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Posted 8/29/2011 8:08pm by John and Aimee Good.

FARM NEWS

I imagine you are all wondering how the farm fared from our encounter with Hurricane Irene. Well the good news is that the hoophouse is still standing, as are the summer crops of tomatoes, etc. We did get over five inches of rain, and the fields are swampy. Our main concern now is the young fall crops which we have been seeding and planting every week in August: the tender young seedlings of lettuce, arugula, spinach, turnips, radishes, etc. We are hopeful that not too many seeds and seedlings, and topsoil, were lost due to washing. The farm crew did cover all the young crops with row covers to provide further resistance to the washing. The covers were secured with MANY pegs to keep them from blowing away. Luckily, most of the covers stayed down. We will keep you posted on the progress of the crops as things dry out and we are able to take the covers back up and evaluate everything.

A farmer’s note on this year’s crop of paste tomatoes: We did in fact plant 150 more row feet of paste tomatoes, which is a bed and a half more than last year. However the plants did not yield as well this year. The first fruits had a high incidence of blossom end rot, most likely due to uneven watering in the drought conditions this summer.  Also, all the field tomatoes seem to have “come in” later than normal, perhaps due to a slower start this spring, and unfortunately the peak of production is coinciding with an onslaught of rain, which causes cracking in the fruits. Luckily this shortage of paste tomatoes has been balanced by a very long season of tomatoes overall, with the combination from the hoophouse and field plants, as well as great yields from the field plants these past few weeks, as they are reaching their peak of production.

 

THE HARVEST

Potatoes

Garlic

Sweet Onions

 Eggplant

Cucumbers

Zucchini & Summer Squash

Tomatoes

Sweet Peppers

CHOICE: Carrots& Melons

Kale  - hopefully!

Upick:  Fresh herbs & flowers, Hot Peppers, Cherry & Paste tomatoes, Raspberries

NOTE: The raspberries and tomatoes may be rough for a week after this storm, but hopefully will recover soon. Bear with us. Thanks.

Coming Soon: Green Beans & Edamame

 

RECIPES

New inspiration for tomatoes this week includes Tomato Pie and Tomato Galette.  Also a simple Spanish Rice recipe, as well as a tasty recipe for Roasted Eggplant Rolls. Please see the Recipes page to view.

Another member-contributed recipe is yummy yellow squash muffins - a great way to get picky kids to eat yellow squash:  http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Yellow-Squash-Muffins Thanks!

 

PRESERVING THE HARVEST

Many fruiting crops tend to have an “ebb and flow” type of harvest, where there is a small picking initially, then steady for a while, followed by a peak where you are overwhelmed by the crop. Tomatoes and red peppers are peaking right now, and the beauty of this cycle is that it allows us to put up the extra for the winter. Freezing excess tomatoes and peppers could not be easier. Simply freeze whole or quartered tomatoes in freezer bags, squeezing out excess air. When thawed, you can slip skins from tomatoes and use for soups and stews. Peppers can be just chopped or sliced and frozen raw, and the texture and flavor will be great, but to preserve the most nutrients, peppers should be blanched. Steam pepper chunks or slices for 1-2 minutes, then dip in ice water to cool, then dry. Pack into freezer bags and squeeze out excess air. Such a sweet tasty treat for winter soups!

(Tomatoes, as a fruit, do not need to be blanched before freezing.)

Posted 8/22/2011 3:04pm by John and Aimee Good.

FARM NEWS

Row covers are used extensively on an organic farm, and we have a love/hate relationship with them. They are wonderful tools to keep pests off a crop, as well as to hold in warmth and moisture to extend the season for crops. But they are a lot of work to put down and take up, they must be moved to cultivate (weed) the crop several times, high winds can rip them, and weeds usually grow better under them, because they trap moisture on the surface, allowing for more weed seed germination.


Nevertheless, they are a very useful tool, and really our only defense against flea beetles, which eat all brassica crops and some solanaceous crops (they love eggplant).  Without row covers, all the baby greens would be full of tiny little holes, and the eggplant would never get a chance to grow. John and a former apprentice did devise a clever tool to make them easier to roll up, as you can see in the picture.

