Apr 262012
 

Spring is poppin’ out all over the place! This is a delightful time of year with the weather warming, birds singing, flowers blooming…

We had a bit of a scare last week with frost predicted. One morning we did awake to a fairly heavy frost, but we were able to wash the frost off and there appears to have been minimal damage. Thankfully the temps didn’t get cold enough to produce frost the second night.

One of our biggest concerns was in the strawberry patch. The plants have been blooming their little heads off and a bunch of fruit has set. We really didn’t want to see the crop hurt and it appears that there was very little damage. Get ready… ripe strawberries will be available for You-Pick soon! Give Imogene a call at 620-336-3281 if you want to schedule a picking appointment. Or you may email farmers@mitchellfamilyfarm.us

 

 

 

Also, the hens have been laying their beautiful brown eggs and we have plenty in the cooler. Stop by the farm to pick some up for you and a friend. $3/dozen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sep 162010
 

Hi!

We have had a pleasant change in weather within the last few weeks and are now receiving some fairly consistent rains! It’s beautiful having all the grass and other plants turning back to a lush green instead of a dull, weathered, wilted, brown color. Our entire landscape has changed!

Right before we received a good soaking rain last week G-Jean and I started digging our sweet surprises. That is, sweet potatoes! If you would like some early sweet potatoes they are beautiful this year! Sweet potatoes are $1.50 per lb.

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I need to reserve some of these sweet potatoes for the last CSA shares, but between two big days of harvesting we now have dug approximately 1,500 lbs. of sweet potatoes! That figure doesn’t include what we already harvested for CSA shares earlier! We’ll have plenty for the CSA shares and some to share. The Lord really blessed us with a bountiful and wonderful supply!

Tell your neighbors and friends and if you put together a 100 lb. order you’ll get 10 lbs. free! It will be your responsibility to divide them into individual orders.

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Currently the sweet potatoes are fresh dug so will have a little higher moisture content and not be quite as sweet as they will be after a few weeks of curing. However, they taste great now. If you would like to place an order to reserve your sweet potatoes either for pick up now or later feel free to do so while the supply lasts! You may cure your own sweet potatoes by keeping them in a dark, room temperature area with good air circulation for a few weeks.

Our okra patch is still shucking out a healthy supply of okra and it’s available for $2.50 per lb. or $2.25 per lb. for 10+ lbs. Below is a picture of a burgundy okra plant in bloom.

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A few sweet peppers are being harvested now too! All kinds of shapes and colors, but most are small. One contributing factor to the size is our extended drought. Sweet banana and green bell peppers are: $3.00 per lb. Purple, yellow, red peppers and specialty peppers are $4.00 per lb.

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Beautiful basil, sweet and limited quantities of purple and lettuce leaf varieties, are ready for harvest as well. $1.50 per oz., $7 for ½ lb. or $12 for 1 lb.

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Most of the kale actually survived our summer heat and there is now a limited quantity ready for harvest. Kale is $2.50 per lb.

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All produce is available first come first served. Please place your preorder by or before 7:00 am Friday or Tuesday for pick up Saturday morning or Tuesday evening respectively. If you’re unable to pick up during the regular pick up time please let us know and we’ll accommodate your schedule.

We had the lister plow running as deep as it could, but still snapped the end off of several sweet potatoes. Many of the sweet potatoes seemed to be stretching down deep trying to weave their way through the deep cracks in search of moisture. Thankfully sweet potatoes heal over easily and will store well even with the ends broken off.

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Several of the sweet potatoes could have been dug a couple weeks ago, but we were in the middle of building the hay derrick and then making hay.

If you would like a unique way of preparing sweet potatoes you can take one of the large sweet potatoes, cut off however many sweet potato “rounds” you want and the part you don’t use will heal back over and you can use the rest of the potato later! The rounds may be baked, fried or, if cut thin, be dehydrated to make sweet potato chips!

Sweet potatoes are a long term storage crop and routinely store at least four months in a place that’s dark, cool (such as a basement or root cellar) to room temperature, airy environment. Do not refrigerate! Most sweet potatoes will store a few months longer than that and we even have a few of our own personal cull sweet potatoes which have kept in storage from last season’s harvest!

Between rain showers (as much as possible anyway) haying has taken top priority. Our maximum seems to be two loads per day. On Labor Day Dad was off work and we were able to get an early start with raking since it was still very dry and a stiff breeze through most of the night had kept the dew off. We had some difficulty coordinating everyone’s schedules for the loading and unloading process, but managed to do two full loads and then load up a third load which Granddad, G-Jean and I unloaded the following day.

Our biggest hay stack tested the height limit on the stacker! Here we’re topping out the stack.

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Since we’re still inexperienced we have covered one peak with a tarp, but once you know how to top out a stack they say there’s no need to tarp the top. After our nearly two inch rain I checked the stacks and the rain water only penetrated maybe an inch and a half before running off.

G-Jean and I have also been busy beavers on the days it’s been too wet to hay or there’s a high chance of rain so we didn’t cut any more hay to cure. Hoop house prep work was our main rainy day project. Here I’m prepping beds while G-Jean is planting beets, carrots and radishes.

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These plants were ready to be planted in the hoop house so…

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We transplanted them the next chance we got!

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The hoop houses are mostly planted now, but there are a few slow poke varieties and a second planting of buttercrunch lettuce which are still growing in the plug trays until they reach transplant size.

Surprise! That’s what Mom had when this cute little calf came along over a month after Mom thought Cupid (the momma cow) was due to have her calf! Mom was afraid that Cupid had aborted her calf. Under the circumstances Mom thought “Surprise” would be a good name and it’s now stuck.

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While digging sweet potatoes we ran across a couple unique potatoes that’ll make you stop and think how much of a sense of humor the Lord must have! Can you imagine these growing beneath the ground and one even having a blemish com out in just the right place for an eye? It’s fun to ponder on the Lord’s handy work!

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‘Till next time!

Farmer Josh and the Mitchell crew

www.mitchellfamilyfarm.us

(620) 330-1966

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A few of the beautiful hills of sweet potatoes that actually stuck together while being plowed out!

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