a home Base For Shareholders
September 24, 2016 - Distribution Week #16
(you can still get the newsletter the usual way - just scroll below for our .pdf archive)
what's new this week
Hello Old Friends!!
Delicata Squash: Also called "sweet potato squash," these striped yellow squash are the sweetest of all. Use them like all squash - cut in half, bake upside-down at 350F until tender and eat. We have a good crop this year.
Carrots: The late summer crop is tasty and finally ready to harvest. They will be a little small so we will keep them bunched so they don't get lost in the washer! Carrots are going to be a precious commodity this fall (with summer droughts making germination difficult). We will do our best to stretch them as long as possible!
Broccoli: With the rain this week we should start to see the 2nd fall broccoli crop come into it's own. When we don't have broccoli we will replace with green cabbage. But we have a LOT of broccoli in the field and are hopeful it will ripen nicely now.
Tatsoi: Mild and delicious green with dark green leaves and light green stems. Use fresh or cooked in salads, stir-frys, or casseroles. We should have a good supply through October.
what's on the way
REcipe of The Week
SHOPTALK - OLD SCHOOL
(you can still get the newsletter the usual way - just click on the week for a .pdf to print)
What's happening at the farm
Pic of the week
Winter Shares Now Available
Feed Your Family Local Produce All Winter Long!
Join us this winter for more of the same delicious, nutritious, homegrown, naturally grown vegetables straight from our farm to you - from December through March
Pick up the signup sheet at the Farm Shop, go to http://www.brookfieldfarm.org/wintershare, or check your email (we will send you one this week) for information and how to join us
Brookfield Farm Fall FAQs
When Does Regular Distribution End?
We expect to have beautiful crops and continue the same schedule thru Thanksgiving
When Can I Renew My Regular Share?
At the end of September! Look for more info soon right here
When Will Brookfield Farm Beef & Pork be Available?
Our Pork Sale is planned for Saturday November 12.
Our Grass-fed beef is available now in the Farm Shop during regular distribution hours while supplies last.
How We Farm
One of the ways we fertilize is through the use of fall sown “cover crops” which feed the soil through biological means. These plants will build up nitrogen, minerals, and organic matter in the soil. This is one way that we can continue to grow vegetables without using chemical fertilizers. In addition these crops hold the soil in place, keeping erosion due to wind and water to a minimum.
We spin on the seed (oats, peas, vetch, rye, red clover) with a broadcast spreader and then lightly harrow the seeds, which incorporates the seed into the first few inches of soil.
Oats help to bring up minerals from the sub-soiland convert them into a usable form for plants. Oats do not over-winter but begin to decompose in early winter, releasing nutrients into the soil which are in a form that crops can use as food in the spring. Vetch (a legume in the bean/pea family) and red clover host a bacteria on their roots (azotobacter) which takes nitrogen from the air and makes it into a form that plants can use. These legumes over-winter nicely, growing back again in the spring when it is disked into the soil releasing all of their usable nitrogen (and other minerals) to feed our crops.
Some areas will be planted to vegetables again next year and some cover crops will be left to grow through the Spring and Summer. When a cover crop is left in the ground to grow the following year it is called a fallow crop. By leaving our land fallow (not planting a crop for human consumption) we give the soil a chance to build nutrients and soil life. By rotating our crops around the fields we ensure that all of our land will be fallow every five years or so. This is one way our soil is replenished and can continue to allow us to harvest 250,000 lbs. of produce from our farm each year.
There’s still tons (literally!) of food in the fields - leeks, carrots, potatoes, squash, celeriac, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, kale, and collards - but September marks the beginning of winter preparation and the last chance for us to plant our leguminous cover crops. Now that it has rained we can put those seeds in the ground and they will germinate and help prepare our land for next year