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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Holidays

Happy Holidays!!!

Hope this holiday season finds you surrounded by good food and
all things that make you happy!
 
 
 
Usually by this time I have ordered almost all my seeds and am making final adjustments to large farm purchases.  This year, however, since it's been so warm, I find myself searching for things to do outside rather work in the house.  The extraordinarily warm weather has been such a treat!  The spinach in the greenhouse is vibrant and sweet and there is still chard and kale available for harvest out in the field.  Of course, some crops, like garlic, need a period of cold to invigorate their spring growth.  Winter, at some point this season, will be welcomed.
 
 
 
For the most part, the farm will move ahead in 2016, the same as it did in 2015.  It's hard sometimes not to fall into the draw of expansion season after season.  I am grateful for my return clientele and I think, in part, it is due to my conscious decisions NOT to expand.  Keeping the farm manageable allows me to be able to continue to do special things like bags people's shares when they cannot make pick up, or respond promptly to emails or make potato rolls for the Holiday shares or...  and most importantly it allows me to pay special attention to growing super tasty food.  I hope that shareholders who have been here since the beginning are noticing the change in the flavor of our products too.  With continued effort in growing better soil, our crops have become sweeter, denser and more tender.  It's pretty fun for us to taste all of hard work!
 
We look forward, once again, to bringing in a new season with excitement and endurance...creating a farm we are proud of.  Thank you for loving Little Ridge Farm!!!
 
Cheers,
Keena, Zach, Simon, Leroy, Inka and Puffa
 
 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Thanksgiving

An Extended Fall 

Sunny warm days have made my post season to do list much more enjoyable.  Even though the days are short, I am able to get my list accomplished quickly.  Usually this time of year, I am moving in slow motion due to the cold and the multitude of layers I must wear to stay warm.  This work speed makes Simon happy, because it usually leaves time for a walk before the sun sets along the Androscoggin River Trail. 
 
 
The cover crops are still growing, pushing their roots down further, holding the soil in place for the winter.  Their lush green tops are too tempting for the deer and other critters who come out for a midnight snack.  That is ok, I do not mind them nibbling on non vegetable items...but come spring, they better find another restaurant! 
 
The first of many seed catalogs arrived in the mail yesterday!  I already scanned through it marking few new varieties I may try.  I enjoy farm planning; it gives me time to think about quantities, varieties, timing of crops.... it gives me time to make sure next summer's share is bountiful and perfect for you! 
 
Present Shareholders...... Be sure to mail in your deposit by Jan 1st to hold your spot!!!
(Others who are interested, please email me to be added to the wait list.)
 
 
 Mmmmmm homemade potato rolls
I spent nearly two days this year making enough rolls for the Thanksgiving Share pick up.  It's a fun addition to the share...or should I say addiction for shareholders? : )
 
Happy Thanksgiving!
I am thankful.

Monday, October 19, 2015

October 20th and 23rd

Fall Bounty

We all wait for summer--when the cucumbers and tomatoes are ready--and then before you know it fall sneaks up on you.  Fall brings such a variety of crops and colors, it's a feast for the eyes and the stomach.  ...and a workout for your muscles!


I just registered for the Farmer to Farmer Conference (aka F2F).  It is held in lovely Northport, Maine, by MOFGA.  The wonder of this conference is its unique structure.  The sessions are 3 hours long and mostly consist of farmers talking to other farmers.  Each session starts with an hour of speakers, usually farmers and someone from a University, then we are allowed ample time to share information with each other on the topic.  It's a genius idea because, truly, the farmers are the "experts".  Every year we learn from our mistakes and create new processes, but we don't have time during the growing season to communicate our findings.  This conference is a forum of shared ideas, a beautiful community of people who "compete" with each other at markets or for share holders, but openly lift each other up to make the farming community a greater whole.  It's quite amazing, actually. 
 
While I am feeling a little sad that fall is here and winter not far behind, I am looking forward to another winter full of farming research and shared knowledge.  Without winter, I would not be able to rebuild my internal or external strength to carry on for another season.  It allows for rest and recharge and creates space for the excitement of another season to build.  I hope your winter may also be filled with time to rebuild things you are passionate about.
 
