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Monday, May 17, 2010

The First Pick-Up


A few weeks ago I was asked "what is the most challenging thing about farming?" Without hesitation, I responded "the weather". If it's not too wet, it is too dry, if it's not too hot, it is too cold, if there's not a nice breeze to waft the black flies away, it is gusting 50mph, and so on. I hate to say it, but I wish we could have a little rain. A normal amount, like a nice soft inch per week. We are planning on a little irrigation for the driest fields in the driest months, but we aren't quite there yet. The other bonus to having irrigation would be to save the tender strawberry flowers when a frost threatens. Unfortunately, we got down to 22 degrees here last week and 90 percent of the strawberry flowers froze. That means no berries : ( Well, hardly any. We are hoping for a few handfuls...

Ahhh, okay, on to brighter things! Even if we did have an early spring coupled with a late frost, I will take this spring over last year's any day! Milo is enjoying this fine spring. He rests while I work, he thinks it is a purrrrfect arrangement. Thank you for supporting our farm--we hope the season surpasses your expectations.

Mid Coast Growers
Rt 125, Bowdoin
Many of you know that I do not have a green house yet. So I have been renting space at a greenhouse just 7 miles away in Bowdoin. It has been a great deal for me. I usually go in twice a week and seed and/or transplant things, then while I am back here cultivating the soil, Dale is at the green house watering my plants whenever he waters his. This spring it was a wee bit tight for space, but I think we were both happy with spring bursting at the seams.
Hanging baskets from Dale will be here for sale at the farm $25 each--they are gorgeous!

He has three HUGE is my little square of plants : ) They have beautiful neighbors!
Well this week's loot will be light, but hopefully very tasty. We will take a few weeks' break and then resume the second week of June. I will be in touch to let you know dates...until then enjoy and Happy Spring!!!
Asparagus--the first year I could pick! (they are only 3 year old plants)

Winter Carrots and Parsnips--These sweet guys were in the ground all winter

Rutabagas--The wonder of all root storage crops!

Rhubarb--The spring "fruit"

Sorrel--A lemony spring green, great with fish or in soups, or with eggs!

Chives--Use a bunch, just like onions, raw or cooked
Hamburg Parsley--This is a root that tastes just like parsley! You can shred it and eat it raw, or chop it up and cook it wherever you want that fresh parsley flavor

Sorry no greens. I decided to let them get a bit bigger, so you can enjoy them in June : )

Recipes: The Smitten has been my new favorite blog for recipes. This one is for potato gratin, but check out the bottom for "more gratin ideas" she uses, sorrel, parsnips...I bet you could even use rutabagas!

Rhubarb--There are loads of sweet breads and cobblers you could make with rhubarb, but my favorite thing to do is to eat vanilla ice cream with rhubarb sauce...

chop the rhubarb
place it in a saucepan
add just a, 1/8" of water to pan
on low/med heat the rhubarb til it falls apart and makes the consistency you want for your can even add a touch of maple syrup

Sorrel Omelet
4 eggs
1 tablespoon cream
1 cup sorrel, cleaned and shredded
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 tsp salt
In a heavy pan, heat half the butter and add sorrel and salt. Cook for about ten minutes, while stirring. Combine the eggs and cream in a bowl, beating gently. Add the sorrel mixture and combine. Add the remaining butter to a skillet and heat until butter is slightly browned. Add the egg mixture and stir briskly with the back of a fork or spoon until the eggs are evenly spread on the bottom of the skillet. Keep moving the unset eggs around with the utensil smoothly until there is no liquid left. Do not overcook. Shake the pan gently over the heat a few times. Fold the omelet over in half and serve.
Sorrel Soup:
1/2 pound sorrel
2 tablespoons butter
6 cups water
1/2 pound potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1 egg yolk
Clean and shred sorrel, then chop. In a large heavy pan, heat butter. Add sorrel and cook, stirring, for ten minutes until reduced to about 1/2 cup. Add the water, potatoes and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 1/2 hour. Strain and mash or puree the vegetables. Stir the cooking liquid into vegetables and return to pan. Bring to boil. Stir in milk and yolk. Cook until hot, but do not boil.
Lentil Soup with Parsley Root and Carrots
1 lb Dried lentils, -washed and drained
1/4 c Lard, bacon drippings, -or oil
2 md Onions or leeks, chopped
1 parsley root or parsnip, chopped
2 md Carrots, sliced
1 c Sliced fennel or celery
8 c Water
1 t Salt to or to taste
Several whole black pepper-corns
2 Whole cloves
2 Bay leaves
1 lg Potato, peeled and grated
2 lg Links (or 4 small) smoked -sausage, skin pricked-with fork
2 tb Good vinegar
In a large pot, heat fat and add carrots, root vegetable and onions. Saute until onions are golden. Add lentils, water, celery, and seasonings. Grate the potato into the mixture and add sausage. Simmer covered 1 hour until lentils and vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaves. Add vinegar just before serving and adjust salt. Serve with a crusty bread and salad. Serves 4-6

1 comment:

  1. I'd never eaten rhubarb before, but when rhubarb came as part of my share, I knew it was time to give it a try. I make a special dessert every Friday evening, so this past Friday I made a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie - and it was delicious! My whole family loved it. I even had a piece the next morning for breakfast. Thanks!

    Jennifer Tankersley