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News and Notes
from the Field

Posts Filtered by Month - September 2019 |
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September 15, 2019
Perhaps the Best Time
Notes From The Field
by Farmer Derek

Start of a Sunday canoe trip down the Neshaminy Creek.
This time of year my well-being is directly related to the weather, state of the farm, health of the crops, and current list of jobs needing completion to keep this ship floating merrily along. Right now the weather is just about perfect (80/60, low humidity, clear skies), the farm is looking good and late summer and fall crops are mostly thriving (thanks to our good crew, members, weather, soil creatures), and the list of jobs gets slightly smaller each week as our planet's revolution around the sun slowly moves us back to winter.
We've been making great effort in cleaning up crop spaces as soon as their productive period is complete with mowing and any infrastructure removal followed by a generous compost application and the sowing of a cover crop. There aren't too many more areas that will receive a fall cover crop so pretty soon that will be another task taking a winter hiatus. I believe we're down to the field tomato and the u-pick crop patches (which cumulatively is a pretty big area). Hopefully starting this week will be the installation/excavation of water ways in that same field to better deal with heavy rain events. Earth will be moved and graded then seeded and mulched.
Our focus will soon turn to inside growing as we prepare our 4 tunnels for late Main Season and Late Fall harvests. Those areas will need manual spading, hoeing, and raking to make beds then we'll plant, irrigate, and watch the crops grow through the early winter.
We'll also begin retrieving additional roots, tubers, storage crops, and big haul items including sweet potatoes, watermelon radishes, daikons, celeriac, beets, kohlrabi, turnips, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and napa/Chinese cabbage. Many of these tasks will be accomplished with the help of workshifts.

Perfect late summer weather for playing outside. Also seen playing outside: 6 turtles, 5 king fishers, 3 water snakes, some unknown species of fish, 2 blue herons, and many delightful insects.
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September 15, 2019
Green Team
Expected Harvest
by Farmer Dana
Harvest #19 (Week A) should include winter squash, potatoes, garlic, onions, leeks, kale, Italian dandelion, endive, arugula, cilantro, dill, tomatoes, sweet peppers, okra, hot peppers, Swiss chard, lettuce, and green tomatoes. U-pick should include herb garden herbs.
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September 15, 2019
What to do with Leeks?
Other News
By Linda Dansbury
Leeks as fresh as we get them store perfectly nice in the fridge for 2-3 weeks. After that, the outer leaves will start to yellow. The best way to store them is wrapped in a damp paper towel in a perferated plastic bag in the fridge. From all that I have read, smaller leeks store for a longer time than large ones, so keep that in mind as you are consuming them.
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September 15, 2019
Farm Deliciousness
How I Enjoyed My Harvest
By Linda Dansbury

Checking on the early variety of broccoli, which should start arriving in shares perhaps in a week or two.
Fall cooking is so enjoyable (I think I say cooking is enjoyable in every season). The kitchen is cooler and the veggies start to shift to things that lend themselves to warming meals. Here are a couple of things I prepared this past week. If there is anything you would like to share with membership, please email me at lindadansbury@comcast.net and please put Anchor Run in the subject line.
Okra - I continue to take okra as one of my choices each week. I slice it into "coins" and then saute in a little olive oil. I add salt and pepper while it is cooking and cook until it is nicely browned on both sides. It turns out almost nutty in flavor - with no slime! A very, very simple and delicious side dish.
Peppers, onions, eggplant, okra, tomatoes, greens, garlic - Recently I have been making veggie stews almost every week. Saute onions, peppers and eggplant until getting soft. Add garlic, okra and tomatoes and cook for about 10-15 minutes until the veggies are blending together. I normally add the greens only to the portion that will be eaten in the next couple of days. Add If using fresh herbs, add toward the end of cooking. If adding dried herbs, add earlier in the process and of course season to taste with salt and pepper. Adding some type of protein - sausage or chicken, or beans, makes it a complete meal, or as is it is a delicious side dish. I freeze the rest to enjoy in the middle of winter when dreaming of warm days and summer veggies!
Peppers, garlic, parsley - Roasted peppers, peeled the skins off, removed stems and seeds then sliced. Placed in a bowl, adding a bit of minced garlic, chopped parsley, salt and pepper and a nice olive oil. These are delicious when eaten in a sandwich or just place a few slices on your plate along with dinner. I often add 1 hot pepper to the mix for a bit of "zing".
Kale - Made a large kale Caeser salad one night - placed a can of tuna over it and had a couple of slices of hearty local bread along with it.
Leeks, parsley, garlic - Made Braised Salmon with Leeks for dinner one night - this is another recipe I had forgotten about until I searched this site. A light, simple and most importantly a delicious meal!
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September 15, 2019
Workshifts for Week of 9/16/19
Other News
by Farmer Derek