Thank you, again and again, for loving Little Ridge Farm!!!
 
 
The last week's bounty: cabbage, winter squash, peppers, green tomatoes, onions, leeks, potatoes, carrots, beets, kale, chard, garlic, fennel...

Monday, October 12, 2015

October 13th and 16th

Full on Fall

It went from green to orange pretty quick this week.  Ahh, now it feels like fall!  We are certainly in "fall mode" here on the farm.  Planting garlic, cleaning out crops, buying straw for bedding strawberry plants, parsnips and garlic for winter, harvesting, washing, harvesting, washing, harvesting, washing.  It's challenging to find space for all that we are harvesting.  The weather shifts from warm to freezing quickly and those temperature extremes are not good for storage crops.  Ideally, it would all go directly into the cooler after harvest, but with pick ups still happening it's a tight squeeze...
 
 
By now you have all seen this character greeting you at pick up.  Every year we have a friendly competition with a neighbor family on who can grow the biggest pumpkin.  And every year they come up with a little scheme trying to terrify us into thinking their pumpkin is WAY bigger than ours.  This year, we came home one evening to catch them in the act of stealing one of our pumpkins!  Luckily it came back better than it left.  Super creative and wearing a Common Ground Fair T-shirt.
 
 
We still have not seen their pumpkin.  It sounds like it was actually a tight competition this year.  But I think they felt so guilty about stealing the pumpkin, they threw in the towel : )
 
 
This week's bounty: spinach, golden beets with greens, fennel, onion, celeriac, kohl rabi, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, pie pumpkin, watermelon radish...


 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

October 6th and 9th

Blood Moon

For some reason I was super excited to watch the Total Eclipse this past week.  The weather was gorgeous and the thought of cozying up in the hammock to watch a natural phenomenon was too much to miss. 
 
 
And that is just what we did (the 2 cats and Simon included).  We snuggled under a sleeping bag for near 4 hours watching and chatting as the earth's shadow crept over the moon.  Once it was fully covered, and the remaining light was reflected in the atmosphere, I was totally entranced.  It looked like fire was dancing across the moon, so large and perfectly round.  The sky was clear and glistened with the brightest stars, silently twinkling and shooting,making the night even more memorable.
 
 
I would like to think the pigs and turkeys enjoyed the spectacle just the same.  Wondering what was happening, or maybe so in tune with nature, they had no question in their head.  In any case, now that the full moon has passed, both humans and animals seem back to their normal self...
 

We planted a "beneficial flower mix" just inside the hoop house to attract bees and bug eating bug bugs.  Even though there is a chill in the air, the flowers are still peeping out, turning their cute heads toward the sun, hoping one more bee will visit them before winter hits.
 
 
This week's Bounty: lettuce mix, leeks, beets, kale, chard, radish, hakurei, eggplant, pepper and potato, winter squash

Monday, September 28, 2015

Sept 29th and Oct 2nd

Make Way for Fall

Asters are in full bloom, pumpkins are bright orange and the apples, man the apples this year, are unbelievable!  This week brings us into October and Saturday night brought us our first frost, I guess the change of season is inevitable.  Although fall is my favorite season, I am feeling a little like the leaves this year, holding out, refusing to change, until the last second.
 
 
The fields are SO SO DRY.  The plants are holding their own, but will surely enjoy the drink predicted midweek.  On the plus side, the dry weather has made harvesting much easier and if we can get in as much as I hope Monday, we may actually have some "clean" potatoes this year for the winter share : )
 

Most fields have transitioned from dense veggies to cover crop.  Despite the lack of moisture, these little seeds have emerged and will continue to grow until they are covered in snow.  Their roots help hold the soil in place during the fall and spring rains and retain nutrients that will be needed for next year's crops.  Plans for next year have already begun; having forethought is must for a farmer.
 
 
Speaking of forethought.......  it's time to start signing up for 2016 summer shares!  This year's shareholders have first dibs and should give me at least a $70 deposit by January 1st to hold your spot.  After that I will open it up to anyone that is on the wait list and then open it up to the public.
 
