Burge Organic Farm

Take Care, Eat Well!

Burge Organic Farm cultivates certified USDA Organic Produce on 16 beautiful acres in Mansfield, Georgia. The farm is situated in the heart of a 1000 acre plantation that has been in the same family since 1809. 

You can taste our produce by visiting one of the two farmers markets we frequent, or by purchasing a share in our farm's CSA Program.

Potatoes

I hope today finds you in air-conditioned comfort. I was all set to write a treatise on the metaphysics of growing squash, but as usual, we've run short on time. Next week, prepare to become illuminated to the mystical properties of cucumbers.


Today is a big day on the farm- Potato harvest day. We are preparing to ascend the hill to one of our larger fields to do battle with anywhere from 3000 to 5000 pounds of potatoes. Up until this point, we've been harvesting 100 pounds at a time using bent backs and pitchforks. Today, we break out the artillery: our hydraulic-driven potato digger that we share with another farmer down the road. 


There is a special kind of pain that comes from harvesting thousands of potatoes by hand in June. By the end of the day, you are crawling on your hands and knees, dirt covering crevices you didn't know about before as you are broiled in the convection oven that is created by the evaporating freshly turned soil. 


The potato digger eases the pain to a large degree, by lifting the spuds from under the ground, but we are responsible getting them from ground to box and then on a truck and out of the field, and it's still June in Georgia.  It's amazing how the act of bending over and putting something in a box can add up to a vast usage of time when multiplied enough. The math equation I think is: Too many potatoes times unrelenting furnace heat divided by not enough hours in the day plus weeds taken to the power of infinity equals potato harvest. You'll have to check my math on that one.    


We have extra hands on deck. We are gloved, sun screened, and have donned all matter of goofy sunhats. We are ready to sweat. With any luck, we'll be done in time to watch Mexico beat Brasil at 3:00 today (ok maybe not, but one can hope). It's time to go full potato. I hope you all have a tubular week.


This Spud's For You,

-Cory



Spring CSA Begins!

News and Notes

Welcome to Spring!

Hello from your farmer. It's good to be back. After a tough slog of a winter we are delighted to be moving forward again. It never ceases to amaze me how different a farm can look in just a few days during the spring. Last week was spent sloshing around in cold muddy fields, unplanting some 1,500 tomato plants and protecting everything else from the impending frost. This week we are rolling in piles of luscious red strawberries, gorgeous carrots, and weeds that seem to have grown overnight. We are beyond ready for the rushing pace of spring. Today We are busy replanting those tomatoes, as well as finishing up the harvest for the week.

No one likes to unplant tomatoes... 

No one likes to unplant tomatoes... 

Apprentices Becca and Josh providing a new happy home for our transient tomatoes

Apprentices Becca and Josh providing a new happy home for our transient tomatoes

Apprentice Chelsea keeps it between the lines

Apprentice Chelsea keeps it between the lines

Meanderings

Happy Earth Day! This just happens to be my favorite day of the year. Most people spend it planting a tree, or enjoying the Google Doodle. I'll spend it doing environmentally insensitive things like killing thousands of baby plants with a piece of metal, or chopping up grass and soil trying to make it submit to my will. Mostly, I'll just be outside trying to do too many things at once. Hopefully the rain holds off...

The feeling most of us get from the 22nd of April is a vague and unfulfilling call to action (Yay Earth!). Earth Day is unusual as a holiday because there is an uneasy feeling of guilt built into it. Many of us try and make changes based on that guilt, and while that is an important step in the right direction, I would argue that it misses the point of an "Earth Day" entirely. It's easy to be a green cheerleader. It's easy to have strong opinions about recycling. It's easy to buy a hybrid car. It's hard to understand the worldwide extent of ecological damage that happens everyday by human machinations. It's hard to fathom that we are all connected and interdependent on this complex biological machine operating within very narrow margins, and that we are potentially the monkey wrench in that machine. It's hard to find an easy answer. Global stewardship is not something that human beings evolved to handle. Limiting growth is anathema to our very nature. Environmentalism is not an inherited trait.   

