Archive | July, 2009

Yay! Rockygrass!

23 Jul

Howdy folks.  We, your farmers, Seth, Caitlin and Juniper are on our mandatory summer vacation to Rockygrass in Lyons, Colorado. Check it out at http://www.bluegrass.com/rockygrass/ Around Thanksgiving every year we buy our tickets.  As the summer season intensifies and days off become sparse, we look forward to 4 days of music, fun, and family.  So this weekend the rest of the crew and our working members will handle all the share and market logistics.  We are so lucky to have a competent and hardworking crew.  It is great to get a break and be able to relax without worries.  Thanks to the Weathervane Farm All-Stars (minus Eric, who is vacationing with us) Rafe, Lindsey, Courtney, Daniel, Karen, Sarah and our working member crew.

Garden Share

Broccoli

Beans

Cilantro

Daikon

Winterbor Kale

Onion

Snap peas

Garlic

Pac Choi

Scallions

Green Leaf Lettuce

Summer Squash

Napa Cabbage

Fruit Share

Peaches

Daikon

This long white radish variety from Japan is often used pickled.  It is spicy and mellows slightly with cooking.  It would be great in a stir-fry or asian inspired soup.

Here’s a yummy looking recipe with Cilantro:

http://www.theworldwidegourmet.com/recipes/thai-chicken-oconnell/

and a salad with Napa Cabbage too:

http://www.latimes.com/features/printedition/food/la-fo-choppedsaladrec6cfeb06,0,5407729.story

Some soup options:

http://recipes.wuzzle.org/index.php/37/426

http://fooddownunder.com/cgi-bin/recipe.cgi?r=87078

Radish and Turnip Chips

If you have any radishes and turnips still rolling around in your produce drawer give this recipe from Weathervane Farm member, Brian Stack a try.

http://imbrianandsoismywife.blogspot.com/

Everyone have a great weekend and week.  We will post some Rockygrass pictures next week.  Ahhh….vacation!

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Midsummer Dreaming

18 Jul

This is the point in the season when it is just beginning to feel like summer is here.  The days have  been warm and mostly dry and the summer crops are starting to fruit.  In our garden, along with carrots and beets, zucchini, beans, and peas are all on the way.  From the Western Slope, we will start to stock the share up with cucumbers, corn, melons, beans, tomatoes, eggplant, and potatoes.

Garden Share

Arugula

Broccoli

Cucumbers

Dill

Onions

Romaine

Radish

Summer Squash

Fruit Share

Peaches

Apricots

Cherries

Dill Dressings

Since salads are a central part of our recent share diets, here are several salad dressing recipes calling for dill.

http://www.creativehomemaking.com/download/dressings.pdf

Caeser Salads

With Romaine in the share there is no better time for a Caesar salad. 

http://www.reluctantgourmet.com/caesar.htm

Fruit Desserts

Yum! A Fresh Cherry Tart

http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/fresh-cherry-tart

and Apricot Shortbread…

http://kitchenparade.com/2008/07/fresh-apricot-bars.php

and Roasted Peaches….

http://www.bonappetit.com/magazine/2009/08/roasted_peaches_with_amaretti_crumble

Flukey Frost

11 Jul

On Wednesday morning Seth came in from chores with a blade of grass and a some clover covered in what I thought had to be a heavy dew.  Seth insisted that the moisture was melted frost.  I was certain he must be mistaken, a frost on July 8th, impossible, right?   I stopped what I was doing, pulled on my blue rubber boots and headed out to the meadow to see for myself.  As I walked with my eyes glued to the ground I saw dew covered grass and then reached the lowest point in the garden where I made a positive confirmation on a pocket of frost.  This frost occurred after an 85 degree day on Tuesday.  I am not sure how it is even possible to have such a difference in temperature.  My guess after looking around and talking to folks is that cold air was draining off the slopes of the Collegiate Peaks from the west into the low spot in our garden.  Luckily there was no damage to the crops.  The frost was isolated to a very small portion of the pasture about 20 ft north of the garden.

