July 28, 2017
Cooler than normal weather this year (like the last three years) provided the ideal weather for the spring and early summer crops. On the other side of the coin, the warm summer crops are reacting to photoperiodism and are all setting fruit. Some of the tomato plants are seven feet high and full of flowers and fruit, boasting stems nearly 2 inches in diameter. Cool weather with weekly rains grows great plants but we need warm humid nights to start the tomato ripening which I believe will be starting this week. The eggplants are supporting pear sized egglpnats and the peppers, which like warm/ hot weather, are lush but fruiting slowly. The bush beans are in full swing and the time is now to start putting some up for the winter. The sweet corn are all swelling and the silks are beginning to turn brown so we should be picking corn in 7 to 10 days. The melons and winter squash are looking good and beginning to flower heavily. The artichokes look like they want to send up a flower stalk but with the cooler than normal summer temps I suspect they may have stalled. The celery is being harvested now and should continue through October. The second planting of heirloom Cucumber and Zucchini are growing strong and should be producing in concert with the tomatoes and peppers in a few weeks (Gazpacho time!). The cauliflower are forming heads and the Brussels sprouts are starting to bud out. Carrots, Beets , Onions and Garlic are in full swing for another two to three weeks. The culinary herbs are all doing well. The kales are entering their summer siesta along with the chard which should all return to rigorous growth once day temps remain below 75 degrees. The collard greens are stable and consistent. The leeks are on track and should be ready sometime in September. The Carolina Reaper Peppers are flowering and by the end of August we will open the door to all you hot pepper fanatics out there to test your stamina and heat tolerance with this one (scoville range between 1,500,000 to 2,200,00).
June 2, 2017
Greens, Greens, Greens! Tis the season to be Jolly especially if you enjoy fresh nutrient dense greens. So far this year we are once again averaging less then normal temperatures (the past four year trend was cooler than normal) and that translates into a bounty of spring/early summer local greens. Add to our colder than normal temperatures an almost steady supply of overcast/ rainy days and we have the stage set for vibrant growth for early season plants. The only thing that would make it better (“a perfect storm”) is a higher level of CO2. Given the unpredictability and volatility of Nature, I will gladly settle for two out of three any day. The Kales, Lettuces, Mustards, Chards, Asian Greens and Collards are in their prime and with the high probability of a cooler wetter June, I anticipate a month long run for all that is green.
The harvesting of nutritious greens from plants that I carefully started from seed, is a time of year that I eagerly look forward to. Living a healthy minimalist lifestyle I manage well enough throughout the winter by utilizing the harvests of the previous season and when I pick and eat that first green leaf of spring my body is reminded of the value contained in fresh greens. Just the intake of living plant enzymes and chlorophyll alone are solid reasons to consume raw locally grown, non-GMO greens. Vitamins, minerals, amino-acids, macro, micro and phytonutrients, anti-oxidants and fiber that our bodies can easily digest and assimilate make eating early season greens worth their weight in emeralds. The time to revive and cleanse your body is now by taking advantage of these essential food sources. Eating local Non-GMO plants, grown in local living organic soil without ANY man-made influences or additives is a healthy way to interact with and be part of the natural environment. Being an active participant in the natural world has fundamental health benefits that modern-man has ignored and over-looked in society’s mindless obsession with materialistic wealth and useless technological gadgets, self serving social outcries about things that contradict natural human behavior and hollow emotional reasoning that robs many of the liberty granted to them by our Constitutional law. So…my point is, now is the time to consume greens which will make you healthier, sharpen your cognitive abilities, loose excess weight, feel better and make you an active participant in nature and part of our wonderful eco-system. Eat your local greens when in season. The season is NOW.
May 7, 2017
“Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends.
We’re so glad you could attend
Come inside! Come inside!
There behind a glass
stands a real blade of grass
be careful as you pass.
Move along! Move along!
Come inside, the show’s about to start
guaranteed to blow your head apart (in a good way)
Rest assured you’ll get your money’s worth…greatest show, in Heaven hell or earth…”
Is every body ready for another year filled with delicious, fresh, diverse and nutritionally dense offerings from our farm? Welcome Back!
I am as pumped up as ever and cannot wait to start “spreading the health” this year.
The rock group Emerson, Lake and Palmer (lyrics above) must have had some foresight into organic farming, our natural needs and the scarcity of real food in the modern marketplace. Sometimes I feel as though Big Pharma and Food Inc. simply want to keep everyone on the tread mill of ignorance and illness care. The media talks about the benefit of eating healthy but fails to divulge the reality of the food supply that they limit you to purchase in their store. (Re: the blade of real grass behind the glass) A supermarket can offer ANY thing they want to as along as you show a demand for it, so why is it with all the buzz about organic food and healthy nutrition out there do we still find so many stores and restaurants stocked full with mass produced, artificial and toxic stomach fillers on their shelves and menus? Then, they add insult to your injury and offer the fake nutrition for inflated price tags. It is as if just depriving you of your basic nutritional needs isn’t enough… they try to impoverish you as well. Charging you more for less product and nutrition. Coffee used to come in 16 oz cans/bags and those little elves in the tree used to make bigger cookies that filled the packaging they came in. I could go on and on about how our commercial food supply is directly connected to many of the personal and societal ills that plague and divide us in this country. I’ll save that for a future post. On to the Crop Report…..
