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Friday, November 26, 2010

BA Farm Thanksgiving

I am very proud to say that everything that was part of our Thanksgiving diner was grown by us, except for the turkey. Here is what we had:

Pumpkin Bread Stuffing
(I made my stuffing a little different this year I will post exactly how I made it soon)

Yukon Gold Potatoes

Our Frozen Bi-color Sweet Corn

Our Frozen Green and Yellow Beans

Mixed Colors Candy Carrots

Butternut Squash and Apples


Even our centerpiece was grown by us. I made it using a one of our pumpkins (as a candle holder), and everything else I cut from outside. I love making centerpieces, and can not wait to start making my Christmas center pieces out of our many different varieties of pine trees that we have everywhere.

I hope everyone had a very wonderful
Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Anyone interested in a CSA?

We have been thinking about starting up a CSA for the past couple of years now, but I think next year just may be the year that we actually start offering CSA shares. I have not yet got all the details together yet, but it will probably run beginning of June (possibly sooner) through early/mid October. I may even have a fall/winter share available. I am not sure what size I plan to make the shares, but they will probably not be extremely large shares, will probably be average size. I have been debating about the size and have not decided exactly how much they will be yet.

So, let me know if you would be may be interested in receiving more information once we decide how much a share will be, when it will start, for how many weeks it will run, and other information about our upcoming CSA!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Greens in the hoophouse

Although everything in the hoophouse is not quite as big as I would like it to be at this time, I am still happy that they are at the size they are. What do I have growing in there you may wonder? Well I have 3 different varieties of kale, swiss chard (different colors), dwarf pak choi, peppergrass, collards, and more.

Here are some pictures of the different varieties of kale. They are not full size but are instead at baby size which is perfect for salads and eating without any need of cooking.
Baby Red Russian Kale

Baby Dinosaur Kale

Baby Extra Dwarf Blue Scotch Kale

Baby Collard Greens

Can you guess what this next picture is?
This is actually a picture of tons and tons of very cute little Extra Dwarf Pac Choi. Believe it or not this is actually the size that they are suppose to get when ready to pick. Although I have not yet cooked with them this year, every time I go into the hoophouse I grab myself one of these cute little things and pop it in my mouth. They sure do have a lot of flavor for such little things. I am actually very impressed with how they are doing and taste during this cold weather. I will definitely have to grow many more varieties of pac choi next year for fall. I have grown this variety before in the spring, but if you do not harvest it right away it will go to seed, even if it is not super hot out yet. But now in the fall these little guys have been picking size for at least a couple of weeks already and show now sign of going to seed.

Extra Dwarf Pac Choi
Aren't they cute?

Some Baby Swiss Chard
I also have other colors growing in the hoophouse also but did not take any pictures of them.

Peppercress has a very mild spicy flavor, no where near a strong as arugula or even mustard greens. Great to add a little bit of different flavor to a salad.


I wish my lettuce would get growing, but I have little hope that I will be picking lettuce this year, although you never know. If it does not get any larger, I am worried it will all be wasted. If only I had gotten it in the ground just a week sooner. I probably could be eating a nice salad with lettuce right now. Oh well, that is what I get for getting behind. I just may have to wait until spring, we will see what happens.

The problem with growing in the fall is not just the temps but the shortage of day light or sunlight at all. When the days start getting shorter the plants slow down. The trick is to get everything to full size before it gets too cold, because when it gets real cold the plants just kind of go dormant and just sit there. You can still harvest them but they will not grow right back like they would during warmer weather.

Speaking of the winter gets me thinking of something I have to add to my to do list. That is get the hoophouse more ready for winter by adding more supports inside the hoophouse. Since this will be our first winter with our large hoop house I am not sure how much snow it can handle. I hope it survives. If if does survive I will have to post directions for how we built it, but I want to see just how tough it is first. One thing I know for sure is it is going to be exhausting going out there all the time to brush off the snow, something tells me I am going to have to make my way out there every hour or at least every couple of hours during bad snowstorms. Lets hope we do not have a bad winter. Funny because I was just saying the other day that I hope we get a really bad snowstorm so I can test out my truck (this will be my first winter with my truck). Great I am going to be sorry for making that wish, when I do not have any time to drive my truck around in the snow since I will be in my hoop house brushing off snow, trying not to get buried alive!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Radishes, Radishes, Radishes

I have lots and lots of radishes right now that are ready to harvest.
So here are the varieties of radishes that I have right now.

