Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sweet potato harvest, Late season surprises, October beans


hello from the farm,

this newsletter is nicely formatted on the web at: goodwillathomefieldsfarm.blogspot.com

 See what happens when your farmers wish for rain?  We were glad for all of the rain yesterday. We can safely say that the soil has ample moisture now!  We began our sweet potato harvest on Tuesday and we already have more sweet potatoes from one of the four beds than we typically get from the entire four beds.  The farm is all decked out in autumn color this week and looks brilliant. The fall crops are doing very well and we are more than satisfied as we bring the loads of fall crops in.   


So when is the last harvest?  November 13, 14 and 15 is our expected final harvest.
Joyous about Jujubes?  Did you like them?    Your feedback is appreciated, just jot us an email line.

The aces up our sleeves:
Aside from the amazing October purple beans, we have some interesting cards to play in these remaining harvests before mid-November.  Some of the surprises we plan to unveil from the field are: bok choi, napa cabbage, parsnips, carrots that emerged belatedly, and possibly broccoli and cabbage too from the replanting that we did after flea beetles annihilated the first planting.  We're crossing our fingers that they will mature before the hard freezes occur. 

Sweet Potatoes!

Along with carrots, sweet potatoes are usually one of the trickiest crops for us to have success with.  Deer absolutely love to eat sweet potato vines, which stunts the plant significantly. Weeds also take a toll during the long season that sweet potatoes are in the ground. Fortunately we had a secret weapon this year--my parents showed up one day wanting to lend a hand and did a number on the redroot and lambsquarter that was running amok, coming up through the vines. The voles, who think it clever to hide in among the vines while secretly feasting on the tubers, didn't hang out there this year, and lastly we grew the vines on ridges as per the recommendation of trainee farmer Del, who is an old hand when it comes to sweet potato growing.  All these factors came together to produce a great harvest. 
A sweet potato harvest pictorial:
 
Mature sweet potato vines that are aging away with frost-aided decline showing.

 
First we mowed off the sprawling vines, then we pulled the vines away to the side
Then the digger/shaker came through and sifted the potatoes mostly to the surface

Law Reh and Elizabeth revel in the memorable harvest
Law Reh secures the load and then takes them to the greenhouse to cure in warm and humid air for ten days

Free Veggie Share for Life!  
 The new land that Homefields purchased to keep it from being developed and to guarantee that we would have land for future growing came with the house and barn as well.  That house and barn with 2 acres are not needed for our farming operation and are well suited for someone who wants to raise a family, animals, garden, homestead, or simply have space and a perpetual view of their favorite CSA farm :-).  To thank any shareholder who would become our good neighbor by purchasing the property we are offering a free half share with purchase.  

--must be a 2014 shareholder in good standing
--free half share continues for as long as purchaser owns and resides on the property. The farm share cannot be transferred. 
128 Letort Rd, Millersville, PA 17551

The meadow view which overlooks our misty farm fields. 




 Monthly Farm Tour
Want to get a behind the scenes look at the workings of the farm? There is a monthly farm tour on the 1st Tuesday of the month at 9am.  If you are planning to attend, please email sbreneman@yourgoodwill.org.  Tour lasts approximately 30 minutes. No Dec/Jan/Feb tours when the farm is bleak and cold. 

Serving Suggestions for the harvest this week:

Popcorn: homemade popcorn from our fields is just the thing for cool fall evenings.  Everyone seems to have a slightly different technique for popping popcorn but here is what works for me:
-shell the popcorn by rubbing two ears together.
-winnow the chaff out by pouring from one pan to another in the breeze outside. (optional, the chaff doesn't seem to hurt anything)
--store in sealed container in the freezer until ready to use.
-heat oil in a pan to cover the bottom generously
-throw in a test kernel or two
-when they pop, pour enough popcorn in to cover the bottom of the pan plus a little more, stir well to coat with oil, put lid over top of pan, allowing steam to escape, and keep shaking on high heat until popping slows considerably. Remove from heat, salt and eat! 

Pumpkin:  yes, they are somewhat edible, especially the tasty seeds when roasted in the oven with some oil or butter!  The pumpkin is not nearly as tasty as butternut squash, which is what is really contained in a can of so-called "pumpkin" from the store. 
Pawpaw: keep in refrigerator until ready to use, then ripen on the counter if needed--fruit should be soft with light speckling (this doesn't take more than a day)  To eat, cut in half, and spoon out the fruit, don't eat the skin or seeds.   Plant the seeds outdoors or bring to the farm and scatter in the fencerow perimeter trees.