 
This week's bounty: lettuce, arugula, radish, kohlrabi, cabbage, carrot, onion, eggplant, pepper and acorn squash
 
The Farmer's Table:
*baked veggie omelet, with a side of LRF bacon, of course
*loaded veggie lasagna
*b.a.t.'s (bacon, arugula and tomato)
*veggie soup with home made beef broth
*pulled pork sliders with mustard coleslaw
*chicken fried steak (tenderized and breaded London Broil) over a bed of arugula and tomato
 
...Zach was on this week--everything was soooooooo good!!!!
 
 

Monday, September 21, 2015

September 22nd and 25th

It's all about the Pepper!

It has been gloriously fun picking peppers these past few weeks!  The plants are just loaded with these beauties....

We harvested over 350 pounds!  I can't say that I meant for them to be ready all at once, but that seems to be how peppers grow.  The plants grow big and strong, decorated with delicate white flowers, and before you know it the plants are falling over with huge green peppers, and then...they just sit there, for WEEKS, and then one day, BAM! they are all brightly colored.
 

Feast your eyes and stomach on this wondrous fruit!  Make fresh salsa...
 

stuffed peppers...
 

stuffed peppers a la spaghetti squash--yum!!
 
 
Roast them, freeze them eat them in the winter in a red pepper bisque or lasagna or......  whatever you do, preserve these beauties for your winter meals...you will be so glad you did!
 
 
This week's colorful BOUNTY!  lettuce, arugula, radish, chinese cabbage, tomato, pepper, beet, chard, onion, hakurei turnip, potato

Sunday, September 13, 2015

September 15th and 18th

Kaleidoscope of Colors!

A good friend, and past shareholder, came back to Maine this weekend to help harvest winter squash.  Her working visit was perfect timing and we enjoyed a beautiful day.  The squash look awesome and now they are sweetening up in the heat of the greenhouse.  It still feels like summer to me and my body is not quite craving the carbs yet, but soon the days and nights will be cooler and the extra caloric energy will be necessary to keep me moving through all of the fall harvest. 
 
 
Pig moving day is always one of my favorites.  They are soooooo happy to get fresh grass and it's fun to watch them in their glory.  If any of you have apples that are littering your lawn, feel free to bring them by--the pigs LOVE them!  And be sure to come visit the pigs and turkeys before they head out for the year...
 
 
Fall Farm Potluck!

All Shareholders invited (meat and veggie)

Sunday Oct. 4th 1-3
 
 
 
Friday night after pick up....this is what my kitchen looks like.  A pile of freshly baked bread and glorious summer veggies prepped into a fresh salsa.  Our kitchen generally has fresh veggies piled on the counter.  Sometimes the fridge is nearly empty and the table and counter are covered in crates of vegetables.  In general, I am more of a "stash it away because clutter stresses me out" kind of person.  But with the veggies, I lean more towards Zach's "out of sight out of mind philosophy, so let's just leave it all out so we know what there is to eat".  It's kind of fun, and colorful and I can just grab a pepper and start chomping on it as I walk through : ) 
 
 
 
This week's Bounty! arugula, radish, kale, beans, carrots, spaghetti squash, tomato, pepper, eggplant, onion and garlic!

Monday, September 7, 2015

September 8th and 11th

A Celebration of Labor!

(or lack thereof for a few days)

and our 13th Wedding Anniversary!

We took our annual wedding anniversary camping/canoe trip this past weekend and could not have picked a better weekend!!!  It was hot and humid, but being on the pond made it oh so wonderful. I floated around on my raft while Simon swam alongside and Zach jumped off rocks into the deep water. 

Tomorrow as I harvest for pick up, in the heat of the morning, I will try and remember the cool of the water.  The farm is hot and dry right now and I am looking forward to a little rain this week.  The air still feels like summer, but the crops are definitely showing signs of fall.  The cukes and zukes have slowed to a near stop and the brightly colored winter squash are starting to peak out form their fading leaves.  It's hard to believe we are in the 2nd week of September, but here we are.  Take a moment to enjoy the last flavors of summer...juicy tomatoes and sweet peppers for, even though it seems impossible in this crazy heat, the first frost is lurking right around the corner.
 
