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Posted 10/14/2014 9:07am by Jim Baughman.

Hi Folks,

I can hardly believe it has been 24 weeks since our CSA season started. That’s right this week’s share will be the last for the summer CSA season (unless you took advantage of the vacation option see below). This is also the time of year that I express my deepest gratitude to you for your support of the farm and the local food movement. I hope that you have enjoyed your membership and will consider joining up next year. I do plan on expanding our memberships next year so please tell a friend, family member, or co-worker about us.

As you have seen the flyer and email notice, we are offering for the first time a fall winter membership I hope you’ll consider 12 more weeks of fresh fall and winter vegetables. Fall and winter produce can be some of the best ever. Winter beets and carrots are of the sweetest grown. The spinach, greens, and lettuce have crispness and color like no other time of year. Winter storage vegetables like squash, potatoes, and sweet potatoes make the best of soups and hearty winter delights.

The farm will also be at the Bloomington outdoor market through the end of November and will then be at the Bloomington Winter Market beginning in December through March. Grant Pershing will be taking on the vending duties at the Bloomington Markets as I will be taking November off from the markets and then vending in Indianapolis at the Indy Winter Market throughout the winter.

Thanks again for your support and thanks in advance for your continued support. In your shares this week will be sweet potatoes. See this week’s recipe for some easy sweet potato recipes. Also after a much to long delay the return of spinach. You will also receive beets, salad greens, garlic, and pea shoots. Enjoy a taste of spring this fall.

Posted 10/5/2014 5:38pm by Jim Baughman.

Now accepting sign up for membership in Winter CSA.

Winter CSA is Nov. 1 - Jan. 31. 

 

 

Posted 10/2/2014 5:48pm by Jim Baughman.

Hi Folks,

Fall is officially here! We can see the leaves on the trees changing almost daily. The dogwoods, sassafras, and poison ivy vine have all turned a deep red. Sugar maples, persimmon, and others have that yellow to orange hue. We can see the field corn turning from green to yellow with the hard dried ears of corn starting to turn down indicating they will be ready for harvest soon. I think it must be the gradual daily change that makes me enjoy fall so much.

On the farm we can start to see the bare fields again cleared of weeds some already tilled in with a cover crop sown in hopes it will germinate, establish and hold the soil until spring. Irrigation lines are gradually being taken up and the mowing of grass and weeds commences. Butternut squashes have been harvested and all but one of the winter squashes remains in the field. Chip and Grant began digging sweet potatoes this week with a few varieties producing some real whoppers while a few others are just so so. The fall and winter lettuce and greens beds look beautiful with their vibrant green, red and purple colors. I feel I must truly be blessed in order to be able to work the soil and observe on a daily basis the change of season.

In your shares this week it’s time for some hearty soup and delicious fall deserts. Please check out this week’s recipes for Kale Potato Sausage Soup you’ll receive the kale and potatoes in your share. Also see this week’s recipe for Pumpkin Apple Crisp. You will receive a small pie pumpkin in your share. Try making a fresh pumpkin pie, it’s fairly easy with ‘how to’ details available on the internet. Also in your shares you will receive a large bag of spring mix lettuce, Asian greens mix and a butternut winter squash. Butternut squash is great baked or made into a variety of winter soups or stews. Enjoy this season with a taste of fall.

See you at market, Jim

Posted 9/18/2014 9:41pm by Jim Baughman.

Hi Folks,

This week saw several unseasonable chilly mornings, some unexpected rain, and some beautiful sunny days. Fall continues to get closer. As of this writing I’m watching my farmer friend Eddie bale hay in my pastures. My share of the hay will be turned to compost and used for winter mulch. Eddie’s share will go to feed his livestock through the hard times of winter. Truly a win win. I’m glad to see that he mowed close to the persimmon trees as the persimmons are beginning to ripen and fall and it will make it much easier to pick them up, if I can beat the wildlife to them.

Fall activities continue on the farm this week. Acorn winter squash was harvested and is curing in the sun for a few days. We continue to dig potatoes a few beds at a time when the soil is dry. Hand weeding of the fall and winter growing beds is occupying a lot of time but is something that has to done. Fall plantings of greens remains behind due to the unexpected rain early in the week. The timing of the rain this year has been a real problem with preparing the soil and growing beds for our greens crops but it looks like dryer times are in the forecast. I wish I had planted more greens in August but really just got caught up in so many of the storage crops we have this year. With the early fall temperatures mother nature has set the stage for some hearty squash, pumpkin, and kale soups along with a few sweet treats that can be made with the squash and pumpkins.

