Archive for the ‘CSA’ Category

Week 2 Pickup June 07 2017

This was a green share.  Lots of herbs and spring greens.  Mustard, Spring Rapini, Flat Leaf Parsley, Oregano, Dill, Mint, Radishes, Green Onions, Green Garlic, Mixed Salad Greens, and Garlic Scapes.

First new plants of the Year

Palm Sunday weekend we began to plant.  The weather was great and the soil was getting warm.  We planted Carrots (Royal Chantenay, Rainbow Hybrid, Cosmic Purple and Purple Haze), Chard (Rainbow, Ruby  Red and Rhubarb), Spinach (Giant Noble, Escalade Hard), Peas (Oregon Giant Snowpea, Garden Pea Now and Later, Dwarf Grey Sugar), Onions (red and white), Potatoes (white, pink and purple fingerlings)  and Mustard (Florida Broadleaf, Southern Giant Curled). Two weeks later that are all looking great.  We have plants growing where we planted seeds.

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20170415 172933 (1)
Asparagus
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In the last couple of weeks we have added leeks, onions, lettuce (Butter Crunch, Black Seeded Simpson, Grand Rapids, Ithica Head Lettuce), Kale (Red Russian, Winter Wonderland Mix), Pok Choy (Toy Choy), and Chinese Cabbage (Hilton)

A Week of Cold Wet Weather and a Sunny Sunday

Biggest News for the Week:

We have sold all 10 CSA shares this year.  We have several new customers and some returning ones.  At least 3 of the new customers are from posting a classified ad on the Nextdoor Neighborhood App.  It is a great communication tool for neighbors and it really helped sell our last few shares and at no cost to us.

A Bit of Work in the Garden:

After a week of cold wet and rainy weather (not at all unusual for the end of March), we had a beautiful Sunday.  Kathy and I planned ahead and went to church last night so we could work on the garden and other projects today.  We did not get anything planted yet.  I want to run the tiller through the garden one more time before planting.  The weeds are starting to pop up and the tiller will make short work of them.  Of course that means I need to get it back from Sears repair first.  It should be done tomorrow.  They got the part in on Tuesday last week.  I did get some work done in the garden though.  I got the fences put up for the pole beans (blue lake and Asian long beans) and for the sweet peas (Now and Later, and a couple of other kinds).  We were hoping to get some of the greens planted today but ran out of time.

Other Projects:

We put bird netting over part of the chicken run today.  This is where we will put the young chickens.  We have 12 more of them (6 hens and 6 straight run) Cuckoo Maran, Silver Leghorns, Barred Rock, and Silver Laced Wyandotte.  Hopefully it will protect them from the hawk that has been patrolling the neighborhood.  We also need to plant potatoes and greens this week and maybe some broccoli rabe.

 

 

The Garden is Marching On

Lots of activity at GI Acres.  We took seeds to Barb’s Greenhouse in St. Libory this weekend.  Bard will be starting all of our plants.  They have a great setup and hopefully this works out better than what we did last year.  Barb will be starting more than 400 plants for us.   Tomatoes, Peppers, Melons, Squash, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Broccoli, Fennel and Egg Plant.  We will have a wide variety of shapes and colors of tomatoes this year.  If you need some plants this year look her up either at the green house or at the farmers market at Orschelns.

 

The newest of our chickens are getting big.  We have 12 new chicks this year.  At least 6 of them are guaranteed to be pullets.  We are hoping for 9 pullets.  They will be moving outside to temporary quarters next to the others soon.

In a couple of days we will have been at this place for 2 years.  We knew we wanted to grow a variety of perennials, including asparagus, strawberries and rhubarb. All of those are coming up and looking good.

Asparagus

Garlic

Rhubarb

Strawberries

In the next week we will be planting potatoes and peas.  We bought 20 lbs of seed potatoes and have left overs of fingerlings from last  year’s stock.

As of today March 19th we have sold 7 shares for 2017.  We still have 3 shares left for the next year and are still hopeful that we will sell all of them.

 

 

 

Seeds and Other Stuff Ordered

What does anyone need with 1000 corn seeds? Kathy and I have been combing through seed catalogs since they started arriving in late November.  Today we sat down and placed our orders.  We ordered from 6 different companies (I think we have catalogs from 12+).

