Archive | August, 2008

Labor Play

30 Aug

Labor Day is here this weekend and though we may labor at least part of the day the farm family will be going out to see Crooked Still at the Steam Plant on Monday night for a fun change of pace from the busy times of the season.

Even when we are busy we like to have fun around here and keep things light.  After a day of harvesting Karen and Eric celebrate with a yellow wagon ride.

The mornings are getting darker and cooler and we are starting to see the garden transition into fall.  Our harvest is big and bountiful and we will soon have a few new crops to include in the share offerings.  Leeks, onions, Brussels Sprouts(if the season permits), and everyone think happy warm thoughts for the beans which are loaded with itty bitty fruit at this time.

With the abundance all around us we are planning a Farmer’s Harvest Festival to celebrate the bounty.  The festival will be held on Sunday, September 21st starting at noon.  Save the date and we will send more details soon.  This will be a great opportunity to come out and tour the farm and meet all the farmers and for all of to get to know each other better.  It will also be a fun time for the kids.  We are planning music and lots of activities, too.

Thanks to those of you making comments on the blog.   It is great to have the contributions and feedback.  Thanks too for the messages regarding chicken ordering.  We will post ordering specifics regarding the chicken this week.

Garden Share

Winterbor Kale

Yukon Gold Potatoes

Beets

Carrots

Kohlrabi

Snow Peas

Scallions

Zucchini

Green Peppers (Mattic’s Orchard)

Fruit Share

1 BAG……

Weathervane Apples

Austin Gold Apples

Bartlett Pears

1 Bag Nectarines

Weathervane Apples

We have two old apple trees shading one side of our packing area and one that fruits reliably (for the last two years at least). These smallish tender skinned delicate fleshed tartish apples would be yummy in a sauce or mini cobbler or chopped and baked in muffins. These are more of a novelty than anything. We thought it would be nice to incorporate some homegrown fruit into the share. We would love to plant more fruit on the farm as we get more established. Apples, apricots, raspberries and strawberries seem to be good candidates for growing around here. We would love to hear if anyone has had success with a particular variety or type of fruit in this area.

Nectarines

These are from New Leaf Farm in Delta. Any food with nectar in its name has to be delicious and these nuggets of ambrosia will not disappoint. I wholeheartedly recommend eating these straight up to enjoy the magnificent flavor and texture without distraction.

Pears

A couple of pears from Austin Family Farms to kick off the transition to the fall fruit season.

Warm Kale Salad with Steak and Gorgonzola

Our talented friends John and Alison, who designed our website and brochure and have a knack for creativity in the kitchen, keep mentioning a salad that they make with Weathervane kale, steak and gorgonzola cheese. Though we have not seen their recipe the combination sounded delicious and we couldn’t wait to create our own dish from the same flavor combo. We will get their recipe up here, too.

1 bunch kale chopped with stem removed

1 medium size steak cubed

½ c gorgonzola crumbled

½ onion chopped

Garlic

Salt to Taste after adding Gorgonzola

Seasoning of your choice for the steak (see below for what we came up with)

Saute cubed steak in a little olive oil. Be sure not to overcook. Add coriander, red pepper, lemon pepper and salt to taste. Set steak aside and use the same pan adding a little more oil. Saute onion and garlic until translucent. Add chopped kale and sauté until just wilted. Add the steak back to the mixture. Saute another 5 min and stir in the gorgonzola crumbles allowing them to melt slightly. We had this dish with a combination of other sautéed veggies from the garden including boiled, peeled and chopped beets with a vinaigrette dressing.

Yukon Gold Potatoes

These are from our fields and we are so excited by their cosmetic beauty and culinary delectability. These are the prettiest taters we’ve grown in a long time. They are still in the “new potato” stage so keep them refrigerated and use them in the next couple of weeks for best results.


A Limerick-Gram: Boxes

Every week of the garden share

The veggies get packed with care

Into a box coated in wax

A supply of which lacks

Bring back your box is our prayer

There once was a CSA shareholder

Who wanted to be a bit bolder

I would be a better member

If only I could remember

to return my box before I get older.

