Arugula

Farm News/Communication

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Posted 4/16/2017 1:22am by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.

Good day to you all, 

Well since you were here last, the top surface of the fields have dried out a bit and are seeking some good rain moisture, in which I hope they get this week.  The first row of planted Heirloom Austrian Crescent Fingerlings have came up very consistently and nicely and it appears that the following 11 rows are just about to break through the surface.  You all will be quite pleased when you show up for Farm Visit #2 and get to see all the potato green stems nicely growing in their rows.  

Also, the first 2 rows of Flax that was planted Saturday April 1st have germinated nicely in much thickness, as they got the good rain falls on Monday the 3rd.  The 4 other Flax rows that I planted on April 4th have not had a good pounding rain yet and therefore have not really sprouted yet, but they should with the coming rains this week!  

On Saturday afternoon,  Eastenn Dutch and I got the Biodynamic 500 Horn Manure Prep and Barrel Compost Sprayed over the planted Potatoes and Flax again.  We had already done one round on the Flax rows and Bean rows, back a few weeks ago.  The whole area has had all the spring Biodynamic sprays that it needs. 

We hope that all members will be able to make the Hands On Farm Visit #2, as there were a few for Farm Visit #1 that did not get to make it.  


 

Farm Visit #2 will evolve mainly around planting beans.  There could also be a little bit of hilling and cultivating, if you end up choosing one of the later dates in April.  There will be 9 varieties of beans that will be going into the ground and you will be working on getting 110 to 220 row ft of a particular variety planted.  About all the beans that have been selected are Heirloom and we have quite a beautiful and diverse line up.  You will get to see all the varieties, even though you will only be working with one and of course when it comes to harvest time you will get to mix and match what varieties you want to gather and take home for your signed up share qty. Members will even have the option to add on and purchase more Dry Beans than what you initially signed up for if desired.  This will be the same for the Potatoes and Garlic too! 

Along with mineral spreading, you will also be working with compost spreading Farm Visit #2.  

Here are the possible Farm Visit #2 dates for you to pick from, and of course the weather will have to be monitored and looked at as each date gets closer.  I will keep you updated according to which date you choose. I am going to try to do the initial soil prep work in the area of the row, so if it is a little wet you will still be able to get the beans planted.   It mainly just cannot be down pouring when the beans are being planted, nor can the grounds be so saturated from a very recent down pour.  Our feet on the wet soil will cause to much compaction and also because it is hard to cover seed with dirt that is extremely wet.  The rows where the beans are going to be planted have not been turned since the initial turn in back on Friday March 17th.  So it has been at rest for a month.


 

At some point closer to time please just try to let me know which date and time block you or your family are shooting for.

Saturday April 22nd (9-12noon, 10am-1pm, 3-6pm) 

Wednesday April 26th  (1pm-4pm, 2-5pm, 3-6pm)

Sunday April 30th (8-11am, 9-12noon, 10am-1pm, 2:30-5:30pm, 3-6pm)

Thanks and will be seeing you soon!

Allie

Allison Mills Neal 

6624 Leipers Creek Road; Columbia, TN 38401

allie@arugulasstarfarm.com

www.ArugulasStarFarm.com

931-682-3314

Posted 3/31/2017 12:48am by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.

Arugula's Star Farm Tiding #6 / Week 13

 

Doing a little practice run before the big weekend, by planting some Heirloom Rose Finn Apple Fingerlings.  Eastenn Dutch wanted to teak his planting skills, so he could be my special assistant for the weekend.  

Looking like all 320 pounds of potatoes will be going into the ground this weekend on April 1st and April 2nd.  It is still not to late to SIGN UP for the [SAP].  Suppose to be a Beautiful weekend & what a way to spend a marvelous spring weekend and only 3 hours of it at that!

Here soon we will be announcing some new [SAP] options, if the 4 Hands On Farm Visits just did not work for you or your family.  Then we will also be sharing how you as a customer can just purchase the Bulk Genuine Storage Crops of Potatoes, Dry Beans, & Garlic. 

Allison Mills Neal 

6624 Leipers Creek Road; Columbia, TN 38401

allie@arugulasstarfarm.com

www.ArugulasStarFarm.com

931-682-3314

Posted 3/27/2017 4:18am by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.

Here we are in the week leading up to the First Hands On Farm Visit.  

First off, sometime by this Thursday the 30th, please send a quick e-mail confirming what date and what time slot you are planning for your Farm Visit #1.  

Saturday April 1st (8 am - 11 am) (10 am - 1 pm) (4 pm - 7 pm)

Sunday April 2nd (8 am - 11 am)

Along with this letter, you should have also received the 1st Guided Tidbit series e-mail letter, which is the pre Hands On Farm Visit Educational mailing that is part of the [SAP].   

As I have just looked at the weather, it looks like we have some high chances of heavy rainfalls on Monday evening and then again on Thursday afternoon and into the night.  If the rains on Thursday night do come, then I think Friday the 31st will be way to wet to get into the field. So at this point, Saturday April 1st and Sunday April 2nd are the two options remaining.

