Our Blog: The Hoot
We are in the busiest time of the growing season. The tomatoes are fully on! So we are harvesting like mad. This is the first season in 4 years that we have planted heirloom tomatoes in the field. These past years we have been growing them only in hoop houses; unheated greenhouses. We had stopped planting them in the field due to many a wet summer losses due to late blight hitting the tomatoes early in the season and then creating a total loss for us, as our whole patch was infected. Luckily it has been a dry and hot summer, when we decided to give it another whirl.
This spring we bought a conveyor belt to help us with harvest. It has come in very handy with the tomato harvest. It saves us from loading up lugs in the field and having to walk them down the entire length of the bed to the truck. This task is back breaking heavy work; with the conveyor this is now done in much less time, and not quite so hard on your back. We are thrilled by it. We have so far used it for onion, and tomato harvesting. I think Melons and winter squash will be the next big harvests with it.
We are hitting record tomato harvests this year. Which is very exciting for those of us that like tomatoes and paying bills! For those of you who have been with us for many seasons now will probably be shocked by how many tomatoes are in your share this week. We are so happy to share this abundant harvest with you.
It’s the nightshade dominant part of the growing season! So nearly everything in your box is from the nightshade family, Tomatoes, Peppers and Eggplant being those in the nightshade family. Nightshades can reap a little havoc on some folks, like not the greatest sleep cycles and achy joints, as well as a bunch of other symptoms. It sometimes feels strange to inundate you with these nightshades, but it’s just what our culture eats this time of year, and what us farmers grow that is ripening this time of year. It won’t last too long, so enjoy these flavors while they last. Sweet red and yellow peppers are just around the corner!
Nuts and Bolts
Heirloom Tomatoes Slicing Tomato Saladette Tomatoes Sungold Cherry Tomatoes Escarole Green Peppers Zucchini or Eggplant
Heirloom Tomatoes Slicing Tomato Saladette Tomatoes Sungold Cherry Tomatoes Escarole Garlic Green Peppers Head Lettuce Sweet Onions Zucchini or Eggplant
Recipe of the Week:
The nice thing about this recipe is you can vary the ingredients based on what you like and what is in season.
Prep 25 min Cook 17 min Bake 40 min Oven 325º Stand 15 min
3 Tbsp. Butter
2-6 cloves of garlic
1 cup sweet onions
2 large zucchini, thinly sliced
1 large summer squash
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 cup mayonnaise
1 – 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup feta cheese
2 large heirloom tomatoes, cut into ¼” slices
2 9” deep dish pie shells, prebaked
5 radishes, thinly sliced (for decoration on top, use whatever you have)
- Preheat oven to 325º
- Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the onions and garlic sauté for 3 min while adding thyme, marjoram and oregano. Don’t let the onions and garlic burn. Add the zucchini and yellow squash along with ½ tsp. of salt and pepper. Cook until squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Divide the mixture in half.
- Mix the mayonnaise and cheeses and set aside.
- Fill the two prebaked piecrists with vegetable layers. Layer the sliced tomatoes in the bottom of the prebaked piecrusts. Layer the squash mixture on top of the tomatoes, layer mayonnaise cheese mixture and then dress the top with the radish slices. Bake uncovered for 40 min. Allow the dish to stand for 15 min.
Enjoy your Share!
The Who Gang; Chris, Aeros, Lauren, Garett, Krystal, Greg, Jodoh, Sarah, Bryan, and Blaney
We are mid summer! August is really hot and very busy! This time of year we are almost done seeding and now mostly keeping up with weeding and doing a lot of harvesting. This is our first season that we have been able to be consistent with head lettuce. In the past we have had a mid season lull. Lettuc is hard to germinate in the summer because it’s too hot, it prefers a cooler germinating temperature. We try all sorts of new things that come to mind, and sometimes they work and other times they don’t. Our latest tactic is germinating lettuce in the basement of the cottage where Jodo, Crystal and Greg live. We had hopes to get red tomatoes and cherries in all the shares this week, but they just aren’t on enough. Most likely next week everyone will get them.
