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Welcome to the blog.
Posted 6/9/2009 10:57pm by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.
Hello!

Forgive any punchy sense of humor you may encounter, I am beyond tired.
However, i am never to tired to be excited about my vegetables.
I should say, excellent work all showing up for two straight weeks! Thank you for bringing your boxes back!
I haven't mentioned yet, although we never use any pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, etc.  you should still wash your veggies just to get the dirt off. prevent the crunchy lettuce debacle! we only dunk your veggies to take out the field heat or briefly hose down the roots to shine them up!

now, to the point: This Week's Share included
  1. 1 bunch of Hakurei turnips. They are getting larger. probably better than ever for roasting.
  2. 1 bunch of beet greens with little baby beets. these are mostly for steaming or sauteeing the greens, but you can use the tiny little beets, too. Tender little beets with their tops are good steamed whole, tops and all. then served with butter, which should melt right on, and a pinch of salt. I made a quick salad for lunch the other day with a butterhead lettuce, tiny sliced beets, and then I chopped the stems to make a vinaigrette in the blender.  The general ratio for salad dressings is 3 oil:1 vinegar. and I find the formula that makes a nicely emulsified vinaigrette includes a teaspoon of grey poupon and a diced shallot in the blender, then something sweet (sometimes a tablespoon of jam or fruit, in this case juicy beet stems) then the 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar. I whir that for a few seconds, much to the disruption of my luncheon guests, then follow up with more vigorous whirring as i drizzle in the cup of oil (usually some combo of olive/canola). That's all. adjust with salt, pepper, and sparingly, sugar. beets combine splendidly with goat cheese if you have some on hand.
  3. 1 bunch of Red Russian Kale. This is the cousin of last week's kale, White Russian - see the diversity in your share!!! :) Anyway. Check out the basic cooking greens method I added to the recipes section of the website, www.whitebarnfarm.org . Last night, Chris and I stayed out late in the greenhouse, weighing peas and folding wax boxes and lining them up in the greenhouse, anticipating today's rainy harvest/pack-out session and observing the lack of a roof over our wash station. At 10:30 we came in and realized we should eat some supper. We whipped up this quick kind of Tuscan inspired dish: Creamy Polenta, Sauteed Kale and a Fried Egg finished with Parmigiano. It was truly nourishing. I will add it to the recipes section.
  4. 1 bunch of cilantro. If you don't already love cilantro and know what to do with it, it makes any sort of dish with rice, beans, tomato, avocado, limes, cheese, white fish, onions, scallions, etc. sublime. Chris and I have been enjoying sandwiches and wraps with tuna made with just a dab of mayo, chopped red onion, chopped cilantro, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and olive oil. a few leaves of butterhead lettuce and voila!
  5. 3 heads of lettuce: one large green butterhead, Adriana. one little red romaine, Breen. one little speckled (that is not dirt or disease), Flashy Trout Back. salad time. I suggest washing all your lettuces soon after you get your box. It is best to twist off the core. plunge all the leaves into a deep bowl or sink of cold water, then lift out into a salad spinner (that way the dirt settles down). Spin. Put into a bag, packed loosely and perhaps with a paper towel to prevent any rogue moisture from spoiling the leaves. I use a pristine plastic grocery bag, not expensive ziplocks. I would use the mini lettuces for a mixed greens salad and the butterhead for a more featured salad or perhaps lettuce wraps.
  6. 1 bunch of Easter Egg Radishes. same suggestions as last week. different variety of radishes. If they are too spicy try slicing and sauteeing in butter. I keep hearing more and more about eating radish greens.
  7. little bag of Arugula. it is a little spicy. I find it usually needs some balance. try it chopped on a sandwich. finishing a simple pizza with mozzarella and thin slices of prosciutto melted on. We had leftover steak from the grill the other day and made a big platter with a good bed of arugula, gave it the salt and pepper treatment. sliced the steak and arranged it over the arugula, a little more S&P, then fresh squeezed lemon juice (I use a little mini strainer to catch the seeds as I drizzle on the juice) and finish with good extra virgin olive oil. the final flourish was parmigiano shaved with a peeler on top. The cold steak, oil, lemon juice, and cheese were an excellent balance to the spicy, tender greens.
  8. bag of pea tendrils. children have been eating them raw! my heart is smiling! last year I made a pea tendril salad with feta, cucumbers, and red pepper. dressed with a little olive oil. I have no idea where you are getting those cucumbers and red peppers from, but I must say it was a good salad.
  9. 1 pint sugarsnap peas. kids also tend to eat these like peanuts (would it be more PC to say popcorn?) they are splendid sauteed till bright green with butter, or thrown into a stir fry. i have some vague notion that there may be some classic pairings with mint . . . 
  10. handful of garlic scapes: those green, pungent curly cues. these are the flower buds of the garlic plant. since farmers have to cut them off the plant to encourage energy to go to growing the bulb instead of flowering and maturing seeds, we have come up with wonderful uses for these cutie little garlic whistles, as I've also heard them called. you can chop them up as a substitute for garlic. they could be chopped and thrown into some mashed potatoes to add some garlic zing. they could be featured - you guessed it: sautee w/ butter, finish w/ salt and pepper. you didn't get enough in your share, but they also make a wonderful pesto.
  11. 1 head of bok choy. 
  12. 1 head of Napa Cabbage. dense, white ribbed oval with chartreuse frilly leaves. Chris prefers this raw. it is extra tender and sweet. a very light slaw can be made with this lovely cabbage. it would also do well thrown in at the end of a stir fry. Matt at Chez Pascal in Providence said he made some White Barn Farm Napa Cabbage Cole Slaw to accompany his homemade sausages and dogs at his new hot dog cart and it was selling like hot cakes!
Posted 6/5/2009 5:27pm by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.
Here I am sitting under the tent, surrounded by your shares. They are getting quite the deluxe treatment for a freshly  harvested vegetable. cool mist.

