Monday, August 31, 2009

Cool year continues...

Wow, is it cool the past few days. This morning our thermometer said 44 degrees! That is pretty cool for the end of August. The record low in 1915 was 39, not that far off. The high did not even top 70. Nice weather for the farmer, but it is leaving the tomatoes still green and not particularl keen to ripen. I wonder if our whole "summer" was the two weeks we had of 80s. At least the lettuce likes it!

Mobile post sent by CSAFarmerGirl using Utterlireply-count Replies.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pepper muncher!

This little guy was working his way down the row...

Mobile post sent by CSAFarmerGirl using Utterlireply-count Replies.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Carrots bigger then me!

Wow! Those are big carrots. When we were picking the "normal size" carrots we found a patch with these monsters!

Mobile post sent by CSAFarmerGirl using Utterlireply-count Replies.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sliced carrots...

This message has been sent using the picture and Video service from Verizon Wireless!

To learn how you can snap pictures and capture videos with your wireless phone visit

Note: To play video messages sent to email, Quicktime@ 6.5 or higher is required.

Mobile post sent by CSAFarmerGirl using Utterlireply-count Replies.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Week 8 share

A bunch of green onions, 2 large beets, a bunch of carrots, a bag of mixed hot peppers, a handful of tomatoes, a bunch of chard, a small cauilflower head, 3 candy onions, and four summer squash...

Mobile post sent by CSAFarmerGirl using Utterlireply-count Replies.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Section 105

Section 105 of the food saftey bill now waiting in the wings to be voted upon when everyone is busy elsewhere...

'(1) In general - Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture and representatives of State departments of agriculture, sall publish a notice of proposed rulemaking to establish science based minimum standards for the safe productionad harvesting of those types of fruits and vegetables that are raw agricultural commodities for which the Secretary has determined that such standards minimize the risk of serious adverse health consequences or death."

So in other words when people tell you that the law will have no impact on farmers they are not lieing. Because really who knows what those rules will be? But if they take as a model some of the rules coming out of grocrey store requirements for greens, many small farms will be unable to meet those requirements, if for no other reason then they do not have enough land for the buffer zones, which are a couple hundred feet deep. I posted about this in July.

You can probably tick off any item which has recently had recalls as the first targets, these will include at a minumum greens, spinach, cilantro, peppers, and tomatoes... That list includes some of the higher value items to a small farm, and more will certainly follow. Just something to think about.

Monday, August 17, 2009

S 510

The new bill to oppose is Senete Bill 510, the sister to HB 2749 The Food Safety Modernization Act. Fight for your right to artesional cheeses and pastas, and home produced bakery goods, jams, and jellies.

Check out this from the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund.

Here are the main talking points they outline...
  • Talking Points (note: these same problems are also found in HR 2749)
    Food safety problems lie with the industrial food processors and food imports, not with local producers. FDA should not be given any additional regulatory power over the local food system than what the agency has at present.
  • S.510 calls for federal regulation of how farmers grow and harvest product. Farmers selling food directly to local markets are inherently transparent and accountable to their customers, and there is no reason to impose these regulations on them. Based on FDA's track record, it is likely that such rules will also discriminate against diversified sustainable farms that produce animals and crops in complementary systems.
  • S.510 expands FDA's powers over food processors, regardless of their size, scale, or distribution. FDA oversight of small, local food processors is overreaching and unnecessary. Small processors selling into local markets do not need federal oversight, unlike the large, industrial, multi-sourced supply chains that are the cause of most foodborne illnesses and food recalls.
  • S.510 applies a complex Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system to even the smallest local processors, imposing onerous paperwork and record-keeping on these small businesses. Applying a HACCP system to local foods facilities processing for local markets, as well as farmers making value-added products, could undermine and extinguish these emerging small businesses attempting to bring healthy local foods to American consumers.
  • In fact, when HAACP was applied to the meat packing industry, it was instrumental in reducing the number of smaller regional and local meat packers, yet failed to increase the number of independent, objective inspectors in giant meat slaughtering and packing facilities.
  • Bottom line: One size does not fit all when considering food safety bills! Local foods businesses are not the same as animal factories or mega-farms that sell products into industrial scale national and international markets, and should not be regulated the same way!

