Monday, November 29, 2010

December Holiday Share

What a tremendous growing season! A warm summer and Mother Nature has gently lifted us into winter. The ground is starting to be crunchy and those little flakes of white aren't melting in the shade. I was happy for the temps to get a little cooler because I was needing for the root cooler to cool down enough to pack all the veggies in. And I mean pack..when I open the cooler door, onions come toppling out!
I am experimenting this year with "quick hoops." They are a low fabric and plastic cover that I can take down in the spring and is cheaper than another hoophouse. I will be amazed though if they last the winter. West winds are fierce and I have already been chasing plastic. If they do work, however, I am hoping to have some overwintered spinach, carrots, kale and scallions.
Walking around the farm, I am happy to see green. Most folks wouldn't notice, but we take great care to cover the soil in a cover crop for the winter. The roots of the cover crop hold in the nutrients, hold the soil in place and add organic matter for the following year. All but where the pigs were last is covered in cover crops or "green manure". I seeded their spot anyway after they left in October, but mid September is the last date to usually get growth.

So now everything is put to rest. The strawberries are under their blanket of straw as well as carrots, parsnips, garlic and leeks. They will wait out the winter visited by rodents and cold, but will emerge again in the spring.
I like late fall projects: pruning raspberries, putting away equipment, mulching. It is like wrapping gifts, knowing that when I open them in April they will all seem like new.
May you all have a cozy Holiday, filled with cheer and good food! Keena
December Holiday Goodies: carrots, potatoes, turnips, rutabagas, beets, onions, cabbage, winter squash, pumpkins, maple butter and potato rolls
Raw Organic Chocolate Bark
Order this decadent and nutrient-rich, "superfood" chocolate to pick up on Dec. 16th with your farm share. Handmade locally by Holistic Health Coach, Kendall Scott. Made with Maine maple syrup, no sugar and the purest, organic chocolate ingredients right from the cacao bean. Makes a delicious, healthful gift or just treat yourself! One "Holiday Flavor" - coconut, cranberry almond. 1/4 pound = $9 (10-12 pieces)1/2 pound = $16 (about 20-22 pieces)
Email to order by Thursday, December 9th.

Rutabaga FriesOlive Oil
Salt, garlic powder, and paprika
Preheat oven to 425 F. 1) Peel rutabagas with a paring knife and slice in 1/4" rounds. If you like, you can do them in strips - they will cook a little faster, but you have to watch them carefully or they'll burn.2) Smear with oil and a little salt and put them on a nonstick baking sheet.3) Cook about 12 minutes, turning twice. Take out when golden brown and tender. Immediately sprinkle with garlic powder and paprika. I like to add kosher salt at the end as well.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thanksgiving Share

As you butter up the bird this year or stuff your vegetarian squashes, preparing for a special feast, pause a moment to reflect on the food you are about to consume. I am always filled with the wonder of feeling rich whenever I am blessed with such bounty. And to eat a meal that has been almost entirely grown outside my door is...well...I don't even have the words to express. It feels safe, sustainable, heroic. But then I remember all those generations before me that have grown their own food, so simply to live, and eaten the fresh taste of fresh and it brings me back around to feeling thankful. Thankful that this earth can still sustain us. And thankful that those little seeds and baby animals still have the spirit in them to grow and be fruitful. I thank them.
These last few days have been all about Potato Rolls : ) Those light, fluffy, devilishly buttery rolls of greatness. I am not usually a "baker", but it has been fun to change things up abit. Be surrounded by flour and balls of dough. Plus it makes the house cozy warm and smell like sweet pastries. The biggest challenge has been to keep the cats and the husband from eating them. (I did burn a few, by accident I promise, although it did mean we got to eat them :) They have been known to make grown men weep, they are so good.

This photo is for those folks who baulk at fitting a 25# bird in their oven. Mine is tiny and I have fit a 42#er in there! Over the last 3 days I have baked over 480 rolls and the cookie sheets that I had to buy (because the 2 that I owed just weren't going to cut it) wouldn't even fit! But alas I made it work. Anyway, I hope you enjoy them...last year I heard many of them were eaten by moms and kids before they ever got home--sorry dad!
Thank you for sharing in local food production. I hope you have a wonderful holiday.
Blessings on your meal, Keena
This share's loot: apples, potato rolls, cranberries, winter squash, pumpkin, potatoes, carrots, onions, sweet potatoes, rutabagas, turnip, brussel sprouts, fennel, spinach, lettuce mix, kale, chard
Mashed Rutabagas and Potatoes
3 pounds rutabaga, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 to 2 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces, about 5 or 6 medium
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, or to taste
2 teaspoons chopped parsley, optional
Cook rutabaga and potatoes in salted water in separate saucepans. When both are tender, remove from heat. Rutabaga will take about 30 minutes, and potatoes will take about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain; puree or mash rutabaga well, then mash the potatoes. Combine mashed rutabaga and potatoes; add butter, milk, pepper, and nutmeg. Beat well. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

Baked Apples and Rutabagas
6 cups shredded rutabaga, about 1 1/2 pounds
1 large apple, peeled, cored, chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons butter
Mix turnip, about 3/4 or the chopped apple, brown sugar, salt and pepper in a 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle remaining apple over the top of rutabaga; dot with butter. Cover and bake at 350° for 1 1/2 hours, or until rutabaga is tender.

Vegetarian Stuffed Pumpkin1 (5 pounds) pumpkin
2 to 3 cups brown rice, cooked
2 cups crumbled dry whole wheat bread (or part corn bread or other bread)
1 onion, chopped
1/2 to 1 cup chopped celery and leaves
2 apples (tart and unpeeled), chopped
1 cup roasted chestnuts or a handful of cashew nuts, cut in half
Herbs: Sage, savory, marjoram, oregano, and paprika to taste
1 to 2 cups vegetable stock
1/4 to 1/2 cup butter, melted, or safflower oil
Soy sauce or salt to taste

