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Farm News & Blog

Catch the latest news and information from our farm right here.
Posted 8/23/2010 9:32pm by Nate & Emily Parks.
TRANQUIL RIDGE FARM
LOCAL FOODS, NATURALLY GROWN


FARM NEWS:

The temperature has moderated for us all this last week, and I must say it feels great. But the summer crops are really starting to feel the strain of little to no moisture for the last couple of weeks.
We are irrigating daily...new crops we are trying to get started, as well as old ones that we are trying to keep alive. Our tomatoes have seriously hit a brick wall, the hope is that we have enough for our CSA members to each have a couple. That is pretty sad when you consider the 2400 or so plants that we have out this year. We were hit early with anthracnose, a foliar disease that is generally soil borne.  Constant rain and humidity is how the disease thrives. We were finally able to get it under control with and organic fungicide, but the height of the disease was in the middle of the largest fruit set. Fruit that is affected with anthracnose will have a brown spot one day and turn completely to mush the next. So, we wait and hope that the high tunnel tomatoes keep hanging on until the outside plants come back, however, I must say that it is doubtful that we will get anything from them at this point.
   So, we know that we had more than eough rain this spring and early summer, right?  We also have had above normal temperatures, which will make some crops do crazy things!  Last week I brought some delicata winter squash for CSA shares and for market. I thought it was way too early, but it is ready, so we eat it. I thought, surely the rest of the winter squash is not in the same shape?!?  I plant winter squash around the 5th of June expecting it to be ready around Sept. 5th-10th. Most squash are in the 100 day maturity range. With plenty of moisture and abnormal heat they are all ready NOW. Some are even past ready and being left in the field. I must admit that a big part of them were planted in the "back 40" if you will, and don't always get as close of an eye as some of the other closer crops do. So this week we are off to the races of pulling in all the squash and getting them cured and ready for long term storage.
 
Emily and I had a great meal on Sunday at Apple Family Farm, the site of the benefit dinner for Kelly Funk. It doubled as and anniversary dinner and a great way to try and show our support for John and Kelly.  We have thought a lot about them the last month or so since the accident and pray for them daily. There were several local farmers in attendance, all of whom were mingling, whining and comparing weed stories and harvest hunting techniques!  We found it to be a real stress relief! Probably the most impactful time of our visit was the last 30 or 40 minutes we spent talking with John Feree, Kelly's husband and a few others. He was there with his 14 month old little girl. To see them and to really feel the situation that they are in was overwhelming. I know that without Emily this place would certainly fall apart, and for Jensen to be without his mommy would be incredibly difficult. I know most of you can relate to the impact of the situation, so keep them in your thoughts and prayers. More benefits will be coming and we will be sure to let you know about them.


VEGGIES:

A COUPLE OF TOMATOES
BELL PEPPERS
JALAPENOS
CAYENNE PEPPERS  (GREAT FOR DRYING)
SWEET CORN
GREEN,YELLOW AND BURGUNDY BEANS
SUMMER SQUASH
POTATOES
ARUGULA
EGGPLANT
OKRA
KALE
BUTTERNUT, DELICATA, ACORN, SPAGHETTI AND BUTTERCUP SQUASH


CSA NEWS:

We will hopefully have enough tomatoes for each of you, beans and squash should be plentiful. The sweet corn is back again, and it must be good! The Corn Borer really seem to like it, so when you pull the husk back you may see a little hitchiker in there, it's still good if you just cut the tip off or you can pass on the corn this week.

****DELIVERY CHANGE FOR WABASH CSA MEMBERS*****:
TUESDAY OCTOBER 12TH IS GOING TO BE DELIVERED ON MONDAY OCTOBER 11TH IN CRAWFORDSVILLE; same time, same place.
  Jensen turns 1 on the 12th and we really want to spend that day with him...not that we don't like you guys, but this is one of those days that neither of us want to miss out on. Thanks for understanding.

