Farm Meet and Greet Recipes

Thank you everyone who braved the dreary day yesterday.   We had a great turn out and lots of goodies to share.

As promised, I have the recipes for the dressings I made from our own farm ingredients.   And for extra fun, I’ll share how to make yogurt and apple cider vinegar too.

 

Cultured Yogurt

You will need:

 

1 sterilized quart jar with a sterilized band and lid- I sterilize mine by boiling in water for 5 minutes.

1 slow cooker that has a “warm” setting

3 1/2 cups of milk (raw milk or store bought milk work for this recipe)

1/2 cup unflavored, live culture yogurt (Dannon, Stolzfus, Chiobani all work, but it must be plain)

Place the milk in the sterilized quart jar and close with the lid and band.   Fill the slow cooker half full with 90 degree water and set to warm.  Allow the yogurt to culture for 18 hours.   Refrigerate.   You can use the yogurt for up to 3 weeks.

 

Apple Cider Vinegar

2-3 cups apple peels and cores

1/4 cup sugar

water

1 gallon container with lid

Place apple peels and cores in the container with the sugar.   Fill the container the rest of the way with water and cover with a lid.   Three weeks later, strain the apple peels and cores out and return the liquid to the container.   Three weeks after filtering, the apple cider vinegar is ready to use.

 

Yogurt and Chive Dressing

2 cups of yogurt

2 T fresh chopped chives

2 T lemon Juice

2 T sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving.

 Strawberry Chocolate Mint Vinaigrette

6-8 large ripe strawberries

2 T Chocolate mint Chopped

1/4 cup Walnut syrup ( I used walnut syrup on Sunday, Maple syrup works well too)

2 Cups Apple cider vinegar

In a food processor, combine all ingerdients and puree on high until ingredients are pureed.   You can serve immediately, or chill and serve later.

 

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Week 17 Butternut Squash, Okra and Lima Beans

So I’ve had an exceptionally exciting week, participating in an Arts Fest in Cumberland and starting a school on an ambitious recycling program.   Coming back to the farm is always a welcome break, and back to normal.

Here’s what we have for this week

1.   Tomatoes

2.   Apples

3.   Peppers

4.   Onions

5.   Okra

6.   Butternut Squash

7.   Lima Beans in the shell, they will need to be shelled

8.   Snap beans- if there are enough in good enough shape- last week if we get them at all.

9.   Citrus Basil for a fantastic salsa

Butternut Squash Bisque

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 3/4 cup diced carrots
  • 4 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • ground nutmeg to taste
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
  • Heat the oil and melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir the onion in the butter and oil under tender.Mix the carrots and squash into the pot. Pour in vegetable stock, and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are tender.In a blender or food processor, puree the soup mixture until smooth. Return to the pot, and stir in the heavy cream. Heat through, but do not boil. Serve warm with a dash of nutmeg.

     

    Easy Citrus Salsa

     

    3 tomatoes diced

    1 onion

    1 clove of garlic minced

    3 peppers

    1/4 cup citrus basil finely chopped

    salt and pepper to taste

    In a skillet saute the onions, garlic and tomatoes until the onions are clear.   Add the basil and salt and pepper and sautee an additional 2-3 minutes.   Transfer salsa to a bowl and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

    Okra and Lima Bean Masala

    3-4  tender okra
    1 large onion, sliced into thin wedges
    1 tsp. whole cumin seeds
    1/2 tsp. mango powder
    1/4 – 1/2 tsp. red chilli powder
    1/2 tsp. coriander powder
    1/4 tsp. turmeric
    1-3 tsp. garam masala (I usually have a hard time sourcing garam masala, so I sometimes just skip this ingredient it is still yummy!)
    2 large, ripe tomatoes, chopped (about 3 cups)
    1 cup fresh baby lima beans
    1 1/2 cups water
    salt to taste

    Trim the tops of the okra and cut into 1 to 1-1/2 inch pieces. If the okra is small, you should just cut it in half.

    In a large non-stick pot, sauté the onion until it begins to brown. Add the cumin seeds and sauté one minute more.

    Add the mango powder, chilli powder, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala. Stir and cook 1 minute. Add the okra and cook for 2 more minutes.

    Add the tomatoes, lima beans, and water. Cover and simmer on low heat until limas are tender.  Fresh beans take up to an hour to cook.

    After the limas are tender, remove the cover, add salt if desired, and cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Serve hot over rice or other grain.

     

     

    Mark Your Calendars!

    We are planning to have our annual farm to table dinner on October 14th for our share holders.   This is a wonderful time to get together and share the harvest, prepared for you right on the farm.   I am still planning the menu, and will follow up with details as we get near.   We will have our dinner in the green house at 5:00 pm.   We will have meat, vegetarian and vegan options for all to enjoy, and as always, everything but the salt and pepper will be grown here.   I look forward to this wonderful end of the season event, and the opportunity to say thank you for supporting us!