Sweet Potato and Sausage SoupBon Appetit, October 2007
We ended up using spicy chorizo (yee-ouch!) but it played off the sweet potatoes perfectly, saving me from death by cayenne.
Gourmet note: This hearty soup gets rich flavor from linguica, a delicious pork sausage from Portugal seasoned with garlic, paprika, and other spices.
Makes 8 servings
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided1 10- to 11-ounce fully cooked smoked Portuguese linguica sausage or chorizo sausage, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices (Spanish chorizo can be substituted)2 medium onions, chopped2 large garlic cloves, minced2 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams; about 2 large), peeled, quartered lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices1 pound white-skinned potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices6 cups low-salt chicken broth1 9-ounce bag fresh spinach
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add sausage; cook until brown, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Transfer sausage to paper towels to drain. (I poured off some of the oil in the pot at this point, but the original recipe doesn’t think this is needed.) Add onions and garlic to pot and cook until translucent, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add all potatoes and cook until beginning to soften, stirring often, about 12 minutes. Add broth; bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until potatoes are soft, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Using potato masher, mash some of potatoes in pot. Add browned sausage to soup. Stir in spinach and simmer just until wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among bowls and serve.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Week 23 Oct 26th and 29th


This week, you may see some strange looking vegetables in the share. These crops are able to withstand the colder temps and actually get sweeter with frosts, so I have left them for the very end.
Purple Kohlrabi: I blogged about kholrabi earlier in the summer. This is very similar, just purple. It has a sweet "broccoli stem" flavor, that you may want to cook or eat raw.
Fennel: This cool looking vegetable is Mediterranean in origin and has a unique anise, or black licorice flavor. Again, it may be eaten cooked or raw. It aids in digestion and packs in Vitamin A, calcium, potassium and iron.

Brussel Sprouts: I didn't take a photo. I should have , they look like a little pineapple plantation out there in the field. You will sort of get the idea of how they grow when you see them at pick up. I leave them on the stalk because they store better that way. Just before you eat them, "snap" the sprouts off the stem, clean off any yellowed leaves and prepare. They are not your school cafeteria sprouts! Just be careful not to over cook them.

Delecata Squash: Many of you have been waiting for this sweet little winter squash. It is small but flavorful and makes a great soup, sauteed veg, roasted veg or baked and stuffed. The skin is so thin and "delicate" that you can eat it after cooked! Check out the Delecata squash bisque recipe posted on the blog last October.

A big thank you and blessing to the turkeys and cows!

So this is it, the last pick up of a long and extremely productive
season. Thank you all for your support, and love for fresh food. I
had a super time growing this year and loved meeting all of you and your families. Many of you I will see during the winter share pick ups, but if
not, happy winter and I look forward to seeing you again in the spring! Be sure to sign up for the 2011 season soon after the New Year.

The Last Week's Loot: carrots, chinese cabbage, brussel sprouts, kohl rabi, daikon radish, kale, chard, fennel, delecata squash, spaghetti squash/pumpkin, onions, leeks, oregano, thyme, sage (sorry no taters, I need them for winter).
Fennel, Carrots and Pecans
2 cups carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2c thinly sliced fennel
1/4c maple syrup
1/4c roasted pecans
2tsp cornstarch
1Tbs chopped parsley
Steam carrots until tender-crisp. Heat oil and saute fennel 2 minutes. Add syrup, pecan and carrots, and simmer briefly. Mix cornstarch and 1 Tbs water and stir into skillet. Stir in parsley and serve.
Brssuel Sprouts in Cider with Apples and Onions
1 lb brussel sprouts, halved
2 apples, 1/2 in cubes
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs olive oil
1 red or yellow onion, chopped
1.5c cider
1/2tsp salt
1/2tsp pepper
2 star anise (could use a little fennel)
1/4c balsamic vinegar
Melt butter and oil in pan on low. When foams turn up to medium and add apples and onions, saute til apples soft and onion clear, bout 4 min. Add sprouts, cook about 3-4 min. Add remaining ingredients cept vinegar. Cover, reduce heat and simmer til sprouts are easily pierced with a fork, bout 10 min. Remove contents with a slotted spoon and place in a serving dish. Heat reserved liquid until reduced by half, add vinegar, cook 2 min stirring and scraping pan, pour over sprouts
Baked Kohlrabi
1 fennel bulb
2 c kohlrabi, sliced 1/2 in thick
2 cups stock
1/3 c milk or half and half
3 Tbs butter
2 Tbs flour
1/4 c parm
1/2 tsp paprika
Heat over to 350. Slice fennel 1/2 thick. Bring stock to a boil and add veg and cook til tender 7-10min, Drain, reserving stock. Add enough stock to milk to total 2 cups. Heat 2 Tbs butter stir in flour and cook 2 min. Whisk in stock until smooth. Season with slat and pepper. Butter a casserole dish and place veg in pan. pour sauce over it, sprinkle with parm and bake 1/2 hour

Monday, October 18, 2010

Week 22 Oct 19th and 22nd

This year I experimented with growing vegetables for the Crown of Maine Organic Cooperative. Crown of Maine is a local coop that buys food from farms and resells it to restaurants, grocery stores and food coops. I have really enjoyed selling to them as I feel they are in tune with us farmers and give really fair prices. Anyway, this year I grew colored carrots and winter radishes for them. These are the only 2 crops that you will get "2nds" as Crown of Maine gets the perfect looking stuff. You have already seen the colored carrots and this week I will introduce the winter radishes!

From left to right: Daikon, Saisai Leaf, Green Meat, Munchener Bier, Nero Tundo

Daikon: An Asian root, crisp and full of hot flavor. Cooking mellows the heat. Used mostly in making kimchi, a pickled root dish.

Saisai Leaf: This root is very similar to the daikon, but a little plumper. It was bred so that it leaves could be harvested for salads, stir-fries and pickling. I didn't try any leaves this year, maybe next.

Green Meat: Unique miniature daikon. Crisp and "sweet".

Munchener Bier: Germans traditionally serve this mildly pungent radish sliced thin and salted with a dark beer. Try them sauteed and salted too.

Nero Tundo: Black radishes have been traced back to the 16th century conquistadors. Pungent white flesh loses some heat when boiled or stir-fried.

Radishes are exalted for their many nutritional supplements and vitamins.

--Radishes, especially black ones, contain a unique phytochemical called MIBITC that is even stronger than the much-lauded anti-cancer compound sulforaphane, which is found in broccoli.

--radishes are rich in vitamin C, the B vitamins and sulfur.

--The radish root can also be crushed and used as a poultice for burns, bruises and smelling feet.

As for eating, well...your imagination is your limit!

All of these radishes may be cooked, eaten raw, grated or pickled. Most are quite spicy (especially since it was so hot and dry), but flavor mellows or sweetens when cooked. Grating them onto salads or on top of soups adds nice flavor, but not too much spice all at once.

