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Posted 6/26/2014 10:28am by Jim Baughman.

Hi Folks,

Another week that was all about the weather. If you haven’t noticed I seem to write a lot about the weather. I guess because the weather and farming go hand and hand. We farmers are always asking each other if there was rain in the area or what’s in the forecast. In a perfect world we would receive about one inch of rain a week maybe divided about every other day or so. This past Tuesday we received 3” of rain in one hour. Rain accumulation of this amount can be detrimental. I try really hard to be a good steward of the land and the soil that feeds us. Freshly worked soil leaves itself vulnerable to erosion. This is exactly what happened on Tuesday. We had just worked about a ¼ of acre of sloping slightly rolling ground and planted sweet corn. The rain really washed the field out. Lost is so much of the top soil and soil amendments we strive to hold onto so much. Gone must be so much of the seed we planted. We’ll check in a few days to see how much of the corn germinates and replant if needed. We will also plant a cover crop between the corn rows and start to reestablish the top soil and control the erosion. We are pretty sure we lost a few beds of salad greens as well. Most were under water and will take several days to dry out. Still not complaining much. I would rather have the rain then to have to deal with drought.

Important Notice. Due to the holiday falling on a Friday and the farm crew ready for a much needed break the farm will not be at the Saturday Market Sat July 5th .

Additional Products this week:

Gold Beets. Use them just like red beets. They do not stain or bleed out like red beets. See this week’s recipe for Beet and Feta Cheese Salad

Cucumbers. We have so many cucumbers right now. They are so versatile. See this week’s recipe for Scandinavian Cucumbers.

Salad Greens. Lettuce, baby arugula, and baby Asian greens.  All in separate bags to mix your own.

Micro Greens. Micro green are great on sandwiches, baked potato, scrambled eggs. They are very high in nutritional value. 

Enjoy, Jim

Posted 6/19/2014 9:04pm by Jim Baughman.

From The Fields Of Freedom Valley Farm 6/19/14

Hello,

The dog days of summer have come a little early this year. This week we saw our first days of temperatures in the low 90’s and oh the humidity. Funny how after receiving more than 2” of rain in 3 days last week this week leaves us hoping for rain. So far this week all the rain has seemed to skirt around us but there is more in the forecast. I guess there is just no pleasing us farmers,it’s either too much or not enough, never just right. This week on the farm we did a little less planting and a lot more maintenance. Finally got some mowing done around the farm and we were able to start cultivating some of the field crops, hilled soil up on the potato plants, and staked the remaining field tomatoes. Speaking of tomatoes we are starting to see a slight blush on some of the beefsteak tomatoes in the high tunnels. It won’t be long now before we hope to have some ripe tomatoes. Those first tomatoes seem to take so long. There is an old saying that when boiling water a watched pot never boils. I think this is true of the first green tomatoes of the year. Every day we look and search only to say not quite yet. Soon, soon should be a couple weeks.

Special Note For Saturday Share Pick Up This Week. The Saturday Market will close at 12:00 noon this week due to the Taste of Bloomington being held at the market site. Please make sure to pick your share up early. Parking and entry into the market is a little more difficult.

In this week’s share: Snow peas. Great eaten raw, in salads, or stir fry

Beets

Swiss chard Spinach. Great mixed with arugula for a salad

Arugula. Great mixed with spinach or used in a stir fry or pasta dish

Zucchini. See this week’s recipe for grilled zucchini.

Garlic scapes. Last week for garlic scapes they gotta go. See this week’s recipe for garlic scape pesto. Thanks to a few of the members telling me last week about this thought I would share with the others. Remember garlic scapes store fairly well in the frig. You won’t see a garlic product now until about mid August or so when this year’s garlic will be harvested and cured. Enjoy your week. Stay cool and hydrated. Jim

Posted 6/12/2014 7:22pm by Jim Baughman.

From The Fields Of Freedom Valley Farm 6/11/14

Hi Folks,

Do you believe in luck? Tuesday morning I found a four leaf clover while we were harvesting for the Tuesday shares and market. It turned out to be quite the lucky find. Coming back home from the Tuesday evening market tornado warnings were issued in the area of Freedom with a tornado confirmed in the Bloomfield area. Storms like this can be very nerve racking to most and I am no different. I get really worried about the greenhouses when high winds and sudden storms come in. This time of the year the greenhouses are left wide open to get as much ventilation as possible. A wide open greenhouse can be like a giant parachute if the winds are strong enough. The storm hit before I made it home fortunately there was no damage to the greenhouses or the crops growing inside yet there were a few trees blown down and we received about an 1.5 inches of rain in 15 minutes. When I arrived to the farm the storm was over it was still raining with the sun was out and there was a huge rainbow over the farm.

