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Welcome to the blog.
Posted 6/10/2010 10:35pm by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.
Hey there, farm friends!

Our Roadside Stand is now OPEN!

We will now be open regularly on this schedule:
Tuesdays and Fridays 3pm to 7pm
Saturdays 10am to 2pm

PLANTS 
This Friday and Saturday (June 11 & 12) we will be offering the last chance for tomato plants!
On Sale! $2 each for tomatoes 
We also have sweet peppers that we've potted up after we had some to spare from our field planting. We ran out early at the Plant Sale, so if your garden is lacking sweet peppers - stop on by.
There are also 6-packs of flowers: cosmos, marigolds, globe amaranth, and annual black-eyed susans 
On Sale for $3 per 6-pack! 

FRESH VEGETABLES 
kale, swiss chard, spinach, broccoli, lettuce, kohlrabi, garlic scapes, mint, marjoram, basil, cilantro, beets
the first peas could make an appearance . . . .

LOCAL HONEY
Our two beekeepers are keeping us in the honey! Ken Oles, of Wrentham, keeps two hives at our farm and has given us honey to sell for Tuesday and Friday. Four jars left! I just got an email from Roger, from Franklin Honey, who also has hives at our farm. He just harvested 100 lbs of honey and will bring jars of honey to sell at the stand on Saturday! Way to go, bees!

EGGS
A couple of local poultry enthusiasts are keeping the egg supply going. Nancy Rosenberg, of Norfolk, brings her very special limited supply of "Pampered Poultry" eggs. Nancy goes the extra mile to feed her birds certified organic grain so her eggs are $5/dozen. We have another egg producer from Norfolk, Ted at Brambly Farm. His family farm raises a great variety of chickens, turkeys, pheasants, ducks, and he is exceptional with heritage breeds of pigs. We will have a good supply of eggs from Brambly Farm for $4.50/dozen. Duck eggs will also be available from Ted: baking enthusiasts take note! On Fridays, we have one of our CSA families that will bring eggs from their backyard birds in Wrentham. Whoopie!

Hope to see y'all! Thank you as always for your great support!
Chris and Christy at White Barn Farm, www.whitebarnfarm.org

Note about the CSA: our CSA is full, but if you are interested in joining a CSA this season, Rosasharn Farm in Rehoboth still has shares available for 2010! Check it out!
 
Posted 6/9/2010 9:03am by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.

Hello Again Tuesday Members!

That week went by in a flash! We hope you enjoyed the produce. Napa cabbage stores for a while (in a plastic bag in the refrigerator) so don’t feel bad if you didn’t get to it yet.

Thank you for bringing your boxes back! I think the shady spot for the van/CSA display works pretty well. Although it is a little isolated, don’t let that stop you from coming over to the stand to say hello! We hope to know you all by name soon enough!

 So what went into the second share?

 We’ll start with the most mysterious: Kohlrabi. The purple-skinned veggie that looks a little like it just arrived from outer space. Kohlrabi is in the broccoli, cabbage, kale family and it is technically a fat stem, although it looks a little like a root. Indeed, it can be treated a lot like a root. It is good raw or cooked. The easiest preparation is to peel the outer skin and slice it into veggie sticks for snacking with a creamy dressing. (Hot tip: slice the bottom of the bulb off so it has a flat surface to sit on the cutting board – then use a knife to slice off the peel from the top down.) It can also be grated for a fresh slaw. I enjoy roasted cubes or rounds of kohlrabi – it doesn’t take long to cook through – it’s much more tender than a potato or a turnip. I looked up some recipes and found that kohlrabi is popular for Indian curries. I think it would be good cut into matchsticks for a stir-fry with your bok choy and broccoli, as well.

 Lettuce. You got one head of “lettony” lettuce – the frilly Greenleaf that looks perfect for a burger or a sandwich. There were two heads of “Adriana” Butterhead lettuce – a Boston lettuce, I guess. These are good for a salad, but could also be featured for a meal of lettuce wraps. Look up a recipe for thai-style lettuce wraps with the cilantro. Or just make a good tuna or chicken salad and try that wrapped up. Dr. Atkins would be proud.

 Broccoli. Fresh Brocc! Hope you can taste the difference. We harvest it when it’s ready to eat. If we lived in CA and were shipping it to you, we would have to harvest while the florets were still tight and dense (immature). Luckily, we are your neighbors! I made a tasty chicken and broccoli with an Alfredo inspired sauce for pasta the other night. A success! Here’s my method: Start boiling water with a good amount of salt for pasta. Start the pan with some olive oil heating, add minced garlic, add a pinch of kosher salt so the garlic doesn’t tend to brown so fast, add a sliced onion (a sweet onion is good), and then just the very outer yellow part of a lemon peel, cut into short, thin strips. Save the rest of the lemon for juice. Allow to cook a bit, then douse with white wine. Allow that to cook down, while you cut up the broccoli. Toss that in and stir to get some of the moisture all through the dish. I had leftover grilled chicken and chopped that up and threw it in last. Meanwhile, hopefully you’ve started cooking the pasta (I used the litte corkscrew pastas). I added maybe a scant cup of heavy cream at this point and allowed that to thicken a little. Then juice the lemon, add the juice (through a strainer to avoid the seeds if you want). Add the cooked pasta – making sure you followed the cooking time, tasted for doneness, strained but did not rinse! Toss it all together with a good pat of butter and some salt and pepper. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper, pepper flakes, whatever. Serve with salad and bread. Voila!

