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Posted 6/6/2014 10:19pm by Larry Brandenburg.

Friends,

Another beautiful day here on the farm in Shelby County.  Lower humidity and temperatures are always appreciated.      Lately it has been heat and humidity and the weeds are loving it!  We can't stay ahead of them right now as we are concentrating on getting the rest of the crops in the ground and harvesting the ones that are producing now.

New this week will be snow peas and garlic scapes.  Use the scapes raw in salads or saute them with other vegetables to give mild garlic flavor to your dishes.  

This is a short one tonight.  Been a long day and 3:30 a.m. will be here shortly.  Good to see all the Shelby County people today at the farm.  Look forward to seeing the rest of you tomorrow at the market.

Thank you for your support of local, organic food.

Larry

Posted 5/30/2014 10:01pm by Larry Brandenburg.

 


Friends,

The bounty continues.  Asparagus and Strawberries.   We won't have enough Strawberries to sell this week so this is where the CSA partnership gives you a real advantage over our retail customers.

We are bundling our greens (Kale and Collards) this  week in a larger bunch and calling it a Braising Mix. Hope you will enjoy it.  If you would like to purchase any additional greens in straight bunches, remember that our CSA partners get a significant discount.  

I still find the aroma of freshly pulled spring onions to be one of the most satisfying sensual delights of all the spring vegetables.  So earthy.  So satisfying.  

This week we will share some fresh leaf lettuce all bagged up and ready to go. Radishes and Spinach will round out this weeks offerings.

Each week I do a price comparison of the CSA share vs. our market prices.  As you know, you get an excellent value for your investment in us.  This week your $18.75 (half-share) would cost you $26.00 if you purchased it from us at the market.  Of course, you don't do this to save money -- you do it because you believe in supporting local, organic farming.  So, if you happen to save a little (or a lot) along the way, be happy, consider it a perk for a job well done -- the job you do as a caring and conscientious human being who also wants to nurture our planet as well as yourselves.

Good job folks.

Larry

Posted 5/23/2014 8:39pm by Larry Brandenburg.

Friends,

It was great seeing you all at the market last week.   Perhaps the difficult winter we had has made this spring feel even sweeter, although, last Saturday's temps were not what one would expect for the middle of May.  Today was a perfect day with temperature in the 70's and low humidity.  I could take this year round!

We started digging spring onions today and the fresh, earthy smell as they come out of the ground is intoxicating.  Pile a bunch of them in a tub and take them to the packing shed and they permeate the air with one of the most refreshing aromas of spring.  We are happy to make them available for you tomorrow.

We won't have as much Asparagus as we did last week and all of it was gone within the first couple of hours.  Just a word to the wise.  And, you are wise because you believe in organic farming.

Strawberries.  'Nuff said.

Black Seeded Simpson in bags and whole heads of Red Romaine.  These Romaine heads are beautiful to look at and even better to eat.  

Radishes  and Kale and Collards will round out this week's offerings.  We are bunching the Kale separately by variety.  

We are also offering Herb plants this year.  They can be purchased individually or in specially made boxes handcrafted out of sustainable lumber from Beth's parents's farm in Breckinridge County.  Beautiful walnut with streaks of sapwood and yellow poplar re-purposed from Beth's grandparents home make a wonderful display for your herb plants.

We look forward to seeing you tomorrow.  Remember, the hours are 8:00-Noon.  Come early and leave happy!

Larry

P.S. Beth will have a few flower bouquets available too.

Posted 9/27/2013 9:56pm by Larry Brandenburg.

Friends,

Thank you for your support of organic farming in our community.  Seven years ago we started offering an organic  CSA for people in Shelby and Jefferson Counties.  We are the only certified organic vegetable farm in our area and we thought that by adopting the CSA model it would help us in our efforts and provide a much needed service for you.

This is our last weekend for this years CSA.  It has been a very good year in spite of the incredible challenges we have faced.  The cool, wet early summer was unlike any we have experienced so far.  However, we were able to find a way to continue to bring you wonderful produce each week.  

We have had some disappointments.  The deer this year completely destroyed several of our succession plantings (especially squash and beans) and also wiped out our watermelon and sweet potatoes.  We try to work in harmony with nature but it seems that the deer won the battle this year.  We will evaluate and come up with a better plan for next year.  Out of 750 row feet of sweet potatoes we were able to to harvest only a half bushel.  Pitiful.  What makes it especially hard on us is the fact that we had to plant twice due to compromised slip quality on the first planting.  Organic slips are very expensive and the labor involved in planting meant that we took a big hit financially.  Next year.  There's always next year.

