Saturday, July 1, 2017

July Newsletter

While it is not exactly a July thing since we took our first batch of broiler chickens to "The Park" in late June, our efforts to sell said birds actually land in July more than June - so it remains appropriate!  This batch of birds resided in the pasture just Southeast of the old barn.  There is/was lots of clover there and they really showed a good tendency to spread out in their area to forage - which makes us very happy.  The birds were very strong and landed in the 4.5 - 6 pound range after processing.  They are now at "Freezer Camp" and awaiting invitations to family dinners in the area!  Interested?  Contact us!

July Calendar of Events

  • July 4 - 5: No deliveries
    July 6: Delivery 8 Cedar Falls (Trad, WE, AltEven)
  • Week of July 10 - Chicken Share Deliveries Begin
    July 11: Delivery 9 Waverly (Trad, WE, AltOdd)
    July 13: Delivery 9 Cedar Falls (Trad, WE, AltOdd)
    July 16: Gang of Four+ at Wabi Sabi Farm
    July 18: Delivery 10 Waverly (Trad, WE, AltEven)
    July 20: Delivery 10 Cedar Falls (Trad, WE, AltEven)
    July 25: Delivery 11 Waverly (Trad, WE, AltOdd)
    July 27: Delivery 11 Cedar Falls (Trad, WE, AltOdd)

The two of us have had the opportunity to experience different careers and the life that comes with them.  At one point in time, we both were involved in academia.  At another, each of us worked in our fields of training (Social Work for Tammy, Computer Science for Rob).  We were not strangers to hard work and long hours prior to the beginnings of the Genuine Faux Farm.  This isn't really about hard work or being busy either.  It's about accomplishment and the opportunity to reflect once a major task is complete.
There was a time that we would have felt that moving a 30' x 96' building from one location to another would be a major accomplishment worthy of a celebratory meal and some down time later in the day.  Well, ok, there was also a time when planting a 30' x 30' garden was a reason for the same reaction as well.  In fact, we did have lunch with our helpers after the building was successfully in place.  Then, we went out and worked some more on other tasks.  We did not spend a great deal of time basking in the glow of the accomplishment, because we had other good sized accomplishments that were due to be reached before the day was up.

In some ways, our growing season is a bit like a musical performance.  There are passages that are more difficult and require significant effort by the players than others.  The performers can't stop and admire what they have wrought (or stop and cringe if they make mistakes).  They must continue until the piece is over.  The time for reflection and basking in the glow of work well done happens when the musical piece concludes.

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
The sun comes up early enough that Tammy and I usually don't have too much trouble waking up initially.  But, there is awake and there is "awake."  This a song we've been enjoying as a morning wake up song lately.  It helps when we're having a bout of the "I don't want to's."

Recipe of the Month

Chicken Bruschetta
From WebMD's Recipe Finder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
4 (4-ounce) pieces of chicken, skin off
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon olive oil
8-ounces sliced mushrooms
1 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced (about 5 ounces)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preheat broiler. Combine garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl; sprinkle chicken with garlic powder mixture. Place the chicken on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray, and broil for 6 minutes on each side or until chicken is done. Remove the chicken from pan, and keep warm.
Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, mushrooms, zucchini, and minced garlic; saute 2 minutes. Add 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, tomato, onion, basil, and vinegar; saute 3 minutes. Serve the vegetable mixture over chicken; sprinkle with cheese. Yield: 4 servings

Field Report
We have gotten our fair share of rain (and then some) over the past couple of weeks.  Yes, things were starting to get on the drier side, so we were happy to be getting some rain.  But, you know we're teetering on "too much" when we start to see the weeds in the field getting away from us even though we had done a very good job of getting those same fields cleaned up prior to the rains.

The rain has prevented us from putting our next batch of lettuce and short season crops into the ground.  Otherwise, we have planted the majority of our crops.  We still need to put in succession III of cucumber, summer squash and zucchini and they are due to go in fairly soon (mid July).  Rather than overdo the report and tell you about all of our crops, we'll focus on a few:

Tomatoes: The tomatoes in Eden have tomatoes set on them.  Most of the plants look healthy and we think we'll get a few tomatoes by the end of July (which is good for our farm as our tomato harvests tend to be strong from mid-August to October).  The tomatoes in Valhalla are just in since they focus on providing us late tomatoes.  Last year our Valhalla tomatoes produced into mid-November.  The field tomatoes are ready to be mulched and caged, which is right on schedule.

Carrots: The carrots in Eden are a bit sparser than they have been, but we were hoping to go for a bit more size this time around.  Last year we seeded too heavily and didn't find time to thin.  The result was a good number of smaller carrots.  They tasted fine, of course, but a bunch of little carrots are a good deal harder for us to clean than fewer, larger carrots.  We suspect the final volume will be about the same when all is said and done.  Believe it or not, the field carrots also look pretty good.  Per the norm, they are a couple weeks behind the high tunnel carrots in development.  A quick weeding would be good for them, but they are general in decent shape.

Napa Cabbage: There is a batch of napa cabbage in the southwest field that is starting to look like Napa cabbage should look like.  Heads are not yet forming, but the outer leaves are getting larger and the plants look reasonably healthy.  Our guess is mid to late July for these.  The next batch is in trays and need to go into the ground.

Picture of the Month
Anything that shows dead weeds and healthy plants works for us right now!

Farm News Shorts
  • Rob has been asked to present at a conference in Canada this year.  He's never been in Canada, so we're both looking forward to it.  Perhaps we'll tell everyone more about it at a later time.
  • Herbicide spray drift has become a bigger issue the past couple years than it ever was before.  The dicamba product is subject to volatilizing and drifting after application, with the potential to travel miles before resettling.  Many people, including our own operation, are reporting spotting on plants that is almost certainly from some sort of herbicide.  The problem was serious before and apparently things are going to get worse before they get better.  Please consider learning more about the problem so you can be a part of the solution.
  • Farmer selfies.  This is about as close to a real selfie you'll get either of us to do.

Time to Have Pun
President Teddy Roosevelt decided to go on a big game hunt in the jungles of Africa. While deep in the middle of the jungle, he came across a beautiful lake. He immediately pulled out his fishing pole and started to fish in the lake. A short time later, he caught a huge carp and reeled it in and laid the carp down on the ground to remove the hook. As soon as the hook was removed, the carp leaped in air and knocked TR's wallet out of his jacket. The carp then grabbed the wallet in its mouth, jumped into the lake and began swimming away. TR immediately jumped into the lake and began swimming after the carp to retrieve his wallet. Just as TR was about to catch the carp, the carp handed TR's wallet off to a second carp. TR swam furiously after the second carp and was closing in fast on the second carp when the second carp handed the wallet off to a third carp, who quickly swam away from the exhausted TR. This is the first known example of carp to carp walleting.

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