June 29, 2012

We hope this finds you all well and cool.  We are actively staying hydrated at Sugar Creek. Beverage of the weeks to come - as of yesterday = water + cold cranberry juice.  
Thursdays have taken on the name Trellising Thursdays and for the last good month and a half - trellising has been a weekly event.  We use what is called the Florida weave method of trellising:  pounded t-posts or conduit poles every 3rd or 4th plant (one row per bed), attaching a box of twine to the waist, and stringing them up about 8" off the ground.  Looping the trellis around the t posts and along one side of all the plants, turn the corner and come back to sandwich the tomato stems between twine.  As they grow, continue to trellis them as high as needed, keeping the growing tips of the tomato above the line so that you're not trellising in vain.  

This trellis is helpful for disease control - keeping the fruit and leaves off of the ground, a trellised tomato makes it easier to pick, and evident today, it brings a little shade to the picker.  Last week's trellising Thursday turned into planting and harvesting day so we were dealing with a small jungle in block 8 - home of this year's tomatoes.   The sungolds - our height superstars - got 2 lines on Tuesday and then yesterday, were ready again for another round.   As Jeff mentioned last week, last year we had terrible blight problems which knocked us out of field tomatoes pretty quickly. This year we acted more proactively - let's talk about copper!

Cu.  It's amazing.  Copper is antimicrobial and thus one reason why a lot of plumbing is based on copper.  Copper has been used for carrying water for a long time - not as much slime forming on the container keeping the water more pure.  It slightly acidic with a pH of 5.5.  Some folks wear copper bracelets for arthritic purposes - though not scientifically proven.  There is ongoing medical research on the components and various uses of copper.  But for our purposes, it is an organically accepted way to fight diseases.  All of our tomato plants now look like little Frankenstein.  We stripped copper wire down and stuck the wire directly through the base of the plant. At the Rodale Institute, I learned that a stressed plant produces more antioxidants.  I've also read that a splinter through the stem under the artichokes produce a bigger flower.  Once a week, we spray a 10% hydrogen peroxide to water solution on it.  This is to be used as a preventative measure.  I was much more enthusiastic about this process last week when everything was a healthy dark green, we are getting a few specks of brown on the leaves - we'll keep you posted as to what happens, but in the meanwhile, enjoy the heirlooms we've picked today!


Callaloo  - seed from some Jamaican friends up the road - she recommends peeling the skin off the stem of the plant before washing and chopping into small bits

Callaloo and Codfish recipe pictures with the recipe here 


You will need the following ingredients to prepare enough callaloo and codfish for 4 people:-
1/2 lb Saltfish (dried, salted codfish)
1/2 lb shredded callaloo
1 medium onion
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 tbsp of butter
1/2 a hot chili pepper (ideally scotch bonnet)
1 sweet pepper
1 chopped tomato
1 sprig fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme 
Optional ingredients:-
2 cloves of garlic
4 Scallion (or spring onions)
6 Slices of bacon


Cover the saltfish in cold water. Let soak overnight (minimum 8 hours) changing the water several times (this removes most of the salt)
Bring a pan of cold water to the boil and gently simmer the fish for 20 minutes (until the fish is tender) 
Chop the onion, sweet pepper, chilli pepper and tomato whilst waiting for the fish to cook.
Wash the Callaloo in a pot of water and drain thoroughly.
Remove the fish from water and allow to cool.
Remove all of bones and skin then flake the flesh of the fish. 

Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the onion, black pepper, sweet pepper, chilli and thyme. Fry for about 5 minutes.
Add the callaloo and half a cup of water, cover and steam for 15 minutes
Add the tomatoes and flaked fish and steam for another 10 minutes
Serve with yamgreen bananafried dumplings and Irish potato (collectively known as food).


Delicious:  Roast Beet Salad with Balsamic Reduction
  • 5-6 Small beetroot, any colour
  • 1 small package of goats cheese
  • 2Tbl Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 4Tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  •  Salt and Pepper
Cooking Directions
  1. Rinse beets and quarter. Place on a baking tray with Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper. Cover.
  2. Roast for 35-40 Minutes on 180C
  3. Place Balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan with sugar. Cook on low until syrupy. Add Olive to pan.
  4. Remove beet greens and rinse, and add additional lettuce if desired.
  5. Remove beets from oven and let cool. Carefully remove skins.
  6. Add greens, goat cheese, and beets to bowl and spoon over some dressing. Enjoy.

Here is a list of what is available for our Friday on-farm pickup (today 4pm-6pm) as well as the Dixie Classic market tomorrow morning from 6am-12pm.  The Friday on-farm pickup will be at our barn at 1451 NC Hwy 801 N, Advance NC  27006.  Just look for our black mail box on Hwy 801 and you'll need to drive all the way back to the barn/greenhouse.  For the folks that are members of our market share program we will happily reserve produce so you can pick it up at the market please so just reply back to this email with a list of what you would like.

beets - 3.00/bunch
kohlrabi - 2/pound

swiss chard - 3.50/bunch

green onions - 2/bunch

basil - 2/bunch

thyme - 2/bunch

flat leaf parsley - 2/bunch

turnips - 2/lb

squash - 2.25/lb

zucchini - 2.25/lb

carrots - 3/bunch

cucumbers - 2.25/lb

zinnias - 3.5/bunch

sunflowers - 2/dollar

bachelor buttons  - 2/bunch

onions - 2/lb

eggs - 5/dozen or 2.5/half-dozen

leeks - 3/bunch

yukon gold potatoes - 1.75/pound

russian banana fingerlings - 4/pound
elephant garlic - 7/pound 
softneck garlic -  2 for $1
fennel - 2/head 
callaloo (jamaican spinach) to be cooked - 2/bunch
sungold cherry tomatoes $4/lb
green tomatoes $2.5/lb
heirloom tomatoes - 3.50/pound
hybrid tomatoes - 2.50/pound

1 comment:

Priest Family said...

Well I am just a few months late reading this (now is April 2013), but love the techie Ag stuff! Cu, who knew?!!? Also, callallo is awesome stuff. SDP