Weekly news from the farm!!!



Greetings Everyone,

Each week, we cruise the fields and estimate our harvest so that we can update the online store with our availability.   In an effort to provide you with the freshest produce possible, we especially like to harvest as mush as possible each Tuesday.  To try and make it easy for you to order, we have a category titled “In Season”, which is everything that we are currently harvesting or have available as storage crops/meat.  As you know, our availability changes week to week, as newly planted crops begin maturing and other crops finish up.  This week there are 61 different items categorized as “In Season”.  With climate change, the large companies are beginning to understand that the we need more diversity in our food system and according on this article they are working together to address this issue, “The world’s biggest food crops are too similar, which could jeopardize the entire food system in a pandemic or crisis. Big food companies say they are ready to start fixing the problem now.”  Several research articles report that only nine major crops – such as soybeans, wheat, corn, potatoes and sugar beets account for the majority of what large agribusiness farms raise by weight.  Each January at MHO, we begin making our annual production plan and we review our production notes that we keep throughout the previous season as to which varieties are the best flavored or highest yielding, then we refine our plan by eliminating or adding varieties.  For example; in the online store you’ll find that we grew 9 different varieties of potatoes this year, only because each season some perform well while others don’t, so we try to reduce the risk of a total crop failure for potatoes by increasing our diversity.  After all, crops like potatoes provide us with a lot of nutrition throughout the winter. You subscribers should be proud, and  WE’RE INCREDIBLY thankful for you, because you are supporting a diversified food system by either shopping at the farmer’s market or by subscribing to a CSA.

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!

Bulb Fennel is our herb of the week!!! We just pulled this fennel out of the ground and are excited that this veggie can be thinly sliced and added to a napa cabbage slaw for a wonderful flavor.  It is associated with Italian cooking and is great roasted. This veggie contains a phytonutrient compound in fennel called anethole that some researchers claim reduces inflammation and helps prevent cancer. Most of the time we sell the fennel with the tops, these recipes are all about preserving fennel tops, so don’t throw away those fennel tops! This roasted potato and fennel soup is excellent that can be made either vegan or adding a little cream. Consider this Fennel Salad Slaw that is simple and refreshing. If you’re looking for a hearty, one meal pot, this fennel and pasta with tomatoes is excellent.

We’re starting to harvest fall beets!!!  We’ll be cutting the tops off because they aren’t so pretty due to the heat and dry weather here in the valley. Boil and put into plastic bags for your salads all week long! Both this Mediterranean Beet Salad and the Pureed Beet Salad are excellent if you haven’t tried these yet. Carl makes a plain gazpacho soup but here is a recipe for gazapacho with beets that is BEAUTIFUL and DELICIOUS! Occasionally we cut the tops off the beets if they aren’t pretty, so if you find beets with tops in your share, try these roasted beets with tops, it is simple yet tasty. This beet Tzatziki is great served with chickpeas.

Butternut Squash is making its appearance in the online store.  This is such an amazing squash, and while it is super sweet right now, we anticipate it will become even sweeter while in storage.  This squash is a winter squash so it has a hard skin. Butternut is well loved by us, because compared to other winter squash varieties, the skins are thin so the squash can easily be sliced for stir-fries.  Butternut is especially delicious roasted and fabulous for a wild rice salad or a salad with beets and walnuts.  An easy “go to” side that works for almost all of our winter squash varieties is to either roast or grill them. This recipe for it roasted with coconut and chiles, is easy and delicious, but you may only need olive oil, garlic salt and pepper for your seasoning because the squash is so flavorful.

Diversity Matters!!!  Normally we’re harvesting both large bell peppers and sweet Italian peppers from early summer up until our last frost. This year we decided not to plant a field crop, and we’re regretting that because the greenhouse crop took a break during the heat of summer.  We must say, we’re incredibly thankful for these baby bell peppers because they continue to produce even in the summer heat.  We hope ya’ll have been enjoying them as well.  We’ve added to our production notes, “Plant some field peppers to supplement our greenhouse crop”.

This Weeks Farmer’s Choice Shares

The above veggies are thinly sliced and tossed in with either green or napa cabbage: radishes, turnips, yellow bell peppers, red bell peppers and a red onions.   While we eat this salad frequently while the summer peppers and fall roots are being harvested, we will switch out our salad dressings for a different take on the salad and have either a regular coleslaw dressing or an asian slaw dressing.  Many health suppliers suggest we “eat the rainbow” which is what we try to do at MHO!!! 

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:

The following are included only in the meat share

What’s Happening on the Farm

We’ve been preparing the fields for planting strawberries and garlic.  That means we’ve been spreading about 3 inches of vermi-compost,  which adds both a lot of microbial life to our soil and micro-nutrients, which should help our plants grow and prosper.  

You’ll be happy to know that our red wiggler worms, who turn our manure and damaged and unsold crops into beautiful compost for our crops, are pretty discretionary in what they choose to eat.  For example, they didn’t eat the wrench pictured here in the photograph.  They also don’t eat forks, spoons, plastic and coconut hulls.  That means our compost is pretty pure and of very good quality.

We’ve been leveling the ground and building forms for the building structures required for our pizza farm.  We’re hoping to pour concrete before mid October.

The possibilities… Here’s to hoping that our Romanesco (also known as Romanesco broccoli, Romanesque cauliflower, Roman Cauilfower, etc.) sizes up and the groundhog doesn’t decide to include this on it’s menu plan.)  This is a wonderful treat roasted whole with simply basting it with olive oil, garlic salt and pepper.

Argus being such a good boy and lying down in the field, in-between the crops, rather than on the crops! This was taken in the evening, because it’s been so hot, he’s been sleeping at the barn during the day.

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