Don’t let the high cost of stale preserved or sprayed GMO produce deprive you and your body the goodness and heath it deserves because this season you can, and will, eat like you were genetically designed to eat. Your body will digest and utilize every last bite. You will mentally and physically feel the benefits and taste the difference between the majority of commercially available GMO delicacies. All you have to do is stop by our stand, bring a cooler or some bags and fill them with the freshest, best tasting economical health insurance you can get.
Every winter I travel looking for heirloom varieties that have long vanished from the marketplace and this winter was no different. Along with our century old local seed stock I like to incorporate regional U.S. and world diversity into every season. This year we offer a 2,500 year old strain of ancient beets, Circa 1800′s Heirloom tomatoes and carrots, 1,000 year old heirloom squash and exotic melons, eggplants and peppers from remote villages and islands of the world. That is some pure heirloom nutrition! And of course all of Johnny’s Organic Farm Non-GMO family heirlooms and cross breeds you have come to know and enjoy over the last ten years. All produce is grown locally by yours truly, 100% organically grown from verified Non-GMO seed, and harvested fresh each morning before opening, once again… by yours truly so when I say it’s fresh and local REAL FOOD I seriously mean it!
Here’s some of what you can pick from this season:
Asian Greens ( 3 varieties)
Beans, Bush (3 varieties)
Beans, Pole (2 varieties)
Beets ( 5 varieties)
Cabbage ( 2 varieties)
Carrots ( 6 varieties)
Cucumber ( 3 varieties)
Corn, Sweet ( 3 varieties)
Chard ( 4 varieties)
Eggplant (4 varieties)
Kale ( 8 varieties)
Leeks ( 2 varieties)
Lettuce ( 5 varieties)
Mellons ( Cantaloupe – 3 varieties / Watermelon - 5 varieties)
Mustard Greens ( 5 varieties)
Onions ( 2 varieties)
Orach ( 3 varieties)
Peas, Sweet Snap
Peppers ( 15 varieties. 11 sweet and 4 hot – one variety is rated 2,200,000 scoville units – for HOT pepper lovers ONLY!!!!!)
Spinach ( 2 varieties)
Squash, Summer ( 6 varieties)
Squash, Winter ( 15 varieties)
Tomatillos (3 varieties)
Tomatoes (18 varieties)
Blue Berries (3 varieties)
Chicken of the Woods
Basil ( 5 varieties)
Parsley (2 varieties)
TEA and Medicinal Herbs
Japanese Sencha Green Tea
Matcha Green Tea (highest anti-oxidant levels of any green tea)
Organic Raw SUPER FOODS (all items are certified organic, not heated and retain the essential living enzymes found in raw food)
Local Raw Honey and Bee Pollen
Moringa (locally grown and air dried)
Spirulina (pure water greenhouse ponds)
Chlorella (pure water greenhouse ponds)
Goji Berries (air dried)
Red Macca Root Powder
Hemp Seed Powder
Well, that is the initial list. I do have a dozen or two other goodies still in the works and if things go well I will add them to the list as time goes by.
Thanks for taking the time to visit and for your interest in REAL FOOD. Only Growers and Consumers can change the way our country eats. I will continue to do my part as long as you continue to do yours. Please stop by this season and experience the freshest, best tasting and nutrient dense food available in the Tri-State area. I would be pleased to meet you. Our open dates and times can be found on our Milford Schedule Calendar page. Check the Ready List page on Fridays to see what will be picked and available for each weekend morning.
May you all find true health and true happiness this year.
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. “ Henry David Thoreau
August 4, 2016
Wow, what a weather season we are having! The past few weeks have turned out to be a great combination of conditions that the summer crops just loved. Aside from the lack of hawks and raptors this year and the resulting explosion of rodent populations (all feasting and stuffing themselves at Johnny’s Organic Non-GMO Summer Buffett) the crops are looking strong and full of blossoms and produce. The weeds are doing great as well. The local bears decided to feast on corn, squash and melons taking turns with the raccoons and skunks at night and woodchucks and black birds during the day. Without a normal raptor presence the field mice, voles, chipmunks, rabbits, skunks, and woodchucks are a handful to deal with on a daily basis. Add to that the voracious appetite of the insect world, the bears and deer I begin to wonder if I am working at a zoo or on a produce farm. One thing that is forever constant, experts at survival, and stubbornly persistent…WEEDS. The aggressiveness and perseverance of undesired vegetation in my crops is something that I truly admire and respect. I always said, when I die I want to come back as a weed. Most weeds are medicinal and contain powerful healing qualities yet a handful are just simply a perpetual pain in the back. One thing is for sure, weeds love organic rich living soil just as much as crops. Did you ever see a seven foot tall lambsquarter or pokeweed that has a 3 inch stem (trunk)? Getting the weeds before they flower is a must or else you get another deposit of 2,000,000 seeds to the soil bank which already has billions of seeds sitting dormant just waiting for the right time and conditions to germinate. Combine all of the above and you have the reason that I organic farm. It is the greatest challenge for any human to face and in direct correlation, returns the highest reward of any career. I can actually say that I am living in the REAL world and not some box painted to look like a world. Well, enough pontification…Here’s the crop report:
The tomatoes are loaded with fruit and with no sign of blight or spot I believe that by the second half of August we should be knee deep with delicious colorful, tasty and nutritious heirlooms. The pepper plants are so full of peppers that branches are breaking and some plants are tipping over. Green peppers are ready now, by mid to late August all the colors will be ready as well as the hot peppers. The cucumbers are non stop, full of cucs and blossoms. The eggplants are 3 feet high and look like a decorated Christmas tree with all the different sized eggplants hanging. The corn has taken a major hit after the ruthless and repeated attacks by bears, woodchucks and raccoons who use their exceptional sense of smell to locate each and every mature ear of corn- they let me know when the time is exactly right to pick. I may have to release the four newfoundlands again this year. That equals almost eight hundred pound of bear and critter protection. They do not like trespassers, especially if they have fur, defending their territory is in the breed. The winter squashes are hanging on after relentless assaults by squash bugs and cucumber beetles as are the melons and some watermelon. It is amazing how many eggs are laid every day by that disastrous duo. I have implemented some counter moves since my family depends on the winter squash harvest to supply us with viable valuable antioxidants and nutrition through the winter months. The broccoli is cranking out side heads already and the Brussels sprouts are raising their bud stalks, a sign that summer is waning. The snap beans, onions, carrots and beets are steady as are the greens. The orchestra of produce is warming up for their summer symphony. Can you hear it? Oh yeah…I can!