I took measures yesterday to get the 12 specific potato rows ready for planting, that would accommodate slightly wet soils, but it seems by forecast we might be saturated.  I am going to be optimistic that the grounds dry up enough by Saturday the 1st, and the day will be a great one! 

WHAT TO EXPECT:

For this first Hands On Farm Visit you will be spreading rock minerals, compost, & wood ash in a specific potato row.  As we water dampen the rock minerals they are not dusty, but the ash is, and it cannot be dampened.  Because of the ash, I would have a cloth bandana to wrap around your lower face if it is incredibly windy.  If one is moving and the wind is right I find it not to be a bother, but you can decide.  

You will be laying off rows, and preparing them for the planting of potatoes. 

You will be weighing, sorting, and cutting potato seed in preparation for the seed to be planted.

You will actually be planting the potato seeds.  

Flax is pending on whether I can get the soil worked fine enough to plant flax seed.

You will get to be apart of the spraying of B 500 (Biodynamic Horn manure) & Biodynamic Barrel Compost over top of the soil after completion of potato planting.  

If you have your own tools, then please bring hoes and trowels.   

If you marked that you did not have tools, then we will supply you with what you need.

Please bring water bottles & we can accommodate refills as we have filtered spring water.  

It looks like the weather is going to be very pleasant temperature wise, so you will need to just dress accordingly.  Comfortable outdoor old clothing at this time of year works great.  You will be down in the dirt when you plant, so take that into consideration.  

Well that is about all I can think to pass along.  If you have any questions then please pass them along.

 

 

Looking forward to the experience!

 

 

Allison Mills Neal 

6624 Leipers Creek Road; Columbia, TN 38401

allie@arugulasstarfarm.com

www.ArugulasStarFarm.com

931-682-3314

Posted 3/27/2017 4:14am by Allison Mills Neal or Matthew Neal.

Dearest [SAP] members, 

At the Hands On Farm Visit #1 you will be planting Potatoes and possibly Flax. Therefore, you will get to experience all things related to planting potatoes & flax. 

For the 1st of the Guided Tidbit Series, this one will focus on points about soil, potatoes, flax, companion & intercrop planting, & biodynamic planting elements/moon phase signs.  Each of these topics are very broad and can be studied to great detail, so I am just highlighting briefly enough information to help you or you & your family be able to orient yourselves with the up and coming Farm Visit at Hand, which is Farm Visit #1. I know that it will be during the Hands On Farm Visit where most of the intrinsic value is to be had and will be where you are able to soak up the learning processes of nature and agriculture the most! 

Throughout the educational tidbits, I might infer an angle of how to get your children thinking without exactly telling them the mere fact...(look for Italics)


 

SOIL

The soil classification that you will be planting in is Armour cherty silt loam.

Soil is an aggregate of unconsolidated mineral and organic particles produced by combined physical, chemical, and biological processes of water, wind, & life activity (insects, microbes, mammals, & fungi).

4 components that make up soil: mineral matter, water, air, & organic matter.

One can think of soil as a very dynamic environment; almost a living structure of sorts.

All mineral energy sources on earth, come from plants that have grown in the soil while obtaining their energy from the sun. Plants are made up of 95% atmosphere and 5% soil minerals. The soil has been called “the bridge between life and the mineral world”. All life owes its existence to the elements on the periodic chart that must be ultimately derived from the earth’s crust below

MINERALS like Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium & the atmosphere above GASES like Hydrogen, Oxygen, Carbon, Nitrogen, Sulfur.

As the chemical composition & physical structure of a soil at any given location is determined by:

a) the type of geological material (ROCKS) from which it originated from

b) the vegetative cover (Plants & Trees)

c) length of time that the soil has been weathered

d) topography

 

 

Most soils are classified by a textural classification, since all soils are a mixture of particle sizes.

SAND size particles = 2 - 0.074 mm

SILT size particles = 0.074 - 0.002 mm

CLAY size particles = less than 0.002 mm

 

 

A lot of soil scientist and soil studiers can use just their sight, smell, & feel senses to determine the soils textural classification. This means pick it up touch it, rub it between your fingers, smell it, and look at it. I would encourage everyone to give this a try at your location and out here on the farm.

Try to get the children to think about dirt, atmosphere, minerals, rocks, topography and let them come up with a theory of how soil/dirt is created and maybe how they think we as humans are dependent on the soil. Let them think about your geological location and what type of soil you have around your house & property. Make sure they are not thrown off by any manipulated soil areas of non native soils. Then when you all arrive at Arugula’s Star Farm they can speculate and analyze our location as well.

Ask how many acres the children think that the dirt area they are working in is …1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 1 acre, 2 acres, 10 acres. You will already know the answer because it was in one of the General e-mails, but if you have forgotten you can cogitate as well.


 INTERCROP & COMPANION PLANTING

The area in which you or family will be working in will consist of 3 crops…Potatoes, Beans, & Flax.