 



THE HARVEST

Potatoes

Melons – nearing the end of the season

Garlic

Sweet Onions

 Eggplant

Cucumbers

Zucchini & Summer Squash

Tomatoes

Sweet Peppers

Carrots

Possible Sweet Corn – nearing the end of the season

Upick:  Fresh herbs & flowers, Hot Peppers, Cherry & Paste tomatoes, Raspberries

Coming Soon: Green Beans, Kale

 

RECIPES

A member request for a pickle recipe had me going into my recipe file, and so I have put some old summertime favorites on the website this week, such as Red Pepper Bisque, Watermelon Aqua Fresca, and several refrigerator pickle recipes. Also, as the bounty of summer’s harvest lends itself to preserving, I have added my Roasted Tomato Pasta Sauce and Salsa recipes. You can always scale them down to make everyday amounts. But roasting the tomatoes intensifies the flavor and cooks off the extra juice, so that you have a very chunky pasta sauce quickly. By pureeing the roasted tomatoes, there is also no need to skin the tomatoes. Check the recipe page on the website to view. Enjoy!


FARM NEWS: Important Reminder!!!

The CSA pickup hours are 2-7 pm on both Tuesday and Friday. This means that CSA pickup is over at 7 pm.  Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to closing to get your share. You may Upick after closing time. Thank you kindly for your consideration.

Posted 8/15/2011 2:40pm by John and Aimee Good.

FARM NEWS

Cloudy skies abound lately. The farm crew heads back to the barn  crew, after morning harvest, under a rain-threatening sky. Bike travel is great on the farm, although we still need the truck to bring in all the vegetables, especially those heavy loads of melons!

It seems that rain begets rain. The drought is over and we are now in a wet period. Well, the water will benefit the young fall crops that we are seeding weekly now; such as lettuce, greens, radishes, turnips, and all the fall crops planted last month; beets, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale.

The season is a cycle, from cool crops in June to the fruits of summer, and then returning to cool crops in the fall. And each season suits our body’s needs. It makes sense to eat lots of watery fruits and vegetables in the summer, when it is hot and our bodies are thirsty. And it feels right to eat more substantial, hearty roots in the fall, when we need more warmth and tummy-filling in the cool weather. Also the immune-boosting greens of autumn help to protect us from colds. I guess all this rain and cool weather is putting me in mind of fall. But we still have a few more weeks of summer, and lots of summer veggies to enjoy!              

THE HARVEST

Potatoes

Melons (Cantaloupe &/or Honeydew)

Watermelons (Red & Yellow)

Fresh Garlic

Sweet Onions

 Eggplant

Cucumbers

Zucchini & Summer Squash

Tomatoes

Sweet Italia peppers

Carrots

Sweet Corn

Upick:  Edamame! Fresh herbs & flowers. Hot Peppers. Cherry & Paste tomatoes

 

RECIPES

Thanks to our members and Heidi for contributing recipes this week! Check the Recipe page for North Indian Stuffed Eggplant, Lentil Salad with Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette, Cucumber Gazpacho, and Cantaloupe Bread.  Enjoy!

 

FARM PICS

A view of what is coming in September . . .


Posted 8/8/2011 2:01pm by John and Aimee Good.

FARM NEWS

Each harvest season is unique. Every year we delight in seeing which crops are beautiful and bounteous, and of course, mourn over each crop which does not perform as we had hoped. This summer seems to be the summer of eggplant, carrots, and melons! The carrots are some of the nicest we have ever grown, and each planting has done well. (Carrots are so tricky, we always plant a bit extra). We switched over to the new melon varieties which we trialed last year, and they have proved to be larger, less prone to cracking, and much more consistent in flavor – wonderfully sweet! I am sure you all noticed the overwhelming scent of melon when coming into the barn last week. That’s why they are called muskmelons, for their incredibly sweet aroma. And the eggplant just keep coming and coming. This is the most productive eggplant we have ever grown.  We hope you enjoy the bounty of this season.