Week 15 Southwest Succotash

Southwest Succotash

This is just a suggestion, but the first day, I would make corn on the cob by using your favorite method, and make all of it.   I’m sure you may have left over corn, and that is exactly what I had in mind for with this recipe.   Also, I googled southwest succotash, and so many variations came up, some had squash, some had lima beans, and then there is my recipe, I’m not sure there is a right or wrong with this, I just thought the name was catchy.

 

3 ears of corn, cut from the cob

2 tomatoes diced

1 lb of black beans shelled

1 pimento pepper chopped

garlic, as much or as little as you like

butter or margarine

salt and pepper to taste

In a saucepan cover black beans with water and bring to a boil.   Simmer 20 minutes then drain.   Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes or until heated through.   Season and serve.

 

I feel the need to “spill the beans” now and show you what you are getting.

Black Beans

So I’m not trying to push some old forgotten beans on you guys, so please don’t toss them thinking that! (It has happened, unfortunately!)   These are black beans “Turtle Soup” is the variety.   They need to be shelled like peas.   As they are fresh, they don’t take nearly as long to cook as dry black beans, and no need to soak them overnight.   Just shell them and cook them for about 20 minutes in boiling water.

Queso Blanco Stuffed Peppers

 

6-8 peppers seeded with the tops cut off

olive oil

3/4 lb queso blanco

Using your hands, a spoon or whatever works for you, fill peppers with cheese.   Place on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil, making sure to cover top and bottom.   Bake at 375 for 15-17 minutes and serve.

 

So this is what we are getting this week:

1. Tomatoes

2.   Peppers

3.   Sweet Corn

4.   Black Beans

5.   Burgundy Beans

6.   Squash

7.   Eggplant

8.   Radishes

9.   Seasoned Queso Blanco and tomatillos for our vegans

10.   Maybe some baby lettuce?   I hope!

And I’ll leave you with these photos of my favorite spot in the garden right now-

New England Pie Pumpkin
Butternut Squash

Week 8 We Know Our Beans!

Things are getting fairly interesting around here.   We have three eggplant ready to pick and about a dozen the size of my thumb.   The tomatoes are going slow as molasses, but one day I’m sure, we’ll have skads of them too.   The squash are blooming away and I have seen signs of teeny cucumbers on their vines.   As I walked around inspecting today, I found royal burgundy beans forming, so we’ll be picking them every 2-3 days for the next several weeks.   And you’ll be getting some this week.

Burgundy Beans Almondine

1-1/2 lbs of Burgundy Beans

2 T olive oil or butter

2T slivered almonds

1t lemon juice

Oh so very simple, boil the beans for about 2 minutes and drain.   Add the remaining ingredients and toss lightly until well mixed.   Serve Warm.

Ham Beans and Potatoes

1 ham hock

1-1/2 lbs beans

6-8 potatoes cubed

2 T fresh Thyme

salt and pepper to taste

Place hamhock in a pot and add water until hock is covered by 2 inches.  Add fresh thyme and potatoes and boil for 10 minutes.   Reduce heat to a simmer and add beans.   Simmer for 30 minutes.   Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Easy bean and potato skillet

4-6 potatoes sliced

2 oinions halved and sliced

1/2 lb of beans

2 T oil or butter

salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet melt or heat oil and add onions and potatoes.   Sautee for about 10 minutes or until onoins are clear and potatoes are cooked through.   Add beans and sautee for another 2 minutes. Season and serve.

What are we getting?

1. Royal Burgundy Beans

2. Potatoes

3. Swiss Chard

4. Onions

5. Swiss Chard

6. Thyme

7. Larkspur and Echinacea cut flowers

8. Fresh Goat’s Milk and Tomatillos for our vegans

Thanks everyone for returning the boxes and jars!   I can’t wait to see you this week.

Organic Certification Application

ARRRGH!!!   How am I to be a farmer and write down everything that’s in my head about it too?   I have been spending my late nights filling out the PA Certified Oraganic application, which is very thorough, indeed.

Save my seed packets for three years…really?   Well, I hope receipts will do, for now, and I need to clear a space for the packets in years to come….Later in question105 I am  asked how long I keep my records, followed by their own answer “minimum five years.”   So should I still answer it?

How do I measure the carbon to nitrogen ratio in my compost?   And is that before it decomposes or after?

Does it really make a difference how I dispose of my garden hoses?  (I usually just keep patching them until they become tree ties!)

My goodness!

I am serious about the certification, serious enough to purchase the application for $75.00 and serious enough to send another $700.00 after I’ve filled it out.   The point is, it is 66 pages, not counting the attachments I am to add which may run into hundreds of pages.   I can see why people aren’t jumping in line to go through with it.

I am confident enough in our farm’s management practices to go through with it.   We have been working hard to do the right things concerning stewardship of the land.   It is a lot harder to manage land without the use of “prohibited materials.”   And we have been working hard to stay within the confines of restricted materials too, manure included.   Since we have been doing the right things, I believe we have earned the title organic.   The process is daunting and expensive, though.   And I’m not sure if I’m willing to spend the additional $660.00 for my five dairy goats and another yet additional $660.00 for our four pigs and 130 chickens, oh and those figures are annual contributions.   That just doesn’t make sense, so again the small family farm can be outnumbered literally.   I’m not even sure I can get certified without spending all of the application fees for each “division” of the farm.   I’m still going to try.   It’s going to be another long night.