July 1, 2016
I cannot believe it is July already! It seems like just last week I was watching a doe drop her fawn and the dandelions were painting the medicinal garden yellow. I anticipate a wet July this year and as a result we should be looking at an abundance of greens. The cucumbers, summer squash and some peppers should make their first appearances as will the snap beans, broccoli , cauliflower and onions. The carrots and beets should continue and the sweet cabbage will peak. The early planting of sweet corn did not fare to well through the onslaught of field mice, black birds, crows and Canadian geese. The survivors may yield a few ears providing the woodchucks, raccoons and blackbirds do not help themselves to the plump sweet kernels. Otherwise we may have to look for sweet corn from the second planting in August. The Eggplants are flowering and the plants are poised to explode with growth. The tomato plants are thriving and flowering steady now. Most have fruit on them however, other than the northern European heirlooms (which will ripen first) we will have to be patient as nature carefully and slowly turns green immature fruit into glorious packages of color, nutrition and taste. I can already taste that tomato sandwich on fresh whole grain and nut bread with home made mayonnaise and a dash of white pepper.
June 3, 2016
August in May! Just when we finally got rid of the endless days of cloudy gloom which slowed plant growth a bit we get hit with a weeks worth of 90 plus degree days. Having helped my uncle in his garden in Arizona some years back, I used a few of his secret tricks to lessen the stress that early high temps can cause. Looking at the crops today I could see that my uncle knew what he was doing back then. The Kales, Chards and Collards are big, leafy and beautiful. The Escaroles are huge and vibrant. Asian Sweet Turnips and Tatsoi are ready as are the Radishes. Between June 12th and June 17th I foresee some varieties of Beets, Lettuce, Parsley, Basil, and Red Orach joining the Ready List. I bet we might even see the first sugar snap peas as well. Toward the end of June look for some Onions, Zucchini, and Carrots to enter the scene.
May 4, 2016
Well it seems like only yesterday that I was eating the last of our stored winter squashes… wait a minute…it was yesterday!That’s what I really enjoy about winter squash, when properly stored they provide fresh raw nutrition throughout the winter months and beyond. This year I tapped into our seed vault and I decided to bring back the Giant Colonial squashes and a few others that I have not offered in town before. You’ll be able to feed your family for the winter for pennies on the dollar with these beauties. Oh so sweet and diverse. I have been as busy as a chicken chasing a fly yet as promised I have tallied up the long awaited list of incredible local edibles for the 2016 season however I did not post any common variety names since many are so old they have long been forgotten or changed over the centuries. I am still working on the histories of many these and if you stop by the stand this season I can fill you in on some of it if you ask. Organic, Open-Pollinated and Non-GMO for sure. For your day dreaming pleasure, here is your 2016 seasonal menu. Enjoy! Produce - Number of Varieties Artichoke - 2 Bush Beans - 4 Pole Beans – 2 Beets - 6 Broccoli - 2 Brussel Sprouts - 2 Cabbage - 2 Cantaloupe/Muskmelon - 9 Carrots - 7 Cauliflower - 2 Chard - 4 Collards - 1 Corn (Sweet) - 7 Cucumbers - 4 Eggplant - 5 Escarole - 1 Greens (Asian/various) - 3 Kale - 7 Leek - 1 Lettuce - 3 Mustard - 3 Onions - 5 Peas (snap) - 2 Peppers (Sweet) - 10 Peppers (Hot) - 4 Pumpkin (edible) - 5 Squash ( Zucchini/Summer) - 7 Squash (Winter) - 12 Tomatoes - 20 Tommatillos – 2 Turnip (Roots and Greens) - 4 Watermelon - 6
151 varieties of 32 different vegetables/fruit
Fresh, local, nutritious and delicious. How can you go wrong. Stop by and re-discover what REAL FOOD tastes like.
