Haedalia 2016! — Saturday, September 24th

Our annual festival, Haedalia, is going to be held tomorrow, September 24th from 10 AM to dusk!  Come and join us for a delightful time.

Laughing Margaret in Rice

 

Admission is free.  See our Facebook page for more details.

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We’re getting ready to begin distributing for our CSA!  The peas are starting to bear lots of pods, our spinach, radishes, and baby greens are sizing up — we’re already thinking about our first harvest for shareholders in a week and a half.

 

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Shares are still available.  If you’re interested, check out the items under “CSA” in the menu at the top of our page.  You can also come on a tour of the farm, and ask questions then.  We’ll be giving tours to any interested parties next week.

Monday, May 18th at 6:30 PM

Wednesday, May 20th at 4:30 PM

Saturday, May 23rd at 2:30 PM

Tours will begin at the barn at our site, 616 New London Road.  If you have any questions, please call at (302) 540 0912.

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Fresh Kale For Sale!

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  • Some of last year’s kale survived the winter, and looks good. Buy the first of this year’s fresh produce from the Kranz Hill Farm — Siberian Kale, $5 for a pound and a half.
  • Fill out the form below to purchase this spring treat.
Name*
E-mail:*
Pounds of Kale*
Payment and pickup will be made at the barn at the Kranz Hill Farm, 616 New London Road, on the selected day. Produce will be set out at 9 AM, and taken in for storage at 7 PM. Bags will be labeled. Please bring cash or check for payment.*

This Season’s Varieties: Part 2

Every year we try to improve our selection of varieties from the previous year.  As vegetables are more or less popular with our shareholders, or seem to do well or poorly with our growing practices, we alter our choices.  We also try out new varieties — ones we’ve heard of but never tried, and some that have only recently been developed.  Here is a sample of our selections for this year.

Husk Cherry

We’ll be trying two new vegetables this year, the tomatillo and the ground cherry (also known as the husk cherry ). Both are relatives of the tomato, both are sweeter and dryer than the tomato, and both grow with papery husks.

Tomatillos and ground cherries can both be eaten raw. They are sweet, crunchy, and tart. Tomatillos are also well known as the main ingredient in “salsa verde,” green salsa. We hope our shareholders will be able to give each a try this year.

[Above is a picture of some ground cherries, courtesy of vegetable-gardening-online.com]

Sorrel -- Red and Green
In addition to our salad mixes and our cooking greens, we will be growing arugula, spinach, and sorrel, for an even wider variety of greens.

Sorrel is a relative of spinach, similar in texture, appearance, and nutritional content — but not in taste. Sorrel tastes like lemon, and can be used to give its sour flavor to all kinds of dishes — salads, chicken, soups, and even eaten as a tangy snack, like a “Lemonhead” (or maybe a “Sour Warhead”!) candy. We harvested some for shareholders last year, and a new shareholder requested it for this year.

As for the others, most people know arugula for its peppery flavor, and spinach for its savor. For arugula, we will be growing a standard and a heat-tolerant variety, called “Arugula” and “Astro”. For spinach, we will be growing a standard, a heat-tolerant, and a red-veined variety, called “Tyee,” “Carmel,” and “Red Kitten.”

[Image above from Kelli Foster at thekitchn.com]

Islander Pepper

We’ve given up a variety of bell peppers this year, and added a traditional Romanian type. The prolific green-to-red “Ace” pepper is our standby, and we’ll also have the very sweet orange “Gourmet,” and the richly dark purple-to-red “Islander” pepper. We’re adding a Romanian frying pepper called “Antohi Romanian,” which ripens from yellow to red, and is a little smaller and more pointed than a bell pepper.

In fact, I’m more excited for our change in cultivation practices. Last year, our peppers did terribly because they were totally overshadowed by weeds. This year, we have an excellent means for removing the weed pressure, and so I have high hopes for a prolific year.

(Photo above from Johnny’s Selected Seeds)

Shunkyo Semilong

One of our first crops every year is radishes. This year, we plan to grow three different varieties. The first two are the familiar small globe radishes, a red variety called “Crunchy Royale” which we tried and approved last fall, and “Pink Beauty,” which we’ve grown for years. We dropped the purple and white varieties, which we found grew too knobbly and short in our heavy clay soil.

We will be trying a new type of radish, a Japanese variety called “Shunkyo Semi-Long.” It is longer than the globe radish, but shorter than a daikon, and is supposed to have a “hot and sweetly nutty” flavor. We are looking forward to these; fresh radishes are one of the many small delights of spring.

[photo above from Johnny’s Selected Seeds]

 

This Year’s Varieties: Part One

Every year we try to improve our selection of varieties from the previous year.  As vegetables are more or less popular with our shareholders, or seem to do well or poorly with our growing practices, we alter our choices.  We also try out new varieties — ones we’ve heard of but never tried, and some that have only recently been developed.  Here is a sample of our selections for this year.
Artisan Tomatoes

We’ve selected the best of last year’s cherry tomato varieties for growing this year, and added an exciting new set.  From last year, we’ll have the bright red “Jasper,” our customary orange “Sun Gold” (we’ve grown it every year!) and the “Black Cherry,” a large, dark cherry tomato that tastes distinctly like the cherry fruit.

New this year will be a collection called “Artisan” tomatoes. We were impressed by the look of this new set of hybrids — beautifully striped and mottled, as you can see in the picture below. We think they’ll make a splashy addition to our mixed containers.

Hakurei Turnips

Once again, we will be growing Hakurei turnips. Our shareholders have enjoyed these sweet and delicate turnips for years. Excellent in salads, on their own as a light snack, or cooked.

