Blooming Glen Farm | On The Farm
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On The Farm

The first CSA pick-ups of the season will be the first week of June: Tuesday June 3rd and Thursday June 5th. For half shares, this is week A. Week B will start Tuesday June 10th and Thursday June 12th. (*Full shares come every week, half shares come every other week on their designated week: A or B). New members, please read over the CSA Rough Guide so you are prepared for your first trip to the farm. Delivery shares to Doylestown Presbyterian Church will begin Friday June 27th. *There is still space available for the CSA so please help us spread the word.

The past two weeks have been crazy busy. The farm season feels like it kicked into high gear and we are full steam ahead.  We survived the torrential donpours in May that brought almost 5 inches of rain to the farm over just a few hours. It was an anxious day, watching topsoil flow by in a river of muddy water, but despite some potatoes washing out of their hills, for the most part the crops seem to have weathered the wet weather.

Our crew is a flurry of stamina, enthusiasm and bustling activity, working long days to make up for the late winter of cold and wet weather that seems to finally have ended. We’ve been seeding, tilling, making beds, transplanting, cultivating, moving row covers, trellising, mowing, building a high tunnel, marketing and more!

High Tunnel Construction

It’s hard to believe less than a month ago the temperature dropped down to a freezing 19 degrees!

Planting onions- 3 rows to a bed, 6 inches apart.

The list of vegetables in the ground is long and growing. The spring crops are sizing up: head lettuce, sugar snap peas, bok choy, cabbages, fennel, beets, kohlrabi, spring onions, kale, arugula, broccoli raab and more…the summer crops are going in and growing quickly: potatoes, summer squash, onions, cucumbers, beans, sweet corn, field and greenhouse tomatoes.

Transplanting grafted heirloom tomatoes and tatsoi.

The strawberries are looking lush and green. Tom counted over 30 blossoms on just one plant. It won’t be long before we are all enjoying these sweet tasty fruits!

The farm is a vibrant dynamic organism, beyond just the soil and crops. Tom and Jen must keep the crew moving in what seems like ten different directions at once- getting folks trained and confident in so many different tasks requires organization and delegation on our part. It takes a group effort to make this farm function.

We are constantly looking for new ways to be more efficient and more sustainable. One way we have found is to empower folks in our crew with specific responsibility such as cultivation manager, tractor operator, or greenhouse propagation manager. Jared, who joins us with his partner Cheyenne from Wisconsin, is our new irrigation manager. He will be responsible for learning drip tape installation and repair, as well as following a complex watering schedule. With over 35 acres of crops this is no small job!

Drip tape irrigation tutorial.

Another way to achieve better efficiency is to look at existing tasks with creativity. A new technique discovered this season is to use the drip tape winder to remove and roll up remay from the field.  Dealing with the huge rolls of white cloth that we use as both a frost, wind and insect barrier is no easy task. It was a eureka moment!

We are often asked what’s new for this season. New crops, new greenhouses, new crew- these all apply, but the one thing we are super excited about is the addition of Farm Chef Educator Kristin Moyer. Not only will the farm crew enjoy the fruits of our labor in delicious field-to-table lunches prepared by Kristin twice a week, but you, our farm community, will get to enjoy the recipes from these meals that Kristin will post on the blog.

Chef Kristin will be at the farm doing demos and tastings during CSA pick-ups two weeks a month- she’ll be available to answer your questions and share her cooking tips and techniques. She is also planning an evening cooking class series, as well as a children’s drop-in cooking club during CSA pick-ups. We are committed to supporting you, our community of eaters, in your journey of cooking and enjoying fresh seasonal produce!

Post and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner. Additional photos contributed by Tom Murtha.

Banjo Spinach: A dinnertime beat to have you on your feet

Spinach is seeded in heated greenhouses. Once it sprouts it is then transferred into an unheated greenhouse.

After that it is transplanted into one of our high tunnels. A high tunnel is a greenhouse with a very tall roof. In the early spring, it is there that spinach is produced.

It is grown with compost that is made here on our farm and the spinach is harvested early morning in the spring and fall.

My dad is going to harvest some for the farmers markets this weekend. He’s pretty excited about it!

The main variety we are growing this year is called Banjo, a dinnertime beat to have you on your feet. Banjo has savoy leaves, when the leaves are wrinkly. It has dark leaves that are about the size of the palm of your hand but they can be smaller.

My mom bakes spinach in a quiche and it tastes delicious. Quiche uses a lot of eggs- I gathered some from my chickens.

