Archive | September, 2008

Fall is Here

27 Sep

Fall is here and the leaves are falling to prove it.  I’ve noticed in the Spring that the amount of green changes by degrees everyday.  The color changes in the fall follow the same pattern.  Everyday there is a little more orange and red up on the hills and a little less green.  Soon the leaves will be falling and trees will be more bare everyday.   This week the share is very fall like.  We are moving into having more storage crops like onions, garlic, beets, carrots and potatoes and you will notice that the lettuce is not as tender as it was in the summer.  The leaves thicken as they adapt to the cold.

Garden Share

Beets

Carrots

Garlic

Onions

Lettuce

Sangre and Yukon Gold Potatoes

Paonia Tomatoes

Fruit Share

1 bag peaches, pears, plums, jonagold apples


Pick Yourself a Bouquet

We would like to invite everyone to pick a bouquet from the garden when you come to pick up your share.  The busy week prevented us from picking for market and we would love to distribute the beauty into everyone’s home.  If you pick-up in Salida feel free to stop by anytime you are in BV to pick a bouquet.  There are clippers in a red bucket next to the walk-in.  Take some time to enjoy being in the garden.

Sustainabilty Showcase and Celebration Today

27 Sep

Colorado Mountain College Sustainability Showcase and Celebration

This event is being held today at the Orpheum Theatre on East Main Street in Downtown Buena Vista.  The event will feature several talks on sustainability issues including landuse and local food production.  The event runs from 9 am to 9pm and the admission is $10 all day and $6 if you just want to attend the community mixer from 6-9 pm.

The Schedule is as Follows

8-9 am Admission and Showcase Preview

9-9:15 am Opening remarks from Jerry Mallet, Chaffee County Commissioner

Event announcement and projects:

Judy Green, Community and Corporate Learning Manager, CMC

Patricia St. Germain, Executive Director, GLobal Biomass Network Project, INC.

9:15-10:15 am Randy Udall – Colorado Renewable Energy Specialist

10:15 -10:45 am Coffee Break- Sponsored by Buena Vista Roastery

10:45-11:45 am Michael Callahan-Founder of Power Mundo and Solar Energy Specialist

11:45-1:00 pm Lunch and tour the Showcase

Entrees available from Mother’s and other local vendors

1:10-2:15 pm Quint Redmond – Creator: “Agriburbia” A sustainble landuse model

2:15-3:00 pm Afternoon refreshments in the Showcase

3:00 -5:00 pm Panel Discussion:  Restoring Local Food Production”  – Local Experts

including Seth Roberts of Weathervane Farm

4:00-6:00 pm Mini-Farmer’s Market – open to the public featuring

Weathervane Farm, Colorado Grown, Cottonwood Creek Dairy, Sweet Pea Farms, Vic’s Gourmet Foods

5:00-5:30 pm Closing Remarks – Jerry Mallet

6:00- 9:00 pm Community Mixer

Local musical talent and dancing, beer with donation, cash wine concession, local food vendors.  This event is hosted by Colorado Mountain College and The Orpheum Theatre.

The Leaves Are a Turnin’

20 Sep

Garden Share

Carrots

Red Russian Kale

Leeks

Green Lettuce

Red and Walla Walla Onions

Turnips

Corn

Fruit Share

1 bag blackberries and peaches

1 bag honeycrisp apples

All from Austin Family Farms

Turnips

These are purple top white globe turnips.  They are fantastic in the roasted roots recipe we mentioned last week.  They are also great in veggie and chicken soups, too.  They are best peeled.  A simple preparation is to boil them until you can stick a fork through and then slice or cube and slather them in butter and season with good salt.

Dangerous Leeks

This is a favorite dish that a friend contributed to a harvest celebration meal.  We haven’t made it in a while so we lost our recipe, but this one pretty much sums it up.  We call them dangerous leeks because they can cause some fragrant gastro-intestinal results.  They are worth it.  Just be careful not to over do it.

Leeks au Gratin

http://www.meredithlaurence.com/?p=69

Honey Crisp Apples

Several people have told me that these are their favorite eating apple.  They are sweet and crisp true to name.  The Honeycrisp apple was produced from a 1960 cross of Macoun and Honeygold, as part of the University of Minnesota apple breeding program.

There is a whole organization dedicated to promoting the honey crisp variety.

http://www.honeycrisp.org/hcrisp.htm

Blackberries

We are pleased with the variety of fruit that has been available this year and it is a real treat to have some berries.  As a Washington State native berries are one thing that I miss.  Delicious blackberries are noxious weeds in the Pacific Northwest and you can easily spend a mere 1/2 hour filling a five gallon bucket with sweet blackberry goodness.  Needless to say they are in abundance.  So savor these little guys.  I love them with a little milk and a light dusting of sugar or on top of vanilla ice cream.

