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Hi <<First Name>>,
Hope you've been having a great week! Today was another beautiful, and at times blazing hot day. We had a full week of tending to the field, planting, seeding, weeding, irrigating - in short, a full week of farming. With temperatures staying warm overnight, and plenty of sunlight during the day, this time of year plants in the ground really start to explode. That means the dozens of different crops we have in the field are beginning to grow more rapidly, but also the persistent weeds are coming out in full force. That's why this is a crucial week of the year to buckle down in the battle against the weeds. The crew was working hard under a hot sun this week, knocking down the flush of weeds competing with our vegetables. We traded off the tasks of hand weeding, cultivating manually and mechanically, and mulching throughout the week to make sure that everything is off to a good start.
Much of our longer season crops are planted in raised beds covered tightly with thin black plastic. The plastic, called "mulch", acts as a weed barrier, blocking out light and smothering seedlings, as well as a heat absorbing layer that warms the bed during the day and holds in heat at night. This week we weeded onions, leeks, sweet potatoes, and more crops that had little pesky seedlings poking through the holes where we planted the desired vegetable. So that takes care of the bed-top, but what about between the beds? That's where our mountain of organic rye, now bailed into straw, comes into play. The straw bales are a fantastic ground cover which we spread between the plastic beds, protecting against weeds while returning organic matter to the soil when it's all said and done. The result is a weed-free section, ready to do its thing until the produce is ready for us to harvest. By waging war on the weeds early, we stop them before they become competition to the vegetables, and before they suck up nutrients in the soil needed to grow great food!
Here are some photos from the farm this week:
Top left- Weeding the plastic beds before mulch was spread in between. Top right- The harvest crew bunching greens in the shade, out of the heat. Bottom left- Our head lettuce is looking spectacular, and it tastes great too! Bottom right- Harvesting greens in the field.
This week I have a very simple recipe. This is just one way I enjoy kale, but I think this is a great way to prepare kale as a side dish quickly without any fuss.

Stir-Fried Kale
  • 2 bunches Fresh Take Farm kale, roughly chopped with stems removed
  • 1 1/2 tbl canola oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbl rice wine vinegar
In a large pan, heat canola oil on high until very hot. Add the kale and stir fry until it is just softening. Stir in garlic, taking care not to burn. Add soy sauce and vinegar and stir-fry until tender. Serve and enjoy.

We have an abundance of onions and garlic scapes, a bounty of salad greens and bunched greens, and tons more to talk about at the farmers market this weekend, so come visit our stand. Wishing you a happy first day of summer- coming up on Monday- looks like it's going to be HOT!
Best regards,

Reeves
Copyright © 2016 Fresh Take Farm, All rights reserved.


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