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Monday, June 30, 2014

July 1st and 3rd: O my it's July already!!!

Fun in the Sun! 

Lots of activity in the berry patch this weekend.  Thanks to all who came!  With this perfect weather, they are ripening by the minute so this week will be great for picking too.

Lots of new crops are on the horizon!  This week we will start picking shell peas.  I am anticipating a nice crop this year.  The sugar snaps were looking great until our ducks decided to eat them as a an entrée one night.  Seriously, the entire 200' row.  Sorry about that, I will be sure to seed them out of harms way next year!
 
Summer solstice has passed and now the days start to get shorter.  What?  Already!  June flew by for me and I am seeding the last of my fall crops today in the green house.  Sometimes it is hard to have so much forward thinking as a farmer, preparing several months in advance.  Luckily the days' harvest keeps me well in the moment.  Hoping you are enjoying every bite.
 
Happy 4th of July!



This week's bounty: romaine, spinach, arugula, beet greens, hakurei with greens, purple kohl rabi, asain greens, garlic scapes, shell peas, cilantro and mint for your strawberry mint mojitos!

The Farmer's table:
...was sparse this week as Zach was traveling.  I was well fed by friends at their homes.
My main meals consisted of strawberries while picking, strawberry salad and strawberry/yogurt smoothies...oh and a side of asparagus.

Recipes:

Garlic Scapes
This website says it all... http://garlicfarmct.com/recipes.htm

Strawberry Mint Mojito
  • 11 oz. strawberries, hulled (2-3/4 cups)
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 10 large fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup white or amber rum
  • 1 cup seltzer
  • Mint sprigs, lime wedges, or fresh strawberries, to garnish


In a medium pitcher, combine the strawberries, lime juice, sugar, and mint leaves and crush with a muddler or wooden spoon until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute. Add the rum and stir gently.
Fill 4 rocks glasses three-quarters full with ice, divide the mojito among them, and top each with about 1/4 cup seltzer. Garnish with mint sprigs, lime wedges, or strawberries.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

June 24th and 27th: Berry Time!

SUMMER HAS ARRIVED!

Picking berries is one of my favorite farm tasks.  I like to do it in the evening or on the weekends as my restful work.  There are lots to come, so we hope after this rain, the sun will shine!


FARM MAP
Many of you have noticed our new farm map in the back of the barn.  Please use this informational map to know what is ready for PYO and where it is located.  It will also show you where to pigs have moved to and the turkeys (who come next week!)
 
The farm is looking great and we are looking forward to a bit of rain.  (a BIT, I said.  A nice soft inch, just in case any of you have connections.)  In a couple of weeks the last of the fall broccoli and cauliflower will be transplanted and then we are done.  That's it, I can rest.  Okay, not really, but it does mean the HUGE majority of the transplanting and seeding is done for the year.  There will be just little bits here and there, along with lots of weeding and hopefully loads of harvesting!!!
 
This week's bounty:  (it's a good one!) lettuce, hakurei, purple kohl rabi, spinach, a bit of broccoli, asparagus for some, rhubarb and strawberries!
 
The Farmer's Table:
--US soccer game day Chili, made with our stew beef
--Leftover chili taco salad
--Various stir fry.  He throws it all in...turnips, radish, turnip greens, beet greens, radish greens....even the leftover rhubarb chutney made during the canning workshop!  I ate every stir fry variation he put in front of me all and they were all delicious!
 
Recipes:
Kohl Rabi
This fun veggie is super versatile.  You can eat the bulb and the leaves.  Some may need peeling, you can do a skin test and see what you think.  The leaves are a little tougher than kale, so they may need a little extra cooking time.
 
think slaw, stir fry, matchstick salad topping, pickled.....
 
This site had a fun recipe slide show...I apologize for the slang language at the top though!
 

Cooking

A versatile veggie, both the bulb and the leaves are edible. The bulb can be quartered and roasted like potatoes (toss with olive oil and salt and pepper first), pureed (especially nice mixed with potatoes), gratinéed with cheese, steamed, grilled or simply thinly sliced raw and tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Kohlrabi also makes a delicious slaw, grated or cut into thin matchsticks. Cook kohlrabi leaves like you would other leafy greens, by either boiling for a few minutes in salted water, or by sautéing with olive oil and garlic until tender. The leaves can be eaten raw, tossed into a salad and are also delicious thrown into a stir-fry.

Recipe

Kohlrabi Pancakes

Adapted from The Farmer John Cookbook
I make these pancakes with my son, who has become a huge kohlrabi fan. He pronounces the name of the veggie like a sportscaster announcing a goal: “koooooohlraaaabi!” This recipe is good for kohlrabi novices and experts alike. I like my pancakes with a dollop of sour cream (orcrème fraîche) or applesauce.
Ingredients:
4 small purple or green kohlrabi, peeled and trimmed of woody bits (see “Pro Tip” above)
1 small onion, very finely chopped or grated on the large holes of a box grater
1 small green chili, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped or 14 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (optional)
1 egg, lightly beaten
14 cup (or more) all-purpose flour
12 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Procedure
1. Grate the peeled and trimmed kohlrabi on the large holes of a box grater. Wrap the grated kohlrabi in a clean dishtowel and squeeze until most of the excess moisture has been removed.
2. In a medium bowl, mix the shredded kohlrabi, chopped or grated onion, optional chilies or chili flakes, beaten egg, flour, coriander and salt and pepper to taste. Mix until just combined. Add additional flour by the teaspoon if batter seems too wet (mixture should be somewhat firm).
3. In a large, heavy frying pan, heat the extra virgin olive oil and the butter over medium-high heat until the butter stops foaming. Add ladlefuls of the pancake batter (about 13 of a cup at a time) to the pan, gently pressing down on the cakes with the back of a spatula. Cook kohlrabi pancakes until crispy and golden brown on each side.
4. Drain on paper towels and serve with sour cream, crème fraîche, yogurt or applesauce.