According to several online recipes, winter radishes work very well peeled, chopped into matchstick-sized pieces and cooked in stir fry dishes. They can also be thinly sliced, baked and eaten as "chips" or grated and mixed with sour cream and lemon juice as a salad/side dish.

Gilfeather Turnip This heirloom "turnip" (it's actually a rutabaga) is sweeter than most turnips. It is wonderful grated with carrots or roasted in a pan. It was either developed or discovered by a lanky secretive bachelor, John Gilfeather, in VT who was said to have cut off the tops and the bottoms so that no one else could propagate them. However a few seeds escaped and were eventually commercialized. This year will be the 8th annual Gilfeather Turnip Festival in Mt Snow Vermont!

Inca and Pedro have started to explore the outdoors. They were so cute with the ducks. I think Inca has potential to be a duck herding cat!

This Week's Loot: lettuce/spinach mix, winter radish, leeks, onions, potatoes, carrots, beets, cabbage, chard
Next Week's Loot: greens of some sort, delicata squash, onions, carrots, potatoes


Radish and Root Kimchi --Wild Fermentation, Sandor Katz, an awesome book
Ingredients for 1 qt
2 daikon
2 turnips
3 carrots
a few small red radishes
3 Tbs or more fresh ginger root
3 clove garlic
2 onions/leeks
3 hot peppers or more

1. Mix a brine about 4 cups water and 3 Tbs salt
2. Slice roots, leave on skins.
3. Place them in the brine and place a plate on them to make sure they are fully emerged overnight
4. Prep ginger, peppers, garlic
5. Drain brine off veg., reserving brine, you want it to taste salty, but not unpleasantly so. If too salty, rinse. If not salty enough sprinkle with a couple tsp and mix
6. Mix spices into veg and stuff into a quart jar. Pack tight, until brine rises, if you need to add reserved brine to cover veg do so. Place something on veg so it stays immersed and cover it with a towel to keep off dust and flies.
7. Place jar in a warm place. After about one week, place jar into fridge to slow fermentation down. You may also taste kimchi daily and place it in the fridge when you think it tastes ready.

2 tablespoons flour
1 cup apple cider or juice
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
½ cup Jarlsberg cheese, shredded
1 cup milk
½ cup chicken broth
¼ teaspoon black pepper, ground
½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 lbs. Gilfeather turnips, peeled and thinly sliced
Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Put oven rack in center position. Grease 10 x 2 round baking dish or an 8 x 10 rectangular baking dish; set aside. Place flour in a medium heavy saucepan; gradually add milk, whisking until smooth. Whisk in cider, broth, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, whisking constantly. Cook one minute more, remove from heat and set aside.Combine cheeses. Arrange half of the sliced turnips (slightly overlapping) in prepared baking dish. Sprinkle half of cheeses on half of the turnips. Arrange another layer of turnips on top of cheese. Pour cider mixture over turnips.
Golden Winter Soup
Leeks and potatoes provide the base for this hearty vegetable soup, and butternut squash adds a hint of sweetness. Gruyère toasts add a salty note.

2 tablespoons butter
5 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled russet potato (about 12 ounces)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups sliced leek (about 2 medium)
4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half
12 ounces baguette, cut into 16 slices
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese
3 tablespoons chopped chives
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)

Preheat broiler.
Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add squash, potato, salt, and pepper to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add leek; sauté 1 minute. Stir in broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potato is tender, stirring occasionally. Place half of potato mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining potato mixture. Stir in half-and-half. Cover and keep warm.
Arrange bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet; sprinkle evenly with cheese. Broil bread slices 2 minutes or until golden. Ladle 1 cup soup into each of 8 bowls; top each serving with about 1 teaspoon chives. Serve 2 bread slices with each serving. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper, if desired.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Week 21 Oct 12th and 15th

CARROTS with CHARACTER These ladies are trying out for the Rocketts

These guys are a little stiff, they didn't make the character cut this year...

Sending a thankful prayer out to the piggies this year
Alive in Lewiston!
Check out this worthwhile family event and fundraiser for a local group, Lots 2 Gardens. They help to transform city lots into bountiful garden plots as well as feed the hungry and educate folks how to use fresh food.
This Week's Loot: potatoes, carrots, leeks, sorrel, parsley, winter squash, chinese cabbage,
Next Week's Loot: lettuce mix, onions, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, winter radish

Cabbage Salad with Apples and Walnuts Adapted from Chez Panisse Fruit, via Cookstr
Serves 6
1 chinese cabbage
1/3 cup walnuts
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper
½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons creme fraiche or heavy cream (we used sour cream)
2 apples
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Tear off and discard the tough outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut it in half and cut out its core. Slice the halves crosswise into a fine chiffonade.
Toast the walnuts in the oven for 8 minutes. While they are still warm, first rub them in a clean dishtowel to remove some of the skins, then chop or coarsely crumble them.
To prepare the dressing, mix the vinegar with the lemon juice, some salt, and a generous amount of pepper.
Whisk in the olive oil and then the creme fraiche or cream. Taste and adjust the acid and salt as desired.
Quarter, peel, and core the apples. Slice the quarters lengthwise fairly thin and cut these slices lengthwise into a julienne. Toss the cabbage, apples, and walnuts (and blue cheese, if you’re using it) with the dressing and an extra pinch of salt. Let the salad sit for 5 minutes, taste again, adjust the seasoning as needed, and serve.
Chinese Cabbage and Chicken stir fry
1 1/3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon plus 4 teaspoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons dry sherry
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
1/2 head Chinese cabbage (about 1 pound), sliced
3/4 cup drained sliced water chestnuts (from one 8-ounce can)
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro or scallion tops
1/8 teaspoon salt
In a medium bowl, combine the chicken with the 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of the sherry, and the cayenne. Let marinate for 10 minutes.
In a wok or large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until almost done, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Add the onion, garlic, and coriander. Cook, stirring, until the onions are golden, about 4 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sherry and the vinegar. Cook, stirring, 1 minute longer.
Add the cabbage, water chestnuts, the remaining 4 teaspoons soy sauce, the tomato paste, red-pepper flakes, and water and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes longer. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices, the cilantro, and the salt and cook, stirring, until the chicken is just done, 1 to 2 minutes longer.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Week 20 Oct 5th and 8th


What a beautiful day for a pumpkin harvest! Thank you to all who came and for your help. We had so much fun, it felt like we were hanging out with old friends.

We loaded up the wagon with people (a little tight) and then loaded up the wagon with pumpkins (so full we had to use the pick up truck too!).