Here is my mom’s recipe:

Quick and Easy Spinach Quiche

Make the crust: In a food processor, mix together 1 cup flour, and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Mix in 3/4 stick of butter (cut in pieces), with 1 egg yolk and about 3 Tablespoons of ice water. This is a sticky dough- put flour on your hands, and press the crust into a 9-inch pie plate then refrigerate while you make the rest.

For the filling: Mix 4 eggs and the egg white left from making the dough with 3/4 cup half and half, or milk. Stir in 1 cup shredded cheese (we like cheddar). Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Saute your veggies: You can use whatever you have on hand. For example spring onions and green garlic are in season now (or use onions and shallots), and you could add store bought cherry tomatoes (cut in half), or just 2-3 small potatoes that have been boiled and diced. Add about two cups of chopped spinach leaves and fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme.

Put the sauteed veggies into your crust. Pour the egg filling over top until it is close to the brim but not overflowing (you might not use it all). Bake at 425 degrees for 15 min, then lower to 375 until done (top will be set and golden in color). Yum!

Written by Dakota, a farm girl who loves to chase her chickens, read books, ride her bike and cuddle with her dog. Her favorite thing about growing up on a farm is getting to eat the food that grows right outside her door. Photos by Dakota and her mom, Tricia.

Record low temps, cold soil, intermittent rain, another finicky spring in Bucks County. Our crew seems perpetually clad in rubber rain gear, hands are cold, boots muddy. But there are still smiles at the end of each day, because after a winter of planning, we are finally planting.

The 1952 red seeder Cub tractor started right up on its first try- contributing to a valiant effort to direct sow spring radishes and turnips.

Fennel, lettuce, chinese cabbage, red and green cabbage, and spring onions were transplanted this week, despite the cold soil and muddy conditions.  Row covers are reluctantly wrestled out of storage, unfurled in two hundred foot lengths, draped over beds and hoops, and weighed down with shovelfuls of soil. These giant sheets of permeable fabric will protect the new transplants from wind, cold and bug damage.

The heated greenhouse and coldframe overflow with even more vibrant plants, all bursting with vitality, waiting their turn to head out into the fields.

The garlic is peeking up through its winter blanket of straw. We moved en masse through the half acre, pulling the thick bedding back where it had been mulched too thickly last fall, giving the sprouts a chance to poke through towards the sunlight.

The CSA fills up slower than usual- is everyone still thinking it’s winter, we wonder? Despite the chilly temps, spring is here and summer will come. Our tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplants and melons are sown- teasing us with visions of hot sweaty days, the juice of summer fruits running down our chins.

Two thousand heirloom tomato plants were grafted and are starting to take- soon they will leave their healing chamber and begin the journey to the high tunnels. The onions have been given a few haircuts, promoting bulb growth and strengthening the roots of the seedlings.

“To engage in any creative process, to live each day fully, we have to find our way back to the willingness to begin again- and again.”- Oriah Mountain Dreamer

The spring peepers and the red winged black birds sing, the pendulum swings between warm days, cold days, sunny days, rainy days. The earth stirs from its winter slumber, perhaps dragging its feet more than usual. This spring on the farm, we plant between the rain drops, rising each morning to face the elements and the tasks at hand.

Post and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

Who hasn’t dreamed of growing up on a farm? Inspired by a request made in the CSA survey, this new column will give a glimpse into life on the farm from a kid’s perspective. Whatever catches this third grader’s eye from week to week will be the theme. Enjoy, and please share with the little ones in your life!  

Chamomile: Sweet Dreams

The chamomile is just starting to sprout here in the greenhouse. But does everyone know what to do with this herb? I don’t think so, it would be amazing if everyone did, so here are some of its uses: stomachaches, indigestion, gas, colic, nervousness and tension, restlessness, crying, whining, and irritability, teething, imsomnia, colds, burns and cuts, sore muscles and rashes. The part of chamomile used is the flower. Chamomile is a warming herb. A warming herb is a herb that will warm you up and has a warming energy.

Here is recipe for a good night’s sleep:
Mix 1 teaspoon chamomile flowers with 1 teaspoon lemon balm and 1/2 teaspon fennel to 1 cup boiling water for a great tasting sleep tea. Sweet dreams!

Written by Dakota, a farm girl who loves to chase her chickens, read books, ride her bike and cuddle with her dog. Her favorite thing about growing up on a farm is getting to eat the food that grows right outside her door.

