Every Other Week
Corn (Terra Firma Farm)
“To bear in inward keeping spirit bounty is stern command of my prophetic feeling, that ripened gifts divine maturing in the depths of soul to selfhood bring their fruits.”
Our cows Phoebe and Chico
By Jared Clark
Blink your eyes and Spring turns into summer. Dark green kales and rainbow chards are supplanted by the hues of fruiting squash, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, cantaloupes, and watermelons. The cooler is overflowing with produce. The harvest van, laden with bins of melons or boxes of tomatoes, rides a little lower and slower as it is driven back to the packing area. Our apprentices, once as green as the first fruit set on our tomato vines, have matured with knowledge and are taking initiative as they take on more responsibility of daily farm management. We are approaching the peak of harvest season and this has been perhaps the most productive year we have experienced here at the ranch!
Our orchards have produced well this year bearing bushels of delicious fruit. Most notable have been the peaches. The last few weeks our ‘Sun crest’ peach trees have been dripping with fruit. Each evening we have been collecting a couple 5 gallon buckets of windfall fruit courtesy of the delta breezes. Even though these peaches are slightly blemished the flavor has been supreme. What we can’t sell as seconds or consume our hogs have been absolutely delighted to devour. We have a few more later varieties of peaches yet to come which include ‘Elberta’ peaches and ‘O’Henry’.
While the majority of our time is focused on getting the summer crops in from the field and sorting and packing them for distribution on the periphery we prepare for the transition of seasons. The first two plantings of squash and cucumbers have been mowed and tilled in and await either a summer cover crop or repeated tillage to flush weeds until the winter cover crops are sown. Our leaf-root blocks are being mowed, composted, and tilled to prepare the soil for our first plantings of the fall crops. In the greenhouse now the first fall plantings of brassicas are nearly ready to be transplanted! Our first and second year apprentices are looking to what their next endeavors in agriculture will be. As managers we are brainstorming potential staffing scenarios for 2015 and beyond as well as looking towards planning for improvement projects this winter.
On a more macro level the co-directors Shawn and Janet have been working tirelessly to get the master plan for the American River Ranch approved through the County of Sacramento, the City of Rancho Cordova, and other agencies. With the master plan approved and plans for the Cordova Creek restoration project to begin in Spring of 2015 the final puzzle pieces of our collective vision for this piece of land are taking shape. As the final layout of fields, fence lines, and irrigation lines are set we will have another 15 acres of land to farm. Blink your eyes again and hopefully its October and the first rains have arrived!
Featured Veggie: Shishito peppers
A bushy shishito plant in the field loaded with peppers.
This year we are growing a wide variety of peppers which include sweet peppers, frying peppers, and hot peppers.
The shishito pepper falls into the frying pepper category. A lot like the padron pepper, which is a frying pepper from Spain, this small mild Japanese pepper is well suited for roasting, pan frying, or grilling.
The peppers are harvested small and green and for the most part have mild heat. On occasion though these peppers can be quite spicy.
If we were to leave the peppers to ripen on the plant they would turn a bright orange-red and be a bit sweeter and potentially spicier. The thin walls of these peppers blister and char easily creating that rich roasted pepper taste.
In recent years the shishito pepper has become popular with chefs as a gourmet appetizer. The pepper is cooked until soft and simply sprinkled with sea salt.
Please click on the link to see our recipe:
Garlicky Summer Squash & Fresh Corn
Dates and Notes
Happy hogs on lush pasture
Community Family Night
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
5:30pm - 09:30pm
Join us at the American River Ranch for an evening of intergenerational camaraderie, digging in the dirt, hands-on gardening activity for families, a guided farm tour, inspiring presentations, lively conversations and more! Your donations at this event will benefit our education program.
Save the Date: 12th Annual Fundraiser Autumn Equinox Celebration
Saturday, September 20 4:30-8:30pm
3000 Hurley Way- $60 Per Person
Tickets available August 1st
-Online at www.soilborn.org
-Soil Born Farms 916-363-9685
-No Tickets will be sold at the door
Grow your Groceries: Marketing Value–Added Products
Saturday, August 9th 3-6pm
Learn how to add value to raw materials and how to comply with the new Cottage Food Law and food safety regulations.
Instructor: Bob Corshen