Thursday, December 17, 2009

December Holiday Share

Happy Winter!

And it is truly winter! The snow is beautiful, albeit hard as a rock : ) I was hoping for a bit of a "warm" day for pick up since my barn is pretty darn chilly, but I guess I should be happy it is not snowing!

Many of you ask if life slows down for me in the winter...In a farming sense, yes. I put away all of my laboring tools and stick on my thinking cap (that is a stocking cap to keep me warm in my cold house) and settle in to plan for next season. The seed catalogs are already arriving in the mail and I am eager to pour through them and pick out fun food for us to eat. It is like forced shopping, but fun shopping! I take all of your feedback from this past season into account, and create a list of goods that will hopefully satiate your palates.

The other great thing I get to look forward to in winter is helping my friends collect maple sap! The syrup I have for sale is from this wagon : ) It's a super late winter, get me (and Simon!) in shape for spring, kinda project. Loping through the snow, lugging two 3-gallon pails full of sap, cold and just slightly sweet. And then the boiling--makes me hungry for pancakes every time!!

Oh, and I do a bit of snow plowing to make a little cash.

Hope your holiday is rich with warmth from friends and family...and good food, Keena

Winter Squash Galette
This recipe I just found and I LOVE it! I have used the galette dough for a kale, cheese mixture too and it was superb! You could probably fill the galette with just about anything.

2.5# of winter squash
1 samll head of garlic, not peeled
1 Tbs olive ooil
1 onion, finely chopped
12 sage leaves, or 2 tsp dry
1/2 cup parm chaeese
1 egg, beaten

Cut squash in ahlf and brush the surface with oil, bake at 375 until soft
Roast the garlic until soft in the oven too (or I use the toaster)
Scoop out squash and add the mash rasoted garlic

Warm 1 Tbs oil in pan, add onion and sage, cook about 2 minutes
Add squash, cheese and salt

Plop this in the center of the dough and then fold the sides up and cover about 2 inches of the squash all around the sides, so the center is open
Brush dough with the egg

Cook about 25 minutes, or until crust is golden

Galette Dough
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
12 Tbs cold butter
1/2 cup ice water

Cut butter into flour and salt
Sprinkle in water
Form a ball and then roll it out to be about 1/8 in thick
I put mine on a flate baking stone for cooking

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Thanksgiving Share

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you all have friends and/or family to celebrate this blessed holiday with. To me, this is the most wonderful holiday. Being Thankful. What a cleansing feeling. And a reminder to "stop and smell the roses" or taste the good food : )

I cannot express enough how thankful I am for this farm, this place. The community that helped me, literally, from the ground up. The opportunity I have to grow food. And for you, who are reading this note, supporters, friends, lovers of good food.

Enjoy your Holiday Feast, your Company and the Taste of Goodness.
Blessings on the meal, Keena

Baked Leeks with Goat Cheese

1. Cut leeks lengthwise to clean and then boil in a saucepan, until tender
2. Drain and place in a buttered baking pan
3. Mix together : 1 egg, 5oz goat cheese, 1/3c plain yogurt, 1/2c parm cheese, salt and pepper

4. Pour mixture over leeks

5. Top with 1/2c bread crumbs and a bit more parm

6. Bake 35-40 min at 350

Holiday Onion and Apple Bake
1.5# apples, 1 Large onion sliced 3/8in thick and separated into rings, 3/4c brown sugar, 1.5c coarse bread crumbs, 2Tbs butter, cut into small pieces
1. Arrange apples in an overlapping layer in a buttered baking pan. Top apple layer with onions. Sprinkle with brown sugar and salt, then bread crumbs and bits of butter. Cover and place in 300 oven.
2. Bake for 3 hours, remove foil, and continue baking 30 min more or until bread crumbs are browned.

Apple Flavored Winter Squash Cake
1 stick butter, room temp
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups cooked winter squash
1/2 cup apple cider
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp bkg soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ginger
1. Beat butter until fluffy. Beat in sugar until mixed. Add eggs, one at at time. Add squash and cider, mix well.
2. Sift flour bkg soda, salt and spices. Add to cream mixture in batches.
3. Pour into a buttered and floured bundt pan
4. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes and pour on glaze.
Apple Cider Glaze
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup apple cider
Sift sugar into a bowl. Whisk in cider until smooth, pour over cooled cake right away

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Week 21--The Last Pick Up

Well, here it is. The last week of Summer CSA pick-ups. It has been a pleasure growing food for all of you and getting to know you and your families. I admit, having a little winter break will be nice, but I am already making plans for next year and am excitedly awaiting the seed catalogue's' arrival in the mail.
In the future, if you are interested, I plan to have a Winter Share. This would be a once a month pickup of mostly storage vegetables from Nov-April. Right now, however, I am maxed out on storage in my "little" walk in cooler. I would need to build/find more storage space before I venture into Winter Shares. This is part of the reason why I created the Holiday Shares. It is a way for me to get food to you guys a little longer, maximizing but not exceeding the storage space I currently have. Which brings me to a little reminder: even though I have called them Holiday Shares--(it was just a marketing tool, which has actually come back to haunt me) all of the food is storage able food. Meaning, what you pick up from me in November could actually be stored in your home and eaten in March. My point is, even if you are not having guests for the holidays, the food will not go to waste!!! It is a way for you to prolong getting local carrots, potatoes, onions, beets, winter squash, cabbage, garlic...So don't be shy, sign up!
HOLIDAY SHARES still open--you don't need guests to eat them, it's just a fancy name for a winter share!!!
I do however, sell whatever food I have left after the Holiday Shares at the Winter Market at Fort Andros in Brunswick. It's a great market, check it out!
Saturdays 9-12:30, November-April
This Week's Loot: Fennel, Parsley Root, Beets, Carrots, Leeks, Potatoes, Kale, Spinach, Winter Squash
Fennel: This delectable little (yes, they are smaller than usual) has a strong fennel, or black licorice, flavor. It is great raw or cooked. In salads or soups. You can steam it, blanch it, saute it. Great with fish or chicken...
Parsley Root: This fun root has a strong, you guessed it, parley flavor. It too can be eaten raw or cooked. I shredded it last not on my salad. You could use it in soups, your mashed potatoes...the possibilities are endless!
Stock up and Enjoy. Have a great winter!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Week 20--The Fall Harvest

The pick your own pumpkin party and potluck was a blast! Thanks for all who came (and helped move all the pumpkins!) The food was fabulous and it was fun getting to know all of you better!