 Garlic Scapes. Those little curly cues. Kind of like a twisty, spicy, garlic-flavored chive. Mince them into mashed potatoes or if you want to be deluxe: heat the half n half and butter to be added to your potatoes separately, first, along with the minced scapes – the flavor will infuse throughout. Mash that with your cooked potatoes – adjusting for salt and pepper, of course. The tips of the scapes can also be featured on their own – just sautéed in olive oil or butter. You can make a pesto with them. You can make a butter – just food process with room temperature butter. This can be spread on bread, stuffed under the skin of a chicken for roasting, slathered on fish to be grilled. Butters like this can be frozen if you want to have garlic scape flavor available all summer.

 Beets. The tops are edible, cooked just like swiss chard. Beets store best with the tops off. Beets will keep for quite a while, topless, in a plastic bag in the fridge. J Most people are used to boiling or steaming beets. If you boil – I suggest doing them whole, removing when fork tender, and peeling afterwards with a fork and knife. Steaming is a way to cook them pretty fast, particularly if you slice them into thin rounds first. You can throw the greens on top for the last few minutes to steam them, too. I love this meal with a little quinoa, butter, salt and pepper. The best flavor comes from roasting the beets. Scrub the beets, put them on a cookie sheet in a foil packet, drizzling a little bit of olive oil and tossing in a pinch of salt before sealing tightly. Bake at 400 or so for about an hour. Larger beets take longer, smaller beets shorter – just test for fork tenderness. When done, I remove from the oven, but leave in the foil. I think it tends to steam and make the peel easier to remove. I like to do that when they’ve cooled, but you can do it while they are hot if you use a fork and knife. Careful! Beet juice is a natural dye. At this point, you can serve the roasted beets as a side or keep on hand for adding to salads or you can make a roasted beet salad – diced roasted beets with minced red onion, parsley, and blue cheese with shallot-balsamic vinaigrette is excellent. Be creative!

 Swiss Chard. Rainbow chard. Steam or sautee with garlic and olive oil. I usually tear the leaves from the stem, as the stems can be stringy with the large chard leaves. If you want to use the stems, just dice them and add with the garlic, before adding the greens. Chard is nice for making a simple pasta (chard and ricotta or chard, feta, toasted walnuts) or for adding to a grain salad (maybe with some pine nuts and golden raisins). Great for adding to a soup or an egg scramble or frittata.

 Spinach. We went to Tastings Wine Bar & Bistro at Patriots Place for my birthday on Sunday – I’m now 31!! The chef, Matt, is a good customer of ours and is very dedicated to locally sourced, organic produce. He served us an amazing salad with our spinach! He cures his own bacon so there were chunks of perfectly cooked, thick cut bacon, a wonderful soft goat cheese from Hubbardston, MA and our spinach topped with a fried egg. A simple vinaigrette held it together. Wonderful! This spinach is perfect for making a wilted spinach salad. A bacon vinaigrette is the best way – but I’m sure that vegetarian options abound. Of course, spinach is perfect for a veggie lasagna, a side, spinach pies, topping a pizza, filling a quesadilla, or just having as a salad green.

 Bok Choy. Bunched Baby Bok Choy. Bok choy is great sautéed with garlic, a little oil, soy sauce, and chicken stock. You can either quarter it or slice it. I tend to add the stems first and greens second if I slice it cross-wise. Last year I did a nice recipe with quartered bok choy in a pyrex baking dish, tossed with garlic, ginger, olive oil, a dash of soy sauce, and topped with slices of lemon. I placed salt and peppered white fish on top of the lemons, added a few pats of butter, covered with foil and baked at 375 for 20-25 minutes. Start a pot of rice at the beginning of the process and you’ll have a nice meal done in about 35 minutes. Bok choy is great for stir fry, too.

 Cilantro. Yum. Fish tacos? White onion and cilantro with some lime juice. Cilantro is great with fish or curries or thai food. I recommend a cilantro butter for grilled fish. One of our favorite lunches is good old tuna sandwiches – with minced red onion, capers, cilantro, olive oil, a touch of mayo, and salt and pepper. A cheese quesadilla is heightened with a mincing of cilantro and red onion. A mango salsa or guacamole are other great options for our favorite love-it-or-hate-it herb.

 Enough! I’ve got to get to work. All this warm weather has accelerated the growth of the weeds. Got to go hoe!

Posted 6/2/2010 7:24am by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.

Welcome to the 2010 White Barn Farm CSA! It was great to meet our new members and see all our members from last year again!

It seems like a miracle every time, but our fields indeed provided a good harvest for the first share!

So, what was in the box this week?

The bagged salad greens are Arugula, an excellent base for a salad. We dunk our greens to cool them down and sometimes bag cut greens to portion them out, but really you should wash them and dry them in a salad spinner and store them in the refrigerator in a plastic bag so they stay fresh. Lots of people say “green bags” work really well and can be reused quite a few times – I think they can be found at Ocean State Job Lot.