I admit, I made folks do a little work, but we still had fun and now all of you at pick up this week get to bring home some pumpkins! All of the pumpkins this year have nice edible flesh. Hopefully some are big enough for carving and decorating too.

Cortland apples for sale at pick up this week.
Sign up
in the barn for apple cider for next week.

This year I was asked by Slow Food Maine to grow some heirloom crops for them. They are a movement geared towards Renewing America's Food Traditions, meaning eating more "real" food, unprocessed whole foods. I grew Gilfeather Turnips and Katahdin Potatoes. Every year they have a dinner with these foods prepared by well known local chefs. It sounds like fun--check out the website for more details. (Sunday October 17th from 2-5).

This Week's Loot: pac choi, spinach, carrots, potatoes, pumpkins

Next Week's Loot: chinese cabbage, winter radish, carrots, potatoes...
Chilean Squash Casserole
4c cooked squash or pumpkin, mashed or pureed
1Tbs olive oil
1 1/2c chopped onion
1tsp salt
2 small bell peppers
4 cloves garlic, minced
1tsp cumin
1/2tsp dried coriander
1tsp chili powder
2c corn (here is where that frozen corn comes in handy!)
1c grated cheddar
1. heat the olive oil in a pan add onion, saute 5 min, add salt and bell peppers, saute 5 min
2. add garlic, black pepper and cayenne saute few more minutes
3. combine remaining spices corn and squash and spread into a 9x9 baking pan.
4. spread cheese over top, bake 25-30 minutes at 375

Monday, September 27, 2010

Week 19 Sept 28th and Oct 1st

I find beets to be one of those you either love them or you hate them kinda veg. Personally, I love them...shredded raw, pickled, roasted, baked in brownies...anything that can naturally turn your skin a color must be good for you! A classic fall beet dish is borscht. It is a flavorful hearty stew and uses many of the vegetables available at this time if year. I will also unveil my beet brownie recipe once again. Well, it's not really "mine" but I found it in this great cookbook called "Gardener's Community Cookbook". It is a fabulous collection of recipes from all over the states. Mostly they are simple recipes, but very tasty--unique ways to eat fresh veg.
Introducing Pedro (the six fingered cat) and Inca Dink.
So I am a sucker for kittens. They were buy one get one free! I just couldn't help it.

Ahhhhh! A little break on Moosehead Lake.
Today is raining. It always seems to do this right before a frost, which makes harvesting a tad uncomfortable. Luckily it is not too cold a rain. I am planning on getting quite a bit in this wed/thurs, if anyone wants to get dirty : )
The tomatoes are just about done. Seems like the theme for this season--a rush of color and juice, then gone. Feast or famine, chow when you can. I have been feeling a bit gluttonous this year. First it was peas, then beans, then corn (man I ate alot of corn), melons and then we are moving into winter squash. Oh and onions, but for some reason onions seem a little bit tougher to be gluttonous with. I cut up 16 about an hour ago for catsup and my eyes are still burning!
PYO Pumpkin Party and Potluck this Saturday from 10-2!!!!

This Week's Loot: lettuce, onions, carrots, beets, potatoes, kale, winter squash tomatoes
Next week's Loot: spinach, onions, carrots, pumpkins, chinese cabbage?
Beet Brownies
4 oz unsweetened choc
1 stick butter, room temp
1/2 pound trimmed, cooked and pureed beets
3/4 cup raspberry jam
2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1.5 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 c flour
1. preheat to 350, lightly grease a 13x9
2. melt choc and butter, add the beets and 1/4 cup of the jam, whisk til smooth
3. crack eggs into a bowl, add salt, beat until foamy. add sugar and vanilla. whisk in choc beet mix, add the flour and whisk until smooth. pour into baking pan
4. gently melt remaining jam and drizzle it over top of batter. bake 25-30 min.
Chocolate Sour Cream Topping
5oz semisweet choc, melted
1/3 c sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
whisk together until smooth and spread over cooled brownies

Monday, September 20, 2010

Week 18 Sept 21st and 24th

When I think of leeks, I think of fall. One can have spring leeks but to me leeks are best with fall kale and potatoes, when the air is cooler and you need a little soup to warm you up. Leeks are much like onions, but a little sweeter. Many recipes call for just the white of the leek, but we use much of the green too. The white is the part that was underground when growing. The problem with burying them too deep in the ground though is that you then get loads of dirt in the layers of leaves. So I opt for less soil in your kitchen and more in my fields.

I transplant these guys in late April, at the same time I am transplanting onions. They are as small as little blades of grass when I plant them. Now some are 2 inches in diameter and 3 feet tall!

WOW what a bounty this year! I have been scrambling to keep up with harvest and now with fall right on my heels, I have "first frost" nagging me too. Many things will do okay in a light frost but it is good to start harvesting now because it takes a long time to pull food out of the field and get it ready for storage. Storage. I am in need of storage. crates, bags, SPACE--I am out of all of it! I am not panicking yet, but soon you may see veggies piled high in any container imaginable. That being said, please excuse the "tightness" of the barn when you come for pick up. At least it is edible clutter : ) I promise to have the potato sacks out of the way when you come...well most of them..I hope
I harvested all of the storage potatoes this weekend--1600#!!! Sweet. I did have a few brave helpers Saturday am. We certainly got our knees dirty. I borrowed a "digger" from my friend Mitch. It helps to loosen the soil and maybe throws 50% of the potatoes up out of the soil but the other 50%...well you gotta work pretty hard for them. I wanted to take a few photos to show you the process but my hands were dirty too. Besides I figure the best way for you to really know is to get your hands dirty yourself--maybe next year?
So I am a little weary. Good weary though. I do sleep well at night. And the weather has been gorgeous!!!! For the most part I am happy with the season but I am a little bewildered as to why my fall spinach and lettuce did not germinate so well. I think it had something to do with the 90 degree dry spell we had in August, but still I am ready for some fresh fall greens and well, there ain't none. bummer. But we do have tomatoes :)
Sign Up for Apple Cider!!!
Fresh, unpasturized from Willow Pond Farm
Soooooo good!
Freezes great too..stock up
This Week's Loot: tomatoes, potatoes, chard, pac choi, carrots, broccoli, leeks, sorrel
Next Week's Loot: tomatoes, potatoes, kale, spinach?, carrots, beets...
Leek and Swiss Chart Tart1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed (I used a basic tartdough instead)
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
3 large leeks coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 bunch Swiss chard, ribs removed, leaves chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 1/4 cups whipping cream (I used whole milk)
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Roll out pastry on floured work surface to 12-inch square. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Trim overhang to 1 inch. Fold under; crimp edges. Cover; chill.
Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add leeks and thyme. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover; cook until leeks are very tender but not brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add chard; saute until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cool.
Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 425°F. Whisk cream and next 5 ingredients in large bowl. Mix in cooled leek mixture. Pour filling into crust.
Bake tart 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake until filling is puffed and just set in center, about 15 minutes longer (this took my oven about 10 minutes longer). Transfer to rack; cool 10 minutes.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Week 17 Sept 14th and 17th


This picture doesn't really show the winter squashes very well, but they are there, all of those little dots. We have cut them all from their vines and hopefully this week I will get them in for the winter...frost is just around the corner! They are extremely sensitive to cold weather especially now that their leaves have died back and they have no protection.