I love my vet!

Finding a livestock vet can be grueling especially if you have small animals, and only a few.   Right now we have five milking nannies, one buck, 1 yearling doe, 8 kids, four ewes and 6 lambs, four pigs, and about 130 chickens of various ages and breeds.   This list could be why so many vets have said, I can’t help you.   Is it too diverse?   Should we need to have 100 head of cattle to make your trip worth while?   How about if we just raised chickens, or pigs, or goats or sheep?   Maybe I can find an egg laying dog and just make the whole thing much easier!

Dr. Michelle Anderson is a diamond in the ruff, and a Godsend to us.   We have a standing yearly appointment with her to make sure that all of our animals are happy and healthy.   We are also coached by her along the way to make sure that we are doing all of the right things to keep it that way.   Dr. Anderson has taught me so much about livestock health.   She has instructed me on giving tetnus shots, the life cycle of a parasite, nutritional requirements and infection prevention.   She also has shown me how to castrate and dehorn in the safest, mildest way, train my goats how to not kick me while I’m milking them, and handle my sheep so they respond to guidance.

Dr. Anderson is also working with us on our raw milk certification for the goats and sheep.   A vet that does all of this for their clients is PRICELESS!!!!   And even though her value is far beyond what I could ever afford, she still only charges  a very minimal fee for her work.   Infact, she will tell us if there are state programs to cover the costs of testing for milk permits, just to save us a little money.

My animals are very healthy, but I know that if I had any other vet, that wouldn’t be the case.   Dr. Anderson is in every way a teacher of good things for the farmer and the animals.   When looking for a vet, consider this post.   Remember to ask your vet if there are things that you can improve on.   It is horrible to have an emergency with pets and animals.   If you are armed with a good animal first aid kit, and the right knowledge, you may only need an annual well check too!

 

 

What’s on your plate?

Gorgeous Salad

 

We had a lovely day with our family on Easter Sunday.    I love gathering for great conversation, and great food.    Here we have lamb chez Tom, sweet potato medley by Judy, carrot and pineapple salad that Aunt Sue made, salad freshly picked by yours truly.   The salad mix included beet tops and young turnip greens, kale, baby romaine, outredous, and flame lettuce, pea tendrils, radishes, green onions and violets.   I topped the lettuce with a vinaigrette that I made by slightly sauteing garlic, oregano, mint, parsley and wild celery  in olive oil and then mixing it with balsamic vinegar.   I had some feta to add per individual taste.

All of these items will be available in the first CSA delivery.   I may just mix a salad blend the first week for you to try.   This week we are putting lots more seeds in the ground.   My goal is to have 14 different varieties of veggie seeds planted by Tuesday, and some of the transplants set out in the gardens for a head start.   We also will be planting more strawberry plants, raspberry plants, and rhubarb later on in the week.

Hope you all had as wonderful weekend as I did!

Helpful Farmers

We had a very busy weekend!   First we went to our friends freshtaraunt Horn O’Plenty to support their sneak preview and construction progress.   Kim and Joel from Wild Meadows Farm were there with a documentary, Y.E.R.T.   We had a lovely evening making pizzas and watching the movie.

I love times like this.   I felt a real sense of community and bonding.   It seems that most small farmers in our community really strike a sweet chord with one another, understanding that our own situations are not unique.   We are all trying so very hard to present the idea of a local food system that helps our neighbors, strengthens our local economy, benefits the environment.   We all work so very hard from seed to table setting.   While we have our own unique ways and methods, we strive for a lesser impact to the ecosystem around us.   We are creative, imaginative, idealistic, resourceful.   We have the same drive to live on less financial means for the greater good.   We love the challenges life presents to us.

I hope to see my friends’ success.   The Horns beat the pavement to market their farm products, and they deserve good things to come.    Kim and Joel reach out to the community, too.   They educate hundreds of people every year teaching better ways to get the same results, food, clothing and shelter.   Of course, status plays an important role in society.  But with the kind of guidance that a farmer can give, status may not take on the same meaning as our commercial counterparts portray.   Who has less trash on the curb at the end of the week?   Who can feed their family with the least amount of fossil fuel usage?   How would that be for keeping up with the Joneses?

http://hornoplenty.blogspot.com/                                                         http://wildmeadowsfarm.com/

We are Making Potato Pizza for the Horn O'Plenty Preview and Y.E.R.T. show.

A Little Help Here?

This is peanut’s biggest boy.   He was born on Feburary 6, 2012.   He was the last one of three born, and the first one to eat by himself with no help.   We will probably keep him and train him for cart pulling, so his name is really important because he will live with it the rest of his life.   Any ideas?

Call me anything but late for supper!