Similar to the practice of any serious art or craft, farmers must stay abreast of best practices and innovative techniques in the field of agriculture. New information acquired through research and professional development is then integrated into the farmer’s continuous practice of observation and reflection: it’s a process of constant refinement, always both humbling and educational.

While we like to geek-out over soil science, varietal selection and of course, equipment, we also take health very seriously. In fact, some may consider the farmer a primary healthcare provider, not only growing food to nourish a community but also taking great care in the handling of that food to ensure safety.

Last week I was privileged enough to attend a workshop on food safety presented by familyfarmed.org. Facilitated by successful farmer and author Atina Diffley, we examined best practices around food safety, post harvest handling, packing, and business management. Participants also learned how to create a food safety manual. Here, at Blooming Glen, we are fortunate because Tricia and Tom already have many of these systems in place to ensure that the food we grow maintains a chain of health from seed to harvest.

If a farmer fails to understand what health is, his [her] farm becomes unhealthy; it produces unhealthy food, which damages the health of the community… Wendell Berry

While we are proud of the integrity that goes into the production of our summer abundance, we also understand that this food is feeding your families. Therefore, our craft is not only an honor but a deep responsibility. By entering into this rather intimate relationship of mutual dependence, we are also engaged in a relationship of trust: as farmers we rely on you – the customers – to support our livelihood and co-create a shared community; as customers you are entrusting us – the farmers – with your health by way of the production of quality, nutritious, and safe food.

CSA Share July 2013

So while we strive to create a more resilient farm organism through mindful crop planning, soil health, careful cultivation techniques, and informed pest management, we also have systems to prevent plant and human pathogens.

Many of you will remember our blog post last fall on the Food Safety Modernization Act, asking you to submit comments to the FDA on their proposed food safety rules. Following is a recent follow-up quote from Brian Snyder, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA): 

“For the first time in recent history all of agriculture was speaking with one voice saying ‘Please don’t make it impossible for family farmers to stay on the land, producing the fresh fruits and vegetables that our citizens want to be healthy and value-adding small businesses our rural communities need in order to thrive.’

Add to this massive coalition the voices of PASA members and countless others who spoke at public meetings, talked with legislators, and customers, resulting in the submission of more than 25,000 written comments to the FDA by the deadline on the Friday before Thanksgiving, and you will know why we weren’t so surprised when, just before Christmas, the FDA announced they would be taking another crack at the most controversial parts of the proposed rules, starting from scratch with all the information they had received.

This welcome news was followed by a meeting I attended in January between the core leaders of our coalition and officials at FDA, including Deputy Commissioner Michael Taylor, to support the process of writing new rules and implementing them in a way that will work both for farmers and consumers who wish to access the freshest of foods for their families. This has truly been a watershed moment for our movement, giving us an opportunity to stop and celebrate . . . even if for just a short while.”- Brian Snyder

Now that’s exciting news! We will keep you informed as we learn of any new updates to the proposed rules. In the meantime, we continue with our commitment to bring you the healthiest produce possible!

Written by Jen Malkoun, assistant manager at Blooming Glen Farm. Photographs and editing by Tricia Borneman.  

Despite winter’s tight grip on the Mid-Atlantic region, your farmers at Blooming Glen are stickin’ to the plan! Today is the first day of spring, and though the weather of late has been a bit on the chilly side to say the least, we are not altering the farms planting schedule. We are diligently and optimistically keeping up with our weekly seeding. We remember all too well from past years how quickly the weather fortunes can change here in Southeastern Pa. And based on that experience we are pretty convinced it will be a short spring, and we’ll be quickly rocketed right into the hot days of summer, but who knows! (Ok, we might be reconsidering the wisdom of spring broccoli, a cool weather loving crop, but that’s just one teensy change. Otherwise, all systems go!)

Innoculated sugar snap pea seed.

In honor of St. Patty’s Day, we like to follow the lore of gardeners everywhere and sow our sugar snap peas. However, instead of sowing them into the cold damp soil where they will most likely either sit dormant or rot, we sow them into flats in the heated greenhouse, to be transplanted out when things warm up a bit. This is a switch we made a few years ago, to ensure reliable germination and healthy starts from the get go.

Luckily for our first planting of early greens, it is definitely looking like spring in our freshly plowed high tunnels. Spinach, arugula and lacinato kale will soon call this warm spot home, followed closely by our heirloom tomatoes.

