Oh my heavens… too cute… baby piglets!

These little pigs are too cute for words!

 

Meet the newest team members!   These little guys will be turning our compost this summer.
Meet the newest team members! These little guys will be turning our compost this summer.

 

I have so much to tell you again about what’s been going on at the farm this spring!   First, we got our piglets for our compost program this season.   We also built another cold frame and planted it with early tomatoes, French Breakfast Radishes, and Beets.IMG_3597

Broccoli and cauliflower under row covers
Broccoli and cauliflower under row covers

 

We have begun planting our early cold season crops and will continue to plant and work the soil as weather permits.

 

Jerusalem Artichokes
Jerusalem Artichokes

 

We harvested all of our Jerusalem artichokes, aka sunchokes this week, and will provide them for our CSA members and Market.   Cooked sunchokes are best when eaten within 2 days. When raw, they store well in your fridge’s vegetable bin, wrapped loosely in a paper towel.

Roasted Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts and Sunchoke

 

1 head Cauliflower

1 pint of brussel sprouts

2-3 sunchokes

3 T olive oil

1 t sea salt

1/4 cup chives

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine all the vegetables, coat with olive oil and season generously with salt.

Spread the vegetables on a sheet tray in an even layer, don’t pile them up. The vegetables don’t need to be spread out but they need to be pretty much in a single even layer. If this is not the case, use 2 trays.

Put the vegetables in the preheated oven. 15 minutes into the cooking process, stir the vegetables so they have the chance to brown all over, and rotate the tray to insure even cooking. Repeat this process after another 15 minutes. Roast the vegetables for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are roasty brown and should smell almost like popcorn!. Check for doneness. This means taste some! If they aren’t very roasty brown, let them go for another few minutes until they are. Season with salt, if needed. Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with chives and serve immediately.

I have been making lots of Feta Cheese and our hens are producing lots of eggs this week too…

Straight from the farm, no color added!
Straight from the farm, no color added!

 

 

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Beware the Ides of March

That theme has rung true this week, and that statement has sounded clear a few times this week.

Oh I have so much to tell you all!

We had a visit from our PCO inspector and was awarded our very official Organic Certification

Organic Certification

We gave a workshop on organic gardening for Care for Creation.   Care for creation is a non-profit organization that has been growing vegetables for food banks and soup kitchens in our area.    Care For Creation is located at the Monastery in Holidaysburg PA.   They welcome volunteers, and if anyone would like to participate you may use the link to their website here:

http://www.thefranciscanfriars.org/c4c

We also had a wonderful Farmer to Farmer workshop here at the farm.   There were close to 40 participants from all over the state.   The high tunnel was part of the workshop.

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Hightunnel at during the workshop

Our hot water heater stopped working early in the week, so Rob spent some time fixing it.   Hot water is back, so nice!

Our high tunnel took a huge spill this week too.   This is what it looked like just hours after our workshop.

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So we picked up the pieces and life goes on.   I would like to thank all of the volunteers that helped us clean up!

We are trying to negotiate a reasonable and satisfactory solution with Grower’s Supply, a division of Farmtek.   We will keep you all updated with any progress on this.

We had a seed starting class on Saturday Morning.   We worked with seeds and seedling transplanting then Saturday afternoon we had Open Farm for tours of the farm.   It was great to meet all of our new farm members and show you what we do here1   Thanks everyone for the support you give!

We are putting up another cold frame so we have a place for all of the beautiful lettuce that’s growing here right now!

It will also be placed over our hot water heating pipes, so we will have some warmth during the really cold nights.   That has worked out really well for us this winter.

This week our hens have been laying oodles of eggs!   We are placing an order for peeps with Myers Poultry Farm.   They are located in South Fork, PA.   We plan to pick up the peeps, rather than have them go through shipping, and if you want to add to our order, we’ll pick them up.   The benefits of a combined order and reduced shipping will save $$$ so consider placing your orders with us.   I would like to have our peeps before Easter, so we have plenty of time to prepare for them.

Here is a link to that website:

http://www.myerspoultry.com/

We will also have spinach this week and Swiss Chard- Oh so exciting to see more veggies:)

I’m so glad the ides of March have passed….Whew!