For more reading on frost pockets and how to predict frost check out this link from Organic Gardening.

http://www.organicgardening.com/feature/0,7518,sl-5-19-1370,00.html

Garden Variety

Garden Variety

Garden Shares

Napa Cabbage

Chard

Chives

Garlic (West Slope)

Purple and White Kolhrabi

Green Leaf Lettuce

Red Pac Choi

Cherriette Radish

Salad Mix (from Erin’s Organics)

Fruit Share

Bing Cherries

Peaches

Apricots

Apricots

The apricot fruit set on the West Slope was adversely affected by a late spring freeze going as low as 10 degrees F.  We are lucky to have located a source for at least a few of these little yummies.  Glen Austin has a neighbor whose apricot crop  escaped the freeze.   We will try our best to source more, but this may be the only time we get them, so savor them.

Let Your Fruit Ripen

You may notice a varying stages of ripeness in your fruit share contents.  For the best eating, your share may require a little bit of management.  Sort your fruit so you are eating the  ripest first and allow unripe fruit to sit out on the countertop until ripe.  With the exception maybe of cherries and melons, the fruit quality will be better without refrigeration.  If you are trying to ripen fruit a ripe piece in with the unripe fruit might hasten the process, but be careful as the old adage says, one bad apple (or any bad fruit, or attitude) spoils the bunch.

The Many Shades of Greens

The Many Shades of Greens

Chiffonade Greens

The other night Seth and I chopped up a bunch of  Tuscano Kale left over from the market last week as a side dish to our bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches.  I was reminded of how much I like to cut greens, like kale and chard, using the chiffonade knife technique.  So here’s what I do.  This technique works best with relatively flat leaved greens like chard, tuscano kale and collards.  Destem your green of choice by cutting the stem out up into the leaf, but not all the way to the leaf margin.  Make a stack of leaves and then roll them up tightly the long way.  Cut thin slices off the roll.  I love eating these chiffonade greens sauted in garlic and olive oil or added to pasta sauces.  Here is a little demo with a basil leaf.  Click the link and them scroll down to chiffonade.

http://www.how-to-cook-gourmet.com/usingakitchenknife.html

Erin’s Organics Salad Mix

Along with my farm responsibilities, I (Caitlin) am also lucky to work part time for Erin Oliver in her geothermal greenhouse.  I work 3 days in the middle of the week harvesting and planting greenhouse goodies.  Our relationship with Erin has been hugely beneficial to the success of our farm.  Along with providing another source of income for our family, we also lease precious start growing space in Erin’s greenhouse. With an already short growing season, it is essential for us to start crops indoors to meet our production goals.

This week we had an especially large harvest of salad mix.  Though we have had lots of greens lately and I am sure folks have had salads for many meals lately, we wanted to include Erin’s greens in the share for a little variety.

To learn more about Erin’s operation check out this great article from Dustin Urban.

http://www.southmainco.com/index.php/articles/business/115-erins-organics

Wilted Lettuce

A good way to cut the bulk out of your lettuce supply is to make a wilted lettuce salad.  Here is simple description using leaf lettuce and scallions (in the share last week).  I read another recipe that suggested adding sliced radishes. 

http://www.kountrylife.com/content/rec14.htm

Napa Cabbage Slaw

This is a great cabbage slaw my Mom always made with grilled bbq chicken and adapted from a Sunset Magazine Recipe.

1 c. strawberries, quartered

1/4 c rice vinegar

1 sm onion, thinly sliced

1/2 c. mayo

1/4 c. drained pickled, slivered ginger

1 T sugar

1-2 tsps caraway seed

1/2 tsp pepper

8 c. shredded napa cabbage

Mix all together. Garnish with strawberries. Cover and chill for up to 4 hours.  Serves 8.

