Friday, November 7, 2014

The Last Week!

It's the last regular pick up week for the Farm. Be sure to come this week on Friday 9a-6p or Saturday 9a-3p. Laura may be there, or Stephanie, or Robin. Laura was out today, but Stephanie was working hard.

I didn't make a list of all the items available. You will surely find something you like which is fresh from the field! Don't forget to stock up on vendor items as well.

Robin asked me to pass along a sincere thanks from the Taliaferros for all the support from you wonderful members. She reminds me that they cannot do it without you!

When you come to the farm stand this week you might notice that the tarp awning is missing. Apparently it blew away last week with the high winds. It looks a like the stand is closed without the awning, but it isn't closed just yet.
missing tarp
Not closed. Just missing the tarp.

Two more announcements:

  • Turkey Signups: If you wish to purchase a turkey in time for Thanksgiving, the deadline is Friday November 8th.
  • Next Season: It is time to sign up for next season. If you sign up by Nov 15th and pay the deposit, you can come back on Tuesday Nov 25th and pick up a bonus Thanksgiving share. I have always been so happy to get that extra fresh organic produce in time to cook for the big meal.
Now I will leave you with some fun photos I took today. The first set is of Ian lubricating a John Deere 7410 tractor. He borrowed it from Paul Colucci of Full Moon Farms.

Ian lubricating tractor

You can see the cutting blades better now.
I commented to Ian about the size of this tractor. He laughed and told me that it's actually not that big as far as tractors go. It's hard for me to to believe because it seems so much larger than other tractors around the farm.
John Deere 7410 tractor
John Deere 7410
 You can see the size of the tractor in more perspective now as Ian stands next to the front tire!
Pete told me that Ian is using the tractor to prepare the land down by the river for new apple trees. If you've been a member for a while you may recall that the farm used to have it's own apple orchard, but the trees outlived their useful lives and Pete removed them. For the last few seasons Pete has been able to rent orchard space in local small orchards. However, this is not very practical because organic apples require a lot of maintenance to keep the pests at bay. 

Since pesticides and systemic chemicals are not used, it is difficult to keep the apple trees at their peak. Normally, non-toxic surface coatings such a kaolin clay are applied to discourage pests. The disadvantage of this is that these surface coatings have to be re-applied often. When the orchards are far away, Pete has to use a lot of fuel and time to transport people and equipment to the orchards to apply the coatings. Let's not mention how difficult and dangerous it is for everyone when slow-moving farm equipment is on the same road as speedy cars. This season the crop was so small that it was not cost-effective to keep up the treatments and the decision was made to let the crop go. Consequently there is no apple harvest this year at the Taliaferros. 

Pete is a motivated farmer and is thinking of re-planting an orchard on his own local property. So we hope that there will be an apple crop if the new trees are planted and mature. It could be a while since apple trees take some nurturing before they give apples. I do not know if Pete plans to rent more orchard space while his trees are maturing. I guess this is a question to ask Pete next season.


The farm has acquired two new puppies. Monty and Huxley are brothers.
Huxley and Monty
Huxley (left) and Monty (right)

Monty (left) and Huxley (right)
Monty is the blonde/brown one and Huxley has the blacker fur markings. They both have the interesting blue eyes. They are already being trained to chase deer...and play with people. I'm sure we'll have fun with them next season too.

It's been a great season! 

Every member has been appreciated by the Taliaferros -- the family that farms. Come back next season! And don't forget to sign up in time to get this year's Thanksgiving share. 

Bock Bock! Eat more Turkey.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Looking to the Future!

(Hrs: Th 8a-7p, Fri 9a-6p, Sat 9a-3p)
All we need is Love. Heart Shaped Potato.

Last Pickup is Saturday November 8th

It's true: this season is coming to an end. I'm so sad as I think about missing the fresh greens, beautiful colorful beets, peppers, salad, tomatoes and so many other things I've enjoyed this year.

So, to make myself feel better, I remember to sign up for next season!

Sign up for the 2015 Season Now and receive a bag of Thanksgiving goodies on Tuesday 11/25/2014. Act quickly and sign up by November 14th (or 15th -- I'm not sure of the exact date now, so we'll say the 14th) and also pay in full (half shares) or a deposit (full shares) or membership and deposit (card members) in order to get this Thanksgiving share.