And, of course, Simon had a blast too. He helped to pick out the perfect pumpkin and to make sure there were no mice hitchhiking on them : )
This past week, I was busy harvesting rutabagas, cleaning onions and popping garlic. Today I will plant the garlic and cover it with a neat bed of straw. Soon all that will be left in the gardens for harvest are hearty greens like kale and spinach.
...Speaking of Spinach...these last two weeks will be full of greens! Fill up on them, because this is it until spring! They will keep in your fridge in a perforated plastic bag for at least a week. You may also chose to make soups or pies with them and freeze, or blanch the greens for 2 minutes, drain and freeze. Stock up for winter : )
Half the cows go this Thursday. I am sold out this year, but it isn't too early to sign up for 2010--the pork and beef go fast!
The turkeys go on Friday---I still have some left to sell. And I have lowered the price to $3.50/#, what a deal!!!!
This Week's Loot: lettuce mix, spinach, chard, kale, potatoes, carrots, onions, chinese cabbage, tat soi, pac choi, pumpkins
Next Week's Loot: lettuce?, kale, leeks, onions, potatoes, carrots, beets, winter squash, fennel
Stir-Fried Kale and Spinach with Hazelnuts
1/2 cup hazelnuts
2 Tbs olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
10 cups kale and spinach, chopped
salt and pepper
1. toast hazelnuts in a n ungreased skillet, stir constantly for about 5 minutes, then chop when cool
2. Saute onion and garlic, add greens in batches, stir fry until tender, about 8 minutes
3. stir in hazelnuts
Apple Flavored Winter Squash Cake
1 stick butter, room temp
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups cooked winter squash
1/2 cup apple cider
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp bkg soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ginger
1. Beat butter until fluffy. Beat in sugar until mixed. Add eggs, one at at time. Add squash and cider, mix well.
2. Sift flour bkg soda, salt and spices. Add to cream mixture in batches.
3. Pour into a buttered and floured bundt pan
4. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes and pour on glaze.

Apple Cider Glaze
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup apple cider
Sift sugar into a bowl. Whisk in cider until smooth, pour over cooled cake right away

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Week 19--The Blessing of Fall

October 13 and 16th
Quack! Quack! Dora says, "Eat turkey, not duck!"

I've been washing hundreds of pounds of carrots this last week for storage and Dora has been in duck heaven! She stands under the screen and gets showered by wash water. And buries her bill into the puddles looking for slugs, while Simon sits in the driveway and watches the cows. These past few weeks have been beautiful, and even though I am soooo busy, I must say I am blessed!
Speaking of washing...I really do wash your greens before your get them. But be ware that you need to wash them again. I find most things easiest to chop first, then rinse. The pine needles have made a blanket over all my fields, (it's quite pretty actually). I have tried to pick them out of your produce, but there may be a rouge one...or two left!

Well the weather has quickly changed and I have been in "full tilt boogie", as my friend Jill would say, harvesting. I am hoping for a few more nice days to gets next year's garlic in the ground. I usually plant it mid October and then mulch it with straw. It waits in the ground until the longer days of April and then slowly little green garlic tops emerge. This week you may see me "popping" the garlic cloves, or removing them from the bulb. I pick the biggest and most perfect looking cloves to plant so that the new bulbs will be free of disease and as big as possible; the clove size you plant dictates the size of the bulb to come. Maybe this year I will be planting the garlic through a layer of snow? That would be a first : )

This Week's Loot: Lettuce, Kale, Kohlrabi, Peppers, Tomatilloes, Spaghetti Squash, Carrots, Potatoes, Onions, Cabbage

Next Week's Loot: Lettuce mix, spinach, pac choi, carrots, onions, potatoes, chard, pumpkins
Kohlrabi--This fun "swollen stem" can be eaten raw or cooked. Try it both ways and see which way you like best! If you find the skin tough, you may peel it, although if you are cooking it,you may not need to.
3 kholrabi, peeled and chopped
1 cup finely shredded cabbage
1 small onion
1 apple, diced
1/2 c currents or raisins
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Combine first five ingredients in a large bowl. Toss in oil and cider. Cover and refrigerate a few hours to let flavors blend.
Kale Pie
10 inch pie crust
4 cups chopped kale leaves
1 Tbs olive oil
2 small onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs
1 cup feta cheese
1/2 c half and half
1/2 tsp salt
Boil kale for about 3 minutes (wilted but still bright green). Allow to drip dry.
Saute onions, garlic until onions are turning golden.
Lightly beat eggs. Add feta half and half, kale, onions and salt. Stir and then pour into crust. Bake until center of pie is firm, 40 minutes at 375.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Week 18--The Thank You Note

Taking a walk around the fields today...I can't believe it is October. The season has flown by and although I am happy with most crops, I was hoping for a little Indian Summer to beef up a few last minute plantings. Yellow and red leaves shower me as I drive under the maple trees on the edge of the field and watching the cows graze in front of a backdrop of color has been delightful these past few days. My back is sore from lugging most of the winter squash into our basement to protect them from cold nights, and long rows of carrots, beets, rutabagas and cabbage await their chance to be bundled in my arms. It is very satisfying to feel abundant, rich in food. A joy to rid of that "pit of the stomach ache" that drenched me in the early summer. I hope that you, too, have felt abundant in food most of this season and for seasons to come.