And, we hope that you will be a part of next year.  I will be sending an email at the end of this year or in January of 2014.  You will have the opportunity to respond for a guaranteed spot  in the 2014 CSA.

I am sorry that I have not kept current with these emails for the last few weeks.  We have had labor challenges (following Labor Day weekend--ironic) and by the time we have finished on Friday nights, I am too tired to write anything. 

We do appreciate your support.  Without you, Harmony Fields Farm would not be possible.  We are a family farm and without our family, especially our sons, we would not have made it these last few weeks.  Matthew and Nathan have really worked hard to ensure that we would be able to continue after so many of our workers deserted us.  

Be sure to let us know if you have any suggestions for making our CSA better.  We want you to be happy.  We love being your farmer and we want to be able to improve each year.  Your feedback is important to us.

The farmer's market will continue through October 12 and if we have anything to sell, we will be there even though the CSA concludes tomorrow.  Also, our son Matthew and his girlfriend are doing the Sunday market at Rainbow Blossom in St. Matthew's (Lexington Road) from noon till 4:00.  They are also planning some production for our High Tunnel for this fall and winter.  I will keep you posted if this works out.

See you tomorrow.  Sad day, but--there's always next year.


Larry and Beth

Posted 8/30/2013 9:37pm by Larry Brandenburg.

Friends,

Seems it's feast or famine with our labor lately.  Fortunately, it was a feast today which meant we got a lot done.  We have been wanting to dig Fingerlings lately but didn't have the forces to do it.  Digging potatoes is just plain hard, dirty work.  The kind of work that builds character and stamina. The fruit of this labor is some of the best fingerlings we have ever grown.  We will be glad to share them with you this week.

Even though the squash has played out, the winter squash is coming along nicely and we will be happy to share a Butternut Squash with you.  It may be a little challenging to think "winter" when the temps are in the 90's, but you can always hold this squash for a couple of weeks if you wish to wait for cooler temps.

Tomatoes and peppers continue as do beans and basil and garlic.  I am a little concerned about a succession planting of Provider Beans we planted.  When I checked them today, it appears that the deer are eating them.  All of them.  Not good.


I would encourage you to come as early as possible tomorrow as it is going to be another hot day.  Your produce will do better if you can get it home and cooled down.  When we harvest here we get it out of the field and into one of the walk-in coolers (we have two, each set at a different temps to meet the needs of the different veggies) as quickly as possible.  Heat really effects the longevity of produce.  In fact, this heat may be affecting my longevity as well!


So, good night and we will see you soon. 


Larry

Posted 8/23/2013 10:00pm by Larry Brandenburg.

Friends,

Finally it feels like a Kentucky August!  All those great days of low temperatures and humidity and I didn't have the time to cut hay.  Now that it looks like it next week might work out for me they are calling for 90+ temps plus humidity.  We still square bale most of our hay.  I have always loved doing hay as it was one of the chores from my childhood that I really enjoyed.  When I was finally old enough to help I felt like I was a big boy and that good feeling has stuck with me ever since. So, if you want some good feelings, come out next week and help.  Skip that expensive gym time and get a work out you will never forget.

Sorry that I didn't get email out last week.  Perfect storm of excuses I won't bore you with.  The one legitimate one is that last Friday was our 38th wedding anniversary.  Was trying to squeeze in some time for a dinner but it didn't happen.  Too much work and not enough workers.  A real challenge when important events come on Fridays  during market season.

Will be loading you up with more tomatoes and peppers as they are doing well right now.  We have some leftover cherry tomatoes from last week that we will let you have as bonus to the freshly picked ones you will get.  

If you know of anyone who would like to come out and work on an organic farm, let us know.  We have lost some of our labor due to school starting back and other people who have had to take other jobs.  So, let me know if you can help out.

Thanks for supporting us.  We hope you will continue to enjoy local, organic food.


Larry 

Posted 8/9/2013 9:20pm by Larry Brandenburg.

Friends,

I sure hope that we don't have rain tomorrow for the market.  We have had more rainy Saturdays this year than normal.  It has been an unusual summer, but I'm not complaining.  I personally enjoy the cooler temps and the lower humidity that have been frequent for the past couple of months.  