This week I will give out spaghetti squash. It is a very unique squash; once cooked the insides are stringy, sort of like spaghetti. It is kind of crunchy in texture and has a nice sweet flavor. We like to bake it and then saute it with butter, garlic, tomatoes and edamames.

Saturday October 2nd from 10-2
Don't miss out on "the Great Pumpkin"! We will take a wagon ride out to the patch, harvest pumpkins and then head back to the barn for a potluck lunch.

Tomato Tasting

This weekend we compared flavors of all of our tomatoes. I must admit, they were all pretty good, but we did have our favorites. I think mine was Prudence Purple, Zach's was Black Prince. And actually Jet Star was a close second for me. Some of you have given me some great feedback on the veggies you like/dislike...keep it coming, it is YOUR share and I make my seed order based on your tastebuds! Feedback is good!
This Week's Loot: a bit o' lettuce, kale, onions, potatoes, spaghetti squash, edamame, carrot last of the summer squash and zucchini, oh yea and tomatoes : )
Next Week's Loot: Leek, carrot, beet, chard, tomatoes


Zach's Style Spaghetti Squash
Bake squash until adente. Remove from skin, then saute with onions, garlic and cooked edamame. Garnish with fresh tomatoes and Parmesan cheese.

Italian Spaghetti Squash
1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons sliced black olives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
Place spaghetti squash cut sides down on the prepared baking sheet, and bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a sharp knife can be inserted with only a little resistance. Remove squash from oven, and set aside to cool enough to be easily handled.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion in oil until tender. Add garlic, and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, and cook only until tomatoes are warm.
Use a large spoon to scoop the stringy pulp from the squash, and place in a medium bowl. Toss with the sauteed vegetables, feta cheese, olives, and basil. Serve warm.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Week 16 Sept 7th and 10th


I grew up in Ohio and although I did not grow up on a farm, I was surrounded by them. Mostly beef cattle, hay fields, corn and soybeans. Of course most of the corn and soybeans were grown for finishing cows in feedlots. (We all know that grass-fed is better, right?) Anyway, these soybeans, unless roasted, were pretty bland, starchy. So when I first heard about growing soybeans when I was working in PA, these starchy beans are what I thought of. Boy was I wrong! Edamame are a variety of soy beans that are grown and used a snack food in much of Asia. They are easy to prepare and even more fun to eat. They grow on a bush like a green bean. Since these plants only flower once, all the beans are ready at one time. So I harvest the entire plant and make you pick off the beans. Call it my fall break. I harvest as many plants as you guys will eat. The remaining plants turn yellow in the field and I let them dry there. After they are dry, I harvest the entire plant and thresh it..knocking off all the outer shell and keeping just the bean. These dry beans I use for seeding the following year. They are also good as a dry bean, so if you don't get to your edamame while they are fresh, don't be afraid to remove them from the pod, soak them a bit like dry beans and then cook them up.

How do you prepare fresh Edamame? Remove the pods from the plants and place them in a pot of salty boiling water. Boil them until tender and drain. Then you slip the pod through your teeth; pulling the beans out into your mouth--DO NOT EAT THE POD! (stringy!) I sometimes like to drizzle olive oil, garlic or soy sauce on the shells so as you pull them through your teeth, you get the flavors. Have fun with them!

Ahhh, cooler weather! The 2.5 inches of rain Friday night was welcome and this breeze has been heavenly. It feels like it is cleansing the earth after all of that hot and dry. One downside to the breeze is the bit of anxiety it brings me. Wind has always made me a bit nervous but now with the new hoop house, it hits my nerves even harder. Please please please don't blow away or get damaged in a storm!
On a good note, the hoop house is just about finished. I have a few more things to do, but for the most part, it is DONE--barring any unforseen happenstances, like Milo running across the top, ripping the plastic (he did really). I was planning on seeding the first succession of greens the 3rd week of September. But it has been so hot..nearly 120 degrees in there! So hot, it killed all the weeds! That was my plan all along :)

Today truly felt like fall. I started to harvest the cornstalks towering over the orange and round. Simon, Sunny and Milo all helped. Oh and Zach too, well he took photos of me working. We feed the stalks to the cows and pigs, they love their sugary sweet taste. And it gives them something to play with for awhile.

So this week I will start to limit your share again. The beans, melons, cucs, zucs and summer squash are just about finished. We may have a couple of weeks of lull since most of the fall crops are still in shock from all the late heat. But soon we will fall into fall and be back on schedule. No worries, I won't let you starve!

This Week's Loot: edamame soybeans, zucs, carrots, onions, beets, chard, tomatoes, hot peppers and GARLIC!

Next Week's Loot: lettuce! carrots, kale, tomatoes...

Green Tomatillo Salsa--in PYO garden

Cooking it is simplicity itself; you just chop the ingredients–I did the tomatillos in medium sized dice, and the peppers and onions in small dice, and minced the garlic and cilantro–and then put everything in a pot, bring it to a boil, turn it down and simmer it for ten minutes. I find that the colors look especially lovely in the uncooked salsa–not only does the red onion boost the sweetness of the salsa and complement the natural sugars in the fruit, but the violet color, even in the finished, canned product, looks lovely flecked through the variegated greens of the salsa.
The recipe I give here fills five pint jars or ten half pints. Whether you pack into the larger or smaller jars, the processing time is the same–you boil them in the covered canner for fifteen minutes. Then, remove from heat and let sit for five minutes before opening the canner and lifting the jars from the water.
So, what do I intend to do with my finished salsas verde?
enchiladas verde, of course! Or chile with pork and white beans….mmm.
There are lots of possibilities for soul warming foods to be made with this salsa in the coming winter months.