Thank you to all who filled out a survey! Your comments throughout the entire season have been helpful. All in all folks seemed very pleased (thank, God!). A few reoccurring themes were:

1. A handful of folks wanted the note printed out. No problem! I will print out a few notes each week and if this appeals to you, help yourself. Sorry though, there will be no photos.

2. More fruit. Ahh that would be nice. However, growing fruit is an art of farming technique and time all in itself. I grow the PYO strawberries and raspberries in hopes that you feel you have your "own" patch. And I will always pick at least one quart of strawberries per full share. Raspberries just take too long for me to pick enough for all. I will try to be more diligent on buying in blueberries when they are in season. And I could buy in some apples if you would like, although they won't be organic. Let me know. We are thinking about a PYO blueberry patch, but that will be down the road. Apples will be a part of the Thanksgiving share...We have planted a few peaches, plums and pears, but the trees are young and by no means did we plant an orchard. I encourage you to visit a local orchard like Rocky Ridge (Bowdoin) or Willow Pond Farm (Sabattus) in the fall.

3. Lack of quantity and diversity early in the season. Part of joining a CSA is that you take the good with the bad, the glut of melons with the lack of spinach. However, I am taking steps to improve the spring season like planting more, just in case, and erecting a hoop house (an unheated greenhouse) for early greens. AND next year the asparagus should be ready to pick!!

So thank you for your patience, encouragement, comments, compliments and love of food! I hope you will consider joining again next year. (It's not too early to sign up now.) And please pass the farm name along!!!! I had 32 members this year and next year I would love to have 50.

Goodbye to the 8 not-so-little pigs. I admit, I am a little sad and am not ready for them to go--they are so entertaining! But alas, I am a meat eater and what better meat to eat?!
This Week's Loot: Tomatilloes (great for making green salsa!), Lettuce, Tat Soi, Chinese Cabbage, Potatoes, Carrots, Beets, Delecata Winter Squash, Leeks, Peppers, Broccoli, Sorrel, Parsley
Next Week's Loot: Lettuce, Chard, Broccoli, Pac Choi, Kohl Rabi, Butternut Squash...
Sorrel--I think if you try this herb, you will love it!!! I added a 1/4 cup chopped in my potato leek soup this weekend--it adds a nice lemony falvor. A small amount chopped into a salad is superb too!
Tomatilloes--These little fruits are related to tomatoes and are excelent roasted and used in salsa or sauce. They are not very good eaten raw by themselves, but you can make a raw salsa with them.
Tomatillo Salsa Verde Recipe
To cook the tomatillos, you can either roast them in the oven, or boil them. Roasting will deliver more flavor; boiling may be faster and use less energy. Either way works, though boiling is a more common way to cook the tomatillos.
1 1/2 lb tomatillos
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 Jalapeño peppers OR 2 serrano peppers, stemmed, seeded and chopped
Salt to taste
1 Remove papery husks from tomatillos and rinse well.
2a Roasting method Cut in half and place cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place under a broiler for about 5-7 minutes to lightly blacken the skin.
2b Boiling method Place tomatillos in a saucepan, cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove tomatillos with a slotted spoon.
2 Place tomatillos, lime juice, onions, cilantro, chili peppers, sugar in a food processor (or blender) and pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed. Season to taste with salt. Cool in refrigerator.
Serve with chips or as a salsa accompaniment to Mexican dishes.
Makes 3 cups.
Delicata Squash is an heirloom squash. Since it’s an heirloom veggie, it’s grown for flavor and not for mass-shipping; the thin skin of this squash made it harder to transport thousands of miles from where it was grown. The thin skin is a great asset, in my opinion. It makes it easy to prepare (you don’t need an axe and and a tree-stump to cut up this squash), and you can even leave the skin on and–get this–eat it after baking! But besides the skin, the flesh is golden, sweet, and smoothly-textured. It’s perfect for just baking, chopping into stir-fry or blending into a lovely silky bisque.
Delicata Squash Bisque Serves 4 large bowls, 6-8 Cups3 Pounds Delicata Squash, (2 pounds after prepping)
Oil for roasting
1 tsp Thyme
Lots of Black Pepper
1 1/2 tsp Salt, more or less to taste
Cashew Cream
1 Cup Raw, Unsalted Cashews
1 Cup Rich Vegetable Broth, divided
Preheat oven to 400º F.
Peel squash and chop off the ends. Halve the squash and scrape out the seeds. Place on a baking sheet cut-side down and brush lightly with oil. Bake for 30-40 minutes until tender and beginning to brown. Flip squash before the baking is finished if needed to prevent burning.
Meanwhile, add the cashews to your blender and 1/2 cup of veggie broth. Begin pulsing to incorporate, eventually turning the blender all the way on while slowly adding the other 1/2 cup of broth. Once all the broth is added (1 cup total), let the blender run for 1-2 minutes until very, very smooth. Set cream aside. If your blender can’t get the cream completely smooth, strain before adding it to the soup.
Remove squash from the oven. Using a spatula, transfer it into a large soup pot. Break up the squash into chunks with a spoon or your spatula and add 4 cups of veggie broth, thyme, and black pepper. Bring to a boil then turn down the heat and let simmer for 20 minutes, covered.
Working in batches if needed, blend the soup until very smooth, being careful not to overfill your blender.
Return the blended soup to the pot and add all but 1/4 cup of the cashew cream. Season with salt and more pepper. How much salt you add with depend on how salty your broth is to begin with. I thought 1 1/2 tsp salt was perfect for my batch, but yours might differ.
Remove soup to bowls (or mugs!) and garnish with extra cashew cream drizzled on the top and some fresh black pepper.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Week 17-- The Brassica Feast

Wow what a GORGEOUS set of weather we have been having! Even this nice warm ran is perfect for sizing up the fall veggies. The frost nipped the cucs, zucs and basil, but it brought sweetness to the crops that remain in the field. In the last few weeks of your summer share, you will have the opportunity to indulge in beautiful broccoli, cabbage, kohl rabi...The above photo shows the field where your food is coming from : ) Come out and take a stroll before it is covered in snow!