September 1, 2015
Well it has been a very unique season so far. Despite the 6 weeks of clouds and rain we had during the peek growing weeks the summer crops have caught up and the plants are loaded with tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and eggplants. So I have been chowing down like a starving deer! All year long I wait to taste the honest flavor of a real tomato and real peppers. The store and commercial stand stuff cannot compare nor suffice. This years pepper crop is tremendous… the plants are at full capacity with 12 different varieties of peppers bursting with color, flavor and sweetness (or heat). I have been busy flash freezing bags full so that I do not have to pay the usual 5 dollars or more for one organic bell pepper that was picked in a foreign country weeks before I buy it. Nothing beats these local organic non-GMO open pollinated sweet bell peppers harvested hours before you eat it! Give your taste buds and body a big treat and pick up some of this years pepper crop for your raw salad recipes. The jalepeno and cayenne plants are so full of peppers that they look like a pile of peppers with leaves in between. I have been pickling them, drying them and making hot sauce. Cayenne is well known for it’s heart support qualities so it is a shame that many people let their fear of the pungency deprive them of the benefits for their cardiac health. The tomatoes are peaking now and the plants are loaded with fruit. The warmer nights ahead will surely accelerate the ripening and it may be a good time to start taking advantage of the lower costs and volume to preserve these summer powerhouses of nutrition. Whether you cook them first and then freeze, put them up in jars in the pantry, or simply just freeze them whole, it’s time to take advantage of the abundance. It looks like the harvest will be over before the end of September so why wait. Pack an heirloom tomato sandwich in your lunch box and bring the nutritious taste of summer with you to work or school. It sure beats what the school cafeteria or fast food joints offer. The heirloom Italian eggplants have fulfilled all my expectations and then some. I was never a big eggplant eater but this year I cannot stop. Tasty and tender with a slight nutty flavor keeps me coming back for more. If you have not tried them yet this year give them a try. The cucumbers are waning. Seems like the cucumber beetles are winning and the plants are generating less flowers. The sweet corn is finished and the zucchinis are slowed but still producing. The cantaloupe and watermelons, although planted later than usual this year, are going strong and with a warm September we may actually harvest some by mid October or so. (Halloween cantaloupe and watermelon carving). Which brings up the pumpkins and winter squash…the prospects do not look good and for the first time in 10 years the critters have all but terminated the crops despite numerous attempts to protect the plants.. I usually relied heavily on winter squash to add colorful nutrition to an otherwise bland winter diet. With a few plants recovering from their earlier trauma of being eaten I still have hope. The kales and chards have coasted through a cooler than normal summer and are poised to flourish as the temps continue to cool down. The artichokes are still slowly producing and with about 10 plants nearing their first bloom I anticipate a trickle of chokes until frost. The second planting of beets are getting bigger and by late September they should return to the ready list. The Brussels Sprouts are forming heads and the plants look healthy happy and vibrant they will be harvested after the first light frost or two. The second crop of broccoli is starting to offer some harvest but a hot September could slow them down a bit. The romanesco cauliflower is forming some unusual looking heads. I am keeping an eye on that. The second round of Asian cabbage is gradually heading up and by first frost we should be picking them as well. That’s all for now. Next update in about 5 weeks. June 29, 2015 I really appreciate your patience with me and the posting of the 2015 crop plantings. Without any further delay… Here is the generic list of the organic, Non-GMO, open pollinated produce that we will be helping nature to grow this year: Bon Appetite!!! 2015 Crop List Brassica oleracea Broccoli Umpqua (Heirloom) Caraflex( Asian typeCabbage) Red Head Cabbage White Cauliflower ** Veronica Cauliflower Red Russian Kale White Siberian Kale Nero Di Toscana Kale (18th century Heirloom) Blue Curly Kale Chinese Green Lance Kale Collard Greens (Brassica oleracea var acephala) - Southern Delight Collard Greens (Brassica oleracea ..) – Georgia var. Brassica rapa Shogoin Turnip Hakurei Turnip Scarlet Top Turnip Frosty Sweet Turnip Beta Vulgaris Fantasia Chard Ruby Red Chard Red Rhubarb Chard (Heirloom) Red Butter Beet (1923 Heirloom) Detroit Red Beet Bolder Yellow Beet Touchstone Gold Beet Forono Beet Daucus carota Purple Sun Carrot (Loaded with Anthocyanin flavonoids) Cosmic Purple Carrot Tendersweet Carrot Big Orange Carrot (family heirloom) White Carrot (founding strain of domestic carrots) Phaseolus vulgaris Snap Beans Royal Burgundy Bean Bountiful Green Bean (1889 Heirloom) Lancaster Yellow Wax Bean (1800’s Heirloom) Pole and Dry Shelling Beans Anasazi Cave Bean (2000 year old variety- loaded with nutrients) Hopi Red Bean (Hopi Tribe Heirloom) Midnight Black Turtle Bean (Latin American Heirloom) Pisum sativum Sugar Sweet Snap Pea (Heirloom) Tom Thumb Shelling Pea (1850’s Heirloom) Capsicum annuum Sweet Peppers Arancione Dolce (sweet orange frying pepper) Green Bell Pepper Red Bell Pepper Yellow Bell Pepper Orange Bell Pepper Chocolate Bell Pepper Purple Bell Pepper Corono di Toro Sweet Pepper Sweet Cayenne Hot Peppers Cayenne Pepper (Red 77, 500 Scoville Heat Units – smoking hot and great for cardiac health) Criolla Sella Pepper (Yellow 30,000 Scoville Heat Units – mildly hot with great flavor) Jalapeno (Tasty with a little bite!) Lycopersicon esculentum Heirloom Tomatoes Abraham Lincoln (1923 Heirloom) Black Cherry Tomato Black Krim (Russian Heirloom) Brandywine (1800’s Amish Heirloom) Cherokee Purple (Native American Heirloom) German Johnson Pink (1800’s PA Dutch Heirloom) Moskvich (Eastern Europe Heirloom) Orange Sunset (Family Heirloom 1800s) Persimmon (Thomas Jefferson’s 1781 strain) Stupice (Czech Heirloom) Hillbilly (Early 1800s West Virginia Heirloom) Giant Belgium (Heirloom) Amish Pasta (Amish Strain) Principe Borghese (Italian Heirloom- for drying) Siberian Rose Johnny’s Open Pollinated Custom Crosses Caspian Pink/ Cosmonaut Volkov Cross Siberian/Black Krim Cross Brandywine/Wild Boar Cross Slicing Tomatoes Grizzly Heart Delicious Indigo Rose Banana Legs Paul Robeson Salad and Paste Tomatoes Amish Paste (great for salads) San Marzano Paste Physalis ixocarpa Spanish Sweet Tomatillo Purple Tomatillo Solanum melongena Traviata Eggplant Rosa Bianca Eggplant Galine Eggplant Cynara scolymus Globe Artichoke (Artichoke lovers get ready - Fresh, Local and Organic!!!!) Ipomoea batatas Sweet Potatoes White Haymen (Heirloom) Southern Cross Sweet Potato (An old southern farmer’s heirloom strain) GREENS and Cooking Herbs Arugula (Eruca spp.) Beet Greens (Beta vulgaris) Escarole Natache (Cichorium endive) ** Mache/Vit (Valerianella locusta) ** Mustard Greens (Brassica spp.) 4 varieties- Purple, Indian, Miike Tendergreen Eiffel Tower Romaine (Lactuca sativa) ** Parris Island Romaine (Lactuca sativa parris) ** Purslane (Portulaca oleracea var. sativa) Red Orach (Atriplex hortensis ) 3 times the Vitamin C as spinach ** Seven Top Turnip Greens (Brassica rapa) Herbs Lemon Basil (Ocimum basilicum citriodorum) Lime Basil (Ocimum basilicum ) Italian Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) Greek Basil Italian Basil Sweet lettuce Leaf Basil Sage Dill (Anethum graveolens) Oregeno Asian Greens Tatsoi Red Komatsuna Raddish German Giant Melon Spice ( Nice and hot!) Amaryllidaceae Onions Big and Sweet Yellow Onions (Allium cepa) Big and Sweet Red Onions(Allium cepa) Sweet Yellow Onions (Allium cepa) Sweet Red Onions (Allium cepa) Shallots (Allium cepa ascalonicum) Cucurbitaceae Summer Squash Black Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo) Green Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo) Yellow Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo) Dinasaur Egg Summer squash (Cucurbita pepo) Latino Summer Squash (Cucurbita pepo) Romanesco Summer Squash (Cucurbita pepo) Winter Squash Red Kuri (Cucurbita maxima) Kaki (Cucurbita maxima) Delicata (Cucurbita maxima) Acorn (Cucurbita pepo) Spaghetti (Cucurbita pepo) Butternut (Cucurbita mixta) Golden Hubbard (Cucurbita maxima) Yellow Kabocha (Cucurbita maxima) Sweet Granny (Heirloom) (Cucurbita maxima) Lakota Souix (Heirloom) (Cucurbita maxima) A VERY rare old time sweet winter squash- A Native American staple. Very colorful! Colonial Butternut (Cucurbita mixta var.) Huge sweet butternut type – up to 35 lbs- excelent keeper! Pumpkin King of the Patch Pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima) Sweet Sugar Pie Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) Howden’s Pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima) Sweet New England Pie Pumpkin(Cucurbita maxima) Styrian Cucurbita maxima) Galeux D’ Eyesines (Cucurbita pepo) Absolutely DELICIOUS Melon Big Loupe Cantaloupe (Cucumis melo) Little Loupe Cantaloupe (Cucumis melo) Carolina Honeypot Cantaloupe (Cucumis melo) Johnny’s Open pollinated local cross “Tropical Breeze”Cantaloupe (Cucumis melo) Watermelon – Congo (Heirloom) (Citrullus lanatus var) Watermelon – Sugar Baby (Citrullus lanatus var pepo) Watermelon – Moon and Stars (Heirloom) (Citrullus lanatus var) Cukes Salad Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) Pickling Cucumber (family heirloom) Lemon Cucumber TEA HERBS Spearmint Peppermint Mountain Mint Chocolate Mint Therapeutic Herbs Lemon Balm Tulsi – a.k.a. Holy Basil (Makes an excellent health tonic and flavorful tea) Skullcap Official Andrographis Echinacea Spilanthes Chamomile Calendula Bee Balm Valerian Figwort Feverfew Stinging Nettle Red Clover Burdock Root Horehound Horseradish …and numerous others BERRIES Blackberry Raspberry Mulberry Elderberry (already dried- for tea) FUNGI Shittake Mushrooms Turkey Tail Red Letters – mean the first planting has already been harvested. means crop is finished (no re-plant) A green 2nd means a second crop has been planted Two purple ** means a second crop will be planted
Well it has been a great year for organic heirloom tomatoes, zucchini and sweet peppers at our farm! Such beautiful vibrant colors that scream FRESH and NUTRITIOUS. The autumn season is first introduced by the beautiful color display of the summer vegetables, secondly by the behavior of the fauna and the loss of chlorophyll in the foliage which allows the leaves to show their true colors. (We get a glimpse of it in the early spring as well) and then the rains come to strip the leaves, the deer enter their rut (careful on the roads– STOP TAILGATING PEOPLE!!!), and the loud V-formations of migrating geese head south. Then we will see only white, grey and the green of evergreens. So what are you waiting for? Grab your bags and boxes and get to Myer Florist this Saturday September 20th for the Harvest Sale. 11 am until sold out! Time to stock up for the long cold winter ahead. Freeze raw or can or prepare dishes to freeze and enjoy the pure sweet taste of color all winter. This year’s squash selection is outstanding! From two month keepers like butternut squash to the champions of keepers like Sweet Meat and Confections which get sweeter the longer you keep them. They will easily get you through to March and April. Keep the stems on, keep them dry in a cool location and with gentle handling and a safe environment they could feed you on Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas Season, Ground Hog Day, and into the Spring. Our winter squashes are loaded with nutrients and antioxidants that can add a bit of autumn color to your snowy nights. Use the squashes as decor this Halloween season along with one of our old fashioned pumpkins. You won’t have to use butternut squash this year to make that holiday pumpkin pie! Our pumpkins have all the flavor you need, unlike the pumpkins you will see sold this time of year. To buy local and eat what is local does not stop with the first melon or sweet corn. To really extract the experience of sustainability one must act like our ancestors and practice the art of healthy winter sustenance. Won’t you join me in the feast? I will set a place for you at the table. See you soon.
