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

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

This is a time to remember…… what better way than by preserving the harvest for winter.

We are rolling in it at the farm and are experiencing some bumper crops! We were thinking if you have the time and space, we have the food to preserve. This week’s abundance includes cucumbers and summer squash. Both are great for pickling! CSA members get a special price of $1 per pound. So get those jars ready and pick those dill flowers because the time is now folks and it goes quick!

Field update: The melons are looking really good and we are so excited to bust one open and taste the sweetness but we have to wait just a little bit longer. We will be picking our first peppers this week and you should see how many shapes, colors and sizes will be on the table so get ready for a pepper taste test. Sungold tomatoes are ripening and there should be some for all. That's right, finally some tomatoes available in your share. We are just getting started so this is just a taste before we are in tomato heaven. Another crop to watch out for is the butter beans or edamame. We should have this healthy little bean next week. It feels like we are constantly keeping up around here. Harvest, harvest, harvest; weed, weed, weed; sell, sell, sell. Sleep? Overrated.

The big harvests are about to start here at the farm. The crew have been working out their muscles all season in preparation to bring those melons in. I LOVE August; I think its my favorite!

Enjoy the harvest.