut is softer, more nutritious and lower yields per acre. More on hay next time.

 

Recipes and Storing advice from Martha Stewart.com

Spiced Steak Kebobs

Ingredients

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for grill

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

Coarse salt and ground pepper

2 pounds sirloin steak, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 medium red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces

10 large button mushrooms, trimmed

Lime wedges, for serving

Directions

1.    Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. Clean and lightly oil hot grill. In a small bowl, combine oil, cumin, and coriander; season with salt and pepper.2.   Alternately thread steak, bell pepper, onion, and mushrooms onto ten 8-inch skewers. Brush with oil mixture and grill until steak is medium-rare and vegetables are lightly charred, 6 to 8 minutes, turning occasionally. Refrigerate 4 kebabs, up to 3 days, for later use. Serve remaining kebabs with lime wedges.Cook's Note Refrigerate 4 kebabs, up to 3 days, for later use.

Asian-Style Grilled Beef Salad

Ingredients

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 Thai chile, thinly sliced

4 reserved Spiced Steak Kebabs

1 head butter lettuce, leaves torn into bite-size pieces

1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves

2 scallions, thinly sliced

1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts, chopped

Directions

In a small bowl, combine vegetable oil, lime juice, fish sauce, and chile. Remove beef and vegetables from kebabs. Halve beef pieces and mushrooms and add beef and vegetables to a large bowl with lettuce, mint leaves, and scallions. Add dressing and toss to coat. Top with peanuts and serve. 3.    When you buy lettuce and other leafy greens early in the week, clean and refrigerate until ready to toss in a salad or layer on a sandwich. Smarter Storing for lettuce To keep lettuce and other greens fresher longer, wash and dry them thoroughly before storing. Wrap greens in paper towels, then place in resealable plastic bags. Seal the bags tight, and keep in the vegetable crisper. Check the bags during the week, replacing any damp towels with dry ones.  



Posted 6/9/2015 11:07am by Kerry Gawalt.

 

Dear CSA members,

The Summer CSA pick-ups at the farm and at the UV Coop start on Wednesday June 10th.  Farm site shares are ready from 12-9PM and the UV Coop shares are available 3-8PM. If you are away or cannot get you share email the farm or call.

Kerry

Posted 6/1/2015 11:18am by Kerry Gawalt.

Wednesday June 10th

4-H dairy nutrition workshop at 3:30 given by Mike St. Onge on dairy cow nutrition.

Farm potluck dinner  at 6:30PM at the farm stand unless it is raining.



Posted 6/1/2015 10:52am by Kerry Gawalt.

Dear CSA members and Farm friends,                

                Water is always a topic of discussion on a farm. It has been very dry here since the snow melted. Finally 2 inches have fallen since Sunday afternoon. We grow 4 acres of vegetables, 50 acres of pasture and 37 in hay. Only the vegetables are irrigated from a well. The hay fields and pastures just have rain water. We average about 35” of rain per year. Most vegetables want an inch of rain per week. That means 25,974 gallons of water per acre per week. When it does not rain we use water from our drilled well. It can pump 7,200 gallons a day. It will take 3.6 days to water an acre. Many of our crops are in the ground for 10 weeks-corn, beans, carrots, etc. This means it takes 8 gallons of water to grow an ear of corn, or a pound of carrots or beans. Lettuce is a quick growing crop, taking about 9 gallons per head. Onions grow for over 100 days and require 22 gallons of water per pound of onion. Garlic takes 11 gallons per bulb.                 The cows want a lot of water too. A calf drinks about 1-2 gallons a day while a milking cow will drink 40-60 gallons of day depending on temperature, breed of cow and stage of lactation. The pastures and hay fields in an average year receive over 50 million gallons of water. They yield over ½ million pounds of forage.

