Training Caneberries

A few years back, the farm management decided that marionberries and boysenberries would be a welcome addition to our produce offerings. We have a lot of good farmers in our midst here, but none of us had much experience growing caneberries (berries that lose their core and look like a thimble – blackberries, raspberries, boysenberries, etc.). The plants, however, grew and thrived and bore a whole lot of fruit.

Problems arose during harvest and again when the plants needed pruning at the end of the season. Most caneberries produce fruit on year-old canes, so during the spring, summer, and fall, both last-year’s growth and new sprouts must be encouraged to thrive, meaning that the crew had to pick fruit that was hidden in the interior of the plants behind a thorny veil of new growth. This system made the harvest slow and sometimes painful. In the fall and early winter as they pruned, the crew again had a hard time disentangling the old, spent canes from the ones that would produce the following year’s fruit, which took extra time and did some damage to the newer canes.

Last summer, a woman name Brigida joined the crew. She had extensive experience working on other berry farms and offered up a solution to ease both harvesting and pruning. We’re trying it for the first time this spring, and so far, it seems to be working really well.

Last fall, the crew cut and removed all the old canes. As the plants have greened up this spring, it’s been easy to distinguish the year-old canes from the new growth (next year’s productive canes). When the new shoots were about 18 inches tall, all the shoots in one area were gathered together in a bundle, flattened on the ground, and pinned down to keep them from growing up into the older canes.

As the new canes continue to grow, they will be flattened and pinned again and again until there’s a whole line of canes running horizontally along the ground.

At harvest time, the crew will only have to contend with the thorns of the fruit-bearing canes that are growing on the trellis, so the fruit will be easier and faster to pick. At the end of the season, those spent canes will be clearly separate, so the crew can cut and haul them off without damaging next year’s production.

When the old canes are gone, the newer canes will be unpinned from the ground and trained up onto the trellising for the next summer harvest.

We are hoping for a good marionberry and boysenberry year. We should begin harvesting the fruit in July and will have berries available at our farmers’ market booths, in our CSA, and at our farm stand.

Views Around the Farm Stand + Lunch Menu for May 29 to June 1

smoked duck breast with rhubarb mostarda

New in the farm stand this week we have herbs, green garlic, and a more consistent supply of head lettuce and salad mix. The fields around the farm stand are mostly planted with summer produce and are beginning to color up, too. Our guests and customers are more than welcome to take self-guided walking tours around the farm to see for themselves what we’re up to.

GTF salad with strawberries, pistachios, tarragon goat cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette

The Lunch Menu (subject to change based on availability)

to start:

country pâté of lamb and pork served with house pickles and mustard
smoked duck breast with rhubarb mostarda
 
mixed greens with balsamic vinaigrette
GTF salad with strawberries, pistachios, tarragon goat cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette
 
carrot and coriander soup with artisan bread
chunky vegetable soup with artisan bread

 

pizze:

garlic/thyme/tomato/mozzarella
basil pesto/prawn/kale/tomato/mozzarella
roasted peppers/spinach/mozzarella
duck/mushroom/zuke/tomato/mozzarella

 

secondi:

lamb agnolotti with green garlic and parmesan brodo
Mosiac Farm pork ragú with kale and tagliatelle
olive bread pudding with beets
gnocchi with roma tomatoes and herbed ricotta
cacciucco with rockfish and prawns in roasted pepper stew
duck confit with new potatoes and braised cabbage
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Callista (above left) has been working in the farmstand for six years now.

The farmstand is currently showcasing paintings by local artist Lê trung Chính (above right).

