Summer 2012: And We’re Off!

Summer is officially here! This means more daylight for us to work on the field, more plants bearing their fruits, and an overabundance of farm, fresh produce.

Here's what the front of the farm looks like!

 

Here's what the back half of the farm looks like.

 

We’ve been busy making sure our crops are happy, so pardon us for the lack of updates. Here’s what we’ve been up to lately:

1. Our CSA:
The shares were off to a wonderful start! The boxes started off with lots of spring greens and has now moved to some summer veggies:

Getting the CSA boxes ready.

 

Lots of spring greens, radishes, and beets in the shares.

There’s a lot of these veggies in the boxes:

Kale and collards are staples of our CSA box.

 

Chard has been in the boxes ever since the first week of our CSA shares.

 

Our summer squashes include Yellow Crooknecks and Costata Romanesco.

 

French Radishes are great on toast with some butter and salt.

2. Trying out crops we’ve never tried before:
Snap peas are new to us. Like most things about farming and life, we’re making some mistakes and learning from them. Unfortunately, we didn’t plant enough to get a big yield, but there’s always next year!

Sugar snap peas had these beautiful flowers on them. Their pods are so sweet!

Daikon radishes were an experiment in the spring, but we hope to grow it again the fall. Expect them to be a little bigger and sweeter than what we had in the spring.

This daikon was one of the biggest we harvested.

Like snap peas, we only grew red cabbage in the spring to see how well they do at our farm. Chances are, you’ll see this same variety in the fall. They turned out to be one of the most vibrant veggies we’ve seen at the farm.

This red cabbage was quite delicious and fairly heavy.

Purple tomatillos have to be the variety we’re most excited to grow. We’re anxiously waiting to see how our salsa morado turns out.

The fruit fills out the husk and when ripe, turns a vivid purple.

3. Garlic:
This is another new one for us. We decided to go for a roughneck variety so we could get these beautiful and tender scapes. Right now we’re curing garlic so it can be ready for your comsumption in a month or so.

Tender garlic scapes are like a garlicky green bean.

 

Our Ajo Rojo is a Creole garlic variety.

 

Fenner hangs the garlic in the farm building. After a few weeks, they'll be ready!

4. Waiting, wishing, hoping for tomatoes to be ripe already. We’ve got so many green tomatoes that we’re checking as often as possible to see that slight tinge of yellow turn to orange then to that oh-so-gorgeous ripe red; or purple for the Black Cherries, Pruden’s Purple, and Cherokee Purple variety; or ripe orange for the Striped Germans! The Green Zebras have just started flowering, so we expect to see tiny tomatoes on them any time now.

We're watching every tomato to see that slight change in color.

 

Tomatoes and peppers make up this field.

 5. Markets:
Our market booth is becoming more and more lush! We’ve been playing around with displays and we think we’ve settled on one we’ll stick with.

Here's our Saturday Asheville City Market Booth.

 

We're still growing the same varieties of beets, Chioggias and Detroits.

 

Our new display utilizes space well.

 

Our summer squash are perfect for grilling!

 

Calendula make beautiful bouquets. They can also be eaten!

Keep checking our blog, our Facebook page, and our Twitter page to see what we’re up to. We’re hoping you’re enjoying our produce and this summer weather!

20

06 2012

Starting Off The Season

With the farmers market and our CSA memberships just a weekend away, we want to share with everyone what’s been going on at the farm.

These benches are home to our spring transplants.

Besides doing a lot of weeding, there’s been a lot of transplanting. Our process begins by starting flats in the high tunnel. Once those plants are big enough to transplant, they’re moved to their corresponding fields. Note that at our farm, we don’t plant the same varieties in the same fields year after year. We rotate the crops to ensure better control of pests and better management of the soil. After all, the soil sustains us, so in turn, we try to take care of it the best we can.

These cipollini onions become a sweet and flavorful onion once matured.

One of the most colorful transplants for us have been these Red Marble Cipollinis. We’re glad to offer this variety since we know it’ll add a good sweetness to any dish.

You’re probably wondering what we’re offering at the moment. We’re starting off this season with lots of delicious greens. What we’re most excited about is our enormous heads of Red Sails lettuce. With its specks of red and beautiful frills, we know this will add the great flavor and color to your spring salads.

Fenner holds the lettuce for size comparison.

Chrisan holds the lettuce for size comparison.

Of course we couldn’t forget to mention that we’ll have kale, mizuna, spinach, and mustard greens.

Our Red Russian Kale is currently growing in our high tunnel.