 The head lettuces should be treated the same way, actually. I like to fill a large bowl, the bottom of the salad spinner, the sink, whatever, with cold water and twist the core off the bottom of the lettuce, push in the leaves, swish for a minute and after a few moments lift them out (so the dirt settles) and put in the spinner. Dry and store in a plastic bag, including a paper towel if you think there is still a lot of water left (pools of water cause rot). I like to store the leaves whole and tear them into a salad or put on a sandwich as needed.

 The bunch of little round white roots are Hakurei turnips, white salad turnips. They are tender and crunchy and can be treated just like a radish. Slice onto some salad greens for a nice salad. I recommend White Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing to balance the slight spice of arugula, radishes, or turnips.


The large red orbs are radishes. The biggest we’ve ever grown. Other farmers told us about this variety, Crunchy Royale (in fact, one local farmer deems this a great pseudonym for her alternate career in Roller Derby). Anyway, one good reason to grow this variety is that it holds in the field without getting pithy or cracking. Truly, these gems are little love apples! They are definitely mild enough to eat like an apple. They are a very portable picnic snack to be eaten in that way. If you have a fancy picnic basket with a sharp knife, some nice butter, some kosher salt, and good bread, you can have “une picnique” with buttered bread topped with thinly sliced, salted radishes. Another option for either the salad turnips or radishes is to quickly sautee them with butter and a pinch of salt – just until barely soft. Voila! A fast, tasty side that could possibly take the place of a starch.

 

The football shaped white and light green cabbage is our fast-growing, early friend the Napa Cabbage. We find this cabbage very versatile. It is great sliced to add crunch to tacos (a la iceberg) or roll-up sandwiches. It is sublime in an Asian style coleslaw. It can also be included in a stir-fry. A simple preparation would be a fry of onions, carrots, celery, sweet pepper, mushrooms and broccoli. Throw in the thinly sliced Napa at the end. Barely cook – add a nice flavorful sauce – try whisking together honey, garlic, fresh citrus juice, chili sauce, soy sauce, a little balsamic vinegar, and some olive oil, perhaps a touch of toasted sesame oil at the end. Taste and adjust until you think it’s great. Either add to the stir fry (without adding so much the veggies get soggy) or serve at the table along with a pot of rice.

 

A bunch of Red Russian Kale was in the share. This was a bunched green with wavy edges and purple stems. Rinse, shake dry, chop coarsely, discarding any stems you think are too tough, and sautee with plenty of olive oil, a good pinch of kosher salt, and slices of garlic (perhaps your green garlic). When it’s bright green and tender, it’s done. A quick and easy side dish. You can also add kale to soups – maybe a nice homemade chicken noodle.

 

Green Garlic. The whole, young garlic plant. Chop up the white bulb and the tender part of the stem (kind of like a leek) and use just as you would use mature garlic. This is a more mild version, so it could also be added to fresh preparations like tuna, pasta salad, guacamole, etc. The tops are fine for stock, but I’m not aware of other uses. Some plants were beginning to produce a scape, however (the curly, pointed shoots coming from the top). Those can be snapped off and chopped up for cooking, too.

 

Broccoli. A couple heads of spring broccoli. Growing this crop in the spring was something new for us this year. We kept the little transplants covered with row cover that allows light and moisture to come in, but keeps flea beetles (broccoli enemies) out. The plants did pretty well and our first harvest is already here. I think the heat waves we’ve been having have pushed them to mature a little sooner. There may not be enough in the share to have as a side for the whole family, but try marinating it with some other veggies and grilling in a grill basket or skewered. Roasted broccoli is also very good. Toss with olive oil and salt on a cookie sheet and bake at 400. Check after 15 minutes or so, maybe toss with a spatula and return to the oven to finish. The stir fry option is another good one for broccoli.

 

Spinach. We made bunches of our large, smooth-leafed spinach for you this week. The roots are on just to keep the bunches together. To prepare, just chop the roots off the bunch, dunk in water to wash, and then prepare however you’d like. The simplest is a quick sautee with garlic and oil. It is great in a pasta, lasagna, or raw, chopped in a veggie sandwich, or melted into a grilled cheese or quesadilla, featured in an omelet (maybe with feta and red onion), or even topping a pizza (make sure to squeeze out excess liquid if you add cooked spinach – no soggy bottom pizzas!)

 

That was all for this week! We hope you enjoy your share and hope these ideas help you find ways to make all of these green vegetables have novelty each meal of the week.

Don’t forget to return your box next week.

 

Thank you for making our little farm possible! What a great bunch of people in our CSA!

Posted 6/2/2010 5:50am by christy raymond.

Hey Everyone! Hope you had a great holiday weekend
and are ready to eat some fresh, green veggies!

 

Our Roadside Stand Opens this Saturday, June 5, from 10am to 2pm

Perhaps you will already be heading to check out Art on the Common in Wrentham, so swing by! 


Then for the rest of the season (through October) we will be open:

every Tuesday and Friday 3pm to 7pm

and Saturdays 10am to 2pm

 

Stock up on garlic and good olive oil . . .
right now we are harvesting lots of spring greens:

Kale, Swiss Chard, and Spinach

 
We’ve got our first harvest of head lettuces 
and crunchy white salad turnips to top them with.

 

We’ll have a limited supply of spring broccoli, maybe some bok choy,
bundles of marjoram and mint, and a few bags of basil tips.