 

THE HARVEST

Potatoes – finally here – yeah!

Melons (Muskmelon, possibly Honeydew)

Fresh Garlic

Sweet Onions

 Eggplant

Cucumbers

Zucchini & Summer Squash

Tomatoes

Purple & Green Peppers

Carrots

Sweet Corn – limited amounts this week

Coming Soon:  Red peppers

Upick:  Edamame! Fresh herbs & flowers. Hot Peppers. Cherry & Paste tomatoes, Raspberries – small amounts but more to come soon.

 

RECIPES

Check the Recipe page for more ideas for Melons – Melon Smoothie, and Easy Melon Sorbet. New eggplant recipes include Basic Roasted Eggplant with Three Salad Ideas, Classic Eggplant Parmesan, and Braised Asian Eggplant stuffed with Garlic.  Enjoy!

 

FARM PICS

Enjoy the Upick garden!


Posted 8/1/2011 2:03pm by John and Aimee Good.

FARM NEWS

Ahh, the lovely hoophouse tomatoes. The new tomato hoophouse provided the earliest large yields of tomatoes on the farm thus far. We harvested a whopping 600 lbs just before the 4th of July weekend. Sadly, their harvest is coming to a close.

The field tomato plants are big and beautiful and loaded with fruit, but they are coming in slowly. Their harvest is later than normal. So, unfortunately, we have a gap in the tomato season. But many of the field tomatoes are heirloom varieties, bursting with flavor, and are worth waiting for. And perhaps if we are lucky, the late start may result in a long tomato season, with the harvest continuing into September. I am sure you all agree, the longer we can have fresh tomatoes, the better! They are such a delicious treat from the farm!

 


THE HARVEST

Melons (Cantaloupe/Muskmelon)

Sweet Corn

Fresh Garlic

Sweet Onions

 Eggplant

Cucumbers

Zucchini & Summer Squash

Tomatoes- small amounts this week, but more to come soon!

Purple & Green Peppers

Carrots

New Potatoes ( hopefully!)

Coming Soon:  Edamame, Red peppers, Honeydew & Crenshaw melons

Upick: Fresh herbs & flowers. Hot Peppers. Cherry & Paste tomatoes – small amounts, more to come soon!

 

RECIPES

Everyone in my house loved this soup recipe, kids included: Golden Cheddar Cheese Soup.  In this hot weather, I served it just warm, with cucumber salad and good bread. I imagine it would also be nice chilled.  Also, more yummy ideas for hot weather, Chilled Cucumber Soup, Cucumber Dip, and Black Bean and Quinoa salad. Check them all out, and more, on the Recipes page of our website.

 

FARM PICS

The harvest: from the field to you!


Posted 7/25/2011 1:57pm by John and Aimee Good.
Yeah!!!
We just got almost an inch of rain at the farm today, only hours after I wrote this week's harvest update.

Happy farmers,

John & Aimee Good
Posted 7/25/2011 12:18pm by John and Aimee Good.

FARM NEWS

Water is on the minds of every farmer in the region now. We are in need of rain. The crop farmers in this area will suffer heavy losses of corn and soybeans if we do not get rain soon. We are lucky to have a large, deep pond at the Rodale Institute from which to irrigate, and to have only 8 acres to water. The level of the pond is dropping slowly. The pond supplies not only our fields, but the Rodale Institute’s orchard and field crops.

We are switching the fall brassicas over to drip irrigation to conserve water. The potatoes are dying back, and should not need further watering. The potato plants begin to die back once the tubers are formed. It looks like they are dying, but it just signals that all the energy is going underground into the tubers now. The fall carrots, which require a moist surface until the small seeds germinate, have just emerged, and will need less frequent watering once they become established. They had to be watered several times a week, for short intervals, just to keep the soil moist enough for the seeds to sprout.

