ARCHIVE - 2014


Ol’man winter made a surprise visit last Saturday night with the temperature dropping to 26 degrees at the farm!  Usually the first frost of the season is a light one but not this year.  In a night the okra, basil, peppers, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, those beautiful dahlias and zinnias and sadly, even some of the fall lettuce, all laid down for the season.  It was time.  I used to get really sad when Fall rolled around in the fields, but have grown much more comfortable that it is just part of the rhythm of life, death, life that cycles through nature and our lives. The photo shows what's left of the dahlias that will be cut down, dug and stored in crates under my cabin in the next two weeks. To the right is the new strawberry bed which Mom planted the first half of earlier this week.  The garlic is going in tomorrow, the last of the cover cropping is still to complete and then the season officially comes to a close. 

A new item in your share this week will be winter radishes – daikon and watermelon.  You can use them to make a roasted veggie dish along with your sweet potatoes and winter squash but I grew them to experiment with making fermented veggies which I will do later this fall.  I made a few batches of fermented veggies last season and loved them!!!  I am going to a workshop in November at a farm in Tennessee to learn more tricks to fermenting veggies, so hope to have more to contribute to this subject as next season rolls around. 

It has been a most abundanct and enjoyable growing season.  I am thankful for so much including each of You for being an extended part of this season.  I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow at our last pickup for the 2014 season between 9:30-11:30 in front of Butlers II Antiques on Main Street. 

Until next SEASON!…


Still plugging away at preparing the fields but making progress.  The main fields will be seeded with winter cover crop on Monday which is the next moon day planting window for that task.  I also readied the 100 foot strawberry bed and will be planting that on Monday.  Today was a fun happening at the farm.  Teri Hamlin who is the Georgia Organics Farm to School Coordinator for Northeast Georgia came out and shot a video of me digging sweet potatoes.  Later this month I will be at the Rabun County Elementary School introducing 600 students to sweet potato fries as part of the Taste Test Program underway this school year.  I’ve been holding off digging many sweet potatoes as they got a one month late start this year due to the cold spring and so are small and still very much growing.  I’m hearing rumors of cold weather next week though, so it might be a frantic dig 350 feet of sweet potatoes if we get frost! 

Turmeric will be a new item in your share this week.  This is another first timer for me so I have more to learn about its growth habits and ways to cook with it.  Turmeric is another tropical crop like ginger, is used extensively in asian cooking and is most often found and used as a dried herb in this country.  It is another one of those superfood health items, however, with numerous benefits such as aiding in arthritis, cancer growth inhibitor and much more.  Let me know what you think! 

Continuing with our theme of readying for winter this week you will each receive a big bunch of basil and it's time to make pesto.  Pesto keeps in the fridge for several weeks and also freezes quite well, but if you plan to add cheese only incorporate once you are ready to add to your pasta…

Farm Food Favorites:  Basil Pesto
Chop up 4-5 cloves of garlic.  Put in food processor with olive oil and blend.  Add toasted pine nuts or pecans (nuts are optional).  Add handful of lightly chopped basil and more olive oil to allow food processor to work smoothly.  Continue to add chopped basil and olive oil.  Season to taste with salt.  When storing in fridge add lightly covering of olive oil so pesto is not exposed to air.   Enjoy!

I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow at pickup between 9:30-11:30 in front of Butlers II Antiques on Main Street.  

Until next week…


Well I was a bit optimistic in thinking the fields would be prepared for winter by this week, but I did keep making progress in that department.  Its “distractions” like the tractor battery dies, ants short out the electric fence charger, midweek restaurant deliveries, honey festival planning, entering items in the Rabun County Fair, … that always seem to come up in my “regular” day at the farm.  Is never a dull moment, though J 

Hawaiian Ginger will be a new item in your share this week.  Is the first time I have grown this and am looking forward to experimenting with it more in the kitchen this fall.  It is considered a tropical
plant so once the raised beds were added to my greenhouse this winter, I am able to grow ginger.  The health benefits of Ginger are numerous – it is quite the warming food, especially for those that chill easily or have poor circulation.  It also aids in digestion, helps regulate blood sugar, strengthens the immune system, and a whole lot more!  My absolute favorite winter tea is Ginger Mint Tea.

