Week 3 Summer CSA 2017

Welcome back to the third week of our summer CSA!

IMG_7833.JPG“Green thumbs” become more literal when trellising tomatoes!

We came back after the weekend to find that our garden was bursting with new growth following all of the rain. We’re looking forward to harvesting onions, potatoes, more cucumbers, and lots and lots of tomatoes in the coming weeks, and having garlic cured and ready to distribute for next week!

Here’s a quick look at what all was included in this week’s CSA share:

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A lot of exciting changes are happening at Morven this summer, most notably our move toward GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) Certification. This requires changes to our farm to facilitate efficient, clean and safe harvesting techniques, and good record-keeping. This week, we have been working to install our new harvest station, and a more permanent hand-washing station! We have also been working to get our electric fence up and running again to deal with the pesky groundhog problem. Look out for more updates in the future on our continued path to GAP certification!

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Harvest requires taking weight measurements and dunking the fresh produce before distribution

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Bundling rainbow chard is an art form

We also enjoyed hosting Executive Chef Dale Ford from Boar’s Head to tour our garden. We look forward to partnering with him in the future! (Look out for MKG squash being served in the restaurant at the Boar’s Head Inn in the next few days!)

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Thank you very *mulch*, Chef!

Looking forward to sunnier skies next week!

Stay dry and stay ~fresh~,

Holly Brooks, MKG Summer Intern

CSA Week 2!

We had another successful CSA week with lots of yummy veggies: bok choy, salad mix (kale, totsoi, mizuna, lettuce), turnip greens, arugula, summer squash, radishes, green onions, cilantro, garlic scapes and flowers! Every Friday morning we harvest, clean and package the veggies for delivery and pick-up. Leading up to Friday’s harvest we had a busy week seeding flowers, beets, turnips, radishes and transplanting sweet potatoes (featured below).

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We put down the black plastic covering to suppress weed growth and trap heat to help the sweet potatoes grow. We definitely prefer putting in the effort of laying down plastic so that we spend less time weeding. This week we did a lot of weeding in our broccoli beds. Our broccoli has had other visitors besides the weeds. We have blocked holes in our fence where we think groundhogs have been getting in so hopefully the broccoli bounces back!

This weeks CSA:

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Hoping for cooler mornings next week,

Gabi Freckmann, MKG Summer Intern

Summer Interns and the First Summer CSA

It has been a busy few weeks at the Morven Kitchen Garden. We are excited to have three great student interns tending the garden and making the summer CSA happen. This year’s interns are Holly Books, Gabi Freckmann, and Mikaela Ruiz-Ramon. Over the summer, the interns will be sharing blog posts about their internship and experience at the garden.

Summer Interns seeding ten beds of the Collaborative Plot with butternut squash

The past few weeks have been busy. Garden activities have included transplanting, trellising tomatoes, hilling potatoes, seeding trays in the greenhouse, and weeding. MKG interns led the Morven Summer Institute (MSI) students on a tour of the garden on May 30st and harvested a salad of lettuce and spinach to share with them at a picnic lunch. On Thursday, June 1, the interns worked with volunteers from UVA Facilities Management and MKG Dining Intern, Sam Beadles to prepare beds in the MKG Collaborative Plot. Compost was added to ten beds and drip irrigation readied. The butternut squash seeds the interns planted on Friday, June 2 are germinating!

A highlight from this week included the MKG intern’s first visit to Bellair Farm, a large organic vegetable farm in Albemarle County.  The weekly collaboration with Bellair provides MKG interns insight into how a larger farming operation works and an opportunity to see how the sustainable agriculture principles they are learning, apply to all sizes/scales of growing.

The week ended with the first harvest and delivery of the summer CSA season! On Friday, interns harvested, prepared and delivered the first share to CSA customers.

Looking forward to a good summer of growing!

Steph Meyers, MKG Farm Manager

 

First week’s share: arugula, radish, swiss chard, zucchini/yellow squash, salad mix, and garlic scapes

 

We are looking for summer interns!!

Morven Kitchen Garden 2017 Summer Internship

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Each summer, MKG hires three summer interns to participate and learn about all aspects of food production. The summer interns will maintain the garden and operate a 10-week summer CSA under the guidance of the MKG farm manager. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and it is the main way MKG sells its produce.

Summer tasks involve all aspects of food production from seeding and planting in the field and greenhouse to harvesting produce and packing weekly CSA shares. Interns will also work with volunteers in the garden and assist with CSA member communications.  Along side garden work, we will explore the fundamentals and philosophy of sustainable agriculture and how and why we apply these principles at MKG.  One morning a week, interns will visit Bellair Farm to see firsthand how a larger farming operation works.  In August, at our annual event, Gazpacho in the Garden, we will celebrate the summer garden season and the interns.

