The growing season has officially kicked off! This past week we got the greenhouse cleaned up and started the first big round of crops of 2023: Onions, shallots, and scallions! With pinched fingers and good posture, we tapped almost 40,000 seeds into 1/2 square cells. We are faster and faster at the task, but even so it takes time. Mechanized seeders are one of the things on our equipment dream list. Until then we'll use our lo-tech tappers (see picture).
Onions hold a special place for me. They are one of the first plants we start in the greenhouse and are potentially one of the last that we pull from storage. They are delicious and start almost every meal. The smell of cooking onions feels like home. On top of that, they are beautiful. But! They do require a lot of work. They don't compete well with weeds which means we weed the entire planting by hand twice. We have implements on tractors that can do the broad strokes but the tight spaces in row between the plants require more finesse. This year between the onions, shallots, and this first round of scallions, we are planting 1/4 of an acre (about the size of 60 parking spaces.) Good timing and the right weather will determine the challenge level. Regardless, we are up to the task!
In the more immediate future, we are carrying on seeding shoots and micros, cleaning up, making repairs, laying the groundwork for upcoming plans, and interviewing potential crew. We have had a few excellent applicants and it looks like one new crew member, but we still have to wait and see. This has gotten my hopes up. We count on each other out here in the field. We need teamwork to get the plants in the ground, care for them as they grow, bring in the harvest, and then bring it to you! We need teamwork to share the work of monitoring the many details and variables that effect production so we can adapt to the living system that we are working within. And we need teamwork to laugh, marvel at beauty of the world around us, and offer support. Without a team, the type of plans we are making are impossible to execute. So join me in gratitude that it seems there is a team destined to be Lake Divider's this year and hopefully beyond.
Our coffers are emptying and hold only a couple weeks of most crops. We still have a lot of turnips and a lot of potatoes. We will continue bringing produce from our wonderful neighbor farmers. We will also continue producing microgreens and shoots which will be a lot easier now that the greenhouse is opened up. Even so, times will be tight for us until mid-may. If you are considering signing up for our CSA, this is a great time to do it. It will fortify our path through the season. If you have any questions about how it works or special considerations, please don't hesitate to email me.
On that note, I head farmward for the tail end of Wiley's nap!
I will leave these lean times support suggestions here...
Ways to support us through these lean times?
- Become a farm member through our CSA!
- Here is a link to information about it.
- Here is a link to the sign up sheet
- You balance will stay on the books until the end of the 2023 season.
- Come buy our vegetables at market! Make going to the farmers' market part of your weekly routine. We love to see you and we love our vegetables being part of your meals.
- Invite your friends to come to market with you or introduce them to our vegetables!
- Share our hiring ad! If you know someone that is a farmer or is considering farming, send them our way!
- Here is a link to our hiring page.
In this email:
- Winter market schedule:
- As of now we are planning on attending Eastern and Royal Oak every week. If anything changes, we will note it here.
- Generally important notes
- We are inside at Eastern Market, in Shed 3, stalls 367 and 369. You can find us on the left if you enter Shed 3 from Russell st.
- Farm Members! Accepting sign-ups for the 2023 Season. Please ask for a sign-up sheet at market or print one (here) and bring it!
- Here is link to our Social Justice page on our website. It is a list of resources to keep active in effecting positive social change.
- Fresh from the Field
- Recipe: Sunflower Shoot Salad! (Repeat cause it so delicious!)
- Market Details: Royal Oak and Eastern (shed 3, 367 and 369)!
Fresh From the Field-
All Manner of Deliciousness
Apples (Al Mar Orchard, certified organic, at Eastern and Royal Oak)
Cabbage: Savoy Leaf Cabbage, Classic, and Red
Garlic (certified organic from Cinzori!)
Napa Cabbage- baby and delectable
Onions: Yellow Cinzori's (certified organic!)
Potatoes: Red and white
Daikon (Purple, Red (from Tantre) and White)
Watermelon radishes- From Tantre (grown with practices we trust but not certified organic)
Purple top turnips
Recipe: Sunflower Shoot Salad
From West Coast Seeds
Sprout some sun with this Sunflower Sprout Salad recipe. This salad combines stored root vegetables with fresh and delicious microgreens.
• 375 mL (1 1/2 cups) of sunflower shoots
• 62 mL (1/4 cup) pistachios
• 250 mL (1 cup) grated carrot
• 30 mL (1/8 cup) red onion (or yellow)
• 125 mL (1/2 cup) chevre
• 125 mL (1/2 cup) avocado
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• Sea salt to taste
When your first step in a recipe is growing the ingredients, you know that you’re working with fresh, local food. At least a week before you want to create your salad, plant your sunflower seeds in a high quality potting soil under indoor lights. When the two seed leaves push up and out of the soil and you can see a long sprout below, they’re ready to eat. Harvest them using scissors, and wash them carefully. Sunflower seed microgreens taste nutty, and they’re full of protein – the perfect choice for a savory salad.
Chop the red onions very fine, and grate the carrots. Toss, and add pistachios and crumbled chevre. If you’d prefer a milder salad, omit the onions and add more chevre for its tart taste.
To create the dressing, blend half an avocado with a tablespoon of lemon juice, and add sea salt to taste. This salad is best eaten very fresh, so add the dressing and toss the salad immediately before you eat. It serves two as a side salad, or it can be lunch for one.
Market Details: We are at market this week
The Ann Arbor Farmers Market- Back in May
Eastern Market, Shed 3, stalls 367 and 369 (on the right when you enter shed 3 Russell St.), Saturday with Helen! 6 am to 2:30 pm
Royal Oak, Saturday with Peter, and Lisa! 7 am to 1 pm