Farm Food Favorites:  Ginger Mint Tea
Chop up ginger into small chunks and boil in water for 10 minutes.  Add fresh mint last few minutes.  Turn off heat and allow to steep (covered) for 10-15 minutes.  Enjoy!

I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow at pickup between 9:30-11:30 in front of Butlers II Antiques on Main Street. 

Until next week...


Ernie the Tractor came out of the barn this week and was put to work flail mowing the two main fields.  It takes a lot to get the fields ready for the tractor between removing the drip tape and taking down the electric fencing.  Even so the tractor saves a few days work and much wear and tear on my body so I am grateful to have him.  Next week I finish weedeating what the tractor could not do, lightly amend and begin to till in preparation for the fall cover crop. 

In keeping with the theme of preparing ourselves for winter, this week you will each receive a larger share of okra, complete with the recipe below for pickled okra.  It is one of the easiest foods to pickle and can be a treat to give as a gift or enjoy during a holiday meal.      

Farm Food Favorites:  Pickled Okra (from the Ball Blue Book of Preserving)

3.5 pounds okra pods
1/3 cup canning salt(available at Ingles)
2 tsp dill seed
3 cups water
3 cups vinegar (I prefer apple cider for the health benefits)
4 cloves garlic
2 small hot red peppers, cut in half
Pint Canning Jars (available at Reeves, Andy’s or Ingles)

Trim stems of okra, being careful not to cut pods; set aside.  Combine salt, dill seed, water and vinegar to make a brine in a large saucepot.  Bring to a boil.  Pack okra into hot jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace.  Put 1 clove garlic and one-half pepper in each jar.  Ladle hot liquid over okra, leaving ¼-inch headspace.  Remove air bubbles.  Adjust two-piece caps.  Process 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner.  (Note: Once the brine is made you can store in the refrigerator and each week make 1 or 2 more jars with the okra that comes in your share.  Store completed jars in fridge until ready to hot bath.)   

I look forward to seeing you all today at pickup between 9:30-11:30 in front of Butler's II Antiques on Main Street.  

Until next week…


The focus of the Fall CSA will be in part about readying ourselves (our bodies and our pantries) for winter.  Several of the items I grow can be “put up” for winter eating.  I’m not just referring to the more commonly known methods of freezing and canning (tomatoes, beans, pickles and more).  Many of the fall crops can be easily stored (in milk crates or the veggie bin of your fridge) and enjoyed up to several months after harvesting from the field.  In addition to the canning and freezing that we (mostly mom) do at the farm, each winter I keep at least one milk crate each of butternut squash, sweet potatoes and irish potatoes in the unheated crawl space under my cabin and one veggie bin of my fridge is filled with beets & carrots.  I’ll then add fresh greens to those winter staple items and trips to the grocery store for me are minimal.    

This week I’ve been dividing my time between taking care of the fall crops and readying the spring/summer beds for winter.  I transplanted a few hundred kale, lettuce, kohlrabi and more transplants, began to thin the radishes and yesterday did a major weeding of the pumpkin patch.  The photo shows the "tidied" up pumpkin patch which I weeded and put down straw for the 12 or so pumpkins that had managed to form in what had been knee high weeds!  In the center of the pumpkin tows are the summer (French Breakfast & Cherry Belle) and fall (Watermelon & Daikon) Radishes.  I plan to do some fermented veggies with the fall radishes, kohlrabi and carrots this season – yet another way of preserving the harvest.

Farm Food Favorites:  Spaghetti Squash Salad with Feta

Peel spaghetti squash and grate.  Boil in water for 8-10 minutes then remove from heat and plunge into cold water to stop cooking.   Add fresh halved Cherry Tomatoes or sun-dried Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, diced Bell Pepper and for a dressing mix olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, fresh basil and Italian parsley .  Season with Sea Salt or Ground Pepper.  Top with Feta Cheese.  Enjoy!

I look forward to seeing each of you tomorrow at pickup between 9:30-11:30 am in front of Butler's II Antiques on Main Street.  