This week we’ve been repairing and preparing our unheated coldframe. This is where our seedlings will endure a phase of hardening off. Pictured below are Jared and Cheyenne- two of our newest crew members from Wisconsin. We’ll introduce you to them in a crew profile soon!

The journey of the transplant from seed to field begins when the seeds are sown and the flats sit on a 70 degree heated table. After germination they come off the table but remain in the womb of the propagation greenhouse where they are fussed over and fed a steady diet of heat and water.

Phase two moves them to a heated greenhouse that is a bit cooler, but still very nurtured. Phase three, when the plants are rootbound, sees them head out to the coldframe. Here they experience gradual exposure to wind (the sides can be rolled up or down), to colder temps (just row covers and the greenhouse skin protect the plants at night) and less regular waterings. This stresses the plants just enough to get the seedlings toughened up and ready for the harsh reality of life in the fields, where they will leave the safety and comfort of their trays and stand alone in the wind, rain, cold and heat, and eventually become someone’s meal.

Make those veggies part of your meal! CSA memberships for the 2014 season are available. Register on our website today!

Post and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

Only 13 more days until the Spring Equinox, but who’s counting?! Here at the farm we’ve been wondering what this spring will hold after such an arctic, snowy and elongated winter.

Despite what we see with our eyes, the calendar tells us Spring will come. It must, and it will! We move forward as best we can with our plans – all the while our eyes on the weather and our hearts hoping for a spring thaw without over-saturated fields.

Farming is a constant shuffle – a continuous dance – between the world as it should be (according to plan) and the world as it is (reality which includes unknowns like weather, plant and insect life cycles, and time).

Along with planning for the season ahead, winter work consists of much needed farm repairs, maintenance and building. While the snow continued to pile up and ice crept in, we replaced the end-walls and plastic on one of our propagation greenhouses, purchased a new hot water heater to supply radiant heat for seedlings, and filled the tanks with propane.

After an inspiring conference with soil guru Elaine Ingham on the topic of compost and the soil food web, we came home and covered our compost windrows with covers in order to shed excess moisture.

We rebuilt our farm wagons, serviced the tractors and unfortunately took down the remnants of a high tunnel that collapsed under the loads of snow and ice.

Farming is a venture that not only lays bare all of ones mistakes and missteps in the face of nature, but brings one face to face with the impermanence of all things – attachment to anything (even plans) is not advised.

We started the season’s seeding on February 11th, with rootstock tomatoes for grafting and storage onions. They were quickly followed by our first successions of lettuce, brassicas, spinach, arugula, and heirloom tomatoes.

Arugula and heirloom tomato seedlings

As the propagation house fills, the cold weather continues. We look out onto the fields and ask: When? When will it happen? How will our plans work out? We reference records, go on experience and hope for the best, all the while keeping a positive attitude. Nothing is certain and everything is fair game. We continue to seed.

Tom and Tricia are diligently revisiting farm harvest records, and detailing and tweaking the farm’s systems. Farming is all about relationships. Whether it is the connections between soil microbiology and plant health, weather and crop yields, cultivation practices and insect and weed pressure- everything is interconnected in an intricate and diverse web. It is the farmer’s job to understand those relationships and to create the best conditions for life to survive and thrive.

One example of this is to provide habitat for pollinators and beneficial insects. The use of flowering cover crops like Sweet Alyssum to attract bees as well as predatory insects, or the practice of intercropping flowers with cash crops like lettuce and peppers, works in concert with natural rhythms and cycles to encourage a balance. Diversity leads to flexibility, which in turn creates resilience and increases the farm’s ability to rebound after a “crisis” like extreme weather.

Similar to the webs alive and active on the farm, we all have a unique role to play – each of us holding a place that is different but important. So, as we push forward – inching ever so slowly toward spring and then summer – we continue to straddle these two worlds of planning and reality. And we will continue to do our best to support your journey toward better health, a connection to the source of your food, and the creation of community. I’ll use this as a shameless plug for our CSA: if you haven’t already, please sign up!

Despite the conditions outside, we are planning another righteous season at Blooming Glen and hope that you will join us in this radical adventure of agriculture. 

Written by Jen Malkoun, assistant manager at Blooming Glen Farm. Photographs and editing by Tricia Borneman. Other photos contributed by Tom Murtha and Jen Malkoun. 

There are only 5 days left to comment on the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). We know that’s not a lot of time, but as a crucial supporter of local agriculture we hope you’ll take a moment to read the following and let your voice be heard.

The Food Safety Modernization Act is the first major overhaul of our nation’s food safety practices since 1938. It represents some big changes to our food system – and it is extremely important for the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to get these regulations right.