A few beet recipes from the Food Network:

Beet Salad

Ingredients

3 medium beets

2 cloves garlic, peeled

1 sprig rosemary

3 tablespoons olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups canned chickpeas, drained

1/2 red onion, sliced

1/2 cup roughly chopped dill pickles

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Set the beets, garlic and rosemary on a large piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, sprinkle with some salt and pepper and add a splash of water. Fold the foil up into a pouch and seal the edges. Transfer to the oven and cook until the beets are easily pierced with a knife, 45 to 50 minutes. When done, remove the beets from the pouch and set them aside until cool enough to handle. With a paper towel rub the skins from the beets. Cut the peeled beets into bite-size cubes. Mince the roasted garlic. Combine the beets, garlic, chickpeas, red onion, pickles and lemon juice in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and toss to mix. Transfer the salad to a serving platter. Sprinkle with the feta and cilantro and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Guy Fieri

Beef and Beet Ragu by Rachael Ray

Ingredients

2 pounds beef chuck, 1 1/2- to 2-inch cubes

Salt and pepper

2 to 3 tablespoons EVOO

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 large bay leaf

1 small carrot, finely chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 tablespoons tomato paste

3 cups beef stock, plus more to reheat

5 to 6 medium beets

Olive oil cooking spray

1 pound pappardelle pasta

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, 

Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Directions

Bring the meat to room temperature, then pat dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat the EVOO in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the meat in batches until well caramelized and brown, then remove to a plate and reserve. To the pan, add the garlic, bay leaf, carrots and onions. Reduce the heat and cook, partially covered, 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, 1 minute, then add the stock and set the beef back into the juices. Cover and reduce the heat to low, cooking until very tender, stirring occasionally and adding a little water if pan gets a little dry, 2 to 2 hours 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Trim up the beets so they sit upright, but keep the skins on, and spray with olive oil. Season the beets with salt and pepper, wrap in aluminum foil and roast until tender 40 to 45 minutes. Cool the beets and peel with paper towels, then dice. Break up the meat with forks into pieces, then add the beets to the sauce and combine. Cool and store for a make-ahead meal. Reheat over medium heat and add a little stock if necessary to loosen. Cook the pappardelle in salted boiling water to al dente, drain and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Toss the pasta with the starchy cooking water and half of the ragu. Top shallow bowls of pasta with more ragu. Pass the cheese at the table and garnish with parsley.

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray  



Posted 6/1/2015 9:21am by Kerry Gawalt.

 

Dear CSA members,

The Summer CSA pick-ups at the farm and at the UV Coop start on Wednesday June 10th.  Farm site shares are ready from 12-9PM and the UV Coop shares are available 3-8PM. If you are away or cannot get you share email the farm or call.

Kerry

Posted 5/27/2015 3:04pm by Kerry Gawalt.

Dear CSA members and Farm friends, It has been a rollercoaster week of weather on the farm. First it was in the 50’s washing produce last Wednesday, a hard frost on Saturday morning and 89 on Tuesday and Wednesday. All we need now is a good, soaking rain to ease the drought. On Thursday the plumbers came and pulled up our pump from one of our ag. wells. It lives 450 feet down the shaft. The plumbers used a mechanical puller to get the pump to the surface. It pump was 10 years old and worn out. About a third of the cost of a new pump is just getting the thing in and out of the well shaft. We figure the total cost is about $2000. Now the water is able to cover 50% more ground than before the replacement. When it does not rain we have to irrigate 24 hours a day. Our market garden soils are very well drained. Our pastures and hayfields are a mix of soils varying from gravel to clay based. They all need rain to boost the forage yields and to keep the herd in feed. The upside to hot, dry weather is that the weeds grow slowly in the garden. We have been planting corn, beans, leeks, lettuce and more greenhouse tomatoes this week. The horses can cultivate in closely to the baby plants. We then go through with narrow hoes and get the close-up work done by hand. On the cow side we had a herd health visit from the vet. She was here to do required public health testing-TB and Brucellosis. Even though Vermont is free of both diseases we are required test. This helps keep the state and region disease free. She also tests out heifers for Leukosis, a blood born disease. We are a Leukosis free herd and need to stay so to keep our cows, heifers and AI hopeful bulls healthy and saleable. Our vet checked heifers and cows for positive pregnancy using an ultrasound. Everyone is pregnant that she checked. A big question we get each year is “how do I keep my vegetables fresh”. Harvesting and storing home garden vegetables By Cindy Tong, Extension post-harvest horticulturist What are the best conditions to store your homegrown vegetables? This fact sheet provides some information that will help you make decisions on harvesting and storing your vegetables. When harvesting vegetables, be careful not to break, nick, or bruise them. The less vegetables are handled, the longer they will last in storage. Harvest only vegetables of high quality. Rotting produce cannot be stored for very long, and could spread disease to other stored vegetables. Different vegetables need different storage conditions. Temperature and humidity are the main storage factors to consider; there are three combinations for long-term storage: cool and dry (50-60°F and 60% relative humidity),cold and dry (32-40°F and 65% relative humidity), and cold and moist (32-40°F and 95% relative humidity). For cold conditions, 32°F is the optimal temperature, but it isn't easy to attain in most homes. Expect shortened shelf-lives for your vegetables as storage conditions deviate from the optimal, as much as 25% for every 10°F increase in temperature. Some vegetables, such as cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes, require cool (55°F) and moist storage. These conditions are difficult to maintain in a typical home, so expect to keep vegetables requiring cool and moist storage conditions for only a short period of time. Where can the different storage conditions be found in a typical home? Basements are generally cool and dry. If storing vegetables in basements, provide your vegetables with some ventilation. Harvested vegetables are not dead, but still "breathe" and require oxygen to maintain their high quality. Also, be sure they are protected from rodents. Home refrigerators are generally cold and dry (40°F and 50-60% relative humidity). This is fine for long-term storage of garlic and onions, but not much else. Putting vegetables in perforated plastic bags in the refrigerator will provide cold and moist conditions, but only for a moderate amount of time. Unperforated plastic bags often create too humid conditions that lead to condensation and growth of mold or bacteria. Root cellars provide cold and moist conditions. As with basements, provide ventilation and protection from rodents when storing vegetables in cellars. Materials such as straw, hay, or wood shavings can be used as an insulation. If using such insulation, make sure that it is clean and not contaminated with pesticides.