Only those catalogs we ordered from.

We ordered from Burpee, Gurneys, Farmer Seed and Nursery, Jung Seeds & Plants, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, and Sow True Seeds.  If all goes according to plan this year we will have 20 different kinds of tomatoes 12+ peppers, 11 summer squash and 11 winter squash, 4 kinds of sweet corn, a variety of beets, radishes, turnips and carrots,  Several kinds of lettuce, along with Swiss chard, collards, and mustard greens.  Four kinds of sweet corn that we plan to stagger with 2 or 3 plantings so we have corn for at least 6 weeks.  Green beans, spotted beans, long beans, peas, cucumbers, melons, and more.

In addition to the seeds we ordered a variety of fruit and nut trees to add to the orchard.  This year we also added grapes.  I haven’t pulled the trigger on hops though.  Our perennials production plants and trees are expanded every year.

We still need to get onion sets and potatoes but will likely buy those locally to save on shipping costs, especially the potatoes.  Those things are heavy.

 

Less than a Week Until CSA Day 2017

Kathy planting for the first time in our cold frame.

The weather has been perfect for cleaning up the garden and getting things ready for next year.  We planted the first things on February 12.  Okay, we planted lettuce, mustard and bok choy in the cold frame I built last year but we did get to plant.  This weekend with 70+ weather I tilled the garden.  I think we need to call for service on the tiller though, the tines don’t spin in reverse, I think something slipped or broke.  Glad it is under warranty.  We decided that we needed to add one more strip of garden at the southwest side of the garden closer to the big pine tree and that we should eliminate the grass strip between two of the strips toward the northeast side of the garden like we did in the middle last year.  This allows us to have several rows that

Freshly tilled garden looking to the northwest

are about 12 foot long that run from northeast to southwest instead of just long rows running from the northwest to southeast.  Hopefully the combination works.

 

You can see the new layout here.  We are trying an online garden planner (Grow Veg).  So far I really like it.  Hopefully it will stick around so that we can continue to use it in future years so we can manage our crop rotations.

Freshly tilled garden looking to the north (mostly)

 

This year we plan to have rhubarb, strawberries and asparagus early in the year.  Our first pickup should be in late May.

We think we may have found a source for wholesale plants this year and it looks like they will plant our seed so we will even have the varieties we are hoping for.

 

You can view our CSA member agreement here: GI Acres CSA Member Agreement 2017.  Please return this with your order.

If you want to update your 2016 membership and claim your 2017 membership or if you want to join up today for the 2017 season click HERE!  Below you can see pictures of our 2017 shares.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New To Us This Year– Bounty From the Box Cookbook

Just received a physical copy of the book “Bounty from the Box: The CSA Farm Cookbook” by Mi Ae Lipe.  In December I purchased a digital copy of the book with the hope that it would help us provide recipes to our CSA members. (The digital copy is only available to CSA farmers at this time with specific permissions from the author.)  Joining a CSA can be somewhat stressful.  Every week you are going to get a whole bunch of vegetables and it is likely that you will not have any idea what to do with some of them.  Last year we provided eggplant, kale, cucamelons, tatumi squash and a full 20 weeks of Swiss chard to our members.  We tried to give recipes, cooking and preserving tips especially when we were providing something new or even yet again.

The CSA Farm Cookbook

I had not really taken the time to look at the cookbook but did including a link to Bounty from the Box on our website and the announcement about 2017 membership.  Friday I received a print copy in the mail.  I was astounded by the size of the book.  It is the size of a 500 sheet ream of printer paper.  In actuality it is almost 700 pages long but it does really look like a ream of paper. The book is organized around the seasons beginning with spring CSA offerings and ending with winter.  Each entry includes a bit of history of the vegetable or fruit, nutrition facts, cleaning tips, several basic ways of cooking it (including microwaving) and information on preservation.  The book is easy to scan through and entertaining to read. I was truly impressed by the size of the book and the number of recipes and vegetables included.