All the crops will be planted on 38” centers.

Each row of potatoes will have a flax row & a bean row next to it. This particular companion intercropping arrangement is based on the notion that Flax improves Flavor and Growth of Potatoes & Protects the Potato Plants from the Potato Bug & Blister Beetle. The Beans help protect the Potato from the Potato Beetle & the Potatoes help protect the beans from the Mexican Bean Beetle.

Even though we use more space & have end products like the flax that we do not profit from, I find that it is worth it to help ensure a good crop of potatoes and beans.

Maybe see what the children think about the intercropping/companion system and why they think we would be doing such a thing, as opposed to just planting a whole area of potatoes? See if they can come up with any ideas of what they would like to do with the flax plant? What can the flax plant be used for other than how we are using it just for a companion plant?


 Flax Family: Linaceae            Flax Genus Specie: Linum usitatissimum

Potato Family: Solanaceae            Potato Genus Specie: Solanum tuberosum


 HISTORY & NUTRITION

Potatoes are native to the Andes Mountains of Bolivia & Peru. The potato was first domesticated in the area around Lake Titicaca, which is located 12,500 ft above sea level.

Another name for a potato is tuber.

Potatoes provided sustenance throughout the year for various ancient civilizations and were very important to their survival. The cultural and nutritional connection holds true to many other societies since.

They were brought to the United States in the early 1700’s by Irish Immigrants Maybe the children can try to figure out the path the potatoes took from their native lands to Europe and then finally to America.

Potatoes are a good source of many nutrients including Potassium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, other micronutrients & Fiber

EAT YOUR POTATO SKINS…most of the nutrients, fiber, & protein are found in the skin.

For a Vegetable Potatoes actually have a good source of Protein == 2.5 grams / 3 1/2 ounces or .218 of a lb

Potatoes contain lysine, an essential amino acid often laking in grains.


 

A little bit of information on the Structure & Function of a Potato Plant: You will actually get to witness how this all works. Visuals will slowly replace these words as the season progresses.

A potato plant consists of 1 or more stems that have grown from a seed tuber or seed piece “chit”. After supplying energy for the plant stems to emerge, the seed piece that you plant normally disintegrates.

The main stems arise from the eyes on that main seed tuber.

68-77 degrees is considered the optimum temperature for plant stem growth.

Once the main stems are above ground and all green, from buds located on these main stems lateral stems can grow. One can think of it as a mini tree.

The Potato Leaf is compound and consists of a terminal leaflet, primary leaflet, and secondary leaflet, a petiole, and midrib. The leafs are attached in a spiral type of pattern, just like the eye buds on the seed tuber.

Ask yourself and your children if the end vegetable that we know of as the incredible potato is a root or a stem? … Answer is that they are underground stems and are found on stolons/rhizomes.

Basically the potato rhizomes/stolons are underground stems that grow horizontally . The new tubers are formed by the swelling of the terminal end of the stolen.

After reading aloud the anatomy of a potato plant, let you child draw out their imagined most ideal and radiantly healthy potato plant.

Under optimum growing conditions tuber initiation usually occurs when the plants are 6-8” high or from 5-7 weeks after planting.

The tuber formation is the result of translocation and storage of excess food and is dependent on several genetic and environmental factors like Day Length, Temperature, & Moisture Content of soils.

Translocation is optimal when night time temperatures can be 55-65, because when night time temperature start getting way to hot the carbohydrates produced in the leaves during the day tend to be used up by the plant to support more stem growth instead of tuber growth. This is why it is important to get the potatoes in the ground as soon as possible in the very early spring, so they get the longest opportunity to experience our cool nights before it starts getting summer like and HOT!

As everyone has likely experienced though, weather has not been to predictable over the last decade. Before each season, we always have to hope for the best and know that because of the dedication we have to the vitality of our soils our crops will fair better than most in extreme conditions.


 BIODYNAMIC ELEMENTS

A little information of why we have you coming out on specific moon sign days.

Let’s take the potato for example. All the possible Hands On Farm Visit days were on days in which the moon was passing in front of a constellation bearing qualities of the earth element and therefore giving the potato that is grown underground enhanced root growth. This might seem confusing since you just were told that potatoes are not roots, but indeed stems. The point to remember is that the potato grows under ground and therefore would be benefitted by being planted on earth element/root sign days. Indeed though, it is true that Second best for a potato is when the moon is passing in front of a constellation bearing the qualities of the water element and thus giving good stem and leaf growth, since a potato is really a stem.

As vegetable growers, we are aiming for certain parts of the plant that we want to harvest and it is that part that needs to coincide & be planted with the right one of the four elements…Fire, Earth, Air, Water.

Fire elements are good for fruits, Earth elements are good for roots, Air elements are good for flowers and seeds, and Water elements are good for leafy crops. All of these elemental concepts are part of Biodynamic agriculture.

This sums up the first of the guided tidbit series. Hopefully this will get your mind, body, & spirit enlivened with the powers of dirt, atmosphere, & potatoes! 


