From the Farmer

Week 4 – 6/6/2016
Farm Zoning Talk this Wednesday Evening
This Wednesday June 8th at 6:30 pm at the Sycamore House (across the street from the Farm Stand). Farmer Mike will describe the Farm’s plans for growth into its remaining fields, and how and why current zoning presents a challenge. This is an opportunity to better understand the relationship between the Farm, Conservancy, and communities. With several Transition Area proposals before the County on June 15th, we hope to clarify what would benefit the Farm and what you can do to support it.  All residents, neighbors and Farm-ily welcome. Registration appreciated but not required.
 
Willowsford Residents: RSVP HERE
Non-residents/Farm-ily: RSVP HERE
 
ATTN: CHOCOLATE MILK-DRINKERS, ICE CREAM EATERS & MILK SHARE HOLDERS
Dairy availability will be limited this week. If you are a milk shareholder, you will be receiving more specific correspondence from Deb as well. If you are a big fan of the chocolate milk and ice cream, please note that we will very likely be sold out of these items until Friday June 10. We apologize for the inconvenience.  Back for next weekend!
 
 
Cooking Class Next Week: Enjoying the Farm Harvest (6/16)
How’s this going so far?  For those of you challenged by new and changing vegetables, come to a class at Willowsford Kitchen.  They offer tastings, demos, classes, and classes just for kids.  There’s a class on early summer eating from the Farm next week for adults.  There will be three different preparations each for early summer veggies and fruit. June is one of the loveliest months of the year at Willowsford Farm. The weather is balmy and the fields are blossoming.  Discover versatile, new ways to cook the greens, beets, strawberries and other delicious fruits and vegetables you'll find at the Farm Stand and in your CSA share this month.  We’ll prepare and enjoy a few dishes from the first harvest of the summer. On the menu: herbs, beets, summer greens and strawberries 3 ways! Register HERE!
 
Two (Farmer-approved!) Recipes from CSA Members.  Send us more!
  1. Radish Dressing from Hollye Mann
  2. Grilled Broccoli from Christi Florit
An easy option for summer grilling – you don't have to get the kitchen dirty at all: Rinse the broccoli and pop the dry ends off like you would asparagus, lay on a sheet of aluminum foil with edges raised up like a little platter, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Put the aluminum foil platter on the grill next to your favorite steak, fish or chicken. These cooked for about 15 minutes and were delicious! Easy spring broccoli on the grill for our grill masters! 
 
In Your Share
You’ve seen many of these items before this season, but for head lettuce and Swiss chard.  There are many greens this week – a result of an odd spring where several plantings have run into each other and others have been delayed.  This dinner-on-the-porch, salad with protein and robust dressing weather. Have a chloro-filled week.
 
The head lettuce, well, send us novel uses for lettuce!  Otherwise, put it on burgers and invite us over. Boca or beef. This week you will see “butterhead” lettuce, which forms a small tight head of soft and buttery leaves.  There are a lot of fantastic kinds of lettuce (really) and this may be Mike’s favorite category.
 
Swiss chard you have, in fact, seen as a baby leaf in salad mix.  What a difference a week makes.  We had beautiful spinach for you last week, the remainder of which has bolted, or gone to flower.  It’s hot for spinach, and hot weather makes it want to reproduce.  There is surely an odd analogy there somewhere.
 
In its place is Swiss chard, a variety we prize called Perpetual Spinach.  Swiss chard and spinach are closely related, and this chard variety is the tenderest green leafs.  It’s not the most economical to grow because of its growth habits, but its taste, tenderness and hardiness make it a favorite here.  We think you’ll like it.  You can eat it raw (tear it up into a salad) or cook it as a cooking green.

 
Where are the Goats?  At Banshee Reeks – check out Deb’s Talk on June 18
The stewards of Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve are trying a new tool in the fight against invasives at the 725 acre property. This month, a herd of goats from Willowsford Farm will be managing unwanted plants like autumn olive and japanese honeysuckle – by eating them. If left alone, these plants could impact habitat for birds and other wildlife, limiting the enjoyment of outdoor space.
 
On Saturday, June 18th, there will be an opportunity to come and meet and greet the goats and see them in action as natural resource management tools. We will have a short presentation, led by Deb Dramby, Willowsford Farm Education Coordinator, in the Education Annex beginning at 10 a.m. Light refreshments will be provided. After the presentation, you can walk to the pond and get an up close and personal opportunity to "meet the goats."
 
Why Goats
Goats are gentler than machinery and chemical free. Their climbing ability allows them to reach vines and stems in otherwise hard-to-reach places. They will graze all day, going through very dense material at about a quarter acre per several days per 10-20 goats. Their triangular mouth allows them to crush what they eat, so seeds that might otherwise get passed through to fertilization are not viable. The goats are put in areas where the invasive plants are located, and an electric fence is used to keep the goats from wandering and eating vegetation the preserve wants to keep.
 
That’s it for now.  Have a good week and be great,
 
Mike, Deb, ANYA, Lex, Al, Jennifer, James, Briana, Bella, Radish, Goat x how many?! Deebbb!, Camilla x 499, meat bird x no more all frozen, Roscoe RIP and Popcorn who is flying back to Ohio for Game 3 Go Cavs.
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Willowsford Conservancy

41025 Willowsford Lane, Aldie, VA 20105

Phone: 571-440-2400

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Willowsford Farm Stand

23595 Founders Drive, Ashburn, VA 20148

Phone: 571-297-6900

farm@willowsfordfarm.com

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