Summer 2020 Update 1
Hello and welcome to Sola Gratia Farm's first blog post! We hope you will enjoy reading these posts as much as we enjoy creating them! At our farm, our goal is to provide you with nutrient dense, chemical free food from our farm to your table.
We invite you to try some of our produce today.
Early in the spring while the garden lies dormant beneath the snow, the gardening begins. Carefully the seeds are planted in soil mix. Specifically, we use soil blocks, which are block of soil compressed together.
We prefer soil blocks over seed trays because they minimize waste, take up less space, prevent the plants from getting root-bound and are easy to transplant. As an added bonus, there is less chance of transplant shock, which means we can get the produce to you faster!
Onions and leeks are planted in March in our house. As the weeks roll by and the weather begins to warm up, we plant more and more crops. Because we want to have nice produce all season for your enjoyment we are doing succession planting. This means that instead of planting all our spinach (for example) at once, we space the plantings out a few weeks apart so that we have a continual supply of young leaves.
Let's go on a tour of the garden of what is ready to harvest. Along the way, we will show what is growing and give you tips on enjoying your fresh produce.
So come along with me!
As early as the end of March, spinach was planted in the ground. Now it is flourishing and giving us a daily spinach salad. The leaves have a mild spinach taste. They are delicious!
Our favorite way to eat the spinach is to make a salad.
Healthy Spinach Salad
- Fresh washed spinach
- Ricotta or grated mozzarella cheese
- Balsamic vinegar OR vinaigrette dressing
Toss the spinach leaves with the cheese and the dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!!
Fun toppings include sunflower seeds, raisins, diced apples, olives, and whatever your imagination supplies!
Some other ways we have prepared the spinach are making a spinach lasagna and lightly steaming the spinach and mixing it with pasta.
Next up on our tour is…
We transplanted our lettuce in mid-May. Because of the moisture and the soil blocks, they suffered no transplant shock. Because we keep the soil moist, the lettuce is full of flavor, but it is not bitter. The black tubing in a couple of the images is drip tape for the irrigation. Water flows through the tape and drips through holes in the tape onto the soil.
Above is the New Red Fire lettuce. This head lettuce is full of vibrant color and taste. The ruffled and ruby red leaves add nice color to any salad.
This is a romaine type lettuce. This type forms an upright head of lettuce. This is delicious in salads.
Try adding our lettuce to your next sandwich or burger today!
Time to move on to…
Pungent and spicy, our garlic is a great addition to any dish you are making! You can feel the heat as you eat this garlic. We planted our garlic on Thanksgiving Day. Each clove grows to form a new bulb. The beds were amended with compost and worm castings. The beds were mulched with a thick layer of straw to insulate from the cold winter. The straw does double duty in the spring by keeping in moisture and reducing weeds. The garlic is still in the ground, but they will be harvested most likely in about a month.
The thick stalk shows that we are going to get a nice big bulb in the end!
When the garlic is near maturity, it sends a flower stalk called a ‘scape’. This saps nutrients from the plant making the bulb smaller. We pull the scapes off the garlic, so that we get nice large bulbs.
The garlic will be ready in August.
Let's move on from the garlic and see what else there is to harvest...
The next thing that is ready to harvest is radishes. We have two different types of radishes. The traditional breakfast radish is spicy Easter egg radishes are on the milder side. These radishes come in the colores of red, purple, and white.
Finally, the last thing ready is...
The beets are ready to harvest. They are larger than golfball size. They are sweet and delicious.
We have three colors for you to choose from -- red, yellow, and white. They all taste very good.
These beets are delicious raw in salads. You can also steam them, juice them , or bake with them. They are delicious any way that you eat them!
Well, we have come to the end of the garden tour. We hope that you will enjoy the produce we have to offer.
As we have new updates and more things are ready to harvest, we will let you know with another blog post!
Until next time!!