What's Growing at Better Farm in 2015

What's Growing at Better Farm in 2015

Spring is coming! Our Better Farm heirlooms have been inventoried, new seeds have been ordered, we're picking out trees for our incoming apple orchard, and 50 white spruces are on their way. That, in addition to new landscape designs over at the Art Barn, expanded strawberry and raspberry patches, and many more surprises!

Here's the list (so far!) of all the organic deliciousness growing at Better Farm in 2015. If you haven't already, be sure to sign up for our CSA program before March 15 in order to lock in last year's rates for a weekly share of fresh, delicious produce.

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Garden Growth Spurts

New, mounded rows are added to the back corner of Better Farm's garden to house pumpkins, melons, and squash.
Exciting partnerships this year with high-end restaurants in the Thousand Islands Region, a burgeoning CSA program, increasingly popular farm stand, and the perennial mouths to feed at Better Farm itself inspired us to add three more rows to Better Farm's main garden.

We put the new rows in the right-back corner of the garden. The first thing we had to do was to turn the clay-rich soil over up the rows and rake the fresh dirt into mounds. After that, we hayed the new rows and started planting pumpkins, squash, and melons.

Meanwhile, in the other rows...
Pink Beauty Radishes
From left: King Richard Leeks, Pink Beauty Radishes, and oodles of Sunset Lettuce.
Penelope weeding out the bugs.
 To learn more about Better Farm's CSA program or to sign up, visit www.betterfarm.org/csa.

Wild Plant Foraging: Ramps

Allium tricoccum, otherwise known as ramps or wild leeks.
Wild leek season is upon us! The Allium tricoccum (otherwise known as ramps, spring onions, ramson, wild leeks, wood leeks, or wild garlic), is a wild onion that appears in early spring across much of the eastern United States and Canada. Ridiculously yummy and easy to prepare, ramps are a growing favorite among chefs in restaurants—and this weekend you can enjoy some of ours on the Mother's Day menu at Bella's in Clayton!

The broad, bright leaves on wild leeks make them easy to spot along hillsides in wooded, rocky areas:
A grove of wild leeks.
A group of foragers took to the woods yesterday to harvest more than 20 pounds of the tiny delicacy, which goes great in soups, on salads, in flat breads, or pickled and canned.



Here's the bounty, which will be part of this week's CSA:

A pound of wild leeks will cost consumers, on average, between $9 and $20 with leaves and roots on:

But you can get wild leeks from us for just $4/pound (while supplies last!):
To enroll in Better Farm's CSA program, click here. Many thanks to the Tulley family for allowing us to forage in their woods!
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Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.

What's Growing at Better Farm

Seedlings and seeds enjoy some fresh air on (yet another) rainy spring day.
In spite of the perpetually crummy weather outside, spring is upon us at Better Farm. Asparagus, chives, garlic, leeks, strawberries, raspberries, peach and fig trees, and many many more plants and herbs throughout the gardens have been waking up each day and spreading new, green leaves. Inside, seeds are sprouting every day and we're getting regular shipments of new exotics like dwarf pineapple trees, coffee plants, and Mediterranean olive trees.



With evenings just starting to offer the sustained warmth necessary to harden seedlings off in the greenhouse, we've been getting the babies ready for the great outdoors by exposing them to the elements during daylight hours on the back deck. This late season hasn't reaked any havoc yet in regard to the health of our preemies—but it has certainly been inconvenient! Usually by this time of year, all the plants are living full-time in the greenhouse, potatoes are in the ground, and we're starting in on onions. Regardless; here are some photos of all the activity afoot:
Asparagus heads poke up out of the wet soil out back.
Tomato seedlings reach for the sky.
A preview of what's to come: eggplant, celery, cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, and cauliflower make their grand entrances.

Our CSA begins today; but there are still spaces left if you'd like to sign up for weekly shares of fresh produce throughout the season. We also offer amended CSAs to those who are only in the North Country on weekends; or those who would like a bulk rate on what's in-season but can't commit to a weekly pickup. Our updated list of produce this season:


