Happy World Soil Day!

Did you know that 1 tablespoon of soil has more organisms in it than there are people on earth? Or that there are 5,000 different types of bacteria in one gram of soil? Or that it takes nature 500 years to build one inch of topsoil?

Here at Urban Futures Farm we are giving Mother Nature a hand. The beautiful Crimson Clover and Cayuse Oats that blanket our farm this time of year will be cut and tilled in next Spring, adding nutrients, hundreds of pounds of organic matter and providing food to those organisms and bacteria that help us build and maintain healthy soil – which means nutrient dense, delicious, nutritious food for our friends and customers.

To enjoy the bounty of our soil, sign up for a 2021 CSA share.  Returning customers can sign up beginning later this month, with new customers welcome in January.  More details soon!

Help Us Plan for Next Year!

We’ve just put the farm to bed for the winter, but are already planning for spring!

Over the past several years Urban Futures Farm has developed a reputation for growing and selling quality plant starts each spring.  We love helping our friends and neighbors grow good food!

This is the time of year where we are pouring through seed catalogs, compiling orders and looking for your feedback.

What vegetable and herbs  would you like to see us grow next year?  What plant starts do you want to purchase to grow in your garden next year?

Reply down below or send us an email – thanks for the help!

 

Leeks Have Arrived!

Leeks are one of the first crops we plant and among the last to be harvested. And they are so worth the wait! A member of the allium family, which includes onions, garlic and the like, leeks have a softer, less assertive profile, and are a divine asset as a cooked addition to soups, stews, quiches, and more. The white part of the leek grows underground and special care should be taken to clean any grit hiding among the many layers. Trim off the dark green leaves at the top and the root end, and cut through the stalk lengthwise , stopping just short of the root end. Clean under running water, then finish chopping. One of our favorite uses for leeks is potato/leek soup. While sometimes presented as a velvety smooth vichyssoise, we prefer the rustic version here.

It’s a good year for basil.

Summer Squash – 3 Ways

Is there nothing more economical in the garden than zucchini? To the point of the seasonal reminder to lock your windows and doors, lest your neighbors try to foist their bounty on you!

Too much food is not a bad problem to have, so here are a few maybe less-travelled zucchini ideas to help you through the season deliciously.

The simplest recipe comes from one of our customers, who loves the veg so much she actually bought plants from us to augment her weekly share! Simple and delicious: use your vegetable peeler to slice your zucchini into long thin ribbons. Toss with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Voila!

The second recipe is a curried squash soup that is great for an appetizer or light repast with salad and bread. Doesn’t look to be a particularly hot summer ahead, but if it were, this soup also works nicely at room temp.

The final dish was discovered on Queer Eye ❤ and is a delicious casserole side to your BBQ or hearty vegetarian main dish.

If none of these appeal, use your search bar! Boundless possibilities await!  And if nothing else, dehydrate shredded zucchini for a soup addition/thickener come winter.

Roast, don’t blanch, your surplus

If you are so lucky, there comes a point in the farming season, where you are overrun with one type of produce, or many!

Recently it was snap peas that needed to go into the freezer. So I turned on the oven and got to work. Wait. The OVEN?!?

You bet! We’ve found that a blast of heat – 475 for 5 minutes – does the same job as blanching, and the results are so much better!

Traditionally, vegetables destined for the freezer are blanched (dropped for a minute or two in boiling water) transferred to an ice bath and then the freezer. This is to kill bacteria on the outside that could lead to spoilage. Only thing is, the veggies are so waterlogged by the process that they have no snap left once you dig them out of the freezer to eat them. And they also lose their nutritional value. Yuck.

The oven blasted veggies, by comparison are still crisp when thawed. And it works for most any vegetable!

Prep your veggies, toss with a little olive oil, spread one layer thick on your cookie sheets, and bake at 475 for 5 minutes. Let cool to room temp, throw them in freezer bags (marked so you don’t grab peas when you wanted beans!), and put them in your freezer.  It really is that simple!