This week's bounty: lettuce, beans, onions, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, beets, potato, corn
 
Farmer's Camping Table:
  *smoked salmon, sliced cukes, tomatoes and crackers
  *The Sausage Kitchen's smoked sausage, fresh tomato, onion and summer squash
  *pasta with peppers and fresh tomatoes

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Sept 1st and 4th

Hurray for Veggies!

Meet Mr. and Mrs. Eggplant.  You may choose who is who and what is what.  I am amazed at how many of my shareholder's have their head in the gutter : )
 
 
Fruit.  For years, we (especially Zach) have tended to our small orchard, consisting of pears, sour cherries, plums, peaches and apples.  Every year we learn from our mistakes and learn better techniques for pruning, fertilizing and insect control.  Growing organic fruit is VERY challenging and time consuming.  Although the winter killed all of our peach buds again, our pears and plums are loaded.  So much so that we should have thinned...and didn't.  The lack of thinning has caused the fruits to not be as sweet as they could have been.  Still tasty in cooked desserts, we are enjoying our bounty and taking the time to preserve some for winter.


It's been hot and dry out in the fields.  This time of year is always a little strange as it is time to get the fall/cool weather crops in like spinach, but it is near 90 degrees!  Here we are planting scallions that will overwinter and be the first allium you see in your share next year.  Tough little plants these guys are.  The gardens are certainly starting to look like fall is sneaking in and fall harvest has commenced.  Starting with the storage onions, we have many TONS of food to move in over the next 2 and half months!  It's a lot of hard work, but fun to see the "fruits of our labor". 
 
 
 
This Week's Bounty: chard, cabbage, carrots, baby leeks, scallions, edemame, basil, parsley, melon for full shares, cukes, zukes, summer squash and tomatoes


Sunday, August 23, 2015

August 25th and 28th

Eggplant Frenzy

I hope your kitchens' are as fragrant and beautiful as ours.  Full of colorful veg and vibrant flowers, we are loving the bounty summer brings.  I never really like eggplant before I started to grow it.  Actually, I refused to grow it for my first several years at LRF, feeling that it was a tricky plant to grow in Maine's short and somewhat cool summer.  Plus, since it's not a favorite to all, finding field space for it was never a priority.  But a few shareholders, (uh-hmm, Mark and Anita) kept asking for it so I gave it a try.  There must be something about this place, but from the get go, eggplants just seem to spew from my plants.  And this year has been no exception (although, maybe I have just jinxed myself for 2016!).  In fact, I have made a farm note to grow less next year, we just can't eat it fast enough.  Not only are the fruits gorgeous, but they are a fun sweet texture in the dishes we have been cooking lately.  I think the fresh farm flavor converted me.  So if you think you don't like eggplant, or any vegetable for that matter, give it a 2nd chance at Little Ridge Farm, amazing new flavors might just surprise you. 
 
 
Sunday morning has been filled with chopping and roasting, charring and puréeing.  We are freezing baba ganoush and diced, roasted eggplant that will add flavor to many winter meals.  It's raining outside, a nice soft rain, so it's a perfect morning for food prep and savory indulgence.
 

Last night was also spent in the kitchen, dancing and cooking some amazing stuffed Pablano peppers.  This is the first year I have grown them, and I think they are keepers!  The dish we made was pretty rich, but there are so many stuffing options...potatoes, chicken, salsa...we will be sure to try many variations.  We are also trying to dry a few--they twill turn a rich red and be used to make ancho chili sauce.
 

While we work so hard, sweating, harvesting, weeding, planting... the carrots just stroll around the farm, hand in hand under the shade of our tropical kale "trees".  Ah, what a life.
 
