Sunday, August 24, 2014

August 26th and 29th


This winter I bought a potato digger! (a Spedo, made in Italy) I am sooooo excited about it because 1) it will save time 2) it will save our backs and 3) I will be able to have volunteers help harvest...saving more time and more back pain : )

I still need a little practice, but when I had the hang of it, it worked like a charm.  A shovel goes under the potatoes and lifts them from the ground.  Then the material gets pushed onto a grate.  All the while the machine is vibrating back and forth (so fiercely it nearly rattles every nut and bolt loose on the tractor AND my brain), shaking the dirt from the potato and leaving the tubers laying on top of the ground for us to pick up.  Generally when I dig potatoes the upper leaves are dead...I think it will be much easier as some of the plants were clogging the operation.  All in all though it worked awesome, even in wet soil.  And now you get to enjoy the fruits of our labor--little nuggets of Red Gold.

Flower of the week--Dyer's Coreopsis
The flowers make a beautiful dye that the Native Americans used for ceremonial purposes and tea.
Check out this site for more info.
This Week's Bounty: lettuce, chard, beets, sweet onions, green beans, wax beans, new potatoes, cukes, zukes, summer squash, melons, tomatoes, eggplant, parsley and cilantro
(enjoy the zukes and ss--they won't be around much longer...)
Coming soon...corn, edemame, hot peppers, tomatillos (PYO)...
Farmer's Table:
*lobster with coleslaw
*burritos with lots of tomatoes and peppers
*many, many, many, raw green beans while picking (I mean it takes four hours, we need a snack!) 
Recipes for summer squash and tomatoes

Monday, August 18, 2014

August 19th and 22nd


Def: A horse that runs well and wins often on muddy tracks.  (it can also be used for athletes or sports teams...maybe we should add farmers too!)

Jean and I aren't quite the mudders yet, but we are working on it.  Wonder if there are work horses that are mudders, or just race horses.  My tractor is a mudder.  Although I am not sure who is eating who up...the mud or the John Deere!

It's not all slop out here.  And even though we have been using some pretty stinky soil amendments this year (crushed, picked crabs that smell horrible), there are still some sweet aromas as well.  In the mornings, when I walk by the winter squash blossoms, a soft sweet smell floats through the air.  It took me a bit to figure out where it was coming from, but now I make sure to take time to smell the "squash blossoms" every morning.

Hope your dinner aromas are just as heavenly!

This week's loot: lettuce, Ailsa Craig onions (large and sweet!), green beans, kale, carrots, cukes, zukes, summer squash, fennel, sweet peppers, eggplant, melons, tomatoes and basil... I think that's it, but I could be missing something...

Next week's hopefuls: new potatoes, beets, chard, cilantro

The Farmer's Table:
*hamburgers stacked high with tomato, pickle, cheese and peach mostarda---YUM!
*cucumber slices
*cole slaw

Sunday, August 10, 2014

August 12th and 15th


The cabbage is rocking!  I didn't mean to have 2 plantings ready back to back, but sometimes, that's just how it goes.  Time for summer picnics!!  This is Faro.  It, like the Tendersweet, is a summer cabbage with thin, sweet leaves meant to be eaten in cole slaw or stir fry (not made into kraut).   
from the left: fall broccoli, summer cabbage, fall cabbage, leeks, sweet potatoes, asparagus
The melons are rocking!  Soon cantaloupes will be ready, but for now we will continue to enjoy the juicy yellow and red watermelons!  The rinds are super yummy too in stir fry or you can pickle them.  It takes a little work to take the skin off, but worth the effort.

The turkeys are rocking...and squawking!  They are happy to be outside in the grass chasing bugs and eating leaves.  They are a noisy bunch this year though and have made one of us run to check on them more than once...only to find them standing there with one loud mouth right in the center yelling "yerp! yerp! yerp!" for no apparent reason at all. Hmmpf.  They are lucky they're still cute : )
The flowers are rocking!  This is Zach's new favorite flower, a cutting phlox.  The flowers may be tiny, but they have long stems and hold in the vase for a long time.  Their bright little faces will keep flowering all season. 

My Dinners are rocking!  I am still being well fed by my sweet husband Zach. (he reads this, so I am going for brownie points right now).  We have continued to enjoy eating small plate/tapas style....chicken with sour cherries, sliced peppers, sautéed summer squash, sliced tomatoes and basil, Spring Day cheese and Paul's bread. 
So I think yesterday was the first day in a long time I did not get rained on while harvesting cukes and zukes (or should I say, it was the first day I was not nearly struck by lightening).  I am looking forward to some rain free days and NOT looking forward to the heavy rain predicted on Wednesday.  So it goes.  Most crops are hiking up their roots and producing heavily through the mud.  We are hoping for a long summer, well into early October, so the late planted winter squash have time to catch up.  Funny how each crops grows different from year to year.  Eating seasonally is certainly not boring!  I hope you are fully enjoying what this season's growth has brought us.
This week's bounty: cabbage, Chinese cabbage, onions, baby leeks, green beans, broccoli, zukes, cukes, summer squash, eggplant, tomatoes, peppers(?), watermelon (half shares) and parsley

Monday, August 4, 2014

August 5th and 8th

Living High on the Hog

The pigs are excited about their new home, nestled right in the middle of a luscious patch of oats.  Those critters have it pretty good during their time here at Little Ridge.  Fresh grass, lots of sun, cool puddles of water, whey, organic grain and love pats.  Although their season is short, they love every minute if it.  

Yellow Cukes and Golden Zukes!
Have no fear, the yellow cucumbers, called Poona Kheerna, are not overripe green cukes, they are an Indian heirloom variety.  They ripen from pale yellow to russet brown and can be eaten fresh, pickled and even cooked.  The skin is a little thicker and stays super crunchy no matter what you do with it. 
The yellow zucchini taste the same as the green...just a little variety for your plate!

While eating dinner last night, Zach and I were reveling in the abundance of food on our counter tops and fridge.  THIS IS THE TIME TO EAT.  We wait and wait all year for a diverse array of fresh veggies in Maine and here we are, at the height of the bounty.  It's hard to decide what to eat for dinner, it's all so good.   Hope you are loving it too!!!
This week's bounty: lettuce, cabbage, purplette onions, beets, beet greens, baby carrots with tops, green beans, kohl rabi, broccoli (?, or maybe next week), eggplant, cukes, zukes, summer squash, tomatoes (half shares), watermelon and peppers (full shares), basil and dill
The Farmer's Table:  are you ready to drool?  we had an amzing week of eating!
*watermelon cocktail....mmmm
*pizza with wild black trumpet mushrooms (generously gifted to us) with cream cheese
*chicken stuffed with black trumpet mushrooms with roasted fennel and kohl rabi 
*hamburger layered with tomato, lettuce, Evangeline cheese, and peach mostarda.  With sliced cukes and dill.

Beet Hummus: My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz.

12 ounces cooked beets (I only had 8oz and it was fine)
1 cup chick peas drained with skins rubbed off
2 cloves garlic
6 Tblsp tahini
2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
Pinch of cayenne or smoked chile powder
1 1/2 Tblsp pomegranate molasses

Blend all in food processor until smooth, drizzle with more pomegranate molasses, hide in back if refrigerator until serving time, devour

Fennel String-Bean Salad

Hopefully you can read this one--it is from "Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen", a book written by one of our share holders, Kendall Scott