Until next week…


Did anyone say Winter Squash?  The picture shows the Delicata, Spaghetti and African Winter Squash in the front with the Butternut Squash lying in the field and yet to be harvested in the background.  I spent much of yesterday harvesting this seasons Winter Squash crop– a crazy 200+ pounds of Delicatas and close to 500 pounds of Butternut Squash!!!   All harvested by hand, loaded into milk crates and carted to the barn in the wheelbarrow.  From there they will be piled on hay awaiting their turn to be wiped, sorted and then stored on harvest tables in a single layer in landscape trays to allow for air movement.  I suspect many of them will find their way to the Atlanta Community Food Bank as part of the Dave Matthews food bank exchange.  Needless to say was a bit tired when I hit the hay last eve.  I have never had such an abundant harvest of Winter Squash – this was the year to grow Winter Squash!!!

I also wanted to include a great picture sent by Ben & Nicki from Rwanda (thanks guys – we miss You!).  “Lettuce growing in Rwanda” shows a pile of rocks wrapped in fabric and lettuce plants growing in the folds of the fabric.  I loved the resourcefulness and simplicity and it reminded me of “making do with what you got”.  One of the many, many lessons I have learned from farming and get to re-experience regularly as I go through my daily routine.
Farm Food Favorites:  Summer Squash Salad with Feta

Dice up summer squash.   Add fresh halved Cherry Tomatoes or sun-dried Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, diced Bell Pepper and for a dressing mix olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, fresh basil and .  Season with Sea Salt or Ground Pepper.  Top with Feta Cheese.

(I will actually be adapting this and using a Spaghetti Squash to bring to our grilling celebration this eve)

So here we are, the close of yet another Ladybug Farms CSA season – and what an abundant season it has been!!!  Came across a paragraph I wanted to share “Part of the joy of eating is the anticipation of seasonal foods.  The first strawberries of spring or the first tomatoes of summer are a cause for celebration.  Eating with the seasons helps ground us and reminds us of our connections to the earth.  In Walden Pond, Thoreau says: “Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of each.”  That pretty much says it all...

Thank you All for a most wonderful farming season.   

Until next season…


It doesn’t necessarily feel like Fall outside, but I spent the morning planting the fall crop of carrots, beets and radishes.  Last week I had started the leafy greens of kale, kohlrabi and lettuces.  We usually have our first frost of the season the first week or two of October (well ahead of Atlanta), so I like to have things with some nicely established roots before the first cold snap.

There's a few things I have to include every year, partly because they are sooooooo good and there are new folks each season and partly because its fun to reread. The Song to Okra falls into that category (thanks Margie!):  

Song to Okra
by Roy Blount, Jr.

String beans are good, and ripe tomatoes,
And collard greens and sweet potatoes,
Sweet corn, field peas, and squash and beets -
But when a man rears back and eats
He wants okra.

Good old okra.

Oh wow okra, yessiree,
Okra is Okay with me.
Oh okra’s favored far and wide,
Oh you can eat it boiled or fried,
Oh either slick or crisp inside,
Oh I once knew a man who died
Without okra.

Little pepper-sauce on it,
Oh! I wan’ it:

Old Homer Ogletree’s so high
On okra he keeps lots laid by.
He keeps it in a safe he locks up.
He eats so much, can’t keep his socks up.
(Which goes to show it’s no misnomer
When people call him Okra Homer.)

Oh you can make some gumbo wit’ it,
But most of all I like to git it
All by itself in its own juice,
And lying there all nice and loose -
That’s okra!
It may be poor for eating chips with,
It may be hard to come to grips with,
But okra’s such a wholesome food
It straightens out your attitude.
“Mm!” is how discerning folk re-
spond when they are served some okra.

Okra’s green,
Goes down with ease.
Forget cuisine
Say “Okra, please.”

You can have strip pokra,
Give me a nice girl and a dish of okra.

Farm Food Favorites:  Grilled Okra

Spear up to 10 okra pieces on a skewer, lightly brush with olive oil, sprinkle with hot pepper or cajun seasoning and grill for 5-7 minutes each side.  WARNING: this recipe has converted many a yankee into a okra fan!  
I look forward to seeing each of you tomorrow at the CSA pickup from 6:30 until 8:00 pm in the H Building courtyard.  Please bring a bag for your goodies.

