News and Blog
Today, Friday September 3rd, is a lot less hot than the past week! We wouldn't mind some rain from hurricane Earl tonight either. We have strawberries, sugar snaps, tomatoes (heirlooms too), summer squash, zucchini, pickling cukes (which are the best for salads), onions, garlic, pints of potatoes and five pound bags of red-white-yukon gold potatoes (all potatoes from Root Cellar Farm in Northwood) sunflowers, bouquets, dried flowers, glycerin soaps and handmade herbal infusion vegan and goatsmilk soaps. FYI- today the strawberries are selling as quick as we can pick them and we may run out at some point. We will pick berries again every morning and expect to have them daily.
I sold out of strawberries and sugar snap peas at the Northwood farmers market yesterday. Many folks thought it highly unusual to find NH strawberries in September and I had a lot of explaining to do about these day neutral varieties. I really enjoy talking about our crops and watching people's faces when they taste these sweet berries. Strawberry shortcake in September sounds good to me!
There is still plenty of tomatoes in the "pick your own" patch. Don't wait too long if you plan on freezing, canning or making up some fresh sauce and then freezing it. At some point the tomato patch will begin to degrade. We still have two other field patches of tomatoes that we hope will be for late fall green/perhaps red tomato pickers.
The strawberries are ripening in good amount. Randy has spent the morning picking them for the farmstand and for me to take to Northwood market today. I have been picking sugar snaps for the farmstand and for the farmers market too. I'm sorry to say we are out of sweet corn for the season.
Randy went out to pick berries this morning and came back in very pleased. The strawberries are numerous, have good size and don't have the insect damage that we experienced in July and most of August. We expect to have plenty for the farmstand all day. There are many half ripe berries in the patch and unless something out of the ordinary occurs we will have plenty of berries every day.
The late summer plantings of sugar snap peas are ready. We are picking these for the farmstand. So far we have four plantings of them in the ground. We love sugar snaps because we can eat them, they trap nitrogen within their roots and when we are finished picking on them they are tilled in and provide beneficial organic matter to the soil. It's a win, win, win, situation.
The Pick Your Own tomato patch has plenty of tomatoes for picking. The cherry tomatoes have been picked down for now however we closed the bed all weekend during the fair so it ripened up in good order.
At the farmstand we have silver king corn today, sunflowers, bouquets, lots of handmade herbal infusions soaps, colorful glycerin soaps, numerous varieities of tomatoes and many other farmstand vegetables.
We are still open every day. Monday thru Friday 9am -6pm and Saturday and Sunday 9am - 4pm.
This morning we are very busy with many farmers, vendors and educators setting up for the fair. Come on over. We have many farms selling fresh local produce, Mule team hay wagon rides, artisans with beautiful handmade products, a great mix of food vendors, lots of pertinent community oriented sustainability information, children's activities, animals, and much more.
fair website and schedule for the weekend at agfair.wordpress.com
The next planting of Silver King sweet corn matured enough so that Randy picked two bushel baskets this morning. Now that is only about ten dozen and there is more to pick. Depending on the demand we may have corn all day. The sugar snaps peas are coming on and we hope to have them on the farmstand by the weekend. The strawberries are getting larger and more numerous and each day we have more. The early girl tomatoes are loaded and they did not crack with all the rain. The red ripe paste tomatoes are picked down for now. You can find lots that are half ripe however the peak has past and the ones ripening now will be the last of the best picking in this field. In other words don't wait to long if you want them. The cherry tomatoes cracked with all the rain, as usual. There is still many tomatoes out in the patch to pick. It is a good time to come if you want a mixture of varieties. We have other fields of tomatoes planted and growing for the green tomato crowd. We expect to have them into October.
The farmstand is also stocked with our fresh picked vegetables which include summer squash, zucchini, onions, garlic, twisted carrots, many types of tomatoes, sunflowers and bouquets. We have 3 different potatoes from the Root Cellar Farm in Northwood.
I will not be at the Northwood farmers market today, thursday.The farmstand will be open at the farm until 6pm as usual. Randy and I lost a dear friend and we will be at the calling hours this afternoon.