Ps. Tomatoes and Peppers are just coming in, you will be getting a lot more in just a little bit. Very soon colored sweet peppers too!
In your share this week:
Nuts and Bolts Eggplant, Head Lettuce, Garlic, Onions, Peppers, and Heirloom Tomato
Gusto Cherry Tomatoes, Eggplant, Garlic, Head Lettuce, Onions, Peppers, Potatoes, Red Slicing Tomatoes, Heirloom Tomatoes, and Zucchini
Recipe of the week:
It's ratatouille season! Here is a link to Alice Waters recipe. If this recipe doesn't suit your fancy, you can do a google search and find many other versions. It's a great dish to make once a week and then eat left over's from. Enjoy!
We got some rain this week and it looks like some more on the way today and the next couple of days! Yeehaw! Fill the pond! Drink plants, drink!
It’s been pretty uneventful which is good. We have the last of the onions harvested. We are beginning to get cherry tomatoes, and potatoes. The fall crops have been seeded and transplanted. We are about to cover crop our spring fields and put them to rest until next summer.
Our son Cyan is 2 today. It doesn’t seem like it’s been this long. Especially for folks at market, they always ask me, where is your baby. “All grown up” I say. Yeah right! Cyan’s a charming little boy, just like his brother Cedar. He helps me pack the cheese share every week. He’s extremely dutiful and polite. Even when he is having a little fit not wanting to do something he is chanting, No Thank you, No Thank you!
Ok, so life grows and grows. Kids get older their parents get older… I, Aeros just turned 38 last week! Wow, I love it! Getting closer to our 40’s Chris and I are really wanting to see what a 5-10 year plan for the farm is going to look like. We are working on that.
We are going to do a fall and winter CSA this year. We’ll let you know more about it in the coming weeks. We are also finalizing the details for a Pork CSA. This we will also let you know more about very soon. I just wanted to put a bug in your ear.
Have a great week. Enjoy your share.
The Who Gang
In your share this week:
Every share gets a complimentary Jalapeno! They are fat and juicy. (Great for stuffing) If you are craving more…Come on down to market, we’ve got a basket full of them.
The Nuts and Bolts: Cabbage Carrots Eggplant Escarole Head Lettuce Onions
Gusto: Cabbage Carrots Cucumber Escarole Green Peppers Head Lettuce Onions Potatoes Zucchini
Recipes of the week:
Hot and dry weather continue to amaze us on the farm. We keep seeing big potential storms in the forecast, but then either dissolve into thin air or swing north or south of us. Yesterday I was swimming in the stream with the boys and my Dad. It’s always very refreshing. A man in uniform came down. I was a little nervous thinking what have we done wrong? Well he had seen and heard our pump. The one I told you about last week, that we are using to pump water from the stream up to our pond. Well he asked if we had a permit. “Ahhh No”. I felt very guilty and confused. As Chris and I have never heard of any vegetable farmers we know who do this needing to acquire any permit. So I turned it off like he asked and I called the DEP at 8am this morning. After 5 transfers, I finally talked with Mr. Sommer from DEP’s Department of Waterways and Wetlands. He said as long as there is enough water we are not diminishing the flow and we aren’t building a permanent structure we don’t need a permit. YAHOO! What a relief to hear. So we continue to pump like gang busters from the beautiful valley all quiet and quant the cool stream water up a 1,000 ft 3” irrigation line into the pond.