Butternut Squash: one of the very best winter squash for flavor and long keeping! Roast in the oven in halves, you can also roast the seeds as per pumpkin seeds.

Hakurei turnips: aka salad turnips.  The tasty turnips from Japan are sweet, mild, and best eaten raw.  Yum. You'll soon be a surprised turnip enthusiast!

Indian corn/ornamental corn: this makes incredibly good and fresh cornmeal for use in cornbread, cornmeal pancakes, waffles and more!  Allow to dry a few weeks, then shell it, bring kernels to the farm and grind in our grinder. Store cornmeal in freezer if not using immediately.  
Winter squash:  firm winter squash are great for baking, "pumpkin" pie, faux spaghetti noodles in the case of spaghetti squash or halved and baked in the oven with butter and maple syrup and/or brown sugar.  The acorn and delicata squash we are harvesting now are not types intended for long storage. Use within a week or two for best results.  (The Long Island Cheese squash and butternuts that will be harvested later on are the best keepers, which is why they are at the tail end of things). 

Goodbyes:
Tomatoes, eggplants and peppers are just about finished. We might find a few.  

Your farmers

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Free Veggies for Life, when does the season end? Dry Fall


Hello from the farm,

It's unusually dry in the fields this fall. We can usually count on decent rainfall in September and it didn't really live up to its promise this year.  The pumpkin harvest continues this week as well as butternut squash, both of which are healthy and happy, pointing to the vitality of our fertile fields.

So when is the last harvest?  November 13, 14 and 15 is our expected final harvest.
Pawpaw comments?  How do you like the pawpaws?  Send us an email with your comments if you'd like.  

 Your farmers on the pumpkin prowl
Pumpkins make us smile and how!  

Vini. Vidi. Vicci.  We came, we saw, we took the pumpkins to the barn. 

Harvest Hours: 
Just a reminder about our harvest and pickup hours.  Your farmers love the farm and being at the farm, but also have family and other off-farm commitments to attend to after hours, so please keep our hours in mind when coming for your share. 
Th 3-7pm 
Fri 11-7pm 
Sat 9-1 
 
Free Veggie Share for Life!  

The new land that Homefields purchased to keep it from being developed and to guarantee that we would have land for future growing came with the house and barn as well.  That house and barn with 2 acres are not needed for our farming operation and are well suited for someone who wants to raise a family, animals, garden, homestead, or simply have space and a perpetual view of their favorite CSA farm :-).  To thank any shareholder who would become our good neighbor by purchasing the property we are offering a free half share with purchase.  

--must be a 2014 shareholder in good standing
--free half share continues for as long as purchaser owns and resides on the property. The farm share cannot be transferred. 
128 Letort Rd, Millersville, PA 17551

The meadow view which overlooks our misty farm fields. 




 Monthly Farm Tour: 
Want to get a behind the scenes look at the workings of the farm? There is a monthly farm tour on the 1st Tuesday of the month at 9am.  If you are planning to attend, please email sbreneman@yourgoodwill.org.  Tour lasts approximately 30 minutes. 
No tours during Dec/Jan/Feb during the cold and bleak period.

Serving Suggestions for the harvest this week:

Pumpkin:  yes, they are somewhat edible, especially the tasty seeds when roasted in the oven with some oil or butter!  The pumpkin is not nearly as tasty as butternut squash, which is what is really contained in a can of so-called "pumpkin" from the store. 
Pawpaw: keep in refrigerator until ready to use, then ripen on the counter if needed--fruit should be soft with light speckling (this doesn't take more than a day)  To eat, cut in half, and spoon out the fruit, don't eat the skin or seeds.   Plant the seeds outdoors or bring to the farm and scatter in the fencerow perimeter trees.
Butternut Squash: one of the very best winter squash for flavor and long keeping! Roast in the oven in halves, you can also roast the seeds as per pumpkin seeds.

Hakurei turnips: aka salad turnips.  The tasty turnips from Japan are sweet, mild, and best eaten raw.  Yum. You'll soon be a surprised turnip enthusiast!

