Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

First Seeds

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

Fear not faithful HOG members!  February finds us farming as best we can with the ground blanketed beneath snow ice and slush; the soil cold and hard as rock.  We have nearly completed the conversion of our second Allis G tractor to electric power! One less gas tank to fill, and far fewer fumes.  The hydraulic lift for the toolbar will also result in fewer trips to our beloved chiropractor!

2013 Allis Chalmers G Conversion

Saturday we were snuggled in the seedling house sowing the first onions, lettuce and herbs.  The parsley seed gave off a particularly delightful perfume.  It sure felt good to get some dirt under our fingernails again!  -farmer Sean


feast of field and forest tonight at 6pm

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

October 13th 6pm 260 Beaver Dam Road Brookhaven

October 13th 6pm 260 Beaver Dam Road Brookhaven

Lost and Found
Blue Point Brewing Company
Anthony Nappa Wines

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

The Solar Power Workshop will be postponed until Sunday August 19th, see you all then!

Honey Bear Raffle!

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

img_4962Starting this week at your pick-ups, we will have raffle tickets for sale. Tickets are $10 each, or you can buy 3 tickets for $25! FIrst prize wins the 17 pound honey bear! Second prize is 2 16 oz jars. All filled with delicious and nutritious raw organic honey from the hives here at H.O.G. Good Luck everyone and thank you for buying tickets, proceeds will help us invest some much needed time and energy into our hives for increased honey production in the future!

Vernal Equinox

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012


Day and Night are balanced, Spring has arrived.  This egg-ceptionally warm weather has been keeping us very busy.  It has been so warm for so many weeks now we have moved many of our plantings forward and are trying to beat the heat that is sure to arrive early while simultaneously protected our investment of seed from potential late spring frosts that lurk in the subconcious of all farmers and gardeners.  What does this year hold in store for us all?  2012 is a year with a lot of potential.  We are excited about the way things have been shaping up for us so far…how are they shaping up for you all? Stay tuned for some spring work days coming up, we want to see a lot of volunteers helping out in the fields this year, making HOG the best it can be!

Trough Week 16

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

September 7, 2009 Share 16
Whats Happening At the Farm

September at last! August always stretches out before my eyes, a seemingly endless desert of heat, humidity, dry crops, and blood thirsty mosquitoes. This August was no exception. September is a glass of iced tea with a sprig of mint for my soul. We now have to start preparing for the end of the season in earnest. This monday the last plantings for the share will be going into the ground. Arugula, radishes, spinach, head lettuce, and salad mix will grow over the next few weeks until the short, cool days of October turn the farm into a giant outdoor refrigerator. Plant growth slows dramatically and frosty nights give extra sweetness to the kale, spinach, and other greens.
Our mowed down corn beds have proven to be quite attractive to Canada Geese. Luckily these all seem to be migrating flocks, and not the geese that plant themselves in a plush spot and devour crops. Also, we have a trained sheepdog working part time on the farm to scare off any geese lingering around in the mornings. Having eaten their fill of corn, we hope they will get the hint and not return to threaten the fall greens.
On friday I picked up what looked like an egg shaped clod of dirt. It was surprisingly light and after gently chipping an opening, I discovered that it was hollow, the walls were amazingly thin yet strong, so it was actually a tiny sort of egg made of dirt. Inside was the dried up shell of a june bug and attached to the inside wall the tiny egg cases of what seems like would be a species of parasitic wasp. A female wasp had captured the june bug, paralyzed it, buried it in the ground, laid her eggs on it, and built the cocoon of dirt around it with her saliva. Being just an amateur entomologist, I don’t know for sure what the life cycle of the species of wasp I imagine this is, but the young wasps seem to have eaten their fill, based on the sorry state of the june bug, and moved on. A true diamond in the rough!

In Season Now
lettuce or escarole
napa cabbage
kale or chard
On The Way
sweet potatoes
baby turnips and greens

Pick Your Own
Pick your own items are available for you to harvest at any time, as long as it’s not raining. Look for the signs marking the beds!