Four leaf clover, rainbow, seemed to be some Irish luck at play. Luck indeed!

This week on the farm we finally got the rest of our major field plantings done. Chip and Grant hustled up Monday and Tuesday and planted over 1000 sweet potato slips (plants). They also seeded over 30 100 foot rows of winter squash, watermelons, cucumbers, and 14 rows of sweet corn. Most of these crops should have been planted a month ago but we just could not get the fields worked due to all the rain. We finally got a small window and the guys did a great job even working in the rain on Tuesday and Wed. Speaking of rain we have had over 2” on the farm in 3 days.

In your shares this week: All kinds of new goodies.

Cucumbers: Check our website for some really good cuke recipes.

Zucchini: Try the recipe for Zucchini Parmesan Chips on or website.

Sugar Snap Peas: I love just eating them raw out of hand. Great in salads or pasta dish or stir fry. If you plan on cooking these remove the string by snapping the stem end and pulling the string out. No need to string if eating raw.

Kale: Check out the internet for kale chips and other recipes.

Kohlrabi: Check out this week’s recipe attached to the e-reminder. See the recipe for more info.

Garlic Scapes: Garlic Scapes are the part of the garlic plant that tries to go to seed. They must be removed from the garlic plant in order for the garlic to bulb up nicely. They are great chopped up like a chive for fresh eating and can be used in many recipes that you would use garlic. They store very well in the frig. Check out our website for several scape recipes or go on line for more info and recipes.

Salad Mix: This week we will be sending a mix of lettuces and greens all in one bag.

Jim

Posted 6/5/2014 9:01pm by Jim Baughman.

From The Fields Of Freedom Valley Farm   6/5/14

Hi Folks,

What a great week we have had on the farm this week, despite the 2” of rain we had that kept us out of the fields, despite the high humidity and almost 90 degree temperatures. Why such a good week? A great week because we are now seeing some of the fruits of our labor in the way of some of the early field crops coming in like beets, snap and snow peas, cucumbers, zucchini, kohlrabi, garlic scapes. All to be ready in the next few weeks. Some this week. Some of the early high tunnel tomatoes are tennis ball size (still green) and our heirloom cherry tomatoes are green and soon to be ripening. Yes it’s a good week when we can almost taste what the near future has in store for us.

Planted this week. Okra transplanted to the field, hot peppers and fall bell peppers transplanted to the field, round two of zucchini, fall leeks seeded, and the last of the field heirloom tomatoes transplanted.

In your shares this week you have beets. Make sure to check out this week’s recipe for an easy beet salad and helpful hints on preparing them. Don’t forget the beet tops are edible and can be prepared in the same way you would chard, or large spinach. This week you will also receive radish sprouts. Radish sprouts are a large micro green that are great for snacking, salads, or stir fry’s. I like them with ranch dressing. One cucumber. Yes that’s right the cucumbers just started coming on this week and we had just enough to give everyone one. More next week for sure. Also baby leaf spinach, lettuce mix, and a small bag of large leaf Asian greens for braising or stir fry, would be great with your beet tops.

Reminder all members have a vacation week option. If you go on vacation or can not pick up your share one week we have a make-up week at the end of the season in October. Just send me an email. Sorry we can only do this for one week per season. Have a great weekend and enjoy some good food. Jim  

Posted 5/29/2014 9:12pm by Jim Baughman.

Hello Members,

I hope everyone had a nice holiday weekend. The holiday made for a short week on the farm this week without much of anything new to report. I spent a large portion of the day on Monday working the soil, trying to out run the rain coming in on Tuesday , only to see it rain late Monday evening delaying working conditions on Tuesday. It did dry out some on Tuesday and we were able to get some field work done on Wednesday. The wet conditions did give us a chance to stake and trellis the heirloom cherry tomatoes we have growing in the field. This year we are growing 5 different colors of cherry tomatoes and they are all heirlooms. So far so good, they have grown large enough to be staked and trellis and we are seeing a few blooms. Speaking of heirloom tomatoes, we had a chance to plant Grant’s Trustee Red. Grant Pershing works for the farm and has been involved in seed saving for many years. Many years ago he was given some seeds from tomatoes that a guy called Trustee. This gentleman had been growing this tomato for many years and said it was the only one he grew each year. Grant has been planting it for many years and claims it is one of the best. We planted a 100’ bed of these tomatoes with hope they live up to its name. Grant will be taking select tomatoes from this planting to save seeds; the rest with a little luck will go to our CSA members and market.