We just got in a new batch of beers from Oregon Trail Brewery. How cool are those reusable bottles?

lamb agnolotti with green garlic and parmesan brodo
gnocchi with roma tomatoes and herbed ricotta
cacciucco with rockfish and prawns in roasted pepper stew
bear claw

Views Around the Farm Stand + Lunch Menu for May 22-25

bacon/blue cheese/zuke/tomato/mozzarella pizza

The weather is a little gloomier this week, but the farm is definitely in full swing now. The farm stand is stocked with strawberries, snap peas, cucumbers, fresh carrots, and first of the season basil. We’ve also turned on the heaters to warm up the deck dining room, and the pizza oven always radiates warmth. We’d love to welcome you in to take the chill off with fresh coffee and a hot meal.

The Lunch Menu (subject to change based on availability)

to start: 

country pâté with pistachios served with cornichon and mustard
duck crostini with sour cherry mostarda on grilled baguette
 
mixed greens with balsamic vinaigrette
GTF salad with smoked duck breast, rhubarb, turnip, and honey vinaigrette
 
ham and vegetable soup with artisan bread
creamy roasted pepper soup with artisan bread

 

pizze:

garlic/oregano/thyme/tomato/mozzarella
olive/shallots/goat cheese/tomato/mozzarella
bacon/blue cheese/zuke/tomato/mozzarella
ham/capers/chard/mozarella

 

secondi:

mushroom agnolotti with zucchini
pork ragú with chard and tagliatelle
polenta, farmers choice vegetables, and poached egg
beet torta di crespelle
GTF brodetto with rockfish
chicken galantina, new potatoes, and carrots
 

A note about these flourless almond macarons with chocolate ganache: they may not look like much, but they are delicious. The cookies are made of a mix of almonds, powered sugar, egg whites, and sometimes almond extract, and the ganache is surprisingly rich. They’re not big cookies, but they are quite filling. These treats are gluten-free, but even gluten lovers will not be disappointed.

Often times, macarons are generously dyed with a rainbow of food coloring to enhance their appeal, but Ana Patty (GTF pastry chef) has made the decision to keep things natural.

quick pickles
smoked duck breast
creamy roasted pepper soup with artisan bread
chopped oregano and thyme
sugar snap peas
smoked paprika and parsley oil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gaelen does one heck of a job washing dishes in the kitchen. (His mom made the cute hat.)

base for the beet torta di crespelle
trimming the house-made bacon
slicing the house-made bacon
house-made bacon
salad turnips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Cucumbers and Zucchinis

The crew picked the season’s first cucumbers about a week ago. The tender young fruits were small and had a few bug-bites scabs, but they tasted of pure summer. This year, we’re growing ‘Socrates‘ because our favorite ‘Sweet Slice’ was unavailable due to a seed shortage. So far, they’re doing well, and we think they’re pretty good.

All our cucumbers are grown in greenhouses. You can read/see more about our trellising system here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Throughout the summer, the crew will harvest cucumbers about five times per week. It’s pretty amazing to see the size difference in one fruit after 24 hours of growth during the warm weather.

This week, the crew is also starting to harvest the first zucchinis grown in a greenhouse, and they will cut summer squash about five times per week for the rest of the season.

Often times, the first zucchini on every plant will be stunted and somewhat misshapen. These fruits must be cut off to encourage the plant to keep producing. The ugly ones are sent to the farmstand kitchen, or they’re taken home and enjoyed by staff.

The zucchini harvest can, at times, be a real hunt. When plants are young, the fruits are usually easy to spot, but as the foliage grows more robust, the green zucchinis can be a challenge to spot.

The first zucchinis will make their way to farmers’ markets this week and weekend.

These plants have been helped along by the extra warmth and protection of both the greenhouse plastic and plastic mulch laid on the ground. True zucchini and summer squash season won’t start for another month or six weeks when our outside plants begin to bear. By scheduling successive zucchini (as well as other summer squash) plantings both inside greenhouses and out in the fields, we should have a continuous supply throughout the summer and into the fall.

Ana Patty’s Cakes

A group of friends came out to the farm stand yesterday to celebrate a birthday. Here are a few tantalizing photos of this delightful strawberry cocoa cake created by Ana Patty.