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Updates from the farm

Updates from the farm and city.
Posted 8/28/2014 12:29pm by Sean.
Posted 8/11/2014 11:59pm by Sean.

One of the internet's most popular food websites, TheKitchn, is running a week-long series called Tomato of the Day, and they're featuring our tomatoes! Check it out, and share it widely. 

Posted 8/1/2014 2:52pm by Sean.

Notes from Chris upon returning to the farm

Posted 7/15/2014 3:39am by Sean.
Moving on, what makes our tomatoes special, squash notes

Posted 6/29/2014 6:19pm by Sean.
An extreme hail storm and possible tornado (still under investigation) hit Tomato Mountain this past week, and we're still in the process of recovering. Winds upwards of 100mph lifted a hoophouse from the ground, many other hoops were damaged, and most of the crops that were planted outdoors were ruined. Luckily, no one was injured.

Chris will have a full update and discussion of the storm and its implications with the newsletter next week. In the meantime, take a look at some of the storm damage:


The mail carrier said he could smell onions in the air as he approached the farm -- that's because there were rows and rows of them, freshly sliced by the hail.



Mel looks on at kale stripped from its stalks.


Paul holds an enormous piece of hail. The ground was coated with them at the end of the storm.

Thanks for your ongoing support as we work through this!
 
- Chris, Kurt, Kurt, Paul, Brady, Sheila, Alexis, Corky, Mel, Israel, Will, Sophie, Marie, Molly, Zack, Ryan, and Ethan
Tell a friend to join our CSA and get store credit!

Word of mouth is our #1 source of new CSA members, and we'd like to thank you for getting your friends to join!

With our new referral program, you receive $10 of store credit (up to $100) to be used on any Tomato Mountain product or produce in our online store every time you refer a friend who signs up and either pays in full or pays their first installment of a payment plan. 

Use this form to enter your information and your friend's information. Also send us a note at support@tomatomountain.com if you have any questions. 

Please keep in mind that the referral dollars are intended to be spent on our products and produce, not the items in the from other farms and producers category. Thanks for telling your friends!
 Coming next week 
(as always, our best guess)
Garlic Scapes
Lettuce
Snap peas (small portion)
Frozen Butternut Squash
Another crop TBD
 What's Cookin' 
 
While the storm destroyed lots of the crops we were planning on delivering in upcoming weeks, we've still got a great box for this late Spring season (and summer's going to shape up well, too). 

For anyone new to our frozen butternut squash, it's a real treat: it basically takes all the roasting, scooping, and skinning out of the process. TryButternut Squash Pasta Sauce for a pot-luck-able dish from our winter squash.

Do like we do and preserve the season's goodness: one of the best ways to enjoy garlic scapes is right here: Pickled Garlic Scapes -- pickling takes some of the intensity out of the scapes, leaving a delicious, salty, garlicky snack. 

Navigate over to ourLettuce information page for a quick list of great salad dressing recipes.
Support us by signing up for summer now!
Either login to update your account or simply respond to this email with which size and seasons you'd like.


Our hoophouse-planted sungolds are still looking good and ripening now!
Our Online Store

Place an order through our online store, and we'll add the extras to your box next week.
 
Blue Corn Tortilla Chips Seasonal Cookbooks
 Our Salsas,SoupsPreserves & More
Posted 6/11/2014 2:32pm by Sean.

Scallions |||   
Red Rain mustard greens   |||   
Red Russian Kale   |||   
Lettuce   |||   
Rainbow chard   |||   
Chives*   |||   
Sorrel*   |||  

Posted 6/2/2014 4:52pm by Sean.

Where planning meets execution...

Posted 5/15/2014 3:42pm by Sean.

Upcoming crops and flame-weeding in a wet spring.

Posted 3/10/2014 12:50pm by Chris.

Note: We will post weekly updates from Chris in this space until we resolve the issue with Constant Contact's email archiving process. 

 

The forecast is looking good...