Nate, Emily and Jensen 


Posted 8/16/2010 10:16pm by Nate & Emily Parks.
             TRAQUIL RIDGE FARM
               LOCAL FOODS, NATURALLY GROWN


FARM NEWS:

Did anyone else go outside last night and just say "aaahhhh"?? Wow, what a stretch of heat. You know they say be careful what you wish for... you just might get it. Well, May, June and July were so wet that fieldwork came to a stand still. What else could we do but hope for a little dry weather. The typical farmer just can't be satisfied with the weather. But seriously 10 days of more than 90 degrees and no rain, makes it very difficult to germinate "cool weather crops". So we keep trying, sooner or later we will get them to germinate.

Most of the summer crops are hanging in pretty well, they have been well established and our subsoil is still plenty full of water. We will have some arugula next week for a spicy salad but still a few weeks on lettuce.

The pork has been been in the freezer for about a week now, and wow has it turned out well. So far the brats, chops, sausage and pork burgers have all made it to our table, and I have to say they all turned out really well. We will be bringing it with us Tuesday, Wednesday and this weekend in Lafayette. Let us know what we can save back for you. If you are interested in bacon or ham, it won't be ready for another week or so due to going through the curing process. We are happy to be able to offer them nitrate free.

Don't forget the benefit dinner this weekend for Kelly Funk. If you are not able to go to the dinner but would like to make a donation, we will be happy to take it along with us.

VEGGIES:

TOMATOES
SWEET BELL PEPPERS
JALEPENO
HOT BANANA PEPPERS
EGGPLANT
CUCUMBER
OKRA
KALE
GARLIC
POTATOES
DELICATA SQUASH
ZEPHYR SUMMER SQUASH
TOMATILLO



                 Pork Pricing


Ground Pork                          5.75 lb

Ground Sausage                      5.75 lb

Pork Patties                           5.75 lb  

Brats                                     8.50 lb

Pork loin                               5.25 lb

Pork Tenderloin Fillet             8.50 lb  

Pork Loin Chops                     7.50 lb

Pork Rib Chops                      7.50 lb  

Pork Shoulder Roast                5.25 lb  

Spare Ribs                              5.50 lb

Babyback Ribs                        5.00 lb



CSA NEWS:

We are 14 deliveries into the season with 11 remaining, counting this week. Wondering what your balance is?  If you have a half share and were spending the average of 5 units per week you would have spent 70 units to date with 55 remaining. A full share would have spent 126 and have 99 left to use. Check with us at pickup time to see were you are.

Thanks and have a great week
Nate, Emily and Jensen
Posted 8/9/2010 10:19pm by Nate & Emily Parks.
            TRANQUIL RIDGE FARM
              LOCAL FOODS, NATURALLY GROWN



FARM NEWS:

Midway through, and once again the season will begin to change along with the products available. We should see lettuce in the next few weeks along with with winter squash, believe it or not. But for now we will enjoy the bounty of tomatoes, peppers, beans and corn. Don't forget to visit your markets and support all the local growers the areas have to offer. This is prime time for getting all your favorite local foods from tomatoes, melons and beans to pork, beef and honey.
The weather and economy have made the markets pretty tough this year, most of us are down on sales in the 40-50% range. If you are not a part of one of the local CSA's and need your veggie fix make sure and check out your local market. The next few weeks will be the best time to get your bulk foods for canning and freezing. Tomatoes, corn, and beans are all great candidates for preserving, for the cold of winter that is sure to come. If you would like a bulk order, just send us an email and we can get you set up.

When we first started farming 4 years ago, pumpkins were our first major crop. In the years since then we have always kept with them, selling most of them wholesale and a few retail. Each year we think maybe a fall festival with hay rides and pick your own pumpkin patch would be nice. This year will mark the beginning of our Fall HarvestFest here on the farm. We will be offering hay rides to the pumpkins along with a large selection of winter squash, gourds, potatoes and fresh seasonal produce. It is a big undertaking, but we are excited to finally make this idea a reality.



