Farm Update June 6, 2017

From Ammie Chickering, Peacework Farm

This week’s shares:

Full Shares: over-wintered carrots and leeks, bok choi, choice of asparagus or rhubarb (asparagus for Newark shares), kale, pea shoots, Hakurei salad turnips

Partial Shares: over-wintered carrots, bok choi, choice of asparagus or rhubarb (asparagus for Newark shares), green garlic, herb choice

Rainy and cold, cont. It didn’t get out of the 50s on Sunday with more unneeded rain. We had a deluge yesterday that caused a mini-mudslide in the Christmas Tree Field; flattening a few row-feet of kale and bok choi under its row cover. Our neighbor John Ramph (the cash-crop farmer who owns the bison down the road from the farm) says this is his “worst spring ever” for getting on his fields. We’re behind, too, but the weather radio forecast a “sustained warm-up” starting early next week. Let’s hope! Meantime, the asparagus hasn’t grown fast enough to put in all of your shares this week. We’re giving it as a choice with (the also slow-growing) rhubarb to the Rochester shares. We’ll offer rhubarb to Newark shares after it recovers from the first harvest.

What are Hakureis and pea shoots? Hakureis are NOT your grandmother’s turnips! They are sweet salad turnips that are excellent raw or cooked. They can be used in salads or stir-fries. The greens are delicious, too, NOT hairy like regular turnip greens. They can be used like arugula on sandwiches or in salads. Again this week, you’ll have to get your other salad ingredients from Abundance! We have 2 plantings of lettuce sitting in the field waiting for the promised warm-up, one succession waiting in the greenhouse for it to be dry enough to transplant, and a fourth planting of “summer crisp” lettuces that just germinated and are expecting summer weather.

Pea shoots are the top stems and blossoms of field peas we planted last year as a cover crop to nourish our soil. They are not the tops of your future sugar snap and snow peas. The whole thing is edible; the blossoms are particularly sweet. But they are quite fragile so use them soon or put them in a glass of water if you want to keep them longer.

Sam & Sarah! As many of you know, Peacework has been looking for at least 10 years for younger partners to carry on the farm and the CSA as Greg and I gradually age out of being able to do this work. We just recently had a couple come forward who are very serious about farming with us. Sam Zguta and Sarah Hilfiker are both from Wayne County (Sarah grew up in Newark and her mom is still here). They’ve been raising their own vegetables and heritage breeds of poultry for several years with the goal of expanding into farming. They were looking for a greenhouse on Craig’s List, saw our ad for farm partners and gave us a call. Sarah is a graphic artist and web designer (Full Lotus Designs). She made the beautiful composite picture (above) from last week’s first CSA distribution. Sam has many skills including carpentry, stone work and glass-blowing. They have already started working with us as much as their other jobs will allow. And Sarah’s mom (an avid gardener) has helped plant potatoes and tomatoes with us the last two weekends. They seem like a great fit for Peacework; I’m very pleased they found us!