Pick-ups go until October 30th !!!
Don't forget to order you turkey!!!

This Week's Loot: Lettuce mix, spinach, chard, broccoli, sunshine winter squash, peppers, potatoes, onions, carrots and the last of the summer squash and melons

Next Week's Loot: Lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, kohl rabi, carrots, potatoes, leeks...

Sunshine Winter Squash--This sweet, orange fleshed squash is perfect for baking, soups, or even pies. The flesh remains a bright orange even when cooked.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Week 16--The Nip in the Air

We had our first light frost on Saturday night. We covered a few sensitive things like basil, but for the most part, the remainder of the food in the field is frost hardy and the winter squash still has enough leaf cover to protect them from the cold. Soon though, the I will pull the squash from the field and the back of the barn will transition from crates of onions and potatoes to winter squash. Fall has arrived!!

The gorgeous weather has been a pleasure to work in and it has given me the opportunity to cure things like onions in the field. Typically the weather is too wet, and placing them under cover is much more effective.
I woke up early this morning with a list of "things to do" running through my head. A night of frost is enough to set a little "panic" into my system...there is lots to do before cold really sets in. BUT, with this weather change brings new food to your table. you will see a shift from cucs and zucs to beets and leeks. And some new brassicas like kale and kohl rabi will soon be ready.
Hope you have been enjoying the melons--this week there are some watermelons too.

This Week's Loot: Lettuce Mix, Onions, Garlic, Cucs, Zucs, Melons, Last of the Edemame, Pac Choi, Beets, Carrots, Potatoes, Dill, Cilantro, Mint
Next Week's Loot: Lettuce, Onions, Cucs, Zucs?, Last of the Melons?, Chard, Carrots, Potatoes ,winter squash...

Beautiful Beet Soup
3/4# trimmed beets
3/4 # taters, cut into one inch chunks
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup packed fresh dill
2 cups chicken or veg broth
2/3 cup ha;f and half
2 Tbs lemon juice
8 fresh mint leaves
Sour cream or yogurt for garnish
1. Place beets in 4c water and bring to a boil. Simmer until fork tender, drain, SAVING the water.
2. When beets are cool enough to handle, cut into 1-inch chunks
3. Meanwhile, place potatoes, onions, dill and broth in a pot and bring to boil. Simmer gently until taters are tender
4. Place beets, beet liquid and potato mix into a blender. Blend until smooth. Stir in half and half, lemon juice salt and pepper to taste
5. Serve hot or cold with a dollop of sour cream and mint

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Week 15--The New Additions

STAIRS!!!! When we built the barn a few years ago, we put in a nice loft, thinking it would be great space for storage and drying foods like onions and garlic. What we didn't plan was how we were going to actually get up there. I've scaled the north wall of the barn often...but no more!!! Although these stairs are super sturdy, they are utilitarian and are for farmer use only. Please be mindful of the kiddoes!

HONEY!!! This spring a neighbor put 4 bee hives on our property. They are filled with Caucasians, a black and white honey bee. I have seen them often this season, happily pollinating the raspberries and the buckwheat. This past week, the beekeeper pulled his first honey from the hives. It is delicious and beautifully clear! And eating local honey can do wonders for your allergies.

A SWIMMING POOL!!! for Dora that is. I finally broke down when I was at the hardware store the other day. She was a bit afraid of it at first. Going totally under water was a little alarming, but being a duck, she caught on quickly and now goes in for a dunk whenever she pleases.

DUDLEY!!! We felt Dora needed a feathered friend to keep her company during the day and to keep her warm this winter. As you can see he is a bit camera shy (He is the one on the right) and a bit people shy and a LOT dog shy. He seems to be warming up to his new home...very slowly. But Dora likes him, when he is around : )

A MEMORIAL BENCH. Just a year ago, our friend and neighbor, Martha Blowen died of breast cancer. This property had been in her family for several decades and she was a strong advocate and supporter of our endeavours here on the land. She would be very pleased to see the changes we have made and the bounty that her family's land is producing.

I have joined American Cancer Societies "Making Strides Against Cancer". It is a 4 mile walk that takes place on Sunday October 18th, starting at Monument Square in Portland. You may have noticed the can on the sign up table, please feel free to donate or visit for more information.

This week's Loot: Pac Choi, Lettuce, cucs, zucs, leeks, potatoes, edemames, carrots, melons, garlic, Spaghetti squash

Next week's Loot: Pac Choi, Lettuce, cucs, onions, melons, beets...

Spaghetti Squash

This unique winter squash has a fun, stringy, crunchy texture. After you bake it and scoop out it's insides, it is great treated just like pasta.

To boil: Heat up a large kettle of water, big enough to hold the whole squash. When the water boils drop the whole squash in and boil for about 30 minutes, or until a fork pierces the flesh easily.

To bake: Fork holes in the side. Preheat oven to 350 and bake for about 1 hour.

Open up the squash and scoop out the seeds. Then fork or "comb" out the "spaghetti"

Mix with salt, olive oil, tomatoes, edemames, capers, garilc, capers...


These are a little sweeter than onions, but can be used just the same. Use the stem, from the roots up to the where the leaves branch off. (recipes always say just to use the white parts, but it is such a waste!)

To wash: Cut leek length wise first.