We just have three members left to pick up their shares! You all did an excellent job of bringing your own baskets, bags, crates, etc. There is nothing in the take-it-or-leave-it bin. Chris jut got home from an impromptu restaurant delivery to Providence, spurred on by the promise of free hot dogs made by Matt at Chez Pascal. I'm getting a little cool, but I could not be more relieved to see raindrops soaking in to the earth here at White Barn Farm.

Here is what was in today's share:

  • 2 Heads of Lettuce. one green, one red. Greens were either 2 small or 1 large head of Buttercrunch Lettuce. Reds were Red Cross, that stunning red butterhead variety.  The Italians taught me that truly fresh and delicious lettuce is adequately dressed with a pinch of sea salt and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
  • 2 Bok Choy. super great for stir-fries. excellent sauteed in olive oil with a touch of fresh garlic, ginger, soy sauce and stock. nice with white fish.
  • bunch of Cherry Belle Radishes. bright red globes. i recommend thinly sliced. if you have a mandoline (the culinary, not musical instrument) this is a perfect opportunity to make paper thin slices of radishes served on little slices of good bread with butter and a shake of salt. also good shaved on a salad of mizuna and dressed with white balsamic vinaigrette.
  • bunch of Hakurei turnips. larger white globes. a Japanese salad turnip. mild enough to eat raw, but since you also got radishes this week, I recommend treating them as a starch. sliced and sauteed with butter, finished with salt and pepper. we had a great meal last week of grilled steaks (from our buddy James' Liberty Farm), turnips w/ butter, and turnip greens sauteed w/ olive oil and green garlic.
  • 1/2 pound of Spinach. Treasure this spring treat, folks. it is getting too hot for good spinach to continue. I like my standard greens treatment: olive oil and garlic. Hot tip: after the spinach turns bright green and softens, turn off the heat and tilt the pan, shoving all the spinach to the high and dry side. drain the watery stuff. unless you wanted that moisture for something you were adding it to . . .
  • bunch of Mizuna. fresh-eating mustard green. i like it with shaved radishes and white balsamic vinaigrette. any creamy dressing is usually a good balance to spicy greens.
  • Collards or Kale. generous olive oil in the large pan (I have a really useful cheapo nonstick wok w/ a fry pan handle from an Asian grocery store). Slices of garlic (don't worry about mincing). add salt immediately so the garlic doesn't get too brown. when it starts to smell great add the coarsely chopped kale. When it is bright green and tender, it is done. sop up all the extra oil with good bread. Note: when kale gets more mature the stems can get tough, in which case it is better to strip the leaves off the stems. you can always chop the stems small and start cooking them first. We think this week's primo first-picking kale is still tender.
  • handful of Parsley. Chop and add to anything. salad dressing. pasta sauce. eggs. sandwich. mayo.
  • Pea Tendrils. tender fresh-eating pea tendrils - have as a salad or wilt into a pasta or rice. I made a crazy pasta with the tendrils sauteed with olive oil, garlic, and fresh mint. I boiled penne, drained it and in the pasta pot warmed milk, cream, a little butter, cream cheese, salt, and pepper, added the pasta and cooked tendrils. it was a pretty big hit! 