 

You can make a delicious coleslaw with our tender Napa cabbage
AND . . . our first beets will hit the stand!

 We will also be selling free-range hen and duck eggs
from our local farmer friend, Ted, at Brambly Farm in Norfolk.

 One of our beekeepers, Roger, from Franklin Honey, says the honey production looks good so far this season and he should have a fresh supply starting next week! Our cut flowers should be in full force by then, too.

 

Look forward to seeing you all again! And making some new friends, too! 

 

We accept cash and checks for payment and don’t forget to be extra careful entering and exiting the field from crazy 1A!

Check out our website for more details and directions: www.whitebarnfarm.org

Thank you for your support!
Chris and Christy at White Barn Farm 

 

P.S. We’d love it if throughout the season, you email us your favorite recipes (or descriptions of your preparations) about the produce you get from the farm. I know from market chats that there are some phenomenal cooks in our humble suburbia! Email address is info@whitebarnfarm.org

Posted 5/28/2010 7:41am by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.
Hi Everyone!

White Barn Farm CSA is about to embark on its second year . . .  The first pick-up is next week! Tuesday, June 1 is the first day for Tuesday members.  Friday, June 4 is the first day for Friday members.

Many of you know from last year to just pull into the grassy parking area and come pick up your box of veggies. The pick-up site is the same as our roadside stand and we just got a new tent that should make us hard to miss! We are right on 1A (South St.) in Wrentham, between Wampum Corner and Wrentham center. Please be careful pulling on and off of 1A - people drive like maniacs!!

Make sure to check off your name on the list and introduce yourself to us so we can know who's who. We will make a display share this year so you can know what's in the box without rooting around. There will also be a little chalkboard with a list of the items. Feel free to ask about any mysterious vegetables. I will send an email for each pick-up that tells what is in the share and gives some ideas about how to use them. We will be holding our Roadside Stand, open to the public, during each pick-up, beginning the second week of the CSA. That way you can pick up something you want more of or check out the flowers, eggs from our local egg farmers, honey from Franklin Honey, and random odds and ends that we may have, but not in quantity for the whole CSA.

We reuse the waxed boxes, so we would be very grateful if you return your box each week. They break down by folding on the creases (otherwise they tear). Don't worry if you forget one week, we have enough to get us by - just bring it the next week. 

If you were doing the payment plan for the CSA, the final balance we said was due by June 1. Send it along if you can, just let me know if it snuck up on you and you need another week or two. No big whoop, I like to say.

We can't wait to see all of you!

Enjoy this beautiful not too hot, not too cold, just right day!
Chris and Christy at White Barn Farm 
Posted 5/21/2010 2:53pm by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.

Our Plant Sale is here!!!!!
May 22 & 23.    Saturday and Sunday.     10am - 4pm.     both days

Looks like the weather is going to be beautiful!! We have been getting ready. We have a new tent. We have other farmer friends joining us. We have a great team of family volunteers to help with the second annual event, which is a major fundraiser for our young farm.  it should be a pleasant buzzing atmosphere, we hope to see you there!

The sale will be at the site of White Barn Farm's roadside stand - in the field across the street from the farm (458 South St., Wrentham, MA 02093),on 1A between Wampum Corner and Wrentham Center (5 minutes from the outlets)

Swing by and pull right into the grassy parking area in the field (not on the road). Please be cautious pulling on and off of busy 1A and observe the "Enter" and "Exit" signs  

Details:

Pricing: Cash or Checks Only.
4-inch pots are $3 each or 2 for $5
6-packs are $5 each or 5 or more for $4 each

You will be able to ask to mix-n-match 6-packs. (3 and 3 of two different varieties).  We and our volunteers will have scissors and labels.  This will allow a much greater range of choices.

We will be here to help guide you through choosing the best plants and to give you tips on how to make them grow! In fact, our friend Kristin Lewis of Rabbit's Dance Farm, who has transitioned from farmer to yoga instructor and garden consultant will be on hand for the first two hours of the sale on both days. Check out her website.

Other Great Stuff: RADISHES, SPINACH, EGGS, PORK, RHUBARB, HONEY, SOAPS!
In addition to plants, we will have a couple of other vendors this year. So bring along a cooler! Our friend Floyd from 
Burnshirt Valley Farm in Barre will be down to sell pork from heritage pigs that he raises outdoors, rooting around in the woods as they should. He will bring down his freezer full of different cuts for you to choose. He will also bring rhubarb and free-range eggs. Also, our beekeepers from Franklin Honey will be there selling their limited quantity of local raw honey and their great selection of bee products, including a hand salve that has saved my gardening hands! Finally, on Sunday we'll be joined by Ann at Rosasharn Farm who has a beatiful array of goat soaps and balms and goat milk based laundry soap. She will have eggs to sell so get those wheels turning about what to be cooking. A sneak peak of White Barn Farm's earliest crops will be for sale, too: Cherry Belle Radishes and Renegade Spinach. Yum!

Look at www.whitebarnfarm.org for the complete inventory.
 
Please tell a friend that you think might be interested. We have a pretty grassroots marketing network and everyone must know a few gardeners! 

Posted 5/21/2010 2:50pm by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.

