Patchwork Green is a hillside and ridgetop farm overlooking the beautiful Canoe Creek Valley several miles north of Decorah, Iowa. Our family grows five acres of vegetables on a farm near Decorah, Iowa. We grow a wide variety of high quality, chemical-free vegetables using sustainable techniques.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

A Variety Called Carmen

It's going to be a gorgeous weekend, and cool enough to do some comfortable cooking.  The unusually warm
weather this past week has kept the peppers, tomatoes and zucchini producing much better than in most years.

We picked about 150# of sweet peppers today.  From red to yellow to orange to chocolate, and from mini to large bells and bull's horn, they are all beautiful, sweet and nutritious.  We snack on them raw, and then put sweet peppers in every type of salad, on our pizza, in the tacos and pasta dishes, on sandwiches both raw and roasted ....  OK, so we're a little addicted to peppers!  We also chop and freeze peppers for off-season use.  Tomorrow, we'll feature the big, bulls-horn (corni de toro) variety called 'Carmen.'  It has a nice crunch, medium-thick flesh and stunning brick-red coloring.  Peppers like to be stored at 55 degrees.  This week, you could just keep them on your countertop, or in a cool garage or porch.  If you put them in the refrigerator, put them in the warmest spot.  They should keep for up to two weeks.

We still have a few flats of tomato seconds available.  The cool nighttime temps a week ago has diminished the quality of the basil, so I'm afraid that bulk orders are done for the year.  We are starting to fill orders for storage garlic, onions, shallots and potatoes, so put in your order.  You are welcome to use your CSA balance for bulk orders, or just pay in cash.  We price bulk orders at our wholesale rate, so items are cheaper than the retail price you see at market.

This week, look for the last succession of green and yellow beans, lots of Salanova lettuce mix, some head lettuces, and 5 types of potatoes.  There is a fresh crop of kohlrabi, some broccoli and green and red mini cabbages.  We are still offering sweet onions, as well as cured garlic and cippolini onions.  I'll bring the first shallots to market, and we still have eggplant, summer squash and cucumbers.  We started picking fall scallions today, and they are large and healthy.  Cilantro has been the top-requested herb this summer, and we picked lots for this weekend.  Also, look for parlsey, dill weed, basil, bigger red and golden beets, Swiss chard, great kales, yummy cherry tomatoes and butterscotch melons.

I've got CSA balances at market, so ask if you are curious.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Tomatoes and potatoes

It's not quite 90 degrees, but wow, it's been a hot week!  Very muggy, and not much in the way of breezes or clouds.  But, we should enjoy these late-summer days, right?  It sure ripens the tomatoes and zucchini quickly.  The crops are all looking much healthier than they were before the rain last week (an inch and a half out here), and they can withstand the heat when their feet are cool and wet.  We are hoping for more rain in the next week, and cooler temperatures will be good for all the fall brassica's (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, etc.).

This week at the market, you can get oodles of tomatoes, lots of fun colored sweet peppers and new crops of green and yellow beans.  The head lettuces are finally ready for a return (sorry about the lack of late August lettuces!), and we'll have kales, chard and lots of fresh herbs.  

Now that all the potatoes are harvested and in the root cellar, it's easy to bring more varieties to market each week.  We still have thousands of pounds of Red Maria (large, round white-flesh potatoes) and Carola (waxy, yellow-flesh), and we'll now bring in the All-Blue (blue on the inside and the outside) and Kennebec (large, dry-textured spud for baking and frying).

Don't forget that almost every dinner should start with some sauteed, roasted or just minced onion and garlic.  We still have the sweet/mild white and yellow onions, as well as the amazing cippolini roasting/boiling onions.  They should all still be refrigerated.  The garlic, on the other hand, is now fully cured, so you can keep it on the countertop indefinitely. 

We'll see you at the market!

Patchwork Green Farm