  • Green Garlic. this is what immature garlic looks like. Strip away any dirty outer layer to reveal a squeaky clean bulbette. a lot like a leek, with a more garlic style flavor. use your imagination. use when you want onion or garlic.
  • Kohlrabi. my most sublime experience with this enlarged stem in the cabbage family was when I had it roasted as part of a medley. my general rule for roasting is: preheat the oven to 400 or 425. chop the veggies (medium cubes or vaguely uniform sized rounds). put right onto the cookie sheet you will bake on. add salt and pepper. drizzle with olive oil. toss with your hands. put in the oven for 10-15 minutes. use a flat metal spatula to flip once, another 10-15 or until fork tender. this goes for all sorts of things to come in your share: turnips, beets, carrots, rutabaga, squash, potatoes.  kohlrabi is also good raw. it can be chopped into sticks for a dip. grated for a sort of slaw or a remoulade sounds good.

I am going to sign up for a blog at blogspot or something. It will be named something like "white barn farm recipe blog" it is going to be a place for all white barn farm vegetable users to share and brag about their recipes. everyone who made something great is encouraged to contribute. fast and simple ones are super. I will post the link on the website. 

The "recipes" page of the website is also a good resource, although I have yet to add one of my own. all the recipes you find at this moment are from other farms that use the same website hosting service as me, Small Farm Central.  I am limited to a certain number so I think the free blogspot site will be best for encouraging the most brainstorming and good-old recipe sharing!

We loved meeting you all today! We are so happy that this journey through New England's season of abundance has begun!

Take care and eat well.

chris and christy at white barn farm.

www.whitebarnfarm.org

 
Posted 6/4/2009 8:21pm by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.
Saturday June 6, 2009. 10am - 2pm
 . . . will be the first day of our Roadside Stand, open to everyone.
www.whitebarnfarm.org
The location is in the open field across the street from the farm. Pull right off busy 1A and park in the "lot" in the field.

You will see our three white tents over crates full of:
beautiful head lettuces
radishes
three vibrant varieties of kale
collard greens
tender turnips
pea tendrils
parsley
and a few little specialties: cilantro, napa cabbage, kohlrabi, beet tops, thyme. possibly spinach and arugula.
We still have veggie starts. mostly tomatoes. some hot peppers, eggplants, and flowers.
Cut flowers. To celebrate her 30th birthday, Christy will be holding the first roadside stand of the year and arranging the first blooms of the season!
Begin a healthy summer routine and come on by to grab some truly fresh produce for the week!
We look forward to seeing you!

cash and checks accepted.
if you think of it, bring your own bag, box, basket, etc.

p.s. we're opening on Tuesdays, too (3pm - 7pm), beginning June 9 
 
Posted 5/27/2009 10:35pm by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.

Hello CSA members!

We have been eyeing our crops and it is official: Our first pick-up will be next week. So arrange your plans and get ready for the bountiful weekly routine.

you will be stopping by every week from now until the end of october to gather the fixins for your meals each week!