Our Plant Sale is here!!!!!
May 22 & 23.    Saturday and Sunday.     10am - 4pm.     both days

Looks like the weather is going to be beautiful!! We have been getting ready. We have a new tent. We have other farmer friends joining us. We have a great team of family volunteers to help with the second annual event, which is a major fundraiser for our young farm.  it should be a pleasant buzzing atmosphere, we hope to see you there!

The sale will be at the site of White Barn Farm's roadside stand - in the field across the street from the farm (458 South St., Wrentham, MA 02093),on 1A between Wampum Corner and Wrentham Center (5 minutes from the outlets)

Swing by and pull right into the grassy parking area in the field (not on the road). Please be cautious pulling on and off of busy 1A and observe the "Enter" and "Exit" signs  

Details:

Pricing: Cash or Checks Only.
4-inch pots are $3 each or 2 for $5
6-packs are $5 each or 5 or more for $4 each

You will be able to ask to mix-n-match 6-packs. (3 and 3 of two different varieties).  We and our volunteers will have scissors and labels.  This will allow a much greater range of choices.

We will be here to help guide you through choosing the best plants and to give you tips on how to make them grow! In fact, our friend Kristin Lewis of Rabbit's Dance Farm, who has transitioned from farmer to yoga instructor and garden consultant will be on hand for the first two hours of the sale on both days. Check out her website.

Other Great Stuff: RADISHES, SPINACH, EGGS, PORK, RHUBARB, HONEY, SOAPS!
In addition to plants, we will have a couple of other vendors this year. So bring along a cooler! Our friend Floyd from 
Burnshirt Valley Farm in Barre will be down to sell pork from heritage pigs that he raises outdoors, rooting around in the woods as they should. He will bring down his freezer full of different cuts for you to choose. He will also bring rhubarb and free-range eggs. Also, our beekeepers from Franklin Honey will be there selling their limited quantity of local raw honey and their great selection of bee products, including a hand salve that has saved my gardening hands! Finally, on Sunday we'll be joined by Ann at Rosasharn Farm who has a beatiful array of goat soaps and balms and goat milk based laundry soap. She will have eggs to sell so get those wheels turning about what to be cooking. A sneak peak of White Barn Farm's earliest crops will be for sale, too: Cherry Belle Radishes and Renegade Spinach. Yum!

Look at www.whitebarnfarm.org for the complete inventory.
 
Please tell a friend that you think might be interested. We have a pretty grassroots marketing network and everyone must know a few gardeners! 

Posted 5/7/2010 7:16am by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.
Hello Everyone!

We have been keeping our greenhouse packed full of seedlings and it is almost time for our
SECOND ANNUAL PLANT SALE!
It will be SATURDAY & SUNDAY MAY 22 & 23 from 10am to 4pm, both days.
We encourage you to stop by and pick out some hearty veggie starts. 

 We are keeping a running inventory on the website, www.whitebarnfarm.org , of what has been potted up already. Still to add to the list we will have more tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and summer squash, parsley, basil, swiss chard, kale, tomatillos, marigolds, cosmos, bachelor's buttons, calendula, nicotiana, and lots more.
We have timed our seedings for the plant sale so that the starts should be ready to go in the ground within a week of the sale - so get those gardens ready!

In addition to our plants, we will have our friend Floyd from Burnshirt Valley Farm in Barre down to sell pork that he raises outdoors, rooting around in the woods as they should. He will bring down his freezer full of different cuts for you to choose.
Also, our beekeepers from Franklin Honey will be there selling their limited quantity of local raw honey and their great selection of bee products.
Perhaps we'll find some more friends to join us so it really feels like a festival . . . .

We can't wait to see everyone from last year again! and there are lots of new friends to meet, too!
Thanks for all your wonderful support!
Chris and Christy at White Barn Farm 
Posted 4/19/2010 9:22pm by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.

Hi there farm followers!

I figured it was about time to tell you what has been happening at the farm.

Progress! Lots and lots of little plant lives germinating in the greenhouse, graduating to the outdoors and finally landing themselves in the soil, poised to grow and produce food! We are also potting up lots of seedlings to six-packs and 4-inch pots to sell at our Plant Sale, which will be Saturday and Sunday, May 22 & 23. We hope all of our well-cared for little vegetable and flower prodigies will find a good home!

Here is an idea of what grows right about now in our greenhouse. We began with onions. They are grown up and getting used to the real sunshine, wind, rain and cold nights on the hardening off tables (uhh, pallets and cement blocks). We've given them a haircut and their growth is focused on the shaft. They will go into the ground this week. We have already transplanted our first crops last Thursday: broccoli (we're trying for a spring crop this year), Napa cabbage, bok choy, and small cabbages. Our first direct-seeded crops are in the ground and germinated: peas - snap and snow, arugula, radishes, salad turnips, and mustard mix. the carrot seeds are still waiting underground. we hope they show up pronto! Beets, spinach, kohlrabi, mizuna, and broccoli raab are all on the transplanting agenda for this week. Our rain barrels have been doing a good job of collecting rain to water our greenhouse and fill the water tank on our transplanter as well! There are lots of flowers for cutting started in the greenhouse, eggplants and hot peppers have already been potted up, tomatoes and sweet peppers are next. Basil, parsley, celery, lettuce, and more plantings of most of the afore-mentioned crops are all going too. It is a constant struggle to find more space to put all the plants! There is a certain relief when they are grown enough to move outside and finally into the ground.