Our supply seems to be low

And we would like to see it grow

Please bring them back

So that we may pack

Those boxes full; don’t be slow.

Thanks!!!!

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August rain brings more flowers

23 Aug

The week has flown by and this newsletter will include pictures, we promise. There is always something new demanding our attention around here so if we don’t get to finishing a job it is that much harder to get back to it.

The rain has turned our pastures green and the warmer week brought many new blooms in the flower garden. We are hoping for a nice long summer to make up for our slow start. The average date for the first frost is the 15th of September. We hope to have our tender crops around a bit longer. We will see.

The Weathervane family got together to harvest chickens last Sunday morning. We’ve been raising broiler birds on pasture over the summer and our first batch grew to a nice size of 4 1/2 to 6 pounds. We will market these birds directly from the farm through the CSA and by word of mouth. Stay tuned for pricing and availability details we will publish in a separate post. We have 150 more broiler birds yet to harvest this fall and would like to pre-sell most of those so we don’t over tax our freezer space.

Garden Share

Salad Mix (from Erin’s Organics Geothermal Greenhouse in Nathrop)

Cauliflower

Carrots

Garlic

Onions (from Mattic’s Orchard in Olathe)

Snap Peas

Uno Tomato (from Erin’s Greenhouse)

Zucchini

Fruit Share

1 bag Austin Gold Apples

1 bag peaches

Cauliflower

The first of the cauliflower is coming out of the garden. Here is a simple recipe to enjoy.

http://steamykitchen.com/blog/2007/04/04/roasted-cauliflower/

Delicious Homemade Dressing

The salad mix in the share this week is delicious with a simple dressing and some nuts and cheese of your choice to top. This is a dressing we like in our house.

¼ cup Olive oil

¼ cup Balsamic Vinegar

2 tsp Stone Ground Mustard

1 T Maple Syrup

½ tsp Dried Thyme

A few pinches of salt and a pepper

Shake up in a bottle and serve. Flavors improve with time.

Apples

These are Austin Gold apples grown at Austin Family Farms. It is a special variety developed by

the Austin Family. They are a nice crisp and tart eating variety.

Peach Turnovers

If you are ready to involve your peaches in a dessert, check out this one for Peach Turnovers.

http://www.dianasdesserts.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/recipes.recipeListing/filter/dianas/recipeID/1743/Recipe.cfm

Soon to include pictures!!

16 Aug

Here is the list and recipes for this week’s share.  Check back later to see some great pictures and more info. Enjoy!

Garden Share

Carrots

Itty Bitty Beets

Green Leaf Lettuce

Red Russian Kale

Scallions

Snow Peas

Onions

Zucchini

Cabbage

Fruit Share

1 muskmelon

1 bag peaches

Coleslaw

Here is a good looking coleslaw recipe from one of my favorite recipe sites. They have great links and good background information on whatever you want to cook.

http://www.elise.com/recipes/archives/000724coleslaw.php

Baby Beets

We had these babies lightly sauted the other night as a side to buffalo burgers. Simply wash them well and then chop them up every ½ inch or so and then heat up a little olive oil and garlic and sauté until the small beet bits are cooked through.

Roasted Tarragon Carrots

1 bunch carrots cut into ½ inch pieces

½ stick butter

Salt to taste

And a sprinkling of tarragon fresh or dried

My favorite way to cut carrots for this recipe is a variation on the diagonal cut. A friend of mine that I worked with as a prep cook coined the technique the carousel cut. Basically what you do is start by making a ½ inch diagonal cut and then you rotate the carrot ¼ and make another diagonal cut. It makes the carrot look facetted and gives it more edges for roasting. Turn your oven on to about 400 and mix the above ingredients in a casserole or roasting pan. The roasting takes 45 min to an hour. You will want to turn the carrots several times while roasting, maybe every 15 minutes. When done the sugars in the carrots are super concentrated and the butter tastes all carmelized. The tarragon adds a nice rich flavor.