 

Tuesday members: June 2, 2009. 3pm - 7pm. Pick up your box.

 

Friday Members. June 5, 2009. 2pm - 7pm. BYOBAGS!!! Pack your share into your grocery bags.

 

The CSA pick-up will be under tents (large white canopies) across the street from the farm. Please follow the signs and park in the field. Do not park on the road!!!!

the address of the farm is 458 South St. We live at a private residence, so please be considerate and don't pull into my Grammie's driveway. We will be across the street from the official address. look at the "directions" page of the website, www.whitebarnfarm.org .thank you for understanding!

The first pick-up will serve as an orientation. We will be there to answer all of your questions and guide you through the process. If you are splitting a share, it may be good for all parties to come along for the first share.

We ask that all final payments are made before the first pick-up. We'll try to send a reminder to anyone with a final balance. 

Email if you have any specific questions.

Thank you again for your support. We are feeling excited about sharing the wonderful freshness, beauty, and flavor of the vegetables in our field . . . 

Looking forward to meeting you all!

Chris and Christy at White Barn Farm

 

 

 

Posted 5/14/2009 10:12pm by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.

Hi there White Barn Farm enthusiasts!

This is a quick plea to assist us in getting the word out to all the gardeners out there who are seeking wonderful seedling varieties and splendidly healthy plants! I am asking each of you to forward this announcement to any of your contacts who may be interested in this event.

White Barn Farm is holding a plant sale across the street from the farm all weekend (May 16 & 17)

9 am  to 4 pm both Saturday and Sunday

details at: www.whitebarnfarm.org

prices and varieties are up on the website!

We seeded more than we needed for the field this year in the hopes that such a fundraising sale may afford us the new greenhouse we constructed this February. That means all of the most flavorful and productive varieties that we love to grow will be available to you this weekend!

We believe that during hard times, you will be delighted to be growing your own groceries. It's time for victory gardens, once again! May your yard emerge Victorious!

The freshness, flavors and stunning beauty are what will get you (and even picky children) hooked!

The location is in the field across the street from the farm (458 South St. Wrentham, MA 02093)       5 minutes from the Wrentham Outlets for all you bargain shoppers out there!

Parking will be in the field (not on the road). Please be cautious pulling on and off of busy 1A. Follow the "in" and "out" signs and the simple white paint marked driveway to parking.

No Public Restroom

Thank you so much for supporting our little farm!

P.S.  Thank you to all of the kind businesses in Wrentham and elsewhere for putting up our beautiful posters, custom made by my dear friend, Heather Willey.  and to all the same and other places that have distributed our little Roadside Stand cards, handwritten by a wonderful friend and textile designer, Soraya Ghazi Lutes.

Thank you: Michael's Deli, Cataldo's Hardware, Tootsie's, Marcia's Sweet Pantry, Wampum Corner Liquors, Kathy's Wampum Corner Drive-Thru, Blue State Coffee on Thayer St., PVD, (brand new) Cafe Dolce in Franklin Center, the new Yoga Studio in the center of Wrentham, Lowe's, Williams-Sonoma, Farmstead Cheese Shop in Wayland Square, PVD, Fiske Public Library


 

Posted 5/8/2009 10:57pm by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.

Hi there farm-supporting team!

Two main points:

1. We are selling wonderful varieties of vegetable seedlings as well as flower and herb starts next weekend: May 16 & 17. 9am-4pm both days. rain or shine. Our idea is: Grow your own organic garden. it is time for victory gardens once again. Let us empower you to grow your own groceries. May your yard emerge victorious!!

 

2. We need help. Garden Playdate, anyone? isn't that even a little more euphemistic than "work party"? there is a certain possibility of a bok choy style reward. Make an appointment w/ Christy: 774-210-0359

Upcoming projects:

seeding, potting up in the greenhouse. (music. chatting.)

mulching the peas. (hauling, sweating.)

cultivating and touching up the mulch on the garlic. (admiring unbelievable beauty. hauling, sweating.)

transplanting celery, celery root, lettuce, and leeks with the Waterwheel Transplanter. (core strength.)

harvesting spinach and pea tendrils for Tuesday's restaurant delivery. (squatting, pinching, washing.)

transplanting perennials into the perennial flower and herb bed. (squatting. getting dirt under the nails.)

seeding the next succession of arugula, cilantro, radishes, and salad turnips. (hoeing, raking, pushing seeders.)

