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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!


Posted 7/4/2011 10:29am by John and Aimee Good.

FARM NEWS

We hope everyone is enjoying their holiday! The farm crew is digging the first carrots of the season this morning.  So sweet and crisp, they are a favorite treat from the farm. The potatoes and hoophouse tomatoes will be the next new vegetables, hopefully in a week or so. The crew will also begin harvesting the garlic soon. It is usually ready around the fourth of July. We watch for 50% browning of the leaves, then bring it all in to the greenhouse to dry and cure. Once it is cured, we clip it from the stalks and store it in the barn, to distribute through the season. The big garlic harvest is the start of the storage crop season. Onions, winter squash and sweet potatoes must also be harvested and cured this way for storage and seasonal distribution. The heat of summer and the long days brings in a bounty of vegetables, some for fresh eating and some for storage to last us through the colder months!


The long days and warmth increase the growth rate of the weeds as well as the vegetables.  It is a difficult job to keep up with them this time of year. The labor costs of weeding vegetables are a big reason why organic produce is more expensive. We use different techniques for weeding; including mechanical cultivation (using tractor-mounted implements to weed between the rows of plants), plastic and straw mulch, hoes and hand tools, and “down on hands & knees” pulling weeds by hand. A good number of crops, including carrots and greens, must be weeded by hand in the row, a laborious task.

Another tactic we use for carrots is flame-weeding. Because they are so slow to germinate, (about 3 weeks) we use the flame weeder to burn any weeds on the surface just before the carrots sprout. This allows the carrots to start growing in a clean bed. Because they are slow growers and do not compete well with the weeds, carrots need extra attention and care to produce well organically.

 

THE HARVEST

Carrots – new! Pretty Purple Haze and sweet orange carrots.

Broccoli

Head Lettuce

Salad Mix

Scallions

Zucchini & Summer Squash

Garlic Scapes

Choice: Beets, Napa Cabbage, Radishes, Turnips

Coming Soon: Potatoes, Tomatoes, Fresh garlic

Upick: Fresh herbs, more flowers. Possibly green beans.

 

RECIPES

New broccoli recipes this week include Broccoli with Orzo and Pine Nuts, Freret Festival Pasta Salad, Broccoli Slaw with Crunchy Noodles, and Jade Broccoli. Check them out on the Recipes page of our website.


FARM BUSINESS

 

All share balances were to be paid in full by Friday, July 1. Anyone who has not paid their balance at this point will not be allowed to pick up their share until the balance is paid in full. You will be contacted by email if your balance is unpaid. Thank you!

Posted 6/27/2011 12:31pm by John and Aimee Good.

FARM NEWS

The weather has been kind to the crops again, and the summer crops are growing well, as you can see in the fields. Can’t wait for those tomatoes. The hoophouse is loaded with nice green fruit, now it just has to turn!

New this week, the broccoli harvest is beginning. Yeah! Broccoli is one of those vegetables that I never really enjoyed much, until we started farming. Fresh broccoli from the fields is so sweet, truly a different vegetable than that from the store. Of course, that is true of so many things. Anyway, now I get very excited about broccoli, and so does Celia, and I bet you and your children will too!

Although the Upick garden is a bit quiet again this week, the first green beans are flowering, and should be ready for picking in a week or two. And the flowers are starting to bloom, and will be opened up for picking in a few weeks as well. Enjoy the fresh herbs for now!

 

MEET THE FARM CREW

Here are the wonderful people who work to provide your veggies. From the left: Daniel, Heidi, Aimee (holding baby Lyle) Emily, John (holding Celia). Back row (from the left) Michelle, Ryan, and Andy. Michelle is the assistant farm manager, in her third season. Daniel is back for his second season as a farm apprentice. Ryan is a part-time intern and Andy is interning through the summer. Emily is our star summer volunteer. Heidi is everyone's favorite barn manager. And of course, the Good family: John, Aimee, Celia, and Lyle.

When you see them around the farm, please feel free to ask questions, talk “farming,” or thank them for their hard work!

 

THE HARVEST

Broccoli- First harvest. More to come!

Head Lettuce

Salad Mix

Scallions

Zucchini & Summer Squash

Choice: Beets, Napa Cabbage, Radishes, Turnips

Coming Soon: Carrots, Potatoes

Upick: Fresh herbs, see board for variety and quantity.

 

RECIPES

Need new ideas for the bounty of zucchini and summer squash? Some old favorites are up on the website: Zucchini-Crusted Pizza, Zucchini Brownies, and Zucchini Garden Chowder. New recipes for this year – Zucchini Lasagna and Zucchini Pancakes. Lots of yummy ways to eat your zucchini. And don't forget, summer squash can be used anywhere recipes calls for zucchini. Also, I have included my favorite, snack-tastic kale recipe: Kale Chips. The best way to get everyone to eat their kale –kids included! Enjoy! (Just click on the link above to get to the Recipes page. From their you can search for all recipes.)

 

FARM BUSINESS

All share balances must be paid in full by Friday, July 1. Unpaid balances after this date will result in revoked pickup privileges. Please check the balance sheet in the barn. If you have any questions about your balance, please email Aimee at farmers@quietcreekfarmcsa.com.

Thank you!

Posted 6/20/2011 2:56pm by John and Aimee Good.

FARM NEWS

We have been enjoying a nice mixture of rain and sun, and the summer crops are growing well. The hoophouse tomatoes are heavy with green fruit, and the tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and eggplant in the field look great.  The first harvest of red beets and Napa Cabbage begins this week, and there should be more to come. Sadly, the pea and strawberry harvest is coming to a close; a short but sweet season. As you could see in the field, the peas suffered from the waterlogged soils in early spring, which stunted their growth. The heat wave in late May further stressed them, so they only reached half their normal height before flowering. We were surprised that they yielded as well as they did. And they were so sweet! Fresh garden peas are one of my favorite spring treats, surpassed only by strawberries.  We hope you enjoyed them, and are looking forward to the new crops to come. The broccoli plants are big and healthy, and we hope to have a good harvest in 2 weeks or so. As for Upicking, there will be only herbs this week and strawberry/pea gleaning, but the flowers and green beans are not far off.

RECIPES

Check out the cooking and storage tips for the two new items this week, Napa Cabbage and Red beets, on our website.  There is also a nice Napa Cabbage salad recipe, as well as a wonderful, simple pasta dish that can use a mixture of the week’s greens, Rigatoni with Greens. Check out the other new Greens recipes for more ideas. Enjoy!

THE HARVEST

Salad Mix

Head Lettuce

Greens:  Asian Spinach, Arugula, Kale

Summer Squash & Zucchini

Garlic Scapes

Scallions

CHOICE: Turnips, Radishes, Red Beets, Napa Cabbage

UPICK

Strawberries & Peas – gleaning only

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

COMING SOON: Broccoli

 

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!

Posted 6/13/2011 3:04pm by John and Aimee Good.
Fresh Pesto With Garlic Scapes

Delicious Garlic Scapes for Your Pesto!

Garlic scapes can be used to make a truly wonderful and sophisticated pesto that you can use to enhance sauces, omelettes, frittatas, and even soups. This pesto can also be used in a pizza or to make toasted garlic bread.

Difficulty:   Easy

Instructions

Things You'll Need:

  • 1/4 lb garlic scapes
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan, Asiago, or Tallegio cheese
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lime or lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Food processor
  • Jar for storage


Read more: How to Make Fresh Pesto With Garlic Scapes | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_2325845_fresh-pesto-garlic-scapes.html#ixzz1OmRTopjj

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







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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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