 

References:

Stella Nature Calendar

An Introduction to SOILS for Environmental Professionals

The Complete Book of Potatoes: What Every Grower & Gardener Needs to Know

The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods 

 

Allison Mills Neal 

6624 Leipers Creek Road; Columbia, TN 38401

allie@arugulasstarfarm.com

www.ArugulasStarFarm.com

931-682-3314

Posted 3/20/2017 1:23am by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.

Arugula's Star Farm Tiding #5 / Week 12

The Biodynamic Calendar has the exact time of change from Winter to Spring at 6 am on the 20th.  The first day of spring comes after two weeks of actual winter type weather that we really had not seen much of since the start of the New Year when we had two of our coldest overnight temperatures of 6 degrees and 2 degrees.  If I had not recorded this frigid cold spell back on Jan. 6th & 7th, I would not have even remembered that first week of coldness & snow, as it seemed to evade us from there on after.   

I could tell though today that spring was right upon us as amidst E. Dutch and I's walk down the lane I noticed a higher count of varied singing birds than I have yet. Oh and it was such a beautiful crisp blue sky day.  These type days are always found in the changing of seasons from low energy to high energy and they are absolutely the best weather days of the year...winter to spring & Summer to Fall.

Well looky here we have a surprise guest in the planted Garlic Run...a Narcissus coming up from days of old & a little boy informing you of how the Garlic is "DOWN DEEP".

The 22 varieties of certified organic seed potatoes have arrived and are eagerly awaiting their growing time here at Arugula's Star Farm.  In preparation for the Genuine Potato, Dry Bean, and Garlic [SAP] & the up and coming potato planting, last week involved much focus on getting the 1/2 acre section of vetch, grass, & clover cover crop turned in.  

Here E. Dutch is taking the height measurement of the cover crop...~9 inches.  We were sure fortunate to even have this much of a green cover after last year's 2 Month Fall Dry Spell that left a large majority of the grass & clover seed without a sprout!  It was the self seeded vetch from last year's cover crop that saved the day. Despite the loss of the investment of the expensive organic grass and clover seed & time, at least the ground was not left in bare brown all winter thanks to my method of letting cover crops grow to their fullest and go to seed. 

I got it turned in on Friday before the Thunderstorms passed through that night.  We ended up only getting .3", which was well under the forecasted 1".  Late Winter/Early spring is always a difficult time to find the best time to work the fields with equipment, because of the concern of wet soils.  Silty loams tend to get crusty and clumped sometimes, and it was still a little wet to my liking, but I did not want to risk it getting a whole other 1' of rain.  We were at our driest back on Feb. 27th, but then I wanted the vetch to continue to extend both it's root and top green growth.  

The big announcement is that we are going to extend the early spring/early summer [SAP] Sign Up deadline till the first of April.  It will be that weekend, if weather cooperates, which will be the prime time for the potato planting.  [SAP] members will have the option to come out for their Hands ON Farm Visit #1 on March 31st, April 1st, or April 2nd.  For more info on the How this [SAP] works and what the Hands ON Farm Visits consist of click here.

Start your spring off with a bang with you and the gang heading on out as you sang..."I'm Heading on Out to the Country".

Hope to see you soon!

Allie

 

Allison Mills Neal 

6624 Leipers Creek Road; Columbia, TN 38401

allie@arugulasstarfarm.com

www.ArugulasStarFarm.com

931-682-3314

Posted 3/17/2017 2:17am by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.

I am so glad to welcome you as a 2017 [SAP] member.  I am getting excited and I hope you and your family are as well.  The certified organic seed potatoes from up in Maine just arrived the other day and are itching to get cut into chits and placed in their new home by you here at Arugula's Star Farm.  

These e-mails are specific to you and your family as early spring/early summer [SAP] members. You will also still receive any general farm tiding e-mails. You will be able to tell the difference in the two different e-mails as these will always have [SAP] Member written in the subject.  You will want to make sure and read these [SAP] member e-mails when they get sent you way for the following reasons.   These e-mails will keep you updated with what Hands On Farm Visit dates have been chosen and finalized.  They will help you know what to expect for each of the 4 Hands On Farm Visits.  Also, educational information about each Farm visit will be passed along and then to be shared with your family how ever so you choose.  

Thus far, even though there are still a few more days left to Sign Up, you are only 1 of 7 individuals or families that have signed up.  I would have certainly hoped for more, but as I mentioned in the general farm tiding #4,  it will just take time for customers to find out about this unique Hands On Program and realize the importance and excitement of the concept.  Thanks to you for being the first handful of members to experience.  

Unless you are one that signed up to be around lots and lots of other people, then the smaller crowd will not negatively effect your [SAP] experience.  In fact, it really could be to your advantage as now you will have more to experience, if you so choose, and you will get more personal treatment from me.  

I am pleased to say that one of our members is a photographer and she will be taking some candid pictures of the farm visits, in which then will be shared with you as members.  This will be an added plus because at least at one of your visits she will be here to capture the moment.  

