This week’s pack should contain peaches! They are not organic so anyone who doesn’t want peaches can have blueberries. Everyone will get sungold cherry tomatoes (yay!) because they are in plentiful supply. Also salad; garlic; peppers; potatoes; herbs; cucumber; winter turnip; beets, kale, or celery; and eggs.
Extra Extra! Please let Jen know if you want large eggplants ($3 each) baba ganouj recipe; bulk blueberries ($4/pint); rose hips ($5/bag); salsa verde pack with onions, garlic, cilantro, oregano, and tomatillos ($10) recipe here; or a pesto pack ($7) recipe.
There are two fabulous recipes using beets and eggplant at the end of this post.
Farm news… Last night we were loading and unloading hay in the dark. Actually, the moonlight helped. Making hay with Phil of Parkside Farm makes us very happy. There is nothing quite like the feeling of security when your barn is full of hay.
David loves using the clunky old spader we got from a farmer who was moving away. It does the job of a plow and disk all at once. It needs to be greased constantly and is a pain to mount and unmount from the tractor, but it saves a lot of time. It is like having 20 very strong people following behind you with shovels working up the soil and incorporating plant residue. It also keeps plant residue at the surface where plant roots can benefit from it.
Our new flock of hens has started to lay eggs. Phew! Our egg supplier, Aaron and Laura Hiltz have received a notice that they have to reduce their hen numbers. Here is their notice to egg customers, and their petition. A few weeks ago, Aaron let us know he wouldn’t have enough eggs to supply the regular amount we buy. So we quickly shifted into gear and on his recommendation, bought some ready-to-lay hens. They are settling in nicely as they transition from barn life to pasture life. They started to lay the odd mini-egg, challenging me to hunt everywhere so I could find them! I ate one this morning, and I’m happy to report it was delicious. I’m also happy to report that one or two of them have found the nesting boxes. We knew our new hens would not start laying full-on right away, so this week we bought eggs from a Mennonite producer in Hants County who lets her hens out of the barn to range. They are not as good as ours, unfortunately. We will distribute what we have until our own hens start laying. This means we could have a few weeks with no eggs. We will keep you posted.
Bruce was on a tear this week. He organized and tidied the blue woodshed. He built seedling benches beside the greenhouse. He and David did a lot of planning for next year’s production in two new fields by the river. They are getting a lot of the prep work done for next season now, because it is very likely they won’t have time in the spring.
We will see you all soon!
Jen, David, Bruce, Stephanie, Cassie, Brent
Recipes from George
Simply delicious beets
Use about 4-6 medium beets
1/2 bunch finely chopped beet greens
teaspoon finely chopped ginger (optional)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion or shallots
1 tbs (or a bit more) old fashioned dijon mustard (has seeds in it)
Steam beets to al dente and peel (we like to steam them because the skin can be easily rubbed off under cold water right after cooking). Then cube them into 1/2″ chunks.
Heat a frying pan to very hot, add about a teaspoon of olive oil and the beets. Caramelize them lightly. Then add the onions, greens and ginger and sauté until the onions and greens are tender (about 2 minutes), then add the mustard and sauté a minute more. Serve! We lie to garnish with some crumbled goat cheese.
Curried, grilled eggplant
1 large eggplant, mostly peeled and cut into disks 1/2″ thick
several tablespoons of olive oil seasoned heavily with curry powder (or even better, garam masala) and salt.
Pre heat your BBQ to VERY hot. You want to cook them quickly! Brush one side of each disk with the seasoned oil and place on the grill. While the first side grills you can occupy yourself by brushing the other sides while burning the hair off you knuckles. Eggplant can quickly absorb a lot of oil, so you want to brush the first side immediately before placing on the grill and the second side soon before turning. Grill until the eggplants are golden brown. An option is to put a bit of finely grated asiago before serving.
Note that you can grill the onions that we have been getting the same way, but go lighter on the spices.