Tomorrow, Friday, after 4 or 5pm we will be back from the funeral and will be setting up for the fair with other volunteers.
We really need it. Last year we had too much and this year we've been very hot and dry. We are looking forward to a good soaking rain over the next 24 hours. Lets hope!
Our Silver King sweet corn is out until Thursday most likely. We just finished a planting that came on earlier than expected and the next planting is not quite ready. However surprise, surprise, the sugar snaps are back on. Randy planted late summer sugar snaps and they look and taste great! We hope to have multiple plantings mature until a hard freeze.
Also at the farmstand we will have a limited amount of strawberries. They are beginning to produce more each day with the cooler temperatures. We have carrots, onions, 3 different potatoes, garlic, summer squash, zucchini, crispy pickling cucumbers and many varieties of tomatoes including heirlooms, three paste tomatoes and many salad types.
The Pick Your Own tomato patch has many, many, many,did I say many, tomatoes to pick. I need to get out there and pick some myself and load them into the dehydrator.
You may have read about the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture Markets and Food newest program which celebrates the 2010 NH Eat Local Month. It is called Passport to Local Farms and is occurring the same weekend as the fair. Our farm sent in the paperwork and is now on the list of participating farms along with Sallie's Fen Alpacas which will be here at the fair all weekend too.
To download the passport and farm list go to: www.nheatlocal.org
Visitors can get stickers on their passport game card from us and Sallie's Fen during the fair. You must visit at least four farms and collect four stickers to be eligible to enter a prize drawing in September. There are at least two other farms close by in Lee that are participating as well. You have all weekend to visit these farms.
During the fair Sunday August 29th we will have taste testing of a locally raised roasted pig. This tasty treat was anonymously donated by a Barrington supporter of the Natural Heritage Commision and the fair and we greatly appreciate it.
The Pick Your Own Tomato patch is loaded with ripe tomatoes, however I will say that if we allow all the tomatoes to get red, red ripe before picking we will end up with lots of spoilage. If you wait until they are too red then the spoilage will begin to take over the patch and affect green tomatoes. We are trying to manage this patch in the best possible way and I can not say enough that now is a good time to come pick.
Our mid summer plantings of pickling cucumbers are producing good numbers now. We have two varieties of sweet corn, all white Silver King and Mauntauk. Both are really sweet!
We are gearing up for the fair August 28th and 29th and finalizing last minute details.
We have two sweet corn plantings maturing at the same time. This will shorten our sweet corn season overall. It won't go as far into September as we hoped. The two varieties we are picking now are the bi-color Montauk and the all white Silver King.They are both very sweet. Silver King is the highbryid of Silver Queen. Silver King holds sugar better that is old silver queen so it stays sweeter longer. August is a good month to enjoy sweet corn. I have had people here purchase corn on Wednesday and say they will enjoy it on Saturday at a cookout. I say "no you won't!" It won't taste good more than two days after picking. It might look good but the sweetness will be gone. We have two more plantings of corn after these two are done. We are planning on cooking a lot of Silver King for the fair.
We have a huge amount of ripe tomatoes in the patch. However the sauce tomatoes are only 3/4 ripe. All other tomatoes have loads for picking. The heirloom varieties are great for sauce when combined with other salad types.
Now is a good time to come for large amounts of tomatoes from the pick your own patch. The heat and high humidity has kept people from picking the last few days and many tomatoes are ripening every day. The result is large quantities of ripe tomatoes of many varieties. So come on down and stock up on your winter supply. Do you know that you can freeze raw tomatoes whole in ziploc bags? We have customers that have been putting tomatoes by for winter use in many ways however this is the easiest I've heard of so far. Just cut out the core and put them whole into the bags, date and freeze. When you defrost them, the tomato pushes right out of the skin! Viola, it is that simple and you have local tomatoes for sauces or soups all winter long. I also cook up sauces, cool and pour into ziplocs or tupperware and freeze.
In the morning we'll be picking corn, pulling onions, digging carrots, cutting flowers, assembling bouquets, and at some point planting trays of lettuce. The first of several rows of sugar snap peas are in flower. This is the first time we've sowed them this late in the summer. It is an experiment that looks like it may yield a crop! We may have sugar snaps in another week or so!