FROM THE FARMERS
I love to farm. I like to drive tractors, work with the animals, harvest vegetables, get dirty and greasy, and bust my knuckles working on junk equipment. We always seem to be trying new things: testing new plant varieties, flame weeding the carrots, and plowing new ground. Most things we try have the common goal of finding what works best for our farm.
Recently, we’ve been trying to minimize the amount and intensity of tillage in our vegetable fields. The norm was to mouldboard plow in February, disk as soon you can get on the plowed ground, and rototill to make a seedbed before planting. There are plenty of problems associated with these methods, but one of the most glaring is that it’s hard to catch enough dry weather in a Kentucky spring to do all this tillage. We are trying to improve our method by switching to minimum/mulch tillage.
Last fall we planted millet in our spring crop fields. The millet is very frost sensitive, so it was killed by the first frost. We allowed the millet to stand through the winter, which protected the soil from erosion. This spring we made a couple passes with our field cultivator, and we were ready to plant. We did no deep tillage, and allowed the crop residue to stay on the soil surface. This gave us, in effect, a light straw mulch on all our spring crop ground. In spite of the wet spring, we’ve been able to keep up our planting schedule. The seedlings and transplants look like they are doing well with the new method, and we’ll keep you updated as the season goes on. I’m guessing the real challenge is going to be cultivating the weeds…
COMMUNITY FARM ALLIANCE
This organization does good things for small Kentucky farms like ours! Help CFA continue to do good work by becoming a member today. CLICK HERE TO JOIN
WEEK #2 CSA SHARE CONTENTS
- NAPA CABBAGE
- LEAF LETTUCE
FARM NOTES & EVENTS
- BEREA FARMERS MARKET is now happening – TWICE PER WEEK – Tuesdays 3:30 – 6 PM and Saturdays 9 AM – 12 PM
- LEXINGTON FARMERS MARKET – We’ll see you at the downtown market on Saturday mornings 7:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Here’s a rerun on a recipe we used last fall. It’s one of our favorites, and we thought all the new members might like to try it out…
MASSAGED KALE SALAD1/2 lb kale
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 turnip, shredded
1 apple, shredded
1 carrot, shredded
lemon juice to taste
honey to taste
dash cayenne pepper
coarse sea salt to taste
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, or walnuts
Wash and drain kale in a colander or salad spinner. In a large bowl, combine kale, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and garlic (and a little bit of grated ginger, if you like). Work the ingredients together with your hands, massaging until the kale becomes tender – at least a couple minutes.
Mix in shredded turnip, carrot, and apple (and peeled, shredded beets, optional).
Here’s where the recipe becomes fun…add lemon juice, honey, and sea salt to taste. With each addition, mix the salad well and sample…just a little bit at a time until sufficiently sweet, tangy, and refreshing. Finally, add a dash of cayenne and top with toasted seeds or nuts. A drizzle of tahini never hurt anything, either. This is the most delicious, surprising salad. I’ve seen a burger-subsisting death metal drummer go nuts over this dish.