VEGGIES:

TOMATOES
SWEET BELL PEPPERS
JALEPENO,  HOT BANANA AND CAYENNE PEPPERS
POTATOES
OKRA
GREEN BEANS
SUMMER SQUASH
SQUASH BLOSSOMS
GARLIC
A FEW CUCUMBERS BY THE WEEKEND 
SWEET CORN
EGGPLANT

CSA NEWS:

Halfway through the season, and we are already looking forward to next year. Most of all we are looking at our system of delivery. Which is best for you and for us... a basket like last year or free choice market style like this year?! We are working on a survey for you in the coming weeks, in the meantime let us know any thoughts that you may have.

THANKS AND HAVE A GREAT WEEK

NATE, EMILY AND JENSEN
 



Posted 8/2/2010 11:09pm by Nate & Emily Parks.

             TRANQUIL RIDGE FARM
               LOCAL FOODS, NATURALLY GROWN


FARM NEWS:

So, they say when it rains the whole month of June, be ready for July to be bone dry. Not sure what happens when June rain is followed by July rain, but judging by the forcast and the past couple of months, I am going to go out on a limb and say August is going to be another wet month. Good for some things, bad for others. Our onion crop was fairly poor to begin with, but now we are losing them in storage. I had a feeling we would be dealing with this issue, just not in August. We still had onions in the cellar this spring when we were planting this year's crop. So maybe a couple more weeks of supply and that will be it until green onions in September. 
   Otherwise, fall crops are coming on nicely and the greenhouse is full. I already feel myself getting anxious for the new season of bounty. 
   We will have pork available this weekend in Lafayette. I can't believe I actually made it this long before my first BLT of the year! Beef will be delivered this week to those of you who ordered your box.

A quick update on Kelly Funk. She has been moved to a long term acute care facility and is making important baby steps, she is stable but has a long road ahead. There is a benefit dinner scheduled for August 22nd at Apple Family Farm in McCordsville In. from 2:30-8pm. The cost is $75.00 per plate and all benefits go directly to John and Kelly. It will be an excellent dinner for a perfect cause. Here is the link to get your tickets
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/120284


VEGGIES:


TOMATOES
BELL PEPPERS
JALAPENOS
HOT BANANAS
TOMATILLOS
EGGPLANT
POTATOES
ONIONS
KALE
SUMMER SQUASH
SWEET CORN
SQUASH BLOSSOMS
OKRA



CSA NEWS:

As I said above, probably the last week or two for onions. I will only have a few of the dakota pearl and yukon gold potatoes for right now, but plenty of reds. My back decided over the weekend that it was ready for a break, after a nice adjustment this afternoon I was able to get around much better...so fingers are crossed for tomorrow. 


Thanks
Nate, Emily and Jensen






 

Posted 7/26/2010 10:27pm by Nate & Emily Parks.
            TRANQUIL RIDGE FARM
              LOCAL FOODS, NATURALLY GROWN


FARM NEWS:

A few days of hot, dry weather is not the greatest thing to work in, but man, we needed it. The fields are finally dried out and we have been able to get quite a bit of fieldwork done. It's hard to believe that the greenhouse is filling up again as we prepare for fall plantings.  Broccoli, cabbage, kohlrabi, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, scallions and all sorts of other goodies are getting their start.  Peas, lettuce, beets, carrots, more scallions and spinach all trying to beat the heat outdoors. Summer crops are in full swing for the most part...sweet corn and tomatoes, what could  be better?
   We still have a few 40 lb. boxes of beef available. We are picking it up this week, so if you have ordered a box we will get it to you this week.  Also, we are processing our first pigs on Friday, and they will be available next week...price list will follow. 

VEGGIES:


TOMATOES
CHERRY TOMATOES
BELL PEPPERS
JALEPENO PEPPERS
HOT BANANA PEPPERS
ONIONS
POTATOES
SWEET CORN
BASIL
SUMMER SQUASH
EGGPLANT
KALE
GARLIC
OKRA


CSA NEWS:

The season keeps rolling on and somehow we will be without beans this week. Next week, we will be into a large patch of beans and everyone should will finally have plenty.  Small amounts of eggplant and okra again this week. Thanks for the patience and have a great week.