Tomatillo Salsa For Hot Water Bath Canning
11 cups husked, cored and chopped tomatillos2 cups diced red onion1 cup green Anaheim or New Mexico chiles, diced finely1/2 cup green jalapeno chiles, diced finely1/2 cup green poblano chiles, diced finely8 cloves garlic, minced1 cup white distilled vinegar8 tablespoons lime juice2 teaspoons ground cumin4 tablespoons finely minced cilantro1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika1 teaspoon salt
Wash five pint or ten half pint jars, their lids and rings thoroughly in hot, soapy water and rinse well.
Fit jars in the rack to a three-quarters full hot water bath canner, lower into the water, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for ten minutes. (Make sure water comes over the top of the jars and fills them all the way up. Turn off heat and allow jars to sit
Put lids in a saucepan and bring to a simmer–not a boil–and allow to simmer for ten minutes. Turn off heat and keep the lids warm.
Put all the ingredients to the salsa in a clean, heavy bottomed dutch oven or stockpot. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then turn heat down and cook at a vigorous simmer for ten minutes, stirring now and again. Turn heat off of salsa.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Week 15 August 30th and Sept 3rd


Every year I think I am going to grow enough peppers to have copious amounts at pick up. Although this summer seems like it should have been a good pepper year, I have come to the realization that we still live in Maine. My plants actually look the best they ever have. And the peppers look great and big and are turning red earlier and quicker than ever, but I don't seem to have very many per plant. Not sure why...I planted near 600' of peppers this year, the most I have ever and yet I still feel like I need more! I think part of my obsession with them is that I think they are beautiful. I feel the same about eggplant, but they are even harder to grow and I really don't like eating them so that is why I don't grow them.

I didn't have it quite together this week to have photos to show you the different varieties of peppers I grew this year. But most of you have heard the differences at pick up already. If not don't be shy to ask. I have the crates divided into sweet and one seems to trust me though : )

(The 7 "little" ducks)
Yesterday (Monday) I went to a friends farm in Wiscasset to work for the day. We, with a 3rd farm, decided to do a fall work trade. We all go to one farm and work for a day and then swap farms until we've all had help at our place. It is a great chance to talk farming, compare notes and see how other folks organize their place. Not to mention it is nice to actually SEE my friends during the farming season! I was thinking I would have folks come here to help me lug winter squash in from the field, but we will see how the timing works out.

A note on the zucchini, summer squash and cucumbers: Their time is about up, so enjoy them while they last. Sorry the cucs have looked a little rough lately. Between the lack of rain and the heat, they are not so happy anymore. They still are crispy though and peeling some of the skin off can make the rough appearance a little better.

This Week's Loot: peppers, melons, ss, zucs, cucs, beans, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, kale, onions, basil

Next week: I am not sure yet

Zucchini Strand Spaghetti Adapted from Michael Chiarello
As I’ve mentioned before, Chiarello has wonderful recipes but I can’t resist cutting out a few steps or we’d be using every dish in the apartment. Still, the link is up there to the original if you want to go that route. In the meanwhile, for the rest of us, here’s a simplified version of a really simple, wonderful dish that I could see quickly becoming a summer staple.
Servings: We got a solid four dinner servings out of this
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound whole-wheat dried spaghettini
3/4 pound zucchini
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus a small piece
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes.
While the water comes to a boil and the pasta cooks, cut the zucchini with the fine French-fry cutter on a mandoline. If you do not have one, cut by hand into the longest, finest julienne you can manage. Season with salt and pepper. If your zucchini is very finely cut, it does not need to be cooked. Otherwise, place in a colander, suspend over the pasta pot, cover the pot, and steam the zucchini until still slightly crunchy, about 2 minutes.
Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add the garlic and saute briefly until light brown. Turn on the exhaust fan and add the red pepper flakes. Quickly mix in the basil and remove from the heat. When the pasta is al dente, drain through a colander, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.
Pour the pasta into a warm serving bowl; add the zucchini, basil oil (optional, recipe below), the garlic mixture, and 1/2 cup of the cheese. Toss well, adding cooking water as needed to make a smooth sauce. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper, as needed. Grate about 2 tablespoons Parmesan over the top and serve at once.
Basil Oil (or any other herb-flavored olive oil)
Makes 1 1/3 cups
For soft herbs, such as basil, parsley, cilantro or tarragon: Use 4 cups packed leaves to 2 cups pure olive oil.
For woody herbs, such as rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano or lemon verbena: Use 1 cup packed leaves to 2 cups pure olive oil.
In a blender, puree the herbs and oil until completely smooth. Put the mixture in a saucepan and bring it to a simmer over moderate heat. Simmer for 45 seconds, then pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Don’t press on the mixture, but you can tap the strainer against your hand to get the oil to drip through faster.
[Chirello has steps here to strain again through a coffee filter and let it settle for a few hours but I skipped all this and still had a gorgeous, delicious, unbelievably potent basil oil.]
Note: Fresh herb oils are better to toss into pasta at the end rather than cook with, so the oil keeps its fresh, uncooked taste.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Week 14 August 24th and 27th


Ahh, nothing like a fresh tomato! Since I started farming in 1999, Zach and I have eaten more and more seasonally. I found it a bit tricky at first but now I really don't crave lettuce mix mid winter or cucumbers in the spring or even tomatoes...until now. Now I pop them in my mouth like candy and slice them up on everything. Any excuse to eat as many as I can until frost.

This year I grew 810' of tomatoes (I only meant to have 600') and 11 varieties. I harvest tomatoes about every other day and each time I go out, there have been more and more and they are BEAUTIFUL!!! I pick most tomatoes slightly under ripe so you don't have to eat all of them in one sitting after you bring them home. And hopefully you aren't attracting every fruit fly in the neighborhood. I do grow some heirloom varieties and they are more subject to looking "funny", but be brave, just cut around it, because the taste is oh so worth it!

