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Monday, July 1, 2013

EatWell Natural Farm Week 15

Foggy Dusk at EatWell Natural Farm


Summer harvests are really kicking in. We had temperatures in the 90s this week with lots of rain at times and lots of sun the rest of the time. We are up to our necks in Squash, Zucchini and Cucumbers and the Tomatoes are just coming on. This week I harvested some Sungolds and Washington Cherries. 
Sungold and Washington Cherry Tomatoes

Every few days I am able to pick a small handful of Blueberries and Blackberries.  There aren't enough this year to distribute to the restaurants so I'm doing a lot of snacking, uh, I mean quality control testing.

Squash, Zucchini, Cucumbers

Also harvested this week; Broccoli, Choi, Carrots, Peas, Basil, Mint, Chard, Arugula, Arugula Flowers, Banana Peppers, Parsley, Green Beans, Butterhead Lettuce, Rhubarb, Kale, and a little Cauliflower. 

Production and Distribution
Flora, our lovely farm truck, got a new dress. She looks stunning, doesn't she?

Photos and collage by Aida Mahic

Here she is all dressed up with somewhere it go, into town with a bed full of fresh produce to deliver....

Logan Tavern Delivery

Friday's delivery list

Cultivation and Maintenance

Composting continues, twice a week I pick up a load from Commissary and use the tractor to dump it on the compost pile. I then add a layer of straw and every few weeks I turn the pile. It's really starting to take off.

Bird netting on the Blueberries

Pheromone trap for Japanese Beetles

It is Japanese Beetle season in Southern Maryland and they have taken up residence on my soy beans. This week I purchased a few of these pheromone traps that are supposed to attract them and then trap them. They work ok but I was getting impatient so I've made several trips up and down the rows with the bag in one hand picking them off the plants and just throwing them in. As you will see, I did a lot of trapping this week.

Japanese Beetles and the damage they do
First Tomato Hornworm of the season.

Tomatoes are delicious. They are one of the "vegetables" that really show off when you compare a fresh, local, organic specimen to one you would buy in the grocery store. I just finished reading 'Tomatoland; How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit' by Barry Estabrook. Other than highly recommending the book (which I do) I just have to say that I can not wait until more of our tomatoes ripen so that I can bring them to the restaurants and people can see what they really should taste like. They are however lots of work. They also don't care for the humidity we have been dealing with the past few weeks. Still, they are hanging in and some of the cherries are starting to ripen. I also noticed just today a few of the big guys beginning to blush. It won't be long now.

Trellising to keep the tomato plants off the ground


I got a few things planted this week with a little help from some stellar volunteers. Gayle is a local woman who is looking to start her own small scale vegetable production in the next few years and has been spending a few days a week helping out and learning as we go. Here she is planting carrots with our 4 row seeder...

I also had a mother/son team come out and help with a few task, one of which was to plant a bed of Butternut Squash and water it in with some fish emulsion and bone meal fertilizer. Thanks Teresa and Harrison!!! They took home some beautiful carrots and beets for their efforts. Anyone is welcome to come out just email

Eating Well

Veggie Specials at Logan

Green Bean Salad at Logan Tavern

Tabbouleh Salad with our Herbs at Logan Tavern

Sunday evening I went to the Sunday Supper at The Pig which was surprisingly all vegetarian and each dish featured produce from the farm. It was super cool. You could also chose a beer or wine paring. I went with the beer. I just adore the Asian Cucumbers I am growing and they were perfect with the sherry vinegar. I LOVED the grilled carrots and really enjoyed the chilled Zucchini soup. I know it's just awful but my favorite course was (and usually is) the dessert. 

First Course, Cucumbers
with Goose Island Urban Wheat

Second Course, Chilled Zucchini Soup
with Goose Island Summertime

Third Couse, Carrots, Choi and Pea Hummus with Goose Island Matilda

Dessert-Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwich
with Old Dominion Oak Barrel Stout

Puddy Time

Puddy and I had some excitement this week. On Thursday we were working alone, I was harvesting and she was off on patrol when I heard her 'serious bark' coming from the middle of the main field. My first thought was Snake! and I ran to call her off. But no snake did I find. Instead I discovered Puddy squared off face to face with a large groundhog. Puddy was barking bloody murder at it but neither of them was moving. I called Puddy off and she proceeded to run under the fence to their hole just outside and bark some more. Somehow between the two of us we herded the critter into a corner where he stood his ground while I was able to run to the other field and grab the trap we had set out for him. I pushed it up to the groundhog and then prodded him with a (very) long stick until he went inside, tripping the trap and he was caught. Puddy was very proud of herself and spent the rest of the day making sure he did not escape from the trap. I called a neighbor who 'relocated' the varmint, possibly to his dinner table. 
Groundhog chowing down on some cucumbers

Puddy is outside the fence but herding him just the same

Mission Accomplished. No more free salad bar for you.

Proud Puddy on Patrol

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