Well it has been one banner year for tomatoes!!!! The heirloom and traditional variety plants were LOADED with fruit and as soon as we hit the magic climate combination…they began ripening with a vengence. I would guess that the remaining tomatoes, harvested each day, should be available throughout the next 10 to 15 days and then their availability will dwindle as quickly as they began. The Sweet corn, despite the consumption assualt orchestrated by the raccoons and woodchucks, yeilded more than I anticipated as a result of our high volume harvesting in direct competition with the furry thieves. We tried to pick the ears before they did. For two weeks we feasted on nutrient dense full kernel sweet corn and so did the local fauna. I really cannot blame them…everything likes non GMO organic sweet corn. The cantaloupe and watermelon are being harvested as they ripen. The watermelon harvest will be short however the cantaloupes should continue over the next two weeks (longer if this warm weather continues past that). The winter squashes are looking good and they are sweetening on the vine. Another 7 to 10 days to go unless the critters start nibbling and if that happens then I will pick them all. I anticipate that the first to be picked will be the Butternut, the Red Kuri, Granny’s, Delicatas, and some of the three varieties of kabocha family squashes. Followed by the lakota heirlooms, the hubbards and acorns. The availability of spaghetti squash is begining to decrease. There will also be some pumpkin mixed in. All our varieties are grown for both eating and decor in the autumn. These varieties are the old world type which offer some great eating, as opposed to the modern hybrids grown for long lasting porch props that have a flavor just north of plastic. If you want to carve your organic pumpkin be sure to use the “meat” in your soups, pies, and other fall recipes. Also if your whole pumpkin (uncarved) is not damaged by gobblins or nicks and punctures during the holloween season you can easily use it after the brooms and scare crows are put away. Keep it dry and cool. I am attempting to jump start the fall greens and with some luck and climate cooperation we should start seeing the volume increasing as we head toward Halloween. I would like to say thank you to all those who have not only visited us every week but who share their time and stories with us. Your gracious comments and positive feedback keeps me in the field. Without such wonderful people who have comitted themselves to a healthier and happier lifestyle, our community would become stagnated like so many have these days. Not all change is good, not all progess is beneficial. By returning to our roots and nurturing what has kept the human animal populated on this planet for thousands of years, we can energize the growing social awareness of the truth and reverse the negative foodchain changes forced upon us and the technological advances which most of us can obviously see are harmful to everyone. Spread the healthy word, support your local businesses and keep the faith.
We picked and ate the first seven (7) ears of Northern Sweet Corn yesterday. I ate three raw, steamed two and grilled two. Although not as sweet as our famous bicolor sweet corn, it was sweet enough and officially kicks off our local sweet corn season. If you’re looking for hearty grilling corn these fit the bill. As the ears fill out we will be picking them and making them available on Saturdays at our Meyer Florist location. The Red Hopi corn is steadily filling out and they still have a week or two before we sample them. Our famous Sweet Corn is also about two weeks away. I picked the first three cucumbers of the season and I must say they were super crisp, sweet and juicy. The beans are in full swing and the tomato plants are looking great… most are nearing the 6 foot height, bushed out and full of green tomatoes and blossoms. (Keep your fingers crossed). Some plants are so full of tomatoes that they have tilted the staked in 5′ cages that support them. The peppers are also looking great. All the plants have copious amounts of peppers of various sizes. The sweet tomatillos are almost there and should offer a tasty twist to your meal plans. The beets are now filling out, the behind schedule issue is my fault due to my inability to keep up with weeding the beet rows. I did weed out some of the carrot beds and in those areas the carrots have topped out (full green tops) and can finally focus all that solar energy to their roots. Two inches of rain a week would speed the root growth. The greens are taking their summer siesta and harvest will be scaled back so as not to stress out the plants. The broccoli has also slowed and will be allowed to rest in the shade. With the warm weather crops poised to accelerate to harvest and the cool weather crops having slowed, there will be another week or so of smaller harvests of various crops until the peppers, corn, beans, zucchini, beets and tomatoes steadily increase throughout August. With a good soaker rain every week, I could see August offering a cacophony of healthy, nutrient dense, garden delights. Hang in there!