Tomato varieties in the photo:
Top Left: Prudence Purple and Brandywine (pinkish color)
Top Right: Orange Boy (orange)
Middle Left: Red Lightening (orangeish with red stripes)
Middle: Early girl, Jet Star (perfect looking red ones)
Bottom Middle: Paste (oblong and red)
Bottom Left: Black Prince (purplish green)
Bottom Right: Sungold (orange cherry)
Bottom Right: Green Zebra (green with yellow stripes)

It truly is a wall of tomato plants out there. Good thing the rows are straight or I would get lost! It looks a bit like a circus too, we have beach ball like balloons, shiny tape and 2 not so alive crows hanging out there to try and keep the murder of crows from eating all of your tomatoes, peppers, melons, winter squash and lettuce. Man are they persistent thsi year! I think they are looking for water in our fruits.

Today (Sunday) was a bit like waiting for a pot of water to boil. I woke up fully expecting it to be raining...nope. Then the forecast said 2pm...nope. Then the forecast said 5pm with a 70% chance of an inch on Monday night...nope. Looking at the radar, we are right on this line that keeps breaking up and that means no rain for us. Yet. I am still hopeful to get a bit tonight or tomorrow. Rain dance please!
This Week's Loot: no lettuce, sorry...cucs, zucs, beans, carrots, beets, hakurei turnips, tomatoes, chard, melons and the last of the corn
Next Week's Loot: about the same
(I am eating the summer squash carrot soup right now from last week's blog--yum!)
Chickpea, Zucchini and Nigella Seed BurgersMakes 7 burgers
1 cup of dried garbanzo beans, picked through and rinsed
6 cups of water, filtered
1 large zucchini, shredded
¼ teaspoon of kosher salt
1 tablespoon of nigella seeds
½ tablespoon of turmeric
2 tablespoons of hot crushed peppers
½ tablespoon of powdered garlic
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 tablespoon of vital wheat gluten
Cook garbanzo beans in water until tender. Drain beans thoroughly and move to your food processor. Process until all the beans are pulverized. Move the pulverized garbanzo beans to a large mixing bowl.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a half sheet pan with a silpat or parchment paper and set aside.
Place shredded zucchini in a colander and mix with kosher salt. Allow to stand for 15 for water to drain. Squeeze zucchini of excess water and move to the mixing bowl.
Add nigella seeds, turmeric, hot crushed peppers and powdered garlic to the garbanzo and zucchini. Mix the ingredients thoroughly so the ingredients are evenly distributed. Taste the mixture for salt and pepper now. Add the vital wheat gluten and knead the mixture to thoroughly incorporate the wheat gluten.
Form the mixture into seven even patties and place them on the baking sheet.
Bake the patties for 25 minutes, or until firm and cooked through. If you like a crunchy exterior you can place the patties in a hot cast iron pan for a couple of minutes on each side.
Herbed Summer Squash and Potato Torte Adapted from Bon Appetit, June 2001
This torte can easily be made ahead and reheated as you need it for guests, or even a meal for a few, if you halve it. In fact, I suspect that it might be even better reheated because there is something about potatoes that have been cooked twice–they’re always better.
And if you’re not reheating it, be patient enough to get a better browning on the bottom than my impatient hunger allowed me to.
This also might work well in a cast iron, though you would probably have to adjust your cooking times slightly.
Makes 8 servings
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced1 cup grated Parmesan cheese2 tablespoons all purpose flour1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme1 1/2 teaspoons salt3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds12 ounces yellow crookneck squash or regular yellow summer squash, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds6 teaspoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter two 8-inch-diameter cake pans. (Deb note: I had only a 9-inch pan around, so what you see in my pictures is slightly thinner.) Set aside 1/4 cup sliced green onions. Toss remaining green onions, cheese, flour, thyme, salt and pepper in medium bowl to blend.
Layer 1/6 of potatoes in concentric circles in bottom of 1 prepared pan, overlapping slightly. Layer 1/4 of squash in concentric circles atop potatoes. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with 1/6 of cheese mixture. Repeat with 1/6 of potatoes, then 1/4 of squash and 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with 1/6 of cheese mixture. Top with 1/6 of potatoes. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with 1/6 of cheese mixture and press gently to flatten. Repeat procedure with second cake pan and remaining potatoes, squash, oil, and cheese mixture.
Cover pans with foil. Bake until potatoes are almost tender, about 40 minutes. Remove foil; bake uncovered until tortes begin to brown and potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes longer. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cool. Cover with foil and chill. Rewarm, covered with foil, in 350°F oven until heated through, about 30 minutes.)
Cut each torte into wedges. Sprinkle wedges with 1/4 cup green onions; serve.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Week 13 August 17th and 20th

Most folks know what a carrot is, but there are always a few folks that don't realize they grow underground. The leafy part sticks up out of the ground (and invites deer to chew on them) and the root is fully beneath the surface. I have been lucky, in that most of my carrots pull right up, however, this year I grew them in the rockiest soil I have (what was I thinking?!) and I need a pitchfork to get them out. The rocks explain some of the crazy shapes you may see at pick up!

For now all of the carrots are orange, but I did grow a few yellow ,white and purple carrots for fun that you may see later in the season.

We are starting to move in to fall--wow already?! And you will be starting to see the type of veggies shift in the share. We will move more into root crops like beets, carrots and potatoes and we will head back into more greens, cabbages and spinach. Although we did get 3-tenths of an inch of rain today, the fields are still pretty darn dry. I am feeling a bit anxious about all of the fall tranplants I just put in as well as seeded spinach, lettuce and cover crops. With just this tiny bit of moisture all the newly seeded crops germinated, but they are going to struggle.

Most farms have irrigation. It is a blessing and a curse. Mostly I believe in letting nature do its thing. If rain isn't falling, I don't think we should be depleting the water table. However, there are times I do wish I had just a bit of irrigation to "save" crops. The crazy thing is that if I did have irrigation, I think it would be like a drug. It would be hard not to use it and probably right now I would be outside, with my headlamp on, moving it around. Well, next year I am going to experiment with a little drip irrigation. I have few gardens in the back field that are very sandy and think it would help improve vegetable flavor if I were to irrigate them a bit. So we'll see how addicted I become...

