Category: News

Winter Farming

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A snowy welcome to Full Basket Farm
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We’ve been strapping on the snowshoes and clearing the snow to keep the pressure off the sides of the tunnel at the field. The tunnel is under the pile to the right. Can you see Ceci working towards me from the far side?

 

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Even the heavy equipment operator is all worn out!

Bok Choy Salad

Makes 8 servings

½ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup olive oil
½ cup sugar
1 T soy sauce
¼ cup margarine
¼ cup slivered almonds
¼ cup sesame seeds
2 (3 oz) packages ramen noodles
1 medium head bok choy
3 green onions

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, sugar and soy sauce until sugar dissolves. Set aside.
2. Melt margarine in small skillet. Crush the ramen noodles while still in their packaging. Discard seasoning packet and add noodles to the margarine along with almonds and sesame seeds. Saute until golden brown. Remove from heat and drain on paper towel.
3. Chop the bok choy and green onions. Place in large bowl. Add noodle mixture and dressing; toss and serve at once.

Pancit (with bok choy)

This recipe is a modification of “Pork and Shrimp Pancit” on allrecipes.com. It is a favorite of 6 year old Thomas and is quick and easy to make.

Ingredients:
1 pkg (6-8 oz) rice noodles
vegetable or olive oil
1 small onion, minced
few cloves garlic, minced
small piece fresh ginger, minced
about 2 cups of chicken, cooked and diced
a handful of cooked small shrimp
4-8 cups of bok choy, chopped
3 Tbs fish sauce (or oyster sauce)
1/4 cup chicken broth
red pepper flakes to taste
1/4 cup chopped green onion

Directions:
1. Soak rice noodles in hot water for 20 minutes. Drain.
2. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a wok or heavy skillet over med/high heat. Saute noodles for 1 minute.
3. Transfer to the serving bowl.
4. Add another few tablespoons of oil to the skillet. Saute onion, garlic, ginger, shrimp and pork for 1 minute (or until cooked if starting with raw chicken/shrimp). Stir in bok choy, fish sauce and broth. Season with pepper flakes. Cover and cook briefly (about 1 minute) until bok choy is wilted. Spoon over noodles and garnish with green onion.

CSA week 3

Finally some rain this week! I am glad for the more thorough watering of the plants and for the improvement in the dusty work conditions. I have continued to work hard to transplant seedlings, seed new successions of greens and weed the already planted crops. Spring is an exciting and exhausting time in the field. I hope you are enjoying the fresh greens each week. The root vegetables are coming along with the warmer weather, so look for more in the coming weeks.

Spring CSA kickoff

It may have felt like a long winter, but now spring is solidly here and it is exciting to enjoy the new life springing up in our yards and gardens.  I was a bit hesitant about starting the CSA this week, but I am glad I did.  The lettuce is fresh and sweet and the bok choy is at a great stage–tasty either raw or cooked.  Everything in the box this week is from my high tunnel, an unheated, greenhouse structure located at the field.  The main field is quite bare, with just onions, potatoes, and a few greens poking up, but the high tunnel is full of greens, tiny root vegetables and (maybe for next week?!) broccoli.

Late October in the field

Today's box of vegetables

I have to admit I have enjoyed the “time off” from harvesting for CSA shares three times each week.  Instead, I have been pulling up old plants, tackling some extremely weedy areas and planting cover crop seed in preparation for the winter months.  One of my main tasks has been to rake up the fallen ground cherry fruits that remain in the field.  These sweet treats are proving to be a BIG weed problem.  They seed themselves by the thousands.  I plan to keep them tucked away in a corner in future years due to the effort it has been to week and clean up these productive plants.  The field is looking much tidier than it has since August.  The process of putting things “to bed” for the winter is not complete, but a lot of progress has been made in the past two weeks.

Crops are continuing to grow in the high tunnel.  I am excited for this week’s harvest.  The complex taste of greens mix with thinly sliced radish and a sprinkle of sunflower seeds makes a great salad.  I have enjoyed the arugula that has just started to be harvested and I am looking forward to experimenting with more recipes that use this peppery tasting green.  Who knows if the beets and new carrots will come into maturity before December?  The “tops” have gotten off to a good start.  This week’s carrots are the last from the field.  They have been a tasty treat on our table.

Walter Woodward

Walter WoodwardIntroducing Walter Woodward, who is working with me this year, is long overdue.  His assistance in preparing the field, planting, cultivating and now harvesting is so appreciated!  Walter lives in Carlisle, MA and is studying Sustainable Food and Farming at UMass Amherst.  While I am teaching him many things about farming he has been very patient with me while I learn to provide clear instruction and labeling. He is looking forward to applying what he is learning at Full Basket Farm and UMass to develop his own farm business in the coming years.

Happy Spring!

Seedlings under lights
Spring has finally arrived. I celebrated by spending the afternoon cleaning out the shed. It was great to be outside and to more fully realize the arrival of another growing season. The busyness has begun. Onion, leek and asparagus seedlings are coming along under lights, soon to be moved to the greenhouse. I planted several more trays this morning, peppers, tomatoes, kale and some zinnias. My husband, Aaron, and I started framing in a space for the Coolbot that will keep the vegetables cool and fresh this summer. This is a great way to create a walk-in cooler using an air conditioner.
Framing in the Coolbot