Nov 262009
 

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

May you and your family have a blessed Thanksgiving together. For those who are unable to be with loved ones on this special day may you find something good throughout the day to make you smile and let us each one find something to thank the Lord for…we are each one blessed and even if we are going through trials, there is always something that can be found to be thankful for. Psalm 100 is known as a "thanksgiving" psalm:

Shout with joy to the Lord, O earth!

Worship the Lord with gladness.

Come before him, singing with joy.

Acknowledge that the Lord is God!

He made us, and we are his.

We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving;

go into his courts with praise.

Give thanks to him and bless his name.

For the Lord is good.

His unfailing love continues forever,

and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

NLT

Dad and Cayenne hangin’ out together in Dad’s chair. It’s debatable who’s chair it really is…Dad’s or Caye’s.

11-12-2009 (5)

Since the last update we’ve seen everything from about 75 degrees down to a low of around 30! Despite a rainy Saturday night, Sunday and most of Monday a week and a half ago we did receive a beautiful flurry of snow for a few minutes Monday! These flakes were huge and very wet, but unfortunately they didn’t last because it was way too warm for them to stick.

Thank you so much to each one who has purchased produce the last couple of weeks! While you can’t quite say we’re almost out of produce you can now definitely tell there is a lot less produce left in the hoop houses now! There is still a diverse mix of produce available for you to choose from. Everything from arugula to lettuce, cilantro, rutabagas, Chinese cabbage (most stores sell only the blanched white "heart" of Chinese cabbage as "napa". We offer the "napa" type in full heads that have all their healthy dark green leaves covering the inner heart) tatsoi (similar to bok choi or spinach only a little stronger green…kind of like Swiss chard or collard greens) bok choi, daikon radishes and more!

Here are a couple shots of the beautiful produce available NOW! These root crops are: rutabaga, white "spring" salad turnips and daikon radishes.

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A second shot shows some of the beautiful Chinese cabbage in the foreground now ready for harvest along with some white spring turnip tops, late cabbage and broccoli showing as well.

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Now, on the lettuce, typically we’ll harvest until nearly Christmas, but this year is turning out different and our "Grand Lettuce Finale" will be next Saturday, December 5th. That will be our last harvest date for lettuce. The finale date is subject to change, possibly earlier, due to availability and weather conditions. Lord willing there will still be a diverse mix of other produce available after our lettuce finale!

We are continuing sale prices this coming week and you can find prices on our website at: www.mitchellfamilyfarm.us If you have any questions feel free to call my cell (620) 330-1966 or e-mail us at info@mitchellfamilyfarm.us

At the end you’ll find a delicious recipe that’s meant for Chinese cabbage, but is also wonderful when substituted with tatsoi or bok choi in place of Chinese cabbage. Also, tatsoi may be used in any way you’d prepare bok choi or spinach…steamed, boiled, fresh, used in soups, stir fried…ok, so you get the idea! It’s a very versatile green.

A couple pictures of some of the last beautiful lettuce available this season!

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While the soil was really a little wetter than I’d have preferred Dad and I hooked up the Kubota and plow one Saturday afternoon just to see if it would work up ok. If I had my druthers I wouldn’t have plowed, but there was rain predicted with a cool front moving in and I’m running really late on getting some ground plowed.

11-14-2009 (14)

Saturday night our cool front moved in and it did bring a good shower of rain. It was so muddy for so long I wasn’t sure when we’d be able to get back to plowing! Most of our soil is back to the edge of being dry enough, but is still really wet now.

Even though it has seemed very cold some days it’s mainly due to the fact that our temperatures dropped about 40 degrees over a two or three day period! After our 70+ weather for a couple weeks I’d really gotten spoiled and having to re-acclimate to the cooler weather we’re typically supposed to be having in November is a challenge! Despite it being so "cold" it was a blessing to have the cool cloudy weather as it has helped hold our produce so it wouldn’t pass it’s prime so quickly.

