Happy Spring!

March 21st, 2017

Ahhh, Spring! At times it feels like this season will never be here, then all of a sudden one day you walk out the door and notice the new chorus of bird voices, you smell the distinct fragrance of an awakening earth, and there is a tinge of green in an otherwise gray/brown lawn. Then there is the noticeable difference in the strength of the sun, the warmth which soaks into your garments and warms our sensitive winter skin. I love Spring! All the planning and dreaming we do in the winter is finally put in motion, step into a greenhouse and warm rays turn into steamy heat. Our hands are finally in the dirt again and little green seedlings begin sprouting though potting soil on their way to developing into those delicious ingredients which will round out another healthy meal. This year I was able to plant in ground in my hoop house the earliest I have ever planted, February 6th. It’s my second year of planting in ground in a hoop house and I still have so much to learn. Admittedly it’s a bit nerve racking to think about those little seeds surviving some of these nights when the temperature is still dipping into the single digits. How can these plants even survive? This is often the question I have floating through my head as I make my way over to the hoop house on a frozen morning. But then I walk inside and am struck by the difference, yes it is still cold but the warmth is accumulating quickly and in the absence of a bitter cold wind the ground is unfrozen. Now days when I pop in it reminds me of late spring, warm, boarding on hot, especially if it’s sunny. The colorful salad mix, carrots, radish, spinach, asain greens are putting on rapid growth.

I hope you get a chance to celebrate this change of the season. As a gardener we live in these changes. As food lovers at the very least you get to go on this journey with me though my writing and through the bounty you see coming in your CSA share. Happy Spring to all of you, let us breath that fresh earthy air and take a moment to listen to the songs of Spring.

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2016 CSA Sign Up

January 17th, 2016

Looking for our 2016 Sign-up form?  Well here it is!  Welcome to a new year of delicious health food.

2016 CSA brochure

Brussels Sprout Colcannon

October 14th, 2014

Brussels Sprout Colcannon

This take on a typical Irish side dish hides Brussels sprouts in comforting mashed potatoes, a great way to convert suspicious nay-sayers. Picky kids will be far more likely to eat their greens if they get to choose creamy mash!

Cut 2 pounds of organic potatoes into chunks and place in a large pot. Cover with at least an inch of cold water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and cook 20 minutes. Meanwhile, shred 1/2 pound Brussels sprouts with a mandoline, starting with the side furthest from the stem. When the potatoes have finished cooking and are fork tender, drain in a colander, and return the pot to the flame. Melt 5 Tbsp. butter in the pot and add the greens and 2 tsp. salt. Cook about 5 minutes, until tender and wilted. Remove the pot from the flame. Add the potatoes and mash with a fork. Add 1 cup organic whole milk yogurt. Serve immediately.

 

Quinoa, Black Bean & Butternut Squash Chili

October 14th, 2014

Quinoa, Black Bean & Butternut Squash Chili

makes 6 hearty bowls of chili

one 29 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
one 6 oz can tomato paste or fire roasted tomatoes
32 oz vegetable stock
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 butternut squash,  peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
1 cup rinshed quinoa
salt and pepper to taste
avocado, cilantro for garnish  (optional)

 

 

 

Heat the oil in a large heavy soup pot over medium low heat. Add onions, and cook until soft and they start to turn brown (about 10 minutes). Add the garlic, and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes or paste, chili powder, cumin, and oregano and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the beans, stock, and squash, and season with salt and pepper . Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the quinoa. Continue cooking for about 15 minutes – 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until quinoa and potatoes are cooked and the chili has thickened. Add a bit of water if the chili becomes too thick for your liking. Top with avocado and chopped cilantro. We enjoyed this along with a pan of cornbread. Great for a cold evening. It was very filling, and there was enough leftover for lunch the next day!

 

The First Snow

October 14th, 2014

This year continues its trend of cool weather.  On Saturday morning my family and I awoke to a quarter inch of snow on the ground.  I kid you not!  Oh what a sight and so soon, but as an ex ski bum I can’t help but get excited when I see that first dusting of the white stuff.  Having looked at the weather report the night before I brought in a fresh load of wood and built my first fire of the year that evening.  What a glorious smell, wood smoke mixed with leaves and wet air.  Yesterday though as I was returning to my wood pile I was reminded that it is way to small, so starting this week I will be in the woods in earnest to stock up.  While the snow was beautiful it was also another reminder of how close we are to the end of the season.  So much to do, so many things to get out of the field before we call it quits.  There are beets, storage radish, Brussels, spinach, turnips, potatoes, sunchokes, not to mention planting garlic and other overwintered crops like leeks and green scallions.

The other day I was sitting at my desk in the office when a rather large bird flew past the window.  I didn’t give it much thought figuring it was just a crow but when I went back outside I was greeted by a familiar but rare call.  Sitting on the fence that rings our chicken yard was a beautiful Pileated Woodpecker, think Woody Woodpecker.  Over the last couple of years I have seen more signs of them and see them regularly but this was new to have one around the homestead.  I’ve been watching it for days now enjoying a late fall snack of overripe wild grapes.  Between the woodpecker and the Bald Eagle that flew over the garden this place seems to be for the birds.

