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Farm News & Blog

Catch the latest news and information from our farm right here.
Posted 6/21/2010 10:34pm by Nate & Emily Parks.
            TRANQUIL RIDGE FARM
              LOCAL FOODS, NATURALLY GROWN

FARM NEWS:
Three weeks now of constant rain...even as I write, I hear 60mph wind, and who knows how much rain is  hammering down on us!?  After last spring, we can't help but close our eyes and cross our fingers that the greenhouses and tomatoes are still standing. Unfortunately, that seems to be what we've been doing every week this year.
 
On an organic farm, weeds are just part of the deal, but right now we are entering crisis mode. When weeds are small, eradication is fairly quick and easy. Now they are getting established, especially grasses,that makes for a very difficult situation. The other problem is that when you can actually get in to hoe or cultivate, a rain comes right afterwards and gives them the oppurtunity to re-root themselves. So, the task at hand now is to try and hand weed and enourmous amout of area in as short of period of time as possible. So if you love the sun, heat, mud, bugs and veggies, stop out and give us a hand, we would love to have you!
 
We are processing the next batch of chicken this Thursday.  We will have fresh, unfrozen chicken available this weekend. Let us know if you need to stock up. The last set of chicken was gone in about two weeks, so stop by early at market on Saturday. We have added another 165 laying hens to our flock who should be producing eggs by mid to late July. If you are always just a little too late at the market to get your fresh eggs, talk to us about buying an egg share. We can set the share up for the remainder of the season.  You just pay one time in advance and receive your eggs every week no matter what time you arrive at market. Winter egg share options will be available soon as well.

VEGGIES OF THE WEEK:
HEAD LETTUCE
BROCCOLI
MINI CABBAGE
SAVOY CABBAGE
TENDERSWEET CABBAGE
A FEW SUMMER SQUASH
RED CANDY ONIONS
WHITE CANDY ONIONS
FRESHLY DUG GARLIC (MUSIC, NEW YORK WHITE AND CHESNIK RED)
CARROTS
KALE
KOHLRABI
FRESH BASIL
EMILY'S SUNFLOWER BOUQUET'S



CSA NEWS:
Fresh garlic is coming your way this week!  Don't feel like you need to stock up just yet, let us cure and store it for you. The freshly dug bulbs will be best stored at room temperature in a dark dry place in your house until you are ready to use it. We will be hanging and curing it for the next few weeks so that you can enjoy it the rest of the year. Also, we have a few onions we are harvesting this week. These two varieties are having some disease issues with all of the rain and are being harvested early and smaller than normal. We dug some new potatoes over the weekend.  They are close to being ready, but still need a few more weeks to be worth the effort of digging. We tasted the first few cherry tomatoes this week! Oh yes, just a few cherries off of 250 cherry tomato plants. Within a couple of weeks we should have plenty for all to try.

**If you have a chicken share with us and would like to try it fresh send us an email, you can pick it up at the farm Friday evening or at the downtown market in Lafayette on Saturday morning.
 

Anyone have any extra time?  We could really use your help over the next couple of weeks trying to get weeds under control. It is muddy, hot and difficult work, but also very rewarding to turn around and look at the row of veggies that you just saved!

Have a great week
Nate, Emily and Jensen
Posted 6/14/2010 8:59pm by Nate & Emily Parks.
             TRANQUIL RIDGE FARM
               LOCAL FOODS, NATURALLY GROWN

FARM NEWS:
Rain, wind, and maybe a little more rain. What else could be on our minds this last week  You will remember the big sigh of relief last week when all the transplanting had slowed down. Now, our weeding, seeding and harvesting progress has hit a wall. But what exactly does that mean? Today it means frustration and anxiety, in August and September it means a big void in the products that we have available. Some crops like tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplant only get planted once in the spring. Many others will be planted four, five or even six times in some cases.  Right now, we are ready for the third and fourth plantings of most crops, but we are looking at 5-7 days before we can reasonably expect to get back in the field...that is if the forcast works out exactly as we would like.  August and September are traditionally our biggest months for sales revenue here on the farm.  Think of the Indy 500 when it rains for two weeks straight, no practices, barely get the cars qualified and then on the last half of the race a total wash out.
At least we are a small vegetable farm without a few million wrapped up in a race team!  Life goes on and we roll with the punches, but keep it in your mind around the first week of August when suddenly there are no carrots, and no corn til next week??