Bottom line... I will post more on my thoughts on the real bottom line of this law later this week. We still have time to help oppose this, but they will try to push it through while they think no one is paying attention, and everyone is looking at healthcare, cap&trade, and immigration.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Only one kitten still needs a home...


Mobile post sent by CSAFarmerGirl using Utterlireply-count Replies.

Local coffee...

The local food trend has become so popular and trendy that it is moving out ahead of general knowledge about it...

I have a friend who was telling me about his roomate who just joined a "CSA" with local deliveries and a choice every week of lots of local things like local pork, berries, and veggies. That is all great, although with that list I am pretty sure I can guess which "CSA" he joined.

But then my friend said he had fresh pasta made with local flour. I said "Really? Spelt pasta?" as this is the primary grain around here which is milled small enough for pasta, most of our local flour is pretty rough. Enough that I add King Aruther's when I make bread, but for pasta? He said that he doubted his roommate knew what he was talking about. I said there are some really great artisianal pasta makers in our area, but none that I was aware of use local flour.

He then told me about the latest discussion he had with his roommate. He had Local Coffee in his share this week. I said, there are some really good local roasters, but he said no his roommate INSISTED that the coffee was grown locally. (I am sure that his "CSA" did not tell him it was locally grown, but neither did they tell him what its origin was.)

Obviously, my friend, knows that there are NOT coffee farms in Northern Ohio. But he could not convince his roommate of this fact. He insisted that everything this "CSA" gives him is grown on local farms. Even his coffee. "There is no reason that a farmer who wanted to couldn't grow coffee in Ohio!" It does not take much knowledge of food to know that you cannot grow coffee in a place where snow regularly passes your knees. I suppose with heated greenhouses it might be possible, $400/lb coffee anyone?

I will reiterate what I have said before. If you do not know your farmer you do not belong to a CSA. The term is being co-opted by people who are operating what they call in England "Box-Schemes" where local food is bought and resold to the customer. There are CSAs in other areas which are run by a group of farms, but farms are at the center, not a third party marketer. Some CSAs offer items from other farms when there is something they do not grow. But again the farm and farmer is at the center of the CSA.

I may never be able to give my members "Locally grown coffee," and there may be years when tomatoes are late because I wait for ours to ripen and do not just buy someone elses. But I think that the difference between the CSA and Box-Scheme is the difference that will mean the success or failure of small family farms.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Squash harvest...

Hundreds of sqaush a pickup...

Mobile post sent by CSAFarmerGirl using Utterlireply-count Replies.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Today's CSA share

Today's share: 2-1/2 pounds red potatoes, small cucumber, large bunch of scallions, bunch of carrots, 4 large beets, 5 summer squash (your pick), a small bag of rat tailed radishes, and member pick of one of the following (cauliflower, brocolli, or kolirabi).

We had a nice selection of summer squash and zucchini to pick from. Hopefully the peppers and tomatoes start producing soon,. this cool weather is why we had cauliflower today-they were small but with 90 degrees in the forcast we though it might be now or never...

Mobile post sent by CSAFarmerGirl using Utterlireply-count Replies.

good meal...


Mobile post sent by CSAFarmerGirl using Utterlireply-count Replies.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Carrot harvest


Mobile post sent by CSAFarmerGirl using Utterlireply-count Replies.
When the firrst weekend in August finds you with cauliflower you know the year is cold...

Mobile post sent by CSAFarmerGirl using Utterlireply-count Replies.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Why no one (or thing) should have 6 babies!

The kittens are still nursing, although we are feeding them (and mama) to...

Mobile post sent by CSAFarmerGirl using Utterlireply-count Replies.