Cherry Tomatoes-1 pint
Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary, Chives, Mint
Flowers- No limit

Buried Treasure-a fast farmers dinner
Steam up some edamame halfway to done
Chop an Onion and begin to sautee in a skillet with olive oil.
Dice up a handful of winter squash and add it right away to the onion
Add a chopped pepper, and some salt and black pepper, and hot pepper if you want it spicy.
Pop the edamame into the skillet
Add a few splashes of Rice Vinegar and Soysauce to get a little steam going.
Check to make sure the squash bits are getting soft.
Chop up a cabbage and add it to the skillet, with a little bit more Rice Vinegar and maybe some Soysauce.
Cook until the cabbage is all stewed down nice and soft.
Serve on short grain brown rice and enjoy hunting for the bits of vegetable treasure amidst all that cabbage!

Waffles for Dinner
If you have one of those wavy bladed tools for making crinkle french fries, you can make waffle cut fries too. Just cut a slice off the end of the potato, then roll the potato ¼ of the way and cut the next slice so the crinkles are perpendicular to the previous cut. Practice makes perfect!
Waffle cut potatoes, beets and carrots
Waffle chop as much garlic as you like
Toss in a pan with olive oil and salt
Roast in the oven at 400 degrees fahrenheit for 45 minutes to an hour.
Don’t burn your mouth!

Trough 11

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

lateblight09August 3, 2009 Share 11
Whats Happening At the Farm
It is official: late blight has more or less wiped out our tomato crop for this year. A few weeks back we noticed the indicative brown lesions on the stem and leaves of a dozen plants. We pulled those plants out along with a buffer of surrounding plants, leaving 50 foot gaps in three out of our five 400 foot beds. As we waited for the shipment of the copper-based fungicide which might have helped suppress the spread of the disease, we had a week of two downpours: 2.5 inches of rain on Tuesday, and 3.5 inches of rain on Thursday! Unprecedented! Those wet conditions were perfect for the spread of the spores throughout our entire planting of tomatoes.
The paste tomatoes were the hardest hit and we are cancelling both canning days. The cherry tomatoes have the least damage and we will attempt to pick some for the shares in the next weeks. This crop failure is especially disappointing to us for several reasons. We put a disproportionate amount of work into our tomato field. Starting in the spring of 2008 we left the area that would be this years tomato field fallow to flush out weeds and leave no crop residue for disease or pests to survive on. In late summer ‘08 we planted a thick stand of rye and vetch to enrich and protect the soil over the fall winter and spring. This spring we mowed the rye and vetch with a special mower and raked the hay by hand over the 12,000 square foot area. Over 650 tomato plants were planted by hand and fertilized individually with a custom blend of compost, fertilizer, and minerals. The young plants were growing beautifully and every week we would add a new level of twine to the trellis to keep up with the fast growing plants. This was the first year we timed the trellising perfectly and didn’t have to lift up overhanging tomato plants that had grown feet in height since the previous trellising!
Many of you remember last years tomatoes. The plants were so healthy and the fruits so delicious, we collected seeds from all of our 42 heirloom varieties. These seeds had a fullness and sheen you don’t see in ordered seed, and they grew beautiful strong seedlings that were the offspring off those wonderful 2008 tomatoes. Not only have we lost the 2009 tomato crop, but we lost the opportunity to continue saving our own seed and selecting those plants and fruits which perform best in our unique location.
Late blight, Phytophtera infestans, spreads fast but occurs rarely. It seems that a perfect storm of unprecedented
rainfall and the unwise practice of shipping large quantities of unhealthy tomato plants from southern states to be sold cheaply at big box stores conspired to create a tomato crisis in the Northeast. Luckily late blight doesn’t survive over the winter this far north, so we would have to experience a fresh importation of spores from the south.
Can this crazy weather be blamed on global warming? Perhaps being denied the unparalleled flavor of fresh local heirloom tomatoes will be the wake up call we all need to drive less, use less electricity, recycle, and only buy tomato plants in the spring from local growers, like at the H.O.G. during our Mother’s Day plant Sale!

