Archive | September, 2009

And We’re Back

26 Sep

When I was growing up my parents owned an antique shop.  Our family vacations were filled with stops at antique stores.  I remember a trip to the Oregon Coast in which we spent very little time at the beach and a whole lot of time searching for Pendleton blankets, birch bark canoes, bakelite napkin rings or whatever my parents were collecting at the time.  I imagine Juniper may someday say that on her vacations she saw mostly farms and farmers market.

The Pacific Northwest is in full harvest mode at this time of year.  We visited the Wenatchee Saturday Farmers Market.  It was fun for us to be on the other side of the market table.  We were like kids in a candy store.  Come to think of it, we were like farmers at a farmers market.  In our 1/2 hour stay at the market we filled our bags with Okanogan grass fed beef, flowers, multiple varieties of plums, wild-crafted chantrelle mushrooms, Quincy corn, cabbage salsa, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant,  apples, and an apron just the right size for Juniper.

It is renewing for us to meet other farmers and learn about what they do.  At another market we caught up with our friends at The Sunshine Farm, located in Chelan, Washington. Learn more at  http://www.sunshinefarmmarket.com/ and http://www.sunfarmblog.com/ .  Local growers are still a fairly small community across the country and it doesn’t take long for us to recognize our connections with other growers and see where we all fit in the constellation of the small farm movement.   Rachel worked next door to our friends Melanie and Jagger, owners of  Blue Fox Farm in Applegate Oregon http://bluefoxorganics.com/.  She also assistant managed the gardens at Farmer John’s Angelic Organics in Illinois http://angelicorganics.com/ .  Guy is a creative filmmaker and farmer who made the film Broken Limbs, http://www.sunshinefarmmarket.com/252.html, about his father’s adjustments through economic woes in conventional orcharding.  And the Garden Manager, Renee,  is a past Leadville resident who knows several of our current Weathervane Farm members.

With just two more installments of farm shares for the 2009 growing season, we return from our trip excited to be farming and ready to learn more throughout the winter months in preparation for another great Weathervane Farm season.

The Fall garden.  Lettuce and brassicas going to seed.

The Fall garden. Lettuce and brassicas going to seed.

Along with the lists from this week,  I included the lists from last week here for your reference.

Garden Share Last Week

Broccoli

Carrots

Red Russian Kale

Romaine

Red Onion

Scallions

Tatsoi

Yellow Squash

Tomatoes

The garden is producing some great carrots this season.  Here they are bugs eye view.

The garden is producing some great carrots this season. Here they are bugs eye view.

Garden Share This Week

Beets

Broccoli

Carrots

Cauliflower

Tuscano Kale

Leeks

Sweet Onion

Scallions

Tomatoes

Winter Squash

Fruit Share Last Week

Peaches

Pears

Fruit Share This Week

Honeycrisp and Gala Apples

Pears

Peaches

Canadice and Concord Grapes

Cauliflower Recipes

The cauliflower in the shares this week are big ones.  Here is a link to a noce variety of healthy cauliflower recipes.

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_cauliflower_recipes

Concord and Canadice Grapes

The canadice grape is a great fresh eating seedless table grape.  Eat right off the vine or throw these in a fruit salad.

The concord grape has seeds and is very flavorful but can be quite tart.  Try some of the suggestions from the link below if you prefer not to eat them fresh.

http://www.concordma.com/magazine/autumn02/concordgrapes.html

Roasted Vegetable Mix

The contents of the share this week would be great in an oven roasted vegetable dish.  Simply chop carrots, cauliflower, leeks, onions,  and winter squash.   Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and add your favorite fresh or dried herbs like rosmary, tarragon, basil and thyme.  Place in a casserole or roasting pan in a 450 degree oven and periodically turn veggies with a spatula until golden brown, approximately 1 hour.  Add chopped kale close to the end of the roasting time to really boost the nutrition.

Sunday Potluck Celebration Canceled

Most of you probably received the email, but I just wanted to put out a reminder that the potluck scheduled for this Sunday has been canceled.  We are working on rescheduling for sometime in October and will let everyone know once we set a date.  See below for another exciting farm event on the horizon.

Pumpkin Patch Festival

October 17 & 18 and October 24 & 25, 2009

Autumn is a time of color and wonder in the Upper Arkansas Valley and there’s no better way to celebrate it than to take part in seasonal festivities around the abundant harvest.  One such event will be the third annual Pumpkin Patch Festival at Cottonwood Meadows in Buena Vista. The Pumpkin Patch Festival is a two weekend celebration, open to the public, which offers a variety of activities and amusements for the whole family.