The heat loving plants have been disappointed, but they are coming on.  Been especially challenging for tomatoes this year.  Some people don't have any while others are thriving.  We are glad that we will be able to share two pints of cherry tomatoes with you and a quart of "Misc." tomatoes which include at least one large heirloom.

Squash is still doing well but the zucchini is pretty well played out.  We will try to have the recipe for zucchini bread that Beth made last week available for you since there seemed to be some interest in it.

Let's hope for good weather tomorrow.  No matter what, we will be there and we look forward to seeing you.  Thank you for supporting organic farming.


Larry



Posted 8/2/2013 9:57pm by Larry Brandenburg.

Friends,

Been a long day.  Been a good day.  Will result in a good day for you.  Nine items in your bag this week. Basil will return and cherry tomatoes will make their debut.  Big tomatoes almost ready.  Will have a few to sell but not enough for the CSA.  As always, you may buy anything we have at a significant discount.  Beth did not want to let the huge zucchini go to waste so she make a mini-loaf for everyone this week.  All organic ingredients except she had to use local, free-range eggs that were not certified organic.

I'm just too tired tonight to share more.  My brain is shutting down as I realize I will be getting up in about four and a half hours.  So, see you soon.

Larry

Posted 7/26/2013 9:33pm by Larry Brandenburg.

Friends,

We are very thankful for the incredible weather of the past three days.  Low temps and humidity have made for great working conditions.

Everything is doing well.  Some things are a little slower than we would like, but nature has its own pace and it's best to work with nature rather than against it.  Most of us are really anxious to have those fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes.  They are almost ready.  We were able to get a few pints of cherry tomatoes to sell this week and we anticipate having enough for you next week.  Bigger tomatoes won't be far behind.

We are going to start distributing garlic this week.  You have had garlic scapes and green garlic and finally the mature garlic bulb is here.  We have a recipe to share with you tomorrow that uses garlic, potatoes and turnips.  In fact, there are three recipes for turnips we will give you tomorrow.  Completely forgot to give this to our farm pick-up people today.  Ask for it next week.

The beans you will get this week are called Royal Burgundy.  They are purple.  However, they turn green when cooked.  Sorry for the disappointment.  They are just green beans.  The taste, however, is more than "just green beans."  Once you try them you will know what I mean.

Fresh, seasonable, organic food is hard to describe with words.  You have to experience it.  Thank you for sharing the experience with us.

Larry

Posted 7/19/2013 6:46pm by Larry Brandenburg.

Friends,

We are now officially half way through the season.  It has been a good one so far, despite the challenges presented by the abundance of rain and high temperatures.  I just heard a story on the local news about how successful the year has been so far for farmers.  Of course, they were talking about commodity farmers.  Corn and soybeans.  It seems that that's all that matters.  The government, economists and the media seem to think that if you aren't growing thousands of acres of corn and soybeans, you aren't a real farmer.  Or if you have a few thousand head of cattle then you might count.  These cattle are eating corn from the "real" farmers.  

For those of us who grow a variety of crops that mature at different times and have unique production requirements, it's a different story.  For those who are raising livestock on pasture and providing a humane environment for their animals, it's a different story.

For those of you who join a CSA and/or come to the farmer's market rather than the large chain groceries, it's a different story.  Thank you for a being a part of different story.  It's a healthier, more sustainable, and better story from my point of view.

Been having a lot of turnips lately.  This will continue because I went wild this spring trying out a new planter.  It worked.  Really well.  Will have potatoes (Red Norlunds this week) and carrots to put with those turnips for some wonderful roasted vegetables.  Carrots grown in our clay soil are somewhat miss-shappened but they taste great.  Also will have Basil for you this week.  Beth makes a wonderful Basil Pesto with this and she will be happy to share her recipe with you.

Last week we had zucchini but no yellow squash.  This week you will get both.  As much as you need.  Enjoy it while it's fresh.

Thanks again for supporting local, organic food.  Over the next couple of weeks I may be asking you to help me with design of a new brochure about organic food.  Still a lot of confusion about what organic means.  I am president of the Organic Association of Kentucky and our board of directors are working on a brochure designed to help educate and inform the public about organic farming and food.  If you would be willing to help evaluate this new brochure. please let me know.  We need feedback from you.

For those who came today--it was good to see you.  For those coming tomorrow--see ya then.

Larry

  

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