I've been a member for several years and I've gotten the Thanksgiving share every year. I've never been disappointed! My friends marvel at the beautiful fresh organic fare that I show off before I cook. If you wait until Spring, you miss out on this free Thanksgiving share and will not receive the extra item (half-item) each week. Plus, waiting makes it very difficult for Pete to plan.

Speaking of Thanksgiving...let's talk about Turkeys.
wild turkeys
Attempted to get a photo of turkeys in my yard!

I was entranced by the gang of a half-dozen turkeys that made their way through my yard two days ago. (I don't advocate eating those particular turkeys though.) The deadline to sign up for an Old Ford Farm full-flavor, pasture-raised, medicine-free, GMO-free, and hormone-free turkey is Saturday November 8th. The price is $6/lb. and you can request a size that will feed your brood.


Eat all parts of these radishes
Radishes -- you can eat all parts

Even though it's getting cold outside, there were some amazingly beautiful produce items at the Farm Stand. Here's what I saw today:
  • Squash: Spaghetti, Sugar Pumpkins, and Butternut Squash
  • Radishes
  • Peppers: Green, Poblano, Jalapeno, Cayenne
  • Cranberry Beans
  • Eggplant
  • Leeks
  • Beets (a non-bleeding type...can't wait to try them)
  • Celery Root
  • Salad: Arugula, Asian Salad Mix
  • Greens: Summer Spinach, Broccoli Raab, Pac Choi, Tender Greens, Lacinato Kale
  • Onions & Garlic
  • Potatoes: Butter Ball, Sweet 

Vendor Items

Please check out the many items in the refrigerator and freezer cases. There is cheese, milk, goat cheese, yougurt, pickles, mushroomsmeats, and incredible fudge brownies. There is even some honey still available and applesauce from last season's apples.
Laura with mushrooms
Laura with Mushrooms

If you like to bake, check out the Wild Hive Farm local grains:
  • Multi Grain Flour
  • Soft White Pastry Flour
  • All Purpose Flour
  • Whole Wheat All Purpose Flour
  • Whole Grain Rye Flour (I've never even seen this before!)
  • Stone Ground Corn Flour
  • Hard Wheat Berries (yes, actual complete wheat grain)
  • Scottish Oats

Laura & Ruby and many other Workers make it happen!

I leave you today with the reminder to sign up for next year. We'll miss you if you don't. And you'll miss the great food that Pete and all the farm helpers grow.

Here are some of the workers deep in the midst of clearing the spent tomato plants and readying the field for the winter:
The work never stops
Preparing the fields for next year

Here's Ruby having fun hanging out!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Summer? Where have you gone?

(Hours: Th 8a-7p, Fri 9a-6p, Sat 9a-3p)

Sign Up for Next Spring

I know it's hard to believe that it is time to start thinking of next Spring. When I first got involved with the farm, it was a surprise to learn that I needed to sign up now in order to receive a share for the Spring. The deadline is November 15th. You can sign up late if there are memberships left, but it really helps the Taliaferro's plan for the Spring planting by knowing how many Community Supported Agriculture members they can expect. Plus, by signing up by November 15th you'll receive a Thanksgiving Share this year. And when the season starts in the spring of 2015 you'll be an Early Bird member eligible for extra produce items during the season.

Rain, snow, and cold do not stop the workings of the farm. Winter is the time when money and daylight both become short. Having deposits from committed members allow Pete and Robin to order supplies that they will need to begin seedlings, prepare the land, repair equipment, and continue to pay workers who perform hours of labor in all kinds of weather to prepare the soil and equipment for next season.
Pete and dog in the rain
Rain doesn't stop the work
When the farm stand closes for the season Pete does not take off on vacation to Florida! It takes a lot of preparation and planning to get things ready to start growing again. There's work that must be done many months before anything is ever placed in the wonderful blue bins at the farm stand.

Your membership helps everything work smoothly. So, please renew your membership now for next season. If your friend has enjoyed the extra produce you've gifted them, or you know someone new to the area, let them know that now is the right time to sign up. I look forward to seeing you at next year's spring picnic!