Until next week…


This week at the farm…

I spent a good bit of time cleaning garlic this weekend.  I had done a few to have each week, but with 1500+ heads of garlic planted this season, it takes a moment to clean it all.  The roots get trimmed off, the stem cut back and the outer 1-2 layers of paper shell removed.  I left the stems on the softneck garlic and want to learn how to do garlic braids.  The softneck garlic keeps longer (generally up until spring) and is easier to braid so will be fun to experiment with that this season.    

The dahlias, zinnias and sunflowers are exceptionally beautiful right now.  The hummingbirds, goldfinches, bluebirds and many others I can’t name spend the days zipping through the flowers.  The butterflies, honey and native bumblebees are right there too.  Some flowers will have as many as 4 bumblebees burrowed down in the flower center collecting pollen or sometimes just taking a nap.

Farm Food Favorites:  

This weeks farm food favorite is a tradition in France.  When the Selma Zesta Pole Beans reach their second phase of readiness, there is a white bean inside that can be shelled and cooked.   Lamb is the traditional pairing with flageolets.    

Fresh Flageolet Beans with Braised Tomatoes and Onions
·         1 pound flageolet beans, shelled
·         1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
·         1 onion, minced, about 2 tablespoons
·         2 medium very ripe tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
·         1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
·         1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
·         2 tablespoons minced flat leaf parsley
Instructions: Put the flageolet beans in a saucepan and cover by 2 inches with water. Add 1/4 teaspoon of the salt.  Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Cook, uncovered until the beans are tender, about 10-20 minutes (I would do closer to 20 minutes). Taste a bean; it should be tender all the way through. Remove from the heat. Let the beans stand in the cooking liquid.

In a frying pan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. When it is hot, add the onion and saute just until translucent, 2-3 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, and season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Cook, stirring, until the tomatoes have dissolved into a chunky, rather thick sauce, about 10 minutes.

To serve, use a slotted spoon to ladle the flageolet beans into a serving bowl. Add the lemon juice. Pour the tomatoes over the beans, along with half the parsley, and stir to combine. Taste, and add more salt if desired. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley
I look forward to seeing each of you tomorrow at the CSA pickup from 6:30 until 8:00 pm in the H Building courtyard.  Please bring a bag for your goodies.

Until next week…


Finally able to get to a bit of field maintenance!  With way more to do than is ever enough time to do it all, decided to focus on the fall crops that are still to produce.  I weeded the row of crowder peas, the most recently planted row of sweet potatoes, the peanuts (a 9 plant experiment this season) and the herbs.  Also at long last was able to thin the second row of okra.  Opted to cut off the plants at the base as they were more than 3 feet tall – expect the okra to start producing in abundance now that the sun can get to the plants. 

Farm Food Favorites:  

Patty Pan, Garlic & Tomatoes:

My absolute favorite way to eat the patty pans is to slice them thinly on the diagonal, sautee them in garlic and olive oil and then top with tomatoes that have been cooked down on the stove.   

I look forward to seeing each of you tomorrow at the CSA pickup from 6:30 until 8:00 pm in the H Building courtyard.  Please bring a bag for your goodies.

Until next week…


“The food chain needs rain”.  That was the quote my chef friend Billy of Cakes & Ale fame heard today during a financial analysts’ news commentary.  That’s a powerful statement coming from a financial analyst and demonstrates the growing (re)connection non-farming folks are beginning to make with our food and the weather that impacts the growing of that food.  Billy was out in California last week and said things just looked “so, so dry”.  The good news for us at Ladybug Farms is that we continue to have a nice balance of rain and dry spells and the food continues to grow in abundance.

The picture shows the pattypan and yellow squash plants that have produced like crazy this season – 10+ pounds a day!  It’s fun to walk through the squash row early in the morning and hear it literally buzzing with all the bees pollinating the just-opened blossoms.

Farm Food Favorites:  

Beet Hummus:

Roast and peel beets then puree combined with 15 oz. can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed; 1 Tbsp Tahini; 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, Juice from 1 lemon; 2 chopped Garlic Cloves; 1 Tbsp ground Cumihn.  Enjoy with toasted pita chips.  

Edamame (Fresh Soybeans):

Add about 1-2 inches of water to bottom of pot, bring to boil and add fresh soybeans.  Steam 4-5 minutes until tender, remove from pot, then rinse under cold water to stop cooking (cooking tip for all beans). Lightly sprinkle with rock sea salt and enjoy with a cold beer. 

