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Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Farewell to Strawbs

Strawberry season is always too brief and it is always sad to see it pass.  I know it isn't possible to get your fill of berries but I hope that everyone enjoyed them while they lasted.  While nothing can completely fill the void left by strawberry season we can all take solace in the arrival of broccoli and cabbage this week.  Some might call this cole comfort but I slaw this as an excellent opportunity for word play. 

Bad puns aside, this should be an exciting week in the share room with lots of new variety to choose from.  See you in the fields!

What's in the Share: Lettuce, Greens, Kale, Radishes, Scallions PYO herbs, PYO peas, PYO flowers
What's new this week: Broccoli, Cabbage, Fennel, PYO Basil

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Week 3

Happy summer everyone!  Next week we will be hosting another Weed and Feed session on Saturday morning between 9am and noon.  Please come and join us as we learn about wild edibles in the field and improve our pick your own fields at the same time.  

With all of the warm, dry weather we have been having the last couple of weeks it is once again time to think about irrigation.  The annual wrestling match between farmer and the bent and buckled aluminum pipe will once again decide whether our plants thrive or wither.  My confidence is high that we will triumph once again.    

Our tomatoes are entering their awkward adolescence.  They have begun to grow long and leggy and without proper structure they will likely turn out rotten.   To keep our tomatoes on the straight and narrow we will begin a regiment of trellising as soon as possible.

Squash are in blossom, broccoli is just beginning to bud and cabbage is starting to head up.  All welcome signs of early summer.  Look for these and many more favorites in the coming weeks.

What’s in the share: Lettuce, Salanova salad mix, kale, kohlrabi, choi, scallions and assorted greens, PYO herbs, PYO strawberries, PYO flowers
New this week: Shunkyo radishes, Salad turnips, PYO peas, PYO snap dragons

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Opps! Correction to previous post!

In my last post I wrote the wrong date for the Blue Grass Picnic.  The actual date will be this Sunday (June 22nd) from 4pm-6pm.  My apologies for any confusion this may have caused.  We hope to see you there.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Week 2

Thank you to all of our members for the excellent start to the season last week.  Your enthusiasm and words of encouragement have such a profound effect on farmer morale!  Jon “Black Cloud” Berube was even rumored to have remarked that “maybe it was a good morning” and “perhaps today we shouldn’t consider mowing in all the crops.”  I’ve never seen him so optimistic!  Below Ryan Donnelly proudly displays the days harvest.
Tender, fresh from the field, packed with wholesome goodness and absolutely beautiful!  Also pictured are some of our veggies. 

And why not risk a little optimism?  The veggies are starting to respond to warmer temperatures and longer days.  We are between pestilences at the moment having weathered the early spring plagues of onion and cabbage maggots and not yet entered the early summer scourges of Colorado Potato Beetle larvae and Cucumber beetles.  The weeds are about as close to under control as they are likely to get and I have enough greens in my fridge to eat salad 3 meals a day for weeks.  It doesn’t get much better.

Early mornings on the farm.
Saturday June 28th we will be hosting our annual Blue Grass Picnic.  Old Cold Tater will be performing again this year so mark your calendar now!  We hope to see you all there. 

 A special thank you to those volunteers who joined me Saturday morning in the carrot patch for a little lesson in edible plant identification and a lot of very productive weeding.  We’ve still got long way to go but your help and good company has already made the job seem more manageable.  If you missed last Saturday’s Weed and Feed session please don’t be shy about joining us next Saturday between 9am and noon.

What’s in the share: Lettuce, Salanova Salad mix, Kale, Greens, Bok Choy, PYO herbs
New this week: Bridger Onions (uncured), Scallions, Kohlrabi, PYO Strawberries

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Appleton Cooks! is heating up with new Dinners in the Field and family friendly events. Sign up soon!

June 21st
Our first Dinner in the Field will kick off the high season at the farm.
Arrive to a chilled signature cocktail and enjoy the view out over the abundant fields. Then follow our farmers on a short, optional stroll around the farm tailored to the dinner’s theme. Gather back around the set tables and sit down to a seasonally inspired, four-course dinner highlighting ingredients made or grown by Appleton and other local producers. It’s fine dining, farm style—and our farmers will share the table and some stories from the fields. Don’t miss this special opportunity to enjoy all that Appleton has to offer on a relaxed summer evening.  All the details and online registration at
Friday Farm Dinners | June 27th, July 11th, July 25th, August 8th, August 22nd| 5pm
Bring your family and some friends for a relaxing evening watching the sunset over the Great Pasture and munching on fresh-from-the-farm food. Dinner will feature a seasonal menu grown or raised at Appleton and other local farms and prepared by Appleton Cooks! chef Carolyn Grieco. A typical menu might include pizza from our earth oven or our own grass-fed burgers, seasonal fresh salads, and homemade ice cream. Enjoy a cold beverage from our friends at Mercury Brewing Company while you play old-fashioned lawn games and listen to live music. Ticket price includes the full dinner buffet, non-alcoholic beverages (beer and wine will be available for purchase), dessert, games, music and all the fun you can handle! Dinners are held rain or shine.  All the details and online registration at
Tours Galore!  Get to know your favorite farm with an in-depth farm tour.  Meet the animals, learn about our dairy, and discover the rich farm history that abounds here at the oldest continuously operating farm in the country.
Mini Moos
Saturdays at 10AM
Meet the Cows
Saturdays at 2:30pm
Farmstead & Old House Tours
Sundays at 11AM
Pasture to Plate: Cheese making Tours
Sundays at 2:30pm

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Week 1

Tomorrow, June 9th, we will not be doing volunteer seeding in the Greenhouse.  Thank you all for your hard work and dedication this spring.  I hope to see all of you again very soon (like this Saturday for example for the launch of our Weed and Feed program)!

Welcome to the first week of the CSA season! If you are assigned a Monday/Tuesday pick-up block, please pick up your share either Monday 2pm-7pm or Tuesday 11am-5pm. If you have a Thursday/Friday pick-up block, you can pick up your share either Thursday 2pm-7pm or Friday 11am-5pm. For those shareholders who are new to the CSA and were unable to attend the orientation on Saturday, please let one of the shopkeepers know when you check in and they will be happy to go over the pick-up routine as well as answer any questions you might have.

Due to our fashionably late spring this year many of our crops are a week or two behind where we need them to be for our first week of pickup.  Now there is a very good argument to be made when things like this occur on the farm, which states that a CSA is an investment and investments do not guarantee successful returns.  When you buy into a CSA you are agreeing to share the season’s risks and rewards with your farmer.  There is, however, a counter argument of my own invention that it really stinks to disappoint one person let alone 550 vegetable hungry shareholders on their first week of pickup.  As the “still wet behind the ears” new manager at Appleton I was not looking forward to a skimpy first week.  Fortunately our friends at Heron Pond Farm were able to help us out with our supply problem with some truly gorgeous produce.  Look for it in the share room this week.  Thanks Andre and Greg!

Next Saturday will be your first chance to join us for the inaugural Weed and Feed volunteer day.  Strawberries and peas may not be ready yet but Lambs quarter, Chick weed, Nut sedge and many other wild edible and medicinal weeds are ripe for the picking. Our carrots, parsley, and herb beds need your help. Whether you are interested in learning about wild edibles or just eager to improve the PYO experience at Appleton, please join us out in the field any time between 8am and noon this Saturday.  Our rendezvous point will be marked on the pick your own map in the barn, or just look for the group of people having an insane amount of fun out in the field.  A hearty thank you in advance!

What’s in the share: Lettuce, radishes, Salanova salad mix, kale, and assorted greens, PYO herbs