Author: Bryan Housel

Circle Brook Farm

Farm News – June 25, 2018

Hello Everyone! So I guess I should have known better than to have believed the weatherman. I postponed the farm visit based on a forecast of rain and thunderstorm through most of the weekend. We received virtually no precipitation except for a few moments of drizzle and two brief showers — both of which occurred when I ventured out on my seeding tractor to try and get some planting done! (more…)

Radishes

Radishes

Radishes are the root of a plant closely related to mustard (hence their bite).  They come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors and are generally used as a garnish or salad ingredient because of their mild-to-peppery flavor.  When cooked, they have a delicate flavor similar to that of white salad turnips.  They can be cooked whole or thinly sliced, steamed with a bit of water (or vegetable stock) and butter.  I’ve even seen a recipe for glazed whole radishes with a bit of brown sugar and butter. (more…)

Circle Brook Farm

Farm News – June 18, 2018

Hi Everyone!  So, it was another reasonably good week weather-wise here on the farm.  Temperatures have been mild (at least until today), and we had a midnight deluge on Wednesday night.  A slow steady rain is always better than a downpour, and this one only gave us about a quarter of an inch, but it was helpful for getting some seeds up and for watering the brassicas and the root crops.  As we head into late June and July the rain often starts to diminish and we start worrying about a drought.  Many of the summer crops are watered with drip irrigation.  For other crops we have overhead sprinklers, but it is a lot of extra work for us.  We just seeded some okra and lima beans and I am in the process of planting the winter squash and pumpkins so a little rain will be much appreciated. (more…)

Circle Brook Farm

Farm News – June 11, 2018

Hello Everyone,  I am happy to report that the weather has been uncharacteristically cooperative this past week. The temperatures have been moderate and we have had several nice gentle overnight rains.  I think that there are few people other than farmers who can find such joy in a nice rain; perhaps an Englishman away from home and missing his native climate. (more…)

Circle Brook Farm

Farm News – June 4, 2018

Hi Folks,  I hope you had a pleasant Memorial Day weekend.  I apologize that I have not been able to get a farm update out to you until now.  It has been a very difficult spring for us here at the farm.  I am sure that most of you noticed that winter hung around well into April this year.  We still had snow flurries flying on April 13!  As a result we were unable to begin planting until Mid- April; about 2 weeks later that normal for some crops.  In addition, the cold soil caused poor emergence in some of the early direct seeded crops, such as peas.  We worked diligently to get caught up with our spring planting and had largely succeeded.  We were then a bit behind on setting out some of the warm weather crops.  We were getting caught up on these when we had a week of rain, including a strong storm which ripped the plastic off one of our high tunnel greenhouses and knocked power out for three days!  We are now back on track and continue to work hard to ensure a bountiful season. (more…)

Circle Brook Farm

Farm News – November 20, 2017 (Stock up)

Hi Folks, thank you again for your support this season.  I am very thankful for the tremendous participation in the stock up share program and to those who purchased shares for donation.  I have been very worried that I would finish out the season in debt but, thanks to your help, I will be able to pay off my debts and hopefully have money to pay the mortgage through January. (more…)

Winter Veggies

Protecting the Stock-Up

Now that you have your stock-up share, how do you keep it edible if you don’t want to refrigerate everything? If you don’t have a root cellar, and my guess is few of us have one, can you leave it all in the garage or is it safer in the basement? (more…)

Circle Brook Farm

Farm News – November 13, 2017

Hello Everyone!  So, we have arrived at the end of another CSA season; a sad time for many of you and perhaps a relief for some of you as well.  I know that it sometimes a challenge to put to good use all of the produce you receive in your share each week.  We try to give a good value but sometimes we overwhelm.  We have tried our best to provide variety and quality, and I believe for the most part we were successful.  In any growing season, there are challenges and disappointments; this year it was with the tomatoes and, to some extent, the melons.  Both of these were the result of a wet summer.  For next season, we will be constructing more high tunnel greenhouses to grow tomatoes where they are protected from wet conditions.  We have a few of these now and were continuing to harvest a few tomatoes each week for market but never enough to ship to members, at least until last week when we suddenly had a preponderance of ripe fruit.  We sent a few out to several groups and will be attempting to cover the rest this week. (more…)