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News and Notes
from the Field
 
September 17, 2017
Covering the Equinox
Notes From The Field
By Derek McGeehan
By this time of year a significant portion of the fields that grow our produce is already growing another type of crop that is fundamental to the health of our soil: a cover crop. It's a fairly generic term but is so important and vital to continued soil health and improvement that it warrants continual conversation, experimentation, and observation (and photos). We consider cover crops to be 'green manure' because they're a good substitute for traditional manure thanks to their ability to photosynthesize the sun's light energy and they're returned to the soil unharvested.
Above, a cover crop mixture of buckwheat, daikon radish, oats, and crimson clover was sown on August 11th and is next to the same mixture sown a few weeks later on August 29th. The older mix was sown after onions and the 3rd succession of summer squash and cucumbers. The younger mix was sown after the 1st planting of watermelon and the 2nd succession of summer squash and cucumbers. Because we use a tractor mounted spin spreader to sow the covers we wait until a minimum of 6 contiguous beds are empty of their cash crops.
The benefits of cover cropping were lodged into our brains a decade ago when we were aspiring new/young farmers. Over that succeeding decade we've developed and adapted a cover cropping scheme that works really well for us here, both in terms of our farming schedule and crop plan and probably most importantly in soil health and improvement. Along the way there was much trial by error and certain species were removed from out list of options. We still make some mistakes and learn, such as by allowing last year's buckwheat to go to seed and then dealing with the subsequent weed pressure of those volunteers this year.
Above, this is an early morning scene of our favorite mix of buckwheat, daikon radish, oats, and crimson clover also sown on August 11th.
Sometimes it helps to work backwards when deciding on the species to sow. Ask: What are we planning to use this ground for later this season, next season, and does it need a long-term fallow rest? Later intentions help determine what to sow now. We've refined what we grow to a half dozen species: grasses/grains like oats, buckwheat, winter rye; legumes to fix nitrogen like peas and crimson clover; and a lone brassica, the mighty daikon radish. Our predominant fall/winter mix is buckwheat, oats, daikon, and crimson clover, mostly because everything but the clover dies off over the winter leaving the ground very usable in the spring. Depending on when we sow the clover it also dies in the winter. If we sow it mid-September or later it tends to regrow and flower profusely in late April or early May.
So, in relatively simple terms, our goals with a cover crop are: to protect the soil from compaction and erosion; scavenge for, incorporate, and then slowly release nutrients in the soil; transfer atmospheric nitrogen into the soil; flower to attract pollinators and beneficial insects; smother weeds; produce organic matter; and leave the soil in good condition for mild tillage in the spring.
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September 17, 2017
Autumnal Delights
Expected Harvest
By Derek McGeehan
Harvest #19 (Week A) should include winter squash (spaghetti, dumpling, butternut), leeks, onions, potatoes, Swiss chard, kale, sweet peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, savoy cabbage, beets with greens, scallions, garlic, parsley, dill, cilantro, Italian dandelion, and hot peppers. Some items will be a choice and may not be available during all pick up times. U-pick in the main field is over so that we can sow cover crops but perennial and annual herbs from the herb garden are available.
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September 17, 2017
Definitely Fall Crops - Beets with Tops and Savoy Cabbage
Other News
By Linda Dansbury
The weather may feel like July, but the fall crops are really starting to take over now - quantities of tomates, peppers and eggplant have really dropped while greens and now other favorites are maturing.
Beets - there's nothing better than a fresh beet! When you get home, cut the tops off the beet roots and store separately for the best storing. This time of year - when it cools down again, consider making soups with your beets and definitely add the beet tops in near the end. Try the Savory Beet Soup, Roasted Beet and Beet Green Risotto, Chocolate Beet Cake or a recipe I just added, Beet and Beet Greens with Tahini Sauce.
