In Your Box
Onions - Hearty Fork Farm
Dried cayenne peppers
Butternut squash (Durst Organic Growers)
Every Other Week Boxes
Dried cayenne peppers
Lettuce-Hearty Fork Farm
by George Hurvitt, Apprentice
Happy April, and happy rainy spring! Though I am told this is not the most typical weather around here, I am feeling at home in my waterproof clothing and in the chilly temperatures this week. I journeyed here to be part of the apprenticeship from across the country – much like Gabi – I hopped in the car about a month ago and started my cross country road trip from Maine to California.
One of the things that I am enjoying most about this new coast are the brilliantly colored sunsets that take place over the back orchards in the evening. Their hues are unlike anything I have ever seen. The apprentices went out yesterday evening to watch it set and to our enjoyment we were joined by a pair of ducks up from the river, exploring the puddles after the day’s rain.
Before working at Soil Born, I was an east coast farmer through and through. I grew up in a small farming community on the coast of Maine peppered with mom-and-pop farms of 1/2 an acre or so; Soil Born Farms is large and very exciting in comparison. I spent a lot of my small-person life raising food for just my 5 family members. But as a teenager I decided that farming would also be my job and my work. I have plunged all my effort into that idea for many years now. That is what leads me here - to a new climate, to new soil types, new pests and plants. Farming in one place does not dictate that you can farm in many. Here we grow varieties of fruit I have never seen before. I have begun this apprenticeship happy and hopeful because there is so much new.
Last week we began our potato season with the inaugural cutting of eyes. Two to each chunk of gold, white, and purple potato laid out to heal on long tables. Then, to the valleys of the furrows carved close together by tractor. We dropped and planted, and dropped and planted. I hope the rain hasn’t put a damper on the growth of these multicolored mashers. And speaking of the rain, if you’re feeling cold and done with the dreary wet, just know that Maine is still under 2 feet of dense packed snow!
Featured Veggie: Celeriac
Also called turnip-rooted celery, or knob celery, celeriac is actually not just the root of the vegetable we call celery, but rather a variety of celery cultivated specially for its edible root bulb.
Celeriac is cousin to anise, carrots, parsley and parsnips. Many people view its rough exterior with suspicion, however once the peel is removed you’ll find an interior that’s nutty and sweet; it is edible raw or cooked. When peeled, its white flesh resembles that of a turnip and tastes like a subtle blend of celery and parsley. Whether mashed, shaped into batons and boiled, or even French fried, celeriac can provide accompaniment to a fresh green vegetable or salad and paired with anything roasted or grilled. The shelf life of celeriac is approximately three to four months if stored between 32°F and 41°F and not allowed to dry out.
Small Farm Site Selection and Design
April 12, 3-6, $40
Every food production system, whether a 100-square foot garden or a 10-acre farm, can be designed to maximize production while complementing and enhancing the unique geographic and climactic zone of which it is part. Focus will be placed on design for water and energy efficiency. Topics include but are not limited to: micro- climates, soil-building and accumulation, water movement and collection, efficient access, structure placement, and crop selection. Instructor: Jesse Froelich, Blue Barrel Rainwater Catchment Systems Ecological Design
The Business of Starting a Small Farm: Legalities and Logistics
April 23, 5:30-8:30pm, $40
What are the essential, practical things that you need to know when you start a farm business? What are the steps involved in keeping an existing farm in compliance with all laws and regulations? Instructor: Liya Schwartzman, CA Farmlink and Brenna Aegerter, UC Cooperative Extension. Organized by CA FarmLink