VEGGIES OF THE WEEK:

CARROTS
LETTUCE  MIX
BEETS
BROCCOLI
KOHLRABI
CABBAGE
SHELL PEAS
SNAP PEAS
KALE
COLLARDS


CSA NEWS:
Baby carrots will be the new kid on the block this week and hopefully a few more snap peas for everyone. We are in the last couple of weeks of spring greens before the summer squash, tomatoes, peppers and potatoes kick in. Thanks for all the help in making the pick-ups go smoothly. We are enjoying the new setup this year and hope that you are as well. Have a great week and we will see you soon.

Nate, Emily and Jensen
Posted 6/7/2010 11:04pm by Nate & Emily Parks.
                TRANQUIL RIDGE FARM
                          LOCAL FOODS...NATURALLY GROWN

FARM NEWS:
You know, those long road trips... the last hour or two on the way home. It's late, you're tired and you think there is no way you can make it home. But then you see your driveway just ahead, you perk up take a big breath and you know you are just minutes away from your nice, comfy pillow. That is where we are right now, the greenhouse is pretty much empty, most all of the fields are planted, and just a few more days and we are in harvest and maintenance mode. A huge relief to have so many plants set in the ground, by hand.I am not sure of the total number of plants that we have set this year.. but it is safe to say 8000-10,000.  All winter we contemplated buying a transplanter that mounts on the back of our tractor, to make setting plants more automated.  I waited long enough to make a decision that it was already time to plant again, and looks like we made it one more season with out it....maybe next year. A couple more acres of sweet corn, pumpkins, gourds, popcorn and Indian corn, and some peanuts, of all things, and we will be done with the main plantings. Thankfully, everything that is left to be planted gets done with the help of our trusty, rusty, tractor. Now, we can try to catch up to those lovely weeds that always seem to get ahead of us. All in all, the last 10 days have been very productive thanks to a lot of help from Bob, Justin, Ponch, Leandra, Lisa and, of course, Jensen. 

VEGGIES OF THE WEEK:

LETTUCE MIX
KALE
BROCCOLI
CAULIFLOWER
MINI-CABBAGE
BEETS
CILANTRO
LAST BUNCH OF GARLIC SCAPES
POSSIBLY SNAP PEAS AND SHELL PEAS
STRAWBERRIES ARE ALL BUT DONE
COLLARD GREENS


CSA NEWS:
We know life gets busy and picking up veggies on Tuesday or Wednesday evening may not be at the top of your list for the summer. But please understand that for us it is and that means no matter what, rain or shine, we are planting, harvesting, cleaning, packing, and delivering vegetables specifically for you. When you don't come to pick those products up, we waste time, energy and quality food. If you know that you will not make it to your pick up ahead of time, and let us know by Monday evening, and we can move your pick up day to Saturday morning at the Lafayette Farmer's Market. Otherwise, just let us know you will not be able to make it via email ( tranquilridgefarms@yahoo.com ) and we will gladly roll your units over to the following week and no product will have to go to waste. If it is the day of market or pick up an you realize there is no way you can make it, just send us an email to let us know. Thank goodness for the technology of those Iphones!  Thanks for your attention to this, we really appreciate all of your support. 

Thanks
Nate, Emily and Jensen
 


Posted 5/31/2010 9:42pm by Nate & Emily Parks.
              TRANQUIL RIDGE FARM
            
LOCAL FOODS, NATURALLY GROWN

FARM NEWS: Finally, we had a great week of dry weather. We feel much better about our plantings now, for most of our plots have been planted or are ready for succession plantings. The last big project is 6 acres of pumpkins that will go in by the first of next week. It is amazing what a week of sunshine will do to heat-loving summer crops. You can almost taste the tomatoes already! We had a great start with the strawberry season but it seems they are winding down just as quickly as they came on. Hopefully 2 more weeks. We are planning to at least double our strawberry patch for next year.... mostly because picking them is so much fun!!
The first group of chickens were processed last Thursday at This Old Farm Meats and Processing in Colfax.  We are really happy with the job they did for us, and happy that the drive is only fifteen minutes to Colfax instead of 2 1/2 hours  to Arthur Illinois!

