News and blog

Welcome to the blog.
Posted 6/13/2011 2:58pm by John and Aimee Good.

FARM NEWS

To wake from sleep to the sound of a gentle rain on the roof is indeed a wonderful thing for a farmer. We were blessed with an inch of nice rain, relatively slow and gentle, and a nice cloudy weekend to let it soak in. We spent all last week irrigating the fields, and still had more ground to cover, but Mother Nature did the work for us, and did a much better job of course. 

Although the recent 90-plus temps did give us our earliest zucchini harvest to date (which we were very excited about!), the cooler weather this week should really benefit the cool season crops, i.e. the broccoli, cabbage, lettuces, and greens. And it is much more pleasant working conditions for the farm crew! Although it seemed like we were jumping into summer, traditionally this is still the season for the vegetables that prefer cooler weather.  As the average last frost date in this region is in late May, the tender summer crops can only be reliably planted after that date. Of course, being human, we always try for an earlier tomato, cucumber or zucchini. So we put out early plantings, with special protection like the hoophouse or, wire hoops and row covers to create mini-hoophouses in the field. But we also plant several successions, so that if we lose the gamble on the first planting, we will be able to harvest from the next plantings.

But I am jumping ahead. Back to this week, the second week of CSA pickups. More leafy greens in the harvest, plus radishes and turnips, some zucchini and summer squash, and new – garlic scapes! Garlic scapes are the flowering tops of the garlic plant. They are a bit more mild than the clove, and very delicious. Just chop them finely and use as fresh garlic, allowing about 2 scapes to replace 1 clove in a recipe. Since this is the season of greens, check out the Greens Storage Tips contributed by a CSA member.

RECIPES

I love to make (and eat) quiche, but would often forgo for the lack of ambition to make a pie crust. The Spring Quiche recipe offers 2 simpler crust options, and has infinite variations for whatever is in the week’s harvest.  Lastly, I offer one of my favorites for greens – Turnip Greens N Ham (which also has a vegetarian version.) In my opinion, turnip greens are an underappreciated tasty treat. They are very tender, somewhat bitter (in a good way). We also enjoy them sautéed with the slice turnips, usually cooked in bacon fat, but use whatever you like. Enjoy!

THE HARVEST

Salad Mix

Head Lettuce – Mini heads of unique varieties, such as oak leaf, red romaine, and more (Mini heads are more tender, like salad mix, but keep well, like head lettuce. We really like them!)

Greens: Spinach, Arugula, Kale

Radishes

Turnips

Summer Squash

Zucchini

Garlic Scapes

Scallions

UPICK

Strawberries & Peas – Check board for quantities

 Herbs – pick as needed -  Cilantro, Dill, Parsley, Oregano

 

COMING SOON: Broccoli, Red Beets, Napa Cabbage

 

The Marketplace: New – We have organic, pastured butter and cottage cheese, from Swiss Villa Dairy.

 

FARM BUSINESS

Please check the balance sheet for your remainder, which is due June 30th. I will have an updated sheet available each week.  Email me if you have any questions. Thanks!

 

Your farmers,

John and Aimee Good

Posted 6/8/2011 6:17am by John and Aimee Good.
We hope the Tuesday folks are enjoying the first greens from the farm, and we hope you Friday folks are looking forward to your fresh salads. We would just like to let you know that we had planned and hoped to offer more vegetables for the first share of the season, but we had a difficult spring.

The crops which we are harvesting now were planted in early April, when we had excessive rainfall, several inches above normal. The field which the greens were slated for was so wet and muddy, that John could not prepare beds in it for several weeks. His tractor kept sinking in the mud when he tried to enter the field. So the spring greens had to be squeezed into the field which was slightly uphill, and slightly drier, with the spring roots, in order to be planted at all. In order to fit both the early carrots, beets, and onions, into the field with the greens, we were not able to plant as much extra "insurance crop" as normal.