Later, when we have fresh veggies from the garden and more time to play with them and I will post more about the recipes.  Looking through them though, they appear well balanced for a variety of eating styles and requirements.  If you eat meat, are vegan, need gluten free or other specialized diets you should be able to find recipes in this book that will help you eat the way you want or need to and use your CSA share in interesting ways.

We will be trying some of the recipes in the near future with food that we preserved last season.  I may even contact some of last season’s members to find out what they have preserved and share some of the recipes from the digital version early.  I know that some members still have food in the freezer.  They have told me about meals they have made this winter with our produce.  I find it especially gratifying to talk to a member in December or January that is pulling from their freezer a container of vegetables we grew and enjoying a bit of summer during the winter doldrums.

You can get your own copy of Bounty from the Box at www.bountyfromthebox.com. Follow them on Twitter @BountyfromBox and on Facebook @BountyfromtheBox.

We have 10 shares for sale again this year.

We will be offering 10 shares again this year.  As of today (1-15-17) I know that we have 2 shares left.  We haven’t heard from all of our 2016 members and they have the first choice about rejoining. We have made an investment in a CSA Cookbook, Bounty from the Box a CSA Cookbook, and we are authorized to share recipes with our members.  This should help us give you more ideas about what to do with your CSA box.

This year we plan to have rhubarb, strawberries and asparagus early in the year.  Our first pickup should be in late May.

You can view our CSA member agreement here: GI Acres CSA Member Agreement 2017.  Please return this with your order.

If you want to update your 2016 membership and claim your 2017 membership or if you want to join up today for the 2017 season click HERE!  Below you can see pictures of our 2017 shares.

 

 

 

Win a Share for Week 9

We have one share to give away for Week 9.  This is a picture of what we had last week in the shares.  This week should be similar.  If you would like to try out our CSA (Community Supported Agricultural Operation) this is your chance.

Potatoes, Cucumbers, squash, dill, onions, Swiss Chard, kale, green beans, Asian long beans and sweet corn

Potatoes, Cucumbers, squash, dill, onions, Swiss Chard, kale, green beans, Asian long beans and sweet corn

All you have to do is go to our face book page @UrbanFarmAdventures  Like our page if you haven’t already, Find the contest post, comment on it and share the contest to your wall for all of your friends to see.  We will announce the winner after 8 PM on Wednesday July 27.  Winner must pick up on Thursday July 28 between 6 and 8 here at GI Acres.  Good Luck, Have Fun, and Share Us with your Friends.

Weekly CSA Shares

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Week 06 (2)
Swiss Chard, Mustard, Collards, l Green Beans, Summer Squash, New Potatoes, Dill, Chives, Thyme and Purselane,
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Here is what our weekly shares contain.  If you see lots of veggies on a table that is the total for 9 shares.  If it is just in front of a basket that was one share.  Our goal was to provide at least $10 worth of Farmer’s Market quality fresh product to our members per week.  The contents of the shares change every week because different things are ready at different times.  We started with cool season crops like radishes, peas and lettuce and then progress into warm season items like cucumbers, summer squash and green beans.  Eventually we will have tomatoes, peppers, corn, and  maybe melons.  In the fall we hope to offer winter squash, late tomatoes and maybe some of the cools season crops like lettuce and radishes again.  Swiss chard has been a killer producer for us this year and I think people are getting tired of it but it sure is pretty and it tastes good.

We always send the beets and turnips home with the tops.  Our rabbits would love them but the tops cook up really nice for people too.

About GI Acres CSA

GI Acres is located on the western edge of Grand Island, Nebraska. The garden takes up about half of an acre. We also have chickens, rabbits and bees

Our farm is not USDA Certified Organic and we do not anticipate applying for such status. We strive to produce healthy vegetables using natural methods of fertilizing, building soil, and controlling pests such as insects and weeds. Those healthy vegetables will begin in mid to late May with herbs, asparagus, rhubarb and strawberries. During the season you can expect a variety of greens, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, squash, corn and potatoes along with tips about how to cook and preserve your weekly share. The season will conclude in late September or early October. We aim for a 20-week season.

We did not grow up on farms but we did grow up in families with large gardens, eating a variety of fresh produce and canning/freezing the excess. We have maintained the tradition of growing and preserving food for our family for the past 20+ years. GI Acres is our attempt to share that passion for good food with our community.