Weekly News from the Farm

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Greetings Everyone,

Aren’t we fortunate that Spring returned? It has been incredibly beautiful working outside the past couple weeks. It seems the weather impacted our Genovese (pesto) Basil in our greenhouse because that crop seems to have a mildew so we just transplanted another variety out in the field that’s claim to fame is it’s resistance to mildew. We simply can’t imagine a summer without basil so lets hope the field crop grows and thrives. We’re also are growing Thai and lemon basil that we think is more resistant to mildews.

We can relate to the commodity soybean and corn farmers in the Midwest, while they have issues related to flooding, we have critter issues affecting our crops.  A groundhog just wiped out your cilantro, dill and bean crops, and it has been munching on the zucchini and yellow squash, but we’re still hopeful those might yield some fruit. We’re trying to figure out the dining schedule for that groundhog so we can evict it off the farm. That means we’re not comfortable having an Asheville CSA drop until we have a more predictable harvests.

Many CSA Shareholders have expressed interest in cutting back on the plastic usage. For those interested in cutting back on your bags, if you were to supply us with 2 sets of cloth produce bags (maybe 8 for 2 weeks of bagged veggies?), label those bags with your name, then we can use them here at the farm for packing your produce. Also, we’re reducing the weekly minimum order amount to $15 because we think is a better portion of weekly groceries for most households. You can custom order each week, but it is helpful for our finances if you are able to place a $15 minimum order. We realize with our crop loss, there may be weeks where we don’t have enough diversity for that $15 minimum, so we’ll try to mention that in the weekly newsletter weeks when you aren’t required to place a minimum order.

 

 

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!
You’ll get beets with their tops cut off  in your share this week!!!  The beet tops aren’t very appetizing because of our bug pressure but their roots are certainly delicious.  Thanks to CSA member Ellen Morrissey, who suggested we cook these in the Instant Pot, it is quick and the beets cook to perfection every time.   We cook a batch up then store in the refrigerator and just add slices to our salads throughout the week.
We’ve stocked our freezers with our pastured pork and beef!!! We haven’t raised our prices in 5 years, but over those years the costs for raising animals has increased, so we’ve raised our prices for linked sausages to $9.50 per pound. We wanted you to know, that we’re proud to not have raised our vegetable prices in our online store in 5 years!!!  So we hope you’ll continue to enjoy our pastured meat even though it is a little more expensive.  Look for our breakfast sausage, Italian Sausage and Bratwursts in our online store.   Please know, when purchasing these products, the weight of each package can vary. If you choose to pay with your credit card, we aren’t able to adjust the amounts for the packages because of the payment gateway that we use for our storefront. That means you may end up with a package of sausage that weighs less than a pound so you may end up paying an additional 25 cents. Many times, the package may weigh more than a pound, so you’d be getting a deal.
The first of the slicing tomatoes are maturing!!! That means tomato sandwiches, hamburgers, salsa and pasta because they are large enough for slicing, juicy but not overly juicy causing your sandwich to fall apart.  After a tomato sandwich, one of our favorite meals is pasta with chopped tomatoes, garlic and basil, mostly because it is quick, filling, refreshing and delicious. We don’t find ourselves making pesto for summer use, because we love this dish! We freeze our pesto for winter months. Other favorites ours, especially of we are making fresh mozzarella, is panzanella saladsalad caprese or bruschetta using bread from Annie’s Bakery.   We also love using these tomatoes in salsa roja because they aren’t too juicy.  We have a tendency to keep a jar of fresh picante sauce around because it is perfect tossed in scrambled eggs, salads, guacamole sauce, quesadillas, burritos, etc.  Some of our favorite summer salads include; cucumber tomatotomatoes and sweet cornmarinated tomato saladskillet BLT Panzanella.
The first of harvest of Shishito Peppers! Japanese Shishito pepper for cooking or salads. This sweet pepper is popular in Japan where its thin walls make it particularly suitable for tempura. We frequently enjoy these accompanying many of our meals throughout the season, because they are delicious pan fried, and an extremely quick and easy side. Another option is to stuff them with goat cheese either this way or or this way.
This Weeks Farmer’s Choice Veggie Share

We eat kale a few times each week while it is in season and hope you do too!!!

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’re going to become a pizza farm!!  While we’ve been surveying y’all individually, we haven’t made this public knowledge, but Mountain Harvest Organics has been awarded a WNC AgOptions grant to become a pizza farm.  Based on your feedback, we’re not sure we’re taking this farm in the right direction, and have had mixed emotions about this idea. Thanks everyone for your honest feedback!!!  Most of you know we don’t have a lick of sense, after all just over 20 years ago we decided to become farmers, and now we want to be a pizza farm? This new business venture definitely isn’t as risky as becoming farmers, so once again we’re taking a leap of faith and heading down this obscure path. We’re lucky enough to have amazing entrepreneurs helping us realize this dream; those being Annie’s Bakery, Douglas McVey, ASAP, and Wake Robin Bakery. They’ve agreed to help us find our way in implementing this project, in offering their support and advice. While we’d be better off putting our hard earned money into building a cabin, we don’t have the capital for that, nor do we qualify for loans. The pizza farm requires a lot less capital, and if we’re lucky enough to get people out to the farm (We live in the middle of nowhere, don’t  we?), we think we’d have more fun spending our time making pizzas and growing the toppings, as opposed to cleaning a cabin. We keep brainstorming new business ventures that will physically require less work, that we hope will be successful, because we’d love to figure out way to retire without selling the farm. We’ve fallen so in love with this community and the land, and feel fortunate every morning to wake up  and glance up at beautiful Bluff Mountain. 
We’re building a “real” pizza oven The first phase of the pizza farm was navigating all the rules and regulations, trying to figure out if our idea is a viable solution, and if our health department will allow this type of farm based business. When we wrote the grant, we thought for certain we’d find another farm that serves food grown/raised right on the farm, just so we’d have an example of what is required to be in compliance for the health department.  Unfortunately,  we haven’t yet found a farm in North Carolina that serves food so it has been hard navigating all the rules and regulations for us to follow.  We almost were ready to cancel the grant but have since found a way to implement the pizza farm.  After the rules and regulations, the first phase is to build a real pizza oven.  Just this week we finished laying all the block for the base.  The first photo is the completed block for the base.  The photo just above is the rebar that is used to strengthen the base.

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