To eat: Potato Leek Soup is a classic

3 tablespoons butter

3 leeks, thinly sliced

1 medium or large onion, chopped

6 – 8 potatoes, thinly sliced

3 1/2 cups chicken broth (or enough to barely cover potatoes)

1 cup heavy cream

salt to taste

fresh ground black pepper to taste
1) Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat then add onions and leeks. Cook, stirring, until onions are limp and just slightly brown.
2) Add sliced potatoes to saucepan then pour in enough chicken broth to just barely cover the potatoes. Continue cooking over medium heat until potatoes are tender. Using a potato masher, mash and stir potatoes until desired consistency is reached. As you mash the potatoes and the soup thickens, turn down heat and stir frequently with a large spoon to prevent scorching on the bottom.
3) Add one cup of heavy cream (or more if you desire) and salt and black pepper to taste. Cook 15 minutes more over low heat, stirring frequently, then remove from heat and serve.

Notes: *Make sure to clean leeks thoroughly and slice only the white and light green part of the leeks. **You don’t need to peel the potatoes as the peels add to the rustic texture of the soup. But make sure to scrub them thoroughly and remove any obvious blemishes before slicing. Although we always make it with chicken broth, this can easily become a vegetarian soup by simply using vegetable broth instead.

Start the soup by sauteeing the leeks and onions in butter until they are limp and just starting to brown.

Next, add all of the potatoes

After adding potatoes, pour in enough chicken broth to just barely cover them. The amount you use depends on the size and amount of potatoes you sliced. Two 14 oz. cans of broth is average but use more if you need it.

If I push down on the potatoes with the masher, they will be completely submerged. This amount of liquid results in a very thick soup. The soup can always be thinned at the end with some extra broth if desired.

It doesn’t take long for the potatoes to cook and you can probably start mashing within 10 minutes or so. The amount of mashing you do is entirely up to you. If you like chunkier soups, leave the potatoes a bit chunky. If you want a smooth soup, mash for a longer time. If you prefer a completely smooth soup, peel the potatoes before slicing and puree soup with a hand blender. I’ve never done this but I’m sure it would work.

When the soup has reached your desired consistency, add some heavy cream. The original recipe says 1 – 2 cup of cream but I never use more than one cup. I think you lose a lot of flavor by adding more cream. But, again, it’s up to you. Make sure to season well with salt and pepper after stirring in the cream.

Pac Choi:

The names Bok Choi, Pak Choi, Bac Choi are used interchangeably with Pac Choi, an Asian cooking green that is standby in many Asian recipes. It's a beautiful vegetable with a sumptuous shape from stalk to leaves, a juicy, mild and almost sweet flavor. The whole vegetable can be used from stalk to leaf. Lightly steam it and toss with rice vinegar, sesame oil and garlic or stir fry with marinated chicken and beef and serve over steamed, sticky rice.

Pac Choi Stir Fry

2 T vegetable oil2 cloves of garlic,

chopped onions or leeks,

1 head of Pac Choi, stalks and leaves chopped into bite sized pieces

1 large carrot, peeled and julienned

1 red bell pepper, julienned1 (2 inch) piece of peeled,

fresh ginger, chopped

1 T soy sauce

1 T brown sugar

1/2 T rice vinegar

1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp sesame oil

1 T toasted sesame seeds

In a large sauce pan, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat until hot. Toss in onion and garlic, stirring with a wooden spoon or tongs, for 2 minutes. Do not let them burn. Add the vegetables, ginger, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper and stir for another minute until the vegetables are hot and slightly wilted. Sprinkle on the sesame oil and sesame seeds and serve over hot, steamed rice.(Serves 2 to 3)Variations: Try adding protein like beef, fish or tofu before adding the vegetables. Even a couple of beaten eggs will do nicely in a dish like this. Cashews or peanuts are tasty when tossed in after cooking and you can always vary the sauce with something store bought like a jarred plum sauce or Thai-style peanut sauce.

Sorrel: These lemony leaves are a great addition to soups or salads.

Sorrel Soup

3 Tbs oil

1 leek

4 cups sorrel leaves

10 cups chicken or veg broth

1.5 # taters, chopped

2 Tbs lemon juice

1/4 tsp cayenne

1/4 tsp pepper

1 tsp salt

1 cup half and ha;f

1. Heat oil in a heavy pot over med heat. Add the leek and sautee 10 min. Stir in sorrel leaves, until wolted.

2. Add broth taters, lemon juice, spices and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover pot and simmer till taters are soft, about 40 min. Puree. Cover and chill

3.Stir in half and half

Monday, September 7, 2009

Week 14--The Beauty of Food

How lucky I am to have such beautiful food to eat on a daily basis


and to have a husband that cooks!
So this week the melons are ripe and you all should get one--I promise : ) The tomatoes on the other hand are at the end of their rope. This week I will harvest every last healthy tomato and then rip out the plants. May we never be cursed with late blight again!! I am thankful though that we had as many tomatoes as we did. Summer wouldn't be complete without at least one!

The turkeys are enjoying their grass. When I move them, I just let them roam free. They love it! And thankfully Simon just lets them be. If I could get him not to eat peoples' arms and shoes when they walk, I think he would be the perfect dog : )

Sherrie Blumenthal and Denise Dill (LRF sahreholders!) traveled to Michoacan, Mexico, the final destination of the Monarchs after their 2000-mile journey. The women will talk about their trip after a showing of the film "The Incredible Journey of the Butterflies," a 2009 PBS NOVA documentary at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9, at the library.
This Week's Loot: Carrots, Beets, Cucs, Zucs, Potatoes, Edemame, Lettuce, Cabbage, Tomatoes, Melons, herbs

Next Week's Loot: Leeks, Potatoes, Cucs, Zucs, Spaghetti Squash, Tomatoes?, Melons, Lettuce, Herbs

Crash Hot Potatoes
Boil potatoes until fork tender

Spread olive oil on a cookie sheet

Place the potatoes on the sheet, leaving space between each one

Use a potato masher and press down on the tater, turn masher 90 degrees and mash again

Brush olive oil on tater

Sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs lice rosemary, chives...