Why you need to give your input to the FDA:

“It’s not easy to explain, but anyone experienced with monitoring food system policy knows that the most important aspects of FSMA have little to do with issues involving water, manure, exemptions or even definitions.  What we’re really dealing with here is the potential culmination of a decades-long process of government policy being used to favor a fully industrialized food system over the preceding system, which was, unconsciously and by its very nature, more local, sustainable and organic in the way it functioned.” – Brian Snyder, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA).

For commentary on this important moment in food policy, read more from Brian Snyder at his blog, Write to Farm. To clarify, we at Blooming Glen Farm take food safety very seriously, have received numerous food safety trainings over the years, and both strengthened and put into place a variety of common sense food safety practices. I particularly like Brian Snyder’s blog post from 2010, Sustainable Food Safety. 

About the Food Safety Modernization Act:

FSMA gives the FDA broad new powers to prevent food safety problems, detect and respond to food safety issues, and improve the safety of imported foods. FSMA does not change food safety regulations for meat, poultry, and egg products, which are under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s jurisdiction.

FSMA authorizes new regulations at the farm level for producers and certain facilities. Specifically, FSMA mandates the establishment of:
Standards for produce production (Produce Rule), and food safety measures for facilities that process food for human consumption (Preventive Controls Rule).

Top 10 Problems with the FDA’s Proposed Food Safety Regulations for Farmers and Local Food Businesses :

1.    They’re too expensive. The rules could cost farmers over half of their profits and will keep beginners from starting to farm.

2.    They treat farmers unfairly. FDA is claiming broad authority to revoke small farmers’ protections without any proof of a public health threat.

3.    They will reduce access to fresh, healthy food. Local food distributors like food hubs could close, and new food businesses will not launch.

4.   They make it harder for farms to diversify. Grain, dairy, and livestock farmers could be denied access to emerging local food markets. 

5.    They will over-regulate local food. The rules could consider farmers markets, roadside stands, and community-supported agriculture programs “manufacturing facilities” subject to additional regulation.

6.    They treat pickles like a dangerous substance. The rules fail to protect a host of low-risk processing activities done by smaller farms and processors.

7.    They make it nearly impossible to use natural fertilizers like manure and compost. Farmers will be pushed to use chemicals instead. 

8.    They require excessive water testing on farms. Farmers using water from streams and lakes will have to pay for weekly water tests regardless of risk or cost.

9.    They could harm wildlife and degrade our soil and water. The rules could force farmers to halt safe practices that protect natural resources and wildlife.

10.   Bonus: there’s at least one good thing about the rules. The rules take an ‘integrated’, not a ‘commodity-specific’ approach – meaning farmers won’t face over 30 separate rules for each kind of fresh produce they grow.

Give your input! The FDA’s new food safety rules must:

  • Allow farmers to use sustainable farming practices, including those already allowed and encouraged by existing federal organic standards and conservation programs.
  • Ensure that diversified and innovative farms, particularly those pioneering models for increased access to healthy, local foods, continue to grow and thrive without being stifled. 
  • Provide options that treat family farms fairly, with due process and without excessive costs.

Make Your Voice Heard: Submit a Comment to FDA Today!

FDA is seeking comments from the public – that’s you! The #1 most important thing you can do to help fix FSMA is take a few minutes RIGHT NOW to submit a comment to FDA either online or through the mail. Click here to see a sample comment to get started! It is important to personalize your comment – FDA will read every single submission, and unique comments have the most impact. The comment period deadline is November 15!  It is critical for sustainable farmers and consumers who care about where their food comes from to write comments to FDA about the proposed regulations to ensure that FDA correctly implements FSMA!

For more information on FMSA and its potential impact on small farms and producers, go to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s website.

Says PASA’s Brian Snyder: “If you have not already weighed-in with written comments on the FSMA rules, you are in danger of forfeiting your opportunity to participate in history. Everything you need to know about the proposed regulations and how to comment can be found on the NSAC website, or even more succinctly on the PASA website (thanks to NSAC, of course).”

