Thursday, June 26, 2014

I vote for less humidity!

(Hours: Thurs 8am-7pm, Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 9am-3pm)
potato plants
Potato Plants

The crops are really getting established. Sometimes crops are damaged by deer hoofs and teeth, but these strong potato plants are deer free at the moment. I plan to visit one of the fields that the deer use for dinner in order to get a photo of the fencing that Pete is installing to protect the crops. I'll keep you posted.

There are some new offerings this week as well as your regular favorites:
  • Escarole
  • Garlic Scapes are back!
  • Swiss chard
  • Summer spinach
  • Head Lettuce (red leaf and green leaf)
  • Lettuce
  • Siberian kale
  • Spring onions
  • Zucchini
  • Squash
  • Carrots with tops
(The offerings can change from day to day, so it's possible you may not see exactly what I see.)

Scapes are back!

Beautiful super-fresh yellow squash

Red Leaf Lettuce head
Siberian Kale -- so good

Vendor Items for Purchase

The local vendor items are still being stocked, so there are a lot of empty spaces on the shelf. Dairy (eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese, butter) is stocked, as well as Pika's quiche and Full Moon Farms meats. We also have Apple Sauce made by the Taliaferro's and honey from Gardiner. Maybe you can save a trip to another store by checking here first. I get the Raw Milk cheese regularly and I think I will try some apple sauce next week.

Herbs and Flowers

Don't forget that cutting herbs and flowers is included in your membership. Clippers for the flowers are in the bucket at the end of the row. Scissors for the herbs are next to the sign in sheet. There are a lot of herbs ready for cutting so don't be shy about borrowing the scissors.

Chicken Fun

I didn't get a picture of John this week, but I have this chicken with lovely feathers. I hope you like it -- comments are welcome.
beautiful chicken feathers

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Beautiful Day for the Farm!

~ Farm Stand open Thurs 8-7, Fri 9-6, Sat 9-3 ~

We're back to units today. You'll be able to choose 5 (or 10) units.
This morning I saw:
  • lettuce
  • garlic scapes
  • English peas (must be shelled)
  • spring onions
  • carrots
  • Siberian kale
  • Swiss chard
  • squash
The peas are the type that need to be shelled. John tells me he is hoping that snap peas will be back next week. (Of course, the items I list may be different from what is offered later today or Friday/Saturday. It's always dependent on what's actually harvested, but Pete tries hard to make sure there's enough to go around.)

The food looks beautiful. And the Farm Stand is spruced up with new artistic signs. I don't know who created them, but they're gorgeous.
English peas
carrots with tops
John told me that the greens on the top of the carrots are still exhibiting photosynthesis and will take moisture away from the carrots. So, when you store your carrots it's best to store them without the tops. You can leave the tops in the scrap bucket and they will be fed to the chickens. This chicken would love to eat them!
chicken head
If you're slightly nutty like me, you can remove your carrot tops at home, mince them, and add them to your stock pot.

Also, I hear that Pete picked the first cucumbers this week. They haven't made it to the Farm Stand, but hopefully we'll have some sweet, cool cucumbers before too long.

Local Products

The Farm Stand is getting stocked up with local products. Besides milk, eggs, yogurt, pickles, honey and cheese, a few more items are now available:
  • quark -- this is similar to sour cream and can be used in many of the same ways
  • Evan's Farmhouse Organic butter
  • quiche
  • Full Moon Farms meats
You can be sure that many more items will be added as the summer goes along.

Flowers and Herbs

I cut some wonderful oregano today. I actually dry it so I can use it all winter long. It's close to flowering, so I think this is the best time to grab it. The herb garden is really pumping! If you like fresh herbs, go see what's growing. It's self-serve for members and John has scissors near where you sign in.

The flowers are also already planted and sprouting. Some are ready to pick!

A ton of things are sprouting in the flower beds, so I'm sure there will be lots of beautiful bouquets in our future. Clippers are at the end of the flower bed rows and members can cut their own as part of their membership!

So much growing and on the way!

There are so many things planted and growing strongly. It leaves me uplifted and hopeful.
tomato view of tomatoes
Tomato Row from the point of view of a Tomato Plant

John's your man!

So, enjoy your visit to the Farm Stand. If you need anything or have any questions while you are there, just ask John House!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Wet, but OK

(Hours: Thurs 8am-7pm, Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 9am-3pm)

It was wet today at the farm just like it was everywhere else. Of course, it doesn't stop the work! There were a lot of people working in the fields today -- crops were being planted and crops were growing.
Spring Onions in the field

Beautiful Yellow Squash in the field
At the farm stand, I saw beautiful zucchini, lovely baby spinach, generous bunches of red Russian kale, garlic scapes, lettuce, and even some sweet green peas.

