Peregrine Farm News Vol. 7 #12, 5/26/10

What’s been going on?

Thankfully the sun is out today. We need a little drying time to be able to get some things weeded as they are growing before our eyes. Those little weeds and weed seeds had just been hangin’ out during the dry spell waiting. The soil temperature was warm enough, they just needed to have a little water to get going. Wow, here they come! I am afraid to tell the staff what is in store for them today, at least it won’t be too hot to be out hoeing and pulling weeds. Fortunately we have enough blueberry pickers right now so that the guys can work on the other farm chores.

Farm to Fork was big success. The skies dumped rain on Sunday morning but by the time we all got to the field it was puffy clouds and blue sky. The ground was a bit soggy to start but dried quickly as we finished setting up for the event. The event coordinator and the volunteer coordinator had done a meticulous job and everything was totally ready when we arrived at 12:30. Slowly the other farmers and chefs began arriving and what was just a hayfield bloomed into a farmers market/festival site in a hour or so.

Ben and Karen along with their skilled assistants (Amanda Orser and Shelley Collins) arrived and began assembling a beautiful and complicated dish. Much slicing and dicing and arranging on the plates. First a lettuce and spinach sauce/soup ladled on the bottom, then two sugar snap peas, an arrangement of wedges of three colors of beets, radishes and turnips. This was capped with a piece of Ben’s perfectly smoked trout and then a day-glo dollop of fresh ricotta cheese with beets to give it the wild color. We heard much oohing and awing as people ate. Of course Karen’s blueberry compote on cornmeal cake with sorghum buttermilk cream was the ace in the hole to finish them off!

Ben, Karen and staff assembling plates

The final dish

We all had a great time and I think the attendees did as well. It was too much food and it was hard to get around to all the tents. With the silent and live auctions we raised somewhere around $20,000 for the apprenticeship and new farmer programs at the Center for Evironmental Farming Systems and the Breeze Farm. Thanks to all who participated.

What’s going to be at the market?

Well the floral department is suffering from a lack of sun, nothing wants to open so it will be a challenge this week to fill out the space. Still great Larkspur. Betsy’s beautiful bouquets. Probably some Spuria Iris this week, multiple colors, very tall stems. Lilies if we get a good day or two of sun. Always some small amounts of beautiful stuff.

Blueberries for sure this week, just didn’t quite pick as many last week as we thought we would. The big lettuce selection is now over, too much heat and water but we do still have some great lettuces just a smaller variety. Summer Crisp lettuce, that crispy sweet cross between Romaine and Leaf lettuces that is hot weather tolerant, in green dappled with Red and intense Red. Lettuce like, we have Escarole and Endive (Frisee), really nice. Also the traditional round red and tall white (Sugarloaf) Radicchio’s. Broccoli Raab, still hanging in there but this is probably it’s last week. Yet more Easter Egg and the spicy Chinese Radishes. The last of the of the Japanese turnips. More nice Beets, Red, Golden and the striped Chioggia. The last of the Sugar Snap Peas too. A few more Cucumbers. New for us this spring Lacinato or Dinosaur Kale. Hopefully some Carrots finally.

If you haven’t been there yet, or stopped by lately, check out the website and blog for lots of good info about the farm and what we are up to. You can also subscribe to the blog there and receive the newsletter that way, along with other updates.

As a reminder if there is anything that you would like for us to hold for you at market just let us know by e-mail, by the evening before, and we will be glad to put it aside for you. E-mail messages after 8:00 p.m. on Fridays will not make it under the wire!

Hope to see you all at the market!

Alex and Betsy

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