Gettin' fresh … in Northern Nevada

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A Bad Week in the Garden

It has been a devastating week here at Fresh Veggies.    I’m feeling a little more than discouraged.

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The lettuce and tomato plants are covered in bugs, white flies, I believe.   The lettuce was ready to harvest and I was totally grossed out by the bugs so WE DID NOT EAT IT.   Bleck.   No amount of washing was going to take that visual away from me.   Gag.

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I promptly busted out the insecticidal soap and sprayed like a maniac.   As a matter of fact, I should probably go spray again to be sure.   Bleck.

Then, there’s the matter of the sunflowers.    Total loss.   I blame the chipmunks.   I blame the squirrels.   I blame the bunnies.   I blame them all.   And, I am sad.imageTo make matters worse, there is someone down the street from me who has no less than 100 sunflower plants happily growing in her front yard.   I am beyond jealous.

And, I will just have vicariously enjoy her sunflowers because mine are dead.

Ugh.

 

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Sprout Update

How about a sprout update?   Lettuce, spinach, kale, carrots and green beans have all poked through to the light.   The peppers are taking a little but longer but I think that’s normal so we’ll keep waiting on them.

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First Sprout

It’s just barely starting but the tiniest tips of green are poking out of the soil.

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Spinach, maybe?

It’s a big day here at the Fresh Veggies household.   Big days start with tiny, little green sprouts.


Winter Break

This blog is currently on winter break while the fields are dormant for the season.   Please check out my other endeavors at www.gingerleaphotography.com until the spring thaw happens.

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See you later,

Fresh Veggies in the Desert


Great Basin Basket CSA, Autumn Week 6 (11/07/13)

 

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This is it, the last basket of 2013.   I’m happy to report that it was full of all kinds of goodies, too!

2013 wasn’t kind to the farmers and I’m not sure what the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting for 2014 but I am certain that water is going to be an issue for the Fallon farmers no matter what.    I love being a part of the Great Basin Basket CSA.   However, once again, I am faced with the dilemma about what to do for next year.   We’ll see …

(All organic from Lattin Farms, unless otherwise noted)

  • Stripetti Squash
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Sunflowers
  • Decorative Indian Corn
  • Lettuce
  • Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Spinach
  • Chard
  • Thyme
  • Decorative Gourds
  • Onions from Peri & Sons
  • Jerusalem Artichokes from Mewaldt Organics
  • Potatoes from Workman Farms
  • Mixed Asian Greens from High Desert Farming Initiative (part of the University of Nevada, Reno)

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So, veggie friends … it might be a while until the next post.   I’m considering just posting an occasional recipe or two but I’m might also just reevaluate my blogging time.

What do you think?

Maybe, just a winter’s break to clear the mind … maybe not.


Great Basin Basket CSA, Week 5 (10/31/13)

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This week’s haul included a couple of fun things and a little bit of sad news.   First things first, what’s in the box? (All organic from Lattin Farms unless otherwise noted)

  • Lettuce
  • Rosemary
  • Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Arugula
  • Decorative Gourd
  • Sunflower
  • Decorative Indian Corn
  • Potatoes from Workman Farms
  • Butternut Squash from Peri & Sons
  • Onions From Peri & Sons

What do you do with a full sunflower head?   Thankfully, the newsletter came with instructions.   (I love that the farm doesn’t assume that I know this stuff.   Instructions are appreciated!)

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How to Make Your Own Sunflower Seeds

Cover the flower head with a paper bag and secure into place by tying around the bag with a string.

Hang the cut sunflower upside down by the stem in a warm but ventilated area for three weeks to two months while it cures. The seeds will fall out over time, caught in the paper bag.

Place the dried sunflower seeds in an airtight container in the refrigerator for storage. Roast the sunflower seeds by spreading them in a flat layer over a cookie sheet and placing in a 300-degree oven for 20 minutes. Add salt or leave them plain based on your preference.

 

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I love the decorative stuff because they can hang around until Thanksgiving and not be confused with my Halloween decorations.

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Now, the sad news …  the drought was pretty tough on my farm this year.   And, well, drought conditions make it pretty tough on about everything around here.   Here’s the official scoop from my CSA newsletter:

“It has been a challenging year for us – drought, heavy insect and disease pressure, crazy weather (including about three weeks without sunshine due to wildfires).  Despite these difficulties the basket went out every week full of fresh produce. The variety, due to problems noted above, was not up to our usual standards – lots and lots of some things and less of others.  Thanks for putting up with those variables. 

We are changing the basket substantially in 2014 to ensure we can send a full basket of good produce every week, despite the challenges we anticipate due to continued drought. Luckily at Lattin Farms we have storage ponds on the farm and will be able to plant for the new seasons we are implementing for 2014. 