Our crops are producing well, despite the drought, because we are able to water all our fields in about a week with our combination of drip irrigation and overhead sprinklers. The dry conditions also dramatically reduce the incidence of disease, and intensify the flavor of the fruiting crops, like the tomatoes and melons. For a vegetable farmer, it is usually easier to deal with a dry spell than a wet one, because you can always irrigate but you cannot stop the spread of disease or rot in over-wet soils.  Still, we are hopeful for rain, for the ground is parched everywhere, the pond needs recharging, and our farmer neighbors need rain for their hay and crops. Please send your thoughts and prayers for rain!

 

 THE HARVEST

Fresh Garlic

Sweet Onions

 Eggplant

Cucumbers

Zucchini & Summer Squash

Tomatoes

Purple & Green Peppers

Carrots

Choice: Beets, Broccoli

New Potatoes ( hopefully), if all goes well with the potato digger!

Coming Soon: Melons, Cherry Tomatoes, Edamame

Upick: Fresh herbs & flowers. Hot Peppers

 

RECIPES

I had a wonderful Broccoli Salad at my mother’s house this past weekend, and wanted to share the recipe with you all. Also I have included two of my summertime favorites, Ratatouille (summer stew) and Pasta Fresca (a fresh, uncooked tomato sauce for pasta). And last but not least, a wonderful and simple Gazpacho recipe for the hot days.

Go to the Recipes page of our website.

 

Members who have a wonderful recipe are welcome to share. Just email us and we will forward to the membership. Thanks!

Posted 7/25/2011 12:16pm by John and Aimee Good.

FARM NEWS

Water is on the minds of every farmer in the region now. We are in need of rain. The crop farmers in this area will suffer heavy losses of corn and soybeans if we do not get rain soon. We are lucky to have a large, deep pond at the Rodale Institute from which to irrigate, and to have only 8 acres to water. The level of the pond is dropping slowly. The pond supplies not only our fields, but the Rodale Institute’s orchard and field crops.

We are switching the fall brassicas over to drip irrigation to conserve water. The potatoes are dying back, and should not need further watering. The potato plants begin to die back once the tubers are formed. It looks like they are dying, but it just signals that all the energy is going underground into the tubers now. The fall carrots, which require a moist surface until the small seeds germinate, have just emerged, and will need less frequent watering once they become established. They had to be watered several times a week, for short intervals, just to keep the soil moist enough for the seeds to sprout.

Our crops are producing well, despite the drought, because we are able to water all our fields in about a week with our combination of drip irrigation and overhead sprinklers. The dry conditions also dramatically reduce the incidence of disease, and intensify the flavor of the fruiting crops, like the tomatoes and melons. For a vegetable farmer, it is usually easier to deal with a dry spell than a wet one, because you can always irrigate but you cannot stop the spread of disease or rot in over-wet soils.  Still, we are hopeful for rain, for the ground is parched everywhere, the pond needs recharging, and our farmer neighbors need rain for their hay and crops. Please send your thoughts and prayers for rain!

 

 THE HARVEST

Fresh Garlic

Sweet Onions

 Eggplant

Cucumbers

Zucchini & Summer Squash

Tomatoes

Purple & Green Peppers

Carrots

Choice: Beets, Broccoli

New Potatoes ( hopefully), if all goes well with the potato digger!

Coming Soon: Melons, Cherry Tomatoes, Edamame

Upick: Fresh herbs & flowers. Hot Peppers

 

RECIPES

I had a wonderful Broccoli Salad at my mother’s house this past weekend, and wanted to share the recipe with you all. Also I have included two of my summertime favorites, Ratatouille (summer stew) and Pasta Fresca (a fresh, uncooked tomato sauce for pasta). And last but not least, a wonderful and simple Gazpacho recipe for the hot days.

Go to the Recipes page of our website.

 

Members who have a wonderful recipe are welcome to share. Just email us and we will forward to the membership. Thanks!

Posted 7/18/2011 3:13pm by John and Aimee Good.

FARM NEWS

Providing for a steady supply of vegetables for harvest is all about successions. We plant every crop multiple times. For example, lettuce is seeded every week in both the spring and fall to ensure a continuous supply. Because lettuce does not like the intense heat of summer, we take a break on lettuce for the month of August. Luckily, there are plenty of tomatoes and cucumbers for lovely summer salads.

