2017 Week 4 – Weekly Vegetable Subscription

Hello Folks!

As usual, the farm is hopping with activity. This is one of the few years that we have been able to say that we are keeping up with irrigation on the farm.  Ryan is out at all hours (even in the dark) turning on water, moving hoses, and turning off water, but it seems to be working!

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We’ve also had some fun pretending that it was Christmas this week. It was a good week to “Hoe – Hoe – Hoe.” Getting rid of weeds is never a glamorous job, but it looks like a million bucks when its done.  Ryan’s had some fun on the tractor too cultivating to get rid of those weeds.

Just like other weeks, we’ve been harvesting away. Picking greenhouse cucumbers, digging potatoes and picking them up off the ground, cutting broccoli and cabbage, pulling beets and carrots, and more.

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And while some produce in the field has come out of the hail damage, other produce has not.  We just started cutting lettuce once again this morning. Some of the onions will survive, although the hail damage means we will have to pick them smaller.

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One of the questions people have asked lately is “does insurance cover that?” Well the answer is… in Nebraska the insurance for vegetable crops costs more than the value of the crops several times over. This means it is anything but economical to hold insurance on vegetables. So, we try to self-insure by planting several times per year,

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In the field, the field tomatoes are a long ways away from producing and its about time to string them again.  More on stringing tomatoes later.  Our eggplant plants that came through the hail now have some baby eggplant on them and that makes us happy.  The pickling cucumbers, unfortunately, look terrible. Not sure what that will mean for this year’s crop, but it certainly won’t be early.

As a reminder, try to bring back your box each week. If you are picking up produce on the farm, Jacob has farm fresh eggs for sale each week. Enjoy the produce and happy early Independence Day!

Your Farmers,

Ryan, Katie, and Crew

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Week 3 – 2017 Pekarek’s Produce CSA

Hello Folks!

We are glad to say the weather has calmed down here this week!  We have been busy in the tunnels weeding, hoeing and cleaning things up.  We have been tearing out some of the outside crops and plastic mulch torn up by the hail.  We’ve done some seeding and watering in the greenhouse.

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Have you ever wondered what a day looks like on the farm? Well, every day is very different, but let me give you a picture of all the activities going on by 7:30 this week … We’ve got a crew in the shed that has harvested broccoli and is in the process of washing and packing.

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Then there’s someone cleaning up the buckets and crates used to complete the broccoli harvest.  There’s still someone else prepping the trays for seeding and another working to get fertilizer (plant food) ready so that we can feed the new plants.

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And finally, the last lucky crew members are using our old horse drawn potato digger (we now pull it with a tractor) to dig potatoes.  The digger throws them on the ground and then we crawl behind on hands and knees to pick them up.  After they’re done with that, the potatoes will go to the packing shed to be washed, weighed, and packaged… and all this is going on by about 7:30!

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We hope you are loving the kohlrabi as much as we do, but I’ve received a few questions this last week about how to eat them.  To be honest, if you ask our favorite way to eat almost any vegetable we grow, we will say peel and eat raw – and on somethings we just brush the dirt off before we eat it.

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With kohlrabi, you need to make sure to peel all of the skin off.  There is no flavor difference between a purple or green kohlrabi.  The kids like to eat it raw in slices with cream cheese.  Some people will salt it and eat raw and others like it as part of a vegetable tray with dip (think ranch, hummus, tzatziki, etc…).  It can also be sliced and grilled it with olive oil and seasoning salt. I’ve been told it mashes well, but haven’t tried it.  Let us know your favorite way to eat kohlrabi.

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We’ve got pictures up from this week and many others as well as the newsletter online at pekareksproduce.wordpress.com.

Your Farmers,

Ryan, Katie, and Crew

 

2017 Vegetable Subscription – Week 2

Hello folks,

Well, it’s been an interesting week on the farm!  A lot of work has been accomplished.  Everyone had lots of fun hoeing (joke), but the fields are looking beautiful and nearly weed free.

We filled black trays with soil and seeded cabbage and cauliflower for the fall.  All totaled, there were approximately 11,000 + plants.  These are in the green house growing so we can transplant them in the field.