We will have two seasons rather than three, with an Early Season Basket beginning the first week of June and running through the end of July. This season will begin with the usual greens, plus beets, turnips, carrots and in July the first 
of the summer squashes, tomatoes and peppers. Late Season Basket will include August and September and will contain all the crops you got this year. This will allow us to concentrate on our major season as we face the challenges with weather and drought. 

Our sign-up for 2014 will be up on the website within the next couple of weeks and we would appreciate early sign-ups with the $50 deposits as we may be required to limit basket numbers if the drought worsens. 

We are asking some of our cooperating farmers if they want to pick up some of the spring and fall business that we have had. Look to our website later in the year for announcements on other subscription programs for spring and fall baskets. Thanks again for your loyal support.   Rick Lattin”

Well, that’s just how it works here in the desert.   No water, no life.  You have to do the best you can with what you have so we’ll see how it works out next year for crops and Fresh Veggies in the Desert.

Let me know what you think … I was looking forward to the winter break but now it’s a little sad that I’m watching the CSA change at the same time.


Great Basin Basket CSA Autumn Week 4 (10/24/13)

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The winter veggies just keep coming!   I’m happy to see a nice variety in this week’s CSA share.   I am still a little worried, though.   It is really dry out there and I know my farm is struggling for water.   C’est la vie for gardening in the desert, I suppose?

What was in this week’s box?  (All organic from Lattin Farms unless otherwise noted)

  • Stripetti Spaghetti Squash
  • Butter Lettuce
  • Green Tomatoes
  • Shallots
  • Mixed Peppers
  • Garlic
  • Sage
  • Potatoes from Holley Farms
  • Onions from Peri & Sons

And, just in case you wanted to see what autumn looks like from near my house, this is a little fishing hole a few miles from where I live:

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The county stocks the pond with trout and we have managed to catch a couple of them.   My husband is better at catching than I am but I do enjoy the zen of trying.   How about you?


Great Basin Basket CSA, Autumn Week 3 (10/17/13)

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What’s in the box this week?

(all organic from Lattin Farms unless noted otherwise)

  • Cha-Cha Kabocha Squash
  • MIzuna and Mustard Greens
  • Tomatoes
  • Shallots
  • Islander Peppers
  • Garlic
  • Popcorn
  • Spinach
  • Garlic Chives from Mewaldt Organics
  • Potatoes from Holley Farms
  • Yellow Onions from Peri & Sons
  • Cauliflower from Peri & Sons

What the Cha-Cha?   Now, I’m not a rookie to the squash scene at this point but I don’t remember ever seeing a Cha-Cha Kabocha Squash on the menu before now.   Have you ever had one?

To me, it looks like a big speckled green pumpkin or, maybe, a flatter watermelon   But, I was surprised when I picked it up because it was significantly lighter than expected.   According to the instructions/newsletter, it is the best-eating of the mid-size kabocha squashes.   “It has a bright yellow flesh that cooks up dry, flaky, sweet and delicious.”   I’m thinking it will be a lot like a butternut squash … I guess we will find out soon enough, won’t we?

In case you didn’t already know, the pick-up spot for my CSA is at the local Whole Foods store.   Most of the time, I don’t even go inside unless I need some random other item because, after all, I am going home with a huge box of veggies every week.   This week, though, was different.   I was stopped dead in my tracks because I found my holy grail item of fall.   The Honey Crisp Apple.   Oooooh, yaaaaa.    It’s on like Donkey Kong, my friends.

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I bought a whole bag of these beauties and, after I eat myself sick on just plain old apples, I’m going to make a recipe suggested by Rachel’s Table, Seasonal Sangria.   Check her out, she knows how to get it done …


Great Basin Basket CSA, Autumn Week 2 (10/10/13)

 

 

This week’s goodies are definitely feeling more like the autumn harvest.   And, I’m loving it!

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What did we get?   (All organic) acorn squash, mixed greens, early girl tomatoes, mixed peppers, green leaf lettuce, shallots, popcorn on the cob, thyme, radishes from River Bend Farms, onions from Peri & Sons, potatoes from Workman Farms and broccoli from Nevada Fresh Pak

Just look at the popcorn on the cob!   The instructions said to let it continue to dry until Christmas.   Last year, we just put it in a brown paper bag and microwaved it.   Fun!

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Radishes, have I told you lately that I love you?   I do.

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This is the first time I have seen broccoli from Nevada Fresh Pak.   It looks good!

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The newsletter/instruction sheet this week has some great recipe ideas so look forward to seeing some posts about roast beef and veggies, maybe some broccoli soup and definitely a stuffed baked acorn squash.   I’m feeling all chef-like so I think I might even try my hand as some hot sauce.   Spicy!

What are you plans for this week?


Great Basin Basket CSA, Autumn Week 1 (10/03/13)

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Just a quickie update this week, lots of stuff happening on the homefront. No worries, happy stuff!

This week’s box included a Cherokee purple tomato, a big bag of peppers, eggplant, lettuce, kale, garlic, parsley, mustard greens, spaghetti squash and onions.