We missed getting a picture! Our good friends John and Ramona Crisp came down for a visit a couple weeks ago and then their help (also our good friends!) Ben and Alice Railey came down for a visit last weekend too! (Jena and I were in Ben and Alice’s wedding this past August.) On both accounts we had a lot of enjoyable times together and hope we can get together again soon. There is a rumor going around that when the Shepherd’s Valley crew (John’s farm) and our Mitchell crew get together there’s no telling what kind of wild haired ideas, schemes, plans concoctions and actions may come about!

Ben helped us get started making a portable hog hut we’ll be using as shelter for the little guys when they go out into the big pasture areas. Right now they’re in a training/nursery pen to keep them a little more contained with mamma Lucy and learn what a hot wire is so they don’t escape when that’s all their pen is made of.

Rare picture! I caught the farm photographer on camera! Mom is going out to gather eggs, feed and water her laying hens.

11-21-2009 (71)

G-Jean and I took advantage of one cool, cloudy, damp day to evaluate our seed supply and see what seed we needed to order for this coming 2010 season. We even have gotten some seed catalogs in the mail already! A few days later we got together again and zipped down the "needed seed" list comparing prices in a few of our favorite seed catalogs. After some evaluation we were able to make out the orders, but I haven’t been able to place them yet… Once again my curiosity got the best of me and I had to order a few new varieties of seed just to try. That’s probably one of my biggest weaknesses, wanting to see if there is another variety out there that will do better than the one we’re currently growing. Those seed companies don’t help anything when they write such glamorous descriptions much less display pictures of delicious, beautiful, mouth-watering produce that can be raised from their seeds… I’m getting a gardening fever just thinking about it!

Unfortunately as with any growing business there is paper work needing done and that has taken up a considerable amount of time lately… I’d rather be out working in a snowstorm than doing all the paper work! Guess every job has parts that you have to do so you can get around to what you really enjoy doing!

A portion of the paper work needing done was mailing current CSA members and those on the waiting list their brochures. I’m offering a chance to anyone on the waiting list prior to October 24th and current CSA members to sign up as "Charter members" (for those who haven’t sent in your order form yet please use the order form that’s an insert in your brochure and says "Charter Membership") if they sign up by December 3rd. After December 3rd the shares will be available to the general public for purchase. If you were not a CSA member last year, and were not on the waiting list, be sure to let us know if you would like us to mail you a brochure when the shares are available to the general public.

Freshly harvested rutabagas.

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Granddad helped me cut a roll of remesh wire into sections which we’ll make into tomato cages and I was able to finish mulching the garlic after our cool rainy spell! Granddad also helped me take down our pole bean and cucumber trellis’s. While our cucumbers were a flop, this fall’s pole beans were the most beautiful beans I think we’ve ever raised! This late fall/early winter has also made for some unusually late grown, high quality, outdoor produce that’s still available…and it’s Thanksgiving!

Once again G-Jean and Jena have been cake sculpting and have done a superb job! Granddad’s birthday was the 25th, but since Thanksgiving was the following day and Thanksgiving dinner is one of his favorite menus we chose to wait and celebrate his birthday on Thanksgiving day. G-Jean and Jena spent nearly 3 hours sculpting this masterpiece.

11-26-2009 (4)

Granddad has been wanting a new truck which gave the two ornery giggling girls their wild scheme and away they went with it!

May the rest of your day and week be filled with blessings.

Farmer Josh and the Mitchell Crew

It’s amazing! While not as pretty since they’ve been nipped by freezes we still have a few flowers such as: marigolds, begonias, shrub roses, bonfire salvia (shone below) and impatiens blooming a few blooms a long still yet!

11-19-2009 (30)

Chinese Cabbage Salad

Adapted from www.cooks.com

Dressing:

Whisk together:

¼ c. sugar

¼ c. vegetable oil

¼ c. soy sauce

Topping:

Toast in a skillet with 3 tablespoons butter:

1/2 c. sliced almonds

3 tablespoons sesame seed

Cool the topping in an open container so it doesn’t become soggy.

Salad:

Chop and toss together:

1 head Chinese cabbage

1 or 2 bunches green onions

Toss salad together with dressing. Top with prepared topping and serve immediately.