Emerald Acres

News and Blog

Welcome to the blog.
Posted 7/27/2016 10:44am by Sandra Roush.

Hello CSA members!  I hope you are enjoying this break from the excessively hot temperatures of last week. We sure are!   This week you will be receiving; beets, carrots, bunching and cipollini onions, zucchini, blue potatoes, fresh garlic, basil and a small amount of green filet beans.   The filet beans are the newest addition to your bounty. You are receiving a smaller amount this week, with larger amounts beginning next week. Along with the green we also have a purple variety, which will be ready next week.  Filet beans are a longer, more slender variety of your standard green bean. The purple and green together make a beautiful display, however, the purple does lose its color when cooked. A little disappointing, but the flavor is amazing!   The blue potatoes do hold their color when cooked. Prepared like you would a russet, the blue potato is an amazing addition to any plate.   You are receiving the red variety of our cipollini onions.  These sweet Italian onions are best used for grilling or roasting and should be stored dry, at room temperature.  Cipollini onions will store for several months.   Basil loves this hot weather! You are receiving the standard Genovese and our lime basil this week.  The Genovese makes an amazing pesto. Just combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth, season with salt and pepper.  Lime basil is good with chicken, fish and pasta and with orzo. It’s nice turned into a syrup that you can use to make cocktails or to add to lemonade. It's really nice with fruit, think peaches and berries and melon and mango.     Also a reminder, starting last week, you have begun receiving your produce in a bag with your name on it. I ask that you return that bag the next week when you receive your next share.  You will have two bags that will be used each week to make deliveries and you will keep those at the end of the season.  They are great reusable bags and you may keep the ones you currently have.   Hope you have a good week!   Sandy

Posted 7/13/2016 12:17pm by Sandra Roush.

Newsletter for week of July 11th  

Summer breezes are something the plants don’t really need, but it sure makes working in this heat a little more bearable.  

It’s garlic time!  We have started harvesting this week and have begun selling the garlic bulbs, fresh.  For long-term storage, garlic needs to be cured (dried) so, if you receive garlic in your CSA share or purchase from the market, you will need to use it relatively quickly. You will want to store it in a paper bag, in a cool dry place. It will take approximately a month before the garlic is cured, then it will keep for 6 to 8 months.  

We have also started harvesting our Cipollini onions. This type of onion is a sweet Italian onion used for roasting or grilling.  These, like the garlic, can be cured and stored dry for 6 months of better. Allow these onions to sit out and dry or use them up within a couple of weeks.  I grilled some this weekend with our steaks and they were awesome. I cut off the tops and roots, put them in a bowl of olive oil, seasoned with Lawry’s and some dried basil, stirred to coat, then on the grill they went, for about ten minutes. They are a terrific addition to any meat.  Hope you enjoy!  

With June being so hot, we have had many issues with our cabbage.  Unfortunately, I would consider these a failed crop.  What we did manage to salvage, you will find in your CSA shares.  We are looking forward to a bumper crop of their little cousins, brussel sprouts, in the fall.  

We have green beans, tomatoes and peppers on the vine and are excited to be seeing these ready for harvest in the next couple of weeks.  We have blooms on all the squashes and cucumbers.  So much will be ready by the end of the month that we will be recruiting more help to assure the freshest harvest and availability.  

We have are first section of channels in the greenhouse full and I will be getting the second section in by the end of the week. I am looking forward to offering our hydroponically grown lettuce in a couple of weeks.  

Our chickens are doing great! We have purchased some portable fencing and will be allowing them to free range in the cabbage area next week. They need to start earning their keep!  

Have a great week!  

Sandy Roush

Farm Operations Manager

Emerald Acres

Posted 6/29/2016 11:53am by Sandra Roush.

Newsletter for week of June 27th  

It is officially summer time and lazy is the last thing we are at Emerald Acres!  Crazy kind of fits with all that is happening out here at the farm.  

Keeping things from burning up in the field is an on going task.  A lot of the areas of the farm are drip lined and are on a weekly schedule of overnight watering. Our dry crops fields, such as corn, okra and squashes are far more labor intensive, but we get them done and things are looking good.  

Again I would like to remind our CSA share members that there will be no delivery on July 6th.  All share members will receive a package this week and the week after (7/13).   

Tomatoes and peppers are blooming and have their first fruits appearing.  It won’t be long before they are ready to harvest.  Those are not the only produce just about ready to hit the markets and CSA shares.  Look for green beans, garlic, potatoes, cucumbers and basils.  

I expect to see our hydroponic lettuce ready for it’s first official harvest in three weeks.  I’m really looking forward to offering some of the freshest living lettuce available.  

Our chickens are still doing great! They are looking more like a full size chickens, with all feathers and all of them are hens. No roosters in the flock! We added a small pool to there home and they seem to love it.  They get treats from our fall harvests last year.  They love the cracked corn and sunflower seeds!  We will be adding temporary fencing soon to allow for them to get out and clean up the field after harvest.  Everybody works around here!  