Indian corn/ornamental corn: this makes incredibly good and fresh cornmeal for use in cornbread, cornmeal pancakes, waffles and more!  Allow to dry a few weeks, then shell it, bring kernels to the farm and grind in our grinder. Store cornmeal in freezer if not using immediately.  
Winter squash:  firm winter squash are great for baking, "pumpkin" pie, faux spaghetti noodles in the case of spaghetti squash or halved and baked in the oven with butter and maple syrup and/or brown sugar.  The acorn and delicata squash we are harvesting now are not types intended for long storage. Use within a week or two for best results.  (The Long Island Cheese squash and butternuts that will be harvested later on are the best keepers, which is why they are at the tail end of things). 

Sweet Peppers:  fading fading fading away. Enjoy them while they last. 
Tomatoes: The tomatoes are protesting October and are withholding their fruit and dwindling away. 
Eggplants:  these are tapering off with the shorter days.

Goodbyes: 
Red River Onions: a good storage onion and desirable for just about any purpose.  
Edamame:  also known as green soybeans, these tasty little beans are an appetizer, snack or post-meal treat in Japan that have become highly appreciated here as well. 

How to prepare: pull beans from the stalk, which you can do here if you like, put pods into boiling salted water.  Boil for about seven minutes, drain and then sprinkle salt over the pods to serve.  It's great fun for adults and children alike to pop the beans from the pod into your mouth by squeezing.
Potatoes:  we're taking a week off from potato harvest. Look for the latest arrival in our potato ensemble, the Fingerling Red French Potato.  This petite heirloom has a delicate rose colored skin, with a creamy yellow flesh inside.  Cooking brings out it's nutty and buttery flavor.  There are so many ways to enjoy potatoes!  One suggestion: boil until just soft, and then toss them in a pan with sauteed onion, peppers and garlic and season with rosemary.
Scallions: These mild-mannered onion family folks give an easy onion flavor to salads, sandwiches, stir fries and more.  Or you could do the old classic buttered bread and sliced scallion treat: my grandparents talked a lot about enjoying them in spring.  We found a few more. 
Watermelons and cantaloupe: it was nice melon run, but sooner or later, we knew they'd be done.  We hope you enjoyed them as much as we did.  
Cucumbers:  these are finished for this season, we're sad to see them go. 
Carrots: carrots are really good roasted in the oven with some coconut, olive or peanut oil. Of course they are also good as carrot sticks or in salads. We will miss the fresh taste of farm carrots, it's just not the same getting them from the store. 
Summer Squash:  add raw to salads, steam lightly, or stir-fry. Don't overcook unless you like soft consistency. 
Kohlrabi: sort of a mini-broccoli little crunchy dude, these are tasty raw and taste kind of like mild sweet broccoli. Usually eaten raw.  Some people peel away the outer layer.  May return in autumn. 
Greens: these succumbed to the heat, with the exception of chard which continue to grow through the summer heat. We like to fry these in a skillet with butter or coconut oil until crisp, add some onions and saute them as well--a superb topping for rice, fried eggs or stand alone too.
Broccoli: Broccoli is dicey as a spring crop and the heat has made it flower and diminished its quality--look for a new crop in fall. 
Garlic scapes: we hope you enjoyed the delightful flavor of these. 
Lettuce heads: these have run their course and are stretching skyward--a precursor to bolting--flowering to make seed. 
Lettuce mix--the leaves have given it their all and are now finished.  
Green garlic: this is garlic harvested before the base swells and becomes a bulb. It has a milder flavor than bulb garlic and can be used anywhere garlic is called for. Keep refrigerated as you would green onions/scallions. 
Cilantro: this herb has run its life cycle and is "bolting" or going to seed.  

We hope you are enjoying the great taste and health that comes from the fresh fall veggies and fruits!

Your farmers

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Fall crops, pumpkin, pawpaw time, kickin' cornbread, grinding cormeal, messing with amaranth, hakurei turnips



Out with the summer crops, and in with the fall.  This week signals clearly that the fall crops have arrived in force.  We are harvesting butternut squash and pumpkins and curing them in a warm dry place to harden their stems, pulling and washing "dessert" turnips, which are a sweet mild salad turnip, and putting cover crops on the fields that are finished for the season.  

An orange sign of the times. Pile on the pumpkins!  


How to Grind corn for Flour, Antics with Amaranth

After you have let your corn dry for a few weeks and decorated with it, it is time to shell and grind it.  To shell, take two ears and rub them together until kernels fall off.  Once shelled, take outside and pour from one container to another in the breeze to blow the chaff out.  Bring the kernels to the farm and crank through our grinder mill--do it twice for finer corn meal.  You can also tighten the nut for more tension and finer grind--this means more force required :-), so twice through is easiest, once coarse and once finer.