Leroy and I thought I would show you what my hands look like after I have been harvesting tomatoes...just a tad blackened! Zach thinks my hands feel like shoe leather..his are soft as silk. (I did clean my fingernails for a wedding we attended this weekend)
This Week's Loot: a bit of lettuce (sorry those porcupines/crows really set us back!), greenbeans, cucs, zucs, carrots, beets, new potatoes, corn, melons, tomatoes, herbs, onions, some peppers and broccoli
Next Week's Loot: pretty much the same : )
The veggies are still pumping out good stuff! They are starting to look a little tired with the hot and dry and the elements of fall on our heels. I will probably not limit the share again this week, as I still have loads of beans and squashes. Please be mindful of the limits though on some items. At some point, barring an early frost, I am sure tomatoes will be limitless too, so do not despair!
Summer-Squash Soup with Parsley-Mint Pistou*Adapted from Gourmet, September 2006
For squash soup
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 medium onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 lb yellow summer squash, halved and thinly sliced
2 carrots, thinly sliced1 yellow-fleshed potato (1/2 pound), peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
4 cups chicken stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth
For pistou**
3/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs1 large scallion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt
Make soup: Melt butter in a 6- to 8-quart wide heavy pot over moderate heat, then cook onion with salt, stirring, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add squash, carrots, potato, and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, then simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are very tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool soup, uncovered, 10 minutes.
Working in batches, puree; soup in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids) and transfer to a bowl. Return purée to cleaned pot and thin with water if desired; simmer 3 minutes. Season with salt.

Make pistou while vegetables simmer: Pulse mint, parsley, and scallion in a food processor until finely chopped. With motor running, add oil in a stream, then add water and salt, blending until incorporated.
Swirl 1 tablespoon pistou into each bowl of soup.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Week 12 August 10th and 13th


Traditionally the Indians grew their pumpkins and beans in with their corn. I have to admit, I am not totally sure why they did, but I can tell you why I grow my pumpkins under my corn...first of all it saves space. Both corn and pumpkins take up a lot of space in the fields. Corn needs several rows in order to pollinate sufficiently and pumpkins need plenty of ground to let their vines wonder. The second reason I grow my pumpkins and corn together is that the scratchy, crazy understory is supposed to deter rodents from wanting to enter in and eat your corn. Now I don't want to jinx myself so I won't tell you how that is going. All I will say is that harvesting your corn is very challenging : )

I find the corn patch to be very majestic. One morning the sun was just right: making the corn silks glisten crimson red and the pumpkin blossoms glow bright yellow.
Farming has been hot and dry lately. I know, I know, us farmers are never satisfied. But if you could do a little rain dance (and I mean little, like whatever dance would get us a nice soft inch of rain, just once and then another in a few weeks). Oh and the crows are still being a bit pesky. I think there is an unsaid race happening right now between me and them as to who is going to get the first ripe tomato. No fair! They are cheating ! They are eating them green!
OH and I almost forgot...we (zach, my dad, myself and 3 shareholders-and a ghost shareholder who didn't physically help but kept us fed) put up a hoop house this weekend. I did not download a picture, but you shouldn't miss it when you come to the farm--it is a bit like an airplane hanger right now. This unheated greenhouse will hopefully supply some winter greens for the winter shares and early green for next year's summer shares! I will update you more on that later...
Don't forget to Pick Your Own Flowers!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This Week's loot: lettuce, greenbeans, cucs, zucs, sugar buns corn, carrots, beets, chard and herbs
Next Week's loot: lettuce, beans, cucs, zucs, taters
So it turns out that canning is the new "in". Even hip city folks are doing it!!! Check out this blog for fun preservation recipes:

3 pounds small zucchini
1 pound onions
1 pound red or yellow bell peppers
3 tablespoons kosher salt
3 cups cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon pickling salt
1 tablespoon honey (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon whole yellow mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon total of whole black peppercorns and whole coriander, finely ground
1 dried chili pepper, finely diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and split
1 -- cut the vegetables into a 1/4" dice and toss in a colander with 3 tablespoons salt. Set aside for 2 hours for the salt to draw water from the vegetables, then rinse by pouring a kettle of boiling water over the vegetables and draining well.2 -- combine all other ingredients in a large sauce pan and heat until sugar is dissolved. Add vegetables to the hot vinegar syrup and cook over medium heat for 20-25 minutes, or until the vegetables are translucent and yielding. Discard garlic.3 -- pack hot relish into prepared jars, leaving 1/2" head space. Seal and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Do not open for a week, to allow time for the flavors to blend and mellow.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Week 11 Aug 3rd and 6th

Potatoes, Spuds, Taters

This amazing root vegetable grows beautiful bulbs of red, yellow, purple, blue, white and brown. Mostly I dig potatoes by hand: pulling up a plant and then immersing my hand into the soil sifting for "gold". A good yield is harvesting 10# of taters for every 1# planted. I don't know that my yield is quite that high, but it is pretty darn good.

When you look at the potato, you will see little "eyes" or sunken spots on the tuber. It is from these eyes that a potato sprouts a branch. In early May, I set a piece of a potato, about the size of an egg, into the ground and cover it with about 4 inches of soil. Soon, those eyes have set branches and eventually they poke out of the soil. At 6 inches tall, I mound more soil up around the branches and then once again when they are 12 inches tall. This gives a nice soft mound of soil for the potatoes to grow in which makes harvesting easier.

The potatoes you are receiving now are considered "new potatoes". That means that their skin is thin and that they would not store for a long time outside of your fridge. Some potato varieties are good "storage potatoes". These varieties I let stay in the ground until their leaves naturally die. This is an indication that the skins on the potatoes have toughened up and cured so that they will be able to store for up to several months. These potatoes I will not wash for you, as they are best stored unwashed in a dark, cool, dry place.

"The annual diet of an average global citizen in the first decade of the twenty-first century included about 73 lb of potato."

A Bird's Eye View
A porcupine has found the weakness in my hero farmer right through it. This little spiky animal has consistently eaten 10-20 heads of lettuce a night. We have sat out for 4 consecutive evenings waiting for him to show his face before dark, but alas, I think the crows are alerting him to our whereabouts. They are certainly in cahoots, although I am not quite sure what the crows are getting out of the deal. Maybe the porcupine promised to stay out of the tomatoes if he could get all the lettuce he wanted. Well their little conspiracy is working...bummer!

Dilly Beans, Frozen Beans, Pickles, Zucchini Relish
Let me know if you are interested in aquiring more cucs, zucs and/or beans for preserving!

This Week's Loot: Lettuce? Cucs, Zucs, Green Beans, New Potatoes, Kale, Herbs, Jalepeno Peppers, Corn?

Next Week's Loot: Lettuce? Cucs, Zucs, Green Beans, Carrots, Beets, Green Peppers?

Vegetable Lasagna
Basically just layer every vegetable you get into a pan...beans, squashes, greens, carrots
In between layers add cheese, oil, herbs, sauce...
Bake it covered at 350 for 30 minutes, then remove cover and bake until cheese is bubbly