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LOCALLY GROWN, ORGANIC PRODUCE DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR.

FROM THE FARMER'S PERSPECTIVE

05/21/15 — Farm

Tractor wheel caked in mud.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Tractor wheel caked in mud. Photo by Scott David Gordon

As a farmer in Central Texas, my relationship to the all of the rain we've been having is complicated. Since I'm all too familiar with the threat of drought, I never want to say anything bad about the rain.  The truth is, we sure need it here - and lots of it.

And this is exactly what we are getting: days, and now going on weeks, of significant rain. In the long run, this is what we need to diminish the threat of drought, and it makes me happy to think of all of this beginning to refill our aquifers and lakes. As a farmer, I know my eye has to be on the future while simultaneously dealing with the problems at hand. For the future, this rain is a very good thing.

There are, however, problems at hand.  If you talk to our Assistant Farm Manager, Mike Reed, he will tell you flat out, “It’s bad out there.” First of all, there is the omnipresent problem of mud. Everything – and I mean everything – is caked in it. Our packing shed crew does their best to wash and clean the harvest, but it is impossible for them to get off all of the mud.

When you get your CSA shares this week, you will see some of this mud, and as your farmer, I ask for your understanding as we work under these unusual conditions.   We’ve had to harvest our potatoes in the rain, something we never do.   In fact, we usually stop watering our potato plants two weeks prior to harvest so that the surrounding soil and the potato skins can stay dry and have a chance to harden up.  Well, it didn’t matter one bit that we had stopped watering - Mother Nature had other ideas!

Given the forecast, we decided to go ahead and harvest the potatoes despite the wet conditions.  What this means for you is that the potatoes in your CSA box are uncharacteristically muddy, and in this case, the mud is intentional.  We purposely didn't wash it off.  This is because the mud serves as a protective cover for the skin and allows the potatoes to cure a little longer before you cook them.  I thank you for putting in the extra effort to clean these little guys - believe me, it will be worth the effort as they are delicious.

Our Assistant Farm Manager, Mike, has been working hard in these unusually wet conditions.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Our Assistant Farm Manager, Mike, has been working hard in these unusually wet conditions. Photo by Scott David Gordon

All of this rain has slowed things down considerably for our crew. Mike also said, “everything is slower and harder to do.” Imagine trying to harvest in muddy fields – your boots get a little heavier with each step you take. Also, it has been impossible to stay on our planting schedule. Currently, our tractors are of limited use. Plus, guess who also really likes this rain? Bugs! That means we can’t do much direct seeding, either, because all of these rain-loving bugs just eat up the seeds we put down.  Transplants do better, but it is a very slow process when done by hand in rain-drenched fields.

So, my hat goes off to our hard working crew. Typically, these wet conditions come and go pretty quickly, but this rain has hung around. And around. Our crew just keeps going, though. They are out there everyday, adapting to the changes the rain has wrought and doing it with incredible professionalism. I feel very lucky to have such fine people working for JBG. I imagine that they, like me, must also take the long-term view, since without rain, we would all be out of a job. It’s a frightening concept to think your water supply could disappear, and I think this is why no one wants to complain.  We would take this rain over the alternative any day.

As this rain continues, I hope that you will also take a long-term view. We are working really hard to grow the best organic vegetables we can for you, but the weather is beyond our control. It sure is a mess out there, but the good news is all of this rain will help enable JBG to grow your vegetables for years to come.

IMAGES FROM THE FARM

05/21/15 — Farm

A lady bug at JBG.  Photo by Scott David Gordon A lady bug at JBG. Photo by Scott David Gordon

This rain has been unbelievable, and our plants and flowers are soaking it up.  Check out those growing tomato plants and that amazing green bean harvest!

Tomato plants.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Tomato plants. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Tomatoes on the vine.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Tomatoes on the vine. Photo by Scott David Gordon

The flowers are loving all of this rain.  Photo by Scott David Gordon The flowers are loving all of this rain. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Green beans growing in the field.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Green beans growing in the field. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Green bean harvest.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Green bean harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Our greenhouse manager, Enrique, transfers a fig tree start.  These were grown from clippings from the fig tree outside of the JBG office.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Our greenhouse manager, Enrique, transfers a fig tree start. These were grown from clippings from the fig tree outside of the JBG office. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Photo by Scott David Gordon Photo by Scott David Gordon

VOLUNTEER AT JBG!