In Season Now
Sweet Corn
Green Beans-if you have too many, just trim, boil in water for 1 minute, dunk in ice water and freeze! You’ll be able to enjoy green beans all winter!
Zucchini and Summer Squash-to save this, shred in the food processor and freeze-great to add to soups, muffins, or to make zucchini appetizers.

On The Way

Pick Your Own
Pick your own items are available for you to harvest at any time, as long as it’s not raining. Look for the signs marking the beds!
Green Beans
Basil-only pick the tops, and don’t pick too much off one plant! Please go down the beds to find big, healthy, unpicked plants!
Parsley- flat or curly–don’t pick too much off one plant! Please go down the beds to find big, healthy, unpicked plants!
Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary, Chives, Mint
Flowers-our zinnias, sunflowers, and other summer flowers are finally starting to bloom! No limit

Brine Fermenting is an ancient and wonderful tool for adding flavor and shelf life to many vegetables. Cucumbers and cabbage can each be transformed into pickles and sauerkraut with a little patience and a few simple ingredients. The brine solution creates an environment for lactobacillus and other bacteria to proliferate and outcompete other harmful bacteria that cause with food spoiling. The bacteria create lactic acid which gives pickles and sauerkraut their distinctive tang, without using vinegar. These bacteria are naturally found in the human digetive tract where they help break down what you eat and keep you healthy!
For pickles:
-Any amount of fresh, cleaned cucumbers
-Garlic cloves, as much as you want
-brine solution: 1 shy tablespoon kosher salt per cup filtered water (chlorine kills the development of the beneficial bacteria)

Start with fresh, scrubbed cukes and dishsoap clean utensils to minimize contamination. Put the cukes and garlic in a ceramic or food grade plastic bucket. If you can get fresh sprigs of dill add them to the bottom, whole. Chopped or dried dill will float at the top and be problematic in contributing to mold growing on the surface of the brine. Add brine solution until cukes are covered. Fill a plastic ziploc bag with brine solution and use it to weigh down the cukes so they stay submerged. Or if you can find a plate that fits just inside the bucket you can use that weighted down with a lidded jar of water. It it VERY IMPORTANT that the cukes stay under the brine, it is contact with air that will cause them to rot, as long as they are in the brine, the lacto-bacteria can work their magic. Cover the container with a dishrag and in about a week you can pull out a pickle and taste test! A scum may form on the surface of the water and should be scraped off as soon as you notice it.

For sauerkraut:
Clean and chop cabbage, then add cabbage to ceramic or food grade plastic container in layers about an inch thick, sprinkling with kosher salt between each layer and pounding cabbage gently to pack it down and bruise the leaves. The salt should pull some moisture from the cabbage. When you are done, add water until the cabbage is just covered. Taste the brine, it should be distinctly salty but not unpalatably so. Weigh down the cabbage like you do with the cucmbers, removing any stray floaties of cabbage leaf at the surface.

Both of these fermentations work better at slightly cooler temperatures than we are currently experiencing. Put them in a cool, clean basement or garage where it is more like 65 degrees than 75 or 80 degrees. The warmer it is the faster everything happens. Good Luck!

No e-mail

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

In our constant battle with technology, we lost our newsletter management program, so are unable to send group e-mails.  If you are reading this, you have sought the Trough on your own, congratulations.  Our apologies and we hope to have things back to normal by next week.  We can still receive your e-mails and respond to them on an individual basis, so feel free to contact us as usual.