New Items

Even though it's been rainy and cool there were several new items at the farm stand today! I was very excited to see Cranberry Beans!
Cranberry Beans

I'm a huge bean fan so I can't wait to shell and cook these. As far as I know, you cannot eat the beans without shelling them. You'll need to remove the beans from the pod and then cook them. The shells should be discarded. You can also dry these beans for later. You can actually let them dry right in the shell. Many days (weeks?) from now, when they are completely dry, you can easily remove them from the shells and store them. I usually put my beans into the freezer for 72 hours before I store them just to be sure any strange living things (such as bacteria or bean viruses) are killed. However, I don't actually know if this is required! They'll probably be fine even if you skip this step.

Here is the full list of items I saw today:
  • Peppers -- Poblano, Red Bell, Jalapeno, and Cayenne
  • Salad/Greens -- Asian Salad Mix, Arugula
  • Greens -- Tender Greens, Summer Spinach, Brocolli Raab, Lacinato Kale
  • Squash -- Spaghetti, Butternut, Acorn
  • Potatoes -- Butter Ball, Sweet Potatoes
  • Leeks and Garlic
  • Cranberry Beans
  • Beets -- Red Beets & Golden Beets
  • Celery Root

Beautiful Golden Beets
Beautiful Golden Beets
The lowly Celery Root. You may think it looks like a crazy piece of ... dirty ... indescribable ... food, ehrrr, something?? Well, don't let the outside deceive you. You firmly cut away the outside skin and you'll be left with a wonderful white flesh.
Celery Root
This flesh smells of celery and can be cut into chunks for soup. I believe it would probably taste very good mixed into mashed potatoes or mashed turnips. I think it would also be awesome cut into slices or bite sized pieces, sauteed until tender and served with butter.

I never tried it before I became a farm member --- nay, I don't think I had ever even seen such a root before, but now it's something I look forward to every year. I definitely recommend it.
Spaghetti Squash
Don't forget the Spaghetti Squash

People at the Farm

Laura is under the weather today but Stephanie is at your service this week.
Stephanie at your service
That's all for now. See you next week. Don't forget to fill out the renewal paperwork this week. There are paper copies of the sign up sheet at the farm stand or you can sign up online.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Generous Greens

(Hours: Th 8-7, F 9-6, S 9-3)

Hi! We've got rain! Now, of course, it's not exactly the ideal time. Pete tells me that most of the fall crops don't need any more moisture. In the warmth of the summer, when moisture evaporates, crops do need moisture, but the fall crops can get what they need from the air and soil already.

Now don't get me wrong -- we do need the water for other reasons. In terms of ground water and the water table, we are still in low or drought conditions. So the water is a blessing for that purpose.

The other thing you may have noticed at the farm stand are flies. Perhaps it's indelicate to even mention them, but I'm not one to beat around the bush -- there are a lot of flies buzzing around the farm stand. Laura was doing her best to kill some of them today. She has also used some essential oils to repel them. However, the farm animals on the lands nearby, combined with the warm humid weather, has made it a nice day for flies. They will meet their doom soon enough!

Today at the farm stand there many options for greens lovers, such as myself.

Beautiful Tender Greens
Tender Greens

Awesome large red Swiss Chard

Lovely Broccoli Raab
Broccoli Raab
New this week:
  • Tender Greens (a mild mustard-type green that you can cook or even try in a salad)
  • Broccoli Raab
  • Butter Ball Potatoes
  • Acorn Squash
Pretty Acorn Squash
Acorn Squash
Items I saw today:
  • Beets
  • Green Cabbage
  • Garlic
  • Potatoes -- butter ball & sweet potatoes
  • Greens --Tender Greens, Red Russian Kale, Spinach, Red Chard, Broccoli Raab 
  • Peppers -- Poblano, Red bell, Yellow bell, cayenne, jalapeno
  • Winter Squash -- Acorn squash, Butternut squash, Spaghetti squash
  • Mtn Fresh Tomatoes
  • Japanese Eggplant
  • Asian Salad Mix 
  • Arugula aka 'Rocket'
  • 2nd of various items such as tomatoes and beets (Borscht time anyone?)
There were some Leeks while I was there, then the leeks ran out. But Laura believes that more were on the way -- they are being diligently harvested and they'll be as fresh as fresh can get.

