Sunday, August 22, 2010

Porter Farm Happenings-August 21, 2010

Thank You!
Thank you to everyone who called, emailed, and posted on our blog about the tomatoes! Close to 200 members responded to our question, with an overwhelming majority voting yes to harvesting. Thanks for understanding that vegetables do not need to look perfect to taste great!
We would also like to thank some members who have spent time at the farm helping us on Saturday mornings as we pack your produce bags. Every Saturday, Richard Beatty and Rae Ann Engler of Batavia are at the farm bright and early working alongside our crew. They have been weekly contributors for the past few years, and we cannot express how thankful we are for all of their help. We also had two additional helpers last Saturday, Jeannette Kreher and Jan Grzedzicki, who are co-coordinators of our new Cheektowaga group. Jeannette and Jan also were at the farm before the sun came up and caught on to our packing routine quick. It was great to have four extra hands as we packed the really heavy bags last week!
If anyone would be interested in helping pack bags on Saturday mornings, please give us a call. We have been short of workers this week, and any additional help on Saturday mornings would be greatly appreciated! We begin packing at 5am and are usually done by 8am.

Safe Travels, Zoe!
On Friday, Zoe, Bess, and Eric took a trip to New York City to move Zoe into her dorm room at Hunter College. Bea and Julie will be traveling to NYC as well to meet up with the Johnson’s and do a little school shopping with Zoe. We wish Zoe all the best as she begins her college career!

Tomato Update
The dry weather this week helped keep the tomato disease from spreading rapidly. We were going to rip some diseased plants out of the ground and burn them, but decided against it. When you rip plants out and move them through the rows, the diseased plants can touch disease free plants and spread their spores. We left the diseased plants in the field and are hoping that the weather forecast continues to stay relatively rain and humidity free.
The Pestminder newsletter this week discussed the diseases in the tomatoes, and mentioned that early blight could also be a found around here. We are still not sure which disease or diseases has found it’s way to our tomatoes, but we are happy to say that our tomatoes are not totally ruined like they were last year.
Many members have contacted us about purchasing extra tomatoes for canning and making sauce. At this point we cannot say if extras will be available. Our first priority is making sure that we have enough to distribute to our CSA members. We will continue to update you!
Farm News
We were very happy to have a dry, low humidity week at the farm. One inch of rain fell on Sunday night, but it dried up quickly. This drier weather is key to keeping the disease from spreading in the tomatoes.
This week we were finally able to transplant the last of the broccoli and kohlrabi. We also direct seeded more Swiss chard. Our early broccoli plants went right to seed due to high temperatures, but we have more plantings that look ok. Summer broccoli is always tricky because of the heat, but we will have a lot in the fall.

Orchard Update
Since planting the raspberries and orchard trees, our main project in the orchard has been battling the weeds. It seems that this is a never-ending battle in every field!
This orchard is a learning experience for us, and it is going to take us quite a few years to get everything just the way that we want it. We have one third of the space left, and are leaning toward adding a lot more berries to the space. It will take a couple of years before we see any of the fruits of our labor in there, but are excited that we will eventually be able to incorporate fruit into our CSA in some way. We have another question for members: What do you think about u-pick raspberries for CSA members only? Please email or post a comment on our blog!

What’s in this week’s bag??
• Sugar Baby Watermelon
• Yellow Watermelon
• Red Tomato Berries
• Yellow Grape Tomatoes
• Assorted Large Tomatoes
• White or Purple Kohlrabi
• Red Leaf or Green Leaf Lettuce
• Red Beets
• Green Bell Peppers
• Light Green Bell Pepper

Cherry Tomato Bites
-1 pint cherry tomatoes (tomato berries!)
-Fresh mozzarella, cubed
-Olive oil
-Fresh Ground Pepper
-Basil, julienned

1. Cut a small slice off the end of each tomato so that they sit level. (Make sure not to cut too big of a slice or else the cup won't have a bottom.)
2. Make another slice on the opposite side of the tomato and scoop out the pulp inside using a mellon baller or small spoon. Be careful not to puncture the skin on the bottom. (Don't worry about what it looks like because it will soon be stuffed.)
3. Season the tomato cups with salt and pepper. Place a cube of mozerella in each cup.
4. Drizzle olive oil over the stuffed tomatoes. Garnish each bite with a bit of basil. Transfer the bites onto a serving platter and chill until ready to serve.


  1. We would love to come out to the farm to pick berries.

  2. I'd come out to pick berries in a heartbeat!

  3. We would come out to pick any kind of berries!

  4. I think u-pick at the farm is a great idea.