Also planted this week. Egg plant, 3 colors, the last spring succession planting of kohlrabi, broccoli, and cabbage, green beans, and of course more greens. This week are seeing cucumbers 2 to 3 inches long, high tunnel beefsteak tomatoes ping pong size, and kohlrabi starting to form on the stalk. It won’t be long now before we start seeing some new items in your weekly share.

New in your shares this week will be Swiss chard. I love chard. Make sure to check out this week’s recipe for Creamed Swiss Chard. This recipe can also be used for creamed spinach. Also in your share this week will be more green garlic, scallions, and a mix of salad greens.

For those members who pick up on Tuesday evenings, this coming Tuesday will be the start of the Tuesday Evening Farmers Market in Bloomington. The market is held at the same place you have been meeting me at for your share each week. I will be selling at the market and will be set up in the market at about the same place you have been meeting me each week. I will have a red top tent and a farm table banner.

See everyone at one of the Markets, Jim

Posted 5/16/2014 5:42pm by Jim Baughman.

Hi Folks,

Rain, rain go away save some of this for a hot summer day. Is it April or May? Well as I said last week rain was in the forecast, and oh rain we have gotten. Here at the farm we have had over 3” of rain in the past 7 days. The obvious is that we need rain in order for plants to grow properly but there is a point when enough is enough. All this rain has delayed field work and will for the next several days. It has also triggered a weed and grass explosion in all the growing beds. It will be tough at this point to get the weeding done in the large field plots as this requires a tractor and field cultivator and it is just too wet. However the wet days allowed Grant and Chip the opportunity to trellis the tomatoes and cucumbers that we have growing in the green houses. It also has made weeding easier in some of the smaller greens beds. Right know I can’t figure out which is growing faster all the salad greens or the weeds. Most of our greens this week are a little larger than the size I like to harvest. They are all still very tasty and fresh. A dry out period is in the forecast along with some really low temperature for this time of year let’s hope and pray we do not get a frost.

Speaking of greens, you may be starting to wonder what to do with all of them. Below I have some suggestions on some of the different uses. To keep your greens fresh try to keep them cool from the time you pick them until you can get them refrigerated. I have found that they store best by just folding a flap over on the bag of greens and placing them in the crisper of your refrigerator flap side down.

Spring Lettuce Mix. This mix is good for a standalone salad but you may think about making a large dinner salad adding items like eggs, meats, cheeses, and other vegetable. This can actually be a fairly quick throw together one plate dinner one night. Lettuce mix is also good on sandwiches and in wraps. It can also be used as an edible garnish for many fruit or vegetable side dishes.

Spinach. Spinach can be very versatile and it keeps for a long time. I have had it still be fresh for 2 weeks or longer. If it does become a little wilty, that is when I usually cook it. It’s great on a pizza, dropped into hot soup right before serving or stirred into your favorite pasta dish. There are also many spinach dip and creamed spinach recipes on the internet and of course spinach salad or mixed with other greens.

Asian Greens. Asian greens are actually my favorite salad mix. They are loaded with nutrition and flavor. Just like spinach they too can be sautéed or cooked. They are great added to a stir fry or pasta dish. They are great on sandwiches, no mustard needed. You can also braise them to your desired texture with some sautéed garlic, onion, and oil to make a great side.

See you at the market on Saturday!

Jim 

Posted 4/9/2014 4:11pm by Jim Baughman.

Read about Freedom Valley Farm growing for all seasons in the April 2014 Farm Indiana magazine article by Shawndra Miller.

 

Posted 1/26/2014 12:28pm by Jim Baughman.

Are you interested in a CSA?  Bring your questions & meet with farmer Jim.

Posted 4/7/2013 12:50pm by Jim Baughman.

Beginning in April, visit our vendor booth at the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market

each  Saturday  from 8:00 am until 1:00 pm.  For more information about the market click here.   

Posted 8/1/2012 6:35pm by Jim Baughman.

This weather is presenting numerous challenges for many local businesses.

How is Freedom Valley Farm tackling these challenging times?

Read Spencer Evening World article (July 16 2012) interviewing Jim as he is 'weathering this storm'....or lack there of.

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

New recipe: Baked Winter SquashSeptember 20th, 2017

Winter Squash can be very versatile. Savory or sweet or a combination of both. Below is an easy bake recipe that can be used for any of the many types of winter squashes. Winter Squash, halved, quarte

From the Fields of Freedom Valley Farm 9.20.2017September 20th, 2017

Greetings,As I write this I can hardly believe that we are on week 19 of our 20 week CSA season. Next week will be the last share of the 2017 season with the exception of members that took advant

New Payment Option
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How we do, what we do... 

 

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