Sign up for 2015 Season

It's that time again -- if you've enjoyed having this super-fresh organic produce each week, if you've enjoyed being part of the farming community, if you've enjoyed picking bouquets of flowers and herbs, sign up for next year! You'll be so glad you did. If you have a friend you think would enjoy the farm, point them in our direction so they can sign up now and become an Early Bird signup.

The sign-up sheets are now available at the farm stand. Or, you can grab one off the main website. If you want to know more about how membership works, you can ask Robin or Laura at the farm stand.

Laura hard at work
Laura hard at work

Thursday, October 9, 2014

It's Fall!

I had some computer problems after getting back from my trip last week so I wasn't able to make an updated post. I think I've fixed things now.

There are so many things to talk about. First, a photo from last week showing how dry the farm was.
dry greens
Very dry greens -- waiting for water.
Pete had to do some serious irrigating to help keep things growing:

more irrigation
Water irrigation pump
Water irrigation pump
water pump line
The pump is attached to this siphon line. See how low the river is?

Pete was working hard --
Pete Taliaferro

but it seems that even the Wallkill River is dry. The photos above are of the irrigation rig that Pete created; it's sitting on the far west side of the farm. You can see the state of the Wallkill River last week before we got the little bit of rain this week.
Dry Wallkill River
Now, it seems that things have improved because we got a bit of rain, but I'm guessing that we could use a bit more.

Now onto the food...


The first notable thing is that there were not any green beans when I was there today. Maybe they are finished? However, the farm has some beautiful poblano peppers (aka ancho chile). I am hoping to stuff some this weekend. Laura tells me that if you want to stuff them it can help to blanch them first so that they will be pliable and easier to stuff. She also tells me that the red ones are hotter.
Poblano Peppers (aka ancho chiles)

Other than the absence of green beans, I think all the offerings were the same as last week. There is the addition of red chard this week. Even though it is definitely feeling like Fall, the food still looks wonderful and tastes just as good.
Asian Salad Mix
Asian Salad Mix

Butternut and Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti Squash & Butternut Squash

New Vendor Items

While I was at the farm this morning Laura was stocking a brand new shipment of Wild Hive Farm Beans and Grains.
Wild Hive Farms grains and beans

There are many options to choose from, such as:
  • Flours:
    • Whole Grain Rye
    • Multi-Grain
    • All Purpose
    • Whole Wheat All Purpose
    • Soft Wheat Pastry
    • Stone Ground Corn
  • Scottish Oats
  • Stone Ground Polenta
  • Hard Wheat Berries
  • Dried Beans:
    • Red Kidney
    • White Navy
    • Black Turtle
This made me very happy because I like beans!

Sign Up for 2015 Season Coming Soon

Laura tells me that the sign up sheets will be ready next week.

If you're a Farm Card Member, remember that signing up by Thanksgiving 2014 will get you an "Early Bird" designation for 2015. This means any balance on your card will roll-over to the 2015 season. If you also put a balance of $200 on your card, you will receive the 2015 Thanksgiving share.

I forgot to ask Laura about the details for half or full share members, but as I recall, half-share members will need to pay in full by the 2014 Thanksgiving deadline to be "Early Birds" and full-share members will need to pay a 50% deposit. I'll confirm this next week. Of course, if you can't wait to find out, Laura or Robin can answer questions when you're at the farm stand.

Thanksgiving Turkeys

There's still time to sign up to buy a turkey for Thanksgiving 2014. The deadline is November 14th. The sign up sheet is at the farm stand. Just ask! You can indicate the weight you desire and the turkey will magically be raised just for you. These turkeys are raised locally and not in cages so know that they will be tasty for your table.

Laura and Ruby

Well, this is the end of a very long post. I'll leave you with some fun pictures of Laura and Ruby.
Ruby laughing

Ruby & Laura

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Delayed post means chicken fun

Hi Folks! Thanks for reading. I'm away today so can't make it to the farm stand until Friday afternoon. In the meantime, I'll share a few photos for fun.

Be sure to check out the Herb Garden. The thyme and sage are thriving right now.
Thyme from last week
Sage from last week

Here is one of the hot peppery greens from the Spicy Asian Mix:
peppery greens

And my favorite photos...chickens! They always run right up to me when I go to their spot behind the greenhouse beyond the herb garden.