Friday, October 28, 2011

Snow in October?!?

Every good farmer becomes obsessed with the weather. I am constantly fighting over the computer with Andy like school grade siblings. Be thankful that he's the boss and wins the elbow shoving run toward the computer or your share would be quite short this week due to snow! Our biggest harvest of the week is on Friday in preparation for the weekend, but Andy decided to harvest Thursday instead. Good choice considering we woke up to over an inch of snow... heavy, wet snow covering our crops and fields. It's still pretty early in the season for snow to be sticking the ground! Who can really complain when all the weather patterns this year have been so obscure.

This week's harvest includes:
Lettuce, arugula, kale, chard, mustard greens, bok choy, carrots, beets, potatoes, leeks, cabbage, radish, broccoli, winter squash and garlic!

Make sure to check out this month's Saveur Magazine and read the article "The Roots of Flavor"

CSA MEMBERS... can't believe the season is over? Want to extend your share just one more week?? We are offering an extra share next week if you sign up for the 2012 season and pay for your share in full. Enjoyed what we offered this year? Be sure to tell your friends. We hope to see your smiling faces in 2012.

Thanks for all your support!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


We are back on track here at the farm! The days of hurricanes and tropical storms are a distant memory (except for the lack of winter squash, but let's not dwell on it). The last few weeks have seemed like a normal fall. Warm sunny days makes for a happy farm crew. We have been busy bringing in our big fall harvest of beets, carrots, potatoes, leeks, turnips and beautiful greens. When the fields have had enough after the intermittent rains, we have been turning them over and planting winter rye. This protects our bare ground for the long, cold months and gives us some biomass to plow under in the spring.
When we are not busy in the fields, we are cleaning up and organizing our mess from the past season and brainstorming for next year. Our hopes are to create a better, more efficient system in all aspects of our farming methods, from tending to our crops to washing and packing them up for you. We hope you've appreciated our efforts and savored our veggies.

This week's share includes:

Kale, Radishes, Potatoes, Garlic, Winter Squash, Carrots, Beets, Cabbage, Salad Mix, Daikon, Bok Choy, Mustard Greens, Escarole, Brussel Sprouts, Leeks, Swiss Chard, Braising Greens

Next week is the last week of our CSA pick-up! Saturday, October 28th will be our final CSA day of 2011. We can't believe the season is over, especially with this unreal weather we've been having. We're certainly not complaining! Usually we're cursing the cold weather as we're outside harvesting and washing veggies. We are currently signing people up for the 2012 CSA season; hopefully we'll see many of your smiling faces return.

Also a big thanks to all our attendees who made it to our Fall Feast, all of our volunteers, and a BIG Shout Out to the talented Blue Ribbon Boys and our amazing friends Tim, Taryn & their crew from # 9 Restaurant. They kicked ass--make sure to visit #9 in Millerton. Maybe we'll see you there... maybe you'll buy us a drink! Joking.... well, kind of.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Mosquitos are driving us f*#king crazy!!

We've found a purpose for the copious amounts of rain and we don't like it one bit. Breeding mosquitos. Earmuffs kids... F*#king Mosquitos. We have been harvesting at racetrack speed today. Poor Max's face is swollen from all the little suckers bites. We're even getting bit through our clothes. And yes, we are currently accepting sympathy. Just for a quick moment. We'll get through it! It's been a tough year, but we're tougher!

What we're harvesting....

Leeks! I think it's time for some Potato Leek Soup.
We also have salad greens, potatoes, peppers, onions, kale, chard, escarole, tomatoes, garlic, beets and carrots.

Happy 1st Day of Fall!!!

We love fall, even though it means farming season is winding down. It's a great time to make soup and we've got plenty of ingredients for them! How about White Bean and Escarole Soup or Potato Leek?? Need a recipe? Let us know and please feel free to share with one another.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Rain, rain.. go away!!!

Looks like more rain folks! Just what we wanted to hear. Calling for another 5 inches and that’s about 4 inches too many. With the river already very full, this rain will for sure send the water rushing over the banks one more time. The good thing is it can’t do any worse than Irene.