Checking on the fall planting of kohlrabi. A forest of arugula, turnips, radishes, and kale are behind. A return of stellar fall brassicas thanks to drier weather.
Workshifts scheduled for this week:
  • Wednesday (9/18) 9-11am
  • Friday (9/20) 9-11am
  • Sunday (9/22) 8-10am
Workshift sign-up instructions may be found here. Calendar is here. Member Work Guidelines are here.
If it is actively raining during the time of the shift it will be canceled.
We're into the final quarter of the workshift season! Work opportunities will last for another month or so but frequency may decrease as we approach and are in Fall/Autumn.
If you still need to complete your pledged farm labor hours for your share discount please sign up soon. Alternatively, if you'd rather pay the full amount for your farm share that is fine, just send us a check to cover the workshift hours.
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September 8, 2019
To Beckon Rainfall, Irrigate
Notes From The Field
by Farmer Derek

A major benefit to a lush stand of cover crop is its simple beauty. A decent sky always helps to enhance/enrich a photo.
The farm enjoyed its first legitimate rainfall in more than a month this past week. As predicted, and the reason I'm most reluctant to devote time and resources to its cause, immediately following the installation and use of the irrigation system, it rained. There's a good chance we'll resume a weather pattern that provides regular rainfall and the irrigation infrastructure will just provide mowing hazards. But if that is what it took for the weather deities to notice our need, I guess it was worth it. That is the past though and we must not dwell on it. There are new projects to devote one's time to.
In between Monday's big rain event and Friday's minor one we transplanted a few thousand little plants, perhaps the penultimate outdoor transplanting event for the season. We seeded the first of 4 indoor greens successions including spinach, arugula, and lettuce mix. The movable high tunnel by the parking lot is going through a bit of overhaul as we dismantle some ventilation systems and install new ones. It will also get a new sheet of plastic as the other one is pushing 8 years on a proclaimed 4-year life.
As crops leave the soil and those areas can now be put to sleep for the winter we've settled into a great habit of spreading compost before a cover crop so that most of the farm will receive a healthy dose at least once a year. This system fits well into our work schedule since we have more available time in late summer and fall to devote to adding compost and it also well avoids the 90 and 120 day rule for spreading compost/manure before a crop is harvested (we're spreading 180+ days before harvest). Continually adding organic matter through compost, cover crops, and crop residue makes a huge difference in the health and quality of our soils and helps plants through dry stretches. By now I would say that more than half the farm has received compost this calendar year and is now in a cover crop mix of buckwheat, oats, and daikon radish. By mid-October all of the available areas that aren't in late fall crops should composted and cover cropped.
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September 8, 2019
Mostly Barn Collection
Expected Harvest
by Farmer Dana
Harvest #18 (Week B) should include butter squash, potatoes, leeks, onions, garlic, kale, chard, endive, lettuce, sweet peppers, eggplant, hot peppers, okra, tomatoes, cilantro, and dill. U-Pick should include herbs from the herb garden. Field U-Pick has concluded for the season. Now we'll prepare those areas for cover crops and get ready for the installation of additional waterways for flash flood water management.
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September 8, 2019
Workshifts for Week of 9/9/19
Other News
by Farmer Derek

Direct seeding arugula, greens mix, and hakurei turnips with what feels like an antique contraption but works marvelously prior to last week's rain event.
Workshifts scheduled for this week:
  • Wednesday (9/11) 9-11am
  • Friday (9/13) 9-11am
  • Sunday (9/15) 8-10am
Workshift sign-up instructions may be found here. Calendar is here. Member Work Guidelines are here.
If it is actively raining during the time of the shift it will be canceled.
We're into the final quarter of the workshift season! Work opportunities will last for another 1.5 months or so but frequency will decrease as we approach and are in Fall/Autumn.
If you still need to complete your pledged farm labor hours for your share discount please sign up soon. Alternatively, if you'd rather pay the full amount for your farm share that is fine, just send us a check to cover the workshift hours.
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September 8, 2019
Freezing Peppers and Tomatoes
Other News
By Linda Dansbury