Then: Lorena’s Kickin Cornbread Recipe (the best cornbread ever in my unbiased opinion)
1c butter
¾ c sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2c milk
2T lemon juice
1t baking soda
2c corn meal
2c flour
1t salt
1c cheese grated

Melt butter, remove from heat, stir in sugar.
Add eggs, beat well.
Combine milk and lemon juice, add to batter.
Stir in cornmeal, soda, flour and salt, and cheese
Pour into greased 9x13 pan.

**chill for one hour in fridge before baking to allow cornmeal to soften**

Bake 30-40 min at 375 degrees.

About amaranth:  It's an experimental crop for us, please help us learn how to use it. For a starting point, try cutting a grain head and putting it in a pillow case or cloth bag and beating it with a stick or else rubbing it between your hands to extract the grain. Once you have a pile of amaranth grain, winnow it in the breeze as for corn above.

  

 Pawpaws come to fruition.  Tree crops are for those who persevere.  We planted our pawpaw trees nine years ago and they are starting to bear decently this year! The pawpaw is North America's largest native fruit and is part of the custard apple family which is otherwise subtropical, including cherimoyas, sweetsops and soursops.  They are soft fruit that mimic bananas in many ways-- going from green to lighter green, brown speckles to finally almost black. (I prefer them slightly speckled and not squishy)   I like to keep them refrigerated so they don't turn overripe practically overnight!  
To eat:  cut in half and spoon out, don't eat the seeds or skin.  Awesome in a smoothie!
Scatter or plant the seeds in a woods edge somewhere including our farm perimeter if you like. 

 

 Monthly Farm Tour: 
Want to get a behind the scenes look at the workings of the farm? There is a monthly farm tour on the 1st Tuesday of the month at 9am.  If you are planning to attend, please email sbreneman@yourgoodwill.org.  Tour lasts approximately 30 minutes. 
No tours during Dec/Jan/Feb during the cold and bleak period.

If you are wondering about that "funky" tree with green and brown orbs dangling in the herb beds, it is a Jujube tree. Jujubes came from China, where they are a common dooryard tree.   The flesh is like a mild crisp dry apple and it has a fairly high sugar content.  They were the most widely planted fruit tree in China up until the 20th century. They are a tough tree, hardy to -20 degrees. They are sold in Asian stores as Chinese dates or Korean dates.  We will harvest them here and there as they ripen over the next few weeks. 

Hakurei turnips--sweet salad turnips, great to eat raw cut as sticks, added to salad or veggie trays.  Sweet and mild, not like "ole Purple Top turnip" which is is the traditional, strong, oft-cooked turnip. 

Serving Suggestions for the harvest this week:

Pumpkin:  yes, they are somewhat edible, especially the tasty seeds when roasted in the oven with some oil or butter!  The pumpkin is not nearly as tasty as butternut squash, which is what is really contained in a can of so-called "pumpkin" from the store. 
Butternut Squash: one of the very best winter squash for flavor and long keeping! Roast in the oven in halves, you can also roast the seeds as per pumpkin seeds.

Hakurei turnips: aka salad turnips.  The tasty turnips from Japan are sweet, mild, and best eaten raw.  Yum. You'll soon be a surprised turnip enthusiast!

Winter squash:  firm winter squash are great for baking, "pumpkin" pie, faux spaghetti noodles in the case of spaghetti squash or halved and baked in the oven with butter and maple syrup and/or brown sugar.  The acorn and delicata squash we are harvesting now are not types intended for long storage. Use within a week or two for best results.  (The Long Island Cheese squash and butternuts that will be harvested later on are the best keepers, which is why they are at the tail end of things). 

Sweet Peppers:  fading fading fading away. Enjoy them while they last. 
Tomatoes: The tomatoes are protesting October and are withholding their fruit and dwindling away. 
Eggplants:  these are tapering off with the shorter days.

Goodbyes: 
Red River Onions: a good storage onion and desirable for just about any purpose.  
Edamame:  also known as green soybeans, these tasty little beans are an appetizer, snack or post-meal treat in Japan that have become highly appreciated here as well. 