Then we suffered losses in the crop: some lettuce heads were lost to rotting on the bottom leaves, and the broccoli and bok choy bolted as I mentioned previously. The final straw occurred in the high winds last Thursday. We keep most of the tender greens covered with row covers until harvest to prevent them from being eaten by flea beetles, (which riddle the greens with holes). But in the high winds, the row covers actually burned the tops of some of the tall harvest-ready greens from the friction. We did cut back the burned greens to enable a second cutting in a week or two, but this was a frustating setback a few days before harvest.

The vegetables in the share are of the utmost quality, fresh and delicious. And we should be able to harvest more each week over the next few weeks. So please enjoy the offerings and look forward to more as it comes in!


Your farmers,
John and Aimee Good


Posted 6/6/2011 3:18pm by John and Aimee Good.
FARM NEWS
The first CSA pickup is tomorrow, June 7th and Friday, June 10th. We look forward to seeing you all out at the farm! Pickup hours are 2-7 pm. Please come at least 15 minutes before closing. If you are new to the CSA, please review the pickup instructions sent last week. They are accessible on the News/Blog page of the website. 

We have a nice selection of greens for you, as well as turnips, radishes, and scallions. Most exciting of all, the strawberries are ready in the Upick garden! Even though we are having nice summer weather now, we did have a slow spring and the crops have not quite caught up, so we will be having a slow start to the season. The share size and variety will increase steadily over the next few weeks.

We had expected to harvest bok choy and broccoli for the first week, but both crops failed. The bok choy bolted overnight after 3 days of the heat wave we had last week. (Bolting is when a crop goes to seed prematurely, and is a result of stress.) The first broccoli was planted out in early April and then spent many weeks in waterlogged soil, which resulted in stunted plants. Luckily, this season we added an additonal spring broccoli planting. The second and third plantings look good, and should be ready in a few weeks.

The weather dictates everything we do on the farm. We spent many weeks wishing for sunshine this spring, when many crops were under water. Just one month later, we are irrigating all the crops. The summer crops are doing well, and we hope to have early zucchini in soon. Whatever the weather brings, some crops will benefit.

THE HARVEST:
Head Lettuce
Salad Mix
Arugula
Spinach
Kale
Turnips
Radishes
Scallions

UPick
: Strawberries, Perennial herbs (check board for amounts and availability)

RECIPES:
Please see the Recipes page of the website for radish, turnip, and argula recipes.

Other News:
Chicken shares are starting this week. Please check off your name on the chicken share sheet.
CSA Balances are due by June 30th. Please see the balance sheet on the sign-in table.

Thanks!

Your farmers,
John and Aimee Good

Posted 5/31/2011 12:52pm by John and Aimee Good.

Hello all and welcome to our 2011 “season of good eatin’”. Each year this introductory letter becomes less relevant as more and more of you are returning members. A whopping 81% of you were with us last year. We thank you and hope to please again this year.

 

Your first farm pick-up day is next week, June 7th or 10th, and I imagine you are all eager as I am for it to arrive. All of us at the farm are looking forward to meeting the new members of our Quiet Creek Family and seeing the happy faces of our returning members. Most of you know me quite well by now. I am Heidi Cooper, distribution manager (a.k.a. “Heidi at the barn”). For our new members: I am the one buzzing about in the white apron, which as the day goes on becomes less white. Look for me if you need help or have questions about the pick-up process or any of the veggies. In addition, one of our farm crew members will always be there to assist you. They rotate weekly so you will get an opportunity to meet all of them. They are a good resource if you have any farming questions.

 

In order for your first day to go more smoothly, I will briefly introduce you to the routine. Pick-up is at the large red and stone barn which sits close to Siegfriedale Road at the Rodale Institute. There is a Quiet Creek Farm sign in front of the barn. The double barn doors facing the road will open at 2PM. Opening time is often very busy, so if you can come a bit later you’ll have less of a wait. Closing time is 7PM. At that time I begin to put the remaining veggies in the cooler. To be guaranteed a good selection, I suggest that you try to arrive by 6:45.