Although this is a day of the year that is somewhat cliche and often overlooked, it is more important then we may give it credit for. Sure, it's not a Hallmark holiday. The economy doesn't get a boost. Wall Street is't banking on earnings from celebrating environmental awareness. We can bathe in conciliatory quick fixes or we can sulk despondent, waiting for an environmental apocalypse that may or may not come. Honestly, I do a little of both. But what makes today special for me is that I make a concerted effort to ignore all of that, and just enjoy how special it is that we live in such an outstanding and surreally beautiful world. That's it. Just the act of considering how small we are in the grand scheme of the universe, and that out of all of the variables and black holes and asteroids we have wound up in a place that not only supports life, but enables it to thrive; for some reason, that makes me rest a little easier. I realize that that comforting thought won't stop rampant ocean pollution or keep the glaciers from melting. But imagine if we all came to a similar consensus. If we all decided "Hey we all share this tiny speck of rock, maybe we should take it on ourselves to keep it clean".  Maybe that's all we need. Just a day to consider how lucky we all are.

Take Care and Eat Well!

-Cory


CSA Box Week 1

-Double Strawberries (2 pints)!

-1 bunch Asparagus

-1 bunch Carrots

-1 bunch Misome

-1 bunch Kale

-2 heads Lettuce

-1 bunch baby Celery

 -1 bunch Parsley

 

Weely Recipes and Ideas

 

Kale Salad
This recipe will work with most any hardy green, so feel free to substitute. This is a technique that we use for many of our meals at home because it's fast and it tastes great. basically you are just macerating the greens in acid to make them more tender. 
 
-1 bunch kale/collards/spinach, Large stems removed (baby leaves are fine used whole), finely shredded
-1 small handfull dried cherries
-1 small handfull chopped pecans
-1 spring onion, finely diced
-red wine vinegar, to taste 

For the dressing 

-1 garlic clove
-1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (1-2 lemons)
-2-4 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
-1-2 tsp coarse ground mustard 
-1 tsp kosher salt + freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
-1 tbsp orange juice
-1 tsp honey
-small handful of parsley

Combine dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor, blend until smooth. Taste and adjust ingredients for flavor and consistency. Toss with salad ingredients. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes to allow the acid to "cook" the kale. To add a little kick, I toss in a little red wine vinegar before serving. Enjoy!


Marinated Misome
-1 bunch Misome, chopped roughly
-2 tbsp oyster sauce
-1 tbsp sesame oil
-1 tbsp dark soy sauce
-1/2 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)

Wash the greens. Bring a pot of water to boil and add the greens. Boil for about 10 seconds, then remove and drain well. Shock in a bowl of ice water. Drain and squeeze out excess water. Place in a large bowl and add the sauces and oil. Mix well. Add sesame seeds and toss to combine. Let soak for 10 minutes.
To serve, squeeze excess sauce, plate, then drizzle sauce on top. Sprinkle more sesame seeds on top.

Celery Salad

1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp grated lemon zest
3-4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
2 tbsp minced shallots
1 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp anchovy paste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3-4 cups thinly sliced celery, leaves included 
3-4-ounce chunk Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped

whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, the shallots, celery seed, celery salt, anchovy paste, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the celery to crisp and the flavors to develop.
When ready to serve, shave Parmesan onto the salad and, then sprinkle with walnuts.

 

The Ice Man Cometh...

The only crop brave enough to keep growing outside is our Garlic.

The only crop brave enough to keep growing outside is our Garlic.

 

Welcome to the new website! Let us know what you think. With any luck, we will be sharing weekly farm-related musings with anyone patient enough to read this. Happy snow day!

We are working to get the farm ready for planting, but because of the weather we are spending way more time indoors than out. There is nothing more contemplative to a farmer than cold. We're stuck inside facing the consequences of last year's failed harvest. We have vacationed, listened to lectures at conferences, we may have even tried our hand at a little bit of spreadsheet crop planning. by late January, I'm beginning to acquire Restless leg Syndrome. I want to plant, I want to prep the fields, I want to order more seeds than I could ever hope to plant in one spring. 

If Apps had feelings, The Weather App on my phone would be experiencing a What About Bob- level of annoyance with me during this time of year. I check it compulsively, and like a goldfish, I forget everything within seconds.  We are looking for that first 2-3 day window with warmer evening temperatures, which will warm the soil in our hoophouses to allow us to seed the early spring crops of Spinach, Turnips, Carrots and Arugula. So far, no luck, but it looks like we might get a break over the weekend. Or maybe. Wait, let me check the weather again... Yeah, that's right.  

Many of you in Atlanta experienced a frustrating clog of cold, in which nothing moved, and you prayed for some higher authority to rescue you from your situation. That's basically the entire month of January to a farmer. We wait for the right window, and we end up stuck in our offices looking longingly at our barren fields. It's a dicey situation, knowing that virtually everything we rely on for income hasn't even seen the inside of a greenhouse yet. But that trepidation makes us eager to press on, and soon the window will open, and we will take to the fields and plant in excitement of all the possibility of spring.  Lets get growing!