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.

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One Response to “And We’re Back”

  1. Sherrie Y October 3, 2009 at 10:11 AM #

    Hi Caitlin! We missed you guys, but it sounds like you had a great trip. We were on the western slope last week, taking part in a cool event about the art and science of food! While we were there we picked up a great little film by western slope growers called “Locavore.” I told Seth about it, but here’s the link to their website. http://locavoremovie.com/

    Can’t wait to talk about ideas for art and farm!

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