Please be aware that availability and conditions may affect what is offered when you arrive at the farm stand. I know Pete and Robin work hard to be sure there is enough to go around, but when it's rainy or planting is in full swing, sometimes a worker isn't able to get into the field to pick a second batch or there isn't quite enough sun to produce a second batch. So, some things I mention may not be there for you, but likewise something may be harvested after I'm there and you may have options I didn't.
Beautiful zucchini

Garlic Scapes

Garlic Scapes
Garlic scapes are the top of the garlic plant. Removing the scape helps the bulb of the garlic grow so that later we'll have lovely garlic. I had never seen garlic scapes until I joined the CSA. Now, I treat the top of the garlic as a delicacy! They are only available this time of year and, as best as I can tell, they store fairly well in the fridge. They are mild enough that you can mince them and put then directly into salad. You can also slice and cook with them in the same dishes where you would put garlic bulbs. If you like garlic even just a little bit, try the scapes.


Don't forget about the herbs. They are in the rows that are behind the swing set. You can borrow scissors at the counter. The oregano is thick and green and the sage has even flowered.
 Flowering sage

Some new thyme and lemon thyme has been planted and will be ready before you know it. Herbs are included with your membership, but it's something you get to pick for yourself.


John House is our new farm stand worker. He will be there Thursday and Friday until early afternoon. Robin will take over for John in the late afternoons and Saturdays. John has many years experience working on farms, including Brook Farm in New Paltz and farms in Oregon, Colorado, and California. 
Pete and John
When John is not at the farm, he also works with youth at the New Paltz Youth Program. John tells me he loves working in farming but also enjoys working with young people, and the two jobs keep him invigorated. Give John a warm welcome.

Tractors and Chickens (just for fun)

This chicken was talking to me!

Friday, June 6, 2014

First Day Success for Community Supported Agriculture!

Reminder: Open days this week: Thursday (8am - 7pm), Friday (9am - 6pm), Saturday (9am - 3pm)

I went to the farm today and saw many green growing plants! It is always so nice to see how alive everything is.
squash plants

Delaney was there, but she tells me that college is keeping her busy and she won't be working at the Farm Stand this year. I also understand that Ana has new opportunities that will keep her away from the Farm Stand. Instead, we'll have John! I didn't get to meet him yet, but give him a hearty welcome.

Pete reminded me there are two young farmers partnering with the farm. Dakota and Mira are currently concentrating on raising chickens (the eating kind). They built an incredible chicken house by hand.
Dakota and Mira's hand-crafted chicken coop

Today at the Farm Stand: I saw chives, kale, pac choi and lettuce. Pac choi is a neat green that can be quickly stir fried. The early offerings are rounded out with kale, which we all know and love, and lettuce.

Next week: As weather conditions permit, as well as absence of excessive pests and deer, the hope is to harvest squash, snap peas, spinach, and arugula.

Don't forget to look for early flowers and herbs.

Want to be a Member? Consider joining by using the Farm Card membership. You can join online or just show up at the Farm Stand at 187 Plains Road, New Paltz, and sign up in person.

See you at the Farm!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Season is Starting

The first pick up day of the season is upon us — the day we've been waiting for has arrived!

The first day for the farm stand will be Thursday June 5th. The stand will be open on the follow days each week:

Thursday:  8am - 7pm
Friday:  8am - 6pm
Saturday: 9am - 3pm

If you're a Taliaferro Farms CSA member, please come and pick up your share!
If you're an interested foodie but not yet a member, please come and see the
beautiful produce and purchase whatever strikes your fancy. Prices for public shoppers are listed on the board behind the counter.

And, don't forget to cut herbs, visit the chickens, and purchase non-vegetable
items from the carefully selected local vendors. Your money stays in the community when you spend it here, and the products are fresh and wholesome.

Who am I and What's with all the Tractors?

You may wonder who is writing this blog. I am Leigh, a member of the Taliaferro Farms CSA for several years. Sometimes Robin Taliaferro will write here, too, but I think you'll be able to tell our posts apart. When I first joined the CSA, I was just starting to get interested in food. After my first pickup, I was so amazed at the quality and freshness of the food that it really focused my resolve to eat locally and as fresh as possible. Now, I am happy to be able to share my experience at the farm through this blog. (If you want to see any photos larger, just click on them.)

One of my big obsessions is tractors. I saw these two tractors while I was visiting the farm recently.
New Holland Tractor, blue

old orange tractor
I don't know much about them, but I loved the contrast.

Here's something neat Pete showed me under the seat of the orange tractor:
Robin's nest under tractor seat

close up of Robin's nest
I will look to see if the eggs hatched safely when I'm there Thursday!

Things are growing! I can't wait to meet all the new members and say hello to returning members. I'm not the best with faces and names, so if I don't recognize you please accept my apologies in advance.
protected crops
Things are growing!

homemade scarecrow
Don't lay down on the job Mr. Scarecrow! We need you.


OK, I have a second "obsession", which is with chickens. I threatened last year to do a chicken bonanza blog, but I never did. So, instead, I'm going to use selections from my massive collection of chicken photos to sign every blog. I hope someone will follow this blog and/or comment so I'll write things that are more interesting! See everyone this week. --Leigh
Chicken Bonanza
It was a HOT day in 2013.
Chicken Bonanza
Taken same day as above. A bit hot...but the chickens make the best of it.