Specific harvest and storage information for some commonly-grown vegetables. Expected shelf-life times are only estimates.

Vegetable When to Harvest How to Store Expected Shelf-life Comments

basil when leaves are still tender at room temperature 5 days keep stems in water; will discolor if kept in refrigerator for 10 days

beans, snap about 2-3 weeks after bloom when seeds still immature cold and moist 1 week develop pitting if stored below 40°

beets when 1.25-3 inches in diameter cold and moist 5 months store without tops broccoli while flower buds still tight and green cold and moist 2 weeks -

brussels sprouts when heads 1 inch in diameter cold and moist 1 month - cabbage when heads compact and firm cold and moist 5 months -

carrots when tops 1 inch in diameter cold and moist 8 months store without tops cauliflower while heads still white, before curds "ricey" cold and moist 3 weeks - corn, sweet when silks dry and brown, kernels should be milky when cut with a thumbnail cold and moist 5 days -

cucumbers for slicing, when 6 inches long cool spot in kitchen 55°F in perforated plastic bags; storage in refrigerator for a few days okay 1 week develops pitting and water-soaked areas if chilled below 40°F; do not store with apples or tomatoes

eggplant before color dulls like cucumbers 1 week develops pitting, bronzing, pulp browning if stored for long period below 50°F

lettuce while leaves are tender cold and moist 1 week -

muskmelons (cantaloupe) when fruits slip off vine easily, while netting even, fruit firm cold and moist 1 week develops pitting surface decay with slight freezing

onions when necks are tight, scales dry cold and dry 4 months cure at room temperature 2-4 weeks before storage, do not freeze

peas when pods still tender cold and moist 1 week -

peppers when fruits reach desired size or color like cucumbers 2 weeks develops pitting below 45°F

potatoes when vine dies back cold and moist; keep away from light 6 months cure at 50-60°F or 14 days before storage, will sweeten below 38°F

pumpkins when shells harden, before frost cool and dry 2 months very sensitive to temperatures below 45°F

radishes when roots up to 1.25 inches in diameter cold and moist 1 month store without tops

rutabagas when roots reach desired size cold and moist 4 months do not wax spinach while leaves still tender cold and moist 10 days -

squash, summer when fruit 4-6 inches long like cucumbers 1 week do not store in refrigerator for more than 4 days

squash, winter when shells hard, before frost cool and dry 2-6 months, depending on variety curing unnecessary; do not cure Table Queen

tomatoes, red when color uniformly pink or red like cucumbers 5 days loses color, firmness and flavor if stored below 40°F; do not refrigerate!

turnips when roots reach desired size, possibly after light frost cold and moist 4 months can be waxed  



Posted 5/20/2015 5:37pm by Kerry Gawalt.