Agua Fresca de Melon

Makes 2 drinks

2 cups ripe cantaloupe

1 cup cold water

Juice of one lime(optional)

3-4 ice cubes

Seed the melon and dig out the meat. Put all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Pour and enjoy. This is a refreshing drink on a hot day. Hopefully we will have a few more of those before the summer is over.

PB &M

Peanut butter and melon is a new tradition passed on to me through Seth’s family and it is surprisingly good. Cut the melon in half, scoop the seed out of one side of the melon making a melon bowl and insert a generous amount of peanut butter and go for it! The classic vanilla ice cream a la melon bowl also remains a favorite.

We are gathered here today…….

9 Aug

This weekend the Weathervane House is full of friends and family congregating to celebrate the marriage of Rafe and Lindsey.  We had many hands in the garden for harvest this weekend and have been enjoying the general celebratory atmosphere.  Events such as this remind us of our communities and it is so fun to see family meeting friends and old friends meeting new friends.  Our friend Cassie made the trip from Missouri to join in the festivities.

Cassie’s Return

As we approach the farm on the cloudy afternoon, I revel in the familiar sight of the grassy meadow preceding the farmstead with the unforgettable backdrop of Mt. Princeton. Born and raised in Missouri, this view is unlike anything back home and an image I will never forget. It’s been a year since my internship, but as the familiar landscape comes into view, it seems like no time has passed…until I see the farm! The first indications of change are small: a beautiful sign indicates “Colorado Grown” prominently from the road. Then we pull into the Weathervane Farm driveway to see that the whole place has transformed! The original plot I helped tend the summer before is flush with growth, but just beyond, I see a new plot has been established, two or three times as big and surrounded by a beautiful fence. When the car stops, I hop out and start to look for other changes. There are so many! The chickens are a new mixture of heirloom breeds, chicks peep from a new pen, bikes hang against the house under a covered shelter, a new garden shed boarders the chicken coop…everything Seth, Cait and all of the other farmers here envisioned in the formative first year have been successfully executed! As we wander across the bridge looking for the farm crew, I see that even more has been established: domestic ducks nest in the grass and wade in the pond, calves curl together in one shelter, and a couple of pigs root around in a neighboring pen. Near the new garden, I see two more chicken contraptions, one for broilers and one for laying hens. Both of those coops are moveable, allowing beneficial rotation and fertilization for the field. They even have rabbits now!

I find it so hard to believe that so much has been accomplished in just a year. But then I remind myself, that though the group is small, they are unendingly dedicated and incredibly hard working. The group includes a collective of businesses and creative folks behind those businesses. Cottonwood Creek Dairy, Colorado Grown, Weathervane Farm, Classical Decomposers, Raised Right Rabbits and R&L Hay all create this dynamic farm structure. Establishing a flourishing farm is no small task. The farmers here have been blessed with the support of their new community (that’s YOU, kind reader!) and, combined with their commitment and activity, they are unstoppable! So, from the former first ever intern, I say KUDOS to them and KUDOS to you for your participation. On their behalf, I invite you out to the farm to see all of the fabulous projects in the works so that you too can celebrate in their thriving creativity and partake in the quest for developing a sustainable relationship with the land. Until next year!

-Cassie Phillips, Weathervane intern ‘08

Garden Share

Beets

Broccoli

Cabbage

Mint

Winterbor Kale

Green Leaf Lettuce

Snap and Snow Peas

Spinach

Zucchini

Green Pepper

Eggplant

Fruit Share

1 cantaloupe

1 bag peaches

Ah, nothing like the peak of summer to inspire indulgence in minty libations. Here at the farm, we celebrated the snowballing crowd of family and friends for Rafe and Lindsey’s wedding by making pitchers of the famous Cuban cocktail, Mojito. Fresh lime and even fresher mint made this drink a zesty, refreshing end to the evening, but it would probably be just as good (if not better) on a hot afternoon. Next in line: Mint juleps!

Mojitos

¼ cup mint, leaves torn, packed

1 cup fresh lime juice

1 Tsp lime zest minced

½ cup sugar

2 cups rum

4 cups club soda

Mix mint, lime juice, lime zest and sugar. Mash mint with the back of the wooden spoon to release mint oils and dissolve sugar. In a pitcher combine all ingredients. Put a little mint from the mixture in each glass. Add ice and pour mixture. This is a very refreshing beverage. Would also be delicious without the vodka.

