Weekly News from the farm and find out what’s happening on the farm!

Greetings  Everyone,

CSA Shareholders, this is our last delivery for our summer CSA!!!  We can’t thank you enough for supporting MHO by eating seasonally this year because you’ve helped us immensely as we transition from being full time farmers, into a blend of production along with hosting guests. Thanks for eating seasonally from the farm, because you are voting with your dollars for a more sustainable and healthy planet.  

Our plan was to sell at the North Asheville Tailgate Market for September and October, but we are only scheduled to attend for the first few weeks in September, so we are wondering if there is any interest in joining a Fall CSA? Here is what you can expect in your share: Keep in mind, we lost our diversity of winter squash and sweet potatoes to the groundhogs and had a crop failure with our Irish potatoes.  We are looking at offering the CSA for 6 weeks from: Friday September 21st through October 26th.  If you are interested, please respond to this email and let us know.  We hope to have 15 shareholders which means we may need a few more subscribers, because we know that some of our subscribers aren’t able to eat many greens.  So please forward this eNewsletter to someone you think is interested.

  • Tomatoes: Maybe a few tomatoes as they should hang on until October. Not as many will be included as in the summer CSA.
  • Peppers: Perhaps Green Bell Peppers if the groundhog doesn’t eat them.  So far, the groundhog only enjoys peppers that have ripened to red/yellow/orange.
  • Lettuce: We’ll probably include salad mix. Especially head lettuce as we’ve been lucky enough to offer this each week throughout the sesaon.
  • Alternating weekly greens: Napa Cabbage, Green Cabbage, Red Cabbage, Collard Greens, Bok Choi.
  • Bulb Onions: Red and Yellow.
  • Roots: Radishes, Turnips, Carrots and Beets
  • Butternut Squash: These store, so you will be able to keep them in your pantry even after the CSA ends for the season.

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 Thursday at 8 AM so that we will know what to harvest for your share! Please return your boxes because we re-use them. All orders need to be placed by Thursday at 8 AM so that we will know what to harvest for your share!   Please return your boxes because we re-use them.

What is new and abundant this week!

We”re harvesting Hakurei turnips this week!!! This variety is delicious raw in salads or roasted or you might be interested in trying it in a slaw substituting peppers for carrots if you prefer that.  Another favorite of ours is Spring Rolls where most any vegetable can go into these delicious wraps.  They can be mashed with potatoes for a gratin which can be made vegan in substituting butter for New Balance or an oil and the nutritional yeast for the cheese.  Occasionally these turnips are sold without the tops.

Butternut Squash!!!  This squash is a winter squash so it has a hard skin and stores a long time in your pantry, so no need to eat it this week.  Butternut is such a great squash, 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 by either roasting or grilling 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.  

Red Bulb Onions!!!  We’re working our way through getting onions off the curing racks, which mean we are cutting the tops and roots, then boxing them for future CSA shares.  These red bulb onions with deep red rings are stunning in salads!  We prefer to include these in coleslaw.  If you’re adventurous, try pickled red onions.  They are beautiful roasted with potatoes.  We also love making an onion chutney that we eat with naan. This recipe for caramelized onion chutney you should be able to make with ingredients right from your pantry.  Savor magazine has a list of 50 recipes that use onions so be sure to stock up on these while they are in season!

This Weeks Farmer’s Choice Veggie Share

Are you CSA Shareholders tired of tomatoes after us including those in your share  for nearly 12 weeks? We don’t get tired of them because we use them in everything and at nearly every meal, but we’d be curious for your feedback just to know if this is something we need to ration for next years CSA. 

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 are learning the art of the hospitality business!! 

Over the years, since Youtube has become available, we have spent our time watching videos about farming, stick building, timber framing, furniture building, plumbing and masonry work.  We love the hashtag, #jackofalltradesmasterofnone because we feel this hashtag describes our skills.  As farmers, we’re required to pretty much do everything, because we only make $2 an hour off our farming income, it makes no sense for us to farm while paying a trades person to do any jobs for us.  In recent years, the jobs we are most proud of, are the masonry work we did for cabin #1 and the pavilion timber frame that we felled the trees, sawed the timbers, cut the frame, and with our community raised the frame. 

Recently we’ve been watching Youtube videos about hospitality, in particular, cleaning and making beds.  We ask ourselves if we are absolutely crazy for using our bandwidth for learning the craft of house keeping?  We must say, the beds we’ve most recently made look so much more professional and inviting that those we made the first few weeks of offering farmstays.

We’re excited to be creating some “Mountain Traditions” here in Spring Creek!!!!  For the past several  years, we’ve been smoking pork sidemeat on Labor day, which is an entire years worth of bacon for us and the McVey’s.  We are so thankful that Douglas and Alice hang out with us for several hours while making bacon.  We had every intention of bringing our meat up to the Hesed’s, because they have a smoker they designed and custom built, and we must say we are dying to use their smoker.  We just can’t beat the convenience of smoking on the farm.    We are hoping to smoke some pork jowl because it is incredibly delicious, if you eat fat, and is perfect for seasoning soup beans.

We had our first BLT of the season and it was DELICIOUS!!!  We don’t eat much bacon, because we eat only what we cure and smoke.  Smoke does an amazing job at infusing an incredible flavor into pork bellies.  We normally try to eat mostly veggies, but after losing a ton of vegetables to the critters this season, we’re thinking that maybe we are destined to just eat meat?  After all, we try to live off of what we eat, and it seems that there aren’t nearly the predators eating pastured raised meat.

This article in the NYTIMES  this past week really hit home for us.  It starts out explaining, “Ever since humans learned to wrest food from soil, creatures like the corn earworm, the grain weevil and the bean fly have dined on our agricultural bounty. Worldwide, insect pests consume up to 20 percent of the plants that humans grow for food, and that amount will increase as global warming makes bugs hungrier, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Science.”  Over the years, it seems to us that the flea beetles are especially hungry, because up until several years ago, we could get a good healthy crop of spring greens with little care.  To us, it seems that the flea beetles are active earlier in the season than once upon a time.  We even wonder if the groundhogs and deer are eating more throughout the year, because of our mild winters, are they more active?  Are they having more offspring throughout the year?  It definitely seems so to us.

Three weeks ago the barn swallows migrated to South America, and we were hoping that the Crows would join them for the journey.  Doesn’t it seem that South America would be a much better place to take up residence rather than here at MHO?  Apparently not!!!  We’ve also noticed that the crows are also eating more than their share of the corn and watermelon.  We see the benefit of having them, because they are actively eating grubs from newly tilled soil.  When we were younger farmers, we thought that we could all co-exist together, we are thinking that we’ve become less tolerant of sharing our bounty with the critters. Maybe, rather than us being less tolerant these past few years because of us aging, perhaps it is due to us trying to earn 100% of our income from farming.  It is our hope that as we have more income from our rentals, we will be happy to be the crows CSA Farmer and actually enjoy planting sweet corn and watermelons for their share.

The article suggests that as the bug pressure increases, so will the use of pesticides by farmers.  That means it will become even more important to “Know your farmer”, so that you can vote with your dollars for both a healthy environment and healthy food.  When supporting a small farm, you are also voting for more diversity, because we don’t have acres and acres of one crop, that means we have plenty of flowers for our pollinators to grow and thrive in a non toxic environment. SO TODAY WE ARE EXTREMELY THANKFUL FOR YOU, because you are voting with your dollars for curbing climate change and for healthier food.

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