Add this leafy green to your salad for a mild, peppery flavor.

Our beets are also about ready to pop out of the ground. We’ve got the Detroit variety as well as the Chioggia variety. Later in the season once it’s ready, we’ll be introducing a beet variety that we’re growing for the first time.

Our beets are ready for the 2012 season!

We’ll be at the West Asheville Tailgate Market from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday May 15 for our first market. Then on Wednesday May 16 we’re at the Asheville City Market South from 2 to 6 p.m. Then we’re off to the Asheville City Market (downtown) on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Availability may be limited on these produce, so come to markets early if you’re not a part of our CSA membership!

 

11

05 2012

It’s Officially Spring!

With the warm weather here, we’ve been at it starting seeds in our high tunnel and in the fields. The new season has us excited about the new varities we’re planting for our locavores. We’ve expanded our produce list once again and we can’t wait to share the bounty the 2012 season will bring!

So what else is new at the farm?

Asparagus Starts

These tiny starts are asparagus!

We recently started some asparagus from seed. At this time, they’re adorable toothpick-sized plants in our fields. Since this will be our first year growing them, we won’t have any yields until next year. No worries though, we’ll make sure our loyal customers get updated when they do start producing those delicious spears of goodness!

Raspberry canes are on their way! We have a few plants that we’ll be planting as soon as they arrive. We expect a good harvest from this year, so stay tuned to see when we’ll start bringing them to markets. Of course, if you’re a member of our CSA, expect them in your box the moment they start to ripen!

Our CSA shares are growing! We already have more members in our CSA this year than we did last year! We’re excited to pack each and every CSA box with care and attention, making sure you get the best tasting produce available.

Did we mention we added a farm pick up option for our customers living in the Hendersonville area? Starting this season, members can now pick up their boxes on Fridays between 3 and 5:30 p.m. Our members can also pick up at the three markets we attend:

If you’re interested in a CSA membership, sign up for a full share now and receive a free Blue Meadow Farms shirt.

Come see us at the Asheville City Market’s Indoor Market  this Wednesday, March 21, then again on April 4 and 18. If we don’t see you soon, the Blue Meadow Farms family wishes you a warm spring season!

20

03 2012

2011 Veggie Varieties

July has come and gone too fast if you ask us! We’ve been so busy at the farm, bakery and farmers markets that we’ve forgotten to update you guys on the world wide web!

Here’s what’s we have at the farm at the moment.

Lots of cucurbits
For the past few weeks, we’ve been harvesting tons of cucumbers, zucchini and yellow squash.

Marketmore slicing cucumbers have a delicate sweetness.

Yellow crooknecks have a great buttery taste to them. We love using squash for soups!

Italian heirloom Costata Romanesca have a nuttier flavor than your average zucchini and is rated as one of the best tasting, according to Johnny's Seed.


Heirloom tomatoes

Our three varieties this year includes Nepal, Striped German and Cherokee Purple. If you’ve never tried any of these delicious types of heirloom tomatoes, please stop by our tent and try one. Heirloom tomatoes have a full tomato flavor that can’t be replicated by hybrid vareities.

Nepal heirlooms have a great old fashioned taste. Striped Germans are dense, extremely juicy, and are slightly fruity. Cherokee Purples have a great, classic tomato flavor with the right balance of sweetness and acidity.


Rows and rows of herbs

We’ve been consistently selling cilantro, Genovese basil, Thai basil and lime basil. We hope to continue providing our customers with fresh herbs to go with their veggies!

Can't beat eating fresh cilantro grown in Henderson county!

Rows and rows of our three basil varieties. (Left to right) Thai, Genovese and lime basil at the farm.

Green Beans
Our varieties this year include Fresh Pick and Provider. Fresh Picks were the first to be seeded and planted. Right now, we’re waiting for our Provider plants to start growing their first tender beans.

These tender pods are great eaten raw.


Jalapenos
We can’t seem to keep up with the jalapenos! They produce like crazy and have proven to be hotter than the average jalapeno pepper bought at grocery stores.

Be careful with these! They're extremely hot for jalapenos.


Melons

We chose the Eden’s Gem variety for its uniqueness. Our Sugar Baby watermelons are almost ready! Keep up with our Facebook and Twitter page in the coming weeks to find out when we’ll have these ready for your consumption.

This melon has a greener flesh and a very mellow sweetness.


Potatoes

Our varieties include red-skinned potatoes called Dark Red Norlands, heirloom Russian Banana fingerlings, and Adirondack Blue.