Please excuse the brief nature of this newsletter. We are all running around here in anticipation of Rafe and Lindsey’s union. We will post more about the share, post wedding. Thanks!

The Sweetness of Summer

1 Aug

Sweet corn, carrots and even the turnips, not to mention the peaches, are making us lick our lips and exclaim delight. Enjoy the sweetness of the season, no sugar added.

Garden Share

Sweet Corn

Green Beans

Carrots

Cilantro

Cucumber

Green Leaf Lettuce

Spinach

Salad Turnips

Fruit Share

Peaches

Early Red Haven from New Leaf Farm in Delta

Green Beans, Corn and Cucumbers

These come from Mattic’s Orchard in Olathe.

Cheesy Corn Soufflé

This recipe comes from an interesting blog featuring posts from several published cookbook writers, farmers, an edible landscaper and community activists. It has lots of interesting reading and some great recipes.

http://organictobe.org/index.php/2008/07/18/corns-in-season-with-organic-cheesy-corn-souffle-recipe/

Roasted Corn on the Cob with Chili Butter

http://herbivoracious.com/2008/07/roasted-corn-wi.html

Green Beans

http://justbento.com/handbook/recipes-sides-and-fillers/french-green-beans-with-carrot-and-ginger

Check out this site for simple recipes including carrots and spinach, too.

Turnips

These are a salad turnip called hakurei. They are mild and crisp. Eat them cooked or raw. Chop into a salad raw or slice and salt lightly for a crunchy snack. We had them in a vegetable stir-fry the other night and they added great flavor. Below is a recipe that incorporates both cilantro and turnip.

Turnips with Cilantro and Lime

3   pounds (about 4 large) turnips
1   cup lightly packed fresh cilantro minced 
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1   tablespoon honey
1   teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Salt and pepper Peel turnips and cut into 1/2-inch wedges. Spread out in a 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Set aside. Combine cilantro with lime juice, oil, honey, chili powder, and cumin; stir until well blended. Pour about half the mixture over the turnips and gently mix until all wedges are evenly coated. Roast in a 450 [degrees] oven until wedges are browned and very tender when pierced, about 50 minutes, basting every 10 minutes with remaining cilantro mixture until all is used. Transfer to a platter and serve warm. Add salt and pepper to taste

From Sunset, 1990

Carrots

Hooray for carrots. Hooray, hooray, hooray. Finally we are in carrot season. These are the original baby carrot and they are so sweet and delicious. For longest lasting quality remove the greens and store the carrots in a bag or container in the crisper. If they do get limp restore them in a little water in the refrigerator if needed. This is a variety called parmex.

Here’s a seed catalog description that explains it well. www.kitchengardenseeds.com

#1610 Parmex Baby Ball Carrots: 60-70 days
An improvement on the first ‘baby ball’ carrots originating in France, Parmex graces booths in many farmer’s markets throughout France. Bright orange with silky-smooth skin, it does not need peeling. This baby carrot takes up relatively little space, making it ideal for the backyard gardener – you can even grow it in containers! Parmex is loudly crunchy, reliably sweet and in demand by gourmet chefs worldwide. Harvest at a round 1” to 2”, by pulling out gently. If any make it into the kitchen, enjoy them lightly steamed!

Peaches

Oh boy! The first juicy peaches of the season have arrived. Savor the taste of summer and be sure to eat your fill fresh and unadulterated. And if any remain make some yummy peach salsa.

Simple Peach Salsa

Ingredients

2 cups chopped, peeled fresh peaches

1/4 cup chopped sweet onion

3 Tablespoon lime juice

2 to 3 Tablespoon finely chopped, seeded fresh jalapeno pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

1 Tablespoon snipped fresh cilantro

1/2 tsp. sugar

In a medium mixing bowl stir together peaches, onion, lime juice, peppers, garlic, cilantro, and sugar. Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours.

From www.great-salsa.com/peachsalsarecipes.html