tomatillos

baby birds, blueberries, farm news, Mother's Day, peppers, potatoes, sour cherries, Spring, tomatillos, tomatoes

Full of Life


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Hi folks! I have a few pictures from the farm this week and I thought I’d go ahead and share them with you. Spring is in full force and the farm is a microcosm of all of the rejuvenation and new life that comes with the season. Enjoy!

It’s hard to tell here, but these are baby birds in the weeping cherry. Their momma or daddy did not like me peeking through to photograph them, so I didn’t get any good shots. They sure did open their little yellow mouths for some food though.

Snow pea flowers are beauty-FULL! And the peas taste amazing too (we have some from our first round of planting already)!
This is Beth’s sour cherry tree. Ben and I are hoping we get to try a slice of her infamous sour cherry pie. 

The peaches are already getting pretty big!
Potatoes!

The first round of zucchini, squash and cucumbers (we planted 400 of each!)
I have no idea of what this flower on the vine is called, but it’s gorgeous! It’s on our front porch with kiwi and grape vines. 

These are in the ground now.

These too. I’m so excited about tomatillos!

Here’s a shot of one of the sections. Most of what you can see is peas and oats (and the yellow stuff, well, that’s wild radish – we don’t care for it much but the bees and the chickens sure do!).

Can you believe there are already blueberries on the bushes?!
Poor Ben planted all of these tomatoes without me – since I’m still spending most of my time studying for prelims. I’ll be out there picking them with him all summer though!!! 

Well, I guess that’s it for now. Have a very Happy Mother’s Day!

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2011 CSA, beans, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, peanuts, squash, strawberries, tomatillos, tomatoes, vinaigrette, Western Wake Farmer's Market, zucchini

Strawberries and Summer Crops


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Last weekend we participated in the Western Wake Farmer’s Market Strawberry Festival. We made a creamy strawberry vinaigrette with a tossed salad, topped with fresh-picked, sustainably grown strawberries. Sadly, we didn’t have any strawberries to sell at market last week, but hopefully we will have enough for market this Saturday. We shall see. We are giving first priority to our CSA members, but any left overs will be available for market customers.

Since we ran out of vinaigrette recipe cards last Saturday, we told folks we’d post the recipe on the blog. So, here it is:

Spring Greens Salad with Creamy Strawberry Vinaigrette 
For Vinaigrette
·         1 cup chopped strawberries
·         ½ cup walnut oil
·         ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
·         2-3 Tbsp heavy cream
1. Puree or smash strawberries with a potato masher.
2. Add oil, vinegar, and heavy cream.
3. Mix well. Taste. Adjust to taste. You can add salt and pepper or you can add sugar if you like. We just keep it simple.  
Salad Ingredients 
·         Use your favorite salad greens
·         We use mesclun mix, mizuna, frisée, spinach and arugula – but we adjust according to what’s available
·         ¼ to ½ cup chopped walnuts
·         1-2 cups (depends on how much strawberry you want in your salad) chopped strawberries
1. Wash and spin salad greens.
2. Chop salad greens.
3. Add vinaigrette, chopped walnuts and strawberries.
4. Toss ingredients (or you can place strawberries separately on your plate after you’ve tossed the other ingredients to highlight the strawberries in your dish).
5. Enjoy!

As usual, we’ve been keeping fairly busy on the farm. We’ve been planting a lot of our summer crops, including cucumbers, squash, zucchini, watermelon, corn, peanuts (our first time doing this, so it may just be a personal crop), and green beans. We’ll be transplanting tomatoes, tomatillos, eggplant and peppers soon – likely later this week.

We’ve also been busily cultivating. Above is a wheel hoe. I went through the potato plants with it to keep them good and free of weeds.We also planted some flowers, which of course, are not yet ready – but here are some pretty flowers that are currently in bloom.

A gorgeous iris (not sure which variety – if anyone knows, please comment below).

This is crimson clover. Ben planted it all over the farm to help provide more nutrients for our soil. Clover is particularly helpful for fixing nitrogen in the soil. It’s also very pretty.

Well, I suppose that’s it for now. This week marks our first week of the Summer CSA. We’ll be providing CSA members with strawberries, lettuce, kale, bok choy, tat soi, spinach, arugula, Swiss chard, frisee, mizuna and dried rosemary. We’ll also include a weekly (hopefully!) newsletter with CSA shares for the first time this season. Members last year liked the blog, but wanted something a little extra. Our weekly newsletter will be an effort to meet that particular need.


If you’re interested in joining our CSA, it’s not too late! Please print out a copy of the CSA brochure (linked to the right of the screen) and mail us your first payment to Ben’s Produce;1000 McLemore Road; Clayton, NC 27520. If you miss the first week or two, we’ll prorate you, so no worries there. And, of course, if you have any questions, please email us at BensProduceNC@gmail.com or give us a call at 919.800.8898.

Have a fantastic week and thanks for stopping by!