How to prepare: pull beans from the stalk, which you can do here if you like, put pods into boiling salted water.  Boil for about seven minutes, drain and then sprinkle salt over the pods to serve.  It's great fun for adults and children alike to pop the beans from the pod into your mouth by squeezing.
Potatoes:  we're taking a week off from potato harvest. Look for the latest arrival in our potato ensemble, the Fingerling Red French Potato.  This petite heirloom has a delicate rose colored skin, with a creamy yellow flesh inside.  Cooking brings out it's nutty and buttery flavor.  There are so many ways to enjoy potatoes!  One suggestion: boil until just soft, and then toss them in a pan with sauteed onion, peppers and garlic and season with rosemary.
Scallions: These mild-mannered onion family folks give an easy onion flavor to salads, sandwiches, stir fries and more.  Or you could do the old classic buttered bread and sliced scallion treat: my grandparents talked a lot about enjoying them in spring.  We found a few more. 
Watermelons and cantaloupe: it was nice melon run, but sooner or later, we knew they'd be done.  We hope you enjoyed them as much as we did.  
Cucumbers:  these are finished for this season, we're sad to see them go. 
Carrots: carrots are really good roasted in the oven with some coconut, olive or peanut oil. Of course they are also good as carrot sticks or in salads. We will miss the fresh taste of farm carrots, it's just not the same getting them from the store. 
Summer Squash:  add raw to salads, steam lightly, or stir-fry. Don't overcook unless you like soft consistency. 
Kohlrabi: sort of a mini-broccoli little crunchy dude, these are tasty raw and taste kind of like mild sweet broccoli. Usually eaten raw.  Some people peel away the outer layer.  May return in autumn. 
Greens: these succumbed to the heat, with the exception of chard which continue to grow through the summer heat. We like to fry these in a skillet with butter or coconut oil until crisp, add some onions and saute them as well--a superb topping for rice, fried eggs or stand alone too.
Broccoli: Broccoli is dicey as a spring crop and the heat has made it flower and diminished its quality--look for a new crop in fall. 
Garlic scapes: we hope you enjoyed the delightful flavor of these. 
Lettuce heads: these have run their course and are stretching skyward--a precursor to bolting--flowering to make seed. 
Lettuce mix--the leaves have given it their all and are now finished.  
Green garlic: this is garlic harvested before the base swells and becomes a bulb. It has a milder flavor than bulb garlic and can be used anywhere garlic is called for. Keep refrigerated as you would green onions/scallions. 
Cilantro: this herb has run its life cycle and is "bolting" or going to seed.  

Thank you for your support of this farm!  You are our chefs and we love hearing all of the creations you whip up in your kitchen with the veggies grown right here on our farm.  

Your farmers,
Scott, Law Reh, Kim and Elizabeth

Fall time is Fair Time: Lampeter and Solanco Fair


Hello from the farm,


Farmscape























This week we welcome the official arrival of autumn.  We are finishing up the ornamental corn harvest, getting the now retired melon patch ready for cover crops, and enjoying some of the most splendid days of the year. Fall is the season of change, and we are so happy for a big change from the dry spell we have been having. Today's much needed rain is a gift to all of our fall crops, including the kale which should be returning to the harvest soon.  It had been a long time since we needed our rain gear, and we happily suited up for this soggy day.

Fall time is Fair Time:
When the air turns cool, the corn stalks turn brown, and the pumpkins are showing patches of orange as you drive around the county, it is fair time.  Going to the agricultural fairs has been a yearly happening in my family since I could fit in a stroller.  The closest fairs to the farm are probably the Solanco and Lampeter fairs.  They harken back to the times when people grew a lot of their own food, raised livestock, and had close connections to farms and farmers even if they didn't live on a farm of their own.  
Each year we would gather pecans, hicans, chestnuts, hickories, English walnuts and Black Walnuts that grew on our farm to take to the fair, and sometimes we would also take grain, hay and silage, while my Mom would bake her locally famous Black Walnut cake and also shoo-fly pie that people would go crazy for at the baked goods auction after the judging was completed.  You can also walk the fairgrounds and see cows, sheep, goats, pigs, and find all sorts of delicious fair food--amazing fries, funnel cakes, sausage sandwiches and the like.  The antique tractors bring back memories and the tractor pull events are neat to watch as well. The Lampeter Fair is this week Sept 24, 25 and 26 if you want to check it out.  --Farmer Scott 


That's no partridge in our pear tree
 
 






 Farmer Law Reh shows us how to pick Asian pears.  This hard working farmer is instrumental in the harvest each week. His smile can be seen all over the farm and he never misses a chance to get his fellow farmers to laugh out loud. Thank you Law Reh!

