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July 2021 Newsletter

One of the most challenging aspects of my role in managing a farm still in its infancy, is the endless effort to balance the needs of the present and the future. On the same day that I am instructing volunteers how to prune tomatoes, figuring out how to address an emerging infestation of squash bugs, and deciding which one of the 67 beds that need weeding is the absolute highest priority, I am also usually preoccupied with measuring and staking out the next section of the farm’s expansion or thinking about what crop is going to go in bed East 22 next year. Compounding this temporal tug-of-war is my own still-developing knowledge and experience as a new farmer, as well as the fact that the farm has not yet had the years to accumulate all the tools and equipment needed for a 3-acre farm nor to develop well-established operating procedures.

One of the consequences of this reality is that there usually comes a time in the middle of the season when the needs of our growing farm surpass our current resources. This month, for example, we reached a point when we did not have a working lawn mower, enough bins to hold all the produce we were harvesting, or enough volunteers to keep up with daily demands. Other unexpected expenses means we are left with less in the budget for other goals this year such as building a trellis for our raspberry and blackberry plants, constructing a multi-bin compost system, and planting the first fruit trees in our orchard.
Volunteers laying cardboard and woodchips in preparation for fruit trees
I say all this as part of a mid-season appeal, to ask you to consider helping our mission in whatever way you can. If you want to get on your knees to help us weed, please become a volunteer! Or if you are able to contribute financially to one of these projects, please consider making a donation or checking out our wish list for desired items. Thank you for being a part of the Little Portion Farm ministry as we grow and learn together. 
In gratitude,

Matt Jones
Farm & Outreach Coordinator
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What's Growing

Sun gold tomatoes
Our harvest of warm-season crops is in full swing now! Tomatoes and zucchini and cucumbers (oh my!) are being picked nearly every day. We are also growing a few crops for the first time on the farm, including watermelon, cantaloupe, celery, and bush beans. Despite some stretches of very hot weather, these crops are all doing very well. 
Baby watermelon ready for picking
This month we also harvested the garlic we planted last fall. Each clove planted in October or November yields a whole bulb the following summer. Since seed garlic is expensive, we plan to replant our full harvest, like last year, to continue multiplying what we are able to reap in future years. In two years, we have increased the amount of garlic we originally purchased by forty-fold. 
Harvesting garlic
Purple pepper and lettuce
Volunteers Needed
It's that time of year when we're spending a lot of time harvesting, weeding, and working on other projects for the future. If you'd like to get your hands dirty and help on the farm, please fill out the volunteer interest form on our website! In the summer, we mostly work on weekday mornings.

Additionally, if you are interested in helping in a more administrative role, please email Matt at matt@littleportionfarm.org.

Farm to Table

Each month we will try to feature a meal made at the Franciscan Center with produce from our farm. 

With the harvest of summer vegetables in full swing, Chef Steve and team have been making some fantastic meals with an abundance of fresh produce. So, like last month, we want to feature two dishes. Last week, the team at the Franciscan Center prepared a ratatouille with rotini pasta using fresh eggplant, yellow and green zucchini, onions, and garlic scapes - all from Little Portion Farm! On another occasion earlier this month, they fried zucchini blossoms stuffed them with ricotta, parmesan and finely diced peppers. If you have a squash or zucchini plant at home, you need to try this delicious treat!  

Wine at the Shrine Tickets

Tickets for this year's Wine at the Shrine are on sale now! This outdoor, family-friendly festival on the grounds of the Shrine of St. Anthony benefits Little Portion Farm and the Franciscan Center of Baltimore. You won't want to miss an exciting day of live music, hayrides, beer and wine sampling, farm tours, kids activities and much more. Don't miss your chance to get early-bird pricing now!
Get Tickets

Food for Thought

Jerusalem artichoke flowers in bloom
“The aesthetic value of creation cannot be overlooked. Our very contact with nature has a deep restorative power; contemplation of its magnificence imparts peace and serenity. The Bible speaks again and again of the goodness and beauty of creation, which is called to glorify God”

- Saint John Paul II, Message on the World Day of Peace 1990
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Copyright © 2021 Little Portion Farm, All rights reserved.

Little Portion Farm is a ministry of the Franciscan Friars Conventual, Our Lady of the Angels Province.

Visit us at:
12280 Folly Quarter Road, Ellicott City, MD 21042

Contact us at: 
(443) - 585 - 8005 or info@littleportionfarm.org

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