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Unfortunately, the big news this week is that we had big winds and big hail.  Right now, we are thinking this is the worst hail we’ve ever had on the farm.  Lettuce season is over. We had hail stones go right through the pea pods. The plastic mulch has holes, beets outside are abused, and we are not sure where the cucumbers are now… pretty sure they were there last night, but there’s not much left.  Hmmm. (Pictures to follow soon!)

On the bright side, things in the tunnels still look good.  The cauliflower is tasty and beautiful.  To keep it from fading or turning yellow, the leaves of each cauliflower plant are wrapped up around the head and banded.  It’s kind of like giving the plants a ponytail.  It’s time consuming, but the only way to keep the cauliflower looking nice.

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We’ve got tomatoes beginning to come off in the greenhouse, although I can eat them all myself in a week.  We’ve got another batch of tomatoes growing in one of the tunnels nicely. We probably lost a third of the field tomatoes to the wind this week and another third to the hail last night, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens with those.  Looks like the potatoes may have come through last night fairly well.  Again, it’s a bit of a wait and see game, but before the hail, these are probably the best looking potatoes we’ve had so far.

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Be sure to follow us on facebook!

Your Farmers,

Ryan, Katie, and Crew


What’s in this week’s bag?

  • Kohlrabi
  • Cucumber(s)
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Shelling Peas
  • Orange Beets*
  • Salad Mix*
  • *Full share only

 

2017 CSA – Week 1

Hello Folks!

Welcome to the 2017 Pekarek’s Produce Weekly Vegetable Subscription (CSA)! We appreciate your support and look forward to sharing our yummy, fresh vegetables with you through the coming year – THANK YOU!

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You can pick up your box every Wednesday at:

 

  • Winter Wonderland in Seward from 3 – 7 pm
  • Schillingbridge Tap and Cork in Lincoln from 3 – 7 pm
  • On the Farm after 1pm

If for some reason you are unable to pick up your weekly produce share during a given week of the season, you are welcome to have a friend pick it up and enjoy.  Otherwise, let us know and we will donate that week’s produce.

How does it work??

Each week you will go to your CSA pick up location (farm, Seward, or Lincoln) and find the Pekarek’s Produce wax box labeled with your name.  We have multiple people with the same last name, so you may have to look for your first initial as well.  The following Wednesday, you will bring back (RETURN) your empty box and leave it at the site in an empty black crate.  You will then pick up a new box, with your name on it, full of new, fresh vegetables.

For those of you who are new to the CSA, Pekarek’s Produce is run by my husband Ryan, and me, Katie.  Ryan earned a Master’s degree from North Carolina State University in Vegetable Production and began raising vegetables in 2004, while in college.  In 2009, we began vegetable farming full time.  All of the produce is grown on family land just 14 miles north of Seward.  Pekarek’s Produce now raises over 50 varieties of crops on approximately 18 acres.  With the help of a small local crew, we tackle the many aspects of farming: seeding, transplanting, watering, hoeing, weeding, harvesting and much more.   We have three kids (Jacob, Margret, and Michael), who as they get older, help out a little more each year.

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Each week, we will have a short newsletter describing some aspect of the farm, from hilling potatoes to building cold frames and more.   Be sure to check out our blog at pekareksproduce.wordpress.com for the weekly newsletter, pictures, recipes and more.

Your Farmers,

Ryan, Katie, and Crew


 

What’s in this week’s bag?

  • Cucumbers
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Head Lettuce
  • Kohlrabi
  • Radishes*
  • Turnips*
  • White Carrots*

*Full share only

Weekly Vegetable Subscription (CSA) starts this Wednesday, June 7!!

Hi folks!

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I hope you are as excited as we are… the Weekly Vegetable Subscription (CSA) starts this Wednesday!  There are bound to be some wonderful goodies in this week’s vegetable box.  Just look what was at the farmer’s markets this week.

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Check back in on Wednesday morning to get a sneak peak of what you will get!

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Say tuned to the pekarek’s produce blog for more CSA information and an update of what’s happening on the farm!

Your Farmers,

Ryan, Katie and The Crew