I look forward to seeing each of you tomorrow at the CSA pickup from 6:30 until 8:00 pm in the H Building courtyard.  Please bring a bag for your goodies.

Until next week…

This weeks photo is actually a mini celebration at last week’s pickup.  Nicki and Ben had just returned from the CNIA meeting where Nicki received a key to the City from our representative Natalyn Archibong for her beautiful vision of the Boulevard Tunnel Initiative.  I have to say it was sooo exciting to actually see a key to the City of Atlanta and am so proud of Nicki for this much deserved honor. And thanks Terrell for your uber talent photo taking and the classy black & white! 

So back to the farm…  Much of the time these days is spent harvesting.  Squash and cucumber harvesting is a daily chore, beans and tomatoes every other day and once the okra gets going it seems to grow by the hour!  I did thin the six 100 foot rows of okra, planted some pumpkins and had to redo the pole bean trellis after the horizontal support collapsed ( a minor pole bean catastrophe!).  The soybeans are coming along nicely – loaded down with beans but need more time to fill out.  Will be some time before the butternut squash are ready but the plants are loaded with squash – a big contrast from last year’s rainy season when I had ¼ the butternut squash harvest from the previous year.

Farm Food Favorites:  Green Bean, Squash & Rice Salad

Snap the ends off the green beans then blanch in boiling water for about 5-6 minutes.  Remove and plunge into cold water to stop cooking.  Drain.  Sautee squash.  Add beans and squash to cooked rice.  Toss with dressing of olive oil mixed with lemon.  Enjoy.         

I look forward to seeing each of you tomorrow at the CSA pickup from 6:30 until 8:00 pm at the H building patio.  Please bring a bag for your goodies.

Until next week…


It’s been a whirlwind week of working hard to get things in good shape, as I know the efforts at weeding now will save HOURS in July.  Several Clayton CSA folks came out last week and helped with weeding the butternut and delicata squash, soybeans, kale, planting turmeric and sweet potatoes and tying up the tomatoes.  Once the tomatoes were trellised, I followed with about 6 hours of hand pruning the 80 tomato plants.  They look to be in good shape now.  The first of the garlic was harvested and is now curing in the sunroom.  On Saturday, the Summer Solstice, I dug the first of the potatoes.  A few years ago I was told at market that it is a tradition in Sweden to dig new potatoes on the Summer Solstice.  They look beautiful and it is particularly satisfying as these were from my overwintered seed potatoes that were stored in milk crates under my cabin this winter.

Crazy but there was ANOTHER bee swarm (that makes #9) last week while Rita & David were here
helping out.  It was a HUGE swarm – the largest one I’ve seen.  They lit in a tree about 20 feet up so David helped me maneuver an extension ladder and I climbed into the tree, cut branches one by one and brought the bees down in fistfulls.  Was not exactly precise but it worked – we caught the queen and the others followed her into the box.  David and Rita got an exciting introduction into beekeeping and I was sure grateful they were here, as I did not need to be doing that solo! 

Farm Food Favorites:  Kohlrabi Slaw (thanks to CSA folks Melissa, Ian & Jim for this group recipe)

-           2 Kohlrabi
-           1 Granny Smith apple

-          Juice from 1/2 lemon
-          1 tablespoon whole grain or dijon mustard
-          1/4 cup olive oil
-          Salt + pepper to taste

Cut 2 Kohlrabi and 1 Granny Smith apple into matchsticks (I used the hand grater which worked just fine). For the dressing I used bottled lemon juice as I did not have a fresh lemon.  Toss the grated kohlrabi and apple with the dressing.  I also added the kohlrabi greens cut into ribbons and added to slaw.  Enjoy!

I look forward to seeing each of you tomorrow at the CSA pickup from 6:30 until 8:00 pm - H building patio at the Stacks.    Please bring a bag for your goodies.

Until next week…


Almost a week of rain – close to 6 inches - I am ready for the sun to come out!  I’ve been busy trying to keep ahead of the weeding, staking, stringing pole beans and tying up tomato plants.  Still don’t have the sweet potatoes in the ground as it has just been too wet.  Hope to plant those later this week.