 Hot Pepper Time
Don't miss the Hot Paper Lantern Habaneros and other hot peppers that are coming to fruition in the Pick Your Own field.  

Monthly Farm Tour: 
Want to get a behind the scenes look at the workings of the farm? There is a monthly farm tour on the 1st Tuesday of the month at 9am.  If you are planning to attend, please email sbreneman@yourgoodwill.org.
Tour lasts approximately 30 minutes. 

No tours during Dec/Jan/Feb during the cold and bleak period.

Fruit and Nut Stuffed Acorn Squash, from Simply in Season
2 or 3 acorn squash
1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tart apples, chopped
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs or cooked brown rice
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
6-8 dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup raisins, dried cranberries, or currants
1/4 cup nuts, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon each dried thyme, sage, oregano
dash of pepper
To prepare the squash:  Cut squash in half and remove seeds and strings. Place cut side down on a lightly greased baking sheet with sides.  Bake at 350 degrees until almost soft but not mushy, 40-50 minutes.
To prepare the stuffing:  In a large frying pan saute onion, celery and garlic in 1 Tbsp oil until onion is translucent.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Stuff into cooked squash, cover and bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes

Serving Suggestions for the harvest this week:

Potatoes: Look for the latest arrival in our potato ensemble, the Fingerling Red French Potato.  This petite heirloom has a delicate rose colored skin, with a creamy yellow flesh inside.  Cooking brings out it's nutty and buttery flavor.  There are so many ways to enjoy potatoes!  One suggestion: boil until just soft, and then toss them in a pan with sauteed onion, peppers and garlic and season with rosemary. 
Edamame:  also known as green soybeans, these tasty little beans are an appetizer, snack or post-meal treat in Japan that have become highly appreciated here as well. 
How to prepare: pull beans from the stalk, which you can do here if you like, put pods into boiling salted water.  Boil for about seven minutes, drain and then sprinkle salt over the pods to serve.  It's great fun for adults and children alike to pop the beans from the pod into your mouth by squeezing.
Winter squash:  firm winter squash are great for baking, "pumpkin" pie, faux spaghetti noodles in the case of spaghetti squash or halved and baked in the oven with butter and maple syrup and/or brown sugar.  The acorn and delicata squash we are harvesting now are not types intended for long storage. Use within a week or two for best results.  (The Long Island Cheese squash and butternuts that will be harvested later on are the best keepers, which is why they are at the tail end of things). 
Red River Onions: a good storage onion and desirable for just about any purpose. 
Sweet Peppers:  whether green, yellow, orange, red, or purple. bell shaped or horn shaped, we'll have a sweet pepper for you. Our perennial favorite is Carmen, a lipstick red bull's horn type sweet pepper. 
Tomatoes: the tomato plants are starting to contemplate fall.   Look for the harvest to slowly decrease as fall approaches.  Mmm, tomato and cheese sandwich anyone?  
Eggplants:  We really like the long slender Asian type eggplants! They are user friendly, mild and great for grilling with soy sauce, miso etc on the grill or use in any recipe that calls for eggplant--in short, treat them the same as the Italian "bell-type" eggplants.  They are slowing down as the days grow shorter. 

Goodbyes: 

Scallions: These mild-mannered onion family folks give an easy onion flavor to salads, sandwiches, stir fries and more.  Or you could do the old classic buttered bread and sliced scallion treat: my grandparents talked a lot about enjoying them in spring.  We found a few more. 
Watermelons and cantaloupe: it was nice melon run, but sooner or later, we knew they'd be done.  We hope you enjoyed them as much as we did.  
Cucumbers:  these are finished for this season, we're sad to see them go. 
Carrots: carrots are really good roasted in the oven with some coconut, olive or peanut oil. Of course they are also good as carrot sticks or in salads. We will miss the fresh taste of farm carrots, it's just not the same getting them from the store. 
Summer Squash:  add raw to salads, steam lightly, or stir-fry. Don't overcook unless you like soft consistency. 
Kohlrabi: sort of a mini-broccoli little crunchy dude, these are tasty raw and taste kind of like mild sweet broccoli. Usually eaten raw.  Some people peel away the outer layer.  May return in autumn. 
Greens: these succumbed to the heat, with the exception of chard which continue to grow through the summer heat. We like to fry these in a skillet with butter or coconut oil until crisp, add some onions and saute them as well--a superb topping for rice, fried eggs or stand alone too.
Broccoli: Broccoli is dicey as a spring crop and the heat has made it flower and diminished its quality--look for a new crop in fall. 
Garlic scapes: we hope you enjoyed the delightful flavor of these. 
Lettuce heads: these have run their course and are stretching skyward--a precursor to bolting--flowering to make seed. 
Lettuce mix--the leaves have given it their all and are now finished.  
Green garlic: this is garlic harvested before the base swells and becomes a bulb. It has a milder flavor than bulb garlic and can be used anywhere garlic is called for. Keep refrigerated as you would green onions/scallions. 
Cilantro: this herb has run its life cycle and is "bolting" or going to seed.  