Double swallowtail larvae action on what we call wild carrot.
Maybe you are wondering what to do with all the sweet and hot peppers you have been collecting. I have been freezing peppers for years, but I decided to look it up to see how it is supposed to be done. I really like freezing some of both the hot and sweet peppers because during the winter I will often decide to make something that requires one or both and rather than having to run out to the store, I can just pull what I need out of the freezer.
For sweet peppers, remove stem, seeds and membrane, cut up the way you would like to use them, place in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze. Once frozen, place in a plastic bag or container. The peppers will get soft, but when you cook them into chili or stew, they are cooked until soft anyway.
For hot peppers, just leave them whole.
As for tomatoes, they also freeze really well. Remove the stem and cut out any blemishes/bad spots. Place whole in a large plastic freezer bag and freeze until ready to use in sauce, stews, soups. The skins will slip right off as they start to defrost.
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September 8, 2019
Cooking with Farm Goodies
How I Enjoyed My Harvest
By Linda Dansbury

Chopped okra, red onion, tomatillos, and sweet peppers tossed with salt, pepper, olive oil, and a sprinkle of rice wine vinegar to be roasted at 400 for an hour will yield an easy and tasty dish enjoyed over rice.
I love to cook, and it is made extra special when the quality and quantity of such amazing produce is a large part of what is available to me to use. Share how you enjoy your harvest by emailing me at lindadansbury@comcast.net and please put Anchor Run in the subject line.
Doing this newsletter both helps me find new ways to use the bounty and reminds me of favorite methods and recipes that are forgotten in the "off" season for a particular crop. I hope it also helps you!
Kale, butternut squash - made the Northern Spy's Kale Salad that I added last week - I made a lot and it really does keep until the next day. I only used grated Parmesan cheese (not the cheddar that is listed) and used pistachios.
Tomatoes, Hershberger bacon, parsley, scallion - found a new salad this week called BLT Salad. Cook bacon, and then for croutons, use bread you like cut into cubes and "toast" the bread in the bacon fat (I skipped this step). Put lettuces in a large bowl, along with cut up tomatoes or cherry tomatoes. I added a chopped scallion and parsley to the bowl as well, but this could be skipped. Then take about a 1/2 pint worth of tomato and a 1/4 cup of good quality mayonaise and process until smooth - for this I used my immersion blender in the smoothie cup that comes with it so I didn't have to get the big processor out. Add salt and pepper to taste, drizzle over salad and it is finished. Yum...
Kale, tomatoes, onion, hot pepper - made the Kenyan-style Kale and Tomatoes. This is a recipe I had completely forgotten about. As the description says, it is eaten as is with flatbread. I think adding a can of chickpeas, white beans or cooked sausage or chicken would be delicious. I ate it as a side dish with grilled chicken, and then had leftovers for lunch.
Potatoes, onions, parsley - made German-style potato salad. Love making it this way because it keeps for days afterward, so I make large batches and then can eat it for a few days.
Tomatillos, cilantro, hot pepper - made Salsa Verde with the last of my tomatillos.
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September 1, 2019
Supplemental Water
Notes From The Field
by Farmer Derek

28,700 feet of drip tape was applied and/or hooked up to tubes that were connected to our 3000' of buried 3" mainline pipes over a 3 day period at the end of last week. All of the drip tape had been saved from prior years and was re-used.
Another round of precipitation came and went without depositing more than a few drops on the farm and as a result we had to resort to irrigation infrastructure investment inundation. Three days and 30 hours later 90% of thirsty crops that still have a harvest life left in them are under water management. Depending on what happens with tomorrow's forecast rain event the final 10% may receive a well water drink. As predicted, after we install the irrigation and run it once, we'll probably receive ample rainfall and we may not have to irrigate those crops again. Such is the nature of farming, and nature. With the completion of August yesterday we can now assess the rainfall total for the month and compare it to the past. With a total of 1.3" received (half of it in the first week of the month), it was our second driest August in 11 years. That follows 8" received in July. September can occasionally be dry so I'm hopeful I'll get to use the irrigation system again now that it is in place.
Besides irrigating, we also finished harvesting the 2019 potatoes. Five varieties and 1,500 pounds of seed yielded an approximate total of 7,500 pounds. Compared to other years, conditions were pretty perfect for harvesting the spuds due to the dry soil which allowed the potato digger to scoop and sift and convey as best it can. We also transplanted more lettuce, chicory, kale, and collards successions. Including this coming week we have 3 more weeks of outdoor transplanting then we switch our focus to tunnel growing for Late Fall CSA harvests. Anticipating a rain event this past Wednesday we also direct seeded another round of arugula and hakurei turnips as well as spread compost on finished crop areas and sowed a cover crop mix of oats, buckwheat, and daikon.
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September 1, 2019
Allium Overload
Expected Harvest
by Farmer Dana
Harvest #17 (Week A) should include potatoes, winter squash, onions, leeks, garlic, scallions, kale, lettuce, tomatoes, hot peppers, okra, Swiss chard, endive, eggplant, rosemary, cilantro, dill, and parsley. U-pick should include snap beans, edamame, green/less-ripe tomatoes (cherry, plum, grape), tomatillos, flowers, and herbs. U-pick crops are quickly winding down; this may be the final week for many of them. Very soon we need to prepare the field for waterway excavation to solve the flash flood problem out there. Also, we're planning to take a brief intermission from sweet pepper harvesting to let them bulk up and ripen.
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September 1, 2019
Late Fall CSA to be Announced Soon!
Other News
by Farmer Dana

