Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sun? Sun? Sun? Perhaps it will be all okay...

Well, things are looking a bit more "sunny" this week.  Literally and figuratively!  Not only is the actual sun predicted to shine today and mostly prevail (except for apparently Sunday) for the following week, we seem to be making progress on the farm with our "emergency" drying procedures aimed at well, actually bringing into harvest some of the crops we've been working all summer to grow!
The ducks, however, thought all the rain was quack-tastic!

This past week we were able to create an "emergency bean dryer" out of my father's dump truck.  Mounted some pegboard up a few inches above the bed, installed some high-powered fans and a board to direct the air under the peg board and "voila" a bean dryer!  What's even better?  It seems to be working!  Our truckload of VERY soggy Rockwell Bean plants are, dare I say, dry enough to thrash perhaps even today!
Which is a VERY good thing considering we have at least 2 more truckloads of soggy Rockwell plants to go!  Not to mention the whole other 2 acres of different bean varieties!
I was also starting to panic about the garlic.  Which is normally just fine hanging out in the barn this time of year.  But not on this wet, wet fall!  The air was so wet that everything was starting to get damp, damp, damp.  And garlic doesn't like that!  Luckily, we had an extra cooler room to spare, which when rigged with a heater and a dehumidifier and what do we get - much happier garlic! (Not to mention a pleasantly warm, stinky room to hang out in!).
And even better, we had dry enough weather the past few days to get our first attempt at potato harvest!  Yee-haw!  We didn't have too much time and not near enough people, but...we were able to harvest 2 bins (1000+ total pounds) of potatoes out of two rows.  Wow!  That's some yield folks!
The jury is still out on the winter squash harvest - we need some more sun and warmth for that crop, for sure - but overall, definitely a more positive week to be a farmer this week than last!  Thank you sunshine!
But, I know you guys are all about one thing.  What yummy goodies can we expect to see at market today?  So, let's get right on it.
Shell beans - "pre-shelled."

One thing we are bringing in nice selection this week are shell beans. 
Shell beans, which most American's are not familiar with, are one of those great old-fashioned simple foods that use to be on everybody's plate come this time of year.  They aren't complicated - just beans that need to be shelled.  And oh so pretty and yummy. 
We will have several varieties to choose from and some recipes.  But basically, the deal with shell bean's is they are like a dry bean, only they aren't dry yet.  Which means they not only cook up quickly (figure 20 to 30 minutes, max), but they hold their shape well and are super sweet and creamy.  You do need to plan a bit of time to shell them.  But they come out of their pods quickly and it's a fun thing to do while drinking a glass of wine and enjoying a little fall sunshine!  We particularly enjoy them tossed with fresh pasta, fresh garlic, some sauteed kale greens and topped with a bit of Little Brown Farm's fabulous goat cheese!  (Available at Bayleaf in Coupeville for those of you who don't go to the Bayview Farmer's Market).
And now that I've rambled on WAY too long, let's get to the list!
Coming to the Coupeville and Bayview farmer's markets TODAY:
From Willowood Farm:
* Garlic - both seed (for planting) and food (for eating).  Nice selection of both!
* Head Lettuce - they are huge!
* Shell Beans - we have 3 kinds!  Peregion, Cannelini and Black Coco.
* Leek bunches
* Onions - Torpedoes (fabulous grilled!), Ailsa Crag (big and sweet) and Cippolinis (red & white!)
* Baby Pac Choi
* Kale  - Multiple kinds!
* Rainbow Chard
* Collards
* Potatoes of all sizes and colors
* Red Cabbage
* Some winter squash (just picked yesterday, needs to sit on your kitchen counter and look pretty and "ripen" a bit more!
* A few peppers!
* Tomatillos!
* A few tomatoes...
* And more...
From our friends at Prairie Bottom Farm
* Cucumbers galore - pickling, slicing, lemon, etc...
* Summer Squash
* Beet bunches
* Carrots
* Dill
* Spinach
* Arugula
* Lettuce Mix
* Chives
* Basil
* Scallions
And more...
Hope to see you at the market!
Farmer Georgie
Willowood Farm of Ebey's Prairie

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Can it GET any wetter?

