Author Archives: Student Farmer

What’s in the CSA Box for Wednesday December 13, 2017

First, we would like to give a shout out and a word of appreciation to one of our farm assistants that labors all year long to help keep insect pests under control on the Student Farm.  This little fellow is very quiet and unassuming  – often so much so that we don’t even know he is around.  But through the course of the year, month in and month out he works diligently and serves as an important member of our biological pest control team on the farm!

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Despite our current snap of cold weather continue to have a good supply of cool weather vegetables for our CSA members.

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Here’s a quick rundown of what will be included in this week’s CSA Box:

Sunburst Sweet potato

Kale

Ginger

Mustard greens

Turnips

parsley

Cilantro

Chervil

Spinach

Carrots

Endive

Salad mix

Dill

Turmeric

Cabbage or Endive

Head lettuce

Brussels sprout bombs

 

 

Posted by Mike Tate, December 13, 2017

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Weather conditions affect harvest

Weather challenges greet us toward the end of this season’s CSA. Infrequent temperatures changes have affected a few crops, and some were completely lost (tomatoes, cucumbers and squash). We will completely harvest crops like spinach and salad mix to have as much to offer as possible in the CSA boxes in the final week. Some of the crops like collards, carrots, and beets have winter hardiness and are able to withstand temperatures below 20 ° F. We will see.

Post by Shaquannah Faison

11/30/17 What’s in the CSA box this week?

There are some unique veggies in the box this week. The fall harvest is still going on the farm and we have got some treats for you. There are two kinds of head lettuce, Picat Butterhead, and Cimmaron Romaine. There is also some Ginger, cilantro, and turmeric.

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The other veggies in the box are:

  • Ginger
  • Leeks
  • Garlic
  • Purple top white turnips
  • Watermelon radish
  • Kohlrabi
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Fennel
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Chervil
  • Collards

Here are a few things you need to know about kohlrabi:

  1. When raw, it tastes like a slightly spicier version of broccoli stems, like a mix of broccoli stem and radish. When cooked, it’s a bit sweeter, especially if caramelized. You can cut it into cubes or wedges and roast it, or slice or cut into matchsticks and stir-fry.
  2. The leaves are edible (and loaded with iron); add them to a salad or saute with garlic as you would mustard or beet greens.
  3. Kohlrabi is a good source of fiber, vitamins C and B6, and potassium.

There is more information on this veggie at :

http://www.health.com/food/what-is-kohlrabi

You also need to know about the turmeric in the box so here are a few hints on how to use it:

  1. Use Fresh Turmeric to Add a Health Kick to Smoothies. …
  2. 2. Make Indian Golden Milk (Haldi Ka Doodh) …
  3. Use it as a Substitute for Mustard or Saffron. …
  4. Turn White Rice into Golden Rice. …
  5. Dehydrate Leftover Turmeric Root. …
  6. 6. Make a Turmeric Omelette. …
  7. Substitute Fresh for Dried Turmeric in Curry Paste Recipes.

Now I have a couple of recipes for you to check out. Here are the links and I hope you enjoy them.

Roasted root vegetables with fennel, garlic & thyme

ENJOY!!!

posted by Sherry Carroll

 

 

Whats going on down on the farm?

CSA boxes are packed on Wed. Mornings,  but not this week due to theThanksgiving Holiday. Big boxes were packed last week to hold members through.

Lately,  we’ve been focusing on getting ready for winter.  We harvested the last of the crops in summer blocks, (including sweet potatoes), built beds to be ready for spring,  and sow cover crops. More and more Fall crops have been maturing, as well as those in our late summer high tunnel,  so there is more diversity of produce available.
We also got the North and Eastern sides of the pack shed mulched-and have inoculated the wood chips with Wine cap mushroom spawn.
 We are getting in a new Delaware rooster this week as well,  and have found a good home for “Ranger”, who has been doing a very good job of taking care of the flock in the meantime.
From this point on, we will have plenty of harvests left to do,  but most of the other time sensitive duties are winding down quickly.
Sherry Carroll

CSA for 11/15/17

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This week in your CSA box you will find a few new items! These include chicory root, turmeric, kohlrabi, carrots, and 2 varieties of sweet potatoes. Please note that there will not be a CSA box next week due to Thanksgiving break.