- perhaps with some help with these manpower-heavy projects, christy's brain will be freed up so she can order electric fencing, organic fertilizer, organize more garden playdates, post a detailed inventory of the veggie varieties available at the plant sale, attend to Quickbooks, present the family with a coherent business plan, revisit my insurance policy, etc

yikes! doesn't that make tenderly bunching leaves around young peas sound luxuriously simple and carefree!!!

Call Christy if you are inspired by any of these proposed activities. You are invited to come for a morning, afternoon, or evening shift. No more than 3-4 hours at a time (unless you are really inspired!!). 

We start around 8 am and end around 8:30 pm. so your after work hours work for us!!!

 

Other notes:

We have some new photos up on the website. Go to the farm menu and look at the photos.

 

My best friend Heather made us some very cool art for our Plant Sale Poster and business cards.

Another great friend, Soraya, handwrote us a little postcard-sized flyer for our Roadside Stand.

keep your eyes sharpened around town for a sighting of these works!!

 

We are delighted by every instant of our immersion in nature. The enormous bright orange full moon rising over 1A blew us away tonight as i went to inform Chris that he should stop trellising the peas since it was totally dark out. The light shining through our field pea cover crop gave us joy and energy as my Uncle David generously helped us plant nineteen 120' beds of all different varieties of potatoes Wednesday night. It was so hard to believe that the first part of my day had been spent substitute teaching for a Wrentham elementary 2nd grade class. Crisp white button down, smart skirt, tights!!!! Sunday's activites were purely heartwarming. Saturday was nice: we displayed at Earth Day at Wrentham Elementary with an "identify that veggie seedling challenge" followed by a frantic commute to Providence to waitress. Sunday morning was peaceful and my rock-star younger cousins, Ben and Hannah, arrived early to help us begin to cut the seed potatoes. Ben left for an appointment. I arrived late, after thankfully having a moment to organize and vacuum.  Soon we were making every 5 gallon bucket into a seat as Grammie got into the act, thinning all the lettuce flats, my Uncle David started cutting potatoes, Hannah and Chris were still going strong, and finally Ben reappeared, toting his own cutting board and knife, no less!!! 

 

I am considering writing a blog soon, folks.

Hope this wildly formatted note tides y'all over!

love and peas,

chris and christy

 

p.s. CSA folks: Final Balances are due by June 1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted 4/24/2009 9:27pm by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.

Hello Farming Fans!

It's official: I am finally jazzed enough to write my blog. I apologize to anyone we've left in suspense regarding our latest activities . . .  I just checked in on my last entry. It seems to be many many ages ago. I was seeding the very first trays in the greenhouse, assembling the first series of water collection barrels, and getting the heat arranged.  Now there is so much more happening.

We made our first contact with the soil around April 1st. We used the disk harrow to chop up the remaining residue from last year's sorghum-sudangrass cover crop. The crop of persistent perennial weeds was dealt its first blow with the same pass - we have potentilla, campion, red sorrel, and some mysterious and vicious mustard weed making yellowy broccoli-lookin flowers as I type.  

We have assembled our fleet of equipment.  After much research on all makes of rototillers and spaders and fruitless pursuits of elusive used low-cost rototillers, we finally bought a new Italian made model called the Del Morino Holiday. It is 42" wide, so it does not erase our tractor's tire tracks.  This set-up allows us to create our beds in one pass. When we took the ride out to Devon Lane in Belchertown to pick up our new treasure, we ended up buying in an S-tine field cultivator, as well.  This tool has been excellent in our ongoing battle against the perennial weeds.  There are 14 shanks in three rows - 5-4-5, no moving parts, and it disturbs and uproots well-established plants without chopping them (thereby propagating) as a disk would and without inverting the soil profile as a plow would. 