Enjoy your holiday weekend!  

Sandy Roush

Farm Operations Manager

Emerald Acres

Posted 6/18/2016 4:04pm by Sandra Roush.

Newsletter for week of June 19th  

I don’t mean to go on about the heat, however, when you need to work in it everyday, it is has been noticeably excessive. With the heat and the lack of rain, watering has been a daily priority.  It was a welcome, however short I’m afraid, relief to get just under a ½ inch of rain last night.  Great timing since we had just finished all our first time plantings.  The extended forecast looks like more of the same hot and dry, so diligent watering and celebrations when it rains is in our future.  

In this heat, our chickens are also a priority. With plenty of space, shade and fresh water they are doing really well.  Better than I do most days. J With no pecking going on, I’m pretty confident that they are happy and healthy in their home. That’s always a relief!  

I do want to remind our CSA share members that there will be no delivery on July 6th.  All share members will receive a package the week before (6/29) and the week after (7/13). I hope you enjoyed the lettuce you received this week!  The lettuce in the greenhouse is not ready yet, however, I did get some starts in the high tunnel and they are coming ready for harvest.  There is just enough for our share to enjoy for the next couple of weeks and will be a nice sample of what is to come from the hydroponic system.  

We continue to supply Open Harvest with our multi-colored carrots and beets and have begun being their supplier for bunching onions as well.  These are only a few of the things we do really well, so expect to see additional Emerald Acres produce added to the Open Harvest produce selection.   Remember to follow us through the week on Facebook for photos of current produce and weekly CSA packages, as well as market information.  Great things are happening at Emerald Acres!  Don’t miss out!  

Have a great week!  

Sandy Roush 

Farm Operations Manager

Emerald Acres

Posted 6/12/2016 3:10pm by Sandra Roush.

Newsletter for week of June 13th  

With temperatures approaching 100 degrees it feels more like July!  Certainly, nothing like last year!   We have very busy at Emerald Acres!  It is that time of the season when everything is happening.  We do have all are bedding plants in, however we are still working at getting in seed for the winter squashes and okra, as well as succession planting of our carrots, beets and onions.  And there are always those pesky weeds!  With the temperatures so hot and no measureable precipitation, watering is an everyday occurrence somewhere in the field.  

Multi-colored carrots and garlic scapes are the latest on the scene here at Emerald Acres! Our carrots are sweet and so pretty in their colors of purple, white, yellow, orange and a purple haze. I know you’re going to them! What are garlic scapes? They are the flower shoots the plants send out about a month before the actual bulb is ready to harvest. They are full of delicious garlic flavor and can be used much in the same way you would use the garlic bulb. Scapes store best in the refrigerator, in a paper bag.  For those of you new to the garlic scapes, I found this website www.garlicfarmct.com to have some good information.  

Our strawberries were beautiful this year! I’m sorry to say that they are about finished producing this year, as well as the asparagus.  Since both of these starts producing in May, we are looking at offering an additional few weeks in May to our CSA shares. I would love to have your feedback on this idea!  

The issues have been fixed with the greenhouse and production has begun on our hydroponic lettuce!  With the delays, I did plant lettuce in the high tunnel and should have some lettuce available in about two weeks. With no more set backs, the hydroponic lettuce available in about the middle of July. I’m really excited about this!  

I’m happy to say that, Open Harvest is now selling our multi-colored carrots and our beets.  These two vegetables are available through out the season at Open Harvest, in our CSA shares and the farmer’s markets.  Open Harvest will also be selling our bunching onions, lettuce and other produce as the season progresses.  We are still selling smaller quantities to Blue Blood Brewery and Bread and Cup.  

The chickens are growing everyday! They are in that awkward teenage phase and timidly exploring as we open up their living environment. We are doing the best we can to keep them cool and happy!  

Have a great week!  

Sandy Roush 

Farm Operations Manager

Posted 5/27/2016 3:09pm by Sandra Roush.

Strawberry Fields Forever

Week of May 30th  

Strawberry season is in full swing and what a perfect season we are having!   We are harvesting about 100 quarts a day!  They are beautiful and delicious!  Since strawberries are an early producing perennial, harvest will begin to wind down in the next couple of weeks. Here at Emerald Acres we are growing 8 varieties and all are producing equally.  We do have 4 that are ever bearing and hope to have another harvest from those again in July.  

Our first market of the season was cancelled due to the storms that rolled in on Thursday night.  What a disappointment!  It’s like being all dressed up with no place to go.  So, now we are even more excited for this week. Tuesday we will be at 13th and “F” street market from 4pm to 7pm and Thursday we’re at Fallbrook Market from 4:30pm to 8pm.  Hope to see you there!  

Wednesday marks are first CSA deliveries! All members will receive their first member share at their identified location.  This does include our half share members as well.  Produce available at this time is beets, carrots, onions, radishes, greens, strawberries, rhubarb, asparagus and some perennial herbs. There will be some addition items available for purchase such as fresh farm eggs and hand made candles and luffa soaps from Charlie Noble.  I look forward to seeing our members on Wednesday!  

