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Lavender Honey

P6210003.JPGGary has moved his hives into the lavender field. He has put clean comb into the supers. In about a month, he will remove the supers and collect the lavender honey. The bees go crazy in the lavender! They just love it. We sometimes have to shake the bunches of lavender that we harvest to remove the bees. They are so busy and focused that they rarely sting us.

Chicken House Misters?

From Eatwell Farm Photos 2010

In preparation for the hot summer days of July and August we tested and changed the filters on the misting system of each of our five mobile chicken houses. Each one hooks up to an irrigation valve and it is turned on once the temperature tops 95 F. The misters are set to cover the roof  and out from the house, it is a sight to see when working. It reduces the temperature in and around the house by 10+ F.

The shade cloth is also deployed, so with the two heat protecting measure we have found that the stress on the girls is much reduced. The best way to gauge stress is how many eggs they lay, if the the number does not drop on a hot day they we are doing our job right.

Go Girls.

The Feet of Culinary Students

From Eatwell Farm Photos 2010

This artful photo was taken by our son Andrew. We hosted about twenty five students from the Culinary Institute last Monday. Their task was to visit the farm, see what is in season and next Thursday serve a meal with what we have to offer.

So we looked at all the crops that were at harvest of close to it. We are hoping to be able to harvest wheat, mill it and have it for them. If this does not work out we can supply some of last years crop. They tasted apricots, peaches, mulberries (loved those) and many other crops.

It was a thrill for me to see such excited young people on the farm. They were full of ideas and I am excited to taste their meal.

From Eatwell Farm Photos 2010

Green Garbanzo Bean Harvest

From Eatwell Farm Photos 2010

I take delight in throwing a curve ball with our Eatwell Boxes every now and again. This crop is not one most people have eaten in its green immature stage. Jose, the farm foreman, was very excited when we planted the seeds last November. He likes them boiled in salted water for five minutes then shelled and eat with chili sauce.

We had hoped to put some in everyone's box this week, unfortunately it took much longer to pick them that we anticipated and we ran out of time. Only Wednesday people got some. Next week we will put them in Thursday boxes, promise.

Let us know if you like them.

Celery and Celeriac

From Eatwell Farm Photos 2010

We have the young plants organically grown for us by Headstart Nursery in Gilroy. They do a superb job. With this hot weather we have to keep them very wet. Soon we will install hoops over the beds with a light shade cloth to protect them from the extreme heat of July and August. These will be ready to harvest for our Thanksgiving Eatwell Boxes.

This year we have planted the celery much closer together to encourage a more upright plant. We will also push up soil against the plant to help with this.

The celeriac will be ready for our Festivus Box.

Farmers Working Together... Hostage Exchange

From Eatwell Farm Photos 2010

Several years ago we got together with other CSA farms on our block (farm block being described a 50 + mile area) to order plastic crates. We each were able to have our name printed on to them. As we ordered a truck load we got a good price.

As there is always an exchange of produce between farm and our crates do tend to accumulate on other farms. Last week we took Riverdog Crates to exchange with Brian for ours that they had. The exchange went peacefully with no incidents.

Amazing Basil

From Eatwell Farm Photos 2010

In spite of the cold spring we are harvesting basil this week. The planting is patchy after losing some plants but there will still be enough for your boxes. We have three varieties... A large curly variety,  Genovese. Narrow leaved Lemon Basil and a regular Italian basil. The hoops are there to hold up the fabric cover. Unfortunately the wind has blown it off. The cover plays many vital roles. It keeps bugs away, protects the plants from the windy, shades the plants and keeps them a little warmer on cool days. The result is the best basil we have ever grown. We did this last year and were amazed at the results.

Spinach and Cherry Salad with Warm Goat Cheese

2 Tbsp. roasted almond oil or olive oil2 Tbsp. finely chopped shallot 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice ¾ tsp. finely grated lemon peel ¾ cup sliced almonds (about 3 oz.) 1 large egg 1 Tbsp. water 1 11-oz. log soft fresh goat cheese, cut crosswise into 6 rounds 6 cups (packed) spinach or other tender salad greens 1 cup halved pitted fresh cherries

Preheat oven to 400°F. Whisk first 5 ingredients in sm. bowl. Season dressing generously with salt and pepper. Spread almonds on plate. Whisk egg and 1 Tbsp. water in small bowl; sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Turn goat cheese rounds in egg mixture, then coat with sliced almonds, covering all sides. Place on rimmed baking sheet. (NOTE: Dressing & goat cheese rounds can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover separately and chill. Bring dressing to room temperature & whisk before using). Bake goat cheese rounds until cheese is warm but not melted, about 10 mins. Combine greens and cherries in lg. bowl. Add dressing & toss to coat. Divide salad among 6 plates. Place 1 cheese round on each plate and serve. Makes 6 servings

Adapted from recipe by Lori Longbotham, Bon Appétit, June 2008

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