Speaking of squash, in your shares this week you will receive the first of several varieties of squash we grew this year. This week we will be sending you a Kabocha Squash called Sunshine. It is deep orange in color and resembles a small pumpkin. It has a delicious nutty flavor and is, as is most squash, very versatile. Baked, cubed for stews and soups, cooked and pureed for pies and desserts are just a few ways you can use a winter squash. Winter squash can be used in any recipe that calls for fresh pumpkin. Some claim that it actually makes a better pie then pumpkin. Please don’t be inhibited by the large size of some squash. You can very easily bake a squash and enjoy some of it for dinner and purée the rest and freeze it in 1 cup portions for later use in soups or desserts. Winter squash is very high in nutritional value and fiber. There are many ways to use squash and pumpkin on the internet. I am including an easy bake recipe this week. In your shares this week you will receive as mentioned above a Kabocha Squash. See this week’s recipe for baked squash. Also there will be greens, either lettuce or Asian greens mix or a mix of both, green beans (last for the season), potatoes, some sugar snap peas (enough for a stir fry or pasta dish or eating fresh) and micro greens (great on everything sandwiches, soups, eggs, baked potatoes, salads). Those of you that have the micro green option will receive something additional rather than 2 micro greens.

Enjoy the taste of Fall, Jim

Posted 9/13/2014 11:44am by Jim Baughman.

Fall is in the air. We are definitely having a taste of fall this week. Windows are open and air conditioning is turned off. Fall clean up and winter planting continues on the farm this week. It’s so nice to see spinach, lettuce, and other greens germinate in just 3 days compared to the poor germination we see though out the summer. Carrots planted recently germinated in 7 days compared to 14 days when planted in mid August. We have also seen the reduction of some insects like the awful flea beetle which chews all those tiny holes in so many of the greens all summer long and cabbage moths are few and far between. We will continue to have some weeds in our growing beds but even weeding is not all that bad in the cooler temperatures also knowing that soon weed pressure will be reduced dramatically. It seems like we have been able to catch our breath a little the past 2 weeks and it has been welcomed indeed.

Chip and Grant started harvesting winter squash and pie pumpkins this week and the crop looks very good and plentiful. Winter squashes and pie pumpkins are better when they are cured for a few weeks after harvest and even better after a few months of storage. You will start to receive different samplings of squash next week and up to the end of the season. Chip made a pie with one of the heirloom pie pumpkins and said it was really good. I have been checking out winter squash recipes and really did not know just how versatile this vegetable is. More on that in the upcoming weeks.

In your shares this week you will have a little taste of fall and a little taste of summer. The fall kale came early and we managed to keep most of the flea beetles off of it. Try this week’s recipe for baked kale chips or sautéed kale. There are also many soup recipes that call for kale that can be found on the internet. For the taste of summer you will receive one of the small Yellow Doll watermelons. Also in the shares this week will be spring mix lettuce, beets, and okra. Full shares will receive some Kohlrabi.

I hope everyone gets a chance to get out and enjoy the milder weather that is in the forecast.

See you at market, Jim

Posted 9/4/2014 12:00am by Jim Baughman.

Greetings,

The short week after Labor Day has meant for a busy week on the farm. The 2.5 inches of rain we received Monday night (which was more than 5 inches of rain in 10 days) kept us from doing much needed late fall and winter plantings but did allow myself and the farm crew to start the much needed fall clean up of mowing down the 2 to 3 foot weeds and grasses around the farm. It’s amazing what we find and can see again once we get some of these areas mowed and cleared out. It’s never easy to keep up with all the mowing around the farm especially when you have to prioritize between planting, harvesting, or mowing. This year with the regular rains we received weeds and grasses have been a real problem. With the wet fields this week we also started harvesting some of the winter squashes from the fields most are ripe but can benefit from staying out in the sun for a few weeks. This increases the storage ability of winter squash by toughening the rind however if the squash continues to sit in mud and muck to long it may cause some rot. We had a very good winter squash year and you should see a few of this flavorful fall and winter treats in your shares in the upcoming weeks.

In your shares this week you will receive sweet corn. We’ll try this again. I think we harvested last week’s corn a little late which resulted in the corn being a little tough. This week’s corn is from a new patch which should be tenderer. Also in your shares will be green beans, Elba potatoes (new this year a very good all purpose white), some nice large bell peppers, and again maybe the last of this seasons tomatoes (we’re scrounging). You may receive some lettuce mix I’m just not sure as of writing where we will be with lettuce the heavy rains have really been detrimental to all the greens crops.

As always enjoy, Jim

Posted 8/28/2014 7:19pm by Jim Baughman.