Nasturtium Scarlet Frills

For years, we have made a spicy salad mix with an intensely rich blend of mustards, Asian greens, and kale. Very popular as a retail item at the Harvest Market in Hockessin, we will be growing the mix again for shareholders at the Kranz Hill Farm CSA.

The mix includes some set of “Southern Giant Curled,” “Golden Frills.” “Scarlet Frills,” and “Red Giant” mustards, tat soi, a lacy mizuna, and this year, we will be including an Ethiopian mustard, “Amara.” We are also planning to grow colorful nasturtiums, an edible flower, as an ornamental addition!

Bright Lights Joi Choi

We’ll be growing our customary selection of cooking greens again this year, and adding broccoli raab back in the to the group.

“Bright Lights” Swiss chard is always pretty and tasty, and the “Joi Choi” bok choi, with its bright and thick white stems, has done excellently for us the last two years. We will also have two varieties of kale, “Siberian” and “Toscano,” and some collards, “Top Bunch.”

We’re excited to try broccoli raab again — some of our shareholders are very fond of it, and it has done well for us in the past. The variety we’ve chosen, “Sessantina Grossa,” is a traditional Italian variety.

 [photos from vegetablegardener.com, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Growing Magazine, and others]

Summer Camp -Down on the Farm

Summer Camp at the Farm? Hooray! A week at the farm! This summer, children, ages 9 – 13, can spend an intensive week at the farm, chock full of things to discover and experience. The history of and innovations in farming: shadoufs and aqueducts, wheel seeders and flame weeders; the interplay of soil, sun, and water; bugs – who’s who and how they help and hurt; all about the plants, when and how they grow and why, how we help, what we eat, plus wild foraging between the rows of our tamer, more familiar produce; and animals on the farm, how they’re the same and different, their jobs at the farm, how to care for them, and then play with them!

And in the late afternoon, we’ll discover how cultivation and culture come together in music, fine arts, the written word, and crafts. Each day will focus on a different piece of music, artwork, or writing with the chance for the children to make their own music, their own art, their own poetry or stories, their own crafts, or spend more time in the fields and meadows or with the animals- however the child is inclined. Children bring their own lunches and we meet rain or shine! Camp runs from 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM with aftercare available from 4:00 PM to 5:30PM. Space is limited, so to reserve a place follow the link http://kranzhillfarm.org/summer-camp/  . See you this summer! We can hardly wait!

Apprenticeship and Internships for 2016

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The Kranz Hill Farm CSA is welcoming applicants for apprenticeship and internship for the 2016 season!

You can find more information at our page: http://kranzhillfarm.org/internships/

 

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Looking at Haedalia 2015

It’s been three weeks since our fall festival, the Haedalia, and I’ve finally had a chance to post some pictures for you all to enjoy.

Donkeys

The air was pleasantly cool, the sun hidden behind a light cover of clouds, and if the wind got a little blustery, what little it took from comfort, it returned in excitement –Nick Roach, our juggler, had a little trouble with juggling his hats, and we had to hope that he wouldn’t have the same trouble with his cutlery!

Nick Juggling Hats Optical Illusion Nick Juggling Knives

There were entertaining shows under the trees —

Joe Wildly Introducing

Ish Magic Show
Melanie and Ishmael

 

— and informative demonstrations.

Donkeys and JadeCaryn Explaining

The children enjoyed having faces painted —

Autumn Painting a Face  Tiger LilyGirl with Face Paint

— and playing with colored rice.

Lots of Kids Playing in Rice Laughing Margaret in Rice

People danced and played —

Woman and Daughter Dancing Sam Playing BanjoDancing with Dance Master

 

— and gathered strength for more as they enjoyed the food.

Food TruckKids Eating Hot Dogs

 

Thank you to all who joined us.  We look forward to seeing you next year!

Kids Watching Magic Show

Anne Gazing

 

(Photos courtesy of Sine Stabosz Photography)

Haedalia 2015: Fall Festival

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Haedalia 2015

September 26, 10 AM to 5PM

Come, enjoy our farm, and a variety of demonstrations, historical crafts, raffle and silent auction, and activities for children: shows, games, face painting, swingset, and animals.

Admission is free.

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Check back here or on our Facebook page for updates.

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Week 8

Sorry that we missed a few weeks on here. I hope no one has been left hanging. You are always welcome to email or call , if you’re looking for recipes, or if you have other questions about the produce.

I’ll just mention a few quick things that may be of interest.

This week there are carrot greens in the share (although not very many carrots). Carrot greens make a good pesto, and can be added to a variety of dishes, like you might with parsley (to which they are related). The flavor and texture are not quite the same as parsley, so you’ll need to play around with how you like it.

Here is a recipe for Carrot Top Pesto and another one.

This Carrot Top and Chickpea Salad caught my eye.

Also this week we have lots of eggplant. We grow four varieties: Galine,a standard mid-sized, black bell type, Orient Charm, a long thin Asian type, Raja, a small white Indian variety, and Fairy Tale, a very small striped variety, which boasts very few seeds. In my experience these varieties can be used interchangeably, with most of the difference in the appearance of a dish. For instance the smaller varieties can be cut in half or even cooked whole, which can be striking in a stir fry or from the grill. My cooking style is fairy blunt, so those with a more subtle pallet or gourmet style may appreciate some differences in flavor and texture, but I say if your in a hurry, or just not very interested in the details, then you don’t need to get hung up on them.

The tomato plants still look good, but with all the cloudy weather, they are ripening slowly. So, no canning yet, although you can expect to have some for salads, sandwiches, and such.

Enjoy!