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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

EatWell Natural Farm Week 36

Fall Colors!!!! The sky could not be any bluer! Also, that's a US Army Blimp.... weird. 


In the harvest bins this week: Lacinato Kale, Hakurei Turnips, Scarlett Queen Turnips, Red Sails Lettuce, Romaine, Mustard Greens, Arugula, Spinach, Radicchio, and Watermelon Radishes.
Baby Lacinato Kale

Bunching and washing Turnips

Production and Distribution

One pretty decent delivery this week of lots of greens and some roots. 
Delivery to Logan Tavern: Chard, Arugula, Red Sails Lettuce, Spinach
and Baby Ginger from Accokeek

Cultivation and Maintenance


This week we prepped the Asparagus patch for winter. First step was a thorough weeding. We have kept up with the weeds pretty well so this didn't take too long. Next we spread some composted manure to feed the crowns and covered it all with mulch. The mulch will help to keep the temperature stable, hold in moisture, smother weeds and will break down adding more organic matter to the soil. We will keep an eye on the weeds but shouldn't have to do much else until the spring when the Asparagus breaks its dormancy giving the gift of the always anticipated Asparagus harvest. 

Rows weeded and compost added

Gayle spreading Mulch

New Gravel walkway and fresh mulch

Here's another look at the Perennial Herb Garden. Next year I hope to get this space filled out with more perennial herbs. In particular, more varieties of Thyme, Oregano and some Nepitella. Do you have any favorite perennial herbs I should consider adding? 

Another winter upkeep project was to trellis the cane berries. I added T-Posts and strung some 3/4" coated wire rope across the top. Then I loosely tied the canes up to get them off the ground and at an easier harvest height for the spring. Next step was to weed and mulch. 

Blackberries trellised, still need to be weeded and mulched. 

T-Post and Wire Rope

Eating Well

I am spending some time with each of the Chefs hatching schemes and making plans to get more produce to the restaurants next year. This week Chef Milanes at Grillfish made me a vegetarian twist on the Shrimp and Grits special, Portobello and Grits. It was delicious. He also prepared a side dish of my Watermelon Radishes cooked in butter and water. They came out really rich and meaty. I had never thought to prepare them that way but they were pretty awesome. 
Shrimp and Grits, Veggie Style

A rich take on Watermelon Radishes

Puddy Time

You've got something on your nose...

Basking Hounds... the weather really was this beautiful


They may have been watching too much
Walking Dead

Monday, November 18, 2013

EatWell Natural Farm Week 35

Frosty! We had lows in the 20s this week and this is what the farm looked like in the morning. 


We are still harvesting Turnips, Carrots, Lettuce, Arugula, Kale, Mustard Greens and Beets.

Production and Distribution

One delivery this week of roots and greens. I also picked up this beautiful baby ginger from Accokeek Ecosystem Farm . Ginger is a tropical plant so it does not complete its full life cycle here, hence the Baby in its name. Still, it has long enough to form pretty big Rhizomes (the part you eat) with great flavor. They just look slick because they haven't formed that tough skin you are used to seeing. Here is a guide on growing ginger that breaks it down.

Cultivation and Maintenance

Straw at the base of the Fig Tree to insulate
the roots from the cold.

We had our first hard freeze this week with a few day of lows in the 20s. So, I spent some time winterizing the farm. 

Low tunnel of plastic over some greens

Floating Row Cover (fabric)

Frosted Mustard Greens

Frosted Red Sails Lettuce

Mustard under the plastic tunnel, no frost

Cultivating Imagination with a young visitor
who "drove" the tractor for me. What a cutie!

Eating Well

Tilford is back for a week or so and he loves eating any vegetables that end up on the ground, luckily he hasn't figured out how to harvest them for himself. 

Chowing down on some Mustard Greens

Puddy following Tilford's lead

Eating a harvested and discarded Cauliflower plant

I went to The Pig for brunch on Saturday and got to sample a new recipe that Chef Bonk is working on. He loves to pickle our vegetables and you can often order trays of them. This week he added a twist and smoked some of our Carrots first. The result is a delightfully smokey complex pickle that totally works and is super tasty. 

Puddy Time

Monday, November 11, 2013

EatWell Natural Farm Weeks 33 & 34

The leaves finally tuned in Southern Maryland. The first week of November was Spectacular.

NBC4 is doing a story in December on winter weather and as a part of that Veronica Johnson of the weather team came out to the farm this week. She wanted to see what we were harvesting in the winter and how the weather effects farms and restaurants. Look for the segment on the local news in the next few weeks and the full story in their winter weather half hour special in December.
Veronica and Jason getting close ups of the winter harvest

Jason shooting our awesome barn and Flora the truck

Harvest sample


In the harvest bins these weeks: Romaine, Red Sails Lettuce, Radicchio, Arugula, Hakurei Turnips, Scarlett Queen Turnips, Carrots, Spinach, Red Ace Beets, Golden Beets, Mustard Greens, Kale, Rainbow Chard, Watermelon Radishes, Sage, Thyme, and Broccolini.

Red Sails Lettuce

Leonardo Radicchio

Rubber Bands for Turnip Harvest

Hakurei Turnips


Production and Distribution

Deliveries are holding at once a week. It is getting colder and colder out which makes for washing vegetables with icy water. Yikes. 

I delivered on Halloween and found The Pig over run with Zombies!

Delivered the last of the peppers for the year

Cultivation and Maintenance

Andrew weeding the Chard with the Wheel Hoe

The Signature Theatre in Shirlington found itself with a pile of gravel left over from a set they just built. I picked up a free truck load for the herb garden path. They even loaded it in the truck for me. Thanks Signature!

Different Andrew and Lane loading gravel

Herb Garden renovation in progress

Eating Well

Every few years I like to give my body a little bit of a flush. Kind of like getting a regular oil change for your car.  I'm just wrapping up week 2 of a 3 week cleanse called Clean. Its not too extreme and helps you reset your eating patterns for the better. Sadly I had some friends in town and really wanted to take them to The Pig but I knew I wouldn't be able to enjoy many of the tasty menu items. My plan was to order a simple salad and drink some water while my friends enjoyed their lavish meal. Chef Bonk was having none of that and prepared a delicious platter of sauteed and grilled vegetables served with oil, vinegar and sea salt. All Clean approved and delectable. Thank Chef Bonk! I can't wait to go back after the cleanse. 

Custom Clean Veggie Platter by Chef Bonk

At home I'm enjoying the fall flavors with roasted root veggies...
Turnips, Golden Beets and Carrots
Perfectly Roasted with Olive Oil and Sage

Puddy Time