Saxa II Radishes
I think that these are my favorite regular red radishes. They are a very gorgeous red color. The reason why I got the seeds for these radishes is because they are suppose to mature earlier than other radish varieties, and they were the first to mature out of all the varieties.

Crimson Giant Radishes
I do not think this variety is at its full size yet, at least it better not be at full size yet. They are suppose to be giant radishes, but they are actually the smallest out of all my radishes. Obviously they must take longer to reach maturity than other varieties.

Sparkler Radishes
These are cute little radishes with similar coloration as the French Breakfast
Radishes, except instead of being long they are round.

French Breakfast Radishes
I grew these radishes last year and sold them at Valley City Farmers Market, and everyone really seemed to love them. They can still get a little larger yet, but are already really tasty right now at this size.

Now all I need is for my lettuce in the hoop house to be ready for harvest so i can have some beautiful salads with my lettuce, greens, and radishes!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Homemade Pasta

I recently bought some homemade pasta, and it was way better than store bought. So of course it got me thinking, the ingredients were so simple, flour and eggs. I had to make my own. So I did, and of coarse I could not just make plain old pasta. The first kind that I made was garlic pasta, and this past weekend I made a lemon balm pasta.

The lemon balm really did make the pasta very beautiful. Once it was cooked it lost a lot of the lemony taste though. Next time I make this pasta or any kind of herb pasta, I plan on making the noodles a little thinner, they should not need to be cooked as long and then hopefully will keep more of its flavor.

Homemade Lemon Balm Pasta

I also plan to make beet pasta, possibly some type of tomato pasta, a pepper pasta, swiss chard pasta, a kale pasta once my kale is ready to harvest, a mustard green pasta, and maybe even a carrot pasta. I wish I had some fresh basil right now to use in a pasta. I could just imagine a pasta made out of both purple basil and regular green basil, what a beautiful pasta that would be. Although if I make a swiss chard pasta that should be colorful also with both the green and red leaves.

I think the next type of pasta that I make will be made with mustard greens. I am just so curious as to what that would taste like. Will be sure to let everyone know how they all turn out.


Everything in the hoop house is starting to come along pretty good now. I am hoping to be able to begin harvesting as soon as next week, if not it should be the week after. I should have been picking everything awhile ago now, if I would have actually planted everything when I was suppose to, oh well. I will have to post some pictures very soon.


I tried to take a picture of a very amazing sun set, and since my camera does not take the greatest pictures at night (or if it does I have no idea how to take one) the picture ended up looking kind of wild. Yes the sky was very orange, but not quite as orange as it appears in the picture, but still it kind of a cool picture.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Valley City Farmers Market has come to an end for 2010

Last week was sadly our last week to sell at Valley City. Since it is getting colder out now all of our warm weather crops are now coming to an end. I have been picking the last of many things the past couple of days, before we get a frost and everything comes to an end.

Soon now it will be time to start my planing for next year. Although I have not started to pick out the actual varieties, I have started to think about what I would like to grown and what I probably will not be growing next year.

I will be growing most of the same cherry tomato varieties that I did this year and will probably try some new varieties also. I also plan to try many new varieties of larger slicing tomatoes. I will be growing the Striped Cavern Stuffing Tomato again and may even grow another variety of stuffing tomato such as a yellow stuffer.

As far as peppers go I will probably grow most of the same varieties as I this year plus some new ones.

I should also have a lot of beans next year since I am planning on planting almost one entire garden area with beans to add some nitrogen to the soil.

Of course I will be growing all my different colored carrots, plus I plan to have other different varieties available also.

This year we have lots of acorn and butternut squash, but next year I will be trying a bunch of different varieties of winter squash, many different colors, sizes and shapes.

These are just some of my plans for next year. When I have decided what varieties of everything I am going to grow, I will be sure to post it here and update my list on the website. I also have lots and lots of pictures and information to add to my website, and will probably start doing that very soon. I just have not had the time to update my website during the summer, but will have a lot more time during the winter (winter, that word made me cringe).