Bake for 20-25 minutes (or until crispy and sizzling) at 450--YUM!


1/4 mayo

1/8 red wine vinegar

Dijon mustard

pinch of sugar

salt and pepper

1/4 cup grated carrots

2 cups thinly sliced cabbage

1/8 cup red onions

Mix em all up. Taste and add more ingredients if necessary.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Week 13--The Mark of Fall

So here it is Tuesday 1:30 and I haven't even finished harvest yet! Loads of new fruits are ripening up in the garden. Hope you guys enjoy them as much as i enjoy growing them!!!

Okay and I also admit, I am running a little late--regrouping after our little trip away this weekend, canoeing!
Edemame Soybeans--These delectable beans are a little bit of work, but oh so worth it. Remove the pods from the plant and boil them in salt water for about 7 minutes, or until soft. Slide the pod through your teeth and "suck" out the beans (don't eat the pod!). I also like to sprinkle olive oil and garlic over them after they are cooked so you get this flavor as they pass through your teeth.
Melons--The yellow ones are a Honeydew called Orange Honey. It has firm flesh and is sooo sweet!

The netted ones are a muskmelon called Halona. They also have softer orange flesh and are super sweet too!

Coming soon--small red-fleshed watermelon called Little baby Flower

Cucumbers are tomatoes are all you can eat this week. Meaning no need to weigh. Feel free to take up to 10# of each for canning and freezing.
Cucumbers with pasta
This can be made ahead of time, put in the frige and then brought to room temp just before tossing with the pasta
1# cucs
salt and pepper
white wine vinegar
1.5# ripe tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 tsp minced garlic
2 Tbs chopped parsley
1 Tbs chopped basil
1/4 cup olive oil
1 # spaghetti
parmaseam cheese
Seed cucs and dice into 1/4 pieces. Toss with 1/2 tsp salt and 2 Tbs vinegar. Let sit for 30 minutes., then drain. Dice tomatoes and combine with thte cucs, onions, garlic, herbs and olive oil. Taste and add more items as needed. Toss the mixture with pasta.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Week 12--The Half-Way Mark

The end of August already! I can't believe it. The gardens went from full and lush to fall very quickly. It some ways I am not ready, but I know there are good things in store like sweet melons and squash...and cooler nights.

Garlic Harvest was abundant and they should serve us well into the winter. This week, onions will come out of the field I just have to find a place to dry them! Both onions and garlic take about 4 weeks to dry. Either can be eaten "fresh" or "green". But curing them in a cool, dry place allows their skins to cure and will allow for long time storage. Hope you are enjoying the bounty!

SAVE THE DATE!!! (I did change it)

Pick Your Own Pumpkin and Potluck.
October 17th from 10am-1pm.
A wagon ride into the pumpkin patch and then enjoy a nice lunch!

This week's Loot: Purple Majesty Potatoes, red onions, garlic, summer squash, cucs, zucchini, corn!, lettuce (sorry inside may be slightly bitter), tomatoes, green cabbage, cilantro, dill

Next Week's Loot: Carrots, Beets, Cucs, Zucs, Summer Squash, Lettuce?, Corn?

Spicy Bean and Cucumber Salad
2 c cooked beans
1 c finely chopped cucumber
1/2 c finely chopped onion
2 Tbs fresh cilantro
2 Tbs red wine or cider vinegar
2 tsp fresh chili pepper (or jalapeno) or 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
Mix all ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Summer Food
A large pinch of saffron threads
1/2 cup olive oil
7 ounces red or yellow cherry tomatoes
4 ounces green beans
1 zucchini, diced
3 ounces freshly shelled peas (or frozen if fresh are not available)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted

Put the saffron in a bowl with 1/3 cup hot water and set it aside to infuse.
Heat half the oil in a heavy-based skillet over high heat and add the tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes, shaking the skillet so that the tomatoes soften and start to split. Use a slotted spoon to remove the tomatoes from the pan and set them aside. Add the beans, zucchini, and peas and stir-fry over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Set the vegetables aside with the tomatoes until needed.
Add the remaining oil to the skillet with the garlic and rosemary and cook over low heat for 1 minute to flavor the oil. Add the rice to the skillet and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, until the rice is shiny and opaque. Add the broth and the saffron water to the skillet. Stir, then increase the heat and let the liquid reach a boil. When the broth is rapidly boiling and little holes have formed in the rice, reduce the heat to medium and let the liquid simmer gently for about 20 minutes, until almost all the broth has been absorbed.
Scatter the cooked vegetables over the rice, cover the skillet tightly with foil, and cook over low heat for 5 minutes so that the vegetables are just heated through. Sprinkle the almonds on top to serve.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Week 11--The beautiful colors

The fields are looking good! And I am having fun despite the heat. I actually like it : )

Looks like there will definitely be no surge of tomatoes this year, so be sure to fill up on other summer veggies like cucumbers and summer squash.

Just thought I would put this photo in case you were hot. Simon is running over where your carrots are now growing : )

This week's loot: Lots of herbs!!!! They all dry or freeze nicely, so don't be shy.
Lime Basil--use like a lime; in drinks, pasta, Thai dishes...

Holy Basil--this great in Thai dishes too, but I really like it as a sun tea

Lemon Balm--use it like a lemon...

Mint--sun tea, mix it with some of the other herbs

The last of the beans, lettuce, carrots, onions, potatoes, chard, cucs, zucs, summer squash, a tomato

Next week's loot: lettuce, green cabbage, potatoes, cucs, zucs, summer squash, garlic, a tomato...

