Planting potatoes at the Farm on Hurley Way
In Your Box
Butternut squash (Durst)
Every other Week Boxes
Mixed mustard bunches
Butternut squash (Durst)
“If Someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you’re not sure you can do it, say yes - then learn how to do it later.”
By Paige Schoening
Wow, life sure is a whole lot different as a second year apprentice. Alicia and I have jumped out of the big, comfortable nest that is the first year apprenticeship and are trying to fly on our own as co-managers of the Hurley Way site. Based on how things have gone so far I can tell that this is going to be an interesting season.
We started back in January, pouring over seed catalogues, bright-eyed and bushy tailed. We giggled over coffee on cold afternoons, as our wish list of vegetables grew longer and longer. We were going to be able to grow anything we wanted! It was going to be great! We got crazy with our crop plan, then, slowly, reality started to set in.
Our vegetable wish list was slashed in half as we realized how much work it was going to take to make our vegetable dreams become reality. We had to start asking ourselves the real questions, like how much did we want to grow? Who was going to buy it? Where were we going to put it in the field? How long would it be in the field? The answers weren’t always easy to find, to say the least, but they helped put our plans in motion.
Fast forward a few months later, our crop plan is done, our seeds have been ordered and we are ready to go. And by ready to go I mean ready to learn all of the hard lessons that farming has to teach us, because so far, nothing has gone according to plan. We are a week behind on our planting schedule due to the rain we got earlier this month, which made our clay soil unworkable until now. Our first succession of peas was a near failure due to reasons we are still trying to understand. Our potatoes, poor potatoes, flooded with water to the point that we had to use a sump pump to drain the trench they were planted in if we wanted them to have a fighting chance at drying out. But despite all of these setbacks I still love what I am doing.
I am so happy to be with Soil Born for another year. I am excited to test what I learned last year and to learn even more this year. The second year apprenticeship is such a unique opportunity in that we get to feel what it is like to run our own farm but with the safety net of resources and support staff at the ranch. Alicia and I will be running the farm stand at the American River Ranch on Saturdays once it opens up and we can’t wait to share our vegetables and experiences with you.
Featured Veggie: Mixed Herb Bunches
Herbs, what humble ingredients, it only takes a sprig or two of the right herb to make the simplest dish pop with flavor. Winter Savory has a spicy bold flavor, my mom uses it in potato salads and I read that it goes well with mushrooms. It is good with beans and light meats too but loses its flavor after prolonged cooking. Oregano is the herb of Italian-American cooking, great with roasted and grilled vegetables. It is also an excellent compliment to any vegetable in a frittata. Sage, in my opinion, is best fried and used as a garnish. Sautee it in olive oil and a little bit of salt and use it on pureed soups, pasta dishes and potatoes.
Lastly, herbs are great fresh or dried, if you don't use them all when they are fresh you can dry them and use them later. String them upside down, let them sit out until crispy and use when needed. You can use dried herbs to replace fresh herbs in your favorite recipes but always remember to add more than the called for amount if they are dried.
Recipe: Carrot Cake Pancakes