If you are interested in volunteering in the greenhouse, please contact Christy at 774-210-0359 or respond to this email with your info. This is a very busy time of year in the greenhouse and in the fields. An extra hand for a few hours in the morning goes a long way in accomplishing the necessary seeding and potting up. It's pleasant in there, even when it's raining, particularly if you enjoy NPR and/or reggae tapes. 

We have been having very nice luck and generosity in acquiring organic matter to keep our sandy soil growing vegetables. We had two trucks from E.L. Harvey, each with two 30-yard containers in tandem, bring down compost from Brick Ends Farm (commercial composting). We used the black, magical stuff last year for our onion field and the fertility was quite impressive. At this time of year, they offer farmers free compost if we pay for the trucking, so it ends up being pretty affordable. We have also been getting in cow manure from Wright's Dairy Farm in North Smithfield, RI. My uncle generously lets us borrow his dump truck and even took the time to drive it himself and borrow a dump trailer to get us a really great stash of cow manure that we can mix with leaves (free from landscapers) and allow to break down a little more before spreading. Our refurbished manure spreader (thanks dad!) has been incredibly valuable for both making windrows for composting and for spreading compost on our fields.

We had an exciting delivery of Neptune's Harvest Fish and Seaweed Emulsion. We very specifically requested that the 275 gallon tote we ordered be delivered on a truck with a lift gate. Indeed, the truck had a lift gate - that had nowhere near the capacity to handle the 2550 lb load. And the delivery driver was in a hurry. We ordered the large container because we want it for collecting rainwater on a trailer to be driven wherever there is an irrigation emergency (to be pumped out with a solar pump is the idea). Anyway, the scramble began to solve the problem. Could we stack enough pallets to the brim of the truck and slide it. Could the pallet forks on the front loader of the Kubota, combined with the lift gate let it down easy? We ended up spinning the tote around so that the spigot faced out and frantically getting 55 gallon drums to fill. We had other farmer friends splitting the order with us, anyway. I bravely held the aluminum light fixtures acting as wide-mouthed funnels to allow a dribbling of fish juice to empty into the drum. Meanwhile, Chris and my dad, hurried to fashion faster conduits for fish sauce transfer. Finally, some PVC piping with the right configuration of elbows and caps allowed for a very quick transfer to 2 drums. That lightened the load enough to handle with our tractor forks. VERY EXCITING stuff!!! Now we can smell like the sea when it's time to "fish the greenhouse" and as we transplant our freshly dunked-in-fish-sauce trays.

We have a new storage area above our finally complete Wash Station. Now all those buckets, bins, and crates have somewhere to belong when they are not in use. We all want to belong!! This progress, combined with the organization of the "gas house" gives White Barn Farm hope that order will be the tune of the future!!! The root cellar and garlic room are next. So watch out, clutter!

The animal-free trend may be winding to a close this year. We finally cleaned up a brushy overgrown mess that wants to be a beautiful partial-shade herb and flower garden, wowing Grammie with its wonderous beauty. But bittersweet roots stand in our way! As Chris and I dragged debris to the burn pile, we simultaneously, independently concluded that pigs would do the best job of clearing out those roots. We are considering getting a pair of young pigs to raise for the season. We think it would be a great habitat for them and the fringe benefits on a veggie farm might be quite fine for a pig! We'll see. We are also on track to begin raising laying hens. We want to build a mobile coop that can be moved to fresh pastures or insect infestations in the fields. Chickens, too, really fit in to the natural cycle at a veggie farm. What fun to bring them all the trimmings from the wash station! Some fresh eggs would be a bonus! We will have several egg producers offering eggs at the CSA pick-ups/Roadside Stand. Get ready to frittata, scramble, and quiche! Don't rule out meringue, souffle, mayo, deviled, and sunny-side up! Nancy Rosenberg will continue to offer her rare and special breeds' organic eggs. Ken Oles and one of our CSA members will also offer their homegrown eggs. Finally, Ted at Brambly Farm in Norfolk will be a regular supplier of fresh eggs from real chickens doing real chicken living! White Barn Farm's egg producing has yet to be dabbled in . . . 

I must interrupt to apologize for the carrying on. Perhaps I should write less, more frequently!

Ha! But I have more tales to tell. We have been meeting all sorts of wonderful candidates to join me and Chris in the farm work this year. What an outpouring of interest!! This is a good sign, everyone. People want to eat good food AND people want to learn to grow it, as a job! The greatest obstacle is probably access to land. So we'll all have to keep that in mind as open space dwindles. Anyway, we have been having lots of work interviews and have met some wonderful people. We are down to the final few applicants - we've got to decide by May 1. This is another aspect of my work that did not enter my farm fantasies.