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Farmers Market Season Ending

It looks like this Saturday is going to be the last market day of this year. If the weather permits I am hoping to set up our roadside stand after the market. I am also hoping to set up the roadside stand on Saturdays once Valley City Farmers Market is over. I will be sure to post here when I plan to have the stand set up so check back before stopping by. Also once the market is over I will continue to update the availability list to the right (and on our website), so if there is anything that you would be interested in, you can send me an email or give me a call, and you can pick up your produce on days other than when we have our roadside stand set up.

Since the growing season is going to be slowing down soon, planning for next year will be beginning very soon. So let us know if there is something you would like to see us grow next year. We love growing new and unusual things, and are always open to suggestions.

So let us know what you would like us to grow next year.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Farmers Market Pictures

Ok so I just realized that it has been a long time since my last blog post. It has been kind of busy lately. So I just thought that I would post some pictures from Saturdays farmers market in Valley City.

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes

A bunch of round zucchini and some other things.

Since we had so much left after market we decided to set up our roadside stand.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Zucchini Bread is Finally Here!

Today's market will be the first market this year that I will have zucchini bread available. It is a lot later than normal, but that is because we are just now starting to harvest zucchini. Every year at the start of the market we have people asking for our zucchini bread, so everyone should be happy to here it is finally available.

I just thought I would tell everyone exactly where I got my recipe for the zucchini bread from. It is actually my grandmothers recipe. I can remember eating this bread when I was a kid and I always loved it! I actually never made it myself till after my grandmother passed away. I was going through her recipes and I came across the recipe, just thinking about it brought back memories from my childhood, I had to make it. I just wish my grandmother could see how popular her zucchini bread has become.

Zucchini Bread in the oven

Believe it or not the zucchini bread is just now in the oven as I am typing this. I rarely ever start making it before midnight on Friday night. I am just to busy before that picking and getting market things together. I have even made it in the past about 4 hours before market.

Zucchini Bread just out of the oven

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

How Things Are Growing

Well I just thought that I would let everyone know exactly how things are going here at BA Farm. We had a great start to the year with our lettuce mixes, which made me excited for the rest of the season to come. I but quickly became disappointed, as the weather this year made things difficult, slowed down a lot of our vegetables. Even though our vegetables did not like the weather the weeds did (not good).

We ended up tilling under our first planting of zucchini and summer squash, since it never really grew very much. It killed me to see it go, as I had planted some unusual varieties that I was very excited about. Luckily we planted some common zucchini and yellow squash at a friends property, which is were the above, header photo was taken (I will tell more about the property in another post, and will post more pictures). I think the reason why the zucchini did so well was because it was planted around a month later than we normally plant our zucchini.

Our peppers had a rough start and are finally starting to produce, but still not anywhere close to like they should be by now. They were previously dropping blossoms like crazy, and are still loosing a bunch of blossoms, although I have been seeing more and more that are actually developing into peppers.

My tomato plants look beautiful, even thought they are way behind and a few plants are finally just now getting tomatoes that are starting to change color. The only problem is I seem to have misplaced the paper that I had written down what varieties were planted where, and I can not find it anywhere. So I can not tell you what exactly is going to be available when, very very frustrating. I hope I can find it soon, actually let me rephrase that, I BETTER find that soon.

On the positive note my herbs are doing really well, although they do not seem to be selling, for some reason. So that means everyone needs to come to the market and buy some herbs:)

The carrots are also doing very well, and I am hoping to finally pull some not this Saturday but next Saturday (and maybe some for Strongsville Farmers Market, more about that in another post also). The only problem is there is a rabbit that knows how and were to get over our fence and into our garden (have seen him do it) and he has been munching on our carrot tops, and that needs to stop.

Anyhow to sum things up we have been having a bit of a rough time this summer, but things seem to be finally getting a little better, and are finally coming along.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Colored Carrots!

Baby Colored Carrots

So today I decided I would weed the carrot beds. I really have not looked closely at them since the last time I weeded them, and I was very happy to see how much they have grown since then. They still have a way to go but are getting there. I should have orange bunches, white bunches, purple bunches, and mixed bunches of yellow, red, orange, purple, and white. I am hoping that we will have some available sometime around either early or mid August.

There are many interesting facts about colored carrots, here are some of them:

~ Just one full size carrot will fulfill your daily quotient of the essential vitamin A.