We hosted the School System Nutrition Directors from Rabun, Habersham and White Counties at the farm today.  Their visit was part of the Georgia Organics Farm to School initiative which is underway throughout the state.  The focus is to partner with farms to do taste tests in the schools, start school gardens, organize farm visits and of course grow food for the lunchroom cafeteria.  In most rural counties the school lunchroom serves more meals than anyone in the county and would be an economic engine to jumpstart local farming – not to mention reduce the carbon footprint and bring healthier foods to the kids.

Farm Food Favorites:  Cucumber & Dill Salad

-          1.5 pounds cucumbers, unpeeled and thinly sliced
-          1 tbsp course Salt
-          ½ Cup apple cider Vinegar
-          ¼ Cup finely chopped fresh Dill
-          3 tbsp Sugar
-          ½ tsp. Black Pepper
-          Dash of fresh Lime (optional)

Place cucumber slices in colander.  Sprinkle with salt, toss to coat.  Let stand 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Meanwhile for dressing stir vinegar, dill, sugar, pepper and lime in large bowl until sugar is dissolved.  Combine cucumbers with dressing and stir to blend.  Refrigerate at least 15 minutes.  Enjoy!

I look forward to seeing each of you tomorrow at the CSA pickup from 6:30 until 8:00 pm - H building patio at the Stacks.    Please bring a bag for your goodies.

Until next week…


Every year it seems there’s a theme that sticks out for the season.  Two years ago it was the “dahlia summer” where we inherited midseason the gift of the care/harvesting/and ability to sell flowers from 800 dahlia plants.  Then last season it was the rain – it never stopped.  This season, I think it’s going to be the “year of the bees”.  Not only did I finally get to attend several days of bee school this spring, later this spring I made a split of one hive into two, captured two swarms and had a third swarm that did not slow down and headed straight for the hills (they usually light on a nearby shrub).  And now yesterday, I harvested my first honey. 

It was the first time I completed the entire process myself.  I went into the four hives and took out about 7 frames of capped honey.  The bees cap the honey once they have dried it enough to reduce the moisture content so that it will not spoil. They are not really happy about it so I use smoke to disorient them and yes, I wear a full bee suit.  Once the frames are removed I drove them down to my sunroom

 where I had placed the hand crank extractor which was borrowed from my friend Paul.  First you uncap the frames with a hot knife then load them into the extractor.  You turn the handle and it spins the honey out of the frames.  I then strained the honey and transferred it (about 2 gallons) into a bucket where it has to rest for a few days to remove any air bubbles.  It is unusual to have two strong honey flow sources in an area and it generally freezes or rains out one of the flows, so we are lucky to have both.  Our spring honey is a darker honey and has both tulip poplar and wild blackberry flowers as its source.  It is higher in vitamins than our second flow honey of sourwood but most folks prefer the lighter sourwood.  We can do a taste test later this summer…

I look forward to seeing each of you tomorrow at the CSA pickup from 6:30 until 8:00 pm - H building patio at the Stacks.    Please bring a bag for your goodies.

Until next week…


More really great growing weather with warm days, cool nights and just the right amount of rain every few days.  It took a while for the weather to warm up, but it has turned into a delightful spring.  Mom and I both can’t remember when we’ve had this much spring produce.  Interesting as I planted the same amount as always before, there just seems to be more of it this season. 

Completed the staking and trellising of the 80 heirloom tomato plants this week – always a big job and am glad to have that done.  A few plants have small green tomatoes, but still a ways off before that first bite of summer deliciousness.  This week I thinned the carrots, beets and a second crop of radishes.  Next up was weeding the okra, beans, squash and cucumbers.  Every week I use the weedeater around the perimeter of each of the 3 fields, then down each 100 foot row.  Every other week I run the tiller down each row to knock back the weeds even further.  Nothing rocket science but one does have to keep up with it.  May and June are the most critical month as things are still growing and it is a race between the crops and the weeds to see who is going to win.  IF I stay ahead of the freight train, by July the plants are big enough to shade out the weeds and the rains slack off so the crops usually win at that point.

Mystery Photo – New item this season – Who can Guess it?  It has taken three years to get 3 plants established and producing.  The crop would not have happened without Mom.  Wish there was more but perhaps as the season goes on…?