HOG Trough 8

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

July 21, 2008 Share 8
A reminder to please park your car at the barn and walk to the farm for pick your own. Driving creates a problem for farm vehicles and tractors trying to work and is dangerous to the many children. If you are disabled you may drive of course but otherwise please respect this rule.Also please always keep your dogs on a leash. No dogs are permitted onto the farm fields regardless of how well behaved you may feel your dog is. Please tie them to the fence outside of the farm before going in to pick.
Whats Happening At the Farm
Our Garlic Festival this past weekend was great! We had over 150 people come out to celebrate the wonder of garlic. Thanks to Ilene Gelfer for doing all of the grunt work, and Ryan Pilger for standing over a hot grill for four hours on a 90 degree day, turning out chicken, sausages, eggplant, and zucchini. Painters Restaurant, Avino’s, Porters, and The Bellport all cooked over 20 heads each of H.O.G garlic into four delectable dishes which they donated for our enjoyment. Blue Point Brewery donated refreshing summer ale and HOG brewmeister Matt Bollerman provided several delicious varieties of home brew. The now infamous Tom Stock provided garlic information, crafts, and entertaining garlic theatre. Jen Fox kept the kids busy painting shells and coloring HOG t-shirts. Over the whole event wafted the harmonious strummings of Justin Flagg, the brothers Gelfer (Matt and Sam), and Reiny Schuhmann. The crown jewel of the afternoon was the T-shirt contest between Dan Gelfer and Don David, with Dan emerging triumphant as the crowd favorite. Thanks also to each and every one who came and brought potluck dishes and desserts. Ticket sales raised nearly $1500.00 towards our capital improvement fund. Past projects were deer fencing, the tractor barn, and the purchase of a new cultivating tractor. Some capital improvement projects in the works are solar panels for our new electric tractor and improved sprinkler heads for our irrigation system to further increase our farm’s fuel efficiency!
-Sean, Jill, Adam, Steve, Bryan, Ezra, Jamie, and Brian

In Season Now

Purslane-Succulent addition to salads, eaten raw, purslane has the highest concentration of omega-3’s of any leafy plant
Sweet Corn-yes! But be prepared for the familiar caterpillar munching on the tip. Just cut off the tip and enjoy!
Garlic-these cloves are grade B-they won’t store, but they are great for eating in the next month or so!
Zucchini or Summer Squash
Onions- a variety of colors and flavors

On The Way
Cherry Tomatoes

Pick Your Own
Pick your own items are available for you to harvest at any time, as long as it’s not raining. Look for the signs marking the beds!  Pick lightly from each plant to encourage bountiful growth and don’t pull anything up by the roots!
Dill and Cilantro are not currently available but the flowering dill heads can be picked if you want to use them for pickling
Raspberries-1 pint limit
Basil—no limit, pinch the tops off to pick please! Have mercy on the first plants in the bed and walk further down the bed to the less picked-on plants please. Pick a lot and freeze some pesto!
Chives-no limit
Mint-no limit
Oregano-no limit
Thyme-no limit
Parsley-5 stalk limit, only pick 1-2 stalks per plant please!
Flowers-20 stem limit zinnias, snapdragons, amaranth, sunflowers, strawflowers, rudbeckia

HOG Farm Calendar
Board meetings are at 9am the third Saturday of every month at the Red Barn in the summer

National Mead Day Saturday August 2nd 11-2pm
NOFA Long Island Field Day!

NOFA-NY Members $5/Non-Members $15
Celebrate National Mead Day with the HOG. Mead is honey wine! First we’ll learn about bees and their place on an organic farm, and sample some HOG wildflower honey. Then with Matt Bollerman and Matt Bobiak (official HOG homebrewers) we’ll learn about the history of mead, sample some local, Long Island brews, and sample our own HOG meads from last year’s Mead Day. We will start a must, rack a mead to secondary, add herbs, spices, fruits, and bottle a mead from secondary, showing the entire mead-building process.
Tomato Canning Workshop Saturday August 23rd 11-???
$5 Covers the cost of the propane, lemon juice, and ice! Please bring your own jars and lids! Come spend the day with Jill and learn the old-fashioned art of putting up tomatoes. Last year we canned about 65 jars! We split what we can so everyone goes home with something! Bring a snack and be prepared to spend the day, it can take awhile, but its worth it!

Share 8 recipe

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

Zucchini Bread- in case it’s piling up (more…)