This picture shows John planting out the field tomatoes in late May. This was the second succession following the hoophouse tomatoes, which were planted in late April.

Even as we are getting into the thick of summer harvesting, the fall fields are being prepared; spaded and made into beds; and the kale, cabbages, broccoli, and cauliflower are being transplanted. The last planting of summer cucurbits, cucumbers and zucchini, is going out into the fields now. We plant these crops about every 3-4 weeks beginning in early May.

As you can imagine, much of the winter is spent devising this whole farm plan. Each bed in each field is mapped out and all its crop information recorded on spreadsheets in preparation for the season. Then the farm crew works hard to carry out the vision for each season. And we get to eat the fruits of their labor!

 

THE HARVEST

Fresh Garlic

Sweet Onions

Asian Eggplant

Cucumbers

Head Lettuce – last summer picking

Zucchini & Summer Squash

Tomatoes

Purple & Green Peppers

Choice: Carrots, Beets, Broccoli

Coming Soon: Potatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Edamame

Upick: Fresh herbs & flowers. Wax beans and Jade green beans.

 

RECIPES

Its hot! And so there are new salad recipes for you to try: Cucumber Tomato Salad, Green bean and Tomato Salad, Pasta Salad with Eggplant, Tomato, and Basil, and a recipe for Sauteed Green Beans with Garlic and Herbs. Enjoy!

Go to the Recipes page of our website to view and/or print recipes.

 

FARM - RELATED INFO

The Rodale Institute Bookstore has new extended hours on farm pickup days. The bookstore is open from 10am until 7 pm on Tuesdays and Fridays, and from 10 am until 4 pm on Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday.  The bookstore is located in the old schoolhouse, just east of the pickup barn on Siegfriedale Rd.  There is a parking lot at the bookstore. You can also walk the gravel path from the Upick garden up the hill to the store. The bookstore and bathrooms have been recently remodeled. Check it out!

Posted 7/11/2011 12:30pm by John and Aimee Good.

FARM NEWS

Eating from the farm is eating with the seasons. This is the first lesson for a new CSA member. Committed members, with several years of membership, realize that each season is different as well. Weather always influences the productivity of the crops, and each year there are some vegetables that do well, and some that do not. We take pleasure in the abundance. We learn to be flexible and use what comes in from the fields. This is seasonal eating.

We are in the transition from spring to summer crops right now. Spring crops are waning as the heat of summer sets in, and summer crops are just beginning.  Greens prefer cooler temperatures, and do not do well in summer’s heat. Fruiting crops enjoy this weather, such as eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and melons. These crops will begin to increase in the share over the next few weeks.

The summer crops do love the heat, but they also need water to maximize their fruit production. We have drip irrigation supplying all these crops to minimize water loss from evaporation and provide the most water directly to the root zone of the plants. Also we can avoid the spread of disease by keeping the foliage dry, as many summer crops are sensitive to excess moisture on their leaves.  (Drip irrigation consists of plastic tubing with small holes, called drip tape, that is laid in the rows of plants. The tubing is connected to a larger hose running the length of the field, which is connected to a fire hose from the water source. Drip tape can be laid either under plastic mulch or on bare ground.)

 

THE HARVEST

New – Sweet Onions

New – Asian Eggplant

Carrots

Head Lettuce

Zucchini & Summer Squash

Tomatoes

Beets - choice

Coming Soon: Potatoes, Fresh garlic, Green peppers, Cucumbers

Upick: Fresh herbs & flowers. Green beans.

 

RECIPES

Summertime eating is my favorite, perhaps because it is such a short season, and the vegetables are all so juicy and succulent. One of my favorite recipes for using everything from the garden is Pasta Tutto Giardino, which means “the whole garden” in Italian. The recipe is a creamy sauce studded with a colorful variety of vegetables served over pasta.

Since eggplant is new this week, I wanted to share some of my favorite recipes for eggplant dip. Two versions of Baba Ghanouj are on the website, as well as Eggplant Caponata.  Go to the Recipes page of our website.

 

FARM BUSINESS

Thanks to everyone for making their final CSA payments!


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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
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