Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Documenting Progress: 4th Installment

See the 1st installment here.
December 8, 2008

Food: Roasted Garlic and Beets with Greens

Beets are tough little suckers so it takes an hour for them to cook throughout. We either roast them or boil them. We've heard of something called a 'microwave' but believe it's just a fad. 
Beet greens are really tasty to sauté and add to the mix. Salt, pepper, vinegar.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Harvest: Root Vegetables

Because it takes a lot longer for the ground temperature to get to freezing, root vegetables can keep growing when it's freezing outside. It's science! We've gathered the last of said vegetables; beets, carrots and spring onions.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

November Flowers

Yes...a few flowers are still hanging on in the cold weather...

Pink SnapdragonsCilantroNasturtiumsUnknown weed spring I'll be weeding out thousands of these seeds by not removing this sooner... but hey...that is 6 months away and these look pretty for snowflakes.

The Joys of Urban Farming

Last Harvest of 2008

These peppers are pretty impressive considering it is November! It is a beautiful Fall day in Brooklyn and we gathered the last remaining vegetables until next year. We are planning to make a big grilled pepper and eggplant salad tonight for our final farm dinner. It is sad to see things come to an end for the season...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Documenting Progress: 3rd Installment

See the 1st installment here.

August 26, 2008
September 27, 2008
Farm Boxes No.1 and 2
The boxes have fallen into a bit of a mess. The lettuce has gone to flower which makes the leaves too bitter. The onions are still doing well and the chard is holding on but has been neglected. In the next week we'll do a clean-up.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Autumn Pepper Roundup

While the rest of the farm has been finishing up for the year, the peppers are still going strong. This is the pepper pot with habaneros, jamaican hot yellows and thai hot peppers. Even this late in the season the plants are flowering. Elsewhere on the farm, the poblano pepper plants, the banana peppers and the godfather peppers are all still doing well.

Plant Problems: Aphids

Natural pest control is important to Brooklyn Farm. In the spring we found a outbreak of aphids chomping on the crops. In response we released a platoon of aphid killers: ladybugs. Now that it's autumn we haven't decided what to do. Apparently you can just spray off the plants with a strong stream of water and the aphids won't return to the same spot.
But maybe these aren't even aphids. Does anybody know?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pest Control: Slugs

The nerve. These slugs are cruising around the farm a little too comfortably and actions must be taken. We've spotted them before hanging around the crops. Slugs are almost entirely made up of water so they have to stay in damp places to keep from drying up. This critter was found slithering across the path in broad daylight.
Aerial view showing the trail of slime.
Slugs are attracted to yeast and barley. We filled a couple bowls with beer and sunk them into the ground.
The party got out of hand, in the morning we found over a dozen baby slugs drowning in the beer.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Harvest: Figs

The inherited fig tree is on a non-stop ripeness express. Every day there is another dozen figs that turn from green to purple. Farmer No. 1 is making fig jam from the harvest and will write about the process soon.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Brooklyn Farm Fashion

Brooklyn Farm was recently featured as the backdrop for an upcoming fashion story in the French magazine Dirrty Glam. The photo shoot was a lot of fun watching the talented team of Anna Wolf, Mike Perry, Nicole Olson, Ainee, hair and make-up lady (sorry!) and the three models (forgot their names too). Here is Anna framing the shot:
A few finished layouts. There are Farm Boxes No. 1 and 2 on the left.
The grape vine plays supporting roles:
The fig tree:

Plant Problems: That is not kohl rabi

The seed packet is labelled kohl rabi. There is no way that this plant is kohlrabi. This plant looks an awful lot like a dandelion. That would mean that the seed company is selling packets of weeds under the guise of cabbage. Good thing that dandelion greens are actually extremely nutritious cooked or raw.
Bad thing that the growing season is extremely short… as the leaves get bigger the taste goes more bitter. A taste test Farmer No. 2 confirmed that the leaves are in fact bitter. The plants have also flowered which is another sign that we missed harvest time. At least the hundreds of bugs loitering on the stalk are enjoying themselves.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Harvest: Mucho

Every plant is pumping out produce right now. Today we harvested swiss chard, fatali peppers, salad mix, green beans, roma tomatoes, green peppers, striped eggplant, cucumbers, beefsteak tomotoes, jamaican hot yellow hot peppers, banana peppers and jalapeño peppers.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Surprise Party for Farmer No. 2