Savoy Cabbage - is shaped like regular green cabbage, only prettier with it's darker, very crinkly leaves. Use it in any of your favorite cabbage recipes. Try something new with your cabbage, such as Meltaway Cabbage, Provencal Cabbage and Kale Gratin or Roasted Cabbage with Black Bean Sauce.
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September 17, 2017
Cooking Day!
How I Enjoyed My Harvest
By Linda Dansbury
Last Sunday I was home alone and took to the kitchen (in between watching the Eagles' first game) to cook for the week. Here are some of the things I prepared:

Potatoes, yellow wax beans, scallions, pesto from earlier harvests - I made a green bean and potato salad in which I loosely followed a recipe on this site, but instead of using the dressing in the recipe I used pesto thinned with a little olive oil and lemon juice. It is really good. I have been eating it for lunch on top of a bed of greens and tomatoes and some good quality canned tuna. It will also be a side dish for our smoked ribs today.
Onions, peppers, greens - sauteed the onions and peppers with a but of garlic until they were nice and tender. Put them in the fridge until next day when I heated them back up, added some chopped greens and then made a frittata out of it.
Onions, tomatoes, green beans, garlic, A LOT of greens - made Minestrone Soup. Instead of using the summer squash that most recipes call for, I used green beans - I have a garden that is producing beans too, which is why there is more than one dish for a crop.
It felt good to use up all the greens, for a few days at least! Please tell me how you enjoyed your harvest and/or what you plan to do with all your greens. Email me at lindadansbury@comcast.net and please put Anchor Run in the subject line.
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September 17, 2017
PA Maple Syrup and Honey For Sale Monday 9/18
Other News
by Dana Hunting
Susan and Todd Klikus of Augusta Acres Farm will be at Anchor Run Farm on Monday, September 18th 1:00pm-6:30pm to share and sell their pure maple syrup and pure, raw honey!
  • This is a wonderful opportunity to stock your cupboards with local sweets for the winter as well as get an early start on holiday gifts for loved ones who appreciate meaningful and edible treats.
  • Augusta Acres is located in Beach Lake, PA and is a family-run operation. They farm using only organic methods and are members of Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture and the Pennsylvania Maple Producers Association.
  • Sap from trees located strictly on the farm is boiled down in small batches on their wood fired arch to produce a maple syrup that is dark and robust.
  • Their honey is extracted from on-farm apiaries and is an "all season", raw honey which is dark and very sweet.
Both sweets will be available for CSA members to purchase at pint and quart sizes for $15 and $24, respectively. Cash and checks are accepted when picking up; make checks payable to "Augusta Acres".
Can't make it to the farm on Monday between 1pm and 6:30pm? If you would still like to participate in this opportunity contact Susan Klikus directly at susanklikus@gmail.com and she will set aside your order to pick up on your regularly scheduled pick up day. Payment is due when you pick up your order at the farm.
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September 17, 2017
Workshifts Scheduled for Week of 9/17/17
Other News
By Derek McGeehan
If you still need to work your pledged hours please consider signing up for a workshift soon! In other words, when you joined the CSA you purchased a share "with work discount" instead of a share "without working". If you'd rather contribute financially to cover the work hour cost of your share please do so soon so that we can plan accordingly. And please don't feel guilty about it! The buyout option makes it fair for all members.
$60 covers the 4 hours for a Half Share; $90 covers the 6 hours for a Medium Share; and $120 covers the 8 hours for a Full Share. E-mail us at anchorruncsa@gmail.com if you have any questions.
Workshifts this week:
- Wednesday 9/20 5-7pm
- Friday 9/22 10am-12noon
- Sunday 9/24 8-10am
Workshift sign-up instructions may be found here.
Thank you!
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September 17, 2017
Wild for Salmon Buying Club Order in October
Other News
by Dana Hunting
We plan to coordinate another Wild for Salmon buying club order in October with a drop off date of Thursday, October 26th. Ordering details will be sent out later this month. If you can't pick up on the 26th we can hold your order.
