Friday, June 2, 2017

June Newsletter

Here we are, in the month of June.  And, we wonder how we got here.  But, since it is a new month, we need a new newsletter.  I am not sure who made that rule up, but we're going to try and follow it anyway.

May Calendar of Events

  • June 1: Delivery 4 Cedar Falls (Trad, WE, AltEven, Trav)
    June 6: Delivery 5 Waverly (Trad, WE, AltOdd, Trav)
    June 7: Delivery 5 Tripoli (Trad, WE, AltOdd, Trav)
    June 8: Delivery 5 Cedar Falls (Trad, WE, AltOdd, Trav)
    June 12: Turklets Arrive at the Farm
    June 13: Delivery 6 Waverly (Trad, WE, AltEven, Trav)
    June 14: Delivery 6 Tripoli (Trad, WE, AltEven, Trav)
    June 15: Broiler Chicks (Flock 2) Arrive
    June 15: Delivery 6 Cedar Falls (Trad, WE, AltEven, Trav)
    June 18: Gang of Four+ at Scattergood Friends School
    Delivery 7 ***Traveler 20 Break Begins***
    June 20: Delivery 7 Waverly (Trad, WE, AltOdd)
    June 21: Delivery 7 Tripoli (Trad, WE, AltOdd)
    June 22: Delivery 7 Cedar Falls (Trad, WE, AltOdd)
    June 27: Delivery 8 Waverly (Trad, WE, AltEven)
    June 28: Delivery 8 Tripoli (Trad, WE, AltEven)
    June 29: Delivery 8 Cedar Falls (Trad, WE, AltEven)
    June 30: Broiler Flock 1 to "the Park"

Festival News:
First Order of Business - No Faux Fun Spring Festival this year.
Why?  Well, we weren't getting too much interest and frankly, we weren't pushing it too hard either.  The May weather set us back and we're working hard to catch up.  We thought we might try to turn the event into a moving the high tunnel day WITH the festival, but the wind predictions don't look favorable (though the forecast keeps changing).

But, the "C" in CSA stands for "Community," so we are interested in doing things that continue to support that concept.  So, here are some of the things we are looking at:

Summer Festival and Tom Sawyer Work Day  August 26

Mark your calendars and save that date.  The 26th is a Saturday.  The Tom Sawyer portion runs from 1pm-4pm and includes set up and preparation for the festival.  If you are willing to come early and help set up some tables, cut heirloom tomatoes for tomato tasting or other sorts of preparation, please let us know.
Over the last couple of years, this festival has featured live music, artistic endeavors (painting and chalk drawing), a farm scavenger hunt, farm tours, turkey feeding, lawn games and the ever popular 'push the green carts around the farm.'  We have also provided a GFF turkey for sandwiches in the past.
If you would like to help us do more with this festival, we'd like to hear from you.  Do you do face painting?  Would you like to help lead some sort of artistic project?  Anyone want to set up a game area?  We have no need to make it terribly complicated, but we do want you all to enjoy the event.  Share ideas and suggest what you might want to do and we'll see where it takes us.
As far as the live music goes, we could see if the Buskers would like to play again this year, or we could consider someone else.  Are there suggestions?  Let us know.

Monthly Events at CSA Distributions
We see you, often briefly, at our CSA distributions most weeks and we're wondering if you might like to do a bit more at some of these distributions?  Our move to St Andrew's Church in Waverly frees us up to do more things there and we have support from Hansen's Outlet in Cedar Falls.  Here are some ideas to start with and we'd love to hear your ideas:
- Farmer Rob could challenge people to a timed game of chess or Farmer Tammy could set up a cribbage board.  And, if you want, we can arrange to have more than one chess board for others to enjoy a little time outdoors and play.  Other games could be arranged, but there is always the issue of possible wind or rain.  Tammy likes cribbage and Rob likes Ticket to Ride.
- When the heirloom tomatoes and peppers come in, Tammy would be willing to work with others to make a nice big pot of pico de gallo and if we can get some people to bring different kinds of chips we can all snack ourselves silly.  Perhaps we can do some other things along these lines?  Maybe we should make some basil lemonade? 

Tom Sawyer Work Days and Work For Food Events
We have already held two WFF (Work For Food) events and admit readily that they are geared towards college students who are willing to do a few things on the farm if there is a Tammy cooked meal as a reward.  We hope to do this again in the Fall. 