In a nutshell:

There are two ways to submit your comments:

  1. Comment electronically at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FDA-2011-N-0921
  2. Written comments may be faxed to the FDA at 301-827-6870 or you may mail them to:
    Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305)
    Food and Drug Administration
    5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061
    Rockville, MD 20852

Twenty four weeks have past since the start of the CSA season way back in May. For the farm crew that’s 48 harvests down- not counting market and wholesale harvests. Over 400 families from our local community were fed this season through the CSA- some coming to pick up every week, some every other week. For a full share family that was 24 weeks of veggies, 18 weeks of flower bouquets, 38 pounds of potatoes, 32 pounds of slicing tomatoes, 15 pounds of chard and kale, 16 pounds of onions, 18 pounds summer squash, 6 melons, 10 pounds of sweet peppers, and the list goes on and on!

CSA share, week 24, 11/5/13.

In addition we continued our relationship with our local food pantries, with leftover produce from the farm being picked up every single Monday morning and distributed to those in need by volunteer extraordinaire Joe Coleman. Also thanks to Cathy Snyder and her team from Rolling Harvest Food Rescue for her boundless energy in making sure no edible crops are ever wasted at any farm in Bucks County! Her work is real and tangible and has a serious positive impact on our local community. (I would urge you to check out their website and consider giving a gift of a donation to their organization this holiday season.)

For Tom and I, over the past 8 years, we’ve seen 384 CSA harvests (but who’s counting?). We’ve shared with you in blog posts over the past months the stories of the many hands here that contribute their collective energy to growing your vegetables, and kept you updated on the tasks and efforts involved. Yet with over 50 full and part time employees having come and gone over the past 8 years, the main constants for Tom and I are truly this land that continues to provide us all with nourishing food, and the community of families that value and support our effort and vision. We know this is not an easy thing to do- that there is an equal amount of work and committment on your end to get to the farm each week, to keep an open mind about quantities and varieties, to develop menus and recipes from what is in your share, and to cook (or juice) that mountain of veggies each week. We thank you profusely for making that commitment this season, and hope you’ll continue with us as we grow together into the future. 

Year after year, Tom and I are continuously learning and are always experimenting with the crops we grow and the systems in place to grow them (like plant spacing, soil building techniques, equipment to make things easier and more efficient for our crew, and so on). Then we evaluate what works and doesn’t work (how to minimize brussel sprout bug damage and keep caterpillars off the broccoli, how to grow bigger sweet corn, and to do it all organically; how to teach and inspire our crew, and stay true to standards of quality and productivity while juggling expectations). I would say that though the specifics may change from season to season, our biggest challenges continue to be weather (too much rain being the hardest on our soil type), pests and labor.

This year we felt like we were able to introduce more diversity in the shares. New crops this season: sweet potato greens, lemongrass, black radish, broccoli raab, brussel sprouts, big fat fall kohlrabi, transplanted and bunched arugula and dandelion greens, and cuban pumpkins. New varieties were trialed of potatoes, tomatillos, sweet corn, tomatoes, and storage onions as well as fall cauliflower and broccoli. We hope you’ve enjoyed both the staple crops and the more unusual offerings. We will be sending out a survey soon- we hope you’ll share your thoughts with us. Re-registration for the 2014 should be available in the next few weeks. Stay tuned and have a wonderful winter!

Post and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

After a beautiful stretch of mild fall weather it looks like the cold autumn winds are here. It’s hard not to forget that this time last year Hurricane Sandy was headed our way, and the year before we experienced that freak October snowstorm. Who knows what will be next, but reflecting on last year’s experience I am reminded again to be thankful for the luxury of electricity which keeps the house warm, the food cold, and the water flowing.

Here at the farm we prepared for the first frost by getting out the giant white floating row covers and blanketing the more tender crops like lettuce, arugula, radicchio, beets and carrots.

Only two more weeks of CSA pick-ups to go. A reminder that the last share is Tuesday Nov. 5 and Thursday Nov. 7th. These last few shares will contain butternut squash, one of my favorite fall vegetables. This recipe for Minestrone and Parmesan Biscuit Potpie from Martha Stewart is a favorite in our house, especially since it utilizes leeks, kale, butternut, the tomatoes I canned from earlier in the summer, and delicious buttery homemade biscuits. The perfect comfort food after a cold day.

 The last big job on the farm is happening this week: garlic planting! A major thanks to everyone who helped break up the garlic at the farm’s Harvest Festival Garlic Social– what an unbelievably huge help that was for us.

Each individual clove is planted 6 inches apart in rows of 3, in our 225 foot beds. This year we are aiming to plant 18 beds- that’s over 24,000 cloves!, then covering them all with a thick blanket of straw mulch where they will grow for the next 9 months. See you next summer, garlic crop!

Post and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner. Additional photos by Tom Murtha and Alysha Day.