 
This week's Bounty!  kale, chard, sweet onion, scallions, cukes, zukes, summer squash, peppers, eggplant, carrots, beets, tomatoes, potatoes, melons and herbs
 
 
Farmer's Table:
  *veggie lasagna with kale, eggplant, zucchini...
  *chard spanakopita
  *pasta primavera
  *stuffed Pablanos
  *blueberry cream pie with a grahm cracker crust
 
 
Shareholder's Table:
 
Eggplant Anonymous:
"I have been cutting eggplants into slabs, then coating with olive oil and garlic scape puree, salt and pepper.  Then grilling the eggplant until nice and soft. Once cooled, i put it in food processor with basil, lemon juice and a bit more olive oil and salt and pepper to taste and puree.   I have been using this on sandwiches with melted cheese, tomatoes and lettuce, dipping carrots and pita wedges into it, or using as a pizza sauce and even adding dollops onto a salad.  i am a bit obsessed (and i never cared about eggplants before either)."
 
 
 
 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

August 18th and 21st

 Summer's Heat and Beauty

Be sure to enjoy the PYO flower garden!!!  The flowers are amazing this year and unfortunately it's a fleeting season.  Soak up the color while you can! 
 
 
PYO cherry tomatoes!  They are just starting to ripen and it's a bit of a jungle in there.  I tried a few new varieties this year, but I admit, I still like the orange Sungold best.  To provide more flower space in the flower garden, we moved the cherry tomatoes across the way, along side the driveway.


Mmmmm Blueberry Pie!
 
It won't be long and we will be complaining of frost an cold weather, but this week is going to be a bear.  Hot and humid, no breeze...even starting at 5 am gives no relief.  We will do our best to keep up with what needs to be done, but to be sure, we will be wiped out by nightfall.
 
 
 
This week's bounty: lettuce, cabbage, chard, kale, carrot, new potatoes, sweet onions, scallions, beans, cukes, zukes, summer squash, eggplant, sweet peppers, cilantro, dill?
 
The Farmer's Table:
Blueberry Pie
After that I am drawing a blank, but I know I have been eating well!
 
Cabbage Recipes:
 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

August 11th and 14th

MMMMM GRASS
 
We love our new pasture!


Me too... look at my smile!
 
Pastured raised meat...you can't get any better in my opinion.  The animals get fresh water, sun, bugs, and room to run.  The turkeys "cluck" with happiness and the pigs "grunt" with glee.  These guys have a great life and in turn give us superb nutrition.  You are what you eat!
 
 
This week's bounty: lettuce, cukes, zukes, ss, eggplant, beets with greens, carrots, beans, sweet onions, scallions, parsley, cilantro, basil, garlic

Monday, August 3, 2015

August (already?!) 4th and 7th

SOLAR GAIN!

It's official, the sun is now working for us!  Revision Energy finished installing our solar panels last Thursday.  The power gained from these panels should offset 100% of the farm's energy use.  We are pretty excited about it!
 
 
The bounty keeps coming!  We spent part of the weekend processing cherries, blueberries and raspberries.  Zach's mom came into town just in time--she loves to cook--so this will give Zach a break from the kitchen : )  I have been soooooo busy harvesting, it's a daily from now until the end of the year.  It's a fun time, seeing the fruits of our labor, but also exhausting because all the other daily tasks still remain constant as well.  And the humidity takes the spring out of my step, so getting it done seems all that much harder.  ANYWAY, life is good here on the farm.  Hope you are enjoying!
 
 
This week's bounty: lettuce? (I think I may be between plantings), fennel, carrots, cukes, zukes, summer squash, eggplant, sweet peppers?, green beans, wax beans, chard, kale, tendersweet cabbage, baby leeks, mini red onions, basil, parsley and a watermelon for the full shares! (more coming for everyone soon)
 
Shareholder's Table:
"Fantastic meal from this week's bounty:  lettuce, tomato, sliced pea pods, chopped basil, cukes, broccoli, and salmon- lightly dressed with blue cheese dressing" -Deb
 
 
"Thanks for another week of delicious food! I wanted to share this recipe that I've made the past few weeks. So tasty and you can change up the seasonings to fit your taste." -Kimberly
 
 
"Thought I'd share this recipe with you. I made it over the weekend and it was a HIT!! Fresh tomatoes are the key and I snuck in a little mozzarella!" :-) --Jessie
Ingredients


For the zucchini Parmesan:


·         2 to 2¼ pounds zucchini

·         Salt and pepper

·         3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

·         ½ to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

·         (pepperoncini), to taste

·         ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan

 
 