You can join in on a horse-drawn wagon ride pulled by a local team of horses.  The team will pull you out to the pumpkin patch where you can pick the perfect pumpkin for Halloween, bring it back and carve it at the farm. Or if you’d prefer, you can carve it at home and spend your time running through the hay-bale maze, playing chicken bingo, and enjoying a barbecue bratwurst lunch with hot-apple cider and homemade pies and cookies. There will also be arts and crafts for the children, face painting, farm games, and a petting zoo. Enjoy the sights and sounds of life on a farm with your friends and neighbors while enjoying the fall colors of the cottonwoods and the views of Mt. Princeton.

See the gardens where Weathervane Farm grows the vegetables provided to you through the CSA and markets all season long.  Be sure to visit Cottonwood Creek Dairy and learn about raw milk production.  And don’t miss Colorado Grown, a distribution center specializing in locally grown and Colorado-based farm and specialty products.

Admission is $5 for adults and children three and over – the tiny tots are free!  The cost of admission and the proceeds from the barbecue and baked goods will support Guidestone, a non-profit organization that serves the Upper Arkansas River Valley by encouraging our local food economy and preserving our agricultural heritage with the Land-Link Initiative. The Farmhands Education Program, a Guidestone project, aims to join children with the hands-on learning experiences of small-scale, local food production. The celebration this year will kick off the First Annual Guidestone Membership Drive.

The Pumpkin Patch hours are Saturday, October 17th and 24th from 10am to 4pm and Sunday, October 18th and 25th from 12pm to 4pm.  For more information or to schedule education programs for your group or schools, contact Andrea at  970-309-3175.  This Guidestone event will be held on Cottonwood Meadows between Weathervane Farm, Cottonwood Creek Dairy, and Colorado Grown.

Lacto-Fermented Kim Chi

Karen prepping vegetables for kim chee.

Karen prepping vegetables for kim chee.

Our first batch of kim chi is on the way.  With glorious fall vegetables, and gigantic cabbages, we will also make a couple batches of sauerkraut for some vital winter eating.

As these products become available we will let everyone know.

Try something new: Tatsoi and Radicchio

5 Sep

Garden Share

Broccoli

Cabbage

Cilantro

Corn

Eggplant

Fennel

Radish

Radicchio

Scallions

Summer Squash

Tatsoi

Zucchini

Fruit Shares

Fuji Apples

Peaches

Helpers Kristine and Brynn packing shares.

Helpers Kristine and Brynn packing shares.

Radicchio

The beautiful reddish mini cabbage shaped vegetable in the share today is radicchio.  The description on the link is a slightly different variety than the one we grow, but links to a variety of delicious radicchio recipes.  I think it would make a lovely plate garnish or edible salad bowl if you peel off a  leaf at a time.

http://italianfood.about.com/library/rec/blr0094.htm

Radicchio bottom left.  Tatsoi top center.

Radicchio bottom left. Tatsoi top center.

Tatsoi

Tatsoi is the head of leafy greens in the share.  It is similar in taste to pac choi, but has a more delicate texture making it nice for fresh eating or cooking.

An Asian noodle soup with tatsoi, cilantro, and scallions.

http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Hanoi-Noodle-Soup-with-Chicken-Baby-Tatsoi-and-Bok-Choy

A nice description of tatsoi and its uses and a simple tatsoi and tofu recipe.

http://foodblogga.blogspot.com/2009/05/what-is-tat-soi.html

Eggplant

Here are some idead for your aubergine.

Rollatini:

http://katskitchenplace.blogspot.com/2009/02/eggplant-rollatini.html

Caponata:

http://kitchen-parade-veggieventure.blogspot.com/2008/08/caponata-sicilian-eggplant.html

Eggplant Lasagna Tart:

http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2009/07/28/eggplant-lasagna-tart-with-parmesan-basil-crust/

Fall Celebrations

We are planning a farm community celebration for Sunday, the 27th of September.  This will be a potluck event and and opportunity to tour the farm and see the gardens.  Save In the next newsletter I will detail times and such.

Weathervane Farm and Cottonwood Creek Dairy will also be hosting Guidestone’s Pumpkin Patch Festival for two weekends in October.  The event will be held the weekend of October 17th and 18th and the 24th and 25th.  Guidestone is also offering group Pumpkin Patch education programs on the Fridays preceeding the festival.  For more information contact Erin Oliver at 719 530 1173.juniper and pumpkin

Flowers

We have been fortunate in avoiding any frost damage in the flower garden.   We have lots of flowers to pick and welcome everyone out to the farm for the u-pick experience on Saturdays from 9am-7pm.  Come on over and hangout with the hummingbirds in the garden.  Flowers are 25 stems for $5 and a little extra for sunflower, amaranth and dahlia stems.  If you haven’t picked before I would be happy to give the cutflower 101 before your first pick.  Just knock on our front door if you don’t see anyone around.  cait and sweet peas