We had a very big onion harvest this week. It was a great success. The onions look great. We used a new harvest conveyor that we bought this winter. It made such a difference for this big harvest. It was so much smoother and easier and faster. And still the onions are picked by hand. This tool helps us to limit the amount of times an onions has to be moved by hand. Once the onions are pulled by hand, they get collected and put on the conveyor belt that runs like a walking escalator that the ones in airports. At the end of the conveyor is one person packing all the onions coming off the conveyor into a big wooden crate; where the onions will stay to cure. We filled 5 wooden crates the size of a pallet square with sweet onions. In a couple of weeks we will be harvesting the storage onions. They look surprisingly well for how dry it has been. During this onion harvest Cedar our oldest, who just turned 5 on the 4th of July was asked “Cedar do you want to be a farmer when you grow up?” He said, “I am a farmer.” Ohhh! This really made Chris and my heart sing! It is our dream to make farming fun and rewarding, in hopes that they will want to stick with us and help us make Who Cooks better and more diverse as the years go on.
In your share this week:
Nuts and Bolts: Chard, Cucumbers, Garlic, Head lettuce, Sweet Onions or Baby Onions, and Zucchini
Gusto: Cabbage, Chard, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Flat Parsley or Cilantro, Garlic, Head lettuce, Pea Shoots, Sweet Onions or Baby Onions, Zucchini
Recipes of the week:
Chard. Chard is related to beets. It’s been breed for the greens instead of the root. The colorful leaves of rainbow chard has the same hues as all the shades that beets have as well. We have grown all the colors of beets except the white beet. To us it just seems strange to go with bland when you could have colorful and bright. The leaf is high in oxalic acid similar to spinach, so it is recommended to be eaten cooked. Here is a new recipe to me. It’s quite good. Here are a few versions.
It’s been hot and humid, and also very dry. Our pond is 1 foot above to outlet pipe. This means no more irrigating after the pipe is out of the water. We realized that we have enough header line (3” irrigation hose) to take a line from the stream called Pine Run in the valley up to our pond on the hill. It’s about 1,000 ft. We did this for 4 hours yesterday and we got about 4”.
We are planting a lot of our fall crops now. We going to have all sorts of cooking greens, salad greens and roots for you to eat and enjoy. Cherry tomatoes are beginning to turn color in the field. So it won’t be too long before you get these little sweet treats in your share.
In your share this week:
Nuts and Bolts Basil Cabbage Carrots Cucumbers Heaad Lettuce Zucchini
Gusto Basil Baby Onions Cabbage Carrots Cucumbers Escarole Heaad Lettuce Kohlrabi Zucchini
Recipe of the week: I’m pretty sure that this recipe is a repeat from years past. I just can’t resist as it is so easy and so delicious and we are entering into zucchini days.
Melani’s Zucchini Souffle
8 c. chopped Zucchini
2 C. chopped onion
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 large eggs
½ c. cracker or bread crumbs
Steam zucchini & onion, let cool & mixin butter, salt and pepper. Wisk in eggs. Pour into greased 2 Quart pyrex or the like. Sprinkle crumbs over the top and Bake @350º approx. 50 min.
Chris, Aeros, Lauren, Garett, Krystal, Greg, Jo-do, Sarah, Bryan, Colton, Curtis, and Blaney.
Well we survived our great adventure to California with the boys. We missed Chris on this journey. We promised him we wouldn’t go without him next time. It had been way too long. We first saw LA, and were very shocked by how many cars and people we saw. There we had a great time meeting up with old friends and meeting our new extended family in LA, my sister’s in laws. My sister had a traditional wedding banquet dinner that we very delicious! It was the best food I have had on the biggest lazy susan in far too long.
In case you didn’t know I got the farming bug in Cali when I was 19. Going back to Mendocino county in northern California where I got my start on an organic farm way out in the boondock’s of Round Valley. This visit I didn’t get to see these old stomping grounds. I stayed with old friends at the Frey Vineyard in Redwood Valley; the first Organic and Biodynamic Winery in the USA. If you have never tried their wine you should give it a whirl. They are all sulfite additive free. This visit I didn’t do any working. We mostly hung out in the pristine waters and played with the boys my old pals and their kids. It was dreamy!