In anticipation of this warm dry weekend ahead, we plan to go over all unplanted areas with the field cultivator with the hope that the weeds will shrivel and evaporate while I go fix up my farmer's tan at the beach.  We simultaneously hope that our plants, transplanted this afternoon, hold steadfast against the heat.  The plants - beets, beet greens, kohlrabi, and broccoli raab - were planted behind another new member of our equipment fleet: the Waterwheel Transplanter.  This cheery contraption, painted bright red and adorned with a 140 gallon yellow water tank, has three wheels, 12" apart, that roll along the soil making water-soaked holes every four inches.  Bolted behind are two seats, seemingly dismounted from the local laundromat and conveniently floating over the three rows just marked on our beds.  In a somewhat comical struggle, the two transplanters (like me and Chris) attempt to pull plugs out of our seedling flats and press them into the mudholes quickly squeezing the soil shut around them.  I definitely felt like I must be on the farming episode of I Love Lucy as i tried to fill each hole and remember to do every other hole in the center row. Inevitably we would have to shout "Stop!" and rush to catch up before continuing. Most farmers have what's called a "creeper" gear so the tractor can go incredibly slow. Sadly, we do not. The metrics of our transplanting scheme are suddenly expanding!! All the same, we are excited to have a good tool and maybe next year White Barn Farm can buy its own tractor that will have the creeper function.

Spinach, Bok Choy, and Napa Cabbage have been in the ground protected by fabric row cover for a couple of weeks now.  The spinach planted into my little hoophouse is ready to eat, even! Planting the onions is the next big project.  We have recruited my dad to drive the tractor on Monday, so Chris and I will get even more practice getting faster at transplanting.  One other pressing project is the potting up of all the tomatoes.  They were started in open flats so we could put lots on our heat mat at once and keep them all in the heated area of the greenhouse.  As plants move to the cool side of the greenhouse and finally graduate to the newly constructed cold frames outside, they make way for these flats to expand to many flats of tomatoes, each plant with a very cell of its own!  Any of you who thought you may like to come volunteer for a few hours, now is the time to give a call and set up a time to come by and do some greenhouse work with us. Wednesday may be showers, my obsessive 10-day forecast following tells me. Maybe that is the day. We could accept two volunteers at a time. Give me a call to schedule a time if you are interested! 774-210-0359

The first direct seeded crops have germinated and broken ground!  Peas (sugar snap and snow) were planted April 9, Full Moon and just before a rain.  A day later, we spun on two leguminous cover crops - bell beans (Fava Bean's petite cousin) and field peas (whose tendrils are its only redeeming culinary quality).  I was nervous about the following weather conditions. We had some hard freezes and then a long dry spell.  I was reassured by a dig into the dusty crust.  To my relief, there was moisture not far below the surface, and the peas had popped and sent roots down and were considering sending their beautiful hook of green leaves up.  Today, the emergence was strong enough that we could see the rows and hoe alongside them.  With the help of one of our future summer employees, we got the peas cleaned up and the electric fence assembled around them.  I watched a bunny bounding along the treeline as I put up the fence . . . This past Monday, our other future summer employee helped me plant some other direct-seeded crops into the quarter-acre plot I grew on last year.  We had to hoe out some of the Winter Rye residue from my foolhardy cover crop scheme, but then the seeding went fast with our two handy seeders.  We used the Earthway Seeder to do Cilantro, Carrots, and Radishes.  Then we moved on to the new Six-Row Pinpoint Seeder to plant Hakurei Turnips and Arugula.  The next few days brought plenty of rain. Now some warmth should give those seeds the green light!

The days are long. The work feels good. The sun feels good. It is time to include sunblock in my morning routine. I am consumed by all the planning and preparations and the demands of the plants.  Seems to be that overnight, we are cranking at full speed and there is never any question as to what to do. The plants have not been telling me to write my blog, folks.  I'm working on it. 