Hi Folks,

Can you believe Labor Day weekend is upon us already? I have always thought of Labor Day as the end of summer. I guess it’s because in my childhood it meant we would be going back to school and the public swimming pools would close. Labor Day also means that fall is just around the corner and fall is my favorite season of the year. Labor Day was also one of the last days of summer that we would gather as family and have a large cook out with lots of fresh sides made with the bounty from the garden. In your shares this week you will find some of the summer bounty from the farm. What better way to celebrate the end of summer than taking some time to gather with family and friends and enjoy a great meal made with some of nature’s best seasonal produce.

In your shares this week you will receive a sampling of sweet corn, grown organically, not an easy task, nor an easy find at farmers markets. This is from our first planting and we hope to have more for you in a few weeks from a larger planting. You may find a worm or two on the end of some ears because I do not spray pesticides. Corn ear worms or their damage can be easily discarded by scrubbing lightly with a vegetable brush or cutting the end of the cob off with a sharp knife. This corn is super sweet and super tender so please be careful not to overcook. I have been eating it raw straight from the field. Sweet Corn is best eaten fresh within a few days of harvest. If you plan on storing your corn for more than a few days the husk and bottom stalk should be removed and wrap the corn in plastic or a sealed plastic bag before refrigerating. This will keep your corn sweeter by slowing the conversion of sugar to starch.

Also in shares this week will be watermelon. These will be the smaller refrigerator melons or personal size. I have grown 2 types. Sugar Baby, which is a dark green melon with red flesh and seeds and Yellow Doll, which is a green striped yellow fleshed with seeds. Both of these melons are small and range in the 3 lb to 8 lb range. Watermelons can be hard to tell when to harvest even for the most experienced growers. We are making every effort to harvest ripe melons. If you receive a melon that is under ripe (seeds won’t be black) or over ripe (mushy inside) please send me an email and I’ll bring you another next week. Watermelon will keep for 4 to 5 days at room temperature and up to a week refrigerated. Your shares will also include Spring lettuce mix, Asian green salad mix, a few tomatoes (this may be the last week for tomatoes), Okra (great for grilling or frying or freezing for winter soups and stews check on line for recipes and freezing process), and a few large Russet baking potatoes. Russet potatoes tend to be a little dry and fluffy inside better for baking, frying, mashed. These will be large potatoes with great flavor perfect for baking on the grill.

Enjoy the Labor Day weekend and the bounties of summer, Jim

Posted 8/21/2014 8:17pm by Jim Baughman.

Hello,

Ahh the dog days of summer. I suppose that phrase was made up to associate the hot days of summer and the fact that most dogs are very inactive on the hottest days of summer. I know that has been the case for Gus, my English Setter, the past few days. His only activity on these 90 degree days has been finding a mud puddle or other mucky water to whaler in and then finding a shady spot to take a nap. It’s hard to find good help these days.

The weather has been truly amazing this year but we had to figure Mother Nature wasn’t going to let us slide all summer without throwing a few 90 degree very humid days at us. The rain has helped with newly planted crops but has continued to cause damage to some of the older plantings that we expected to get a little more life out of. Damage in the way of bacterial blights and mildews. I’m guessing we have about 2 weeks of tomatoes left before late blight totally consumes them but it’s been a good tomato year for the farm thus far and all good things must come to an end. Most farms and gardeners are reporting much of the same. Enjoy the bounty of organic tomatoes while you can. I’m sure some of the non organic growers will have tomatoes later into the fall by spraying with fungicides to control the blight.

As we continue to transition into late summer and early fall I thought I might update a bit as to what you may expect to see in your shares the last third of the season. Please keep in mind that this is only a projection and some of these crops may succumb to whatever. In the upcoming weeks you should see in your shares - sweet corn (soon if we can keep the raccoons out of it), sugar snap peas, beets, garlic, potatoes, watermelon (cross your fingers), basil, lettuce, Asian greens, spinach, pea shoots, radishes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, and kale.

In This Week’s Shares: Cabbage (half shares will receive a smaller head of cabbage and full shares a larger head), heirloom tomatoes, sweet bell peppers (most are colored red or gold), egg plant (somewhat smaller than in the past), zucchini, garlic, and cilantro. Also a jalapeno or two in order to make some fresh salsa. Check out this week’s recipes for Cabbage Augratin and Grilled Eggplant and Bell Pepper Sandwich.

Enjoy, Jim  

Posted 8/14/2014 6:09pm by Jim Baughman.

Hi Folks,

What a beautiful day it was today with the mild weather and finally some sunshine! I have really been enjoying the cool weather in the early mornings. It seems to really make starting the day a little easier. I think I’m to the point I will start complaining about the rain though. After a really soggy past week, and more or less being rained out at last Saturday’s Farmers Market, we started seeing some problems on the farm due to the wet mornings and rainy days with the lack of sunshine. Problems mostly in the way of foliar diseases like powdery mildew on the squash plants, late blight has shown up on some of the tomatoes, and the most unfortunate and discouraging was a black mold called ‘Black leg’ that showed up on the broccoli and cabbage over the weekend. Some cabbage may be salvageable by removing the affected outer leaves at harvest but the broccoli became ruined as most of you Tuesday members know as we had intended to have it in your shares but did not. Most crops need a drying out period after being wet for several hours. The high humidity and morning dew with the lack of sunshine the past 10 days are so has just not allowed them to dry. So we’ll hope for some sunnier days in the upcoming weeks to keep these problems at bay.