We’ll see you this week-D

Baby Squash Blossoms!

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Hello all! We are harvesting our 1st baby squash blossoms… how exciting!!! For those of you who haven’t visited the farm lately, we have been working hard to get our greenhouse production off to a good start!

Levi and the Smokehouse

Rob and the boys have been smoking meat this weekend….

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and I have been baking with our own home grown grains

Bread- Bread BowlOur winter CSA’s are signed up on a monthly basis, so if you missed it, you may sign up for Janurary 2014.   Also , our locally grown, wholesome and fresh organic food makes a lovely gift for the holidays, you may sign up gift shares by clicking the link below:

https://goodnessgrowspa.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/terms-of-winter-share.pdf

This week we will have baguettes, salad greens, baby squash and cilantro.

The baby squash will be great served raw on your salad, or lightly sauteed with cilantro over rice for a nice side dish.

See you soon!

Week 16- Parsnips

parsnips

 

We have some beautiful parsnips for your pot this week along with a recipe for caramelized parsnip skillet, I have saved the last of the celery for this occasion.     For those of you who haven’t had parsnips before, they are delicious!!!!   Parsnips are closely related to carrots, but they are much sweeter, and they do not store as well.   This may be why you don’t see many parsnips at the grocery store.   They can get “rubbery” relatively quickly.   Also, proper harvesting of parsnips require the soil to not be washed off.   This helps to keep them crisp.   We will be brushing off the field dirt before we pack them, but you will need to wash your roots before you cook them.   Enjoy-

Caramelized Parsnips

1 bunch of parsnips sliced

1 bunch of celery with leaves chopped

2 T butter

1/8 t nutmeg

salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in skillet and add the parsnips, celery, and seasonings.   Sautee for about 20 minutes on medium heat or until parsnips begin to brown.   Serve hot.

Canning Tomatillos

Wash and rinse canning jars; keep hot until ready to use. Prepare lids according to manufacturer’s directions. Remove the dry outer husks entirely from the tomatillos and wash the fruit well. Leave whole; do not peel or remove seeds. Add enough water to cover the tomatillos in a large saucepan and boil them gently until tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add bottled lemon juice or citric acid to the hot jars, 1 T of lemon juice for pints, 2 T lemon juice for quarts. Fill hot tomatillos loosely into hot jars, leaving ½-inch headspace. Cover with the hot cooking liquid, leaving ½-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel. Adjust lids and process.

Option 1—Process in a Boiling Water Canner:
Pint jars………………………………………40 minutes
Quart jars……………………………………45 minutes

What’s in the bag-

Tomatoes!!!

Peppers

Parsnips

Celery

Melons

Tomatillos

Apples

Have a great week everyone!

Week 15- Back To School With Apples

So we’ve got some Ginger Gold apples ready to go into your bags this week.   These are an excellent fresh eating variety that mature earlier in the season than most.   I also have some New England Pie pumpkins coming your way too, along with some wonderful pumpkin recipes everyone should try.

Pumpkin Spaghetti Sauce

This recipe sounds a little off, but one evening last summer, I was short on spaghetti sauce for our supper.   I did have a pumpkin that needed to be used, so I improvised and this is what I came up with.   My family and helpers LOVED it!!! Everyone had seconds, and I had enough for everyone, because pumpkins go a long way for a meal!

2 peppers with seeds removed and sliced in half

1 onion

1/2 a pie pumpkin seeds removed

5 tomatoes peeled

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons of oregano leaves

1/4 cup of basil

salt and pepper to taste

In a roasting pan place onion, peppers and pumpkin face down, I add a little water to keep them from drying while roasting.   Roast these veggies until the pumkin is soft, about 1 hour.   In the mean time, place the remaining ingredients on the stove and simmer for the same amount of time.   When all ingredients are done, mix in small batches in the food processor and puree until all ingredients are combined.   Serve over spaghetti noodles or rice.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

We all snacked on the seeds while we waited for the spaghetti sauce to cook.   This is my usual recipe, but I have added garlic powder, cinnamon or cardamon for extra flavor. Pumpkin seeds Olive oil Sea Salt On a cookie sheet place the pumpkin seeds.   Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with sea salt.   Roast at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes.