Things were nice and dry out there after the beautiful weather we had last week, 6 sunny days to dry us out after the storm. Wow it felt like August! We quickly took advantage and got to cultivate our fall crops knocking out weeds in the lettuce, escarole, Asian greens, carrots and beets. Hayley then jumped on the tractor to disc in what were our summer roots, lettuce and greens to make room for a lush cover crop of oats and clover. (Side note…. we use cover crops after a cash crop to replenish the soil with nutrients, smother out weeds and protect our soil for the winter months. This insures us a rich soil to be planted for many years.) Then when the soil was dry enough we pushed on to seeding spinach, lettuce and arugula to see if we can’t make up for some losses because of Irene. We shall see. It is a little late to be putting seeds in the ground but who knows, we may have a warm fall which would make our growing season last a little longer.

I want to say thank you all for your support in the days after our flood. It has been a trying time here on the farm. We did lose some crops, but it was not as bad as other farms that experienced 100% crop loss. I guess that is how it goes out here on the farm. You win some you lose some. We are very thankful we have some fields that are away from the river in times like these. Who knew that August 2011 was going to be the wettest on record?!

Eat those tomatoes!!!!!

We have been busting our butts harvesting tomatoes before the rain washed the rest of them away too. Not really, but the rain will damage them so we spent our dry days picking the rest of them, even if they are/were a day or two away from ripe perfection. There are no holidays in the farming biz. Labor day really was laborious. (what a terrible word.... laborious)
Speaking tomato talk... this is a 'Last Call' for tomatoes!! One of our favorite summertime veggies is coming to an end. It has been a great tomato season despite the weather. Tomatoes loathe the copious amount of rain we've had, but they've been delicious despite their cracks of pain and weathered appearance. We've greatly enjoyed them and are sad to see 'em go. Until next season tomatoes... farewell.
We hope you are enjoying your late summer harvest.

To the big city.. NYC

Exciting new ventures for us and maybe you too! We are expanding our CSA this fall with two new drop off points to our southern friends in Brooklyn and the West Side. We will start delivering CSA shares Wednesday, September 14th to Crossfit South Brooklyn and at Columbus Tavern in Manhattan. If you or anyone you know is interested, please spread the word and have them contact us. This is a city premiere that will run through November.

Time to kick back with the farmer's

Farmer's Feast tickets will be available as soon as they are in our possession. This will hopefully be this week. Tickets are $40 and for sale in the farm store. I hope you're as excited as we are!! Save the date to party with us.. Sunday, October 9th. Great food, friends and music.

With wet boots we thank you again!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Aftermath of Hurricane Irene August 2011

What a crazy, devastating day at the farm this Monday, August 29th. We are here, under water assessing our crops after the wrath of Hurricane Irene. There's not much we can do at this point. Are spirits are low, but we're trying to remain hopeful. Many of our crops are under water including our winter squash, celery, leeks, some of our kale, herbs, broccoli and tomatoes. We may be able to salvage some of these crops, but it's too early to report at this time.

I hope many of you are safe and dry. Make sure to check out of Facebook page to see all of our pictures and videos. Be sure to check back for more updates and pictures. Here is a video Andy and Meghan shot around 10am of our back field containing our winter squash, celery and leeks. The Roe Jan stream has turned into a river, engulfing most of our crops and even our deer fence.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Melons! Brooklyn! Party! What?

Field Update:

Melons! Yes folks, we are here…. Late summer! The melon crop has been great! The yellows (Sunshine) have received the highest marks with the pinks (Sugar Babies) coming in close second. We have an abundance again this year so juice them up or enjoy a watermelon salad! We are going to be introducing the cantaloupe this week so get ready for another delicious juicy treat!

The heavy rain this past weekend and the rain from last week left some of our crops begging for sun and a little extra love. The tomatoes, eggplant and peppers did not appreciate the heavy down pours as they are experiencing a fungus that is happy to spread in wet conditions. These little spores climb up the plants, defoliating the leaves which then weakens the plant and rots the fruit. We are not the only ones that are dealing with this fungus, it has been found on other farms all around the area. For the last 3 weeks we have been spraying an organic approved copper fungicide to slow it down, which takes the crew many hours to cover 2,500 tomato plants. The crop has been producing thus far but keep your fingers crossed for sunny days so we can keep slicing those mouth-watering beauties.