As a reminder, if you chose payment option #1 then your payment in full is due.  If you chose payment option #2, 1/2 of you total is due now and then the second 1/2 is due on the first farm visit.  If you have misplaced or forgot what you signed up for, then just send me a quick note and I can resend what you signed up for and what is due.  

We are about a week out from the first possible Hands On Farm Visit Date #1.  If you need to refresh on what All the possible Farm Visit dates are then click here, but I will keep you updated through these e-mails through the whole [SAP] program.  

The prime Hands On Farm Visit #1 dates are Friday March 31st, Saturday April 1st, and Sunday April 2nd.  If weather cooperates, I know all three of these dates will be available for you to come out.   

Looking closer in time though to the possible dates of Thursday March 23rd and Friday March 24th, I am going to leave those open as well for you to come out.  Thursday March 23rd looks like a beautiful day thus far, and on Friday March 24th this day at this point has 50% rain chance throughout the day, which leads to disfavor.  


Just let me know what date and what time slot you are planning for your Farm Visit #1.  I will say that if weather cooperates that March 31st - morning of April 2nd would be the ideal, but one never knows about the weather from here to there.   

Thursday March 23rd    ( 8 am -11 am )     (10 am - 1 pm)      ( 4 pm -7 pm )

Friday March 24th...rainy weather pending   (8 am - 11 am)     (10 am -1 pm)      (4 pm -7 pm)

Friday March 31st   (same choice of time blocks as above)

Saturday April 1st   (same choice of time blocks as above)

Sunday April 2nd   (8 am - 11 am)


 

Oh and as I had the goal of 50-70 [SAP] members, the potato seed count was based on that number and therefore I have 320 lbs of potatoes to be planted!  Because of this, if anyone thinks that it would be double the greatness for your family to stay and experience for longer than the 3 hour time slot then you will be more than welcomed to do so!

I am planning on turning the vetch and grass cover crop in tomorrow on Friday before the rains move in.  I am hoping that they do not move in till afternoon.  I am wanting the field area to get as dry as it can from the last rains & snow we had last week and the little sprinkle we had on Monday.  

I will be sending more information on what is to be expected & the educational tidbits on the Hands On Farm Visit #1 sometime at the start of next week.   

Until then dear [SAP] members,

Allie

 

Allison Mills Neal 

6624 Leipers Creek Road; Columbia, TN 38401

allie@arugulasstarfarm.com

www.ArugulasStarFarm.com

931-682-3314

Posted 3/17/2017 2:13am by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.

I am so glad to welcome you as a 2017 [SAP] member.  I am getting excited and I hope you and your family is as well.  The certified organic seed potatoes from up in Maine just arrived the other day and are itching to get cut into chits and placed in their new home by you here at Arugula's Star Farm.  

These e-mails are specific to you and your family as early spring/early summer [SAP] members. You will also still receive any general farm tiding e-mails. You will be able to tell the difference in the two different e-mails as these will always have [SAP] Member written in the subject.  You will want to make sure and read these [SAP] member e-mails when they get sent you way for the following reasons.   These e-mails will keep you updated with what Hands On Farm Visit dates have been chosen and finalized.  They will help you know what to expect for each of the 4 Hands On Farm Visits.  Also, educational information about each Farm visit will be passed along and then to be shared with your family how ever so you choose.  

Thus far, even though there are still a few more days left to Sign Up, you are only 1 of 7 individuals or families that have signed up.  I would have certainly hoped for more, but as I mentioned in the general farm tiding #4,  it will just take time for customers to find out about this unique Hands On Program and realize the importance and excitement of the concept.  Thanks to you for being the first handful of members to experience.  

Unless you are one that signed up to be around lots and lots of other people, then the smaller crowd will not negatively effect your [SAP] experience.  In fact, it really could be to your advantage as now you will have more to experience, if you so choose, and you will get more personal treatment from me.  

I am pleased to say that one of our members is a photographer and she will be taking some candid pictures of the farm visits, in which then will be shared with you as members.  This will be an added plus because at least at one of your visits she will be here to capture the moment.  

As a reminder, if you chose payment option #1 then your payment in full is due.  If you chose payment option #2, 1/2 of you total is due now and then the second 1/2 is due on the first farm visit.  If you have misplaced or forgot what you signed up for, then just send me a quick note and I can resend what you signed up for and what is due.  

We are about a week out from the first possible Hands On Farm Visit Date #1.  If you need to refresh on what All the possible Farm Visit dates are then click here, but I will keep you updated through these e-mails through the whole [SAP] program.  

The prime Hands On Farm Visit #1 dates are Friday March 31st, Saturday April 1st, and Sunday April 2nd.  If weather cooperates, I know all three of these dates will be available for you to come out.   

Looking closer in time though to the possible dates of Thursday March 23rd and Friday March 24th, I am going to leave those open as well for you to come out.  Thursday March 23rd looks like a beautiful day thus far, and on Friday March 24th this day at this point has 50% rain chance throughout the day, which leads to disfavor.  


