Youth Farm: weeding season

Berry pickers at the Youth Farm
On the farm. The plants are growing before your eyes: getting bigger by the hour.

Squash planted in late June have easily tripled in size and soon will create a sea requiring travelers to wear thick plants and gloves —they’ve got some thorny leaves and stems. Corn that was planted in late May is nearing waist height and the potatoes are setting beautiful little flowers, showing us they are developing what we call new potatoes.

Of course, the vegetable and fruit crops are not the only plants enjoying our fertile soil, timely irrigation, and the warm sun. This is the time of the season here we chase the weeds from one corner of the field to the next. I must say, despite the weed chasing, this is one of my favorite farming seasons.  There is a simplicity about the weeding season, and after nearly 11 years of farming the colors of a farm in mid summer still amaze me.

What’s growing and getting harvested this week on the farm:  This week expect to find kale, big beets, kohlrabi, huge heads of broccoli, iceberg lettuce, scallions, carrots, fresh garlic, peas, arugula, maybe a few summer squash, and radicchio! There will likely only be a few more weeks of strawberry picking, so if you have not already picked, come on out and grab some soon!

A Broccoli Recipe. I spent the 4th of July with my family on a beautiful lake in the Blue Ridge Mountains of south west Virginia. The fare was pretty typical American faire, complete with lots of pork, salads, and slaws (along with fireworks and swimming, of course!). So for this weeks recipe I figured a nice summer slaw was in order.

For the salad grate and or chop 2 heads of broccoli, a few carrots, a bunch of scallions, and 3/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped. Of course you could also through in some radicchio and or arugula for a bit of gre

For your dressing mix together 1/2 cup mayonnaise, a few splashes of lemon juice and rice wine vinegar, 2 or so tablespoons sugar or warmed honey, a couple pinches of salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste.

There are countless variations to a salad like this. You could switch out the mayonnaise with olive oil or sesame oil, the vinegar for soy sauce, you could add garlic or ginger, currants or fresh peaches. In my mind great meals are all about simple fresh ingredients, a bit of creativity, and sharing with family and friends.

If you would like more information about the Youth Farm and our goings-on, please check us out at and, and check out more blog posts!