Well back on the farm the crew has been keeping busy! Yesterday was the first day of garlic harvest! The bulbs are now sitting pretty curing in the attic of our pack shed. It seems like yesterday we were harvesting garlic scapes. They are back at the harvest again today. We’ll be sure to give you an weight on our total garlic harvest when the time comes for this step.
We have cucumbers coming out of our ears! Luckily the East End Food Coop sells gobs of them every week. Just so you know the East End Food Coop is a very big supplier of our produce. If you ever want some fresh digs and can’t get to the farmers markets, EEFC is a very good alternative. A lot of what we supply to you in the CSA we also supply to the COOP.
The beets are super sweet! This is the end of sugar snap peas. It’s a sad farewell, but you know that the goodbye to peas means that tomatoes are just around the corner.
In your share this week:
Nuts and Bolts:
Beets, Cucumbers, Head Lettuce, Pea Shoots, Sugar Snap Peas, and Swiss Chard
Beets, Broccoli,i Cucumbers, Escarole or Dandelion Greens, Green Garlic, not cured! Head Lettuce, Pea Shoots, Sugar Snap Peas, Swiss Chard, and Zucchini
Recipes of the week:
Cucumber Yogurt Raita Salad
I’ve a little crush on the queen of food bloggers, Deb Perelman who wrote the cookbook The Smitten Kitchen cookbook. I love how practical her food is yet her combinations are lively and somewhat simple. Her blog can be a little wordy, so you can always scroll through to cut to the chase. I got this book out of the library and have found many nice things in it. Her blog is also a nice resource. http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2016/05/cucumber-yogurt-raita-salad/
Roasted Hasselback Potatoes & Beet Greens with Tomato Chili Sauce
Also Beet Greens, sometimes they get thrown away in order to keep the beets more fresh. They are tasty too. They taste a little more earthy than swiss chard their very close relative and are a little less tender. Below is a recipe for new potatoes and beet greens. I think you may be able to find some new potatoes at some markets. It won’t be long before we did ours. So you could also hold onto this recipe until then.
We hope that you enjoy your share. Have a great week.
Your Farmers, The Who Gang
We had a brief down pour yesterday evening just around quiting time. We could use a little more rain than this brief wetting, and we are getting a serious downpour again now as I write. We feel very fortunate to have it. We are hoping to not get any crazy hail this evening. We have so much beautiful stuff in the field that could be severely damaged by hail and strong winds. So keep your fingers crossed for your veggies this afternoon evening!
The sugar snap peas are very close! But not quite ready. The plants look beautiful and there are fruits and many more flowers for more fruits to come.
We have begun planting in new ground, we call this field Balestrino. Last season we found an add in the local horse trader magazine. Someone was wanting someone to farm his land in Eddyville. What?! Who is that? A neighbor to the back edge of our property! So it was a match made in heaven. Last summer we tilled the ground that had been hay fields for years, and put a cover crop on it. Today we planted gobs of kale, as well flat leaf and curly parsley.
We use solar electric fencing to deter deer from our fields. Sometimes it works great and other times there is that rebel deer that finds a weak point in the fence. We are really hoping that they get a little bite in their nose as we bait it with peanut butter, to attract and deter them at the same time.
Coming Soon: Sugar Snap Peas, Summer Squash, Beets, and Kohlrabi
For Cheese Shareholders! This week we have the coolers we had been hoping for from Family Farm Creameries. They are a greeny grey blue color and say Family Farm Creameries on them. Please take only your piece and leave the cooler.
Enjoy your share of the harvest! Your Farmers, Chris, Aeros and The Who Gang Lauren, Garett, Krystal, Greg, Joddo, Sarah, Bryan, Curtis, and Colton.