Just let me know what date and what time slot you are planning for your Farm Visit #1.  I will say that if weather cooperates that March 31st - morning of April 2nd would be the ideal, but one never knows about the weather from here to there.   

Thursday March 23rd    ( 8 am -11 am )     (10 am - 1 pm)      ( 4 pm -7 pm )

Friday March 24th...rainy weather pending   (8 am - 11 am)     (10 am -1 pm)      (4 pm -7 pm)

Friday March 31st   (same choice of time blocks as above)

Saturday April 1st   (same choice of time blocks as above)

Sunday April 2nd   (8 am - 11 am)


 

Oh and as I had the goal of 50-70 [SAP] members, the potato seed count was based on that number and therefore I have 320 lbs of potatoes to be planted!  Because of this, if anyone thinks that it would be double the greatness for your family to stay and experience for longer than the 3 hour time slot then you will be more than welcomed to do so!

I am planning on turning the vetch and grass cover crop in tomorrow on Friday before the rains move in.  I am hoping that they do not move in till afternoon.  I am wanting the field area to get as dry as it can from the last rains & snow we had last week and the little sprinkle we had on Monday.  

I will be sending more information on what is to be expected & the educational tidbits on the Hands On Farm Visit #1 sometime at the start of next week.   

Until then dear [SAP] members,

Allie

 

Allison Mills Neal 

6624 Leipers Creek Road; Columbia, TN 38401

allie@arugulasstarfarm.com

www.ArugulasStarFarm.com

931-682-3314

Posted 3/14/2017 2:50am by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.
Arugula's Star Farm Tiding #4 / Week 11
 
"Blue skies, cloud patched skies, sunshine, open fields, cool weather, hot weather, fresh air, breezes on your face, hands and feet in the earth, muscles pull and stretch, potatoes in a row, insects buzz and hum, birds sing, flax grows, trees sway, beans plants standing tall, work with a purpose, family & shared members work down the row. Then before you know it, you will be heading home with sacks full of potatoes, dry beans, and garlic for your pantry and table."
 
Adults and children alike will FALL IN LOVE with the opportunity to participate.
 
'A Hands on Outdoor Farming Education for Families & a Premier Experience for Foodies'
 
The Potatoes & Dry Beans that will be planted and the Garlic that will be harvested will consist of many varieties with an emphasis on heirlooms. High variety allows one to experience different skin and flesh colors, shapes, and best use cooking preferences. A Food Lovers' DREAM!
 
Time keeps moving right on and here in just a little over a week we will be welcoming Spring. Early Spring means Potato time here at Arugula's Star Farm.  There is not much time left to Sign Up for the Early Spring/Early Summer Genuine Potato, Dry Bean, & Garlic [SAP].  As we have not offered any programs to the public in the last many years I think it is going to take a while to re-establish our community of customer base, as Sign Ups have sure been slow. To shed light on our spring/summer [SAP] goals I have enough crop seed for about 50-70 individuals or families and thus far there have only been 6 individuals or families to sign up. Please consider taking part in this unique Hands On Opportunity. Here at Arugula's Star Farm we think it could be one of the best decisions you or your family make this year! You just need to give the [SAP] a try.
 
Here are some pictures to recap our last couple of weeks. As you can see, E. Dutch is my little sidekick...where I go he goes, or most of the time where he goes I go. Generally we are not on the go that often, but it seemed like we got our fill in before the the kick off of the [SAP] season.  
 
We headed North to Bells Bend Grassfed to pick up Beef and to collect steer manure from the fields, to add to our compost.  Eastenn Dutch clearly pointing it out there in the picture overtop of the leaves.  
 
The cover crop of vetch and grass continues to grow. I will be churning it into the soil here within the next week at the driest point in preparation for the First Farm Visit and the Potato Planting.  Potatoes enjoy having green vegetable based manure and can handle being planned into freshly turned ground. 
 
Along with the [SAP] storage crops we also grow all of our own Genuine vegetables to eat on throughout the year, so here we have a small cold frame that we are using to start our trays of Onions & Cabbages thus far. 
Anyone up for a nap?... just hop on the only one of its kind ALL ELECTRIC Mean Green Heavy Duty Mower. NO stinky smells, & very Little noise.  It puts E. Dutch right to sleep.  Matthew is the TN Sales rep for MEAN GREEN MOWERS. If you or anyone you know might have an  interest in one of these zero turn ALL ELECTRIC mowers just let us know. They really are great!
 
Over this past week E. Dutch and I packed up and headed eastward.  We partook in UT's Organic Crop Division post harvest handling seminar in Knoxville on the way to Nanna & Grampy's House. E. Dutch rode his bike around the whole time and made some great adult friends.  He even got a free crop division hat, as he was the only toddler there of course.  They have really finished out a great wash and pack house facility there...hoping we will be able to do the same here in the next few years.
 