For the tomato sauce:
·         2 to 2½ pounds fresh ripe tomatoes
·         1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
·         1 small onion, chopped
·         2 to 4 garlic cloves (to taste)
·         Salt and pepper
·         teaspoon sugar
·         2 sprigs fresh basil
·         1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
 Preparation
If you have a food mill, quarter tomatoes. If not, peel, seed and chop them. (See step 5.)
To make tomato sauce, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat and add onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute, and add tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar and  basil sprigs. Increase heat to medium-high. When tomatoes are bubbling briskly, stir and reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring often, until tomatoes have cooked down and are beginning to stick to pan, 15 to 25 minutes, depending on consistency. Remove basil sprigs; taste and adjust seasoning.
 
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment. Trim ends off zucchini and cut in half crosswise, then into lengthwise slices, about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick. Season on both sides with salt and pepper and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Arrange zucchini slices on baking sheets in one layer and sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Roast for 12 minutes, until lightly browned and easily pierced with a knife. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 375 degrees.
 
If using a food mill, put sauce through medium blade. If not, pulse sauce in a food processor fitted with steel blade until just coarsely puréed. Stir in chopped basil.
 
To assemble the dish, oil a 2-quart gratin with olive oil. Spread 1/4 cup tomato sauce over bottom of dish. Arrange a third of the zucchini in an even layer over tomato sauce. Spoon a third of remaining sauce over zucchini and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan. Repeat with 2 more layers, ending with 1/4 cup Parmesan. Drizzle on remaining tablespoon olive oil. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until bubbling and browned on the top and edges. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28th and 31st

Time to Get Your Cuke On!

I believe summer is here!  The heat is rolling in and so are the heat loving veggies!
 
 
Most of the cukes I grow are pickling cucumbers.  There may be a crate out containing two longer (one real long and one sort of long) that are not--but it should be obvious. 
 
The various shades of yellow come from the Phoona Keerna cuke and its slighter thicker skin is perfect for crunchy pickles.  No they are not overripe cucumbers!  Geeze, what kind of farmer do you think I am?  : )
 
 
Tomatoes are making their way onto the scene as well, with eggplant and melons not far behind.  The bit of rain was much needed but this humidity sure is not.  It makes farming not only physically more challenging, but it also presents air flow problems for plants...and plants like good air flow...  Anyway, harvest, harvest, harvest is mostly what we are doing these days and it is keeping me out working longer hours in order to keep up with the other tasks that still need doing.  (Hence the late blog post this week.)  And today, well, I think we just may be dodging lighting bolts most of the day.  And by the end of the week?  Well, by then, I just may be a pool of mush, melted from the heat.  Sweat equity?  Yes, I think I've got that covered : )
 
 
This week's BOUNTY: lettuce, beets, summer carrots, zukes, ss, cukes, beans! scallions, hakurei, fennel, kale, chard, broccoli, sugar snap peas, basil, garlic scapes and a tomato(?)
 
 
Recipes:
Yes you can!  ... freeze fennel and kohl rabi
 
The Farmer's Table:
*Salad with leftover chicken, home made green goddess dressing, crutons (paul's bread), cukes, radish, parmaseasn and our 1st tomato
*pasta with sautéed zucchini, summer squash....
*panko baked chicken legs from Sunnyside farm and sautéed hakueir and greens
*Beef Soup Bone with sugur snap peas, new pottoes (coming to you next week), kale, scallions, zuchinni and tomato
*Pulled pork shoulderwith coleslaw made with last week's tendersweet cabbage and a home made blueberry sauce
*Sour cherry (from our tree!, but you can use any fruit) Clafoutis -- made by Keena!
 
The Shareholder's Table:
A new favorite recipe.  I followed this to the tee, until I decided to put hakurei turnips in with the squash.   Everything else the same.  LOVED it.  Served it with grilled polska kielbasa. 



Sunday, July 19, 2015

July 21st and 24th

A Tale of Tall Peas

The snap peas are beautiful specimen this year.  The first planting did not germinate, but the 2nd did perfectly.   They have been growing, growing, growing...
 
 
Now, a "tale" usually has an up side and a down.  And so it begins...
 