New England Pumpkin Pie

Here’s my relationship with pie- I love to eat it, but making it is a very different story.   My mom started making pies long after I was out of the house, as my younger siblings grew more independent.   The pie crust is intimidating to me, as far as time commitment goes, so I usually cheat and buy store made pie crusts- that’s my confession.   I have no trouble throwing together nearly anything from scratch, but pie crust is a hurdle that I may cross one day, just not today!

I will give you a recipe that makes a wonderful pie filling, but the crust is entirely up to you.   If you have a favorite recipe, by all means use it.   Or you can opt for the easier softer way of purchasing your favorite brand of ready made crust like I do.

1 roasted pumpkin mashed (instructions for roasting are in the first recipe)

1 cup of sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground mace

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 can evaporated milk

3 eggs

Blend ingredients together and pour into pie shells.   I believe you will get 2 9 inch pies from this recipe, depending on the size of the pumpkin.   You could also make lots of little serving pies with the filling if you like, but the baking time will be much shorter.

Bake at 425 for the first 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 and bake for an additional 45 minutes for a 9 inch pie, 20 minutes for a single serve pie.

New England Pie Pumpkins and Acorn Squash

Acorn Squash

This is my family’s favorite in the garden right now!   I usually slice the squash in half, remove the seeds and roast the squash until it is soft.    Scoop out the flesh from the skin, mash it and serve like mashed potatoes.   I add a little butter, milk and salt to give it a creamier, savory flavor.   The boys love it, and so do I because it’s a healthier alternative to white potatoes.

 

Fried Green Tomatoes

This recipe brings back really good memories about my grandparents, with whom I spent most of my youthful summers.   I always loved it when Grandma made this for us grandchildren, I hope you enjoy it too.

Just like the fried squash blossoms, you will need 3 ziplock baggies- 1 with flour, 1 with eggs, and 1 with seasoned bread crumbs.   Slice your tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices.   In a skillet heat up about 4-5 Tablespoons of oil, then in this order shake the tomato slices until covered in the flour, then egg, then bread crumbs.   Saute about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown.   Serve hot.

 

What we are getting this week-

1. New England Pie Pumpkin

2. Apples

3. Tomatoes- red and /or green for the “fried green tomato recipe”

4. Peppers

5. Tomatillos

6. Acorn Squash

7. Flour- Wheat or Rye and you can contact me if you have a preference:)

8.   Basil for the spaghetti sauce recipe

Have a great week!

 

Your Farmer,

Dawn

Is it really week 14 already?

Time flies when you’re having fun!   I have a great line up for this week-  some new ingredients to work with:)

 

Purslane Salad

1 bunch of purslane

1 red onion finely diced

1 tomato finely diced

Dressing

juice of 1 lemon

4 T olive oil

1/2 t salt

 

Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a jar with a lid.   Shake until well blended.

Tear leaves away from the stem of the purslane and chop the stem into 1/4 pieces.   Mix the leaves and stems of the purslane with onion and tomato.   Pour dressing over the mixture and toss until the purslane is well coated.

 

Melons!!!!!

We’ll have three different types of cantaloupe along with some watermelons coming on, and you’ll be sure to get at least on kind this week.   We have sweet granite, lambkin and banana cantaloupe and sweet favorite watermelon.

 

Peppers

If you don’t tolerate hot peppers, now would be the time to tell me.   I have 4 varieties of sweet peppers planted, and only 2 kinds of hot peppers.   We’ll be picking sweet italian peppers, green and yellow bell peppers, aji dulce peppers, and the pimientos are not ready yet.   On the hot front, chiles and pablanos.

 

Tomatillos are still doing great!   I wish my tomatoes would take notes from these prolific producers.   You’ll still be getting tomatoes too.

 

Celery

It seams like every other year is a celery year, and this is the year for celery.   We have been enjoying it fresh with peanut butter.   Wow, our celery is so much better than what you buy in the store, the flavor is intense, and the texture is real!

 

Spaghetti Squash

Yes it is still going strong this week, and it remains to be my all time favorite veggie!

 

If you haven’t seen our FB page lately, then I’ll leave you with this thought, as we all have a great week!