Finally I got to finish up the weekend by attending a reaching Nature Connection conference at Earthaven Ecovillage in Black Mt.,NC. I have been interested in working towards starting an Early Childhood Forest/Farm Nature Connection School here at the farm and so this conference was an opportunity for myself to glean a little more information on this concept.  The 3 hosted instructors have Forest Schools in California and have most recently developed a program in which a teacher can become Forest School certified.  These schools' primary goal is to get  children to Fall in Love with Nature, just like I want individuals and families to Fall in Love with Growing Crops & Nature!! If one falls 'head over heals in Love' with nature at a very young age, you will want to nurture and protect it for life.  Since we all need Clean Water, Clean Air, & Clean Soil to live long, healthy, & lovely lives then this seems very pertinent to creating healthy cycles for generations to come. 
 
Until next time!
 
Allison Mills Neal 

6624 Leipers Creek Road; Columbia, TN 38401

allie@arugulasstarfarm.com

www.ArugulasStarFarm.com

931-682-3314

Posted 2/24/2017 2:25am by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.

Arugula's Star Farm Tiding #3/ Week 8 of 2017

Happy National CSA DAY to YOU!  Friday the 24th has been named as CSA DAY.  

This is suppose to create positive energy towards actually committing to your chosen CSA.  At Arugula's Star Farm, we sure hope that you are thinking about SINGING UP for our unique HANDS ON FARM VISIT CSA called Shared Agriculture Program [SAP].  A Hands On Outdoor Farming Education for Families & a Premier Experience for Foodies.  Out of all the Farms listed below that are participating in the Nashville CSA Fair, we are the only Farm that is opening our farm for consumers like you to actually come out and get to experience what it means to Grow Your Very Own Storage crops without all the extra planning that goes into growing Storage Crops.  We will take care of all the details, the pre-season planning, and all the timelines/plannings amidst the growing season, so all you have to do is SIGN UP and Come on out to the Country to get your hands in the dirt and your toes in the creek! 

If you are a family and have children that already get to participate in a school garden class, our [SAP] goes beyond what school garden classes teach and is really an all together different experience.  Being able to connect to a farm and see larger amounts of crops growing settles a little differently in ones mind & body than small raised beds.  As a family, you will get to grow substantial and meaningful crops to store for use in your home pantry.  School Garden classes are very important, and we are so glad that so many children these days have the advantage of being taught garden in schools, but in my mind they just scratch the surface, almost like a mock garden set up...every child does not get to grow enough food to supply his/her family with to make multiple meals from.  Because of this, children do not really get to see the FULL 360 cycle of planting, growing, harvesting, & EATING.  

If you are thinking about signing up for our [SAP], but are still undecided, please come join us at the Nashville Farmers Market this Saturday the 25th from 10am-2pm. We would love to see you and answer any questions that you might have. We will be in booth 192.  Hope to see you there.  Oh and if you come you will get to see if indeed our edited new edition banner got completed?!  Here below I have included promotional info about the Nashville Farmers Market CSA Fair and also a poster/flyer link.  


 

FILE: CSA Fair Sat. 25th at Nashville Farmers Market (unnamed-2.jpg) 

Meet 20+ Local Farmers at CSA Fair Saturday. Peak Season is right around the corner. Have you chosen the CSA that is right for you? Join us for the Third Annual CSA Fair on Feb. 25th from 10am to 2 pm, and learn how you can support local agriculture this year, while also eating delicious local food! Plus, free tote bags, chef demos, and live music.

Learn Recipes and Taste Samples at CSA Fair.

Melissa Haithcock of A Happy Healthy Heart will give two cooking demonstrations at CSA Fair this Saturday at 11am and noon. Stick around for a sample after the show!

Who's Who at CSA Fair?

Arugula's Star Farm

Athena's Harvest Farm

Barefoot Farmer

Bells Bend Farm

Bloomsbury Farm

Delvin Farms Hank Delvin

Fresh Harvest 

Green Door Gourmet

Hill & Hollow CSA

Katharos Farm

Myers Family Beef

No. 9 Farm

Old School Farm

Rosie Belle Farm

Sugar Camp Farm

Whites Family Farm

MEAT Ladies of the Lamb

Tennessee Grassfed

Virgin Bay Seafood

Wedge Oak Farms

FLOWERS AND HERBS

Double N Urban Farm 

Apothecary Whites Creek Flower Farm


 

Top 5 Reasons to Join a CSA This Year. Still on the fence about whether to join a local CSA? Find out what a CSA actually is, and read our Top 5 Reasons to join one  

Top 5 Reasons To Join a Nashville CSA. Our Top 5 Reasons to Choose a CSA Program in Nashville, TN, will help you, our market shoppers, decide if Community Supported Agriculture is right for you and your family! Beginning your search at our 3rd Annual CSA Fair on Saturday, February 25, 2017, is a smart way to start. But until then, we've complied our top 5 reasons you should join a Nashville-area CSA program this year so you can learn the many ways both you and our local farmers can benefit.