Sun Tea

Pack mason jar with your choice of herbs
Cover with water
Set Jar in the sun for at least 2 hours
Pour over ice, while straining out the herbs
Sweeten with honey or maple syrup

Gratin of Potato and Summer Squash

1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1# of zucchini or yellow squash, cut 1/8 inch thick
1# potatoes, cut 1/8 inch thick
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 tsp sage, thyme, rosemary
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 c grated parm cheese

1. Combine oil and garlic, simmer for 2 minutes. Set aside for 15 to allow garlic to infuse into oil. Remove and discard garlic (or reuse)
2. Lightly grease a 12x9 pan. make 2 layers of the zuc, potatoes and onion, sprinkling each layer with the herbs, salt and pepper. Top with cheese and drizzle the oil over.
3. Cover dish with foil and bake for 1 hour at 350F (or less since potatoes are new taters). Let stand for 10 minutes.
Zucchini Feta Pancakes
4 eggs, separated
4 c. shredded zucchini
1 c. finely crumbled feta cheese
1/2 c. finely chopped green onions
1 T. fresh of
1 t. dried mint
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
Oil for frying
1. Combine everything except egg whites, toppings and oil. Mix well.
2. Beat egg whites until stiff. Fold into batter mixture.
3. Heat oil until very hot. Drop about 1/8 cup batter for each pancake. Cook on both sides until crisp.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Week 10--The Heat of Summer...finally!

Thank you Potato Pickers!

Saturday turned out to be a beautiful day--perfect for picking potatoes! We picked three rows (almost 900#!), using our "new" 100 year old potato digger. It was just given to us from a friend down the road. It was his father's, drawn by his horse, many years ago. It certainly made the job easier, although it had a few quirks : )

Not to worry if you missed this fine day--we have three more rows to go!

Pick Your Own Flowers!!! The flower garden is in full bloom and you are welcome to bring some home with you. There are scissors on the sill by the back door of the barn, along with baggies to put water in to keep them fresh on your drive home. Most flowers like to be picked when they are not quite open all the way. This way they will open in your home and you can enjoy them longer. Pick the lilies when the bottom two flowers have opened and the gladiolas are picked when the bottom 3 flowers have opened. Don't be shy--we planted them for you!

This week's loot: POTATOES!!!, lettuce, green beans, the last of the turnips, beets, cucumbers, zucchini, onions, basil, oregano

Next week's loot: potatoes, green beans, carrots, chard, cucumbers, zucchini, sorrel...I probably will NOT have lettuce--sorry!

The idea behind the CSA is that when the harvest is good, you share in the bounty. So even though I may have the poundage for the week set "high" don't feel like you HAVE to take it all. It's just an amount that you can take "up to", because we have food a plenty.
There are WORMS in my broccoli!!!! Soak your broccoli in salt water before cooking--this will bring all the worms to the surface so you can fish them out befiore they end up on your plate :)
Chocolate Potato Cake
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups cake flower
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup butter
1 3/4 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 cup mashed potatoes
1 cup buttermilk
melt chocolate with vanilla, cool slightly. sift dry ingredients. cream butter and sugar and beat in eggs one by one. add the chocolate and mashed potatoes. beat in dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk. pour into a greased 13x9 pan and bake in a preheated 350 oven for 40 minutes. cool before frosting.
3 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 lb confectioner's sugar
dash of salt
1/2 cup softened butter
hot milk
chopped walnuts
melt choc and vanilla, let cool slightly. cream sugar, salt and butter. add just enough hot milk to make a spreadable consistency. beat in melted choc. spread on cake and sprinkle nuts on top.
Classic Potato Salad
1 medium onion, sliced thin
apple cider vinegar
1 tbs finely chopped basil
1 tbs finely chopped oregano
1 tbs finely chopped dill
1 cup mayo
4 medium taters, cooked and cooled
2 hard cooked eggs
salt and pepper
place onion in a small bowl and add enough vinegar to cover. mix together herbs and mayo in a separate bowl. slice taters and place them in a large bowl with the eggs. drain onions and add them to the taters. add the herb-mayo mixture and stir

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Week 9--The Potato Harvest

Yeah the sun is shining!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, the potato harvest has begun! Even though I know these tasty spuds won't last through the winter, picking taters is still fun, it's like an easter egg hunt. Since it is so fun I would like to invite you to join us! We are having a little Potato Picking Party this Saturday August 8th from 10am-1pm. Bring the whole family--even kids can do it! Bring a bucket : )

Freezing/Canning beans for sale. $2.00/#. They will be set up in the barn on the big scale behind the welcome sign. Help yourself and leave money in the cash box. Feel free to buy for friends and family. Extra potatoes are for sale too, $2.00/#. Let me know of you are interested.

Speaking of money, Please be sure to pay your IOU's and when you do throw your slip away!

This Week's Loot: The last of the sugar snap peas, hakuri turnips, baby carrots, summer squash/zucchini, potatoes, A tomato, beans, lettuce, chard, dill, cilantro

Next Week's Loot: The last of the Hakuri Turnips, beets, summer squash/zucchini, beans, lettuce, onions, basil


stampfen means pounding or stamping, bohnen means beans

1 # taters

1.5 # green beans

6-8Tbs butter

1 cup chopped onions

Roughly chop potatoes and cut beans into one inch pieces. Cover taters with salted water and bring to a boil, cooking gently for about 15 minutes. Add beans and cook another 10 minutes or until all veggies are soft.

Melt butter and saute onions. Drain veggies, setting aside some of the liquid. mash taters and beans together until taters are mashed and beans are broken up. Ad cooking liquid as needed. Add butter and onions and remaining Tbs of butter, if desired.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Week 8--The Follow Up

I have had several folks ask me about the Late Blight, so I wanted to follow up on that topic. Unfortunately it has spread into the potatoes quite rapidly, so I will be harvesting a lot of "new" potatoes this season. I suppose this isn't too bad since new potatoes are very tasty, however this means I won't have as many storage potatoes to sell in the winter.