Details and Schedule:

The MKG Internship runs 12 weeks, from late May to early August. Tentative schedule is May 22 – August 11th.  Each intern gets one-week vacation.  Vacations will be coordinated so they are spread out over the 12 weeks.  Interns will receive a stipend of $2200 over the summer for 11 weeks of work.

The schedule is generally 25 hours per week.  Hours are mainly mornings MondayFriday with CSA shares delivered and distributed on Friday afternoons.

7am-11 am/noon     MondayThursday              7am – 2:30 pm    Friday

Ideal candidates will have an interest in learning first hand about sustainable agriculture from both the small-scale intensive perspective (MKG) to the larger farm model (Bellair).  No farming/gardening experience is required.

Interested in applying?

Complete this application and email it with a résumé to Steph Meyers, scm6x@virginia.edu

 

Deadline to apply is Friday, March 24, 2017.

Thinking Spring

The weather may have retreated to winter, but at MKG we are moving forward to spring. Since the spring semester began in January, students have been busy planning and starting the season.

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In January at the Stonehouse Brunch, students voted on crops to plant this spring.  Later that month, two workday leader trainings were held at the garden. Topics covered included garden layout, new tools, and tips for seeding plants in the greenhouse.

 

 

 

 

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With the start of volunteer workdays in March, field and greenhouse work began. Students prepared the hoophouse for planting with the removal of weeds, fall plants, and hay mulch.  Lettuce, scallions, and parsley were seeded in the greenhouse. The first planting of lettuce mix, spinach, salad greens, and radishes has been seeded in the hoophouse. We are looking forward to having salad in April.

 

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A big thank you for two recently donated supplies! Southern States generously shared seeds left over from fall. We used some of those seeds such as lettuce, mustard, and spinach when seeding the high tunnel. UVA Dining has been saving us 5 gallon pickle buckets. Those buckets will come in very handy with a variety of garden tasks this spring.

MKG is off to a great start! We hope to see you in the garden sometime soon.

Steph Meyers, MKG Manager

Swiss Chard & Tomato Baked Eggs

Hello, lovely contributors and shareholders with MKG!

This week, in your shares, you’ll find fresh rainbow Swiss chard and ripe heirloom tomatoes (or plum tomatoes), hand-picked by our lovely student volunteers. The recipe for this week, including these ingredients, is baked eggs! This recipe creates a single serving; however, feel free to double up on the ingredients and make as much as you like.

This makes for a great protein-filled breakfast to stay charged up for the day. Not so surprisingly, aside from eggs, Swiss chard is a good source of protein, potassium, fiber, and calcium.


SWISS CHARD & TOMATO BAKED EGGS

INGREDIENTS

1

  • A cast iron pan / small glass baking dish (safe for oven use)
  • A little bit of olive oil
  • 1-2 medium-sized MKG slicing tomatoes (or you could use the plum tomatoes!)
  • A bunch of MKG rainbow Swiss chard
  • 1/2 medium sized onion
  • 2 eggs
  • Cream cheese
  • Grated Parmesan/Romano cheese (to taste)
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic (or garlic powder, whichever you prefer)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (to taste)
INGREDIENTS

making the filling~

  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Chop garlic cloves, tomatoes, onion, and Swiss chard.
    1. NOTE: The ratio for each of these is totally up to you! I love my Swiss chard and garlic, so I put a lot more in.
  3. In a saucepan, saute chopped onions and garlic (or garlic powder) in olive oil. Add chopped Swiss chard to the pan once the onions are tender.
  4. Once the Swiss chard has cooked down a bit, add tomatoes.
  5. Add cumin, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
    1. NOTE: I tend to put more cinnamon and red pepper flakes. I like to get a bit of spicy and sweet, but the amount of each is completely up to your taste buds.
  6. Simmer this mixture in the saucepan for a few minutes on low heat.

putting it all together~

  1. Pour mixture into glass baking dish.
  2. Add dollops of cream cheese on top of the mixture.
  3. Crack eggs over the mixture. Sprinkle Parmesan/Romano cheese over top.

into the oven, we go!~

  1. Place baking dish into pre-heated oven for 5-8 minutes (or until whites of the eggs have settled).
  2. Remove from oven and serve with toast or bruschetta!

You’re welcome to experiment with different spices/cheeses/veggies to add to these baked eggs. It makes for an easy, yet elegant breakfast.


Once again, we want to thank you for your continual support of Morven Kitchen Garden. We hope you get a chance to try out a variation of this recipe. If you have any questions or want to let us know how it turned out, feel free to post a comment here or send us an email.

Love,

MKG

The MKG is hiring!

APPLY TO BE THE NEW FARM MANAGER  

Have agricultural knowledge and want to gain more experience managing a small farm?

The manager is responsible for farm operations and advising student leaders.

Deadline September 30.

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We are hiring a new farm manager for MKG. Our current farm manager, Emily Salle, is embarking on a new adventure in December, but we want to bring someone on to train by the end of October.