Well, just as predicted in June the beans are ready to go. The beets are maturing here and there. The basils, parsley and purslane are in their prime. The Dutch cabbage is under select harvest and the Red Head Cabbage is right behind. The 2nd planting of broccoli is headed up, the peacock broccoli is nearing it’s time and I have begun to pick zucchinis and some yellow straight neck squash. The early, grilling sweet corn ears are filling out and the Red Hopi Sweet corn is silk and tasseled. About 16 more days to go. The test rows of our famous sweet corn are in full silk. The first main planting is ready to start silk and the second planting is still growing strong. The black cherry heirlooms are bushed out and covered with blossoms spattered with marble sized fruits and…There are some tennis and baseball sized heirloom and slicer tomatoes waiting for some warm humid nights. If all goes well (and that is a big IF when nature is involved), we could be noshing on the first ears by the end of July and slicing some fantastic heirloom tomatoes at the Myer Florist Stand by the first week of August. I will keep you informed on the Ready List. Oh, I just cannot wait!!!! Next crop report in 20 days. Eat wisely!
With almost everything planted I will soon turn my attention to critter control. Already the rabbits have found a weak spot in the fencing and the woodchucks have burrowed in. The telltale signs of un welcomed guests have turned up in some of the beet rows, the beans, and carrots. Next week I will be closing the doors on the rodent’s open buffet and commence my due diligence on pest patrol. This weather has not only energized crop growth but it has also super charged the non-crop growth. Nutrient dense, well balanced soil is the holy grail for all but the most radical of plants. I have read articles that claim healthy soil prevents weed growth but those authors never specify which species they refer to. All I know is that when I die, I want to come back as Johnson Grass or my all-time most admired…Canada Thistle (Check out its incredible abilities to endure and persevere http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/natres/03108.html) If Monsanto’s annual toxin sales had a silent ally in the plant kingdom it would be Canada Thistle. (With vertical roots up to 20 feet deep the ignorant toxic herbicide user is going to go bankrupt while he consequently poisons our ecosystem) Ok, Here we go…………..The June report: The Kales, Lettuce, Chard, Asian Greens, Escarole and Beets are ALL looking exceptionally vibrant and happy. Providing we avoid a solar flare over the next few weeks and I can close down the Critter Cafe; and the newly hatched swarms of grasshoppers are kept at bay by the pirate bugs, toads, birds, chickens and my Zulu bug whip, then we should enjoy a steady harvest of these healthy greens into the dog days. The heirloom Broccoli is also extremely happy. The first round of 50+ heads were big, crisp and tender. Even the base stem and leaves were tender and delicious. There were no scraps for the compost or the chickens last week. Everything was distributed to the community and what small bits were left I happily gorged upon. There will be one more harvest of broccoli from the first planting and that will be before June 23rd. Adding to the above, next on the horizon appears to be Peacock Broccoli, Basil, Parsley, Cabbage, Turnip Greens, Purslane, Heirloom Broccoli(2nd planting) Burgandy Bush Beans, Bulls Blood, Zucchini and Beets. Until then: “The prayer of the farmer kneeling in his field to weed it, the prayer of the rower kneeling with the stroke of his oar, are true prayers heard throughout nature.” Ralf Waldo Emerson
I hope everyone had a safe and sound winter season! I apologize for the lack of postings and info since January. I have been a busy bee creating the foundation for this year’s cornucopia.
THANKS for your patience and understanding, I promise it will be worth the wait! Eat our “locally raw” buffet this year and you won’t have to worry about health care insurance. Preventative Care is the wise way, and natural way, to go.
Get ready for taste bud ecstasy and nutrition overload because we have some GREAT immune building treats to offer this season. I did some traveling and networking this winter and discovered some old time heirloom goodies that came from old seed saving farmers and multi-generational rural families. Others were dug up from Winchester Virginia, Lancaster and Strasburg, PA and some were sent by friends out west and overseas (you’re talking really old and rare varieties).
Of course, all the usual favorites that many of you enjoyed last year will be available this year as well.
We have more than twenty new delicious, knock your socks off, nutrient dense goodies to offer this year and I guarantee you won’t find anything this fresh picked, filled with the true nutrition and wholesome goodness of nature, or of such high nutrient quality at any other produce stand this side of the Mississippi!!!! It is real food maximus!