Vegetables (all organic)
Artichoke—Imperial Star Organic
Asparagus
Beans—Black Coco, Monachelle di Trevio, Envy Soya, Garbanzo, Great Northern
Beets—Lutz Green Leaf
Broccoli— Belstar
Brussel Sprouts—Royal Marvel Hybrid
Cabbage—Derby Day
Carrots—Purple Haze Hybrid, Rainbow Blend, Yaya Hybrid
Cauliflower—Veronica Hybrid
Celery—Redventur
Corn—Northern Xtra-Sweet Yellow
Cucumber—Lemon
Eggplant— Rosa Bianca, Japanese White Egg
Kale—Red Russian
Leeks— Giant Musselburgh
Lettuce—Buttercrunch, Sunset
Okra
Onions— Yellow Sweet Spanish
Peanuts—Jumbo Virginia,
Peas—Little Marvel Shell Pea
Peppers—Green California Wonder, Italian Sweet Red
Potato—Yukon Gold, Red, Sweet
Pumpkin—Shishigatani/Toonas Makino, Connecticut Field
Quinoa—Shelly
Radish—Pink Beauty
Rosemary
Swiss Chard - Bright Lights
Soybean
Squash— Thelma Sanders' Sweet Potato, Crookneck-Early Golden Summer, Caserta Zucchini, White Bush Scallop, Argonaut Hybrid Butternut, Black Beauty Zucchini
String Beans—Compass Bush Bean
Tomatoes—Ananas Noire, Purple Calabash, Better Farm heirlooms
Watermelon—Sugar Baby

Fruits and Trees
Apple
Apricot
Dwarf Banana (indoor)
Blueberry
Catalpa
Cherry
3-in-1 Citrus (indoor)
Coffee Plant
Fig
Kiwi
Mediterranean Olive (indoor)
Peach
Dwarf Pineapple (indoor)
Raspberry
Strawberries

Herbs
Basil—Large-Leaf Italian Basil, Lime
Borage—Blue
Chives
Cilantro
Dill
Garlic
Lemon Balm
Mint
Nasturtium—Mixed Dwarf Jewel
Parsley
Ramps/Wild Leeks
Rosemary
Sage
Salad greens—various

Flowers
Mammoth Gray Stripe Sunflower
Kochia Scoparia Grass
25 Giant Allium
“Red Sun” Sunflower
Various wildflowers

To join Better Farm's CSA and enjoy a weekly share of fresh produce all season long, please email info@betterfarm.org or visit www.betterfarm.org/csa.
Comment

Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.

Better Farm's First-Ever CSA Program

An afternoon harvest from last fall.
Better Farm' s Community-Supported Agriculture program is designed to bring individuals and families living locally weekly shares of fresh produce from Better Farm's gardens at extremely affordable rates.

Community-Supported Agriculture, or CSAs, allow individuals or families to have direct access to high-quality, fresh produce grown locally. When you join a CSA, you're buying a “share” of produce from a particular farm or group of farms. Better Farm's CSA runs weekly from May 1 through the end of November, about 31 weeks. CSA members can visit Better Farm on a weekly basis to pick up their shares of produce. CSA members pay for the entire season of produce up-front. This early bulk payment allows Better Farm to plan for the season, purchase garden supplies and seeds to ensure a productive yield, and more.

Weekly share amounts fluctuate in accordance with what is in-season. In May, a share may only consist of some salad greens and asparagus; while a share in October will include artichokes, tomatoes, greens, herbs, Swiss chard, potatoes, flowers, pumpkins, leeks, and much much more.

Typically, seasonal CSA costs are between $400 and $600 for an individual. Because Better Farm's goal is to increase access to delicious, organic, healthy food, the first year of this CSA program is available at rock-bottom rates:

These rates represent a a full 31-week program:
  • $250/individual (roughly $8/week)
  • $450/couple (roughly $14.50/week)
  • $800/family of four (roughly $25/week)
CSA members will be notified of additional add-on opportunities (meat, eggs, cheese, soaps, baked goods, etc.) should these become available throughout the season; and may opt in to hear about food-related activities held at Better Farm throughout the year (supper clubs, farm-to-table events, workshops).

Click here for a list of the organic produce we are growing at Better Farm in 2014. Please note that this does not necessarily indicate produce you will receive (in some cases, certain plants do better than others based on weather, pests, etc.).

If you would like to sign up for Better Farm's CSA, send an email to info@betterfarm.org with the below information and we will bill you through Paypal (additional Paypal fees will apply). Or, you can print out the below form and mail it us along with a check made out to Better Farm. Those of you with special scheduling needs may contact us for a prorated CSA plan.

Mail to: Better Farm CSA Program, 31060 Cottage Hill Road, Redwood NY, 13679.

Name: ___________________________________________

Address: _________________________________________

Phone Number: ___________________________________

Email: __________________________________________

CSA Membership Level (About 31 weeks starting May 1):   
  • ______$100 Summer Weekender (weekends only June 1-Sept. 1)
  • _____  $150 Weekender (weekends only May 1-mid-November
  • ______$250/individual (roughly $8/week) 
  • _____$450/couple (roughly $14.50/week) 
  • _____$800/family of four (roughly $25/week)
Preferred Day for Weekly Pickup: _________________
Comment

Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.