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Monday, September 30, 2013

EatWell Natural Farm Week 28


In the harvest bins this week: Rainbow Chard, Arugula, Mustard Greens, Radishes: D'Avignon and Easter Egg, Beets: Red Ace and Guardsmark, Red Russian Kale, Tomatillos, Peppers, Romaine and Red Sails Lettuce, and Watermelon Radishes.

Rainbow Chard

Red Russian Kale

Easter Egg and D'Avignon Radishes


Production and Distribution

Delivery to Commissary: Arugula, Red Leaf Lettuce, Butter Beans
Beets and Radishes

Deliveries to the restaurants are starting to look like fall. Out with the tomatoes and summer squash, in with the roots and greens. 

Grillfish, Tomatillos, Beets, Watermelon Radishes, Romaine and Mustards

The Pig: Chard, Watermelon Radishes, Kale, D'Avignon Radish
Mustard Greens

Tomatillos, Arugula, Kale

Cultivation and Maintenance

Flora earned her keep this week hauling 1200lbs of pelletized Lime, a ton of horse manure, and 100' of Mushroom Logs. I applied the lime and manure to the new field on Saturday with David's help. 

New Trough and 1200lbs of Lime

Tom's big pile of $#!t
Some friends down the road have several horses. They don't spray their pastures with anything and make sure that the hay they buy hasn't been sprayed either. Back behind the horse barn is a huge pile of about 10 years worth of manure. Saturday morning they loaded up the truck with about 1 ton of the black gold. I got the oldest of the pile so it is well aged, black, smooth and doesn't even smell. 

David: Restauranteur, Owner, Fence Clearer, Occasional Farmer
and Chief Manure Spreader

David and I laid out where the hoop house will go on the new field. He spread the manure and I added Lime. 

All of the mushroom Logs

It is time to soak our Shiitake logs so we hauled them up to the barn where we are soaking them in a trough. Each log soaks for 24 hours and then they get set up against the side of the barn in the shade where they should grow and be easier to harvest then off in the woods below. 

Soaking in the trough, the water should
wick up the log

Baby Shiitakes!


Broadcast seeder with cover crop seed

I planted my very first cover crop on the new field. Winter Rye, Crimson Clover and Forage Radish. Fingers crossed it comes up thick and healthy, smothers out weeds and adds lots of green manure to the field for next season.

Winter Cover Crop Mix. The long seeds are Rye, the round yellow seeds are Clover and the round red ones are Radish.  

Eating Well

Tuesday night I had dinner at The Pig and it was amazing as always. I even brought along a family member who is an incredibly picky eater and he ended up saying that the Pork Shank was the best pork he ever had in his life. :) I'm wasn't allowed to order from the menu as Chef Bonk had something special in mind for me made from the produce I delivered that very morning. The pictures aren't great, sorry.

Mustard Green and Watermelon Radish with
Burrata Cheese 

This was a salad made with Baby Mustard Greens and thinly sliced, pickled Watermelon Radishes. The pickle took the kick out of the radishes leaving a perfectly sweet and crunchy bright pink adornment behind. It was served with a lump of Burrata cheese which is a fresh mozzarella with a creamy center. It was incredible. 

My entree was grilled Tomatillos on a bed of cooked Radish Greens. I can't believe I had never had a grilled Tomatillo before or that I will ever do anything but grill them in the future, they were awesome. 

Friday I got to sample an herbed mayonnaise that Chef Milanes made at Grillfish using farm herbs.  I even got to take some home. It is especially good for dipping the D'Avignon Radishes in. 

These Chefs were really showing off their skills this week but something has to be said for David who, after spreading a ton of manure Saturday morning, washed his hands, harvested and made this delicious meal which he kindly shared. 

Freshest Farm Salad

Eggs with just picked Chard and Herbs

Puddy Time

Tilford and Puddy hangin in the field

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

EatWell Natural Farm Week 27

It was a fun and productive week with amazing weather. Saturday I went to the Charles County Fair and met a few local farmers  and saw the prize winning pumpkin...

Charles County's blue ribbon pumpkin

Then last weekend I attended the Mother Earth News Fair where among lots of other things I got to sample a few tomato varieties and found some that I would like to try next year. 
Tomato Varieties at Southern Exposure Seed Exchange

Joel Salatin
I also got to see Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms give a talk on facing your fears as a a new farmer. He suggests just jumping off the cliff, that will give you all the momentum you need...

In the harvest bins this week: Romaine and Red Sails Lettuce, Red Ace and Guardsmark Beets, Watermelon Radishes, Basil, Purslane, Lemon Grass, Arugula, Rainbow Chard, Green Beans, a handful of tomatoes, Red Russian Kale, and Tomatillos.
Romaine Lettuce

Red Ace Beets and Red Sails Lettuce

Watermelon Radish

Sweet Thai Basil and Purple Basil

Production and Distribution

Watermelon Radishes get bunched and washed outside

Lemon Grass
Lemon Grass gets peeled and the tops cut off 
Purslane gets rinsed and drips dry

Purslane and Lemon Grass ready to go

Cultivation and Maintenance

Red Sails Lettuce and Purslane

Weeding, weeding, weeding... Although Purslane is technically a weed I have been weeding around it to let it grow so that I can harvest it for Chef Del at Logan Tavern

Baby Arugula coming up

It was a pretty dry week so I had to irrigate the new plantings and transplants.

I am getting a new field started for next year and our neighbor came by and plowed it for me this week.

New field just plowed

Another angle of the new field

Eating Well

Savory and delicious Shrimp & Scallops over wild mushroom risotto w/ Eatwell farm heirloom tomatoes at Grillfish

Puddy Time

Tilford spent some time with us at the farm

Bein cute.

This is how they ride in the truck to work

Baby Alpaca at Mother Earth

Thursday, September 19, 2013

EatWell Natural Farm Week 26


In the harvest bins this week: Arugula, Red Sails Lettuce, Romaine, Beets, Tomatoes, Green Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Green Beans, Chard, Peppers, Purslane, Oregano, Sage, Basil and the first Shiitake Mushrooms!!!!
Andrew and Gayle harvesting Arugula

Red Sails Lettuce

Beets and Purslane

Red Sails Cut


Our First Shiitakes!!!

Production and Distribution

Sweet Thai Basi

Many of the herbs get bunched in the field. Basil is very delicate and can wilt quickly. It has to be harvested when it is dry but not too hot. We make small bunches and wrap rubber bands around the end then put them in vented harvest bins. We have to be careful not stack them too high or the bunches on the bottom can get crushed or get too warm without airflow. Care is always taken to keep them out of direct sunlight. 
It's really neat to be delivering in our nation's capital. I see monuments, the Capital Building, Memorials, Politicians and some times cars with pink mustaches....


Cultivation and Maintenance

Friendly Amish Farm where I got helpful hoop house tips

I took a road trip into Amish Country in St Mary's County to the Loveville Produce Market. While I was there I spoke with some local Amish folk about High Tunnels and where they are getting them from. They have a few Amish suppliers in Lancaster County, PA who I plan to visit next week. 

Sungold Cherry Tomatoes still blooming

Latest Arugula coming up nicely

Finally got some rain after a couple of dry and warm weeks

Eating Well

The Pig was featured on the Cooking Channel's show Chuck's Eat The Street this week. There are reruns and I'll keep an eye out for it online 
Roasted Tomatillo and Poblano Salsa

Guardsmark Beets

Cherry Tomato and Beet Green sauce with Feta on Angel Hair

Roasted Baby Beets (Upper Left) at The Pig

Puddy Time

Puddy in the stables
Tilford hang in the stables while we wash