~ Each color of carrot has a different health benefit of its own:

*Orange carrots - contain beta carotene pigments - essential for well-being, healthy eyes
*Red carrots - contain lycopene pigments - believed to guard against heart disease and cancers
*Yellow carrots - contain xanthophylls pigments - support good eye health, fight aginst macular degeneration, may prevent lung and other cancers, and reduce the risk of hardening of the arteries
*White carrots - lack pigments - but contain substances called phytomchemicals - can protect against disease
*Purple carrots - contain anthocyanins pigments - act as powerful antioxidants, can prevent heart disease by slowing blood clotting and are good anti inflammatory agents

~ Colored carrots may be new to some people but purple and yellow carrots were actually eaten more than 1,000 years ago.

~ In fact orange carrots are actually the "mutant" carrot, carrots were originally purple and yellow.

~ Carrots are a member of the parsley family, along with dill, caraway, cumin, chervil, coriander, fennel, anise, parsley, parsnip, and celery.

~ There are so many different carrot varieties that there is actually a variety for every letter of the alphabet.

~ Carrots could be used as a bio fuel, you would need approximately 6,000 carrots to drive one mile. (That is a lot of carrots, sounds to me like the idea needs some work).

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Some New Veggies For This Year

Since I was sitting here early this morning with not much to do since we are not going to market, I figured I would take the time to post some pictures of a couple of new vegetables we grew this year, that we should have available very soon.

Jimmy Nardello Italian Sweet Pepper

Yes that's right this is not a hot pepper but actually a sweet pepper. And I think it is one of the sweetest sweet peppers I have ever tasted. It is great for just snacking on. I had a hard time controling myself from eating all of the ones that I picked right away. I wanted to save some of them for a stir fry, but instead I think I am going to use them for my vegetable pancakes this morning. These peppers have a very mild pepper taste and can be eaten seeds and all, just take a bite!


Dragon Tongue Beans

This is another one that I am really excited about. They are Dragon Tongue Beans, and they have got to be the tastiest, juiciest beans I have ever tasted. Well, raw that is I have not actually tasted them cooked yet, but will be soon. I only grew a small area of these since it was my first time growing them. But I am going to be putting in another seed order for the spring, for some things that I ran out of, and will for sure be ordering more of these. Should be able to get some more plantings in once I get the seeds.

These beans can also be used for shelling as dried beans. In fact if I have a large area where one of my summer crops have failed (which it looks like I will) I may plant a bunch of these for drying.

The only down side to these beautiful beans is they loose their purple color when cooked, which is ok because they still end up a beautiful yellow which is still different than the common green.


Well I do have more pictures to share but I think that is going to be all for now.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

About the Header Photo

Do you know what this is a picture of? It is actually a type of cherry tomato, in a way, actually I am not sure exactly what kind of tomato it is considered. This tomato is like a whole bunch of cherry tomatoes fused together, that are suppose to easily pull apart without a problem. I was so excited to see these tomatoes start to develop, this is the first time I have grown this variety, and I think it is going to be pretty cool.

A little bit about the Reisetomate Tomato
Also called "Traveler Tomato" ("reise" is German for "travel" or "journey") for the ability to tear it apart a piece at a time, with no need for a knife. This type of tomato traces its roots to Central America where the native people would carry traveler tomatoes on trips, to eat as they walked. Bright red tomatoes taste-well, rather sour, strong and acid. The perfect tomato for those who love raw lemons, but who cares? They are still far-out and groovy.
-From Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds Catalog

Bad part is these tomatoes, and all my tomatoes, are really far behind. The weather has had a big impact on almost all of our warm weather crops. Well, that is the way it goes, sometimes you win, sometimes you loose, but better late than never, right?

That being said, the new header picture pretty much sums up what is going on here at BA Farm. Things are coming along, but are way behind.

Reisetomate Tomato

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Basil Varieties

I am very excited about all the different varieties of basil I have available this year. The varieties are: Sweet Basil, Lemon Basil, Licorice Basil, Cinnamon Basil, Opal Basil, and Blue Spice Basil.

Sweet Basil

Lemon Basil
I just made chicken and pasta with this basil an also some lemon balm. It was wonderful. I will be posting the recipe very soon.

Licorice Basil

Cinnamon Basil
Looks very very similar to Licorice Basil, in fact I apologize to anyone ahead of time just in case I mix up the two when tagging them in the bunches. My sense of smell is not the greatest to I have a hard time telling the two apart.