In a few weeks, we should have a list of our fall crops available. In the meantime, make sure you keep up with our blog, our Facebook, and Twitter pages to learn what we’ll have for you at the markets.

We hope everyone enjoys the rest of their summer!

 

22

08 2011

2011 Summer

It’s officially summer! Not only does this mean fresh produce, but it means we’re going to get even more busy.

So far in our second season, we’ve been taking care of our CSA members while also making sure we’re attending all three farmers markets we signed up for. This means we’re at the markets every Saturday, Tuesday and Wednesday. On Saturdays, our booth will have transplants and produce. On Tuesdays, our booth usually offers pita bread, transplants and produce. On Wednesdays, our booth will have transplants, produce and a variety of baked goods.

Here’s a list of produce we’ve been selling at the markets:
Spinach
Beets (Detroit and Chioggia)
Basil
Cilantro
Dill

The list may be a little short, but we pride ourselves in having quality vegetables and herbs grown following organic standards. Also remember that it’s only the beginning of the season for us, so we’re expecting this list to expand in a matter of weeks! Our bush beans, summer squashes, potatoes, tomatoes and other vegetables will be here soon enough.

For now, I’ll leave you with a few images of our booths. Here’s our booth at the Asheville City Market Downtown:

Stop by the booth off S. Charlotte Street on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

At our booth at the Asheville City Market South, we carry our baked goods. These include classic chocolate chip cookies, chocolate raspberry coffee cake, bread loaves (light wheat or honey oat), spinach basil burger buns (We use spinach and basil from the farm!) and light wheat pita bread.

The ACM South is every Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

24

06 2011

Back at the Farmers Markets

We sold transplants and produce in our booth at the Downtown ACM.

We did it! We had a successful first week back at the farmers markets.

The dog-friendly market is located off Charlotte Street and is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Our first market back was on Saturday at the Downtown Asheville City Market on Charlotte Street. There we sold transplants and a few bunches of our greens from our high tunnel. Mother Nature decided to hold off on the rain until the very end. Overall, it was great weather throughout the market. Couldn’t have asked for a better first day back!

We sold bunches of our rhubarb swiss chard, fordhook swiss chard, chioggia beets and collard greens

Our transplants and produce prices are listed on our board. Also, we have helpful transplant information for the flower seedlings we sell.

Customers enjoyed the sunny Saturday morning weather at the market.



Our second market back was the Tuesday West Asheville Tailgate Market off Haywood. It was a bit rainy and was around 55 degrees all throughout the afternoon, but regardless of the weather, we enjoyed our first West Asheville Tailgate Market. We’re looking forward to nothing but blue skies at this market in the future!

Our third market back was the Wednesday South Asheville City Market located at the Biltmore Park Town Square. Here we sold our transplants and our freshly baked treats. Our bakeds goods lists included chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, our brand new item of Chocolate Beet Cake, and our best seller from last year, the Chocolate Raspberry Coffee Cake.  

We’re so excited to be back at the markets to see everyone! Make sure you keep coming to see all the produce and baked goods we’ll have for you this season.

20

05 2011

Getting going…

Ideal planting conditions and warm weather means our second season is off to a good start. Despite a few random rain showers pushing our schedule back just by a tiny bit, we’re still moving along this season.

So what do we have for you this year? Lots of amazing produce! And by amazing, we mean tasty and grown using organic standards. You know, our usual.

We pride ourselves in finding varities of produce that provide full flavor with every bite. We try to pick as many heirloom seeds as possible, and in the case we can’t, we find a good substitute that will be both one-of-a-kind and delectable.

In the case you’re not aware of what heirlooms are, they are varieties that have been passed down within families and have not been cross-pollinated with other types of that same vegetable. Heirlooms are unique and may have a more distinct and flavorful taste to them. Since heirlooms have been passed down for years, they have survived certain pests and diseases.

Just to name a few things that we’ve started out on the farm, we’ll have a variety of squashes, melons, herbs, peppers, tomatoes, flowers and potatoes.

This year, we’ll have three different types of potatoes. These types include Russian Banana fingerlings, Adirondack Blue and Dark Red Norlands.

Here’s the field where we’ve planted some of the potatoes:

The potatoes were being laid out on the beds, then covered with hay.

Here you can see the Dark Red Norlands waiting to be planted.

We’ve also planted quite a few plant cells of various vegetables, herbs and flowers.

Fenner rearranges a few of the flower flat cells.