It's wet.  Really, really wet.  I  haven't heard any report on how many inches we've gotten in the last few days, but it's been a lot.  We are SOGGY!  And with a currently predicted 90 percent chance of rain for today!
Wow.  And not in a good way.  Well, good for the late fall/overwintered seeds I planted out on Tuesday.  But NOT GOOD for the dry beans and winter squash that are trying to dry and ripen in the field. I told a friend of mine who was trying to grow harvest grains in this soggy, soggy September, it's not over til it's over and the last plant from the fields are harvested.  (My friend responded by remarking, "Farmers are such gamblers!"  Well yes, we are.  Not to mention stubborn.).
Anyways, what can we do but carry on?  So we shall.  And are off to market today despite the likelihood of a really really soggy day (hence much less customers).  But hey, we've got plastic pants!
So, bring out the rubber boots and the umbrellas and the rain jackets, and head on down to commiserate with us!  It's PacNW fun time!
Coming to market today.....

From Willowood Farm:
- Head lettuce
- Beets

- Onions
- Potatoes

- Garlic
- Cabbage
- Baby Pac Choi
- Green (but not green) beans
- Shell Beans
- Garbanzo Beans
- A few tomatoes

And more....
From Prairie Bottom Farms

- Spinach (Coupeville only)
- Arugula (Coupeville only)
- Lettuce Mix (Coupeville only)

- Carrots
- Cucumbers
- Summer squash
- Dill
- Basil
And from Mikey at Whidbey Green Goods (Bayview only)
- Apples
- Mushrooms
- Tomatoes
- Figs
- Green Onions
See ya in the rain!
Farmer Georgie
Willowood Farm of Ebey's Prairie

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Farm tour this weekend!  Enuff said!  Hope to see you at the farm!
(p.s. we will have a small "selection" of goodies at the Bayview and Coupeville markets if you can't make the farm tour!).
Farmer Georgie out....

Saturday, September 4, 2010


DON'T FORGET - It's the Whidbey Island Farm Tour next weekend, Sept. 11 & 12th.  Willowood Farm will be open to the public for the farm tour (we are not normally!).  So come check out the farm!  We will be focusing on garlic, garlic, garlic so come check out all our cool varieties, taste some garlic, make some braids, wander around our historic farm and play with the turkeys! 
And now back to our regularly scheduled topic....

The pay-off!  Big, beautiful bulbs!
That's right, garlic gets me so excited that I have to say it 3 times!  In bold!  And capitalized! With exclamation points!
Who DOESN'T love garlic?  (Okay, I know some people don't and that is just, I'm sorry...plain weird!).
Well, at Willowood Farm, we love garlic!  Enough to grow a whole heck of a lot of it.  Like about 20 varieties!
You see, there is garlic and then their is GARLIC!  We grow the good stuff.  Of which there are 100s of varieties.  Romantic names like Porcelains and Rocamboles and Glazed Purple Stripes.  All with big cloves, big bulbs and outrageous taste.
Garlic is a crop you wait for for a long long time.  You plant it in October and then wait, wait, wait....Finally come July you start harvesting.  Then you frantically harvest, clean and hang to cure.  Then you wait.  Then you start cutting down bulbs and trimming roots.  Then finally you have THE WHOLE CROP in.  That's where we are right now.  And so today, we will be bringing out the BIG GUN displays.  Lots and lots of garlic.  Food grade and seed grade (For planting) garlic.
Hoeing young garlic plants in April
As far as seed grade garlic, well, that's the big stuff!  We sort our garlic by size, because, well in garlic, "size really does matter!"  At least if you are planting it.  Big garlic planted combined with decent growing practices should result in big garlic harvested.  Small garlic planted combined with even the best growing practices will result in only slightly larger bulbs.  If you continue to save back your biggest and best to replant eventually you will get big garlic.  So when we sell you big garlic it represents multiple years of our own "saving the biggest and best" so you don't have to! Not to mention, our garlic (we've been growing garlic for going on 12 years now), is well adapted to PacNW conditions, so it makes it a good choice for local home gardeners!
So if you want to come buy some garlic to eat, or buy some garlic to plant in your own backyard, come check out the markets today.  But never fear, if you miss us at the markets, we will be featuring garlic at the farm tour next weekend, not to mention we will continue bringing garlic to the markets can also email me directly and I can pack an order for you to either pick-up, ship or deliver.  Just email me at
And other goodies coming to today's markets...
From Willowood Farm:
- Potatoes - multiple kinds
- Chard
- Beans, beans, beans
- Shelling peas!
- Beets
- Onions
- Leeks
- Red Cabbage
- Head Lettuce
- Shelling beans (Rockwells!)
- Fresh chickpea bunches
From Prairie Bottom Farms
- Summer squash
- Scallions
- Carrots
- Dill
- More good stuff....

See ya at market!
Farmer Georgie
Willowood farm of Ebey's Prairie