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Growing More Than Produce This Season…

 

For anyone who hasn’t already heard the news we are excited to announce we’ll be welcoming one more farmer to the family this fall!  Last week’s blog talked alot about how much we’re growing the farm this year…more acres, more varieties, more equipment, more buildings and inevitably more bills, loans & leases to accompany them.  Our biggest expansion project, however, will be arriving in September…yes, September….the start of apple harvest (aka the busiest time of year).  So with full fields, full plates and full hearts we’re plowing forward executing some of the biggest changes yet in our operation- we just may need to re-think our tagline from ‘Grow With Us’ to ‘Let Us Do the Growing, We’re Obviously Already Insane.’

Crop it Like It’s Hot.

Hey, you asked for summer weather- and Mother Nature has delivered!  And while it may be a little hotter than you’d like, these temperatures will do alot to catch us up after the dreary slow starting Spring we had.  And now that we’re in full swing with strawberries we’re getting lot’s of questions at the Gazebo about what’s coming this season and we’re happy to report the answer is: everything!  After last year’s stonefruit crop was close to wiped out by frost, we’ll have TONS of sweet cherries and peaches for you this season…just to give you a very general timeline, here’s the 30 day forecast:  sweet cherries, raspberries, blueberries and some early veggies ready in about 2 weeks (around 4th of July), sweet corn and the remainder of the summer veggies on deck around mid-July, and peaches/nectarines/plums following at the end of the month.  Stay posted on the website, Facebook and this blog with more details on everything in-season.

Kernels of Truth.

This is another thread you’ll find in this blog and it’s purpose is to share information about the methods of modern agriculture with the general public.  We’ll debunk some common misconceptions (no, organic does NOT mean ‘unsprayed!’….we’ll cover this another time), shed some light on cutting edge growing practices (this ain’t your grandfather’s ‘plant yer seeds and let ’em grow’ kinda farming) and hopefully educate our customers aka the end consumers of our products on some of the how’s, what’s and why’s of growing food in the 21st century.  This week’s topic is something no one wants to think about but EVERYBODY should: food safety!  Last week we spent a collective 18 hrs getting trained in the FSMA (Food Safety & Modernization Act) standards & regulations.  This is the first and most sweeping federal reform overseen by the FDA to ensure the US food supply is safe.  Many of these practices have already been in place under buyer-mandated certifications such as GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) and other regulatory certifications.  In a nutshell this movement strives to minimize the risks of food safety hazards in every aspect of production- from planting all the way through to harvesting, packaging, storing, delivering and selling.  And MOST of these standards make total sense and we’re proud to comply and enforce these measures on our farm.  Already certified under GAP, our farm created and maintains a farm food safety plan which outlines the standard operating procedures in place for all the day to day activities we conduct on the farm.  Logs of these activities are documented and we pass annual inspections & audits to verify that we in fact carry out the safety measures outlined in our plan.  Although the plan is obviously focused on identifying and PREVENTING problems before they arise, it also serves as a blueprint on how to handle any mishaps in the event that there IS an issue somewhere in the production chain.  All LaMora Farms employees are trained regularly and we are constantly looking to adopt new measures which even further our standards for safety and environmental responsibility.  At the end of the day the food we produce is the food we put on our own table and feed our own children – you can be sure this is an area that matters ALOT to us- and it’s our goal to be as transparent as possible with our customers about it.  We urge customers to be aware and informed – many sellers can’t answer questions on how the food they are selling has been produced…we’re proud to say that we can!!   We don’t bring up the topic to scare anyone – or to imply that anywhere else you buy your food is not safe – but avoiding the topic doesn’t make the issue disappear so it’s worth the conversation.  That being said, always feel free to ASK us about how we grow OUR produce! 🙂

Let’s Eat.

We’ve neglected to mention that this isn’t just blog-Sunday, it’s Father’s Day!!  So a very happy Dad’s Day to all the hard-working, amazing guys out there!  In honor of dear old dad, this week’s LaMora Family Favorite Recipe will be right up his alley- no long tricky recipe, no 15 step process… just short, sweet and most importantly, 50% bacon.   If you’ve never tried Bacon-Wrapped Grilled Asparagus, then you’re in for a treat!  This never fails combo is the quickest and easiest recipe we’ll ever post so here goes:  Take a small bundle of asparagus (2-3 thick spears or several thin spears) and wrap bacon all the way around the bunch covering the spears entirely. You can secure with tooth picks but we found this step wasn’t even necessary.  Then grill till the bacon is cooked through – the asparagus inside will be soft but firm and the bacon will be, well, bacon- ’nuff said.  So give them a try, we promise your taste buds will thank you.  And while we’re largely dedicated to featuring healthy recipes on here, there are exceptions to every rule….life is short, eat the bacon. And like everything else, you can blame it on dad.

See you next Sunday, and until then stop by the Garden Gazebo for some delicious homegrown strawberries! And as always, thank you for taking the time to ‘Grow With Us!’