Spring is finally starting to happen and none too soon. With the extremely cold weather this winter, the water lines leading from the farm's main pump to the house and heated germination greenhouse froze weeks ago. So, the farm house has had no water for nearly a month, and probably won't for another month. The four of us who run the show (Paul, Kurt, Brady, and Me) have a friendly bet going as to when the water will run again. Our guesses range from late March to late April. Word through the grapevine suggests that the frost is 6+ feet deep this winter, so the mid-to-late April guess might well win the bet! I, being the optimist (which is kind of a joke as I'm just as much a realist), am hoping that the forecast trend continues, and that the ground is thawed out by early April. And I hope ourgarlic survived under the straw mulch and snow. 

In fact the current 7 day forecast has many days in the 30'S, 40's, and even one day in the 50's, with sunshine, so we're pretty excited. The only problem will be the lakes of water from melting snow which will freeze at night, but that's not a big deal. We'll be able to plant our first spring hoop houses by the end of the week, hopefully, and the spinach that has not grown all winter will make a sudden growth spurt. We'll find out how much of it died and how much we'll have going into the spring. While there's not much room to feel guilt about not including spinach in the boxes so far this winter (we can't control the weather after all), we are excited to have a big fat bag in the last box of the season. Better late than never. I suspect that the last box of the season will be way, way over stated value because we want to finish on a good note -- and we do feel a little bad that you've received no spinach all winter. Thanks for your understanding and patience.

Otherwise, seed starting/germinating for spring is going well with the best crew and best leadership we've ever had at Tomato Mountain. More on that below. The aforementioned water crisis has not totally crippled the farm, as we're able to tap directly into the farm pump, and move that water on the surface via the huge 3" pipe we use for irrigating the field in spring, summer, and fall. Because we obviously can't leave that line full of water (it would freeze), we use it to fill 100+ gallon tubs in the heated greenhouse, and use a sump pump to water plants as needed. We then immediately drain the big line to avoid catastrophic freeze up, in which case we'd be totally out of luck/water.

I'm beside myself with the group I've been lucky enough to assemble. Kurt, who was with us from June of 2011 through February of 2013, is back at the farm after a year of trying his own farming operation (which is stupidly hard). He'll be both in Chicago and at the farm, managing many things in both places. Paul is our best and first totally bona fide information manager ever. What could be more important than information and its expression? He'll likely be an overall farm manager. Brady is the local, blue collar, professional type I've always hoped for but could never find. He'll be our field manager and all-purpose leader. Mark is another local, a regular jack of all trades type that sees so many of the things that make us work, or not, efficiently. I see Mark as an assistant field manager, a handy man with construction/building responsibilities, and a greenhouse manager. With these 4 guys around, we're in the best shape we've ever been in at the farm. 

In Chicago, Sean is working on filling Robin's shoes regarding CSA logistics and planning. As we get bigger, we need better information organization, and Kurt has been helping Sean make sense of all the delivery instructions, egg orders, and much more. Our morning deliveries have been been less painful to implement than we had imagined, and promise to be far more efficient once we work out the week-to-week flow. 

So enjoy the spring as we emerge from the coldest winter in nearly 40 years, and know that the farm is in the best place it's ever been. Thanks as always for your business and patience as we learn, grow, and improve.  

 

-- Chris

 

 

Weekly Box ValuesSeptember 8th, 2014

Below you'll find the values that we assign to all of the produce and other items delivered in your CSA box. We'll do our best to keep it current. The most recent box is on top, but you can scroll dow

CSA Newsletter, Week 26 | Summer 8August 28th, 2014

Slicing TomatoesGreen PeppersEggplant or Zucchini*Braising (Mesclun) Mix**Collard GreensParsleyGarlic

Crop CalendarAugust 22nd, 2014

Click the name of the crop to see some preparation tips and recipes. Crop Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Arugula         x   x     &nbs

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Contact Us Online or Call 608-335-1198

Tomato Mountain Farm ~ N7720 Sandy Hook Rd, Brooklyn WI 53521 ~ info@tomatomountain.com ~ 608-335-1198

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