Potato Planting Day

post by: Debbie Fields May 12, 2011

What an awesome group of potato planters we had on Saturday.  They popped in 12 rows in about 45 minutes and had Jim sprinting down the rows making trenches to keep ahead.  That left plenty of time for the kids to gather on the lawn to teach our new ducks how to eat grass.We followed that activity with making big salads with lots of trimmings. Thank you so much to all who participated.
There is a slide-show of the activities on the website, take a look at http://fieldsfarm.org/slideshows

What’s Available

post by: Debbie Fields November 29, 2009

We’ve got fresh eggs, including some delectable turkey eggs.  Potato varieties for this week include Red Norlands, All Blues, Colorado Rose and Russian
Banana Fingerlings.  Mild red and yellow onions as well as shallots are also available.  My brother brought a fresh supply of Wild Rice at Thanksgiving.
Wild Rice is available in 8oz bag for $3.50
                                         2 lb bag for $13.00
                                         5 lb bag for $30.00

Thanksgiving Foods

post by: Debbie Fields November 21, 2009

Are you looking for some unique foods for Thanksgiving?

We have 4 varieties of specialty potatoes;
        German Butterballs, makes a lovely creamy yellow mashed potato
        All Blues- cook your All Blues with a little vinegar for brillant blue
        Colorado Rose- beautiful smooth red skins with creamy white flesh
        Viking Purple- purple tinged skins with white flesh
        Russian Banana Fingerlings- best for rosemary roasted potatoes
Stutgartter Onions- nicely dried onions for storage that won’t make you cry
Shallots- have a particularly delicate flavor for sauces
Wild Rice- a nutty flavor to add to your turkey stuffing

If you haven’t got your locally grown free range turkey call;
         Mike and Debbie Holmes  322-6992
         Elena Peters 504-6850 (extra large turkeys 30-40lbs)

Happy Thanksgiving from Fields Farm

Intern’s Insight #2: Swimming for Potatoes

post by: Debbie Fields August 10, 2009

Many folks visit our booth at the Farmer’s Market and remark, “Oh, I drive by your farm all the time!”  It makes me wonder…what do these people think when they see us out in the fields doing our various tasks that all add up to farming?  One of the weirdest sights must be when we swim for potatoes.

To harvest a small batch of potatoes, all you need is a pitchfork to loosen up a plant or two.  But when we harvest for the CSA or market, we pull up dozens of plants at a time.  And a pitchfork is too slow.  To dig up part of a row, a lifting blade is attached to the back of the tractor.  We drag the blade through the row and it undercuts and lifts the plant and potatoes up near the surface of the soil.  Now, in a perfect world, the potatoes would fall neatly into a little pile and we’d collect them in no time at all.  But this is farming, and “perfection” comes around once and a while, but with potatoes we’ve still got to do some work.  So we go swimming. 
Here’s where the folks driving by might do a double-take.  To swim for potatoes we get down on our knees in the lifted row, and using our arms like fins we do a modified butterfly stroke, scooping soil, plant, and potatoes towards our body.  At this point it’s basically an Easter egg hunt.  The potatoes usually sift above the soil, plant top is tossed over the shoulder (after, of course, removing any hanger-on potatoes that might become next year’s weeds), and the gathered potatoes go into a bucket.  Then we move forward a scootch and repeat the stroke.  It’s a great workout!  The damp, warm soil moves smooth against the skin.  Black beetles (beneficial insects) are unearthed and moved into the next row over.  Now and then you find blue potatoes in the yellow section, a result of the helpful five year-olds that assisted in planting this row.  Before you know it, you’ve reached the tractor, and you’ve got four buckets full of spuds.  We’ve been pulling out German butterball and All-blue varieties, but keep your eyes out for new varities soon!  (It’s funny; we labeled the rows with stakes when we planted, but those stakes have either disappeared or been sun-bleached.  Thankfully Jim is able to identify any potato in the world.)