Make the 1st Annual Farmer’s Harvest Festival Part of Your Weekend Plans

19 Sep

Just wanted to make a reminder to everyone that this Sunday is the First Annual Farmers’ Harvest Festival held at Cottonwood Meadows and sponsored by the farm businesses operating on the land, including Weathervane Farm. the event will run from 12:00 to 5:00. This event is free and open to all ages. The afternoon will start with farm tours and outdoor games at 12:00.

At approximately 1:00, we invite folks to sit down together to celebrate the abundance we’ve enjoyed on this land the last two seasons. The different farm businesses will be providing as much food as we can, and we ask everyone attending the potluck to bring your favorite dish to serve about 6-8 people. Please bring your own plates and table service and serving utensils would be appreciated as well, but we will of course have some here.

Then, around 3:00, we will enjoy live music from The Crane Flies, Matthew Coen and Andrea Earley-Coen’s latest musical project; Americana and acoustic rock with a bassist and drummer. We expect the band to play until 5: 00 or so, and then who knows what other fun might evolve.  Bring your instruments for a possible after 5:00 jam.

For those of you who may not have been to the farm before it is located at 15284 County Rd 350 in Buena Vista. If you can find the stoplight at Main street and 24, you’re almost there. Go north on 24 to Crossman, which is the street that runs between the Super 8 Motel and the Buffalo Bar and Grill (it is also CR 350). Take a left, and go just about a half mile, over Cottonwood Creek the first time, past Big Meadow (a big meadow) on your left. At the end of Big Meadow, take a left into the parking area immediately before crossing the creek a second time. After parking, cross the creek on the road, and you will find the farm on your left. Look for the signs directing you to parking for the event.

SCHEDULE for SUNDAY AFTERNOON SEPT. 21ST:

12:00 farm tours and outdoor games

1:00 Potluck

3:00 Live music with The Crane Flies

5:00 Official ending and unofficial beginning

Snowy Peaks

13 Sep

It is a cool harvest morning today with mist and clouds in the sky. We are noticing the darkening of the morning and are starting our days and orienting our routine a little later with the lack of light. And from the looks of the recipe selection this week we are craving heartier food. As the clouds and mist lifted this morning they revealed snow covered peaks.


Garden Share

Beets

Carrots

Chard

Fennel

Cucumber

Thyme

Leeks

Red Onions

Yukon Gold Potatoes

Eggplant, Green and Banana Peppers

(From Mattic’s Orchard)

Fruit Share

Apple / Pear Bag

Peach / Nectarine Bag

Potato Chard Bake

This is a favorite recipe of mine (SETH), especially with new potatoes. I first made it with a friend 8 or 9 years ago and never have written it down. I’ll do my best to convey the details that are important. As all of my favorite recipes, they always change a little. Experiment with it and have fun.

Preheat oven to 350 – 400o (this is part of the experiment)

Choose baking dish and lather with butter

Cheese – I prefer swiss of some kind, Guyerre for those special occasions. 2-3 cups grated or to taste.

Cream – 1 pint heavy whipping cream.

Spices to taste – I like cardamom, but just a little bit, and salt.

Potatoes – slice into rounds as thin as you can. I use a mandolin to get the thinnest most consistent cuts. You will need enough to fill the baking dish you are using ¾ full.

Chard – separate the stems from the leaves. Keep the leave as large as you can. Pile the leaves together, roll up tightly and then cut into thin slices. You will need enough cut leaves to fill ¾ of the baking dish you are using. You can use the stems as well if you wish. It will add a different texture to the dish, but that might be delicious too. I haven’t tried it but I bet using different mixtures of greens would be nice.

Now, start layering. Start with a layer of potatoes, then chard, then cream and spices. You could add a couple pats of butter for good measure, but I know some folks are not as big a fan of butter as I am. Sometimes I might throw in a little of the cheese, but most of it should be reserved for the top.

Aim for at least four layers. Like croissants, the more layers the better. If you haven’t noticed yet, you will by now that you have more than enough filling for the dish. The challenge is to pile it as high as you can. The chard will shrink considerably and so you have to overfill it to get a full dish.

Now put the over stuffed baking dish into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until the filling is sufficiently settled to add a layer of cheese on top. Add the cheese and bake for another 30 minutes. I am making the times up here as I write. They are my best guess but always trust your instincts. If the cheese is not crispy and golden by the end, put it under the broiler for a couple minutes.

Potato Fennel Mashers

This is a subtle flavor combination and since we just wing it when we make it you will have to experiment a little bit.

Chop and Boil Potatoes

Chop up fennel and sauté until soft in butter with a little garlic

Saute boiled potatoes and fennel mixture together and then mash up adding salt and generous butter to taste.

