Friday, May 28, 2010

Newsletter Season 2 Week 1

Picket Fence Farm Happenings
Season 2 Issue #1

Welcome to Picket Fence Farm!

We are glad to have you as a customer this season. We have new members and returning members, and we hope to provide all of you with a great season of fresh, local produce. As always, we grow everything on our farm chemical-free, the way God designed. All of our fertilizers are “natural” as well...NO synthetics allowed. We are in the business of nourishing the soil, so it in turn nourishes us through the food that is grown in it. The garden is growing well, and we are excited to see how this season unfolds, as we hope you are as well. We want this to be a great experience for you, so if you have any questions or concerns feel free to ask...this is YOUR farm and we are YOUR farmers.

What’s in the Box?

Green Onions--white and purple
Radishes--Easter Egg Blend, French Breakfast, Cherry Belle
Turnip Greens--Seven Top

Please Take Note

Our produce is field washed. I would suggest washing once more before eating. We do not use any chemical sprays, so you may find a few holes in the greens. Also, some of the radishes were probably picked a week too late...if some are big they may be hollow...they all seem to taste fine however. We should have some more ready for next week that will be smaller.

Recipe Ideas

Turnip Greens (slightly bitter, should be used cooked-not raw)
*Saute in olive oil and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
*Boil gently, drain and use as you would spinach in a recipe.
*Good on pizza, in pasta (a baked dish like lasagna would be good), or in an omelet.

Radishes are good raw in salads of course, but you can also cook them. Slice and saute in oil or butter and season to taste...good alone but better in a stir -fry with other veggies.

FYI: Regarding the CSA Boxes
We only have one box per customer this year, so we will be alternating with sacks as well. This will be a sort of experiment to see if we (and you as well) prefer the boxes or the sacks.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Our first harvest this season...

Tomorrow will be our first harvest of the season. We'll have green onions, radishes, turnip greens, and MAYBE lettuce...we'll have to check it out and see if it is big enough to cut. On farm pick-up will be Friday afternoon and Pella delivery will be Saturday morning at 9:00 am. I have sent out an email to our members, so hopefully everyone will know to make it! We are excited for this growing season and hope our members are too. :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Well, the rain yesterday at the farm was very heavy and some of our rows that were just sowed with seeds got washed out...bummer. It seems to be worst along one edge of the garden, so hopefully most of the rows will still be intact. It even washed out a pepper plant already established in the ground...I replanted it and hope it didn't disturb the roots too much. So is life on the farm. Unexpected things happen sometimes. We are just blessed it wasn't worse (like hail--which they said was possible). On a happier note, the melons and cucumbers in the greenhouse are doing great and they will be planted out very soon!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Flowers Planted...

Well, this morning we were able to get out in the garden to plant our flowers before it rained. We planted zinnias, cosmos, calendula, asters, alyssum, a variety of sunflowers, and a wildflower mix. The pictures above are of some of our flowers from last year (mostly cosmos and zinnias). Hopefully this rain watered them in nicely and we'll have beautiful flowers for our members this summer!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Another Garden Update

The garden is growing well, and this rain we are getting today will be great for all of our new plantings. I thought I would give an update as to what is planted so far:
peas-shelling (they are blooming right now, so it shouldn't be too long for peas!), peas-sugar snap, onions, scallions, garlic, lettuces, chard, spinach, radishes, turnip greens, beets, carrots, green beans, zucchini, summer squash, cucumbers, cabbage, broccoli, herbs (chives, rosemary, thyme, basil, dill, cilantro,parsley, spearmint, lavender), potatoes, sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant. We'll soon be planting melons(watermelon, cantalope, and honeydew), flowers, sweet potatoes, pumpkins and winter squash. I feel like I may be forgetting something, but this is pretty much all. Our first delivery should be coming up soon...I hope next weekend...I will keep all of our members posted by email.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New Research in Pesticides

This is from the Des Moines Register and can also be found online. Yet another reason why organic/chemical free is so important.

Research links pesticides with attention-deficit disorder:

A new analysis of U.S. health data links children's attention-deficit disorder with exposure to common pesticides used on fruits and vegetables. Although the study couldn't prove that pesticides used in agriculture contribute to childhood learning problems, experts said that the research is convincing. "I would take it quite seriously," said Virginia Rauh of Columbia University, who has studied prenatal exposure to pesticides and was not involved in the study. The findings are published in Pediatrics.

Another link for this info is:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

What's Growing?

The garden is growing, and I thought I would give an update. We should have a few things ready in the next week or two...we'll be sending out an email to all of our customers about when to expect their first box. Things that should be ready soon include radishes, green onions, and greens. The peas are growing well, as is the spinach and chard, so they shouldn't be too far behind either. I'm sure you are all ready for fresh garden produce (I know we sure are)! It has rained ALOT this week at the farm. The garden needs weeded in the worst way, but right now it is a muddy mess in there. My rain gage says 3 inches total this week. I think it will stay dry for the next couple days, but another chance of rain Sunday night with more dry weather to follow after that. We have a bunch of transplants that need to go in the ground soon, so I hope it will be dry enough by this weekend. The greenhouse is full of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and herbs awaiting their new home in the garden!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Our First Egg...

We finally got our first egg! We have one hen that is laying so far, she has laid one a day for the last three days. I am sure the others (three more for now as the others come in June) will be following soon as they are the same age. The breed we have is called Red Star and they lay big brown eggs. I am suprised at how big these pullets eggs are...I was expecting them to be smaller...I would say they are about the size of a medium egg from the store. We haven't eaten any yet... I thought about collecting enough for a quiche or egg casserole with some of our fresh garlic chives. Sounds good to me.
The chickens are fun to watch too, as they have little "personalities". The kids like to watch them and talk to them...they have given them some interesting names (to say the least). Red Velvet, Pepper and Spices, and Spiderman...I tried to explain they were girl chickens, but my youngest insisted on Spiderman. I said the fourth should be Layla, because we want them to lay a lot of eggs! I'll try to get pictures up as soon as I figure out my camera problem.