Hi everyone. Its time to catch you all up with what’s going on at the farm!
Greenhouse is up and running!
The microgreen project has gone so well since we started, that we built a greenhouse to further our progress and help facilitate sustained success in this endeavor. Another unexpected benefit that we have realized since using the greenhouse is that we have been able to root and grow starts of our regular crops with better success than ever before. As you all know, we are working with less square footage since we left the ranch. We have found that starting our regular crops in the greenhouse has quickened our ability to get our regular crops to maturity without taking up precious “ground space”. We are finding that we can grow crops almost halfway, before actually having to put them in the ground. This reality has proven to be somewhat of a game changer!
As for the microgreens, we have learned a lot. I expect that I will continue to learn a lot. So far, we seem to have been able to perfect our ability to grow the radish sprouts with continued success. If you remember, since the beginning, it has been our intention to gain proficiency in growing a combo of three stable microgreen crops. We tried sunflower sprouts. But we have still not been able to get good results. We are still trying…. Because they are so yummy. Brassica and beets have been hit and miss. I feel that I am not germinating these properly. I think my seed density is wrong. I’m sure of it. The sweet peas have done well. But pea seeds are so damn expensive that they are not going to be able to be in the top three for now. So far, red amaranth has proven the second best performer. You will all see amaranth in the mix in a couple weeks. We will surely keep you updated. I’ll be going to a workshop on growing microgreens in two weeks. I have a list of questions for the facilitator. And I look forward to gaining more knowledge on the subject. Stay tuned!
I wanted to to talk about a few of the crops that are in the box right now….
Watermelon radish are more like a turnip than a radish. They can be eaten raw or cooked in the oven like a turnip. There are many pickled watermelon radish recipes on the internet if you feel so inclined as to use your google finger on the subject. They can be grated over a greens salad too. I want to make sure that you know that their greens are equivalent to turnip greens. Here’s a fun and decadent way to prepare your greens for eating. https://southernbite.com/turnip-green-dip/
Microgreens can be eaten alone like a salad. They can be mixed with your salad mix in the share this week. There are many more other ways to enjoy them here…http://blog.blueapron.com/how-to-enjoy-sprouts-and-microgreens/
Despite the cold weather, most of our girls continue to lay. We are happy to be able to put a hand-full of eggs in each share, as well as offer a dozen to any member who chooses to add them to their weekly allotment. We just added 5 new girls to the flock, a neighbor had to move on short notice. They asked us to take these girls on. Being the chicken magnets we are, we had to say yes! We are now managing 26 birds.
2 Auracana. 2 Leghorn and one Buff Orpington. All have settled in and are happy living in their new home with the rest of the girls….and Joe.
Remember the two poor girls we rescued 5 months ago? Well, here’s a happy update.
Above are 5 month old pictures of Seagull and the white one that we lovingly call Pigpen. Notice the horrible spots of missing feathers and exposed chapped skin.
Here they are today!!
2 of the most elegant and beautiful girls we’ve ever seen….Heart thump! Heart thump! Talk about a Cinderella story! They are currently living in their own private apartment since leaving their abusive situation. In spring, it our intention to introduce them to the main flock. One step at a time.
Say hello again, to Polly and Carter!
These two feral rescues couldn’t be more different. But they are best buddies. Nothing can separate them. Polly has turned out to be the master mouser. Carter likes to hang around the garage, waiting for his daily, dry food portion. Although, he is quite the lizard killer, for what it is worth?!
The fields are looking great. Especially for Mid January. The unusual warm weather has been very kind. We have not had to bring out the cloth “crop protection” once this season. We have been adding one 33′ by 33″ row every couple weeks. That’s 200 square foot of growing space every month! This might not seem like much square footage to a giant farm. But it’s quite progressive for our small CSA. Especially since we always make sure to grow as biointensively as possible.
I want to say something that I say every few months. Mainly, I say this for the new members. But also, in case you need to be reminded. We grow our food starting with the best quality organic, non GMO seeds. We amend our soil with more quality ingredients, love and intention than any farm around. We use crystal clear, deep well water to nourish our crops. We always make sure to wait until the last minute to pick our produce before dropping off shares at the pick up locations. Most of our members supplement their weekly shares with food they buy at the grocery store. Just remember, this food is your weekly energy kit. Its more than just food. Its a bundle of flavor, nutrition, vitality and life that you cannot find anywhere else. Make sure to add even just a little of the produce from your weekly CSA share to all your daily meals. This way, you can add energy to your life each time you sit down to eat! Most importantly, remember, you are not eating alone. There is a group of diverse San Diegans from all over the city who are partaking in the same special food as you are. We are so happy that you have chosen to be a part of our little food speakeasy. Our group may be relatively small. But our impact is great. We are honored to be growing for you, “us”. As always.
Here’s what we are eating this week….
Salad mix with multi color lettuce, arugula and Bloomsdale spinach
Bag of microgreens
Farm fresh eggs
Watermelon radish bunch
Baby carrot bunch
A few edible calendula flower heads so that you can add bling or “sparkle” to any dish you choose.