Better burgers

Hey!  Just a short note here.  Being the beginning of grilling season, I decided to beef up my  burgers a little.  I have always made slaw with cabbage.  Well, I don’t grow any and I should be enjoying the fruits of my labor.  I do grow a superfood called lacinato kale.  I pick it at the baby stage as my customers seem to enjoy it most that way.  I have lots picked so I’m making a kale slaw for you to taste, tomorrow.  Since my garlic chives need harvesting, they will be included.  There is no recipe for this.  Just coarsely chop quantities to suite yourself.  Add mayo, yogurt, sour cream whatever you have in any combination and add vinegar.  Not one to go for anything plain I’m going to use my garlic and rosemary infused vinegar.  Jay Pierce used this kale and vinegar on Fox 8 Wednesday morning, but this is not his recipe.  I do have a copy of his if you like.  Another great burger green is arugula.  Spicy foods make my palate happy and arugula is my favorite spring/fall salad green.

There is a very little asparagus available in the morning.  Eggs as ever, but you need to bring a carton.  I don’t have enough to put all my eggs in cartons.  From now on, I may have to charge extra if folks don’t return their cartons.

There is so much more I want to share.  I find myself talking to you while I work.  When I get through working I’m all talked out.  I’ll try to do better.

See you tomorrow, Carol

Warning

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If you’ve been waiting for our spring onions, please arrive early.  Recent rain sent most of the crop to seed before we could harvest.  I have a several pounds and tomorrow will be the only day I have them until this fall.  Based on seed quantity, there will be a super abundance in the fall crop.  Sorry this has happened.  Farm life is unpredictable.

On a happier note our spicy radishes are finally coming through and we will have a few of those.  There is a pretty good bit of asparagus this week.  If I get time I will check the rhubarb.  These cool, wet days are holding everything back.

Next week we should add lettuce and baby kale.  I’ll let you know.

Our laundry soap will be available tomorrow.  If you can’t make it tomorrow, I will have a table with laundry soap and herb infused vinegar at Sunday’s craft show.  We’ll be there from 11:00 until 4:00.

See you tomorrow, Carol

 

Non-GMO with a twist

Good  morning, All.  There’s finally enough rain to let me sit down and visit.  I find myself talking to you most days, but I lack opportunity to share my thoughts.  This is last Monday’s story.

When my mother’s youngest, a redhead like me, turned two Mama began to grow beautiful perennial flowers.  She filled the altar on Sunday and shared with friends far and wide.  When my youngest, a strawberry blond, turned two I began to grow beautiful perennial flowers.  Obviously, my obsession went on to other green things.  My youngest now has her own redhead.  He’s two.  Last Monday, my daughter and I dug enough hostas and liriope from my yard to put a 41 foot bed along her front porch.  Her little man, Chase, helped us out by hauling and dumping many loads of liriope from dig site to car.  We loaded my larger SUV and every available slot in her car and moved our transplants.  This was a 5-6 hour task and the 33 year old was able to keep up with me, haha.  I expect this marks the beginning of her own obsession.

So why the non-GMO tease?  It should be obvious that over three generations the “growing” or red-haired genes have not been modified.

Off to make more laundry soap.

Catch you later, Carol

Our hardworking helper.

Our hardworking helper.

 

One-third mile with a hoe!

There is so much to share today, but it would be callus not to speak to the ongoing terror and loss of life and limb in Boston.  Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to all caught up in this tragedy.

If you read the title you wonder how that can possibly be.  Simple math gets you there.  8 x 100 ft rows of potatoes is 800 feet.  Pulling dirt up to make a hill from both sides is equal to 1600 feet.  Add in the beets and arugula for another 200 feet and divide by 5280.  This was a one woman effort.

We planted those potatoes on Good Friday using seed we held over winter.  They were sprouting like mad and even had a few fingerlings already forming.  We should have a bumper crop.  Everything we planted hasn’t gone quite as well so we went out this morning to replant our carrots (ignored the almanac).  We also planted more lettuce, kale, arugula, and radishes.  We’re pouring in seed in preparation for adding a midweek market to our sale days.  We’ve been to Running Pine Herb Farm and picked up our vegetable starts.  We’ve also started our own cucumbers and a lovely melon.  All these begin to go in the ground next Thursday.  Yesterday, I addedd 10 more rhubarb plants to our growing bed.  There should be a little rhubarb this year and hopefully we will increase over time.

We caught site of our first hummingbird this week and got feeders out.  Notice the beautiful red geranium.  George Smith from the farmers market grew these and I find his to hold up beautifully all summer.  I also took a shot of a rough spot that will be an extension of our herb garden.  There will be lots of basil here for vinegars and other herbs for drying.  Look for dried single herbs of many varieties as the year progresses.

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Our asparagus is bursting from the ground and there will be a good portion available tomorrow.  Our famous arugula will be in the market next week.  If we get the promised rain today we might add lettuce to that promise.  There’s a lot left unsaid here, but I’m off to make more Farmhouse Fresh liquid laundry soap for tomorrow.

See ya,

Carol

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Grandpa made moonshine!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYep, grandaddy sold moonshine to make ends meet.  I think I have found a much better use for spring water and quart jars.  This liquid laundry soap is just pure cleaning.  Notice it separates and you’ll need to shake gently to redistribute particles.  There are no colors or emulsifiers to add eye appeal.  The water is true spring water and you should drop by our farm table and get the extended story.  I’ve been using this myself for six months and I have never been happier.  The glass jars and simple labels are to conserve resources and of course to avoid the use of plastics.  This will be a recycling effort.  You bring or return your jar and price is $3.00.  Initial purchase without a jar will be $3.75.  One load only takes one-half cup.  We have scented and unscented.  One tester says the scent reminded her of laundry from her childhood.