Be sure and join us on February 25th, 2017, from 10am to 2pm at the Nashville Farmers' Market for our CSA Fair, where you can meet local farmers and learn about the CSA programs available!

1) Fresh food, all year. One of the biggest perks of joining a CSA has got to be our favorite word at the Nashville Farmers' Market—FRESH! The food you receive through your local CSA has been grown and harvested fresh from the farms in our area, producing better flavors, more nutrients, and tastier meals all year long.

2) Know where your food comes from. Shopping at a major grocery store chain leaves some families left with unanswered questions about where their produce was grown or how their meat was raised. With a CSA membership, you have a direct connection to the person who feeds you, ready to answer any questions you may have.

3) Supporting local economy. Nashville is booming, and supporting our local agriculture is one way to ensure everyone benefits. By supporting a local farm with a CSA subscription purchased at the beginning of the year, you're helping them feed your family, and theirs, too.

4) Knowledge. Through a CSA membership, not only do you reap the benefit of fresh food, but you learn more about seasonality and how food is grown/produced. You also gain cooking skills with new and fun recipes at your disposal.

5) Recipes! Yes, we said recipes. With most CSA subscriptions, you receive a new recipes from your farmer that corresponds with the ingredients in your box. And there are no better recipes, we've found, than recipes created by farmers! They know food, flavors, and how to cook for families. Learn all about the kinds of CSA subscriptions and recipe programs at our CSA Fair on Saturday February 25th, 2017!

 

Allison Mills Neal 

6624 Leipers Creek Road; Columbia, TN 38401

allie@arugulasstarfarm.com

www.ArugulasStarFarm.com

931-682-3314

Posted 2/14/2017 1:42am by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.

Arugula's Star Farm Tiding #2 / 7th week of 2017

If any of you remember our Franklin Farmer's Market days, then the handmade cloth banner might seem familiar.  As we will be participating in the Nashville Farmer's Market/Local Table CSA Fair come Feb. 25th, I got to pull the banner out of the farm storage room.  As you can see, I am doing some banner editing as I am covering up where Certified Organic use to be with our new Genuine SeedtoGather SealTM.  I drew and cut out all the letters, then Eastenn Dutch and I bicycled it down to our local quilting shop for them to do the final appliqué touches. Our old Singer does not have those capabilities, or maybe I should say that I do not know how to make it have those capabilities. Now I will just hope they can get it done before the deadline!  

Eastenn Dutch is giving quite the strong man face as he opens up the Barrel Compost pit to take a look.  This is our first biodynamic Barrel Compost that we have made here on the farm, and we are excited about having that finished product to be able to spray on our fields & to be able to share with other farmers in the local Demeter group.  Up to this point we have been using barrel compost from Jeff Poppen's Long Hungary Creek Farm, but are working towards making all the biodynamic preps here on farm.  This indeed will be a lengthy & challenging pursuit, but determination is at the forefront.   

Okay here it is the Potato List you all have been waiting for...22 varieties of potatoes and if all these varieties of Potatoes do not make you eager to Sign Up for our Genuine Potato, Dry Bean, & Garlic Shared Agriculture Program [SAP] then I do not know what will.  As a [SAP] member you will get to have your hands in the dirt, seeing these potatoes though from start to finish.  What a treat for any adult & child!


 

Genuine SeedtoGather Seal Fingerling Potatoes:

Magic Molly dark purple skin & dark purple flesh

Swedish Peanut Heirloom pale golden skin & dark yellow flesh

Rose Finn Apple Heirloom rose blushed beige skin & dark yellow flesh

Russian Banana Heirloom tan skin & dark yellow flesh

Laratte French Heirloom tan skin w/ some netting & dark yellow flesh

Austrian Crescent Heirloom tan skin & dark yellow flesh


Genuine SeedtoGather Seal Regular Potatoes:

Bora Valley purple skin & purple flesh

Mountain Rose red skin & red flesh 

Dark Red Borland dark red skin & white flesh

Satina yellow skin & yellow flesh

Adirondack Red purplish red skin & pink red flesh

All Blue Heirloom deep blue skin & blue flesh

Carola Heirloom yellow skin & yellow flesh

Masquerade purple & yellow skin & yellow flesh

Gold Rush russet skin & brilliant white flesh

Huckleberry Gold purple skin & dark yellow flesh

Adirondack Blue deep blue skin & blue flesh

Redale bright red skin & white flesh

Strawberry Paw dark red skin & white flesh

Butte heavy russet skin & white flesh

German Butterball Heirloom lightly netted golden skin & deep yellow flesh

Green Mountain Heirloom & Slow Food Ark of Taste light tan skin & white flesh


 Allison Mills Neal 

6624 Leipers Creek Road; (Bethel Community) Columbia, TN 38401

Just 10 minutes SW of Leipers Fork, 30 minutes from downtown Columbia & Franklin, & 35-45 minutes from Nashville…a lovely drive with no interstate required!

allie@arugulasstarfarm.com

www.ArugulasStarFarm.com

931-682-3314


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