May 21,2015 Dear CSA members and farm friends, It’s been very busy on the farm the last few weeks. The newsletter is back with two great recipes starring Cabbage. We have planted 12,000 red and yellow onions with a flash mob planting crew finally on a Sunday afternoon. Our 3rd grade students from the Upper Valley Waldorf School helped plant 650 pounds of potatoes. Our helper Ellie carefully recorded where each type was planted. We have direct seeded in the fields-shell, snap and snow peas, carrots, beets, spinach, mesclun, radishes and turnips. We have transplanted broccoli, cauliflower, kale, celeriac, leeks, lettuce, scallions, Brussels Sprouts and parsley. The greenhouse tomatoes have moved into the high tunnel. We have been harvesting lettuce, mesclun, spinach, cilantro, and chives for the shares. It has been very dry in April and May. We are watering from 2 wells to cover the garden. One well pump is failing and has to be pulled 450 feet out of the ground this week. The pastures still have moisture in them. Our cows have water from a gravity fed spring built by neighbor Matt Dow. This allows the cows to have water near each paddock. The dairy cows, bred heifers and steers had their first day out on pasture on May 6th. They spent a week going out by day and staying in at night. This allows their rumens to adjust to eating fresh forage. Each type of grass has its own set of bacteria to help digest it. The cows are out day and night now. They no longer want to eat hay at the barn during milking. The whole group comes in twice a day, they get their grain and the cows get milked. We move the fence every afternoon so the herd gets a new paddock of grass in the evening. We have to make a paddock big enough for the herd to get 1500lbs of dry matter or 2600lbs of grass every day. Our younger animals stay in the barn until the heifers are pregnant and the steers are about 1 year old. We received another Outstanding Quality Milk Award from Dairy One Coop. It’s great to have a hard working farm team and cows to make this milk.

Adapted from Well Plated by Erin Healthy Asian Ramen Salad

A healthy version of the classic crunchy Asian Ramen Salad that everyone loves, made with real ingredients.

Yield: Serves 6

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients: For the Salad

2, 3-ounce package of ramen noodles

2/3 cup sliced almonds

½ cup peanuts

½ cashews

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 cabbage, thinly sliced

1 1/2 cups shelled frozen edamame, thawed

1 cup shredded carrots

4 scallions or chives, thinly sliced (both white and green parts)

1 orange cut into segments

1 bunch cilantro

For the Dressing

1/4 cup rice vinegar

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions: Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Crumble the ramen noodles onto a baking sheet, then spread them in a single layer, along with the nuts. Bake for 5 minutes, remove from the oven, add the sesame seeds and toss, then bake for 1 to 3 additional minutes until fragrant and golden. Watch closely so that the mixture does not burn. Set aside.In a small bowl, briskly stir together all of the dressing ingredients: rice vinegar, olive oil soy sauce, salt, and pepper. (Alternatively, you can shake them together in a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid.)In a serving bowl, toss together the thinly sliced cabbage, edamame, cilantro and scallions, drizzle the dressing over the top, then toss again to combine. Sprinkle the oranges over the top, then refrigerate until ready to serve. Leftover Asian Ramen Salad will last in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Sesame Ginger Sautéed Cabbage & Carrots

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Serving Size: Serves 4

Healthy, vibrant sautéed vegetables loaded with the flavor of ginger and sesame. This simple side comes together in less than 20 minutes and can be adapted to any vegetables you have on hand.

Ingredients

2 inch piece ginger root - minced

2 garlic cloves – minced

6 cups shredded cabbage

2 cups shredded carrots

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons soy sauce – low sodium

4 scallions – thinly sliced (tops and bottoms)

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil black

roasted sesame seeds and chopped cilantro – optional garnish

Directions

Heat a deep skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Add ginger, garlic and cook for 30 seconds to release flavors. Add shredded cabbage, carrots and salt to the pan. Saute until slightly wilted, 7-9 minutes. Add the rice vinegar, soy sauce, scallions, and sesame oil. Saute 1 additional minute. Serve warm, garnished with sesame seeds and cilantro.  



Posted 5/12/2015 3:32am by Kerry Gawalt.