 
 
 

Monday, June 16, 2014

June 17th and 20th: A Month of Planting

Beautiful Day

June is a month full of every task possible there is to do on the farm.  It's sometimes hard to keep the priority list from being all top priorities.  The weather changes (finally) from cold to warm and everything starts to grow!  Including the weeds.  This photo doesn't quite capture it, but the colors of the different plants against the sky and the soil was so vivid.  Be sure to take a walk around the farm if you have a minute.
 
 
 We have been non stop transplanting still.  It's a funny thought that almost all we eat for the entire year is planted in June.  Maine's growing season is so short, we have to squeeze it all in...fast!

...while the pigs nap...
The pig in the top center was smiling.  Hog Heaven.
 

This week's bounty: loads of lettuce, kale, chard, hakurei turnips with greens, maybe some radish and asparagus?

The Farmer's Table:
*pork loin stir fry with carrots, parsnips and turnip greens...in our new wok! 
*I am sure we ate other food, but I can't remember it right now!

Recipes:
Hakurei Turnips--are a crunchy, kind of sweet, sort of spicy treat!  You can eat the bulbs raw like a radish or lightly cook them to sweeten them up.  The greens are a little like mustard greens and wonderful sauteed.

http://www.food.com/recipe/sauteed-hakurei-turnips-and-braised-greens-459220

Lettuce--Lots of lettuce recipes here...in case you get tired of just salad...

http://dancinggecko.wordpress.com/2009/07/04/10-tasty-lettuce-recipes/

Sunday, June 8, 2014

June 10th and 13th: Greens

Bring on the SUN!!!

Wow, have the plants (and us) responded to the warmth and sun.  Now we go from cursing too much rain to doing rain dances--or scrambling to get irrigation set up!

It's time to turn on your inner rabbit...it's greens time!

Lots and lots and lots of transplanting happening here.  Should be weeding too, but the transplanting keeps getting in the way : )

The strawberry patch is looking AMAZING!  Like a soft, flowery bed I would love to sleep on. 

Not quite yet, but they are coming!

Zach is working hard getting your PYO flower garden planted.

The pigs first watering hole.  So funny.  I don't think they had have seen so much water in one spot, they were a little afraid of it at first!
 
 
This week's Bounty: lettuce, radish, arugula?, parsnips, scallions, sorrel, carrots, rhubarb and asparagus
 
The Farmer's Table:
(The farmer is blessed with a wonderful husband who loves to cook, otherwise all I would eat is raw veggies and cheese with a hamburger thrown in here and there!) 
*pasta with sautéed tat soi
*leftover pasta as a cold salad with pickled carrots (made by a shareholder--thank you!) asparagus and lettuce
*Smoked/roasted pork loin with roasted rutabagas (yes we are still eating last year's rutas) and a side salad
*Steak and spinach salad with Spring Day Blues blue cheese....oh so good!
*Rhubarb and oat bars from the smitten kitchen web site (I actually made these!)
 
Recipes:
Sorrel--http://www.motherearthliving.com/gardening/herb-to-know-sorrel-rumex-scutatus-r-acetosa.aspx#axzz345wSMpnD

Sunday, June 1, 2014

June 3rd and 6th: SUN!

Intro to the PYO HERBS

 
 
This PYO herb garden is free with your summer share.  Please enjoy!!!  Herbs are labeled and there are scissors on the sill by the back door of the barn. 

Thyme and Sage

Tarragon for fish and chicken


An upper for your cat, or a calming tea for you.

Lavender scones...or a sachet for your drawer.

A spring herb that adds a nice celery flavor.  A little goes a long way for flavor.
 
 
In an attempt to keep mint from taking over the garden, I have a pot of it at the base of the rock wall.

 
There are three blueberry bushes (pictured in the foreground) at the end of the herb garden that are also for PYO.  (Please do not harvest from the fruit trees or the rhubarb).
 
This photo shows the best place to cut herbs and flowers so they will regrow.  Just above the "v" on the stem, 3-6" from the ground (depending on how tall the plant is).
 
 
This week's Bounty:
lettuce, spinach, tat soi?, carrots, chives, rhubarb, scallions, asparagus for half shares!
 

The Farmer's Plate:
lots of spinach : )  Spinach salads, sautéed spinach with eggs, spinach on pizza.

From the "Chow" on Scallions:
Green onions/scallions “stay small and do not form big bulbs”; she adds that the regular cooking onion (Allium cepa) may also occasionally be sold as a green onion or spring onion if it’s harvested early, before the bulb fully forms. Used raw, green onions/scallions add a bit of texture, color, and a milder taste to your cooking than regular onions, as in this recipe for guacamole. They are also delicious grilled whole.

“Chives are a completely different species. Use chives to add oniony flavor (with a tiny hint of garlic) without having to put big chunks in your dish, like in these soft-scrambled-egg and prosciutto bundles. Chives are also good raw as a garnish over things like deviled eggs.

Leeks are firmer and more dense than scallions, with a milder flavor. Recipes usually call for the light green and white portion of the stalk (but we like to save the green tops and throw them in the pot when making stock). Leeks are best in cooked preparations, like CHOW’s Savory Onion and Leek Tart or Carrot, Leek, and Parsley Mash.