Nate, Emily and Jensen


Posted 7/19/2010 10:14pm by Nate & Emily Parks.
               TRANQUIL RIDGE FARM
                         LOCAL FOODS, NATURALLY GROWN


FARM NEWS:

For the last month, maybe two, it seems that we have been talking quite a bit about our struggles this year. I certainly has been and continues to be a challenging year for us. All of our challenges don't amount to much compared to John Ferree and Kelly Funk of Seldom Seen Farm. While we do not know John and Kelly personally, we follow them online and look to them as the farm we strive to be one day. They both work full time on their farm together, supporting several farmer's markets in the Indianapolis area, as well as one of the larger CSA's in the area.
    On Thursday, July 8th Kelly was struck by lightening in the field while harvesting. She is currently stable in the ICU at Methodist Hospital. Her recovery will be long and difficult for sure, not to mention the financial burden without insurance. There are a lot of fundraisers and events planned in her honor, all the information can be found at
www.seldomseenfarm.com.  Take a look, and if you can help out in any way, feel good knowing that you are helping an amazing family and an inspiration to many farmers across our state.
   
    On a different subject, we talked last week about slowing down on the livestock end of things around here at the farm. It was a hard decision for us to stop the broiler production for the year, an even harder decision to think about handing over the "Girls" to someone else to manage. Apparently, you, our customers are taking it even harder that we may not have eggs anymore. The support and appreciation for what we are doing is overwhelming at times, the girls will more than likely be sticking around for a while. How can we stop something so many support so much??
    Tomatoes are really kicking in this week, Peppers and eggplant as well. Looks like a week gap in between our sweet corn plantings. Our next three varieties will space out about four weeks apart and by then the next planting should kick in.



VEGGIES:

TOMATOES
SWEET BELL PEPPERS
JALAPENOS
HUNGARIAN HOT WAX PEPPERS
EGGPLANT
RED AND YELLOW ONIONS
POTATOES
BASIL
GREEN BEANS
KALE
GARLIC
SUMMER SQUASH

CSA NEWS:


Tomatoes are hopin', and peppers are kickin'. Salsa, bruchetta, BLT's...how can it get any better?  Sweet corn would be nice, but we will have to wait another week for that again.

Thanks
,Nate, Emily and Jensen

Posted 7/12/2010 10:01pm by Nate & Emily Parks.
             TRANQUIL RIDGE FARM
               LOCAL FOODS, NATURALLY GROWN


FARM NEWS:

I have been waiting a while to finally be able to say, "Yes! We have tomatoes, sweet corn, peppers and beans". This week I am able to do that. The main harvest season is now upon us and the veggies are looking and tasting as good as ever. 

With more and more attention needed on our vegetables we have had to make a pretty difficult decision this week.  When we started the farm, vegetables were my passion.  We made the decision to raise chicken for eggs and meat mostly for ourselves to eat.  Now it has grown to 270 laying hens, 800 broilers, 7 pigs and about 15-16 acres of crops. Somehow, I thought I could do this all on my own....realizing after 4 months I cannot. We are no longer raising chicken for meat. What we have in the freezer and the last set of birds on pasture will fill our CSA obligations and put a few in the freezer for us. The demand for the product has been great, but the expense and time involved has proved to be too much for us at this time. The pigs will be processed at the end of this month, so we will have pork available in August.  For the time being, the laying hens will be staying with us, unless we find a suitable situation for someone else to manage them for us. Thanks to all of you who buy and enjoy our chicken. The fact that there are alot of other local growers doing an excellent job with grassfed and pastured meats has made the decision a little easier. We will let them do what they do well and we will focus on what we do-the vegetables. This Old Farm in Darlington and Thistle Byre Farm in Delphi are both excellent growers of chicken, beef and pork.  Be sure to check them out if you are looking for a local source.