Here is the general list of our organic, Non-GMO, open pollinated produce that we have in the ground and will be helping nature to grow this year…
2014 Crop List
Brassica oleracea Broccoli Umpqua (Heirloom) Purple Peacock broccoli (Open Pollinated cross between broccoli and Red Russian kale) Danish Cabbage Red Head Cabbage Purple of Sicily Cauliflower (17th century Heirloom) - Nature permitting–cross your fingers Red Russian Kale Nero Di Toscana Kale (18th century Heirloom) Blue Curly Kale Collard Greens (Brassica oleracea var acephala) Brassica rapa Shogoin Turnip Beta Vulgaris Fantasia Chard Ruby Red Chard Swiss Chard Northern Lights Swiss Chard Fordhook Golden Chard (Heirloom) Red Butter Beet (1923 Heirloom) Detroit Red Beet Bulls Blood (Early American Heirloom – Excellent greens) Bolder Yellow Beet Touchstone Gold Beet Daucus carota Purple Sun Carrot (Loaded with Anthocyanin flavonoids) Cosmic Purple Carrot Tendersweet Carrot Nantes Carrot Phaseolus vulgaris Snap Beans Royal Burgandy Bean Bountiful Green Bean (1889 Heirloom) Lancaster Yellow Wax Bean (1800’s Heirloom) Pole and Dry Shelling Beans Anasazi Cave Bean (2000 year old variety- loaded with nutrients) Hopi Red Bean (Hopi Tribe Heirloom) Midnight Black Turtle Bean (Latin American Heirloom) Pisum sativum Sugar Sweet Snap Pea (Heirloom) Tom Thumb Shelling Pea (1850’s Heirloom) Capsicum annuum Sweet Peppers Arancione Dolce (sweet orange frying pepper) Green Bell Pepper Red Bell Pepper Yellow Bell Pepper Orange Bell Pepper Italian Green Sweet Pepper Sweet Red Pimento Pepper Hot Peppers Cayenne Pepper (Red 77, 500 Scoville Heat Units – smoking hot and great for cardiac health) Criolla Sella Pepper (Yellow 30,000 Scoville Heat Units – mildly hot with great flavor) Lycopersicon esculentum Heirloom Tomatoes Abraham Lincoln (1923 Heirloom) Black Cherry Tomato Red Appalachian Cherry Tomato Black Krim (Russian Heirloom) Brandywine (1800’s Amish Heirloom) Cherokee Purple (Native American Heirloom) German Johnson Pink (1800’s PA Dutch Heirloom) Moskvich (Eastern Europe Heirloom) Orange Sunset (Family Heirloom 1800s) Persimmon (Thomas Jefferson’s 1781 strain) Stupice (Czech Heirloom) Hillbilly (Early 1800s West Virginia Heirloom) Johnny’s Open Pollinated Custom Crosses Caspian Pink/ Cosmonaut Volkov Cross Slicing Tomatoes Grizzly Heart Beefsteak Rutgers Delicious Salad and Paste Tomatoes Amish Paste (great for salads) Monica-Nova Physalis ixocarpa Spanish Sweet Tomatillo Purple Tomatillo Cynara scolymus Globe Artichoke – Nature Permitting Asparagus Officinallis Mary Washington Asparagus – Nature Permitting GREENS and Cooking Herbs Arugula (Eruca spp.) Beetberry (Strawberry Spinach) (Chenopodium capitatum) Beet Greens (Beta vulgaris) Escarole Natache (Cichorium endive) Golden Giant Escarole (Cichorium endive) Mache/Vit (Valerianella locusta) Mustard Greens (Brassica spp.) Eiffel Tower Romaine (Lactuca sativa) Parris Island Romaine (Lactuca sativa parris) Purslane (Portulaca oleracea var. sativa) Red Orach (Atriplex hortensis ) 3 times the Vitamin C as spinach Seven Top Turnip Greens (Brassica rapa) Lemon Basil (Ocimum basilicum citriodorum) Lime Basil (Ocimum basilicum ) Italian Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) Garlic Chives (Allium tuberosum) Dill (Anethum graveolens) Asian Greens Tatsoi Red Komatsuna Zea Mays All of our corn is Open Polinated and Non-GMO Fishers Early Sweet Corn Hearty Yellow Northern Sweet Corn Red Hopi Sweet Corn (Hopi Indian variety -All red- Eaten fresh on the cob or dried and ground into a nutrient dense flour) Johnny’s Reknown Bi-color Sweet Corn (Oh Yeah!!!!!!!) Amaryllidaceae Onions Big and Sweet Yellow Onions (Allium cepa) Big and Sweet Red Onions(Allium cepa) Sweet Yellow Onions (Allium cepa) Sweet Red Onions (Allium cepa) Shallots (Allium cepa ascalonicum) Cucurbitaceae Summer Squash Black Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo) Green Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo) Yellow Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo) Winter Squash Red Kuri (Cucurbita maxima) Kaki (Cucurbita maxima) Delicata (Cucurbita maxima) Acorn (Cucurbita pepo) Spaghetti (Cucurbita pepo) Butternut (Cucurbita mixta) Golden Hubbard (Cucurbita maxima) Yellow Kabocha (Cucurbita maxima) Sweet Granny (Heirloom) (Cucurbita maxima) Lakota Souix (Heirloom) (Cucurbita maxima) A VERY rare old time sweet winter squash- A Native American staple. Very colorful! King of the Patch Pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima) Sweet Sugar Pie Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) Jack O Lantern Pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima) Sweet New England Pie Pumpkin(Cucurbita maxima) Big Moon Pumpkin(Cucurbita maxima) Melon Big Loupe Cantaloupe (Cucumis melo) Little Loupe Cantaloupe (Cucumis melo) Carolina Honeypot Cantaloupe (Cucumis melo) Johnny’s Open pollinated local cross “Tropical Breeze”Cantaloupe (Cucumis melo) Watermelon – Congo (Heirloom) (Citrullus lanatus var) Watermelon – Sugar Baby (Citrullus lanatus var pepo) Cukes Marketmore Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) TEA HERBS Spearmint Peppermint Mountain Mint Chocolate Mint THERAPEUTIC HERBS Lemon Balm Tulsi - a.k.a. Holy Basil (Makes an excellent health tonic and flavorful tea) Skullcap Official Andrographis Echinacea Spilanthes Chamomile California Poppy Nasturtium Calendula Bee Balm Valerian Figwort Feverfew Stinging Nettle Red Clover Burdock Root Horehound Horseradish …and numerous others BERRIES Blackberry Raspberry Mulberry Elderberry (dried- for tea) FUNGI Shiitake Mushrooms Turkey Tail