ASPARAGUS will also be available, in a very limited quantity, tomorrow.  We’ve picked twice and will return to the field late today.  The warm sunshine and last night’s rain gave spears a good boost.  Of course, we have eggs and our herb infused vinegars.

I should have posted twice this week.  We were so busy I could not sit down to type.  Midweek I’ll catch you up on everything happening on BIRCH FORK FARM.

See you tomorrow,

Carol

 

Busy days ahead

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I’m not a peach grower, but this volunteer tree always makes me smile.  It can be seen from the window over the sink in our soap house and we really enjoy its blooms.

I thought I better speak with you today.  Tomorrow we plant fingerling potatoes and salting the asparagus field.  Saturday, after market, we will be setting out squash and zucchini.  Obviously, these will go under cover and wait for warmers days.  We do get a little head start on the season this way.

We’re impatiently waiting for these new chickens of ours to lay.  They spend more of their days indoors than most, but we’re sure they’ll soon be venturing out in the grass and getting down to business.  We had to bury our beautiful barred rock rooster this week.  We have no idea what happened to him.  We suspect he got something caught in his craw, but did not want to perform an autopsy to find out.  We have already made arrangements for his replacement.  Someone on Craigslist has a young fellow we will be picking up in about six weeks.

We’re now days away from one of the most beautiful and eventful months of our year, April.  Buds and blooms bursting, seeds sprouting and surging forth, and delicate showers to assist these processes make me remember why I do this.  I could be retired and sitting on the porch.  Each winter makes me more inclined to do that, but
April comes along and once again I am out and at it.  I hope you’ll be out and at it, too.

Carol

 

Hello to Spring

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m sorry to say this asparagus is from last year.  I am happy to say you will be able to purchase our asparagus this year.  Yep, that’s right.  ALL of our lovely asparagus will be sold at the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market.  I can’t tell you when it will push up through the soil as we’ve had an unseasonably cool March.  I predict the first week in April.  This week, I will be salting the rows.  This is for weed suppression and benefits the asparagus crowns, too.

It’s been too wet to get anything in the ground.  We hope by the end of the week to have all our early spring crops in the ground.  Next week we will plant fingerling potatoes.  We’re following the almanac this year and the 27th will be a great day for potatoes.

We’ll be extending our herb garden, this year.  There will be lots more vinegar available all summer.  I also plan to have both fresh and dried herbs for sale.  If there’s an herb or vinegar you would like, now is the time to let me know.

Many new varieties will be available at our market table over the course of the year.  Be sure to drop by weekly and check for what is new.

All three of our flocks are laying eggs in abundance.  We picked up 15 new Barred Rock layers this week and I have already caught them messing around the nesting boxes.  They will be laying very soon and egg availability will increase.

Go outside today.  Harvest some Vitamin D.

Carol

Year’s End

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  It’s been a great year and next year will be even better.  Look for great quantities and more variety from Birch Fork Farm, come spring. 

Thanks to all of you who have been faithful followers and customers over the course of the year.  Had it not been for a ground hog we would have our largest haricot vert year so far.  Hopefully, some new fencing tactics will bring beans back in abundance.  We’ll be offering our asparagus in the market next year so look for that addition, too. We’re turning a whole new bed for next year and new space will increase our rotating abilities and hopefully help with insect pests.  We have new chickens coming very early spring and our egg count should double.  I hate to say come early for eggs, but our eggs are reported to be some of the best in the market and they go away fast.

We continue to offer our herb vinegars and now that our other business (Mimi’s Soaps) is returning to normal pace we might get our dried tomatoes packaged for your winter dishes.  Drop in for a chat any Saturday and remember our winter hours will be 7 until noon until March 31.

Now its time to search seed catalogue so we’ll talk later.  Carol

Quick Update

After visiting the field and finding the bunnies had eaten your dinner, we decided to cut off for the season.  Tomorrow there are lots of baby carrots, baby leaf lettuce, arugula and the little bit of kale the bunnies did not get.  As I type, the buckeye flock has their beaks down and their tails up at the salad bar.  We’ll stay in touch over winter and let you know what and when to expect from us in the spring.  Till then, Eat Smart!

Brrrr!!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARemember this cute little bottle?

What do we do when its cold outside?

The cute little bottle and herbs from my garden have teamed up to bring you wonderful herb infused vinegars.  They have turned out to be a big hit for local Christmas gifts.  I have several varieties and I’m sure you’ll find something you like.  I have one new one for tomorrow.  Lime Basil in white balsamic vinegar will be a little different, but I plan to use it for a citrus and goat cheese salad.  Should be amazing.  Our best seller is Basil with Garlic Chives in white balsamic and many folks are taking home the Purple Ruffles Basil in white wine vinegar for its lovely color and aroma.  Garlic and Rosemary, Dill, Tarragon and Ginger and Garlic (local ginger, thank you Handance Farm) round out our flavors so I am sure you will find something you like.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI wish I could show you; but alas, something has changed with this software and my latest pictures are not loading.  I’ll work on that after all the greens are done and the accounting, for the year, is finished.  Probably a cold day in January.

If you’d like images move over to our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BirchForkFarm and see images.  Of course, “like” us while you are there.

We also have other news.  Our youngest chickens are now laying so there are a few eggs on our table every Saturday.  We are not back to full production so they are limited.  Tomorrow we will have arugula and kale plus our vinegars for sale.  Before Christmas we should have one more harvest of our delicious baby carrots and I’ll let you know when they are ready.

Until tomorrow, Carol

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