Back by very popular demand, rutabaga is also thriving in this dry weather in a field enjoying a post-fallow boost. An awesome winter storage root vegetable, it just might be the tastiest ingredient in a miscellaneous root roast, turning bright orange. It was transplanted this season instead of directly seeding into the soil and thus with adequate spacing and good fertility it is quickly approaching softball size.
Very soon we'll open registration for the 2019 Late Fall CSA. It will run for 8 weeks after the conclusion of the Main Season CSA (which ends the week of 11/4/19, harvest week #26, Week B). After the New Year there may be the occasional Flash Greens, etc, sales.
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September 1, 2019
A few Crop Notes
Other News
By Linda Dansbury

Make a plan and keep good records. Assess health, yield, success, failure of crops, evaluate, make hypothesis, test, make new plan, try again, establish theory. Control some variables. Find what works pretty well most of the time.
Summer crops are transitioning to fall - think greens, potatoes, etc..., so I am sure your cooking recipes and methods are starting to change as well.
A couple notes on crops you are receiving:
Garlic - is now cured and can be stored at room temperature - a cool, dark place is best for keeping the garlic for a while.
Potatoes - don't worry about the small blemishes/holes - they are delicious potatoes and the red ones we just received keep their pink inner color when cooked, making them so pretty for potato salads for your Labor Day cookouts. Store in a cool, dark place, away from onions for longest storage, but keep in mind that some of our potatoes, including the redskin ones are not meant for long term storage.
Onions - these small beauties are meant to be stored in the fridge - they will keep for weeks.
Butternut squash - if you take one with a blemish, use it fairly quickly so it doesn't go bad. If there is no blemish, they can be stored in a cool, dark place for quite awhile - but check your storage crops on a weekly basis so you don't lose them to rotting.
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September 1, 2019
Enjoying the Transition
How I Enjoyed My Harvest
By Linda Dansbury

We simply need a picture of a heart shaped potato at least once per year.
I, like you, am enjoying the cooler, drier weather pattern we have been having. It is pleasant to spend time outside. I didn't realize how much I missed the greens until they came back again! I was away most of the week, so didn't cook much, but here are a few ideas I am planning to do today and tomorrow.
Kale - so school is or has started - need a delicious, healthy, easy after school snack? Make the Kale Chips recipe on this site. I have a couple notes - make sure the kale is dry when you bake it or it won't properly crisp up. Dry on kitchen towels or in a salad spinner. Also, you can top with herbs to add flavoring your family likes - dried oregano, ground cumin, smoked paprika, a bit of chili pepper are a couple of ideas.
Kale Salads - are a nice way to change up your routine - I love Kale Caesar Salad, but I am also adding a new salad called Northern Spy's Kale Salad - switch out any of the ingredients to make it what your family will like best.
Peppers - the sweet peppers have been really bountiful this year and I have been cutting them into a lot of dishes - pastas, salads, and slicing and eating them as snacks dipped into hummus or Edamame Hummus
When we have a lot of peppers, I tend to make Pepper Puree and/or Romesco Sauce. Both freeze well, and I love to pull out a container and use on grilled or roasted meats, veggies or fish later in the year.
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September 1, 2019
Workshifts for this Week (9/2/19)
Other News
by Farmer Derek

A beautiful eastern black swallowtail found on the ground fully intact but lifeless.
Workshifts scheduled for this week:
Wednesday (9/4) 9-11am
Friday (9/6) 9-11am
Sunday (9/8) 8-10am
Workshift sign-up instructions may be found here. Calendar is here. Member Work Guidelines are here.
If it is actively raining during the time of the shift it will be canceled.
We're into the final quarter of the workshift season! Work opportunities will last for another 1.5 months or so but frequency will decrease as we approach and are in Fall/Autumn.
If you still need to complete your pledged farm labor hours for your share discount please sign up soon. Alternatively, if you'd rather pay the full amount for your farm share that is fine, just send us a check to cover the workshift hours.
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