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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.


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.


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

Posted 7/31/2014 8:33pm by Jim Baughman.

Hi Folks,

What a nice week we are having weather wise! The current weather pattern has made it even more enjoyable than usual, growing fresh vegetables and working outdoors. We had a hard job this week, cleaning out tomatoes from one of the high tunnels (green house). These tomatoes had pretty much run the course and there were a lot of spoils. On Monday, when we did the clean up, it was 73 degrees and slightly overcast much better then what would be the average temperature of 88 degrees and sunny. Working with spoiled tomatoes and big bushy tomato plants are never a pleasure but the weather certainly helped.

Speaking of tomatoes the end is in sight on our beefsteak tomatoes that we have grown, and enjoyed, from our two high tunnels. We continue to work through one more high tunnel of the beefsteak tomatoes to sell at market and wholesale. The end of the beefsteaks doesn’t mean the end of tomatoes this year.

On with the heirlooms,The big uglies as I often call them. Heirloom tomatoes have a tendency to grow big with a lot of cracks and blemishes. They are open pollinated which means they are true to their genes each year compared to hybrid varieties that are cross pollinated each year and bred to be disease resistant and pretty. Most people say that heirloom tomatoes have superb flavor compared to the hybrid varieties. I found this to be true today as we started sampling some of the many varieties of heirlooms that are coming ripe here on the farm. This week in your shares you will start to receive many of the heirlooms we are growing. This includes some all red heirlooms. That’s right although there are many colors of heirloom tomatoes some of them are red. These heirlooms will not be the perfect red tomatoes you have been seeing the past few weeks. Many will have cracks and blemishes but oh the flavor. We have over 20 varieties of heirlooms growing this year in all colors, red, yellow, orange, green, white, pink, and black. Over the next several weeks I will try real hard to send some of each to you for a sampling.

In your shares this week you will receive freshly dug Adirondack Red potatoes. These are the sister potatoes to the blue ones you received a few weeks ago but red inside and out. Back this week by popular demand will be lettuce mix and Asian greens mix. Beets are back. And of course a good sampling of heirloom tomatoes. Check out this week’s heirloom tomato salad recipe. I hope all will take some time and enjoy the nice weather and enjoy the taste of summer with the veggies in your shares.


Posted 7/24/2014 8:39pm by Jim Baughman.


Can you believe it? We are past the half way mark on our summer season CSA. Time goes so quickly when we stay busy. This is time of year I try to stop (just for a minute or two) and reflect on the season and figure out the direction for the rest of the year. It’s also time that I express my thanks to you the members. Thank you! It is you the members that drive what we do on the farm every day. That is what I really enjoy about being a CSA farm. When we plant, harvest, and pray for rain or sun it’s you the CSA member that takes priority in our thoughts and everything we do on the farm. For this I say thanks again.

On the farm this week we continue to try to work through all the tomatoes. Picking, cleaning, sorting, and finding markets for sales. In between the tomatoes we somehow have found the time to do some fall plantings and hook up irrigation on all the winter squashes we have growing. The squash seems to be doing quite well by the way. Next week we will start digging garlic and more potatoes. In your shares this week you will have egg plant. We have grown 3 types of egg plant so you may get white, black, or the heirloom purple and white stripped. Egg plant is great grilled. Make sure to check out this week’s recipe for Garden Casserole that is made with several of the crops you will receive this week. Zucchini is back, of course more tomatoes, basil, a small bunch of chard, and green beans.

Eat healthy and be well,


Posted 7/17/2014 6:40pm by Jim Baughman.


Wow! What beautiful weather we are having for mid July. I hope everyone has had an opportunity to enjoy at least part of one day or an evening outdoors the past few days. A very rare treat for Indiana residents in mid July. The weather was great for the Tuesday evening farmers market in Bloomington and I enjoyed the evening and the extra crowd it seemed to bring to the market. On the farm we have come to that point where most of the crops that are growing need to harvested daily or every other day. The rain early in the week on Sunday and again on Monday has not allowed us to do much field work but there has been no lack of things to be done. We have been blessed with a great beefsteak tomato crop this year from the early plantings in our high tunnel s. We pick tomatoes pretty much vine ripe (orange/red) every 3 days. They then have to be sorted by size and for defects, wiped cleaned, and put in storage for a few days. After a few days in storage the tomatoes go through another inspection and are packed for CSA, market, or other sales. It becomes almost a continuous process. We can only hope that our heirloom tomatoes in the field do as well. We’ll know in just a few weeks. Other crops that have required almost daily attention are zucchini, cucumbers, okra (just coming on), and green beans that will be in your shares this week. The rains and temperature have been just about right let’s hope it holds till fall.

In your shares this week you won’t see as many items as usual but will receive some nice quantities of what we have. Green beans finally after a few failed crops this year we have our first harvest. Make sure to check out this week’s green bean recipes.

Something new this year is Adirondack Blue Potatoes. That’s right it is blue all the way through and has great flavor. This was an experimental planting and we did not plant a lot of them but after trying some for dinner I would say you’ll see more of them next year. Also in your shares you will receive yet a few more tomatoes then previous weeks including another sampling of the heirloom cherry tomatoes. Enjoy the weather and enjoy the seasonal produce.

See you at market,


Posted 7/10/2014 7:49pm by Jim Baughman.

Hi All,

It’s amazing. Here we are not quite in the middle of July, just in the beginning of tomato and pepper season and we are already thinking and planning on fall. That’s exactly what is going on at the farm this week as we started planting crops for fall harvest. Counting back the days from first frost (aprox Oct 20th) to figure what and when we can plant that will mature before being affected by the shorter days and cooler temperatures. This is generally crops like green beans, summer squash, cucumbers, and basil followed by crops that are a little more tolerant like cabbage, kale, and broccoli. Most of these crops are hard to get to germinate this time of year due to warmer temperatures and lack of moisture. So far not the case this year let’s hope the weather holds for a few more weeks to get these fall crops off to a good start. As I always say being an all season farm we have to ask ourselves everyday what did I plant today?

In your shares this week you will receive tomatoes, a few more then last week and basil. Check out this week’s recipes for Bruschetta and for Pesto. Also in your shares will be Chioggia Beets they are an Italian Heirloom that are actually candy striped white and red inside when sliced raw, however the red fades when the beet is cooked. I find these beets generally a little sweeter then the red beets. To round out your shares you will receive Swiss chard, and kohlrabi. Sorry there will be no salad greens this week. We have so few that all shares will not be able to have some so I will be selling what few we have at market. The heavy rain 2 weeks ago flooded out the existing beds and washed out the newly seeded beds leaving the farm with very few greens for the first time in 4 growing years. We have replanted and should have more in about 3 weeks.

Reminder: For the next several weeks we will be sending tomatoes, peppers and other crops in the pulp quart containers and plastic pint containers to protect them from being crushed. We would really appreciate it if we could get these containers back for reuse. Thanks to everyone for doing such a good job returning boxes and water bottles this year. See you at Market, Jim

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CSA Day Promo on 2/17/2018February 13th, 2018

From the Fields of Freedom Valley Farm 9.27.2017September 27th, 2017

Greetings,This week is always the most difficult newsletter blog for me to write. As you know it is the last week of our 20 week CSA season. I could write about the weather or tell you how busy we are

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