Happy Full Moon in Sagittarius!
Our first harvest is ready and we're excited to start sending out your boxes! To get a regular box from our Community Supported Agriculture program:
1. Create an account on Small Farm Central
-choose your box size, where you want to pick-up, and how often
2. Check your Email
-we'll send you an email with what goodies will be in your box on Tuesday to remind you to go get them the next day
3. Pick up your box!
-Deliveries go out Wednesday mornings, be sure to bring your box back so it can be recycled
CSA Boxes this week will include fresh harvests of greens, herbs, fruits and roots. The loquat tree here at Branch Mill Organic Farm & Retreat Center is FULL of sweet, succulent yellow fruit. We've been thinking happy zucchini thoughts all week urging them to plump up for you! Fingers crossed for Wednesday. The fava beans are REALLY plump, sweet and ready!
We'll be trying this recipe for fresh fava falafel in the Greek tradition. This one combines chickpeas and favas.
The ladybugs bloomed out here just as the fava bean bushes were getting hit hard by aphids. With so many ladybugs eating aphids the infestation hardly spread. We removed the worst affected branches into the poultry run- our ducks gobbled up whole leaves and stems covered in sticky aphids. With the help of those two controls we are
so grateful to share a bountiful harvest of fava beans this week :)
Look close at the picture below to the right: on the foreground fava bean you can see a ladybug larvae- looks like a grey crocodile with orange spots/stripes.
Last week we sprouted MELONS in our greenhouse, so look for a special variety watermelon with orange flesh about 13 weeks from now..
We've been studying up on ecologically-based pest management from the folks at Rincon-Vitova Insectary, mentors of ours back in Ventura County. Jan and Ron are continuing Jan's father Deke's work cultivating beneficial insects at their place we all affectionately call 'the bug farm.'
Based on advice from the bug farm we will be planting corn hills (together with more from the grass family) around our field to act as a trap crop for pests and to grow habitat for insect predators. Corn hills and other beneficial habitat, like hedgerow, help us keep insect damage manageable without resorting to toxic sprays or treatments.
It's just started getting sunnier at the farm after this cool spell! Warm wishes to everyone and hopefully see you middle of this week :)
Moon Phase Farmers