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Farm News for Saturday, March 11, 2017

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First of all...

This is ROCK'N'ROLL MARATHON weekend in DC, meaning it may be difficult for some of you to get to our truck if you try when the roads are closed. Visit RunRocknRoll.com/community to see if you will be impacted.

Hello all,

[photo] These are a box of the 'blue' oyster mushrooms from Don, which we have more of this week. Obviously they're not really blue, but many of them have that tint to them.

On the farm ...

Somehow we manage to keep busy, rain, snow or shine. There's always something needing to be done. In some of those windstorms like you'all had some big trees came down over our lane by the creek. We were still able to get past, but I spent several hours yesterday with the chainsaw getting them cut up and moved up to next winter's woodpile for splitting.

Our first seed order arrived last week, and we got seeds started a day or two later. And the next morning some mice that had seemingly been dormant all winter had gone through just about every tray and eaten the seeds. So we started over again and covered the trays this time, which is working, but it makes it hard to water, and limits daylight once the plants are up.

And it got cold again. Remember last time we were down and it was in the 70s? It hit 78 here, and a week later we had a low of 11 degrees. Can't believe none of us have gotten colds!

What about all those changes we made ...
A number of you had positive comments about what we have done and said we were going to try to do. So we're keeping that up and trying to do more. Interestingly, our number of orders went DOWN last time! We didn't see that coming. But then when Chris did the math, it turns out we actually had higher total sales than any winter week in two years so that was good. Still puzzles us why we got fewer orders.

I fooled around a little last weekend trying to load and figure out Instagram, one of the possible vehicles to help you all (and us) interact around our CSA's produce and dishes you make with it. I didn't get very far the first time, but will try again. If any of you have a great idea about setting up the account, somehow linking it to our webpage, I'd be happy to hear from you.

Produce this week
Lots! Check it out.

This week's CSA produce line-up (new/back)

  • SHF "kits" or "packs:"
    • roasted carrots and potatoes,
    • parsnip and apple soup,
    • Banh Mi slaw,
    • sorrel and turnip soups, and the
    • roasted roots pack.
  • Greens: Arugula, beet greens, cabbage (2), lacinato kale, mustard greens mix, microgreens mix, peas & sunflower shoots, Swiss chard, stir fry mix, spinach & upland cress. Plus green bibb lettuce.
  • Veggies: Beans, dried (Tiger Eye), beets (2), carrots (3 with juicers), celeriac, garlic, horseradish, Jerusalem artichokes, onions (2), parsnips, dried Cayenne peppers, potatoes (2), winter radishes (2), rutabagas, shallots, sweet potatoes (3), and turnips.
  • Mushrooms: Blue oyster & whites
  • Herbs: Cilantro, garlic leaves, oregano, Italian parsley,sage & sorrel.
  • Tree fruit: 6 kinds of apples. Our variety pack, Cameo, Empire, Fuji, Gold Rush, Jonagold, Pink Lady, and seconds. Traceys, our usual fruit grower, is down to just Pink Lady, so Wednesday I'm headed "over the mountain" to the Gettysburg area to get the rest at one of the larger orchards we work with.
  • Poultry & Cheese: Frozen stewing hens & eggs; 11 cow cheeses and3 goat cheeses. And Trickling Springs Creamery butter, both cow and goat!
  • Preserves: A lot.
  • Apple cider: Yup. So far it's workin' for us.
  • Firewood: 40-lb. boxes of logs.

Lemons to lemonade (well, sort of ...)
I think I've already whined a bit about how last year's garlic crop isn't holding up for us very well. And I said we'd planted thousands of cloves to have green garlic early in the season for you. Well, it's starting, but in a smaller way. We decided to start cutting off some of the tops for use as an herb, like garlic-chives. I've been using them on my omelettes and it's great. Not too strong. The more the sun shines the quicker our supply of them will grow.

[Photo] Here's what the new plants look like coming out of the cloves we planted about two months ago. So far I'm going to trim them off higher, so that they may start over again, as long as I leave the roots. We'll see!

Should I leave the eggs from Star Hollow Farm sit out on the counter, like they do in some cultures?

[Photo] Long-time CSA member Sean sent me a link to an interesting article in the NY Times several weeks ago, attempting to answer that question.

And my answer to the question, in the case of eggs from us, is that you should refrigerate them. Some days when we gather eggs most are very clean. Other days, after a rain, they're a mess. So some get wiped clean and some don't. Then they all go into our cooler. Since you don't know if they were wiped off or not, and they've already been cooled, you should keep them in the 'fridge. Now ya know! Ask more at the truck or check out the article. It's well done.

Hoping to see you Saturday,
Randy, Chris & Sam
at Star Hollow Farm

PS. Chris and I will be away all next week, and not likely to answer emails. We are flying out to see our son Jack in Flagstaff, Arizona, by way of Santa Fe, Durango and Monument Valley. We're totally psyched! Pictures next time...


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