Chicory root is a source of prebiotic fiber that assists the good bacteria in your gut, boosting your immune function. The root can be consumed raw or cooked, prepared similarly to dandelion root. Can also be dried, ground, and used as a coffee substitute. Additional resource: https://www.livestrong.com/article/371906-medicinal-uses-of-chicory-root/

Turmeric is part of the ginger family. It has digestive, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant benefits. Some common ways to use turmeric is to grate it in to smoothies, soups, curries, and rice dishes. It can even be used as a toothpaste! Note that the golden (orange) varieties of turmeric may stain skin. Additional resource: https://www.livestrong.com/article/135303-the-benefits-raw-turmeric/

Kohlrabi is a member of the Brassica family and is similar in taste and texture to a broccoli stem– though has a bit more crunch. My favorite simple preparation is to slice as thin “steaks” and roast in oven or grill. It can also be eaten raw as a slaw (but make sure to slice very thin and marinate to soften).

carrot

To extend the life of your carrots, top immediately before storing in fridge. Tops will continue to transpire, which will cause the roots to wilt. Carrot top pesto is a farm favorite, and easy to prepare– all you need is olive oil, garlic, salt, walnuts, and tops. Blend and enjoy with your next grilled cheese!

The smaller varieties of sweet potatoes in the CSA box this week are best eaten sooner rather than later, cooked while the skin is still thin. When aged, the skin becomes more tough and may be more challenging to peel and remove.

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Thanks for your continued support, and enjoy the bounty!

–CSA FARM TEAM

 

Sustainable Ag Classroom Happenings

Social Media Down on the Farm

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Through the courses in the Sustainable Agriculture program here at CCCC students are exposed to a broad variety of topics and experiences that will well prepare them to go on to work on a sustainable farm, work in a food co-op, or be a part of the management of a farmers market.  We learn how to propagate plants using multiple methods, we learn how to harvest and wash fresh vegetables for packing CSA boxes; we learn how to budget, plan and schedule at a crop level as well as for a whole farm.  We learn how to drive a tractor, assemble a drip irrigation system and how to safely use a chain saw to cut down a tree.  We learn how to take soil samples, interpret the resulting analysis and properly amend the soil in a manner that enhances its goodness and health as the seasons go by.  All of these are good and necessary elements of the body of knowledge one must assimilate to become a sustainable farmer.  But there is also a deeper level of learning and mentoring woven throughout the program that helps us learn how to be good stewards, to care for the land and our planet’s future, and the importance of being part of a community and giving back to those around us.

 

The Student Becomes the Teacher

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This afternoon, the fall Agricultural Marketing class was the recipient of a great “gift”, given back by Central Carolina Community College Alumni Angie Blomer. Angie is a former student in the Sustainable Agriculture program and completed her Degree in Sustainable Agriculture in 2014.

Angie was invited to return to campus here in Pittsboro by our instructor Robin Kohanowich to speak with the class about social media fundamentals and the role of social media as part of an overall marketing plan.

Since graduating in 2014 Angie has used social media extensively. First to build an online following for Good Foods Growers Market, a local food market she started up in Kernersville; then in her work with the Forsyth County local foods council, and currently at the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market in her role as Local Business Coordinator.

Good Learnings

 

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For an introduction Angie walked us through the current social media platforms and the demographics and common uses for each platform, helping us understand what types of activities might make sense to employ on each platform.  As the afternoon class time passed, Angie shared the fundamental elements of a small business social media program and some of the key things she has found important to pay attention to in implementing a social media program. Her presentation was interspersed with periods of lively discussion as class members had the opportunity to ask questions and share their observations and experiences in using social media.

The discussion that occurred later in the afternoon on how to develop a social media plan was most helpful for me as Angie provided the class some wise, but very easy to understand advice on getting started:

  • Define and be clear about your goals for social media before you begin
  • Define and understand who you are trying to reach, their demographics and which social media platform(s) they typically use
  • Define your “voice” and how you will address your audience before you begin and then be consistent with your messaging “voice” across platforms and through time to your audience
  • Understand the time required to properly execute your plan, and devote the time needed consistently each week to work your plan as you build your social media presence

Angie’s presentation and discussion on social media was wonderful, engaging and easy to understand.  Our entire class participated in the discussion with lots of good questions asked and answered.  In the end, it ended up being one of the best classes of the semester (so far)!

The Most Impressive Thing…

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Here we were in a lively discussion on the merits of each social media platform, and where we think social media seems to be headed as a marketing tool… it was great, invigorating and exciting to think about all of the possibilities.   The comments and questions from around the room were fantastic.  But for me, the most impressive, and encouraging thing was that the class was being taught and the discussion led by someone who was sitting in this very classroom as a student only three years ago!  It is amazing to me how far Angie has travelled in just three years!  Learning of her accomplishments and everything she shared with the class helps me see beyond the daily grind of classes, homework, plantings, and projects.   Her journey helps me realize that our studies and preparations in Sustainable Agriculture may well lead us to some very exciting and fulfilling places as we journey forward at the completion of our studies.  Just as important, Angie’s willingness to come back to campus as a guest speaker speaks volumes to me about the good that comes from being involved in a community and “giving back” to help those around you.

 

By Michael Tate, Reformed Direct Marketer and Farmer in Training