We are looking forward to some events:

Sat. May 2 there is an Earth Day celebration at Wrentham Elementary. We are going and so are the other Wrentham farmers: the Cooks from Cook's Valley and Kristin at Rabbit's Dance Farm

May 16 & 17 is our Plant Sale.  10am - 4pm both days. Located on 1A, across the street from the farm. We are currently potting up Vegetable, Flower, and Herb starts in the greenhouse. Stay tuned for more details.  A great selection of organically raised seedlings for anyone gardening this year.

May 23 is the Spring Fair at our friend Meryl's farm, Powisset Farm in Dover, MA.  We are going to go there, too. Maybe we will sell any extra plants leftover from our plant sale.

The first week in June is supposed to be our first CSA pickup.  Our roadside stand should kick off around the same time.  As the dates get closer we will be able to be more definitive.

Congratulations to anyone who completed reading this blog.  I have been holding back for so long. Believe it or not, I left out thousands of little events that may have been noteworthy. Next step is to put up some new photos  - keep checking for those!

Thank you for all of the kind support!

Christy at White Barn Farm

 

CSA member reminder: any final payments are due by June 1st. 

Posted 3/12/2009 5:10pm by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.

Hey folks! 

White Barn Farm CSA is sold out for 2009! Don't fret - you can still come to the roadside stand on Tuesdays and/or Saturdays. 

It is balmy in the greenhouse. I have been keeping my shorts and flip flops stationed in there, believe it or not. With the sun shining, the temperature easily climbs to one hundred degrees!  We want the soil in the trays to heat up and signal those little seeds to germinate, so for now we let it get pretty warm. Since my last blog, we have finished seeding onions and scallions, we've seeded beet greens, beets, bok choy, napa cabbage, and spinach. I even got to the first of the flowers and a few perennial herbs.

The progress on the infrastructure continues, as well. My farm superhero father mounted the propane heater up high above the entrance of the greenhouse and got the ventpipe all arranged according to code.  Then the family's trusted plumber, Pat Coffey, came in to install the natural gas to LP conversion kit and run the pipe for the propane guys to hook up to.  He had the inspector come by and make sure it was all set.  Then the propane guys brought a tank and hooked it up.  Luckily, my dad had wired the thermostat already and we were ready to rock with backup heat in the greenhouse.  At this time of year, such a thing is a real blessing.  Several nights of waking at three hour intervals to feed the woodstove was enough to make us very grateful to have some backup heat to rely on. (All the mothers out there must be chuckling to themselves). 

Wednesday, My dad arranged the water collection system (a series of 55 gal. drums) that was donated to the farm by our farm start-up heroine, Gretta Anderson from Belmont CSA. All the pipes have been sealed and connected in an efficient fashion so we can fill up the system and pump water from there for the greenhouse watering.  Meanwhile, Chris and I isolated ourselves at Panera Bread (hey, could someone open a cool coffee shop around here?) to finish our greenhouse schedule. Now we have the whole thing sorted by date so we can just follow our plan! It was a good activity for a rainy day.

Thanks so much for all of the support, everybody!

All you gardeners out there, stay tuned for details about the May 16 & 17 Plant Sale!

Posted 3/8/2009 9:45pm by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.

Howdy there White Barn Farm enthusiasts!

This blog is mostly to announce that the Tuesday Boxed Shares are sold out for 2009!

 There are a couple of slots left on Fridays, but give a call before you mail a check, just to make sure there is a spot left.

I guess I have unsolicited free press to thank for the renewed interest in the farm. February 24th, the Sun Chronicle did an article on CSA's, following the Open Space Committee hosted "Community Farm Night" during which Kristen Lewis from Rabbits Dance Farm in Cumberland and Chris and I spoke about why local, organic produce is good for you, our planet, and our local economy and quality of life.  We tried to answer lots of questions and were really encouraged by the positivity and genuine interest of the crowd. A couple of folks signed up right on the spot! The woman who wrote the article attended the event.

