Weekly news from the farm!



Greetings Everyone,

Just as we thought would happen, summer temperatures would return during the day which seems normal, and we’re certainly enjoying the refreshing nighttime coolness underneath our beautiful skies.  This week we’re incredibly thankful for scientists, not only those that have made us aware of climate change, but all the scientists who are working tirelessly at solutions to combat this phenomenon.  What’s especially exciting is this news of efficiently turning carbon dioxide into a fuel source that can be stored in batteries.  Can you imagine if we directed all the money we spend investigating and digging wells for hydrofracking oil into this type of energy?  We’re confident the young leadership, all the Greta Thunbergs of the world, will be spearheading a larger effort in making this type of renewable energy  (or other renewable energy) mainstream. We are also excited to see this research for a pesticide, made from a spider venom, that research indicates doesn’t hurt bees.  Being organic farmers, we know that in order to feed the masses, we’ll need sprays to combat pests so it is exciting to read about this type of pesticide.  Contrary to popular opinion, most organic farmers use pesticides, they just have to be naturally occurring instead of synthetic ones like those used in conventional agriculture. At MHO, we are especially fond of using a bacteria to kill soft bodied pests that eat our greens, and are thankful that the bacteria we use is targeted for specific pests so we aren’t hurting our pollinators. There are plenty of organic sprays available that do kill bees, which is why you should “know your farmer” and support farms that choose to lose crops over killing bees with harmful sprays.  This article is interesting because this company is using bees to spread a fungi onto crops such as strawberries, the fungi once on the crop will protect it from molds that are especially damaging to the fruit. They put the fungi at the entrance of the hive, so the bees end up getting it on them, then when the bees are foraging for food they are distributing this fungi onto the crops.

You will probably need to white list our email to receive correspondence from us because we have changed our email from farmer@MountainHarvestOrganic.com to Farmer@MountainHarvestOrganics.com (our email is organics plural).

Your Farmers (and cleaning staff),
Carl and Julie

NOTE: Your’re receiving this eNewsletter because you’ve either been a subscriber to MHO in the past OR if you’ve registered for our newsletters from our website.  Feel free to unsubscribe if you no longer wish to receive this eNewsletter!

CSA Shareholders: You can access our online store using this link, if using a desktop you will log in by clicking the icon of the person in the top right hand side of the web page, if you are using a phone click on the menu icon and choose the login option. All orders need to be placed by Tuesday at 8 AM so that we will know what to harvest for your share! Please return your boxes because we re-use them.  Orders will be ready each Wednesday after 8 AM. 

What is new and abundant this week!

This week our large Bok Choi (or Choy) is ready for your bellies!!! One of our favorite salads, that works with either the baby or large bok choi, is this vegan rice noodle salad.   Another favorite is Bok Choi Risotto which is delicious as a meal! As always we are including CSA member Lorraine Connard’s refreshing salad.  During the fall, one of our favorite stir-fries is bok choi with butternut squash and turnips.  A slaw is always great, and we tend to include peppers, turnips and carrots in ours, but the ginger dressing makes the salad delicious!  This recipe ginger tahini salad dressing;  is vegan and one favorite of ours and works for salads made with either greens or lettuce.

You’ll find a few bunches of lacinato kale!! While this kale is growing in a greenhouse, a groundhog has discovered it, so we only have a few bunches.  We’ve been trialing various varieties of kale in recent years, because our old standby Red Russian and our Lacinato, haven’t been performing especially well.   While we replaced the Red Russian with the green curly, we continue planting the lacinato even though it’s been a low yielding, just because it’s so beautiful and tasty.  Perhaps it’s climate change as to why it’s performance has been especially poor and just maybe we’ve finally gotten to the point of actually removing it from our production plan.  This kale is also known as Tuscan or Italian and is a very tender kale that can be used raw or sauteed lightly. We tend to use kale for salads during the winter when we aren’t growing lettuce. We especially love this Kale Ceasar Salad because it is a hearty salad. Another favorite, which uses a lot of kale, are tostadas, super warming and yummy. They can easily be made vegan substituting a cashew cheese for the dairy cheese. Another favorite, simple and refreshing salad that uses sweet bell peppers, is this slaw a salad that is quick to make and refreshing. If you’re in need of a warm and hearty meal, this kale and potato chowder is great, and this kale and italian sausage soup. Please visit the recipe section of our website for more recipes.