 

# of times I had to seed the peas (by hand, mind you): 2
# of days the peas have been growing: 70
# of days the catalog says the peas will take to mature: 60
# of row feet: 200
height of peas currently: 8-10 feet
# of times I have trellised the peas, so they stand up: 5
# of times I have had to fix the trellis because it has fallen over: 3
# of peas we have picked thus far: maybe 5

THIS COULD BE THE WEEK!!!!  Hopefully they fatten up to their tasty sweetness and we can enjoy them before this tale takes a turn for the worse : )


PYO Flower Garden is in full swing.  Beautiful.  Good job, Zachy.



This week's BOUNTY!  lettuce, arugula, radish, hakurei turnip, fennel, kohl rabi, broccoli, beet greens, scallions, tat soi, tendersweet cabbage, chinese cabbage, summer squash, zukes, cukes, garlic scapes and herbs  ... eat up!!!!


Recipes:

Fennel: Don't be afraid to try this on sandwiches, in salads, grilled....  It's a lighter flavor than you think!!!

Martha's 25 fennel recipes

• Fennel stalks can take the place of celery in soups and stews, and can be used as a "bed" for roasted chicken and meats.
• Use fronds as a garnish, or chop them and use as you would other herbs, like dill or parsley. Chopped fennel works especially well in Italian tomato sauces, but add it late in the cooking process so the flavor isn't diluted.
• Trim the stalks about an inch above the bulb.
• If you want pieces to stay together for grilling, keep the root end intact. Otherwise, trim about a half inch off the root end before cooking.
• To slice fennel, stand the bulb on the root end and cut vertically.


Chinese Cabbage:  great sliced thin on burritos or as a side salad.  Crispy and light

Tendersweet Cabbage: Tender leaves are very thin, sweet, and crisp - perfect for coleslaw or stir-fries.

Radish: other things to do with radishes...

Roasted Radishes

13 Real Simple Radish Recipes


The Farmer's Table:
*Portland Pie Dough Pizza with dill, parsley and basil pesto and fennel
*Sunnyside chicken baked on top of fennel stalks.  Topped with hakurei turnips and their greens and a lemon from my brothers yard in CA : )
*pulled pork stir fry with haurei turnips and carrots
*leftover pulled pork with pickled hakurei and kohl rabi slaw
*leftover chicken sandwiches with Paul's bread, dill, arugula, mustard and Spring Day Creamery Fromage Blanc
*Saturday snack of sliced radishes and cukes with a Winter Hill Farm yogurt and herb dip
*marinated London Broil (our grass fed beef) with millet, broccoli and sliced radish

...Oh yes, we have it so gooooood!!!!!!!!!!

Shareholder's Table:
A delicious kohlrabi, fennel and apple salad tossed in olive oil and lemon, with a bunch of the fresh herbs. That' was an excellent way to use up some of the fennel!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

July 14th and 17th

Flowers, Flowers Everywhere!

The PYO garden has been a bit slow to start this year with the lack of rain and the cooler weather early in the season.  BUT  I think we are underway now!!!  The colors are popping and Zach has been adorning our windowsills with shades of pink and yellow.


Buckwheat and potatoes are in full bloom in my fields.  The bees are happy and I have seen more ladybugs than ever before.  Both are welcome creatures in my gardens.
 
 
The turkeys aren't in flower, but they are in full sprint!  I opened their pen this weekend for a little more room and they are using it like runway.  Super cute, these little chirpers, only two weeks old and they are growing FAST.  Soon they will start their pastured life...I think they are going to love it.


As I type it is near 90 outside!  I have a become a pure wimp when it becomes humidity, so since it's Sunday I thought I would come in and cool off with some vanilla ice cream and strawberries and catch up on the blog.  The warm season veggies are happy to have some heat...the zukes and summer squash are starting to produce and there are several peppers and eggplant starting to form.  Tomatoes are gaining some height and most things are looking tip top : )
 
 
 
This week's bounty:  (I am being a little indecisive this week, but this list will be close...)
lettuce, arugula, radish, hakurei, beet greens, basil, zukes/summer squash, radish, broccoli, tat soi, scapes, and kohl rabi