So how does this Late Blight affect you? Besides the fact that we may not have as many tomatoes or storage potatoes, and that you have to hear me complain about it, it won't affect you at all. LATE BLIGHT WILL NOT MAKE YOU SICK!

The turkeys just celebrated their 5 week birthday! They now have a run outside, but still go in the barn at night. Feel free to visit them on the back side of our house, but don't touch the fence, it's electric! (Boogie Woogie!).

HELP WANTED: This late blight has taken up so many hours of my day I am in need of help! Looking for a strong individual to help with harvesting and weeding 5-10 hours a week ASAP through mid October. Must be willing to work in the rain : ) I will "pay" the equivalent of $8/hour in produce.

This week's loot: lettuce, baby carrots, hakuri turnips, cilantro, green beans, snap peas and a taste of summer

Next weeks' loot: the same with the addition of chard, I promise! and some other herb like dill : )

Pickled Dilly Beans2 lbs fresh green beans
4 small garlic cloves
4 heads of dill or 4 tsp dill seeds
½ tsp red pepper flakes
2 ½ cups white vinegar
2 ½ cups water
2 Tbs salt
Sterilize 4 pint jars and place one peeled glove of garlic, 1 head or 1 tsp of dill seeds and a pinch of red pepper in each. Fit beans in jar allowing 1/2 inch of head room. (trim beans if necessary.) Bring vinegar, water and salt to a boil. Pour over beans, filling within 1/4 inch of the top. Fasten jars and place in a boiling water bath, covering the lids with 2 inches of water. Process at a hard boil for 5 minutes. Remove and cool.

Freezing Beans Bring enough water to a boil to emerge beans. Dunk beans in water and start timing right away. Leave in water for 3 minutes. Remove from hot water and emerge beans in ice water until cool. Drain, bag and freeze.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Week 7--The Bad and The Good

Well just when I thought that by the sun coming out, all of our worries would bake away...I discovered we are a victom of the early late blight. Many of you may have heard about this disease that affects potatoes and tomatoes on the news. It is the same fungus that caused the Potato Famine in Ireland in 1845. Luckily we are not as dependant on the potato as those folks were so we shouldn't have mass starvation. However, it is still a terrible disease that can quickly have a devestating affect on our crops and surely affect us economicaly. It is spread by spores that travel on the wind and are extremely active in cool, damp weather. Typically this disease doesn't reach Maine until late in the season, just before the crops are about to be hit by frost. (Frost kills the spores). But this year, the blight hitch hiked on some tomato transplants coming up from the south and in combo with our excessive wet weather the spores spread like crazy. The blight is now widespread throughout the northeast and we are all scrambling to check out our plants daily, remove any plants that are affected, burn them and then spray copper (a natural fungicide) weekly in order to control the spores from spreading---hopefully. So keep your fingers crossed that it doesn't spread throughout our tomatoes and into the potatoes. And that come next month we will be feasting on tastey red fruit!

So with all the craziness that has happened this year, you may wonder what is keeping me going. Well, there are a few things that may only excite a farmer, but that bring a lightness to my step despite the clods of mud that try to weigh me down. Here are a few photos to explain...

This week's Loot: Lettuce, Hakuri Turnips, Baby Carrots, Chinese Cabbage, Chard, Peas, Garlic Scapes, mint
Next Week's Loot: Lettuce, Baby Carrots, Baby Beets?, the last of the peas, green beans?

Washing Tip--I find things like beet greens, leeks, chinese cabbage...that it is easier to cut up the leaves first, then wash in a strainer. That way the soil has more of a chance to wash off rather than to slide into another crack.

Summer Hakuri Turnips!
These beautiful globes may be eaten raw or cooked. They aren't quite as spicey as a radish and have a wonderful crunch.

Shell Peas! These are great raw on salads!
Freeze a quart bag, I promise, you will be sooo happy you did mid winter!
Shell peas, bring water to a boil, put peas in and blanch for 2 minutes, drain and place peas in ice water to stop cooking. Drain again and place in a freezer bag.

Carrot Top Soup

1 bunch carrots, including the greens
1/2 cup brown rice
2 garlic scapes, chopped
6 cups water, light chicken stock, or vegetable stock
thyme, to taste, and whatever other herbs suit your fancy
salt & pepper, to taste

In a small saucepan, bring 3/4 cups water to a boil. Add rice. Simmer until tender, and set aside. While the rice is cooking, chop carrot tops, enough for 2 to 3 cups,loosely packed. Wash thoroughly, then chop finely.
Chop the carrots into fairly small pieces.
Melt a couple tablespoons of butter in a soup pot. Add the carrot topsand carrots, garlic and herbs. Cook for a few minutes, turning everything a few times, then add the water or stock, and salt. Bring to a boil, and simmer until the carrots are almost cooked. Add the rice, heat through until the carrots are tender, then taste for salt and season with pepper.

Baby Turnips and Greens

16 turnips with greens
5 Tbs Butter
Salt and Pepper
Cut Leaves from turnips, cut and wash well
Melt 3 Tbs of butter in a sautee pan
Layer sliced turnip in the pan, cook 2-5 minutes so they brown but are still crunchy
Melt in remaining butter and stir in greens

Stir, add salt and enjoy!

Turnip Slaw
1# turnips, grated
1/2 carrots, grated
1/2 pepper, thinly sliced
3/4 c thinly sliced celery
1/4 C diced chives
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 C cider vinegar
1/4 C water
Combine all and let sit to wilt for 30 minutes
Serve over or mix in with lettuce
Add blue cheese or chevre on top