This year we’ll also be utilizing the high tunnel. We already have the spinach going!

The spinach seedlings enjoy the humid air in the high tunnel.

If you have time this Saturday, come by during our first farmers market of the season at the Downtown Asheville City Market from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Make sure you come see us! If you can’t make it Saturday, come by this Tuesday at the West Asheville Tailgate Market from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. or on Wednesday at the South Asheville City Market from 2 to 6 p.m. located at the Biltmore Park Town Square.



11

05 2011

Welcome to Our Second Season

Our land has been tilled, beds have been shaped, seedlings have sprouted, and of course, the farmers market season has begun. It’s safe to say that the 2011 season has started for Blue Meadow Farms.

With this year being our second year in production, we’d like to look back on the past year to see what you’ve missed.

  • On March 5, 2010, we closed on our property in Hendersonville.
  • Around mid-April, we cleared areas on the property and finished building the fence and gate.
  • During the first week in May, we finished building the high tunnel.
  • On June 9, 2010, we attended our first farmers market at the Asheville City Market South located at the Biltmore Park Town Square.
  • During the next few months, we had an over abundance of vegetables.
  • Around November, we started attending the Asheville City Market on Charlotte Street.

    The Asheville City Market is located on Charlotte Street every Saturday.

  • Our broccoli was a hit!

    Belstar and DeCicco were the two types of broccoli we sold.

  • This past winter, our farm building was also constructed.

    This is our brand new storage building.

  • We grew some vegetables in the high tunnel including collard greens, swiss chard, bok choy and beets.

    The collard greens grew well under the high tunnel.

Fordhook swiss chard is the variety shown here.

The distinctive red stalks of the rhubarb swiss chard sets it apart from other varieties.

The bok choy was the first leafy green to thrive under the high tunnel.

The Chioggia beet shown here has a sweeter flavor than other beet varieties.

 

So what does the 2011 season hold for Blue Meadow Farms? We’ve welcomed a few members into our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) membership. We’re also proud to say we are attending THREE farmers markets this year. These markets include:

We look forward to seeing you at one of these farmers markets! We have a lot more in store for this season, so stay tuned.

27

04 2011

The End of Our First Summer Season

It’s been a busy few months for us!

With the summer season in full bloom, we’ve been attending the Asheville City Market South every Wednesdays. If you haven’t been able to come by to see us, here are a few photos from the farm and of our produce:

BMF First Year

The Provider green beans grow more like a bush.

BMF First Year

Our Provider green beans produce tender, stringless beans.

BMF First Year

Having four plantings of green beans ensures our customers the most tender beans.

BMF First Year

Our Thai basil produces a stronger flavor when compared to our sweet basil.

BMF First Year

This female zucchini blossom has produced a zucchini squash.

BMF First Year

Our Costata Romanesco Zucchini tastes great and looks unique.

BMF First Year

The Yellow Crookneck squash has a buttery flavor.

BMF First Year

Green Roma tomatoes stay on the vine until they are ripe.

BMF First Harvest

Roma, Cherokee and Nepal tomatoes await to be taken home at the Asheville City Market South.

BMF First Year

These heirloom onions give a fresh onion flavor to any meal. Use the top like you would green onions.

BMF First Year

Our green peppers may be smaller than grocery store peppers, but they make up for it in flavor.

BMF First Year

Our Decicco broccoli is an Italian heirloom that tastes great raw or cooked.

15

10 2010

Farmers Market Update

It’s been a while since our last update, but it’s been a busy month! 

Since June 9th, we’ve been selling baked goods and transplants at the Asheville City Market South. 

BMF First Year Farmers Market

Fenner stands behind the baked goods and transplants at our first farmers market.

The farmers market is located at the Biltmore Park Town Square every Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Every week, we will have a variety of baked goods including cookies, coffee cake, muffins and light wheat burger buns. We also sell transplants of zucchini, squash, tomatoes and bush beans. Towards July, we hope to start selling produce from our first harvest. 

BMF First Year Farmers Market

The farmers market is located at the Biltmore Park Town Square every Wednesday.

Currently, our baked goods are being produced at the Blue Ridge Food Ventures commercial kitchen facility. We have been fortunate to sell out of these items in the last two Wednesday markets. With such a demand for these treats, we hope to expand our list of baked goods. If you have any suggestions as to what you’d like to see at the market, please contact us via e-mail or leave a comment here. 

We look forward to sharing with you our updated baked goods list and our upcoming first harvest. Make sure you keep up with us to see the progress we’re making!

18

06 2010