 

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We did it!

Yesterday morning the heavens opened up, angels sang glorious tunes and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture handed me my Commercial Kitchen Certification.

I have been working really hard to get all of my ducks in a row this year.   We have had 3 visits from the PA dept of Ag, and 2 from the USDA this year.   We have been certified as a commercial Kitchen, approved as a farm producer to accepts Farmer’s Market Nutrition vouchers from seniors,  mothers and children, we have been approved to accept snap benefits from low income families.   Whew!

 

Did I mention that I greatly underestimated how much time it takes to cube all of that lamb?

 

I am not a person that relies on excuses to get by in life, but the last 2 weeks have been a real blur to me.   I may have messed up some bags, I know I didn’t get my blog out on time, but really, I am so glad that I have finally reached my goals so I can focus better on our CSA’s.   In my original plan, many of these things were to be done before our picking started, but our government just doesn’t operate like that.   Se la vie!

 

The nights have been cold.   Our tomatoes didn’t do what they told me they would do this week, so many are still on the plants waiting for that perfect color.   I am trying to substitute other items.  I personally have had enough of the squash, but it’s doing so well and refuses to quit!   I’ll leave you with a recipe this week and look forward to Sunday’s blog to get back on track.

 

Patty Pan Pizza

IMG_2665The wonderful shape of these squash lend to a Pizza that contains no gluten and low carbs.

 

Slice the patty pan squash through the center.   Sometimes I slice the stem end so the squash sits flat on the pan.   Add your favorite pizza toppings, I used pesto from the basil in our CSA’s this week, but regular pizza sauce works well too.   Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

 

Week 6 Elderberry Flowers

Wow have we ever been getting things done around here!   Our gardens are mulched, and we have all of our summer veggies in the ground and running.   Some of our beds are getting prepped for the second planting and we are picking like nobody’s business.   Busy busy bees are we!

 

Rob and I have just taken our walk through the gardens, a weekly routine to see what we have to go in our shares.   I have been watching the elders come out for a couple of weeks now, and they look like they are ready to go this week.

Elder flower pancakes

  • 8 elder flower umbels
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • a pinch of vanilla
  • coconut oil or butter


Remove the tiny flowers from the stem. Mix all ingredients, except the elder flowers and the coconut oil. When mixed well, add the flowers to the batter and stir well. Melt the oil in a skillet and pour 1/4 c full of batter.   Cook the pancakes until the edges are dry and bubbles begin to “pop” at the surface.   Turn the pancake over and cook the other side until golden brown.   Serve with syrup or fresh fruit and whipped cream.

 

Red Candy Apple Onions

French Onion Soup

  • 6 large red or yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced.
  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups of beef stock or chicken stock, or a combination of the two (traditionally the soup is made with beef stock)
  • 1/2 cup of dry vermouth or dry white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dry thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 slices of toasted French bread
  • 1 1/2 cups of grated Parmesan cheese

1 In a large saucepan, sauté the onions in the olive oil on medium high heat until well browned, but not burned, about 30-40 minutes (or longer). Add the sugar about 10 minutes into the process to help with the carmelization.

2 Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the stock, vermouth or wine, bay leaf, and thyme. Cover partially and simmer until the flavors are well blended, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Discard the bay leaf.

3 To serve you can either use individual oven-proof soup bowls or one large casserole dish. Ladle the soup into the bowls or casserole dish. Cover with the toast and sprinkle with cheese. Put into the broiler for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F, or until the cheese bubbles and is slightly browned. Serve immediately.

Yield: Serves 4-6.

Leeks

Leek and Potato Soup

  • 3 leeks, cut lengthwise, separate, clean. Use only the white and pale green parts, chop.
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarian option)*
  • 2 lbs potatoes, peeled, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • Marjoram – dash
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Tabasco sauce or other red chili sauce

Salt & Pepper1 Cook leeks in butter with salt and pepper in a medium sized sauce pan. Cover pan, cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Check often. Do not brown the leeks.

2 Add water, broth, and potatoes. Bring to a low simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Scoop about half of the soup mixture into a blender, puree and return to pan. Add marjoram, parsley, and thyme. Add a few dashes of chili sauce to taste. Add some freshly ground pepper, 1-2 teaspoons salt or more to taste. Serves 4-6.

