News and Events

  • September 22nd, 2011

It’s been a bit since I have sat down to “journal” the happenings of Courtney Farms.  We are still plugging away at housing tobacco…in between the rain showers and trying to interpret what the meteorologists are predicting.  I wish we could have had some of this rain during the height of growing season rather than during harvest…but that’s not for me to decide.

Deanna and I have been anxiously watching the growth of our new crops—think we will be able to begin harvesting radishes and loose lettuces the week after next!  And I’m so excited because the young spinach looks wonderful.  I tasted a few leaves today (about the size of a quarter) and…amazing!   Our early crop of spinach bolted on us and we didn’t even get to have one salad with it here, so I’m really excited to know it’s doing well.  You will have to take a look at the picture—we are going to have to be “pulling beans”.  I had to show this.

"green bean weeds"

This area of the field was planted in green beans back in May.  I got so hot there wasn’t enough blooms to produce enough beans to be able to harvest.  They were disappointing.  Well….a few weeks ago when Joe disked the bean patch up so that we could work on re-seeding, I noticed hundreds of black-birds—I was worried that they were finding the new seeds.  Then I got thinking that maybe when we disked it tore open those tough green bean pods that were actually did form on the plants…well, that was right—there are thousands of green bean plants now….which equals weeds amongst our beets—they are taking over; when it dries we will cultivate, then have to manually pull the ones right in beside the baby beets.  We have to laugh about it.  But really, beans are great for the soil as they will naturally add nitrogen to it.  We’ll chalk it up as a lesson learned!

I hope you really enjoy the seedless watermelon this week.  This year was the first time we had ever grown “seedless” melons.  As there is not really such a thing, they are interesting.  The seeds are very difficult to germinate and raise to seedlings—very sensitive to water and heat.  You must plant them along with “pollinators” which are seeded watermelons so that the seedless melon plants will have the opportunity to bear fruit—then we have our bee hives near by to do their work.  You must make sure your pollinators are different in appearance, or you won’t know what your getting until you crack it open!   We had the opportunity to raise seedless watermelons for the students and staff of Jefferson County Public Schools—as it was great, it wasn’t the right year to do it with the heat.  The heat caused alot of our blooms to abort which means you loose the number of fruit a plant will produce.  So long story short, we have a few melons still coming in, but probably not enough to feed one of the many, many schools in the system, so we are sharing them with you.  We weren’t able to deliver what we had hoped to the schools, but we are all in this together, learning.  As much as I love to eat seeded watermelons (think alot of it is the memory of spitting seeds with my Papaw when little), these are great to cut up, put in a bowl and eat as a great snack or easy side dish.

As Friday is the first day of Autumn, we thought it most appropriate for the timing of the beautiful acorn squashes.  You can use them as decor before eating or eat them right away.  They are multi-purpose and will last for quite sometime. If you want them to last a long time, something you can do (done a lot for commercial sales) is to wipe them down with water that has a “splash of chlorine” to kill any potential fungus from beginning to grow and make it go bad early.

I had the pleasure of spending the day at a wellness fair Wednesday at the Judicial Center downtown.  It was wonderful to see so many of our CSA members and meet folks who are interested in gearing up with us next spring.

In each of your CSA shares this week you hopefully noticed the invitation to Touch the Dirt Day here at the farm.  We hope you can join us to celebrate a season of good tastes and community.  Your participation on our farm makes a huge difference.  Sometimes we get so busy we don’t take the time to “stop and smell the roses” much less offer the invite for others to come and do the same.  Just as Lucas was mesmerized by his first view as “Superman” from a high-rise office building in downtown Louisville back in April, we think your children and grandchildren would enjoy finding a turkey feather alongside the woods, spotting a deer eating the tops of soybeans (ugh!), catching a fish, pulling some green bean weeds, picking a cucumber, or splashing in a mud-puddle.  We hope you can join us!

Last one and this week one day we had a crew of volunteers who came to the farm to pick “left over” vegetables to donate to “feed the hungry” of Louisville.  Talk about an awesome thing.  How much better is to to know that blemished vegetables are going to help the less fortunate than disking down at the end of our season??!!  This is an effort led by the AmericCorps VISTA program and it’s wonderful.  They were troopers.  I wasn’t here on Wednesday when 7 volunteers came (was at wellness fair), and it rained and rained and the ground was too muddy to drive to the field, so they (like our workers who harvested the melons for the CSA’s this week) hauled them from the field to the barn.  The difference was that our workers received a paycheck for lugging them and the volunteers “just did it” to feed others.  If any of our members are feeling spunky and want to come pick for a few hours to donate, let me know and we can help it happen.  If there is a specific soup kitchen that’s fine; if not between Blain and us we can find a home for it!

We know you are going to enjoy this week’s harvests.  I found lots of recipes to share.  If ever you come across a great one, I’d love to post it for you on the website.  It’s a great way to “share” and really support our partnership and common bond.

Signing off for the week,
Mary


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