While the Solanum’s (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant) are suffering from the wet August, the fall Brassica’s (cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower) are enjoying their wet feet. These crops love cool, foggy days and are looking great in the field. You will be seeing more and more of them as the seasons change. Side-note: For you non-early morning risers, the fog has been absolutely gorgeous slowly rising up from the dew filled fields. We highly recommend dragging your butt out of bed one morning to enjoy it. These amazing mornings are part of the beauty of farming.

Carrots and beets are plentiful as we’re sure you CSA members have noticed and the potato dig is well under way. Red Norland is the early variety of red potatoes you’ve been enjoying. We will be harvesting potatoes for the next 2 months, offering 5 different varieties. It is always a surprise to see what has been going on underneath the ground since April when we plant them…. so far so good! GARLIC is cleaned and ready to go. The wet June made for some big heads this year. It looks, tastes and smells amazing, enjoy with your tomato sauce, salsa and everyday cooking!

As for the rest, we are in our August groove here…… harvest, wash, pack and back out to the fields to get those weeds out of the fall crops.

Available this week:

Kale, Chard, Mustard Greens, Tat Soi, Lettuce (Yes, lettuce is back), Tomatoes, Squash/Zucchini, Potatoes, Onions, Garlic, Peppers, Cucumbers, Carrots, Beets, Melons

Potential crops to see:

Broccoli and Arugula

We cannot guarantee these two crops this week, but are hoping that they will be ready, willing and able for us to enjoy next week. As with lettuce, arugula is very delicate and this crazy weather has really been taking a toll on some of our crops. Another reason they may not grace us with their presence is that they’re simply not ready! As hard as we try to keep our successions flowing on a regimented schedule, nature decides to take her own time. We seed certain crops like arugula and lettuce every 10 days so that by the time one sequence is done, another should be ready to harvest. There are many factors that filter in to what seems to be simple logic. Weather being the major element! The element of all elements. It’s a love/hate relationship we play with weather and why we talk so much about it.

In order to learn more about the details our growing practices and everything that is Sol Flower, you'll have to stay connected and continue to read our blog. We have plenty more we can’t wait to share and we truly hope that you choose to stay connected with your farmer, your food and our world that surrounds it.


Watermelon Salad

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 to 2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

One delicious Sol Flower watermelon, balled or chunked

1 ½ cups feta cheese, crumbled

1 1/4 cups pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped (optional)

1 small onion, diced

1 cup coarsely chopped mint leaves

Looking for other variations of this salad? Try substituting goat cheese for feta and/or basil for mint. Whichever way, it’s delicious and refreshing. Remember you can find local goat cheese and Sol Flower basil in our farm store!

Please feel free to share some of your favorite recipes on our blog for other fellow Sol Flower followers. We are always looking for new ways to enjoy our delectable produce.

Other exciting news:

Sol Flower Farm is looking to expand our CSA southward. As we like to say… Helloooo Brooklyn!!! We are in the process of establishing a CSA drop-off in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Our plan is to start this September and continue through November 7th. Pick up will be from 4 to 7pm on Wednesdays at Crossfit South Brooklyn. Spread the word! If you know anyone interested in this new venture, please have him or her contact us and we’ll be happy to send along some more information.

Did somebody say Party?

Remember that stellar farm party we threw last year?? Who could forget! Well, it’s almost that time again. We are in the process of planning an even bigger and better party, so this is your formal Save The Date. Our Farmer’s Feast will take place on our beautiful farm here in Ancramdale on Sunday, October 9th. Festivities begin at 2pm and we’ll rock through the night.

We will have tractor rides and farm tours, local spirits, live music, kids activities, a beautiful bonfire and of course… fabulous farm foods cooked by various local chefs.

Missed it last year?? Now’s your time to redeem yourself and join in the fun!

Again… Sunday, October 9th Farmer’s Feast

More info to come

Monday, August 8, 2011

Check out who surprised us at the Millbrook Farmer's Market!

New this week:

Tomatoes, Peppers and (hopefully) Melons

This is such a great time of year. Hope you are enjoying the bounty as much as we are.

We had a surprise visit this past Saturday at the Millbrook Farmer's Market from Tony Bielaczyc of Martha Stewart. Check out what he had to say about us on his blog