Archive for April, 2010

Earth Day

Earth Day Flag

The Earth flag is not an official flag, since there is no official governing body over Earth. The flag holds a photo transfer of a NASA image of the Earth on a dark blue background. Although the flag was originally copyrighted, a judge ruled that the copyright was invalid."

First, a little history lesson (from Wiki):

Earth Day is a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth‘s environment. It was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in held on April 22, 1970.[1] Earth Day is celebrated in spring in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. Earth Day Network, a group that wishes to become the coordinator of Earth Day globally, asserts that Earth Day is now observed on April 22 on virtually every country on Earth.[2] World Environment Day, celebrated on June 5 in a different nation every year, is the principal United Nations environmental observance.[3] Many communities also celebrate Earth Week, an entire week of environment-related activities, the first of which occurred in Philadelphia in 1970 (starting April 16 and culminating on Earth Day, April 22.)[4]

Now, what can we do to help planet earth? Lots of things and if you’re reading this blog, you probably do many things to help out. You may be eating locally, supporting your farmer’s market or neighborhood CSA, or even growing your own food. There’s lot’s we can do and the site 50 Simple Things has a great list with tons of information. If you think you’re doing all you can, check out this list and see what more you can do.

My favorites, because they tie in with the farm:

# 2. Go Organic
#13. Think Globally, Eat Locally
#17. Grow a Green Marketplace
#21. Support Fair Trade

The list is all good and gives us ideas of what we can each do a little more to make a big difference. Right now, we save the water in gallon jugs when we are warming it up for the shower; we don’t use pesticides; even though we grow organic veggies, we also purchase what we can’t grow; we support other local farmers; we use organic soaps, toothpaste and detergent; we combine errands, to use less gas; we support our local businesses, especially the new organic coffee shop nearby; we’re going to use the sun for cooking and dehydrating this summer; we reuse, reduce and recycle. I bet you do a lot of these things too. Check out the list and all the info, but beware, there is so much there, you may stay on the computer for a long time.

In closing, let’s do a little more than we do now to celebrate Earth Day and every day.



Fresh picked asparagus

Fresh picked asparagus

I’m a little late to be writing about asparagus. It’s been growing for a couple of months now. Our plants are 5 or 6 years old now and I want to move them. I have to investigate if we can dig them up and put them in a better spot. The last couple of years, they haven’t produced as well as I think they should, and part of that, I think, is the caverns the gophers have dug under them.

Ends of asparagus for compost

Ends of asparagus for compost

Another interesting thing that was brought to mind, while I was washing and cutting the asparagus; how much waste there is when processing the veggies to market. A lot of veggies are tossed if they don’t look a certain way for the produce section. It doesn’t have to be that way, but we as a society have been “trained” to only want the “perfect” veggie.

Asparagus growing tall

Asparagus growing tall

Tomatoes for example; How many varieties do you see in the store? And the ones you do see are mostly very similar to each other in color and size. That’s because these tomatoes have been bred to travel long distances, to all look the same, picked green and tasteless… my opinion, about the taste. But it’s what we are used to seeing, so something new or different “can’t be a tomato, let alone taste good”.

One of our main jobs at the farm is to educate. We grow a variety of tomatoes and other veggies that you will be familiar with; you’ll know they are tomatoes, or cucumbers, but they will be a different variety, something you may never have seen before.

Timber asparagus


People who join CSA’s get to experience new tastes and new veggies. It’s exciting.

Do me a favor, and yourself this season; if you have never had a home-grown tomato, go to a farmer’s market, your neighbor’s house or grow your own. Then buy a store-bought tomato and do a taste test. You will never want a store-bought again, I promise.

And if you’re asking yourself why you don’t see varieties in the stores; it’s because we accept what they sell us, so the stores think your happy. Let them know what you want. Vote with your fork and your dollar.

Boy, how did I get from asparagus to that? 😉

If you are going to eat veggies or fruit, eat local, buy from the farmer’s market, get to know your farmer and eat better tasting, nutritious food that will feed your body.

Ok, so I owe you some facts and my fav way to prepare asparagus… It’s the least I can do after my mini-rant. 🙂

From Wiki: Asparagus is low in calories, contains no cholesterol and is very low in sodium. It is also a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, rutinniacinfolic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese and selenium. The amino acid asparagine gets its name from asparagus, the asparagus plant being rich in this compound. Particularly green asparagus is a good source of vitamin C.[10] Vitamin C helps the body produce and maintain collagen, the major structural protein component of the body’s connective tissues.

Particularly green asparagus is a good source of vitamin C. Purple asparagus differs from its green and white counterparts, having high sugar and low fibre levels. Purple asparagus was originally developed in Italy and commercialised under the variety name Violetto d’Albenga.

To learn everything there is to know about asparagus, check out the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board. An amazing fact: Under ideal conditions, an asparagus spear can grow 10″ in a 24-hour period. (I swear, you can watch them grow. su)

Recipe: If you know me, you know I like easy and simple. This is my favorite way to prepare asparagus. Layer a row of asparagus on a cookie sheet with sides. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with lemon pepper and broil for just a few minutes. YUM!!!! We also eat it raw. I don’t know if I’d suggest that with store-bought, but with home-grown, it’s sweet, tender and tasty.

The Color Purple….Veggies, that is.

Purple Broccoli Plant

Baby Purple Broccoli

If you’ve been around for a while, you already know I like to plant purple veggies. I love the color anyway, and I find it unusual in the vegetable kingdom. We plant purple broccoli, radish, beans, cabbage, carrots, onions, potatoes and even tomatoes.

Purple Basil

Purple Basil, pretty; not as good as green

In the past we have planted eggplant and purple basil, but probably won’t this year. The eggplant still has a chance in the garden, some people like it and it’s a pretty plant with nice flowers; but the purple basil, although pretty, just doesn’t compare to the Genovese basil everyone likes.

Purple Carrots

Purple Haze Carrots

In my research of purple veggies, I found an interesting blog, Straight From the Farm, discussing the nutritional benefits of purple veggies. They say:

“What’s so interesting about PURPLE fruits and veggies is that they carry more anthocyanins and phenolics than any other color of produce.  These two antioxidants (that are ultimately a result of a purple crop’s phytochemical signature) have been at the heart of much of the hype over berries, particularly blueberries, as cancer-fighting agents.  Evidence from recent laboratory tests suggests that anthocyanins in particular can noticabely slow the growth of colon cancer cells.  But it’s not just berries… any purple (or blue-ish) produce has a powerful punch of these antioxidants, which are also proven to help urinary tract health, memory loss, and the general effects of aging. “

Colorful Salad

Who could resist this beautiful salad with it's rainbow of colors?

And who could resist this salad? It was almost too pretty to eat. Everything in this salad was grown at the farm. We have sungold tomatoes, watermelon radish, orange and purple carrots, lemon cucumber, and yes, there’s lettuce in there somewhere, you can see it poking through the other veggies.
The colors always amaze me. This is nature painting in the garden, and we have the pleasure to bring that to our shareholders. Nothing could be better?

For more info on veggie colors and the nutrients they bring, click here for the Color Wheel of Fruits and Vegetables.