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Today we welcome the autumnal equinox. We woke to a chill in the morning air, and despite the warmth of the midday sun, we know that the length of daylight will gradually decrease as the months move us closer to winter. It is a wonderful time to be a farmer- the pace is slower and less frantic than the spring and summer months. Though there is still almost two more months of CSA and markets left, and a sizeable to-do list, the work load is more pleasant, to match the temperature outside.

The harvest is gradually moving away from summer crops into fall greens and roots. My kitchen is cool enough now to enjoy the oven at full blast, and the warm sweet smell of roasting winter squash mirrors the change in seasons.

9/22/15, CSA on-farm share #17, week A.

9/22/15, CSA on-farm share #17, week A.

This weekend was a busy one for us, in addition to our regular farmers markets, we did the wedding flowers for the daughter of our dear farmer friends and mentors. It was a beautiful experience, and a side of the farm we hope to continue exploring and slowly growing.

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On Sunday we hosted Outstanding In the Field for the 5th year. The table was set way out in the back field on the ground we have just opened up this season (the farthest corner of the farm you can find!).

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We led a farm tour/hike of over 200 people, half of which strolled through our beautiful field of fennel, tasting and admiring the ferny fronds blowing in the breeze- what a site to see all those folks amongst the knee high plants. The tour ended at the long table, nestled amongst broccoli and celery.

Chef Lee and his crew from Bolete Restaurant in Bethlehem cooked a fantastic dinner, under the open sky, navigating some tricky logistics, and pairing the meal with some of the best local wine I’ve tasted, from Galen Glen Winery.

With the equinox and the change from summer to autumn, it seemed only appropriate to include a poem from Mary Oliver.

Lines Written in the Days of Growing Darkness

Every year we have been
witness to it: how the
world descends

into a rich mash, in order that
it may resume.
And therefore
who would cry out

to the petals on the ground
to stay,
knowing as we must,
how the vivacity of what was is married

to the vitality of what will be?
I don’t say
it’s easy, but
what else will do

if the love one claims to have for the world
be true?

So let us go on, cheerfully enough,
this and every crisping day,

though the sun be swinging east,
and the ponds be cold and black,
and the sweets of the year be doomed.

~ Mary Oliver

Post and *photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner. *Additional wedding photos by Jesse Dornstreich. Tricia and her husband Tom have been farming together since 2000. Blooming Glen Farm is entering its 10th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community.

The excitement for harvesting the gigantic celery was high until we realized how difficult it would be to get them out of the ground- a machete would have been better suited than the standard harvest knives. A simple change to our planting plan back in July from 3 rows, 12″ spacing to 2 rows, 18″ spacing resulted in a massive celery harvest this week (the addition of our nourishing compost probably didn’t hurt either). 

Farmer Tom and washer extraordinaire Jackie with massive celery.

Farmer Tom and washer extraordinaire Jackie with enough celery for a village.

The weather and this week’s harvest reflect the passing of the Autumnal Equinox- beets, broccoli, kabocha squash, potatoes and celery. This scarlet color variety of kabocha is called Sunshine. It has a sweet, bright orange flesh that is wonderful baked. We also grow a dark green and a bluish gray kabocha type squash.

9/25/14, share #17

9/25/14, share #17

The rain today was much needed- we’ve had suprisingly few rain days of late. Wednesday was a scramble to get work done before the wet weather came. Priority number one was harvesting my experimental popcorn crop. It was a beautiful scene as the sun was setting- it felt very ancient, and a perfect way to mark the change of seasons. The stalks were bone dry so we husked them in the field- opening each wrapper was like unveiling precious multi-colored jewels.

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Join us at the harvest festival Sunday, October 12th at 3pm- we’ll be popping the corn, and offering various dry herb and vegetable blends as toppings. And not to let any part of the plant go wasted, corn husk doll making will also be a craft on hand.

It was with bittersweet emotions that we cleaned out the greenhouses of all the heirloom tomato plants. It was the close of a long chapter that began in the early spring with grafting, and followed with many months of irrigating, fertilizing, trellising, and harvesting the thousands of pounds of fruit multiple times a week. It is time to turn the page and prepare for the winter ahead. Next up: kale.

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Walking the farm in the evening, it is beautiful to see the fields begin to take a breather after a productive season. The various shades of green cover crops casts a fuzzy shadow over the barren fields. From sudan grass to barley, sweet clover and crimson clover, to oats and peas, we sow a number of different mixes all for different purposes.

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I couldn’t let this blog post go without a happy 1st birthday to Luna, our farm dog. She is a daily reminder to play more, stress less, and by all means, live a little more in the moment.

tcheadshotPost and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner. Tricia and her husband Tom have been growing together since 1996 and farming together since 2000. They started Blooming Glen Farm in 2006. Tricia is passionate about food, community, art and nature and the intersection of all four.

Cucumbers and more cucumbers! This week’s share includes both slicing and pickling cucumbers. The pickling cucumbers, or kirby’s, are also great for snacking- they are chock full of flavor and crunch. I like to save the larger slicing cucumbers for salads, or to add to my morning smoothies. The kirby’s can be made into a small batch of refrigerator pickles, layered with sweet onions, dill and scapes, and a hot brine poured over top. You can’t go wrong! We currently have 1/2 bushel boxes (20 pounds) available for purchase for $30. Just send us an email to reserve your box.

Also in this week’s share are freshly dug new red potatoes. These potatoes are straight out of the ground, and have not been cured yet, which is why you’ll find the skin thin and delicate. Keep them in the fridge until you use them up, as it is the curing process that stengthens the skin for storage. And no need to peel them- enjoy them fresh as it is only for about a month each year that you’ll see new potatoes. Enjoy!

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

Last week I saw a bald eagle fly over the farm. The following day was the autumn equinox. The rain held out Saturday evening long enough for the beautiful Outstanding in the Field dinner to be in the field, (even with a last minute back-up plan of an empty greenhouse).

Chef Josh Lawlor from The Farm and Fisherman cooked an amazing meal, one in which I would be hard pressed to select a favorite course- they were all spectacular. Spectacular but simple, highlighting the flavors of our seasonal farm fresh vegetables and protein.

I do love this time of year. The morning fog, the giant puffy clouds in the rich blue sky, the setting sun, cool mornings and warm afternoons. This is my favorite time of year to be a farmer.

This week a forgotten hand hoe in the field punctured the tractor tire mid cover-crop seeding. But the seeding continues….

Different seed blends for different fields- mixes of rye, vetch, clover, tillage radishes and more, depending on what was planted in the fields this season, and what is destined for them next.

CSA share, week 18, 9/24/13

Post and by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner. Photos with gray border taken at Outstanding In the Field dinner contributed by photographer Chris Dardaris.