Peregrine Farm News Vol. 7 #15, 6/16/10

What’s been going on?

Late newsletter as the phone rang at 6:30 this morning just as I was sitting down to write and it was the post office with the next batch of turkeys. This group are the Broad Breasted Bronzes, the Fat Boys as I call them. This breed of bird was the first step, back in the 50’s, from the standard or heritage breeds like the Bourbon Reds that we already have out in the field, to the monster broad breasted white turkeys that are the standard of the industry now. The reason we raise this kind, as well as the heritage breeds, is because they will grow to more than 15 pounds, which is about as big as the Bourbon Reds ever get. Some folks just want a bigger bird for Thanksgiving. We think that the Bronzes are better adapted to being raised on pasture than the big whites too. 67 very energetic poults are now running around in the brooder, one forgets how much noise the little guys can make.

As soon as we got them installed we moved on to covering the last of the Big Tops so we can plant the late tomatoes under them. Perfect timing as we have had a nice inch plus of rain over the last few nights and so the soil will be moist to begin the new plants in. This last planting of tomatoes is smaller, only four rows of mostly Big Beef reds and Sungolds as that is what has done the best for us in the hot days of August. The rains have also brought up the freshly seeded cover crops, we haven’t had this kind of conditions for summer covers in many years now. We are trying to make the best of these beastly humid and hot days but it is hard to have a great attitude at times!

We were talking with Sarah Blacklin, the Farmers’ Market manager, last night about our new electronic benefits transfer (EBT) program at market. This is the program we got a grant for to implement the electronic food stamps system and it has gone so well we are now receiving more EBT sales than almost all the big markets in New York City! Part of this success is we modeled an incentive program that other markets have used which matches up to $20 of tokens with $20 of EBT tokens. This matching helps get EBT recipients used to coming to market and shopping in a way that is different than normally do.

It has been so successful that we have already gone through the $2000 allotted in the grant for it. We are now looking for donations to help continue to build this important food access program. If you are or know folks who might be interested in donating to this program you can speak with Sarah at market or contact our program coordinator, Sabrina López, at sabrilopez@gmail.com  or 561-901-0569. As a program sponsor, you will be listed on our website, facebook, ongoing media alerts and in our market materials at the market Information Booth. We hope to continue to be leaders in the area for food access and innovative farmers’ markets.

Picture of the Week

All singing all dancing broad breasted bronzes

What’s going to be at the market?

Summer is here for sure with, Zinnias and Sunflowers. Still plenty of Hydrangeas, both white and the brilliant Nikko blue. Betsy’s beautiful bouquets. Plenty of yellow Asiatic (non-fragrant) and fragrant Oriental Lilies in white and pink. Lots of late Dianthus, intense reds and purple/pinks.

There is a growing supply of our new early red, Ultrasweet, Cherokee Purples and the great early season yellow/orange variety, Orange Blossom. A few Sungolds coming along. Still some Summer Crisp lettuce, despite the groundhogs best efforts, that crispy sweet cross between Romaine and Leaf lettuces that is hot weather tolerant, in green dappled with Red and intense Red. More of the traditional round red and tall white (Sugarloaf) Radicchio’s. More Cucumbers. Leeks are back, very nice long shafts. Probably some Basil too. The first of our red onions even though they are very small this year, more like shallots. If we are lucky a few of the aromatic, green fleshed Galia Melons.

Hope to see you all at the market!

Alex and Betsy

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