Finally, bedtime. SAVE THE DATES: our Plant Sale is May 22 & 23, Saturday and Sunday. 10-4 both days. My great artist friend, Heather Willey, from Plainville has made this year's poster and printed them. They are in the mail on the way here, so keep your eyes sharpened for them around and about. We will be selling lots of varieties of garden veggies and flowers for cutting. We will have some herbs, as well. I'll try to get a current inventory up on the website soon - it is constantly growing as we pot up more stuff. We are sure to have rare and wonderful varieties, as well as a larger selection of varieties good for containers for all you patio gardeners. Give it a try. There's not much to lose, and always lots to learn, growing a garden. Kids tend to eat food they pick themselves, too! It could be a cheap source of family fun :) As far as the sale goes, we are working on getting some other vendors to come and make it more of a spring fair atmosphere. For sure we will have Roger from Franklin Honey and Floyd from Burnshirt Valley Farm with naturally raised pork. We'll keep you posted. For now, try to resist the box store veggie starts . . . .

Thanks for reading, everyone. We look forward to seeing you all again (or meeting you for the first time!)

Keep your eyes out for cool woodland flowers when walking in the forests around here!

 

Posted 3/23/2010 11:16pm by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.
Hello there, omnivores!
If you have signed up to be on the mailing list at White Barn Farm, you may be the type to seek sources of meat that you can feel good about. We are Chris and Christy at White Barn Farm in Wrentham, MA. We grow vegetables and sell them to locals who sign up for our CSA or stop by our Roadside Stand. We don't have any domesticated animals here - not for pets and not for meat. Someday we want to graze some laying hens around the farm - they love to scratch and eat bugs and garden scraps etc - they fit right into the cycle. Anyway, the good news is that we do have farmer friends that can help you be a conscious consumer, in good conscience!! A little word about my philosophy on price: if you think you can't afford pricier meat, maybe we could all just eat less of it. Just like they say at yoga class: "each day try to give a little more and take a little less." Perhaps this is our global economic recovery plan?? At least a health plan?

CHICKEN
Nothing like a good bird, we like to say. A humanely raised chicken may seem to be outrageously priced compared to Perdue's "birds" but I think it is worth the money. Especially since you can roast a whole chicken for dinner (perhaps when you will be around for a while - a Sunday?). Pick it clean to have sliced chicken for sandwiches - go ahead and splurge on the avocado - we're never going to grow them so well here. Then make stock with the bones - throw in some veggie odds and ends, peppercorns, herbs, simmer, voila! You can freeze the stock or use it right away to make a soup or risotto or something. Delicious frugality.

Who's raising meat birds?
Our friend Floyd, who I met years ago at a NOFA winter conference. He is from Barre, MA and operates Burnshirt Valley Farm
He started out focusing mostly on raising heritage breeds of pigs in their natural environment - out in the woods rooting around. This year he is going to raise some chickens and ducks.

The short story is: He needs to order chicks from the hatchery by the end of March (one week). In order to reserve a chicken you need to first send him an email at stackingstones@aol.com. Make sure to include the quantity and type of birds you are interested in and your name and contact info. Then, make it official by sending a $2 deposit per bird (checks made to Floyd Kelley) to 685 Gilbert Rd., Barre, MA 01005. When they're ready, we will coordinate a pick-up time at White Barn Farm, likely during a Tuesday or Friday Roadside Stand/CSA Pick-up session. Floyd hopes to have the birds in the freezer by July. He says, "we will do our best to accommodate requested sizes of birds but the average weight for the birds will be around 5 lb. The Muscovy ducks are a new production project for the farm so please bear with us on our learning experiences to offer a wider array of products."

The long story, including the options - which you will have to specify in your email request, is this:
White Cornish Cross From Hoffman Hatchery
Meat chickens that grow fast and are great for pasture-raised operations. Do not have the leg or heart problems and are good grazers. At 8 weeks the weight is 5 lbs., at 10 weeks the weight is 7 lbs., and at 12 weeks the weight is 8 lbs. Very tasty. $3.80/ lb. Minus $2 deposit

Freedom Rangers From J.M. Hatchery
The Freedom Ranger day-old chicks are hatched in the heart of the Pennsylvania Dutch Country. The breeding stock is imported from the regions of Burgundy and Brittany (France). The genetic stock is derived from the American and European old heritage breed of chicken and was developed in the early 1960’s to meet the highest standards of the French Label Rouge Free Range program. Currently, the Freedom Ranger genetic stock is used by most non-factory farm production models (alternative) all across Europe and also by small pastured poultry producers in search of a traditionally raised farm chicken - just like the "oldies", healthy and with a succulent flavor and texture.

Since our Freedom Ranger Broilers are a slower growing breed, they are naturally better suited to the higher welfare and all true natural rearing systems (full pasturing, free range, organic, certified, backyard etc.…). In the United States most modern poultry industrial production models use fast growing breeds (hybrid white synthetic Cornish crosses).

Natural instinct and behavior is preserved in the selection and growing methods of our Freedom Ranger breeding stock. It goes without saying that our birds love foraging in pastures, free ranging outside, always looking for natural sunlight and fresh air, as well as ground scratching and dust bathing.

At J. M. Hatchery Inc. strongly believes in traditional, sustainable, and environmentally friendly farming methods, and are convinced that allowing the chickens to do what comes naturally ensures an incredible meal for your table!
  $4.25 lb. Minus $2 deposit

Muscovy Ducks From J.M. Hatchery
Muscovy Ducks originated in Brazil and were domesticated in Europe. White Muscovy Ducks are best suited for meat production and make up 90% of commercial production of duck meat. J.M. Hatchery uses breeding stock from France that has been genetically improved (through natural breeding) to produce birds that are 50% larger than other Muscovies. The males can weigh 12 pounds in 12 weeks. The meat is less greasy and with a lower fat content than other ducks. They are known to have a sense of humor, are intelligent, and love to fly.