Farmer No. 1 went all out planning a surprise birthday party for No. 2. It was a very touching ode to the Minnesota State Fair replete with:
the amazing produce showcase,
a butter sculpture (margarine actually) of No. 2's head courtesy of Jon,and homemade pies.
There was much more including a fake mustachio show and a cotton candy machine. More pictures soon.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Harvest: Orange Oxheart Heirloom Tomato

We planted two heirloom tomato plants this season. The black plum tomato plant fared well for the first month and a half yielding a couple dozen delicious golf ball sized tomatoes. The other plant, the orange oxheart, has been growing prolificly; five or six feet in height since Farmer No. 1 bought the seedling from the Green Market. In all that growth, it has only yielded this one single tomato. The plant has flowered over and over, it just didn't take. On his visit, Nick the Farmer looked in disgust when he saw we planted pepper plants in the same area. I was only able to translate the concept that the 'roots no like each other'.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Inheritance Update: Fig Tree

Our own fig tree finally popped out a ripe one. There are a hundred or so green bulbs on the tree that'll eventually turn. That's Farmer No. 1 in the background tending to the field.
This fig was delicious (natural sweetness) and functional (natural laxative).

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Infarmation: Garlic 101

Farmer no. 1 recently purchased garlic at a local corner store and noticed the words "GROWN IN CHINA" on the label. Think of all the pesticides, soil conditions and pollution in China....alarmed by this thought, the garlic was immediately thrown away. We started checking the garlic at all the local grocery stores and found "GROWN IN CHINA" at every store. Why are our local grocery stores selling something that can easily be grown locally?

Very upset by this discovery, we immediately went to the farmers market to purchase locally grown product. The subject was discussed with a local farmer and he said that most garlic in U.S. grocery stores is grown in China, and what is currently in stores was harvested last year!

The Brooklyn Farm will now officially begin growing garlic...and you might consider planting a few bulbs too. It is very easy to grow and Fall is the ideal time to plant garlic for the optimum bulb and shoot development.

We will order our bulbs now and plant in October. Check out the Garlic Store in Ft. Collins, CO. to purchase organic, USA grown bulbs available in lots of interesting varieties. By Spring, we'll have fresh, organic garlic. In the meantime, we recommend buying garlic solely from the farmers market.

For more information on growing garlic, click here.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Harvest: Bok Choi in the Boxes

We planted three short rows of baby bok choi in one of our boxes. The crop has been growing perfectly. Every single seed sprouted and it's all been pest free. The earlier crop grew so well we wanted a second go of it.
Flavor wise this plant doesn't bring much to the table, it's very mild. Color and texture are it's best qualities. 

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Brooklyn Farm: Colorado Branch

Farmer no. 1's mother is the original green thumb. 12 foot sunflowers in the high altitude of Colorado Springs (6,000 feet above sea level). It is more challenging to grow in higher altitudes because the temperatures are cooler and the growing season is shorter. The altitude in Brooklyn is around 100 ft above sea level, and our crops are a month ahead of Colorado crops. But we definitely don't have sunflowers like these...nice work!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Harvest: Carrots

Brooklyn Farm's Carrot No. 1 and Carrot No. 2
We planted only five feet of carrot seeds in the beginning of May and we have only gone through a third so far. We'll still plant more carrot seeds this year; carrots can tolerate lower air temperatures because they are root vegetables in the relatively warmer ground.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Food: 13 Farm Ingredients

Farm Friends M+K came over and helped us consume recent harvests. This was a big production using as many different vegetables as we could find in the field. Eggplant parmigiana with farm eggplant, fresh tomato sauce, basil and local mozzarella. The salad made use of farm bibb lettuce, salad bowl lettuce, arugula, basil, thyme, cucumber, carrots, beets and peppers. Thai chili peppers were thrown in to the cucumber salad.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Harvest: Habañero Pepper

The hot little nuggets have arrived. The habañero peppers have begun to turn peach color indicating that they are ripe…if you're gutsy enough. The measure of hotness is called the scoville scale and hotness units are Scoville Heat Units (SHU). A bell pepper has 0 SHU, jalapeños have between 2,500–8,000 SHU, our peach friend above has between 100,000–350,000 SHUs. And official US government issue pepper spray has between 2,000,000– 5,000,000 SHUs. You can see how wide the scale can get… even on the conservative side these peppers are 10x hotter than a jalapeño. Farmer No. 2 sliced up the pepper to and is planning to play tricks on people with beverages.