 

Parking is across the road from the barn in the meadow to the right of the gravel farm road. Please park only on this side, not on the side of the U-pick garden. This makes the area around the garden safer for all of us. There is limited parking at the side of the barn to be used only by those with mobility issues or those with a sleeping child in the car.

 

Please enter the barn through the double doors (even if you parked at the side) and check off your name at the table to your left. Vegetable selection is self-serve. Each veggie will be in a bin or basket with a tag in front telling you how much you get according to your share size. Please bring with you one or two bags in which to carry home your veggies. Later in the season you will need 3-4 bags. We strongly encourage you to bring non-plastic bags or baskets so as to be kind to the environment. You will also need a pair of scissors to cut U-Pick herbs (we have loaners if you forget). For our salad mixes and other tender greens, we recommend the clamshell containers in which salad mixes are sold in stores. They protect your greens on the ride home and provide a good storage method.

 

CSA members are also able to purchase locally raised goods in the barn, including pastured eggs, chicken, and beef; Wild Alaskan salmon, nitrate-free pork, honey, wheat flour, and all natural dairy products such as yogurt, cheese spreads, ricotta cheese, cream cheese, goat cheese, hard cheeses. All these items are self-serve. We accept cash or checks, but not credit cards. The chicken shares, which start the first week, and the fruit shares, which start in August, are also self-serve, but be sure to check off for your share on the appropriate sheet. (Sorry if you missed the sign-up, but both chicken and fruit shares are sold out for this season.)

 

There will be berries and herbs available in the U-Pick garden, with more to come soon. Those items available for picking and their amounts are listed on two whiteboards, one above the cash register in the barn, and one on the side of the barn, by the vegetable washing station. The listing will be on the outside board by 1PM, as well as pint and quart baskets for measuring, and you are welcome to pick before we open. If your schedule is tight or you prefer picking in the cool of the morning, you may come another day or on the weekend to pick, as long as you only pick your allotted amount for the week. One of our farm crew members will periodically come through the U-Pick during CSA pickup hours to answer any questions or help with identification.

 

The missed pickup/vacation policy for the season is below. It is also available on the website, www.quietcreekfarmcsa.com.

We look forward to seeing you next week and every week until November.

See you soon.

 

Heidi Cooper 

Barn Manager, Quiet Creek Farm


 

Vacation/Missed Pick-up Policy
  Farm members have several options for vacations and missed pick-ups. They are as follows:

 

1) You may have a friend or neighbor pick up your share for you on your regular pickup day. Please have them check in with Heidi when they come to the barn. 

 2) You may switch to the other pickup day of that week, but the switch must be scheduled one week in advance. Please schedule with Heidi in the barn the week before your switch. If you forget, please email Aimee at goodfarmers@ptd.net

 3) You may have ONE scheduled double pickup per season, either the week before or the week after your vacation. Double pickups MUST be scheduled one week in advance.

 4) In the event of an unplanned missed pickup due to an emergency, you may use your one double pickup the following week. Please schedule your double pickup as soon as possible after missed pickup.

 5) If you miss a pickup for any other reason, you simply forfeit that week.   

Posted 5/24/2011 11:57am by John and Aimee Good.
NEW FOR 2011
As farmers, we are ever hopeful, always striving to make improvements to better our yields and success. We have made some additions and changes for this season. One of the most exciting is, of course, the new hoophouse. The crew is pruning and trellising the tomatoes in this picture. 


Other ventures include a sweet potato trial planting, extended broccoli plantings, a larger fall cauliflower planting, improved melon varieties, more high-yielding paste tomatoes,
better spacing of greens plantings, as well as some new varieties.

HARVEST UPDATE
We are excited to begin the 2011 harvest season. The first pickup days will be Tuesday, June 7th and Friday, June 10th. The hours are 2-7 pm. Detailed pickup instructions will be included in the next weekly update, on May 31st. For the first pickup, we expect to harvest head lettuce, bok choy, kale, spinach, turnips, salad mix, and possibly arugula.