Chris and I have been working like mad since we got home from our house and cow-sitting extravaganza in Vermont.  Chris' dairy-farming best friends from college finally took their honeymoon to lovely Costa Rica, while we held down the fort and did the barn chores (an experienced neighbor came in to do the actual milking). We had some good calm before the storm of spring farm preparations, enjoying some hikes in the sun and one day downhill skiing. Free beer-tasting at Otter Creek Brewery paid off quick with 2-for-1 midweek passes to Mad River Glen. We hit it on a perfect blue sky day and were reminded of how much we both enjoy skiing and should plan better in the future to take advantage of our seasonal lifestlye . . .

We successfully completed the first delivery of the meat James (same honeymooning dairy farming friend) had raised at his farm. Beef and pork shares were distributed to those from around here who had ordered. The hams and bacon are now back from the smokehouse and will be delivered sometime this week.  Beef is sold out for June pick-up, but there should be shares available again in the fall. 

Anyway - back to all the stuff we've been up to. We put up the 17x72 ft greenhouse with a double layer of plastic, inflated with a little fan for super insulation. The initial construction we busted out before Valentine's Day (when the head foreman, my dad, was headed for Caribbean vacation).  Since then we've been problem solving and inventing to tie up all the loose ends. Greenhouse doors that open smoothly and have functioning latches, corners to hold the roll-up sides closed until we are ready for major ventilation, creating a weed-proof barrier for the floor, getting a heater, a plumber, a propane company, firewood. and the pallets . . .

Folks, pallets and cinder blocks are like gold to us. Although big box stores pretty much work against the values I am most passionate about, Chris and i have found ourselves at Lowe's (yes, the new one in Plainville that just paved over so much open space within the last couple years).  We aren't quite sure what to make of it, but we have found above-and-beyond customer service, special pricing, FREE pallets for our special case, and an amazing delivery of a pallet of cinder blocks - some wild three wheeled forklift powered right through the mud and left the stack just outside the greenhouse. Can you imagine hand-loading 90 cement blocks onto a cart, into the van, out of the van, and then into place as our greenhouse bench legs? yikes. We have decided to just really appreciate the characters and of course remain loyal to Cataldo's for the daily run for that limiting factor of the day's project - box of screws, eye hooks, anything you can possibly imagine (except delivered pallets of cinder blocks).  Anyway, we are having fun and we pretty much feel like rock stars every time we go into Lowe's. I guess this is one of the perks of owning a business!  

We had two important deliveries at the end of February - it was critical that they arrived in the correct sequence and thank goodness they did. First, we got a set of pallet forks that chain right onto the loader of the tractor. Second, a flatbed pulled up with 9 yards of organic potting soil from Macenroe Organic Compost in New York.  It was arranged on 6 pallets, which my dad expertly unloaded from the truck, despite the fact that it was the forks' debut performance.  Two yards of potting soil were for our friend Kristen from Rabbits Dance Farm so we loaded that onto a trailer and took it to her farm in Cumberland.  

Today, Chris and I finally got to get our hands in the soil! It was finally onion-seeding day! Onions are triggered to begin bulbing by day-length, so it is important that they are a healthy and vigorous plant before the solstice, therefore they are normally the first crop to be seeded.  There are more flats to do, but we felt so happy to be sowing our first seeds together, listening to tapes on the cassette playing alarm-clock I hijacked from the bedroom, and soaking in some cosmic rays and eachother's company, of course.  I better wrap up this entry and head out to stuff as many logs as possible into the stove to keep those seeds warm overnight. Flowers are next . . .

 Thanks for all your support, everyone. Remember we will be doing our temporary roadside stand Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings if you couldn't get into the CSA this year. 

 Enjoy the new late night light. Chris and I stayed out until we could no longer see onion seeds tonight and it was 7pm when we got inside!! 

 

 

Posted 2/22/2009 3:25pm by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.
Pounding in the Ground PostsInstalling the BowsChris and Eliot putting up the purlinsPutting on the BaseboardsDrilling Holes for the BoltsChris putting up the hipboard123533786476.19.138.226.jpg