VEGGIES:

TOMATOES
PEPPERS
SWEET CORN
EGGPLANT
GREEN BEANS
WAX BEANS
ONIONS
POTATOES
KALE
BASIL
SUMMER SQUASH
GARLIC


CSA NEWS:

Finally, I think we should have enough tomatoes for everyone this week. Don't expect tons, but at least a taste for everyone. Next week there will be plenty for all I am sure. Sweet corn looks and tastes great!  We should have a few beans for everyone as well.  All of our CSA meat and egg shares will be filled throughout the remainder of the season.  We will not have any extra for sale.
Have a great week and we will see you soon.

Nate, Emily, and Jensen
Posted 7/5/2010 10:16pm by Nate & Emily Parks.
             TRANQUIL RIDGE FARM
                LOCAL FOODS, NATURALLY GROWN



FARM NEWS:

It feels a like we have been running a nonstop marathon for the last 10 days, but the farm is looking better because of it. New plantings have been put in, lots of weeds have been pulled, cultivated, tilled, and yes even a weedeater has been used. Onions have all been pulled and garlic is hanging happily in the rafters of the barn for a few more days. We are even starting to see a few eggs from our new laying hens, a sure sign of the bounty to come.
The only issue... not sure what is worse: watching paint dry or tomatoes ripen.  Maybe it is waiting for corn to finish out just a little more until it is exactly where we all love it to be. I have never been known for my patience.  Dad's favorite saying was always "Patience, Parks".  So, another week comes and goes with no tomatoes or corn, possibly by the weekend, pretty soon I suppose I will be wondering what it the world are we going to do with all these tomatoes?
On another subject, we (as in my Dad and I) will be processing another calf this month and should have beef available as soon as Aug. 1st. We will be selling 40lb. boxes of meat, including 22lb of hamburger 10lbs of roast and 8lbs. of steak. The price is $7.00 per pound, or $280 for the box. We will have approxamately 10 boxes available on a first come first serve basis. Send us an email or give us a call to reserve a box or ask any questions you may have.

Veggies:

Kale
Bell Peppers
Hungarian Hot Wax Banana Peppers
Jalepano peppers
Maybe a few Eggplant
New Potatoes
Garlic
Onions
Summer Squash
Fresh Herbs (Basil,Thyme, Sage, Summer Savory, Parsley)
Carrots
Cabbage


CSA NEWS:

Another week with limited selections. I think we will have enough bell peppers for everyone to literally have one. A few jalepenos and hot bananas will be available as well. I really don't think I will find enough tomatoes out there for everyone tomorrow, but if I do you can be sure you will have one. The corn looks like it could be ready by friday at the earliest.  If it is, we will let you know and you can pick it up Friday at the farm or Sat. in Lafayette, if you would like. We will send an email out if this is the case. Green beans are finally forming, possibly have a few next week. This will be the last of the cabbage this week. Try and use it up for us, I would hate to see it go to waste! Thanks to everyone's enthusiastic help the last couple of weeks.  It really has made a difference for us. 
This spring has been especially tough for us, and we really don't know what we would do without the financial and moral support of our CSA customers. So thank you once again for supporting Emily and me and eating what the seasons are giving us. 

Nate, Emily and Jensen 


 
Posted 7/5/2010 10:15pm by Nate & Emily Parks.
             TRANQUIL RIDGE FARM
                LOCAL FOODS, NATURALLY GROWN



FARM NEWS:

It feels a like we have been running a nonstop marathon for the last 10 days, but the farm is looking better because of it. New plantings have been put in, lots of weeds have been pulled, cultivated, tilled, and yes even a weedeater has been used. Onions have all been pulled and garlic is hanging happily in the rafters of the barn for a few more days. We are even starting to see a few eggs from our new laying hens, a sure sign of the bounty to come.
The only issue... not sure what is worse: watching paint dry or tomatoes ripen.  Maybe it is waiting for corn to finish out just a little more until it is exactly where we all love it to be. I have never been known for my patience.  Dad's favorite saying was always "Patience, Parks".  So, another week comes and goes with no tomatoes or corn, possibly by the weekend, pretty soon I suppose I will be wondering what it the world are we going to do with all these tomatoes?
On another subject, we (as in my Dad and I) will be processing another calf this month and should have beef available as soon as Aug. 1st. We will be selling 40lb. boxes of meat, including 22lb of hamburger 10lbs of roast and 8lbs. of steak. The price is $7.00 per pound, or $280 for the box. We will have approxamately 10 boxes available on a first come first serve basis. Send us an email or give us a call to reserve a box or ask any questions you may have.