VEGGIES OF THE WEEK: 
STRAWBERRIES
FRESH CUT LETTUCE
BROCCOLI
KOHLRABI
FRESH CILANTRO
GARLIC SCAPES
SALAD TURNIPS
PAK CHOI
KALE
FRESH OREGANO


CSA NEWS:
New items this week will be broccoli, cilantro, and garlic scapes.  Scapes are the seed stalk that hardneck garlic shoots up just before they start to concentrate on creating those incredible bulbs we all love so much. Use them with anything you want to season with that yummy garlic flavor. Try sauteeing them with kale, Pak Choi, any other veggies and a little olive oil, place on a bed of your favorite pasta, add a little Feta cheese and you have a quick delicious dinner.

**Chicken Shares begin this week. The variety pack will start with boneless skinless breast.**

Nate, Emily & Jensen

  



Posted 5/24/2010 10:02pm by Nate & Emily Parks.
         TRANQUIL RIDGE FARM
          LOCAL FOODS, NATURALLY GROWN


FARM NEWS:
Finally, a dry warm week.  We are about two weeks behind on quite a few plantings. By the end of the week we hope to catch up a little bit. Plants that are in the ground are doing well and no doubt will appreciate this week of warm weather, with the exception of our early melon plantings. Those of you who were at the farm tour a few weeks ago will recall the 3000 plants that needed to be planted. We got the job done and now there is nothing left. What happened?? Those darn cucumber beetles...they love our melons as much as we do.  There are times like these that being dedicated to organic practices becomes difficult. We don't have a lot of great options for control of these guys. Conventional producers have pretty involved chemical solutions on weekly or bi-weekly schedules. We don't want those products in our food, and I am sure you don't either. So, we plant again and hope to sneak some plants through.


VEGGIES:
Lettuce Mix
Buttercrunch Head Lettuce
Kale
Radishes
Strawberries
Joi Choi (Bok Choi)
Spinach
Fresh Oregano
Green Garlic ( Use like you would with green onions)
Kohlrabi


CSA NEWS:
The first week of deliveries went well overall. There's just a few things to address. When you are putting your share together it is important to tally your units as you shop. We may not always be able to help everyone through. Make sure to talk with Emily or me before you leave so that we can track your units used for the week.  We appreciate your patience. Please let us know if there is anything you would like to see us do differently.

Nate, Emily, & Jensen



Posted 5/18/2010 1:04pm by Nate & Emily Parks.

Hi everybody!
To clarify...today's pickup at Wabash Campus is located in the parking lot behind the chapel on campus from 4-6pm. 

If you're scheduled to pick up a the farm, your veggies are on the counter in the barn (along with a list of units...if we're not there to help). 

Sorry for the confusion!!!
See you in a few hours.

Posted 5/17/2010 9:19pm by Nate & Emily Parks.

              TRANQUIL RIDGE FARM
                 LOCAL FOODS, NATURALLY GROWN


Farm News: May is here, markets have started, CSA deliveries officially begin this week, and planting season is in full swing. This is the time of year we wait for all winter and then feel like maybe our heads will explode when it finally comes. Farming the smaller acreage that we do with the wide variety of product that we offer, means a new planting of something every week.  Miss a couple of days, and your entire plan can get thrown out the window. Well...that is kind of the way it feels today! With a little over 3/4 of an inch of rain on top of already soaked ground, it is safe to say that this week's plan for planting beans, carrots, lettuce, corn, beets, fingerling potatoes, peppers, eggplant, fennel, burdock, parsnips, rutabagas, celery, artichokes, just to name a few is probably not going to happen! 
    The good news is what is in the ground already is doing great! Strawberries are really coming on strong and everyone will get a taste in this week's CSA selection. Our greens couldn't be happier, and broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi and cabbage will be ready soon. Our first planting of 700lbs of potatoes have finally come through the soil and are looking great. Thankfully we already have two plantings of carrots, beets and corn that are doing well also. And the way it looks right now this just might be the best batch of weeds that we have ever grown....