By Dr. Dennis P. Smith Country Hatchery:
“Muscovy meat is one of the healthiest meats on the market today, being 98% or greater fat free. Many people say that the breast meat of a Muscovy is hard to tell from a Sirloin steak. Famous chefs know this and use Muscovy meat in a number of ways. They have become experienced at cutting and preparing the meat for various delicacies. It is even ground up and used as hamburger in a variety of dishes. Individuals who are required to be on a low-fat diet know that the meat is not only great tasting but very nutritious. And, being so lean, meat from the Muscovy duck is not greasy as is the case with other ducks. Some say that the meat tastes a lot like expensive ham. Others say it is hard to tell from other expensive cuts of meat.”
  $5 lb. Minus $2 deposit. 

How do you get pork from Burnshirt Valley Farm? Floyd sells at the Waltham Farmers Market once a week. Some of you may have met him at last year's White Barn Farm Thanksgiving Sale at the Episcopal church in town. We are trying to get him to come to this year's Plant Sale . . . . 

BEEF AND PORK

Those of you who have been on this list since it started may remember Chris' good friend from Green Mountain College, James Elworthy, a dedicated organic dairy farmer. Some of you have even purchased shares of meat from his farm (Liberty Farm) already. Well, James and his wife, Sarah, are in some awesome new digs in Poultney, VT (home of Green Mountain College, coincidentally).  With the help of the Vermont Land Trust purchasing the development rights, James and Sarah were able to buy a 126-acre dairy farm. No more renting out a barn and hauling all manure with a wheelbarrow! The place has a wonderful barn with nice lighting, more space, a working manure scraper system, a vacuum line that brings the milk right to the bulk tank (no more hauling 5 gallon buckets one by one up the stairs) and his herd is up to 30 milkers. The very first calf that they were given at the beginning of their farming adventure had just had her first calf and begun milking when we visited in early March. 
Full circle!
Anyway, he has beef animals and pigs in addition to the small certified organic herd of dairy cows.
He sells pork and beef to customers in Massachusetts and Vermont. There are regular deliveries to Cape Cod as well as to White Barn Farm in Wrentham, Mass. His father comes from the Cape fairly regularly to visit and help on the farm and when he goes back he brings the shares down.  All meat is slaughtered in a USDA inspected facility and is frozen when it arrives to you.
 
BEEF. Choose 25 or 50 lb share. Beef is $6/lb.
The beef boxes contain a full range of steak cuts, hamburger, ribs, and stew meat. Packages are usually about 1 lb each, so a 25 lb share would probably have 24-26 packages, for example.

PORK. Choose 25 or 50 lb share. Pork is $6.50 lb.
The pork has some really tasty smoked bacons, hams, shoulders, and well as fresh pork chops, ribs and sausage.

James says,"my wife and I work hard at nurturing the soils and ecosystem of our farm and we feel that this fosters animals with exceptional vitality, which equates to healthy food for all of us. If you have any questions or would like to arrange an order, call 802-989-9818 or email elworthyj@gmail.com 
Thanks! James and Sarah Elworthy at Liberty Farm" 

TURKEY
Brambly Farm is just getting established in neighboring Norfolk, MA. Ted O'Harte is a very experienced and knowledgeable Irish farmer. He is raising a wonderful diversity of birds, including chicken, different ducks, turkeys, and pheasant. He raises heritage breed pigs - you guessed it - outdoors rooting around like they should be. We expect to be offering Brambly Farm eggs at the White Barn Farm Roadside Stand and CSA Pick-Up site. We will also advertise sign-ups for Thanksgiving turkeys raised by Ted (and his family!). Hurray for new farms popping up in suburbia!

RAW MILK & GRASS FED BEEF AND VEAL
Terri Lawton is a young dairy farmer on her family's farm in nearby Foxboro, MA. Visit their website if you don't know about them already. They are doing Foxboro Cheese there, too!

GOAT MILK PRODUCTS & CHICKENS
You've got to check out Rosasharn Farm's beautiful website. I met farmer Anne at the annual Local Food Forum in RI a few years ago. She operates a vegetable CSA and a goat dairy (milk available for pet consumption) and makes cool soaps (I've been using her goat milk based laundry soap). I am including her in this "meatcentric" email because she will be raising chickens for meat this year. She had information about it at the North Attleboro winter farmer's market, although I could not locate it on her website. The flyer said the chickens should be ready in early September and will weigh around 4 lbs. Place a deposit on the chickens by June 1 and pay the rest according to the calculated remaining weight. Anyway, her farm is in Rehoboth, MA and is a good one to know about. You should be able to contact her through the website.

Well! That is all for now. Bless all your hearts for reading down to the end of this info-packed email!!!
We are proud to be able to support other small farms doing good things. We hope you appreciate this sort of info and decide to try some good meat directly from a small farm. It is amazing how obvious the quality of good meat is, once you know. Thanks again!
Looking forward to seeing you soon!
Chris and Christy at White Barn Farm
www.whitebarnfarm.org