Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Big Red Farmstand, Wednesday October 23, 1pm to 5pm

Hello, friends --
The glorious sugar maple
opposite our barn

As we move further into cool weather, I'm amazed every time I go out to the field and find a summer crop that's hanging in there, doggedly ripening a few last fruits before the frost comes.  This week finds us still harvesting summer squash, eggplants and peppers (though the eggplants are truly done now), and I even found 4 tomatoes which I am selfishly hoarding and not sharing with any of you!  Sorry.  I hope you'll accept the return of head lettuce as a consolation prize -- we're very excited about it!  A few rainy days in the past couple of weeks gave the lettuces the push they needed to size up, and we're harvesting Romaine and red leaf lettuce this week.  We'll still have our baby lettuce mix, too; and plenty of kale, which, as many of you know, makes the best salads of all!  See below for some recipe ideas.
Farm crew coming in from hoeing

Big Red Produce around campus:  Last Friday, Mr. Jordan's Religion & Ecology class distributed bouquets of Big Red Farm flowers at the School Meeting -- thanks to the class for their support, and especially to Aurelio Ayala for organizing the gifts.  Also, I bet you didn't know that this Thursday, October 24th, is World Food Day!  Food Day is "a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food," as well as being another cool organization that uses the silhouette of a chicken as their logo (read more about Food Day here).  Lawrenceville is getting in on the action, with Gary Giberson and Sustainable Fare featuring some Big Red Farm veggies in the dining halls that day, including kale and celery.  Make sure to taste everything and tell them how good it is!  As always, we are grateful to Gary and his staff for their support of the farm.

Kirby girls planting

On Sunday, a delegation from Kirby House came to the farm to plant garlic.  In the space of two hours, they cheerfully cleaned and separated the cloves of three varieties of garlic (two Rocamboles and a German Extra-Hardy), raked and prepared a 350-foot bed in the field, and finally planted about 700 cloves of garlic.  We'll be harvesting scapes from those plants in June, and the bulbs themselves in July.  We and the girls had a great time and got a lot done, and we hope they'll be back often.  Thanks, Kirby House!
Earthworm tunnels

Lately, Jake has been engaged in the activity of plowing up some of the sections of the field that we'll be using to grow vegetables in 2014, in preparation for getting some cover crops in to protect the soil during the winter.  When we first started working on the Big Red Farm, we knew the soil was very depleted and compacted because A) we couldn't get a spade farther than about 3 inches into the ground, and B) when we did turn the ground over, we couldn't find a single earthworm.  Now, a year and a half later, we're seeing some very preliminary, but very encouraging, changes in the soil quality and structure.  The holes you see in the picture at left are the tunnels left by earthworms going about their wormy business: eating organic matter in the soil, which they convert to available nutrients in their castings, and aerating the soil with these channels.  They are doing this important work more quickly and quietly and efficiently than we can; we just try to create an environment they want to return to after their long absence!

Sunlit kale

Two kale salads this week, each with its own distinct personality.  The colorful, Asian-inspired Kale-Peanut Slaw makes use of the season's last bell peppers and our incredibly sweet fall carrots.  Kale-Parmesan Salad features a creamy dressing made unforgettable with the addition of fresh, local garlic.  Also, a word to the wise: I can't promise that we won't keep throwing more kale salads at you as the season wears on -- they're all delicious and so healthy!  Collect the set!  (Kale-Peanut Slaw)  (Kale-Parmesan Salad)


This week, we hope to have the following available on Wednesday, in front of Edith Chapel, from 1pm to 5pm:

  • Baby Lettuce Mix - $2.50 bag
  • Beets - $2.50 bunch
  • Carrots - $2.50 bunch
  • Celery - $2.00 each
  • Chard - $2.50 bunch
  • Eggplant (last week for this) - $3.00 lb
  • Flowers - $2.50 bouquet
  • Garlic - $1.50 each (limited quantity)
  • Kale - $2.50 bunch
  • Lettuce - $2.50 head
  • Assorted Onions - $2.00 lb (limited quantity)
  • Colored Peppers - $4.00 lb
  • Hot Peppers - 2 for $1.00
  • Potatoes - $4.50 quart
  • Summer Squash - $2.00 lb


The Big Red Farmstand will be located on the Lawrenceville School campus for the fall, in front of Edith Chapel.  Enter campus by the main gate on Route 206 (opposite the Lawrenceville Post Office and Craven Lane) and bear right into the circle.  The Chapel is about halfway around the circle, and you'll see our sign.  Don't forget your shopping bags!

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