Veggies this week:
Mixed lettuce
Kale
Spinach
Radishes
Turnips
Joi Choi (asian Green)
Strawberries
Fresh Oregano


Chicken:
We will be processing a few birds this Thursday and should have them available for market on Saturday. The bulk of the birds will be processed next Thursday in time for your first chicken shares on June 1st. We are still in very short supply of eggs, but have located another 100 Laying hens that will begin to lay eggs by late June, this will give us about 225 layers and help us to keep up with demand this summer. If you don't have an egg share with us, please be patient, for we will have some for you to purchase soon.

CSA News:
Deliveries to Wabash Campus and West Lafayette Farmer's market begin Tuesday evening at Wabash from 4-6pm and Wednesday evening at West Lafayette from 3-6:30. Let us know if you will not be able to make it.
Hope to see you there.
Nate, Emily and Jensen









Posted 5/4/2010 10:31pm by Nate & Emily Parks.

 

                 TRANQUIL RIDGE FARM
                   Local Foods, Naturally Grown


CSA News:

This week marks the begining of our CSA program. We met our goal this year for membership growth from 28 last year to 61 this year...pretty amazing when you think about it. Our first pick up this year is here at the farm this coming Sunday May 9th. We decided to start the the year off here at the farm so you would get a chance to be better connected with us, you food, and your farm. Pick up is from from 2-6pm you are welcome to walk the gardens and check out the greenhouses while you are here. We will give a little tour at 3 and 5 just incase you want to ask some questions and learn a little bit more about what we do.

DIRECTIONS TO THE FARM:
Mapquest has our address and location correct if you want an easy map. If you are coming form Crawfordsville, take State Rd. 32 east out of town go over I74 to the second road on your left (625 east) turn left to the second drive on the right. From Layayette take 231 south to Crawfordsville, take I74 east towards Indianapolis and get off on the first exit you come to (exit 39) this will be state Rd. 32 turn left(east) to your second road on the left (625 east ) then we are the second drive on the right. 
A note about our driveway... we are off the road a half mile, so the drive is pretty long. Along the lane there are 3 stone pull offs in case you happen to meet someone coming or going. 

GOODIES THIS WEEK:
The start of the season always brings us the greens we have been missing all winter:
SPINACH
LETTUCE MIX 
KALE
Also the Radishes are ready for you spice up the salad or just make a nice sandwich?? 

Also this week we will be getting Asparagus from our good friend and excellent organic farmer Kevin Cooley of Cooley Family Farm. Asparagus takes a few years to establish and we have not been here quite long enough to have our own yet. So enjoy the treat....Grilled with some sea salt would be best!

Egg subscriptions also start Sunday, Chicken shares begin June 1st.

FARM NEWS:
Generally things are going pretty well this spring. We are ahead of schedule on most of our early plantings, and 2300 Tomato plants were set yesterday...about one to two weeks ahead of normal (fingers crossed). Strawberries won't be ready this week but I think the following week we will begin harvesting. Our first chicks are already out on pasture and the second batch just arrived last week. Seven very entertaining pigs call this place home now as well. Have you ever seen what happens to a pig pen when we get 2 inches of rain in three days?? West Lafayette market begins tomorrow, we will be there but only with tomato and herb plants, we are saving the bulk of the harvest for saturday market and sunday CSA shares.

If you are not able to make it Sunday, you will still have your total units available and your shares will begin at your shceduled pick up the following week Tues. the 18th at Wabash, or Wednesday the 19th in West Lafayette.

Have a great week and hope to see you this weekend.

Nate, Emily and Jensen

www.tranquilridgefarm.com

Posted 5/4/2010 10:28pm by Nate & Emily Parks.