The Tom Sawyer Events were, at one time, fairly popular, but we found much less interest in the last few years.  Last year we had a pop-up TSD when we needed help putting plastic on one of our buildings (again, our thanks to all who participated).

We would be pleased to entertain the idea of a TSD event with a potluck at the end.  The key here is that the farmers need enough help that they have to spend so much time in set up and clean up that the benefit of the work is moot.  Does something along these lines interest you?  If it does, we need to hear WHO is interested and WHEN you might like to do these things.  For that matter, if you tell us WHAT sort of things you might like to help with at the farm, we'll see where we can go.

CSA Signup 2017
We will continue to add people to our CSA as people request and we will prorate the amount necessary for the shares.

Song of the Month
Alright by Aaron Sprinkle.  It's a good song when you get a little grumpy about raccoons in the chickens, woodchucks in the melons, rabbits in the chard, soil that is too wet, soil that is too dry, lost emails, sore hands and tired feet.  It'll be Alright.

Recipe of the Month

Spring Veggie Frittata
Easy vegetable dish for breakfast or dinner. Experiment with additional vegetables, spices or meats. This is REALLY GOOD!
1 c chopped asparagus
½ c sliced mushrooms
2 green onions, chopped
spinach (as much or as little as you like)
1-2 T butter or olive oil
4 lrg eggs
1/3 c shredded cheese
Sautee vegetables in skillet with oil until tender (use 2-3 T water to help steam veggies). Add chopped spinach and stir. Don’t over cook vegetables. Make sure some oil remains in skillet so eggs won’t stick.
Whip eggs until fluffy. Add shredded cheese. Pour into skillet, cover and cook approximately 5 minutes over medium heat or until eggs fluffy and cooked through.

Field Report
We thought we might finally be dry enough to play in the dirt and found out that we aren't entirely correct.  Some of the fields are dry for the first inch and then gummy underneath.  It's just part of what we deal with on our farm.  However, we have managed to put in some tomatoes, more radish, kale, napa cabbage, pok choi, lettuce, broccoli and onions.  There is so much more to put in the ground!  We'll keep you informed as things go in.

Our first cucumber succession is official done.  The heavy storms we had a week plus ago took them out, it just took them a while to realize they were finished.  We're looking at some losses in the winter squash and watermelon as well.  It's early enough that we should be able to replant - it just means we have to find the time to do that.

On the other hand, the carrots in the high tunnel AND the field look decent this year.  The peas are marginal, but they should produce something.  The potatoes are germinating (finally) and we have some lettuce that is starting to look really good.

Picture of the Month

Farm News Shorts

  • Rob is finally getting a bit more help at the farm.  Tammy is able to spend more time at the farm now that Wartburg graduation is complete.  Of course, she still has things to do for her job, but she can spend more time here than she can while school is in session.  Jocelyn joined us for four days this week and we hope she decides to come back after yesterday's 'bug fest' with no breeze at the farm.  Emma and Caleb start next week, which brings us to a full compliment for the summer months.
  • How do we forget this every year?  Our hands.  They hurt.  And they're dry and rough.  We always make it through, but there is a two to three week period where we wonder a bit about it!
  • Stormy weather.  The month of May included a three day period where we had several severe storms pass through the area.  We had wind gusts that topped out at 70 mph, 50mph, 49 mph and 48 mph during that period and we also had small hail and downpours.  But, the real kicker was the dust cloud that accompanied the 70 mph gust.
Essentially this is what Rob saw coming at the farm.  Picture from KGAN CBS 2
I did not have time to go get a camera - I was too busy running around.  What you see in the picture is a wall of dust that has been picked up off all of the freshly tilled and planted fields in the state.  I was trying to get buildings closed up, animals secured and everything under cover.  I did not quite get it all done and found myself outside when the dust hit.  Now I know what sandblasting feels like.  I could smell soil, ash and herbicides in the mix to make it even more surreal.  I think I might still be pulling dirt out of my nose and ears from this event.

Tammy was on her way home and had to ride this out in the car just a mile or two away.  Corn stubble pelted the car and was plastered to one side once she got home. 

In one of the 50 mph gusts, nearby Tripoli was hit by higher windspeeds and numerous large trees were downed with some real damage to buildings.  We are hoping that we've had our weather adventures for the year.

Time to Have Pun
Asparagus - the weather was cool, then it warmed up and the asparagus said - OK!  It is now the age of asparagus.  Just don't get me to tell you about the awning of the cage of asparagus... it needs some repair, I think.

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