05/21/15 — Farm

Volunteer at our Garfield farm!  Photo by Scott David Gordon Volunteer at our Garfield farm! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Ever thought about volunteering at JBG?   We'd love to have you, and it's a great way to learn more about organic farming. JBG Volunteers help out on the farm for half a day. We have two locations in Austin:  Hergotz and our Garfield Farm.   At Garfield, where we grow our vegetables, you can help in the greenhouse or in the fields. At Garfield we accept volunteers Monday through Friday from 8-1 am.  We accept volunteers at our Hergotz location from 8am-1pm Tuesdays through Fridays and an additional shift from 1-6 on Fridays. At Hergotz, you can help in the packing shed, packing and sorting vegetables.

If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact us in advance and let us know when you’d like to help.  Because of high demand, it’s essential to RSVP at least 48 hours before you want to volunteer.  You must receive confirmation prior to coming to JBG.  Let us know if you want to give it try by emailing us at volunteer@jbgorganic.com.

JBG IS HIRING!

05/21/15 — Farm

colorful tomatoes Photo by Scott David Gordon

We're hiring for seasonal and permanent positions at JBG - to check out the full list, please click here.  With the tomato season on it's way, we need a few dedicated people to join our crew for the Summer.  We are also hiring a Farm Courier and a Cooler Inventory Manager.  And if office work is more your speed, check out the open position for a Payroll Accountant.  Come be a part of our amazing team!

CERES VEGETABLE SOCIETY AT ABGB TODAY!

05/21/15 — Farm

24 hours only

 

We are proud to announce that Johnson's Backyard Garden is inducting new members into our Secret Buyer's Club, The Ceres Vegetable Society.  To join the mailing list and receive these exclusive offers, click here.

Today, Thursday, May 21st,  we are teaming up with the fun-loving beer aficionados at The ABGB, a unique Austin brewery with amazing house brews and awesome pub cuisine.  The folks at The ABGB will be offering a surprise for those who are purchasing mystery boxes - available only with a special voucher.  To sign up for a mystery box this week, click here.

What is the Ceres Vegetable Society all about?  This club is for people who LOVE to COOK, LOVE fresh produce, and LOVE a surprise. We will be selling Mystery Boxes at undisclosed locations all over Texas at totally random dates. Meet ups of the Ceres Society will also include live music, chef collaborations and more.

What is a Mystery Box?  Mystery Boxes are full of only the freshest, in-season JBG organic produce for only $25. If and only if you reserve this awesome box packed with mystery, you will be eligible for a gamut of add-on fruit, coffee and more from our local farmer friends. We will also offer Inglorious Vegetables at a 30%-50% discount off our normal prices. These Inglorious Vegetables are fresh and delicious, but may be over or under-sized, funky-shaped, or otherwise not as glamorous as their market counterparts.

Join the Ceres Vegetables Society mailing list today by clicking here.

BROCCOLI PESTO

05/21/15 — Farm

FullSizeRender_2_2By Jessye Hipp

Broccoli Pesto

Time: 20 mins Serves: 4

-2 heads of broccoli, cut into florets

-10-15 fresh basil leaves

-3 small garlic cloves

-1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

-1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth

-1/4 cup olive oil

-1 tsp red pepper flakes

-salt & pepper

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Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the broccoli florets and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

Add the garlic and broccoli to a food processor. Pulse until the broccoli is very fine.

Add the basil, Parmesan cheese, chicken broth, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Add additional olive oil if the pesto needs to smooth out. You don’t want the pesto to be too thick or too thin.

Toss with whole-wheat pasta for a nutty bite, or use as a dip for veggies, or spread on a sandwich. Enjoy!

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF MAY 18TH

05/19/15 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of May 18th CSA Box Contents Week of May 18th

Large Box
Bean, Green
Beet, Red
Broccoli
Cabbage, Green
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Arugula
Herb, Fennel
Herb, Spearmint
Leek
Onion, Yellow
Parsnip
Potato, Red
Tomato, Green
Medium Box
Bean, Green
Beet, Red
Cabbage, Green
Carrot, Orange
Herb, Fennel
Herb, Spearmint
Leek
Onion, Yellow
Parsnip
Potato, Red
Small Box
Bean, Green
Beet, Red
Carrot, Orange
Herb, Fennel
Onion, Yellow
Parsnip
Potato, Red
Individual Box
Bean, Green
Carrot, Orange
Herb, Fennel
Leek
Potato, Red
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