This has been a very wet and cool spring, and the crops are growing more slowly than we would like. It has been difficult to even get the plants into the ground at times, as it has been so saturated with water. It seems we had only one sunny week in all of April and May, and we are about 5 inches above normal for rainfall. Still, we are doing all we can to have a fruitful harvest. And we will send out a harvest update at the beginning of each pickup week, so that you will know what is going to be in your share.


ON THE FARM
The crew is planting out all them summer crops: heirloom tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, as well as the first succession of cucumbers and melons. The flower garden and annual herbs are going in this week as well. Here are some beautiful healthy tomato plants, nearly ready for the field, grown in our own potting mix based on compost made here at the Rodale Institute.

UPCOMING
Please watch for an email update next week with detailed CSA information and pickup instructions.

Thanks!

Your farmers,
John and Aimee Good
www.quietcreekfarmcsa.com







Posted 5/17/2011 2:41pm by John and Aimee Good.

Springtime on the farm is full of hope and excitement for the season. The strawberries are one of the first crops to grow, since they are perennial. We plant a new patch every year, and keep patches for three years. (After this time, it becomes too difficult to maintain quality fruits and keep out weeds!)

The strawberries are flowering this month, and the bees are out and about, pollinating the flowers. We eagerly await the first fruits of summer – the strawberries!


The farm crew has been busily getting all the crops started: sowing seeds directly in the field, for lettuce mix, carrots, spinach, radishes, and more; sowing seeds in the greenhouse to grow starts, for broccoli, onions, cabbage, tomatoes, head lettuce, zucchini, and more. 

Some crops are transplanted by hand, especially during this very wet spring, but we often use the water wheel transplanter, which makes a wet hole for the riders to place the starts into the ground. Here Michelle and Ryan are transplanting onions, while John drives the tractor.

 

After crops are planted, they must be kept cared for well. We provide water when needed with irrigation. We provide protection from cold and pests with row covers, and use plastic mulch where needed for warmth. We weed and weed and weed. Much time is spent weeding on an organic farm, both with the tractor-mounted cultivators and by hand.

We use the cultivating equipment to weed the soil between the rows of plants. Afterwards, the crew goes back and hoes the soil in between the plants. In the picture to the left, Michelle, Ryan and Andy are hoeing young broccolli plants. And of course, there are lots of occasions when we just have to get down on our hands and knees in the crop, such as in the small-seeded salad mixes, to pull out any weeds in the row. Just think, for every bite of salad from the farm, a member of the crew has pulled out any weeds in the midst of those plants.

In the picture on the right, you can see everyone’s favorite CSA pickup manager Heidi, hard at work pulling those weeds in the strawberries. Michelle, John and Andy are also weeding on this cold but "beautiful sky" day on the farm.



The springtime is the season of preparation, in anticipation of the harvest season! We hope you are all excited about the upcoming start of the CSA pickup. At this point, we are still not sure of the exact start date. Probably it will be June 7th, since this has been a cool spring overall and the crops’ growth has been a bit slow. But there is a possibility it will be May 31. We will send out another update with the exact start date as well as pickup instructions and information next week. Thanks and we look forward to seeing you all on the farm!
Join our mailing list
Blog archives

The Good Farm is a certified organic farm raising vegetables, berries, flowers, and herbs for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and farmer's market. Farmers John and Aimee Good specialize in providing the best quality and most flavorful varieties of the vegetables you love to eat- the staples! We have happy members - over 70% return every year!

 

Many customers say they eat healthier, feel better, learn to cook new things, save money, and even lose weight by joining the farm. We are all connected to farming, as we are all eaters. Experience seasonal eating. Support a type of farm that you can believe in; the kind you imagined as a child; where people pick the produce by hand, the soils are thriving, and the fields are full of life. Become a CSA member or visit The Good Farm at the Trexlertown Farmer's Market. Because "it's all GOOD!"

 

"Eating is an agricultural act" - Wendell Berry

8112 Church Rd.
Germansville, PA 18053
484-262-0675
Contact Us

This page was created using the Small Farm Central web development service. Administrator Login