Cilantro

We’ll be supplying the cilantro for you to use this week.   Did you know that cilantro actually removes toxic heavy metals from your body like mercury?

Peas

For your sir fry creativity and color!

Kale

Kale chips

Ingredients
1 bunch kale, washed and thoroughly dried
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt, for sprinkling
Directions
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

Remove the ribs from the kale and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Lay on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and salt. Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20 minutes. Serve as finger food.

Summer Squash

  • 3-4 Zucchini Squash and Summer Squash, sliced
  • 3 sprigs of fresh Thyme, minced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 ounces of Chevre or Feta, crumbled

In a medium bowl, toss the sliced squash, thyme, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper together, making sure all of the squash slices are coated.

Heat a medium saute pan and saute the squash on medium high, stirring occasionally until tender, about 10 minutes. You want them to still have a little crunch.

Remove from the heat, and plate. Top with crumbled cheese.

Chevre

Thyme

Thyme for the above recipes 🙂

We have lots of thyme to share, but for now it’s time for me to make some cheese!

 

Have a great week everyone!

 

Week 5- Summer Squash!~!

I do believe we will be the first in the area with summer squash, and I’m really excited about it!   I remember Mother’s Day this year covering our tender plants to protect them from frost.   We still lost a few, but have since replanted those, and the ones that made it are ready to go.   We also have a couple of other things growing up and ready for their trip to your table too.

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We also have some beets coming to you, and I have a recipe for you to try using the beet tops too, so don’t throw them out, they are good and good for you.

Beet Greens Recipe

Makes 4 servings

2 bunches of beet tops

1 strip of bacon (optional)

1/4 cup of chopped onions

1 garlic clove minced

3/4 cup of water

1 T granulated sugar

1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes

3 T apple cider vinegar

Wash the greens in a sink filled with cold water. Drain greens and wash a second time. Drain greens and cut away any heavy stems. Cut leaves into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

In a large skillet or 3-qt saucepan, cook bacon until lightly browned on medium heat (or heat 1 Tbsp of bacon fat). Add onions, cook over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occassionally, until onions soften and start to brown. Stir in garlic. Add water to the hot pan, stirring to loosen any particles from bottom of pan. Stir in sugar and red pepper. Bring mixture to a boil.

Add the beet greens, gently toss in the onion mixture so the greens are well coated. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5-15 minutes until the greens are tender. Stir in vinegar. (For kale or collard greens continue cooking additional 20 to 25 minutes or until desired tenderness.)

Beets Infused with Garlic and Olive Oil

4-6 medium beets, scrubbed clean, then covered with water and boiled on a stovetop or zapped in a microwave until a fork stuck in the middle slides in effortlessly. (I don’t skin my beets). Slice the beets thinly and cut each slice into quarters, then eighths.

In a small bowl, mix together:

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

4-5 cloves of garlic, crushed, preferably with a garlic press, or minced really fine.

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt to taste

Pour the oil-garlic-lemon mixture over the beets and toss well.

Set aside for about half an hour for the flavors to infuse. Serve at room temperature.

Squash and Onions with Brown Sugar
serves 2

1 large yellow squash (or 2 medium)
2 small onions (or one medium)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar

Slice the squash into 1/2-inch rounds, cutting large ones in half. You should end up with roughly 2 cups of cut squash. Cut the onions into similar-sized slices.

Add the butter to a wide sauce pan that has a lid and heat over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the onions and cook until soft, about 4-5 minutes. Add squash, salt, pepper, and brown sugar. Stir, then cover and cook for about 20 minutes, until squash is very soft.

Remove the cover and continue to cook for about 8 minutes, just to give the juices a chance to evaporate slightly. There will be some liquid in the pan, but it should be thicker than water, almost like a glaze. Season with more salt and pepper, if needed, and serve immediately.

Here’s the line up for this week’s CSA shares-

1.   Peas- lots more than last week:)

2.   Beets

3.   Onions

4.   Radishes

5.    Salad blend lettuce

6.   Zucchini

7.   Mustard Greens

8.   Kale