Opal Basil

Blue Spice Basil
I have not gotten a chance to cook with this one at all yet, but it smells really beautiful. I think it is my favorite smelling basil.

The above varieties of basil will be available in bunches.
I have one more variety of basil that I also grew this year called Pistou Basil. It is a very small, very cute basil that is perfect for pinching off individual leaves and throwing them in a salad or cooking in your favorite dish. These basils are sold in pots.

Pistou Basil

While looking up some information on basils I came across a really good site with a lot, and I mean a lot of information on what must be every type of basil that there is. I would love to grow them all, of coarse that would take a very long time, but there are definitely a bunch of different kinds that I would like to try next year. The site is: romanasbasilgarden.com/basil-list

Micro Greens Coming Soon

Micro Greens

I have been meaning to start a bunch of micro greens for some time now, but have not gotten to it. Well yesterday I finally started a bunch of them. I am hoping to have them ready for this Saturdays market for in my salad mixes and for selling in the containers they are grown in.

Arugula Micro Greens Just Sprouting

I stared many different varieties for in my spicy salad mix such as: broccoli, radishes, a large red mustard, and arugula. I also started two types of onions, one red and one white. Last week I did not have any greens for in my Greens and Lettuce Salad Mix, since my hoop house has now become too hot for the greens. Well this Saturday I should have the Greens and Lettuce Salad Mix available again thanks to my micro greens, since I planted collards and three types of kale. I think I will be starting some swiss chard soon also for in the mix. I also started some Sweet Basil, which will be a good addition to my Herb and Lettuce Salad Mix.

Radish Micro Greens Just Sprouting

I also started a mix of arugula, radishes, mustards, and broccoli in the same container, that I should have available for sale, in the container, as a spicy micro green mix.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Salad Mixes

This past Saturdays market we had a very good variety of different salad mixes available. We should have all the different mixes and maybe even some more mixes available for this coming Saturdays market.

You can see pictures and information about all the different mixes at our website, salad mixes page.

Our salad mixes are:
~ Just Lettuce Salad Mix
~ Looseleaf Lettuce Salad Mix
~ Spicy Salad Mix
~ Lettuce and Greens Salad Mix
~ Lettuce and Romaine Salad Mix
~ Lettuce and Herb Salad Mix
~ Ark of Taste Salad Mix

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Farmers Market Pictures

This Saturday was our third market of the year (at Valley City Farmers Market) and I finally got some pictures from the market to post, and here they are:

Bagged Salad Mixes (Just Lettuce Mix, Spicy Salad Mix, Lettuce and Greens Salad Mix, and Ark of Taste Lettuce Mix)

The Just Lettuce Mix contains only lettuce. This week the lettuce mixes included: Royal Red, Red Sails, Black Seeded Simpson, Grandpa Admire's, Speckled, Tennis Ball, Mascara, and Bronze Arrowhead Lettuce.

Spicy Salad Mix includes lettuce and mustard greens.

Lettuce and Greens Mix includes, lettuce such as: Black Seeded Simpson and Red Sails
Greens such as: Bulls Blood Beet Greens, Swiss Chard, Red Russian Kale, Dinosaur Kale,
and some others

Ark of Taste Lettuce Mix is a mix of four different varieties of lettuce that are on the Ark of Taste List. They are Grandpa Admire's Lettuce, Speckled Lettuce, Tennis Ball Lettuce, and Amish Deer Tongue Lettuce.

I will be posting again soon with more information and pictures of the different varieties of lettuce that we had available this Saturday.

Mustard Greens and a Bunch of Collards (in the middle)

This was our third week that we have had mustard greens available. We have five very different varieties available. The bunches are put together at market so you can choose which varieties you want or you can get a bunch with a mix of all the different varieties. We also had a salad mix available this week with mustard greens in it, this mix was our Spicy Salad Mix, "Spicy" because of the spicy taste of the mustard greens. The mustard greens add a very good flavor to the salad.

Mixed Kale Bunches and Swiss Chard Bunches

Kale bunches include three different varieties: Red Russian Kale, Dinosaur Kale, and Dwarf Blue Scotch Curled Kale. Swiss Chard bunches are made up of many mixed varieties and colors. Not only are the swiss chard beautiful but they are also very, very tender and tasty.