I look forward to seeing each of you tomorrow at the CSA pickup from 6:30 until 8:00 pm - H building patio at the Stacks.    Please bring a bag for your goodies.

Until next week…


We seem to be flying through spring and things are coming ready at lightning speed.  Peas, strawberries, garlic scapes – all yummy things it seems I used to bring down 3-4 weeks after the deliveries had begun.  I thinned the radishes last week and this week they are ready to begin harvesting.  The voles (or is it moles) did a number on the peas this season and got about 40% of the seeds before they sprouted – varmints!  Will still have a small bag for each tomorrow – wish I had more but have concluded I can never have enough sugar snap peas!  Strawberries which overwinter had a rough go with the 15 below temps, but they seem to be holding their own.  I’ve heard rumors of some amazing leek risotto and leek frittatas being made this last week – more to come tomorrow. 

So the big news of the week was selling produce to the Dave Matthews Band while they performed at Lakewood last weekend.  Cary and I delivered a nice assortment of farm fresh goodness on Saturday morning to their chef, Fiona.  She has been with the band for 13 years and travels and cooks for them all summer during their concert series.  Not only do they buy organic food from local farmers, they compost, use biodiesel in their semi trucks and two years ago they started featuring a farm and food bank fundraiser within an Eco-Village that they set up at each concert.  Ladybug Farms was asked to be their Lakewood Concert farm partner along with the Atlanta Community Food Bank.  Crazy story but we left the concert Saturday evening with $3077 in donations (note the happy hippy, dippy farmers in the attached photo) In exchange Cary and I are to supply produce of an equivalent amount from our farms back to the Atlanta Community Food Bank during this growing season.  For more information about the program, please check out.

Farm Food Favorite: Garlic Scape Pesto

3-4 garlic scapes finely chopped (cut into 1/2 inch pieces), 1/3 cup slivered almonds (I toasted them which was great), 1/2 cup olive oil and sea salt.  Combine all in food processor then add to pasta or as a dip for veggies.  Can add grated parmesan – Total Yum!

I look forward to seeing each of you tomorrow at the CSA pickup from 6:30 until 8:00 pm - H building patio at the Stacks.    Please bring a bag for your goodies.

Until next week…


Get out (or make) your salad dressings folks, it’s time for veggies!

It’s been a crazy winter weather wise.  Photo of some of the overwintered leeks which were Champs in the 
minus 15 degree weather earlier this year.  Started the leeks from seed the winter of 2013, and are just now harvesting.  The cold winter does seem to have reduced the pests so far, but probably the biggest impact is it has taken FOREVER for the soil temperatures to warm up.  I’ve gained a new appreciation for the importance of soil temperatures so far this season.  Even with warm days, if the soil is not warm seeds don’t germinate.  The first round of beans and a second crop of peas just rotted in the ground.  I’ve also heard from others they’ve planted their sweet corn (a fussy seed to germinate) three times and it still has not come up.  Not to worry, there’s plenty of food in the fields, perhaps even more this year than ever before.  But pushing the timing envelope on crops this year, has just not been a good idea.   

Another crazy thing that has happened at the farm this spring is the bees seem to have gone into overdrive with producing more bees (happy problem).  My original three hives have swarmed three times (two of them captured) and I was successful with creating two splits from an original hive.  Perhaps a bit confusing for the non beekeepers in the crowd, but bottom line is I started with three hives and currently have seven hives.  Makes me feel good to know they are doing well, as there is so much talk about declining bee populations everywhere.    

Farm Food Favorite: Radish Bits

This idea from Cary, super cute new farmer/chef in my life (I know he’s embarrassed now). 

Take the radish bits and do a one second plunge into boiling water, remove and immediately dunk into ice cold water.  Is essentially a blanch which locks in the vitamins and brings out some great colors.  After blanching the radish bits will keep in the fridge for a week.  They can be sautéed with butter (or) olive oil and garlic and tossed with pasta or rice. 

Or, if you want to skip the blanch process, just enjoy them fresh on top of your salad. 

Thanks to each of you for making another season possible.  I look forward to seeing each of you tomorrow at the CSA pickup from 6:30 until 8:00 pm - H building patio at the Stacks.    Please bring a bag for your goodies.

Until next week…

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