Newsletter 8-9-17


Turn off the weather forecast. Put down the paper. Close that app. What you want to know is there to be discovered on the other side of the door.

Spend enough time outdoors over the next week and you will feel the intensity of the inferno waining. The first cool winds that will eventually carry autumn into the garden will stir up in the early morning and late evening. The dog’s mouth of August begins to cool as our children return to school and the first of the fall crops begin to ripen on the vine.

The bees desperately wallow in pollen baths on the faces of summer flowers. The deer tear away at anything green and rush from field to field, darting out from cornfields to test our car brakes. The few surviving ash trees, sick from the assault of invasive beetles, begin to drop what leaves they’ve been able to grow. Rabbits, squirrels, mice and birds all peck and claw and drink from the flood of calories that will dry up in a few short months.

The madness of transition pulls at all living things and, in spite of this madness,  we are blessed with the gift of witnessing the miracle.
Flower Arrangement Classes
Turner Farm is excited to announce the next three installments in our Flower Arrangement Series. Taught by award-winning floriculturist Melinda O’Briant, these classes are geared towards beginners and experts alike who wish to bring the flowering beauty of the garden into their homes.

Register at

Bright and Summery Centerpieces

6:30-8:30 pm, Wednesday, August 30 

Bring your own container and let Melinda guide your through the art of creating a beautiful, professional-looking centerpiece. We will provide the foam, tape and wire, and participants will have the chance to cut their own bright summer flowers, including zinnias, cosmos and asters. Don’t miss out on this chance to bring some of summer’s beauty into your home!


September Sunflowers

6:30-8 p.m., Wednesday, September 27

Van Gogh would be envious of what you’ll do with sunflowers in Melinda’s second floral arrangement class of the season. Bring your own large container such as a watering can, bucket or jar and Turner Farm will provide the rest! Learn how to make Turner Farm’s stunning sunflowers into a beautiful display for your home.


Fall Centerpieces

6-8 p.m., Wednesday, October 4

Take a walk in Turner Farm’s flower garden with Melinda O’Briant and choose your own fall flowers and foliage. Miniature pumpkins, gourds and bittersweet! You can choose a pumpkin or something from home as your floral container. Turner Farm will supply the rest!

Upcoming classes

Stocking a Healthy Pantry

6:30-8:30 p.m., Thursday, August 24

Is your pantry optimized for health-focused meal planning? Join Chef Stephanie Michalak for a review of the basics of a well-stocked pantry and the often-overlooked art of planning, preparing and purchasing for your family’s needs.

This class will discuss essential staples, pricing and purchasing, meal planning, and organization in a pantry to maximize its utility.  Participants evaluate their own home’s pantry needs and learn to create speedy, nutritious, and simple snacks and meals. The class will cover grain and legume cookery before giving participant hands-on experience making: granola, hummus, and a wheatberry salad. Participants will also be able to take their granola home.

A delicious meal, including a grilled chicken and winter wheatberry salad, will be offered.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to hone your home enrichment skills with Chef Stephanie.

Cost: $65

Wellness at Turner Farm 
Join the UC Center for Integrative Health and Wellness at Turner Farm for our summer-fall Community Education Series. Each program takes place on a Thursday afternoon 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and includes a farm-fresh lunch.

  • August 17 – Integrative Nutrition for Cancer with John Sacco MD–Optimize your diet to work for you. Our body’s ability to fight disease and inflammation can be enhanced by the foods we eat. Dr. Sacco will show participants how to design an appropriate diet for cancer treatment, survival and risk reduction.
  • September 21 – Mindfulness for Stress Reduction with Sian Cotton PhD–Is an inability to focus on the present moment having a negative impact on your physical and mental health? Join Dr. Cotton as she teaches strategies to build a healthier life through mindful stress management.

Cost: $55 per class

Start Your Fall and Winter Garden Now

Wednesday, August 16, 6:30-8 p.m.
Come to Turner Farm for a how-to gardening class taught by our own Melinda O’Briant. Plant now to have salads all winter. With fewer pests and weeds, it’s easy to grow lettuce and spinach in cooler weather. We will also discuss other fall and winter crops, including carrots, broccoli, kale, cilantro, arugula and more.  All levels of experience are welcome!

Cost: $15
To register, visit

Building Soils with Cover Crops

Wednesday, September 6, 6:30-8 p.m.
Learn to put cover crops to work for you this fall and winter! Cover crops suppress weeds, kill disease organisms, add nitrogen to soil and make your garden more productive and healthy next season. Melinda O’Briant will cover when, why and how to use cover crops. Each participant will receive enough fall cover crop seed to cover 200 sq. ft. of garden space.

Cost: $15
To register, visit

In the Farm Market
Certified Organic Produce – VEGGIES: tomatoes, green tomatoes and ripe seconds, eggplant, green beans, zucchini, summer squash, tomatillos, cucumbers, celery, okra, swiss chard, cabbage, green onions, sweet onions, leeks, sweet corn, hot peppers, shishito peppers and sweet peppers HERBS: cilantro, parsley, basil MUSHROOMS: oyster, shiitake

Flowers –Nasturtiums,sunflowers

Meat and Eggs –FRESH, NEVER-FROZEN CHICKEN THIS WEEK! THROUGH SATURDAY, pastured pork, beef and lamb, all from Turner Farm. Frozen chicken and chicken feet are in stock. Our own farm eggs are also available.

In the Gardens
We have reached the peak of tomato season, which means the market is usually stocked with fresh, organic tomatoes. We also have lots of “seconds” tomatoes, which are great for canning, sauces and salsa.

While the heat has brought on fruits like tomatoes, peppers and eggplants, it has put a temporary halt on fall greens, including arugula and lettuce. Not to worry though! Barring any major weather disaster, we should have these tasty greens back in the market in about a month.

It’s hard to complain about such small bumps in the road. The fall carrots are up! The winter round of broccoli, kohlrabi, cauliflower and bok choy just went in! And a lovely growing season continues on into August.

Hope to see you soon!

Turner Farm Crop Production Team

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