Nectarine and Peach Recipe

Here is a simple recipe that combines peaches, nectarines and brie. Yummy!

http://www.elise.com/recipes/archives/000287peach_pate_tartine.php

Roasted Roots

A favorite side dish around here is roasted roots. Simply cut whatever quantity of roots into approximately similar sizes. Peel beets and keep skins on potatoes and carrots. Chop up garlic or roast whole cloves with the roots. Largely chopped onions are also nice in the mix. Toss roots and garlic in olive oil to coat. Add salt to taste and herbs of your choice, rosemary and thyme work well. Turn out onto a sheet pan or roasting dish and roast at 400˚for about 1 hour. Flip roots every 15 minutes or so with a good metal spatula.

Eggplant

Here is an addition to the Mediterranean contributions of last week.

http://www.elise.com/recipes/archives/001483eggplant_dip_baba_ghanouj.php

Team Weathervane Beats Personal Record

Post harvest and share packing we have an abundance of bins to return to the stack in the back.  The previous record was 10 bins high and was beaten yesterday at 11  bins.  Go Team, Count ‘um!


More Music at Weathervane

We were pleased to welcome Eden MacAdam-Somer and Larry Unger of Notorious to Weathervane this Tuesday for fiddle and guitar workshops.  All the musicians attending learned a bunch and after we all shared a farm meal everyone jammed including Juniper and Jasper.  I think we have a left handed guitarist and a dobro player. 

Mark your calendars, Sept. 21st from 12-5 for more musical and food fun at Weathervane for the Farmers’ Harvest Festival.  See http://weathervaneconcert.wordpress.com/ for more details.

Frosty Mornings

5 Sep

We have turned another corner with our first frost in the meadow garden on Thursday morning. We lost our cucumbers, zucchini, basil, peas and those beans we mentioned last week. The cucumbers and basil did not do well from the beginning. Our nighttime temperatures are too low to provide a good growing environment for those warm weather loving crops. In our future business plan we will construct high tunnels, unheated greenhouses, to prolong the season and generally increase temperatures through the growing season. These will help immensely with our ability to grow a wider variety of those warmer weather crops and will allow us to grow more successions of cooler weather crops.

Garden Share

Green Beans (Mattic’s Orchard)

Broccoli

Green Cabbage

Carrots

Corn (Mattic’s Orchard)

Cucumbers (Mattic’s Orchard)

Mint

Oregano

Green Lettuce

Walla Walla Onions

Scallions

Zucchini

Fruit Share

1 bag peaches

1 bag gala apples

Both from Austin Family Farms

Green Beans

Though we will not be seeing our green beans this season, we do have another installment from Mattic’s Orchard in Olathe. Here are some tasty looking recipes to help you use them.

http://www.elise.com/recipes/archives/002129wax_beans_with_mint.php

http://www.elise.com/recipes/archives/007267mexican_green_bean_salad.php

Cucumbers, Greek Oregano and Mint

Last summer we had a Greek Family visit our home and they cooked us a fantastic Mediterranean feast. The top one is from our recipe library and the bottom recipe is one of the dishes the family prepared. They are delicious together.

Tzatziki

32 oz. yogurt

1 ½ cup shredded cucumber

¾ tsp. salt

2 T. chopped mint

¼ tsp black pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 T. Olive Oil

Mix ingredients together and enjoy or for a more authentic experience drain yogurt overnight through a colander lined with paper towels, placed over a bowl, covered in the refrigerator. Transfer drained yogurt to a bowl. Rinse and dry the colander. Put shredded cucumber in colander and sprinkle with salt. Toss and allow to drain 15 min. Squeeze excess moisture until just moist. Mix drained yogurt with cucumbers and all remaining ingredients. Drizzle with oil.

Smirnaika (read the whole recipe before starting)

2 lbs ground beef or buffalo

Oregano

Salt and pepper

1 onion

4-5 cloves garlic minced

3 pieces dry bread torn into small pieces or food processed with a few Tablespoons olive oil to moisten

1.Hand mix/knead above ingredients

2.Form mixture into 2 ½ inch long by 1 inch high loaves

3. Make a bowl of flour for dredging the meat loaves.

4. Heat olive oil in a skillet.

5. Roll loaves in the flour and fry briefly in the skillet until flour is nicely browned.

6. Place loaves in a baking dish.

The Sauce

2 cans diced or pureed tomatoes

Put in the frying pan with the meat oil. Add salt and pepper and chopped oregano.

Bring to a boil to reduce liquid

Pour sauce over meat loaves and bake in the oven at 350˚ for approximately 30 minutes or until meat is cooked and sauce is bubbly.