Jester Squash is in the online store!!! This squash is a winter squash so it has a hard skin. It is a type of delicata, so if you happen to purchase it, we’d love your feedback as to how you think it compares with our standard delicata.  Our yields weren’t very high, so we’re thinking of discontinuing it from our production.  It has a fairly thin skin so it works very nice sliced and roasted or stuffed. This squash is excellent as a main entree when stuffed with wild rice, with kale and sausage, or with tomatoes, peppers and corn.  An easy “go to” side that works for almost all of our winter squash varieties is by either roasting or grilling them. This squash is tasty simply baked, and while many recipes suggest using sugar for basting the squash pulp, we feel winter squash is sweet enough that we normally baste with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. You might be interested in this simple recipe for slice and roasted squash rings because it highlights the flavor of the squash.

Sweet Corn is back!!! Julie wanted to harvest the corn before it matured because the critters have eaten roughly 1/3rd our crop, but Carl thought it better to risk letting the critters have it rather than harvesting before it has sweetened up.  So we waited and are feeling fortunate that the critters allowed us to harvest some for your shares!!!! We’ve been baiting a live trap with cat food, anchovies and sardines, but none of these are as tempting as sweet corn.  We do have another succession planted, but the odds of actually harvesting ears are stacked against us, so enjoy it while it lasts. Farm Fresh Sweet corn is a delicacy! When fresh, corn can be shucked, and eaten raw, right off the cob. To cook farm fresh corn, get a pot of water boiling, shuck and clean your corn, and once the water is boiling you will want to boil the corn for 2 – 3 minutes.  If you don’t happen to eat all of your corn the day you’ve received your share, consider this Southwestern Corn and Black Bean Salad because it is refreshing and we serve this as the main entree for our meal. We also make these corn crepes because they are delicious wraps for your favorite greens. If your’re having a party, or you have “snack night” like we occasionally do here at the farm, this corn dip is fabulous. Growing up fishing with my father, these popular corn fritters (hush puppies) are delicious. Just remember, there might be a pesky critter like the corn earworm at the tip of the corn, simply discard it for the birds.

Thank goodness for winter squash!!! We are nearly at the end of the season for summer squash so you won’t find many of these in the online store this week. We’re having to compost roughly 50% of our crop because of a pesky critter called the pickle worm.  We thought perhaps with climate change happening, the Diaphania nitidalis moth, whose baby is the “pickle worm” may become endangered, so we planted a late crop of summer squash thinking that perhaps this moth wouldn’t be migrating through late summer like it has in years past.  We do feel fortunate that this moth is still thriving because biodiversity matters!!! Just be thankful that we have winter squash in storage for our meals because we don’t want to spray for this pest or we’d kill the other pollinators. Above you can see the little holes from the worm. We try our best to grade these squash out. The squash is perfectly edible if you’re brave enough to cut out the worm.

This Weeks Farmer’s Choice Shares

Above is our bok choi salad that looks like the rainbow!!!   We absolutely love this salad because the bok choi adds a wonderful crunch factor plus it is full of vitamins!! Veggies in our salad includes bok choi, red peppers, orange peppers, red onion, cilantro, ginger, fresh serrano peppers. 

This week’s Farmer’s Choice Share includes: (share contents are subject to change based on our actual harvest.)

We’re offering both a Farmer’s Choice Veggie and Farmers’ Choice Veggie & Meat Share.  Items common in both shares are listed first, followed by items specific to the veggie share the finally the veggie/meat share. The Farmer’s Choice Veggie & Meat share normally has smaller portions of vegetables. )

The following are included only in the veggie share:

  • Onions: Onions: Mixed Yellow Candy and Red bulbs.  We’re starting to take our onions down from the curing racks!
  • Greens:   Bok Choi/Choy.

The following are included only in the meat share

What’s Happening on the Farm

We’re cleaning up our Spring and Summer fields in preparation for planting cover crops.  Carl rigged up a way for us to easily roll up our drip tape which is a big time saver.  It has been extremely dry, but there is a 40% forecast for rain later in the week, so we are hoping to get our cover crop seeded before a band of rain showers arrives in our mountains.  We used to set up overhead irrigation to help our cover crop germinate, but we don’t have the time for that so we’ll be relying on Mother Nature, so everyone please pray for rain to arrive later in the week.

Our 20 year old DR Mower is frequently in need of repair.  This week while Julie was mowing, the shaft broke, so now we need to order a new part and Carl will need to add this to his “Fix It” list.  We’re thankful that the mower has worked the entire season so far because it has allowed us to keep the farm so that it looks somewhat manicured. Although, Julie was providing a guest with a farm tour the other week and they commented that we needed to keep the weeds down along the sides of our greenhouses.  

Above is what we think is the Northern Pine Sphinx Moth (Lapara bombycoides). A large and beautiful moth that we spoted while cleaning up the fields in preparation for sowing cover crops.

Leave a Reply