Nuts and Bolts: Broccoli Escarole Garlic Scapes Head Lettuce Kale Scallions
Gusto: Basil Broccoli Escarole Garlic Scapes Head Lettuce Kale Pea Shoots Scallions Spinach Scarlet Queen Salad Turnips
Recipe: Escarole! Some of you may be wondering what this vegetable is. Well it is a member of the endive family; they are a bitter green. Although Escarole is the mildest of them. I have a favorite way to prepare this green. Braised (this is my absolute favorite!)
Here's a link to a few other Escarole ideas.
This week has been eventful! As usual on the farm tons of things happening! On Monday the cement floor in our pack shed got poured! Wow! It is incredibly smooth and beautiful and big! This has been in the making for a month and a half now. We had not intended for it to take us this long to do. But things always take longer than expected right?
A couple of weeks ago we added a 1500 gallon cistern to our spring water catchment to increase our water supply. Sometimes we feel like we were cutting it close with just a 1,000 gallons for our watering our greenhouses and wash water at the pack shed. Now we are in 44good hands. Well yesterday afternoon Garret told us after taking a walk he noticed it was unusually wet around the cisterns. Yep the new one cracked in the corner! So we drained it out and patched it up! The overflow to these tanks, feeds our pond, which feeds our irrigation lines on our home farm.
Strawberries are full on now! We hope you enjoy them. I don't think they are as sweet as last year. I'm not quite sure why? This is their second and last season. We will be buying new plugs this summer to plant out in early August. Gusto Shares are getting a peak at the future boxes, with a half pint taste of our Haskap berries, AKA Honey Berry. I like to call them Haskap, because I think honey berry is a little misleading.
Recipes of the week:
Just in case you don’t want to stir fry your Napa Cabbage, here are some suggestions. For the next week the low’s are in the 50’s so cooking and baking are still fair game.
Roasted Napa Cabbage
Heart – warming Chinese Cabbage and Potato Potage
Napa Cabbage salad with buttermilk dressing
Strawberries and Cream!
I know you may be tempted to take the strawberries out of your box and gobble them up and eating everything but the leafy stem. Here’s an idea! Strawberries and whipped cream, this it totally worth the time. This is a household favorite during strawberry harvest. It’s super easy, I can bet you and your kids will love it. Cut off the stem and slice strawberry in half. With your a mixer; prep your bowl in the freezer for 10 min this helps the cream to whip faster and better. In your frosted bowl, 1 cup cream, 2 Tbspn sugar, and a dash of vanialla. Whip until your cream looks like a mountain landscape! All done! Freshly cut strawberries with whipped cream on top. Simple and Yummy!
Nuts and Bolts Share:
Gusto Share: There was a lot going on this morning with harvest, and packing I thought salad turnips were making it into the Gusto's, but we didn't have quite enough, so Scallions it is in their place. Don't worry salad turnips will be coming. It's good for the Gusto's to be a little jealous of the Nuts and Bolts for once.
Some Radical Radish Ideas
- Stir-fry sliced radishes of any kind with with fresh peas shoots, garlic & ginger, or also do the same thing raw, for a spicy lively fresh treat.
- Trim fresh from the garden, leaving about 2 inches of the stem to us as "handles." Serve them with a tiny bowl of coarse sea salt mixed with chopped chives. Dip and eat!
- Add chopped radish greens to stir-fries ot omeletts.
- Saute quartered radishes with orange zest and minced ginger root.
- Use sliced radishes as "crackers" and top them with herbed cream cheese or goat cheese.
- Add chopped radishes to potato salad for a peppery crunch.
- Add thin-sliced radishes to a ham sandwich.
- Roast em', they stay super juicy, but they are no longer spicy.
Have a great week! Eat Well and Be Well!
Here's a little ditty that we have been singing this winter, inspired by Raffi's Oats And Beans And Barley!
Carrots, peas and parsley grow
Carrots peas and parsley grow
You and I and everyone know
How carrots, peas, and parsley grow
First the farmer plants the seed
Spreads manure and kills the weeds
stamps his feet and claps his hands
to turn around and view his land.