Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Broilers Available
We have about 70 broilers still available for sale.  http://www.genuinefauxfarm.com/surveys/chickenorder.html
We realize the form does not include additional delivery dates beyond July 18.  That does NOT mean we won't find ways to get them to you.  Just select other and indicate to us in comments when you would like them (and how you would like to pick them up).  Options include pickup at either CSA distribution or the farm.

Waverly Members - Grass Clippings?
We are maintaining a few small plots at the Waverly Community Gardens as part of our efforts to get things into the ground when everything was so wet at the farm.  These plots are on sandy soil, so they dry out quickly.  If anyone mows their lawn and catches the clippings, we could use this as mulch.  However - we can't have any chemicals used on the lawn for the clippings to work.  If you think you can help, please let us know.

Dan Specht
 We have connections to many other farmers in Iowa through Practical Farmers of Iowa.  One such person I wish I could say I knew better was Dan Specht.  Dan had the heart and soul of a farmer that believed in doing things in a way that honored nature and supported community.  And, he believed in sharing his knowledge with others.

Sadly, Dan passed away recently as a result of a farming accident.  I post this here for three reasons.  First, this man deserves our respect to the honest and caring way he went about farming.  If more farmers approached their tasks the same way, the world would be a far better place.  Second, it is a reminder to me that we need to stay alert and careful on our own farm.   And third, it encourages us to continue to find a way to make this farm work in the best way we know how.

Aerial Spray Season is Approacheth

We are entering spray season in the country.  Needless to say, this has both of us a little bit nervous.  For those who are new this season, our farm was sprayed by an aerial sprayer on July 27 last year.  The West half of the farm had pesticides and fungicides sprayed on it that resulted in our having to pick, record and throw all crops from that portion of the farm.  Therefore, we are perhaps a bit jumpier about this than we might normally be.

    For those who asked what they could do for us last year, the time is here.  We'll try to put something on the blog about this.  But, in short:
     1. if you witness any overspray by aerial sprayers onto bike paths, roadways, non-crop properties (like your lawn at the edge of town), be prepared to make note of the time and date and the field they appeared to be spraying.  Contact the State of Iowa Pesticide Bureau and file a complaint.  They might send someone to test for residues, but they are understaffed.  Either way, these events need to be recorded to establish a need for change.
2.  you should also be prepared to report spray drift problems from ground spray.  This is especially true if the applicator is spraying on a windy day.
3.  Digital pictures are not a bad idea of these events.
4.  If you are the sort that likes to write - a short letter to the editor to whatever papers you feel comfortable with could be useful.  We don't want you to focus on us.  Instead, we'd like to see people focus on wanting some change.  By saying nothing - or saying "it's Iowa, that's just the way it is here" we are implying approval of these actions - including those taken by some irresponsible chemical application professionals.  Try not to attack anyone in the process.  Instead, we should focus on what these chemicals, when improperly applied can do to all of us AND that we want applicators to be extremely careful and respectful.  Of course, Tammy and I would love to see the use of chemicals decline significantly, but that may cloud the issue too much.  The issue is that we've seen a trend of increasingly sloppy use of chemicals that are created to kill.  We need to stop that first.  Then, we can address the rest.

Crunchy Bok Choy Slaw  (from eatingwell.com)
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups very thinly sliced bok choy, (about a 1-pound head, trimmed)
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
Whisk vinegar, oil, sugar, mustard and salt in a large bowl until the sugar dissolves. Add bok choy, carrots and scallions; toss to coat with the dressing.

GFF Version of Crunchy Bok Choy Slaw  
(since we can’t eat the sesame oil and did not have the rice vinegar, here is our modification – Thanks to Aunt Peggy Howe for the help with this!)
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups very thinly sliced bok choy, (about a 1-pound head, trimmed)
  • 2 medium carrots, matchstick cut
  • 2 large cloves garlic, diced

CSA Helpful Hints
 1.  Take pictures of the trays with their sign as you go through the line.  Our thanks to Jeff Cornforth for this idea.
 2.  Ask people picking up shares around you what the do with some of the produce.  We are also happy to give our thoughts and suggestions, but we have our tastes/favorites and others have theirs.  We can get as many ideas from all of you as you might get from us. 
 3. Ask to trade if you really can't use something.  Often one of the other members next to you might be quite willing to do this.  Sometimes, we might have knowledge of something someone else left.
 4. If you are running late, or remember late, give us a quick call.  We don't start packing until our pickup time is completed.  Packing can take a while.  If you call, we can put your share together and be ready when you get there.  However, don't expect us to be there an hour after our pickup time ends.  It is reasonable to call right around 6pm and expect that we can find a way to pack your share and have it ready.  Odds get progressively lower the further from 6pm you get.
 5. While this is not a hint, it needs to be said.  Our Farm Share members are the best!  Part of what makes this program work is your willingness to invest yourself into the community.  Thank you!

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