If you have any questions, Emily would be more than happy to give more information about the position. She can be reached by email at egsalle@gmail.com.

You don’t have to be a recent graduate, but this position ideally requires someone who has already graduated. Previous garden and CSA experience is preferred.

To view the job posting and apply, click this link.

Dairy-free Salted Caramel Apple Turnovers

Hello, lovely contributors and shareholders with MKG!

We’re starting a new weekly section to our MKG blog. We’ll be posting recipes made with Morven produce, available in the weekly shares. These recipes will be ones made and tested by our volunteers on the farm.

This week, in your shares, are delicious Morven granny-smith apples. We’ll be making dairy-free salted caramel apple turnovers, using these apples picked by our volunteers!


Dairy-free Salted Caramel Apple Turnovers

INGREDIENTS

filling~

  • 3 medium-sized Morven granny-smith apples
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • handful of raisins
  • optional: salted caramel chunks

dough~

  • 3 cups of flour (sift)
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp confectioner’s sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 7-8 tbsp olive oil
  • water (as needed)

INSTRUCTIONS

filling~

  1. Chop apples into small pieces and put in a bowl. Mix apples with cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and raisins.
    1. You can add more/less of either cinnamon, nutmeg, or raisins based on your preference.
  2. Low heat salted caramel chunks in a bit of water in a saucepan/pot. Watch and stir continuously till caramel is right consistency. Take caramel off heat and stir apple mixture into caramel.
    1. Note: You can put as much caramel as you’d like!
  3. Put the caramel-apple mixture into the fridge, while we make our dough. This will give the caramel time to settle.

dough~

  1. In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, and confectioner’s sugar together. Add olive oil slowly as you mix it into the dry ingredients mixture. The mixture will coarse, flaky, and clump up a bit. Now, we can add water as needed to get the right consistency to the dough.
    1. If you’ve added too much water and the dough is too sticky, you can add a bit of flour to dry it up.
  2. Wrap the dough in wax paper and put it into the fridge for at least 20 minutes.

dough

putting it all together~

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Roll out the dough. Cut out circle shapes into the rolled out dough (each turnover uses 2 dough circles — top and a bottom!)
    1. For this, I used the rim of a drinking glass to make the circular cut-out shape.
  3. Put dollops of the caramel-apple mixture on the dough circles and use the other circle to cover them up.
    1. Use a fork to seal the edges of the turnovers!
    2. Cut little slits on the top of the turnovers; the apples/caramel will cook better this way and the turnovers won’t explode from steam building up.
  4. Lay all of your turnovers onto a cooking tray (on tin foil, if you’d like).
    1. Feel free to put egg wash (one whisked egg + a little bit of water) on the turnovers to help with getting them to an even golden-brown color.
  5. Put them into the oven for 15 minutes, or until they are golden-brown.
  6. Leave to cool for at least ten minutes, drizzle with caramel (if you’d like!).

We want to thank you for your continual support of MKG and we hope you have a chance to try out our recipe! If you have any questions or want to let us know it turned out, feel free to comment on this post or send us an email.

Love,

MKG

Thank You From MKG!

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From all of us at the Morven Kitchen Garden, thank you so much! We are so grateful to everyone who celebrated the end of summer with us at our annual Gazpacho in the Garden. Over one hundred guests came out at the farm and we hope you all had as great of a time as we did!

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We had a blast cooking up some farm-fresh gazpacho, relaxing to the folksy tunes of Adler & Hearne, and sharing the newest additions to the farm – bee hives and berry patches. But our favorite part was meeting community members like you that help our farm thrive!

For those of you who couldn’t make it, check out the photos The Daily Progress took to get a taste of the evening. We hope to see you next summer at our next Gazpacho in the Garden!

Want to get your hands dirtier with MKG? Email morvenkitchengarden16-17@virginia.edu to be added to our listserv for workday announcements, events, and updates throughout the year. We welcome any experience level and all interested in hands-on learning about the ins and outs of sustainable farming.

July and August CSA Shares still open!

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Want vegetables picked and harvested for you each week, washed and ready to eat? Want to support the opportunity of student leadership in sustainable agriculture and business in your community? We do the work, you provide the support, and you get the food.

Available shares: July pick up or delivery, August pick up or delivery.

Share sizing: Full shares feed 3-4 people, and half shares are designed for 1-2.

Pricing: July full ($125) — July half ($75) // August full ($100) — August half ($60)

Pick up: We bring the veggies to town each Friday from 12-2pm at the Spice Diva in Main Street Market. If this window doesn’t work for you, we also deliver.

Delivery: For $15/mo. extra we drop off the veggies to your door midday each Tuesday.

Add ons: Weekly or bi-weekly eggs ($4/week), tote bags ($7).

To sign up: Email morvencsa2016@gmail.com with your name, share preference, pick up or delivery (address if appropriate), daytime phone number, and any questions.

See our CSA page for more information.