Get a Jump on Spring: Grow Your Own Seedlings

By Stephanie Van Parys

Summer is only four months away, so it’s not too early to think of your summer garden. After making a list of what veggies you want to grow next summer, the next step is to figure out what you can start early by growing seedlings. Let me give you a few reasons why it’s worth the effort to grow your own vegetable starts:

You control the varieties and quality of the transplants going into your garden based on your own selections, not what the local garden center has available;

  • You control the timing of when you want to plant your garden;
  • More plants for less money;
  • Preservation of heirloom and rare varieties;
  • Fun!

Read more: Get a Jump on Spring: Grow Your Own Seedlings

 

Root Vegetable Renaissance

By Robin Ostfeld,
Blue Heron Farm

Seasonal changes affect us more than we think. As the days get shorter, leaves fall to the ground, squirrels gather their winter caches of food, and humans feel the urge to fatten up and put food away for the winter. It’s a lot like getting a supply of firewood to ward off the cold and snow. There’s a unique satisfaction in preparing for winter.

In November, other farms are wrapping up the season, while we at Blue Heron are running at full tilt. My phone rings off the hook and my email in-box fills up with inquiries about our winter produce subscription. It’s cold and muddy as we sprint toward the finish line, which for us is frozen ground and temps in the 20s. Our crop availability list is longer than ever. When we’re not picking hardy greens, such as collards, kale, spinach and arugula we’re cutting broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Leeks are shoveled up and trimmed. And then there are the root vegetables, from beets and carrots to rutabagas and turnips. Days on end are spent pulling and topping vegetables, and filling the walk-in coolers.

Read more: Root Vegetable Renaissance

Local Heroes: West Haven Farm Apples

By Felix Teitelbaum,GreenLeaf Editor
You may have sometimes wondered at the selection of organic apples at GreenStar and why so many of them come from so far away. The fact is, in 2001, of the 12,189 acres of certified organic apples grown in this country, fully 95% were grown west of the Rockies. Although NY is well known for its delicious apples, organic growers in NY, and all over the Northeast, face many more challenges than their western counterparts.

Read more: Local Heroes: West Haven Farm Apples

 

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New in Produce

The Grapes are Coming!

Andrew Hernandez,
Produce Manager

thornbush-grapes-smYou've waited all year for them — Thornbush grapes are here this month! Along with a bounty of local produce of all kinds.

Apparently July, not August, is the hottest month of the year. I always think of August as being an unbearable sweltering wash of humidity and scorch ... looks like I'm wrong. What I do know, however, is that late August brings us local grapes from Thornbush! And, it's finally tomato season, one of my favorite times of the year! This month, Stick and Stone Farm brings us summer squash, cherry tomatoes (try them in the recipe on page 8), basil, chard, kale, and green beans! Remembrance Farm continues to deliver greens (also used in this month's recipe), and Blue Heron offers beets, eggplant, cucumbers, and garlic. (August also brings Gaahl, from Gorgoroth's, 38th birthday! Happy Birthday, Gaahl!) So I guess August isn't so bad ... sure it's the end of our two-month summer, but perhaps the local grapes and local tomatoes will quell your seasonal tears? If not there's always a time machine. Wait, no there isn't. Sorry about that.

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