Planting continues at Emerald Acres. With all the lovely rain we’ve received this week, we have struggled to get the rest of our bedding plants in. We have peppers and eggplant waiting for their turn.  Looks like we will get a chance towards the end of the week.  The bedding plants don’t seem to mind.  They are large and starting to flowers, so the delay to the field will not create a delay to the table.  

Hope you all have a safe and happy holiday weekend!  

Sandy Roush

Farm Operations Manager

Emerald Acres

Posted 5/22/2016 1:16pm by Sandra Roush.

It’s all about that beet, ‘bout that beet. Week of May 23rd     The fabulous, often overlooked, root vegetable. Apparently, even by it’s growers. I neglected to mention them last week.  Since they are ready for harvest, let me tell you a little bit about the beet. Did you know that Beets are high in immune-boosting vitamin C, fiber, and essential minerals like potassium (essential for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (which is good for your bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas)? Beets also contain the B vitamin folate, which helps reduce the risk of birth defects.  Besides that, they are delicious!  If you’re like me, your initial reaction to beets is, no thank you. Then a friend cooked some up for me to try.  She simply chopped up the beets, tossed them with some olive oil and salt and pepper and roasted them. They were delicious! This is my preferred method, however, the fine connoisseur of beets will tell you that when you cut them, before cooking, they bleed or lose their color. To get the full appreciation for look of the beet, you need to boil or bake with their skin intact, as well as the ends trimmed, but not removed.  Beets store well, just place them in a plastic bag in your refrigerator and they will last for weeks.   Here at Emerald Acres we take our beets seriously!  We grow 3 varieties and have them on a succession schedule so they are available throughout the season.  We grow the “Red Ace”, which is your typical “blood red” beet, the “Chioggia Guardsmark”, which is bright red with purple and white rings and offers a sweet flavor, and the “Touchstone Gold”, which are a golden yellow and the sweetest of the three.   Join us this Thursday, May 26th at the Fallbrook Farmer’s Market! The market is located at 570 Fallbrook Blvd. and begins at 4:30 and closes at 8:00. First markets are always exciting, the weather is forecasted to be great and we have some terrific produce ready to sell! Load up on some fresh asparagus and strawberries, as well as beets, for your holiday weekend!   Our chickens are doing great!  Still healthy and adorable!  Their wing feathers are starting to become more predominate, however they still look like little balls for fur.  They grow fast, so I expect to stop referring to them as adorable here pretty soon.   This time of year is always the busiest!  We are planting, harvesting and weeding, just to mention a few.  This week we are harvesting, kale, spinach, collards, radishes, parisienne carrots, bunching onions, beets, asparagus, strawberries and a variety of perennial herbs.   Have a good week!   Sandy Roush Farm Operations Manager Emerald Acres

Posted 5/13/2016 1:25pm by Sandra Roush.

Everything is growing at Emerald Acres! Including our excitement! Farmer’s Markets begin with Fallbrook market on May 26th and “F” Street market on the 31st. Our first CSA deliveries begin on the 1st of June. We are looking forward to getting to work with our customers more closely this year through our CSA memberships and our new website. With updates through our weekly newsletter, weekly contact with the farmer at CSA pick up and several tours and events at the farm, I hope to make our members feel like they are part of the farm.  Each week I will be posting a news letter keeping you up to date with what’s happening on and off the farm, as well as what we are harvesting and some suggested recipes for our produce.  Our website is new, so you will see periodic additions to keep you better informed and give you an opportunity to make suggestions and comments as well.   This week we are harvesting asparagus, kale, spinach, collards, green onions and radishes. We have been selling these harvests to a few local restaurants and donating to local shelters. The expectations is that, at the start of markets and CSA pick ups, we will have available for you the produce mentioned above, as well as, carrots, strawberries, bedding plants and a nice selection of herbs.  We will also have additional add-on items available at CSA pick up, such as farm fresh eggs, hand-made soaps, candles and wren houses.   We added a 24’ x 48’ greenhouse to our operation this spring.  Outfitted with the latest in environmental and hydroponic equipment, the greenhouse is dedicated to hydroponic lettuce with the potential to produce 192 heads a week. We are looking forward to providing our local customers with high quality “living lettuce” through the entire year. No end of the growing season in the temperature controlled greenhouse!   Our new flock of 50 hens arrived a day ahead of schedule, but we were ready for them.  All are healthy and are adorable!  Looks for updates as they grow!   For more frequently posted updates and pictures, please check us out on facebook at emerald acres farm.  We love to show our work and cool things that are happening on the farm!   I look forward to visiting  with you through the season and sharing the happenings of Emerald Acres.   Have a good week,   Sandy Roush Farm Operations Manager Emerald Acres

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700 NW 91st ST. Lincoln, NE 68528