 

                 TRANQUIL RIDGE FARM
                   Local Foods, Naturally Grown


CSA News:

This week marks the begining of our CSA program. We met our goal this year for membership growth from 28 last year to 61 this year...pretty amazing when you think about it. Our first pick up this year is here at the farm this coming Sunday May 9th. We decided to start the the year off here at the farm so you would get a chance to be better connected with us, your food, and the farm it comes from. Pick-up is from 2-6pm. We welcome you to walk the gardens and check out the greenhouses while you are here.  We will give little tours at 3 and 5 just in case you want to ask some questions and learn a little bit more about what we do.

DIRECTIONS TO THE FARM:
Mapquest has our address and location correct if you want an easy map.
If you are coming fromm Crawfordsville, take State Rd. 32 East out of town, go over I-74 to the second road on your left (625 East) and you'll turn left. Our lane is the second drive on the right. From Lafayette, take 231 South to Crawfordsville, take I-74 East towards Indianapolis and get off on the first exit you come to (exit 39) this will be State Rd. 32 turn left(east) to your second road on the left (625 east).  Our lans is the second drive on the right. 
A note about our driveway... we are off the road a half mile, so the lane is pretty long.  Along the lane there are 3 stone pull offs in case you happen to meet someone coming or going. 

GOODIES THIS WEEK:
The start of the season always brings us the greens we have been missing all winter:
SPINACH
LETTUCE MIX 
KALE
Also the radishes are ready for you spice up the salad or just make a nice sandwich! 

This week we will be getting asparagus from our good friend and excellent organic farmer, Kevin Cooley of Cooley Family Farm. Asparagus takes a few years to establish and we have not been here quite long enough to have our own yet.  Enjoy the treat....grilled with some olive oil, garlic and sea salt is the way we like it!

Egg subscriptions also start Sunday.
Chicken shares begin June 1st.

FARM NEWS:
Generally, things are going pretty well this spring. We are ahead of schedule on most of our early plantings, and 2300 tomato plants were set yesterday...about one to two weeks ahead of normal (fingers crossed). Strawberries won't be ready this week, but I think the following week we will begin harvesting. Our first chicks are already out on pasture and the second batch just arrived last week. Seven very entertaining pigs call this place home now as well. Have you ever seen what happens to a pig pen when we get 2 inches of rain in three days??
West Lafayette market begins tomorrow.  We will be there, but only with tomato and herb plants. We are saving the bulk of the harvest for saturday market and sunday CSA shares.

If you are not able to make it Sunday, you will still have your total units available and your shares will begin at your scheduled pick up the following week Tuesday, the 18th at Wabash College, or Wednesday, the 19th in West Lafayette.

Have a great week and hope to see you this weekend.

Nate, Emily and Jensen

www.tranquilridgefarm.com

Posted 3/18/2010 8:25pm by Nate & Emily Parks.
   It's hard to believe that April is just a few short weeks away. Sunday, April 18th will be the last day for sign-up, and all payments for the 2010 season will be due.
     We are off to a good start but still only about halfway to our goal for this season's membership.  Thanks to all who have already signed up.  Your membership helps us so much with planning and seed purchases.  The greenhouse is full of life with the help of the warm sun we've been getting.  The cole crops, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower,cabbage, carrots and onions will soon be planted in the field!
  
Some exciting news for the CSA shares....
1.  We've decided that it makes more sense for your units to rollover from week to week.  This means you can use half one week, double the next, or skip a week if you are gone.  We think this will be the best way for you to receive the most value for your investment in us.  This will also relieve some of the pressure early on in the season for us when there may not be as much product available.
2.  Mark your calendar for Sunday, May 9th, for this will be the first pickup for shares of 2010.  As most of you know, the first delivery is actually a pickup here at the farm. We will not be delivering any shares this first week to Lafayette or Crawfordsville.  You will have to come and see us to get it.  Try not to think of this as an inconvenience, but as a chance to really see where your food comes from.Pickup time will be from 2-6 Sunday afternoon. Bring the whole family and check out all the goodies we have growing for you this year.

One last note...we will be at the Montgomery County Garden Show, held at the fairgrounds, next weekend on Friday night and Saturday talking about our farm and CSA. Make sure to stop, say hi and check out all of the great products our county has to offer.

Thanks and have a great Spring season
Nate, Emily and Jensen

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