Chicken Reminder

We will harvest chickens on Monday.  If anyone wants fresh chicken please contact us by phone, 719 (207) 2287 or email, info@weathervanefarmbv.com, A.S.A.P.

The Juniper Report

It is always an adventure keeping our daughter Juniper occupied during harvest day.  She loves to help and we are always looking for ways to make the day fun for her so she will continue to love to help.  Along with using a variety of little bucket to pour water out of the wash tanks, one of her favorite wash station activities is to have a crate house built up all around her.

Juniper's Crate Playhouse

The Beginnings of Juniper's Crate Playhouse

The 2nd Share on the 4th

4 Jul

The long days of summer are here and we are feeling the heat.  It was another great harvest on Friday.  We are pleased that there will be new veggie offerings in the share over the coming weeks.  Just a few of the items coming up on the roster are broccoli, chinese cabbage, carrots and beets.

Delivered in the 11th hour, the cherries this week are about as fresh as you can get them.  The fruit share will also expand in diversity and abundance over the coming weeks.

Garden Share

Cilantro

Multi-Colored Radish

Red Leaf Lettuce

Salad Turnip

Spinach

Scallions

Tuscano Kale

Purple Mizuna

Zucchini

Mystery Garlic Scape (chop and use like garlic)

Fruit Share

1 bag Bing Cherries from Austin Family Farms

Cherry Cobbler

Straight from the Austin Family orchard, picked Thursday afternoon, these yummy summer delights are great to eat fresh, on ice cream, or whip up this mouthwatering cherry cobbler.

http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/cherry-cobbler-recipe.html

Share Boxes

Please bring back your wax boxes so that we may use them again.   Or if you don’t want to lug that big box home, bring your shopping bag to the farm or market and load your share up and leave the box with us.

chicken

Pasture Raised Chicken

Our pasture raised chickens are getting plump and ready for harvest soon.

We grow fewer than 999 birds yearly and sell all of our meat off the farm directly to the consumer. This allows us to do all of our harvesting and processing on the farm. Using professional grade equipment, we are pleased to be able to participate in the harvesting process so that our birds do not have to endure the stress of being transferred to a harvesting facility.

We aim to pre sell all of our birds by the harvest date so that they may go to your freezer or dinner table as fresh as possible. The first birds will be available in a couple of weeks. The cost of the birds is $4./lb. and the birds will weigh approximately 4 lbs.  Please contact us by email to make a reservation.

radish

Name Our Multi-Colored Radish Mix

Over the last several seasons we grew a mix of radish varieties collectively known as Easter Egg.  This year we created our own mix from three varieties: Amethyst, Champion and Ping Pong.  Though the mix looks much like the old Easter Egg, we think  it deserves a new name.  We are now referring to it as ACP.  The name ACP leaves something to be desired, so please help us make up a creative name that evokes the beauty and character of these colorful roots.  Scroll down to the comment button to leave your suggestions.

Fish Tacos

Here are a couple of variations on the fish taco.  This is a great warm weather meal accompanied by a nice cold Corona or lime water.  All of these recipes involve both radishes and cilantro.

This recipe also uses scallions:

http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/fish-tacos-with-salsa-verde-and-radish-salad

This recipe uses salmon:

http://www.foodess.com/2009/02/blackened-fish-tacos-with-charred-corn-salsa-and-cilantro-aioli/

This recipe has a great photo description of a rub to season the fish:

http://www.thefoodinmybeard.com/2009/06/fish-tacos.html

Salad Turnips

Those big white globes in the share are Salad Turnips.  They are slightly sweeter and smoother than other turnips and have a variety of uses.  Eat them raw in salad or cook them up in soups or sautes.  Here is a link from Eating Well describing some basic tips for using turnips.  The grill suggestion sounds like it would be particularly good spiced up with some chili, lime, oregano, salt seasoning. 

http://www.eatingwell.com/eat_drink/kitchen_tips/turnips.html