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September 17, 2017
Late Fall CSA and Winter CSA Membership Now Available
Other News
By Derek McGeehan
Watering in grass and clover seed sown in the subtle swales that were created for water management around our replacement movable 'hoop tunnel'. The original structure collapsed under snow load way back during the winter of 2010-2011. This simple structure of metal pipes covered in plastic provides enough protection to allow cold-hardy plants to thrive during the winter months. Think spinach, lettuce mix, baby Swiss chard, claytonia, and bok choy.
2017 Late Fall CSA
  • Full, Medium, and Half Shares are available for the 6th annual 6-week season
  • Prices remain the same as last season: $180 for Full; $130 for Medium; $100 for Half
  • A deposit of $50 or full payment secures your share; full payment is due by November 1st
  • Begins immediately following conclusion of Main Season CSA Harvest Week #26 (Week B)
  • Pick up days are: Wednesday 1-8pm or Saturday 11am-12noon (you choose a day but you can switch temporarily by notifying us in advance)
  • Late Fall Harvest #1 (Week A) is scheduled for week of November 12th
  • Concludes week of December 17th
  • A cold hardy fall themed continuation of the Main Season share with tasty staples like chard, spinach, lettuce, radicchio, arugula, mizuna, tatsoi, bok choy, kale, collards, cabbage, Napa cabbage, herbs, leeks, garlic, scallions, onions, beets, radishes, turnips, carrots, celeriac, kohlrabi, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and winter squash.
  • We use season extension techniques and infrastructure such as the high tunnel, hoop house, greenhouse, low hoops, and row covers to provide fresh crops as well as storage crops.
  • A Full Share receives approximately 8-12 pounds of produce weekly, a Half Share every other week, and a Medium Share receives 2/3 of a Full Share weekly
  • **During the week of Thanksgiving, Late Fall Harvest Week #2, Wednesday's pick up is on Tuesday, November 21st to accommodate travelers and holiday schedules (we'll accommodate your schedule, too)**
  • To join, log in to the website here; the 'join' button will be on the left hand side of your members page.
  • Membership is limited and is at capacity at around 50% of the Main Season number so don't delay!
Abigail is learning how to drive the 95-hp tractor...
2017-2018 Winter CSA
  • Full, Medium, and Half Shares are available for the 2nd annual 10-week season (2 more weeks than last year)
  • Prices remain the same as last season: $300 for Full; $220 for Medium; $165 for Half
  • A deposit of $75 or full payment secures your share; full payment is due by December 1st
  • Begins immediately following conclusion of Late Fall CSA Harvest Week #6 (Week B)
  • Pick up days are: Wednesday 1-8pm or Saturday 11am-12noon (you choose a day but you can switch temporarily by notifying us in advance)
  • Winter Harvest #1 (Week A) is scheduled for week of December 24th - **Wednesday's pick up is on Thursday, December 28th to accommodate travelers and holiday schedules (we'll accommodate your schedule, too)**
  • Concludes week of February 25th
  • A cold hardy winter themed continuation of the Late Fall share with tasty staples like chard, spinach, lettuce, arugula, mizuna, tatsoi, bok choy, kale, collards, cabbage, Napa cabbage, herbs, leeks, garlic, scallions, onions, beets, radishes, turnips, carrots, celeriac, kohlrabi, and potatoes.
  • We use season extension techniques and infrastructure such as the high tunnel, hoop house, heated greenhouse, low hoops, and row covers to provide fresh crops as well as storage crops.
  • A Full Share receives approximately 8-12 pounds of produce weekly, a Half Share every other week, and a Medium Share receives 2/3 of a Full Share weekly
  • During the week of Thanksgiving, Late Fall Harvest Week #2, Wednesday's pick up is on Tuesday, November 21st to accommodate travelers and holiday schedules (we'll accommodate your schedule, too)
  • To join, log in to the website here; the 'join' button will be on the left hand side of your members page.
  • Membership is limited and is at capacity at around 30% of the Main Season number so don't delay!
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