 

Dear CSA members and farm friends,

Reminder: We are hosting the first Wednesday May 13th farm tour and potluck dinner of the season. Join us at the farm at 6PM for a farm tour followed by dinner at 6:30 in the common house. RSVP,

Kerry for the farm crew.

Posted 5/5/2015 9:32am by Kerry Gawalt.

 

Dear CSA members,

The Winter CSA season is over. Thank you for supporting the farm. Our farm stand is open daily and fresh vegetables are available every Wednesday afternoon.

Kerry

Posted 4/29/2015 2:14pm by Kerry Gawalt.

   This is not a drill, there are real, live, green things coming out of the ground, people! Not only in flats in the propagation tunnel, but also in the big high tunnel (different in that the high tunnel is unheated, more on this later), but even more exciting than this is the garlic sprouting in the field. That's outside. In the actual ground! It is such a big relief to see life reemerging from the earth, reassurance that the world has not resigned itself to being a frozen wasteland for the rest of time. Stephen has begun doing fieldwork with the horses, and we are all terribly excited to get planting. The spectrum of growing here at the farm is essentially a three class system. We have, as previously mentioned, the propagation tunnel, the high tunnels, and the field to grow things in. Here's how we use each growing space: The propagation house is a 12 by 50 foot space encapsulated by a double, walled, inflated structure. The inflation serves to insulate the space and retain heat. We heat the house with a propane heater. When we only have a small number of things started, we section off the heated end of the tunnel with spare greenhouse plastic to conserve energy. As the greenhouse fills, we remove the plastic divider and set up fans for air circulation. Good air flow discourages disease, and helps strengthen the growing seedlings. We water by hand two to three times daily and carefully monitor the temperature in the house. Seedlings that get too hot or too cold do not grow well and can even die. If there is enough solar gain, we can shut off the heater, and even open the door and roll up the greenhouse walls to regulate the temperature. Once plants are ready to be transplanted, they move out of the house to harden off in the high tunnel. We have two structures called high tunnels, which is a term used to describe an unheated greenhouse. Ours are modestly sized, one about 100' and the smaller less than half of that, though some can be much, much longer and taller. We use ours mostly for season extension and to provide a more beneficial habitat for heat-loving crops. We've seeded cold-weather greens already like spinach, arugula and lettuce mix, and already they are sprouting. We've also transplanted lettuce and cilantro. We will transplant greenhouse tomatoes later in the season as well. The high tunnel provides just enough protection (8-10 degrees) and generates just enough solar heat to lengthen the growing season by a good few weeks. This can mean having fresh greens well over a month before they would be ready outside. We will start planting onions and potatoes as soon as the weather warms a bit more. Planting things in the field requires more patience and caution than the greenhouses. A cold night can really damage plants in the field, so we have to make sure that the temperatures are warm enough for the transplants or seeds to survive. We will direct seed some crops, like the potatoes (a whole potato serves as the “seed”), while others will be transplanted. The onions were started months ago, one of the first things to get going in the heated propagation tunnel, and now they are almost ready for their outdoor home. Other crops will follow, lettuces, broccoli, cabbage, other greens, scallions will go out first. Then, when the weather is truly warm, all the more tender plants will go out, the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. So there's a bit about the ways and places that we grow the food that sustains us. As always, we welcome questions so ask away!

**Events** Monthly potluck will be held on Wednesday, May 13th at 6:30. Please contact Kerry or Jada to let us know you're coming, and what you might like to bring.

 

**Recipes**

Yankee Dirty Rice

2 cups rice

1 cup lentils

1 red onion, chopped

3 medium sized carrots, cubed (could throw some turnip in, too if you've got one lying around)

1 lb our ground beef

2 links of our beef Andouille sausage cut into pieces

1 tsp dried oregano

¼ tsp dried thyme

a pinch of dried mustard

salt and pepper to taste

Mix the rice and lentils and get them cooking while you brown the ground beef and cook the vegetables until soft (I did this is separate pans, but feel free to streamline). Add the ground beef to the veggies, and toss in the Andouille. Add your spices and cook until fragrant. When the rice and lentils are done, add them to the other ingredients and go on your merry way. This could also be used leftover as stuffing. What's cooking? Send us your recipes: jhaas7@gmail.com, or fjordworks@yahoo.com. OR bring a print copy by the farm!