Saturday, April 25, 2015

CSA Newsletter for April 2015

Farm Update

We've been harvesting our own spinach already, which was
overwintered under plastic row cover in the coldframes.
Hello everyone!  We are really getting into the season now, with the first of our spring veggies up and ready to harvest!  We've been enjoying our own salad greens, spinach, and radishes at home over the last week, which is so nice after a long dark winter of store produce.  These days, Fred is pretty much working from early morning until he runs out of sunlight, getting things up and running for the main part of the season, although he was able to work at a more leisurely pace during the cold snap we had a few days ago.  CSA sign-ups have been really strong this year, so we only have a few more shares left before we sell out.  If you're interested in signing up this year and haven't done it yet, better let me know soon!  I expect we'll have shares left for the next two weeks or so, and after that we'll begin our waiting list.  In other exciting news, we'll be growing more than just fruits and veggies this year.  We are also expecting our third child in November!  That's pretty much perfect timing, because right now while I'm at the mercy of morning sickness and exhaustion, most of my work is computer-based, and therefore I can do it from the couch.  Then by the time the main season starts, my energy and my ability to keep food down should return, and the baby will be born conveniently after the harvest is (mostly) done for the year and the CSA season has ended.  So when you guys see me in June, I should be sporting the very beginnings of a bump.  We are really looking forward to the beginning of the season, and we can't wait to see everyone!

This Week in Pictures

I always enjoy when news sources offer up "This Week in Pictures" type articles, because you get a collection of poignant, quirky, thought-provoking photos that demonstrate some of the big and small things that humanity has been experiencing this week.  Our version will likely not be that poignant or thought-provoking, but nonetheless, it is a fun sampling of what we've been doing at the farm this week, told in pictures.  Enjoy!

Right:  Trever hand-plants onions and leeks.  Altogether, the guys put in over 10,000 onion, shallot, and leek plants, which should start to be ready for harvest toward the middle of June.

Left:  And for one of our quirky news items, Fred and the guys were startled by a humongous three-foot-long garter snake who was sunning himself in the greenhouse.  He seemed in no hurry to move, even with the guys working right next to him.  I guess he knows a comfortable spot when he sees one. :-)

Right: We're making modifications to our cooler/packing area for this season so that the packing process will flow more smoothly this summer.  On Thursday, Fred took out part of the wall of our indoor packing area so that we can slide bins of veggie from outside to inside easily along a new packing bench he's building.

Left:  Josh harvests some spinach in the coldframe on Thursday.  This particular spinach made its way to the East Lansing Food Co-Op, so if you bought our spinach at ELFCO over the last day or two, this is probably it!

Right:  Our flats of lettuce transplants are ready to plant in the field as soon as the soil is ready for them!  We seeded and raised them in the greenhouse, then we put them outside for a few days to acclimatize them to the outdoor air temperature before planting, and now they are ready to go into the field!

Left:  One of the first French Breakfast radishes emerges from the soil.  We've started harvesting them already, and we'll continue to have them for the next few months.  They'll be among the choices for the first week of the CSA!


I am beyond excited about the return of fresh local produce to Michigan after the long winter!  In honor of the spring's first harvestable veggies, here are some recipes for the stars of late April: salad greens, spinach, and radishes!

Avocado, Radish, and Snow Pea Sandwich: Try out this lovely (and easy!) recipe from Real Simple to celebrate the arrival of spring!  And add some spring mix for even more green goodness!

Quick and Easy Sauteed Spinach:  This is one of the many ways we do spinach at our house, and it's one of our go-to favorites for a fast and easy side dish!