Its transition time on the farm. Now is the time we will work the dirt and try to get in as many of the winter root crops like beets, carrots, turnips. As the day light hours continue to decrease and we head toward fall with even cooler temperatures the growing process will slow dramatically in the next 30 days. Crops like carrots are 70 days to maturity from germination this will change to about 90 days this time of year making them harvestable around November, although we will keep them in the ground covered up and only harvest them as needed throughout the winter. Winter transplants of kale, cabbage and broccoli will be planted in the next few days.

This week in your shares you will see a little less variety then most weeks as we are in a slight transition period with crops and we lost a fairly large planting of broccoli and cabbage as I mentioned above. However just because the variety is down does not mean your share will suffer. We dug some really nice German Gold potatoes this week and had quite a few that are baking size. You’ll receive in your share a nice portion of regular size potatoes plus a few bakers. These are my favorite potatoes that do so well for the Crash Potato recipe or parsley potatoes. Also this week you will have a larger than normal portion of green beans. If you feel you have to many green beans to eat this week try freezing some for later use. It’s easy - just blanch the beans in hot boiling water for 2 to 3 mins and then transfer the beans into ice water for 2 to 3 mins, drain, pat them dry and freeze in freezer bags by portion size. You will also receive tomatoes an assortment of heirlooms and some really ripe beefsteak slicers. We are not putting zucchini or eggplant in the shares this week. If you would like a zucchini or an eggplant and I have some left at market, please ask. Other than that we may come up with a surprise or 2 in the next day that can be added in as well.

Hope for some sunshine, Jim

Posted 8/7/2014 7:49pm by Jim Baughman.

Sometimes you win sometimes you lose. As it goes in life it goes in farming.

I have found in farming that sometimes we have crops that do very well and some years for whatever reason we have crops that have done well in previous years but fail. That is exactly what happened to our garlic this year. After 3 years of really good crops of garlic this year’s crop just did not do well at all. Although not a complete loss we found, as we had feared, that most of the bulbs were very small in some cases not even worth digging up. I’m not sure at this point what went wrong it was perhaps a combination of the cold winter (garlic is planted in the fall and overwinters) followed by the wet weather we have had but for some reason it just never looked right this year. We’ll gather up what we have and let it cure. We have enough to send some to the members in a few weeks. None for winter storage this year. But then we have the winners - tomatoes, potatoes, squash (the winter squash looks really good so far). These are all crops that have not done particularly well in previous years. As disappointing as the garlic harvest was we have had so many crops do so well I really can’t complain. Sometimes you win sometimes you lose.

On the farm this week we cleaned up the rest of the beefsteak tomato beds and began to prepare them for winter carrots. Fall cabbage, broccoli, kale, kohlrabi, and basil were transplanted to the field. The last succession planting of zucchini was planted as well fall beets were seeded. With a little luck, some rain, and continued cool weather you should see these in your shares come October. In your shares this week you will have broccoli (a winner). Lettuce mix, zucchini, and eggplant. Also you will receive bell peppers, pablano peppers, and jalapeno peppers, heirloom tomatoes, and a small bunch of cilantro. Make sure to check this week’s recipe for fresh salsa or spicy zucchini dish. Looking for a good way to use that eggplant go to our website and try the recipe for grilled eggplant sandwich. While on the site look up the recipe for grilled pablano peppers.

Enjoy the taste of summer, Jim

From the Fields of Freedom Valley Farm 8.16.17August 16th, 2017

Hi All,It seems the summer weather has returned the past 2 days. The heat and humidity have been up for sure. I was really getting used to those 80 degree days and really liking the 55 degree mornings

New recipe: Classic RatatouilleAugust 16th, 2017

Olive OilEggplant (1” cubes)Zucchini (1” cubes)Onions (1” cubes)Green Bell Peppers (1” squares)Tomatoes (peeled, seeded, and coarsely cubed) Garlic (peeled and finely chopped)W

New recipe: Grilled Jalapeno PoppersAugust 9th, 2017

Fresh Jalapeno PeppersCheese (cheddar, cream, cheese, or any type that melts well)Bacon (1-slice for each pepper)Toothpicks Cut the top or stem end off the pepper. With a small paring knife clean out

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Freedom Valley Farm - Season Extension from Local Growers Guild on Vimeo.