 

 

Fair Thee Well

October 14th, 2014

Well we’ve come again to that time of year.  Today we packed our final CSA box of the season, the staff gathered to celebrate with cider and snacks as we reminisce another summer come and gone.  Thank you to all for your kind words, advice, encouragement as we have moved through the season, it means so much to me to hear from all of you.  It is you after all that make this farm possible.  As the rain was falling,  my feet where soaking and my hands were freezing I was reminded of how difficult a task this farming gig is.  An yet now I sit warm, weary from the day but content, so deeply fulfilled.  I do not know how long in the life my body will allow me to do this work but I intend to find out.  It is a gift to find happiness in ones work.  For me this work make life seem so much more real.  To actively participate in the growing of food that will nourish not only my body, but my family, my friends, my community, you, that means the world to me.  To know that not only are we growing nutritious food, loaded with all kinds of good stuff, but to be able to do that with any harmful chemicals or fertilizers so important.  Every day I am shown a world abundant with life, full of all the ingredients to sustain life.  Our world is such a beautiful place and so very forgiving, in the past we have taken this planet for granted, one could argue quite easily that we still do.  But I see that attitude changing and that change starts with food.  We can feed all the people of this world, give space to the wild things, celebrate our urban environment, have our cake and eat it to.  But it takes effort and it takes making the right food choices.  I hope to see you back again next season, I promise it will be even better.  See ya!

 

Easiest Apple Strudel

October 14th, 2014

Easiest Apple Strudel

I made this apple strudel recipe on Saturday for brunch and  it was so simple and yummy! It’s a win with children and adults. This recipe makes two but can easily be cut in half if you prefer.  Quick Tips- Thaw your puff pastry in the fridge over night and don’t take it out until  your apple filling mixture is cooling.

Apple filling:
6 med size apples
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar, depending on sweetness of apples, to taste
2-3 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 -1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup apple juice or water

*Dried fruit optional– I added a handful of dried cranberries.

Peel, core and chop apples to bite size pieces, sprinkle lemon juice over apples to prevent browning.
Add all apple filling ingredients to sauce pan , bring to a quick boil so the cornstarch thickens but apples are still firm. Remove from heat and cool

**This happens quick so stay close. Remove filling from pan and pour on to a plate to cool it quicker. Lastly, I used cranberry juice as my liquid and it worked just fine!

For pastry:

2 puff pastry sheets thawed (One package)

1 egg yolk

1 tsp milk

Course sugar for sprinkle on top

 

For strudel, thaw out puff pastry  in the parchment that in comes in. Move to lightly flowered surface and thin and smooth it out a bit with rolling pin.

Place pastry on a rimmed baking sheet, cut slits approximately one inch apart on both of the outer sides. Leave the center column whole to hold all the apple filling. Close up the strudel by pulling every other strip over the filling, like your making a braid.

Mix the egg and milk to make an egg wash,  brush egg wash on top of strudel with pastry brush and sprinkle with course sugar, bake at 400 till golden brown.

 

My favorite Apple Sauce recipe

September 26th, 2014

My favorite Apple Sauce recipe!  Hint– they will be in your box SOON!

  • 8-10 of your favorite apples, I like a variety, a few  McIntosh and Cortland
  • 1 sprig of  fresh Rosemary
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon  cinnamon or more to taste
  • 1 cup of  Apple cider

I peel the apples and cook them in the  cider with the cinnamon , the stick and rosemary until the apples are soft. And then in a separate pan, I melt  3 tablespoons of butter  until browned. Pour over finished apple sauce. It is delicious! I like it on its own, or with potato pancakes, pork or pretty much anything you can think of!

 

Leeks , Beans, and Greens Soup ( with a little Sausage too)

September 26th, 2014

Leeks , Beans, and Greens Soup ( with a little Sausage too)

  • 1 can of Great Northern beans
  • 1 pound Sweet Italian sausage  or Chorizo if you like a spicier flavor
  • 1 cup sliced Leeks cleaned in water and set aside
  • 2 cloves minced Garlic
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 8 cups chopped Kale
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced in 3/4 inch cubes
  • salt and black pepper to taste

In a large soup pot saute the leeks, crushed red pepper and garlic in the olive oil until soft.

Slice the baked Italian sausage in 1/2 inch rounds and add to the pot. Saute for about 10 minutes.

Add the chicken broth, and the potatoes. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the Kale and the cooked beans, bring back to the boil and simmer until the greens have wilted.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

I would serve this a loaf of crusty bread to soak up the extra broth!

 

Whats is in the box- September 24th

September 26th, 2014
  • Kale
  • Cutting Celery
  • Chioggia Beets
  • Easter Egg Radish
  • Winter Squash
  • Cabbage
  • Leeks
  • Bell Peppers

A word on the celery.  This is not your average California Celery.  This Celery has a very strong flavor and probably should be used more for flavoring then eating on its own