Veggies:

Kale
Bell Peppers
Hungarian Hot Wax Banana Peppers
Jalepano peppers
Maybe a few Eggplant
New Potatoes
Garlic
Onions
Summer Squash
Fresh Herbs (Basil,Thyme, Sage, Summer Savory, Parsley)
Carrots
Cabbage


CSA NEWS:

Another week with limited selections. I think we will have enough bell peppers for everyone to literally have one. A few jalepenos and hot bananas will be available as well. I really don't think I will find enough tomatoes out there for everyone tomorrow, but if I do you can be sure you will have one. The corn looks like it could be ready by friday at the earliest.  If it is, we will let you know and you can pick it up Friday at the farm or Sat. in Lafayette, if you would like. We will send an email out if this is the case. Green beans are finally forming, possibly have a few next week. This will be the last of the cabbage this week. Try and use it up for us, I would hate to see it go to waste! Thanks to everyone's enthusiastic help the last couple of weeks.  It really has made a difference for us. 
This spring has been especially tough for us, and we really don't know what we would do without the financial and moral support of our CSA customers. So thank you once again for supporting Emily and me and eating what the seasons are giving us. 

Nate, Emily and Jensen 


 
Posted 6/28/2010 9:12pm by Nate & Emily Parks.
             TRANQUIL RIDGE FARM
               LOCAL  FOODS, NATURALLY GROWN



FARM NEWS:

A dry week ahead?? What?!
Thankfully we got quite a bit of planting done Sunday morning just before the 1/2 inch of rain that fell early this morning. Many more succession plantings in the field will happen this week as well as beginning to fill the greenhouse again with fall cole crops. Hopefully we will find some actual crops growing under the beautiful canopy of weeds.
We have had a few issues with crops not handling the spring weather very well.  Oions and garlic have had to be pulled almost a month ahead of schedule, green beans froze early in the spring, drowned on the second planting, and now the third planting is finally flowering. Cucumbers, zucchini and melons all fell victim to cucumber beetles early. The third try for them looks like it might work as well, although it will probably be late August before we have them available. On the other hand, sweet corn should be ready late next week, three weeks ahead of last year. Tomatoes are just about to explode, should have a few late next week as well. Peppers and eggplant are looking good also now that the weeds have been put to rest by Mike and Sally Harmon, two very hard working CSA members. A big thanks should also go out to Tim, Misty and Ashton for discovering potato plants under a forest of broadleaf weeds and crabgrass and helping haul in a few hundred bulbs of garlic.
It is always nice to get another view of what is happening here at the farm. A spring like this can really have you frustrated.  But all of that seems to disappear when 8 year old boy (Ashton) comes out on a ninety degree day and decides this is the coolest place ever and he thinks maybe he wants to be a farmer when gets older...mostly because of how much fun it is. It is true you know, I get to spend my days playing in dirt, driving tractors, and eating food that we pull from the ground. Sure it's hot, wet, dirty and definetely hard work, but what a great view I have from my office window.

VEGGIES:

ONIONS
GARLIC
NEW POTATOES
CARROTS
SAVOY CABBAGE
RED CABBAGE
MINI HEAD CABBAGE
BROCCOLI
BASIL
SUMMER SQUASH
KALE




CSA NEWS:

One more week of kale and cabbage. Hang tight for just a couple more weeks and we will have more of a selection for you once again. Lettuce is gone this week, probably for about 5-6 weeks depending on the weather. Sweet corn, Tomatoes, Peppers and egg plant should come in the next two weeks. A little summer squash and new potatoes will be available this week, but not in large quantities. Thanks for your patience and support.

Nate, Emily and Jensen



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