Wow, it seemed nice for the first couple of days when it got up to the 80’s but I must admit that as it stays in the high eighties, I get a bit worried. In the end we are quite dependent on the weather. Hopefully this large spike is not a sign of the season to come with too high temperatures. Sadly, the weather is so incredibly erratic from year to year in this time. I do feel that the best we can do is to keep the soil covered wherever and whenever possible and continue to photosynthesize as quickly as we can. Photosynthesis is always difficult at this time of year when annual plants are so small and only have a very modest photosynthesizing capacity.

This week we were able to get our four trellises up for pole beans, and get them and all of our corn and also bush beans planted. Add to that more lettuce and fennel and we accomplished all the hoped for planting. So far we have been able to stay current with the planting, but with the CSA starting today, the challenge of managing, picking, packing, and delivering shares, along with perennial management, planting of many more vegetables, weeding, and mulching, becomes a larger logistical challenge. But hey, here is hoping we can pull it all off!

Stu and Juan with freshly picked kale in our new and improved cart – thanks Anthony (1), Ari and Maya stand next to our completely filled garden – note the rock harvest (2), hoop house packed with CSA greens and seedlings (3 & 4), this peppermint is pungent and nutrition packed (5), 4 year old grandson Raphael showing off his 28 eggs (6), bean trellises in process (7), Dan on his first day here. He was quoted as saying, “This is the best breakfast. I am going to buy a farm when I grow up.” (8)

CSA Update
Yes, we start today, Wednesday and Friday. Be sure to look over last week’s detailed info on how and where to pick up. Be in touch if you are at all in need of support. Here is what you can expect in your share

  • Spinach– you can eat spinach raw in salads or steamed on the side, and in almost any casserole. If adding it to soups, do so in the last 5 minutes so that it maintains its great vitality
  • Swiss chard and kale mixed – we grew these over the winter and spring in the hoop house. Today’s is a cooking mix. Though you can eat them raw, most prefer them cooked. Use those nutritious stems also, chopped more finely so they are easier to chew. I love to dice them up and eat them in scrambled eggs. I add them with chives, sautéed first, and then scramble up the eggs and cook them once the vegetables are softened.
  • Chives – These can go into your salad or your stir fry or your soup. These perennial alliums will add a nice zing either raw or cooked. Eat that little seed head too for a burst of onion flavor.
  • Lettuce with mint (both peppermint and spearmint), lemon balm, sage, sorrel, thyme, and perhaps some things I have forgotten) is a mix for your salad. Enjoy
  • Turnips – just a handful for slicing in salads or sautéing
  • Radishes – I started slicing the entire plant this spring, and either adding it to salads or to a veg and meat stir fry or scrambled eggs. This year consider trying to throw away only the smallest amount of vegetable matter. The roots, stems and greens are all quite nutritious, each bringing its own profile of minerals and vitamins.
  • Beets – a small number for some of the large shareholders

Clare and I will continue to lose sleep for the next couple to three weeks as quantities for the CSA are somewhat light. Please bear with us and the season as we gear up to a more abundant summer season!

Important note for next week. May 31 is a holiday and we will not be picking that day. Next week Monday shares will happen on Tuesday, June 1. The rest of the week will proceed as usual.

Click to view a tour of your upcoming CSA share!

Recipe this week – Jack’s Famous Salad Dressing
We make our own salad dressing at MHOF and it is well loved. First just a note on oils. Never use hydrogenated or gmo oils. Corn and canola will almost always fall into those categories. And most vegetable oils are suspect for your health. Good oil is expensive for sure, but good health can’t be bought further down the line with operations or drugs.

  • 2 cups organic olive oil
  • 1 cup organic cider vinegar
  • ½ cup organic ketchup
  • ¼ cup of raw honey
  • Celtic sea salt – 1-2  tsp
  • Organic Mustard powder – 1 T
  • Organic paprika powder – 1 T

Shake and use. You will have to thaw it out before using it once it has been stored in the fridge.

CSA still open
If you want to join the CSA but haven’t yet gotten around to it, it is not too late. Check the website for the weekly downwardly changing prices. We are grateful to start the season with 146 shareholders – our largest CSA yet.

Farm Doins
We spent a lot of energy getting some side dress fertility applications put down around all of our vegetables, our fruit trees and small fruit holdings. Aside from the planting mentioned above and fence building we also did our first round of mowing, finished up the cart and significantly knocked back the bishops weed in the rhubarb, along with drying a fair amount of comfrey for later use. Skippy didn’t chew up too much outdoor furniture and the mother cats materialized another 3 kittens swelling the numbers in our bedroom to 20! Maya groomed Franny and tick removal continues apace!

Jack Update
He is sporting a new knee and his physical therapist is impressed with his range of movement. There is a fair amount of pain for sure, but he is on the mend. And thank you so much for all of you who reached out in support.

Staff Update
Jonathan came to volunteer on Wednesday – we put all 14 of us to good use that day. John started as a working shareholder and Cindy rejoined us as a working shareholder.

It is a bit short this week – operations take lots of available energy.