Atlanta Real Food is run by the Atlanta area chapter leaders of The Weston A. Price Foundation. Here you will find the latest news from local farmers, get information on how to properly prepare real foods, and stay up to date on local events.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Monthly Newsletter - May

Fresh, Sustainable Produce - Grown Locally
June 27th, 2017
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Bringing Your Share Home

One of the keys to enjoying your CSA share is prepping the produce when you bring it home.  It can take anywhere from 5-30 minutes, depending on how many greens you have, but it is well worth the time, as the produce will be ready for the hectic week night supper routine. I decided to test the timing and prepped the whole share from last week. It took 30 minutes from pulling things out of the crate to having them stored in Ziplocks.

Here are the basic prep steps:

  • First, remove the greens leaves from the tops of the root crops like radishes, carrots, and turnips.If you don't, the leaves will draw moisture from the roots and they will get soft. The leaves can be eaten if you are creative.
  • The second helpful step is to remove the stems from the greens, if that is required for your recipes.Most recipes for kale, chard and collards have you remove the stem.
  • The third basic step is to wash and spin dry your greens. This is true for both salad greens and other greens like chard and kale. Store them in a Ziploc or "green bag" with a paper towel. Adding a paper towel to the bag if they are not dry wicks up the excess moisture. These steps should keep them until you are ready to use them (within reason – maybe 5 days).



Be sure to cut the tops off of carrots to keep them crunchy



De-stemmed chard
 
Here are some links for more tips on how to use up ALL of those CSA vegetables. These articles are clearly written by people who understand the way CSAs work and how you may get w-w-a-a-y-y-y more of some vegetables than you might want at certain times.
Farm Store
 
Hard work from some friends of the farm, Becky, Carol and Bob has resulted in a new look to the farm store.  All of the cabinets and "stuff" were removed, walls painted, ceiling reinforced with new beams, and floors stained and chinked with rope. A few of the cabinets were painted and new board shelves were installed.


Becky putting up shelves

 


Outside, the roof leak was fixed and the outside of the store was painted a lovely green.


Becky was going for "cute" but I think it looks rather "elegant"! Thanks for the vision and the hard work to make it happen to all who contributed.
Farm crop report
  Warm weather in February, cold weather in March, and a rainy, cool April have resulted in a slow start to the spring crops. The kale, chard and green onions that overwintered in the hoop houses have done really well. The crops we planted in section B ( the field you are facing when you park in the parking lot) have suffered because of high pH.  A lot of compost was applied to those 11 beds last fall, raising the pH, before we realized what was happening. We quickly started planting in section I (the field in front of the store) when we saw the poor growth in B. Now it looks like a groundhog is feasting on the broccoli that was beginning to come around in section B. We have put out repellent and traps. Farming is never boring, as there is always a new problem to solve!



We trapped a baby opossum, but no ground hogs yet. We also left Rosie in the field for a couple of days hoping that would deter them from coming in the field.

 We planted 150 pounds of potatoes this year on the slope behind my Mom's house. If they produce anywhere near the 10 pounds per 1 pound planted, we will have a lot of potatoes! They look real good, They have already been hilled which means they have dirt piled on top to keep the tops of the potatoes from turning green. In the fall, we panted garlic on the slope and then planted onions and leeks in February. We will be harvesting the garlic, onions and leeks this June for your share.

The tomatoes are planted in the big hoop house, which has been fitted out with insect netting to protect the plants from some of the larger insects. We are hoping for a bigger harvest this year by paying closer attention to the plant's needs and keeping the insects off.

This is the second year of the permanent bed system we are using in Field I and hope to implement in other fields this year.So far, it has been successful and less labor intensive.
 

Field I
 
The farm is doing well and on track to produce vegetables as scheduled, if we can just keep up with it all!
The Farm Incubator update
 
This season we have 2 incubator farms operating on Cane Creek Farm, Victory Gardens and Bantom and Bloom Farm. This program provides land, infrastructure and mentoring to beginning farmers with some experience in growing to help them develop a successful farm business. Both are doing well, growing well and expanding their growing space. Victory Gardens is contributing to the Cane Creek Farm CSA, providing head lettuce, collards and this week, sugar snap peas.


Victory Gardens

Bantom and Bloom is a flower farm and occasionally you will see color in their fields.  They try to harvest just as the flowers show color, so often the flowers are harvested before they show a lot of color. They use their flowers in their floral arrangements at Alpharetta Flower Market.



We believe this is an important program, as it allows us to help other farmers get started with their businesses. We need more farmers to replace those of us who are starting to think about retirement. The average age of a farmer in Georgia is 60 and a significant percentage of the farm land will change hands in the next 10 years. To keep this land in the business of providing food for our comm
Eat Local Challenge
 
Trying to mostly eat local food had been a humbling and enlightening experience!  This is something I really wanted to do, but I have found it incredibly hard. It started off pretty good, finding sources for meats and milk and beginning to accumulate some of the staples from local sources. I did not have it all in place, when life took one of those turns where you don't have time for regular things like shopping and cooking.

Mom went in the hospital and was there a very long four days. When she got home, extra care was needed. Between the days and nights in the hospital and the emotional concern, there was nothing left for figuring out meals with local ingredients. She has been home a week and is doing well, but I have been slow to get back to my local eating plan.

I am not giving up, though. I have learned that it does take extra time and energy, and you need to have some things stored away to pull out when there is no time to cook. With the summer weather upon us, veggies are becoming plentiful and I plan to put up a good supply.
 
We had a relaxed, enjoyable time of food and fellowship at our April Local Food Potluck.  We decided to do one every other month, so if you are interested in eating locally, plan to join us in June and bring a yummy dish made with local ingredients.
 






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Cane Creek Farm · 5110 Jekyll Rd. · Cumming, GA 30040 · USA

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