Thank you for your support of this farm!  You are our chefs and we love hearing all of the creations you whip up in your kitchen with the veggies grown right here on our farm.  

Your farmers,
Scott, Law Reh, Kim and Elizabeth

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Chill in the air, Edamame, Fruit and Focus


Hello from the farm,

We're enjoying the chill in the air on these fine farm mornings, continuing to unearth potatoes, harvest and cure winter squash, prepare seed garlic for planting for 2015, and put fields to rest with cover crops for the winter.

We had a nice visit yesterday in the form of Goodwill Keystone's CEO Ron, and some guests from Goodwill International, who took delight in our "outdoor office" that is the farm and the work we do.

The edamame wall is growing taller and taller. (wait is that someone buried in the edamame moutain?) 

Monthly Farm Tour: 
Want to get a behind the scenes look at the workings of the farm? There is a monthly farm tour on the 1st Tuesday of the month at 9am.  If you are planning to attend, please email sbreneman@yourgoodwill.org.
Tour lasts approximately 30 minutes. 

No tours during Dec/Jan/Feb during the cold and bleak period.

Fruit and Focus
Over the past fifteen seasons we've experimented with growing all kinds of things ranging from kiwis to Asian pears, jujubes, goumis, pawpaws, pomegranates, mushrooms, rice, colored cotton, peanuts and papayas.  While putting experimental annual crops in the Pick Your Own field is a yearly success that keeps us all intrigued and taste buds delighted at times, we've found that growing tree fruit is not usually our best and highest calling.  The methodology, timing, harvest and equipment are much different than for vegetable growing.  
We were glad when North Star Orchard asked to make their fruit share available here, because they obviously are well-equipped for tree fruit production and it shows in their fruit quality.  We do strawberries, blueberries, watermelons and cantaloupes well, and that's where our efforts will bear the most fruit, pun intended.  Do look for Asian pears and pawpaws and the occasional persimmons from us, they are better suited for our farm than other tree fruit.

 Our Farm Monarch, Mona, hatched out this week from her chrysalis


Mona sings the praises of hyacinth beans. 


Serving Suggestions for the harvest this week:

Edamame:  also known as green soybeans, these tasty little beans are an appetizer, snack or post-meal treat in Japan that have become highly appreciated here as well. 
How to prepare: pull beans from the stalk, which you can do here if you like, put pods into boiling salted water.  Boil for about seven minutes, drain and then sprinkle salt over the pods to serve.  It's great fun for adults and children alike to pop the beans from the pod into your mouth by squeezing.

Winter squash:  firm winter squash are great for baking, "pumpkin" pie, faux spaghetti noodles in the case of spaghetti squash or halved and baked in the oven with butter and maple syrup and/or brown sugar.  The acorn and delicata squash we are harvesting now are not types intended for long storage. Use within a week or two for best results.  (The Long Island Cheese squash and butternuts that will be harvested later on are the best keepers, which is why they are at the tail end of things). 

Potatoes: We really like the Yukon Gold for making farm fries.  How difficult is it?  Not difficult at all.  Cut taters into fries, put in pot of heated oil--we like peanut oil, and fry until golden brown. The Red Pontiac is a great all around variety as is the stunning Purple Viking.  The diminutive dynamo French Fingerlings are a delight also and chefs clamor for them because of their flavor and texture.  
Red River and Sterling White Onions: both of these are good storage onions and are desirable for just about any purpose. 
Sweet Peppers:  whether green, yellow, orange, red, or purple. bell shaped or horn shaped, we'll have a sweet pepper for you. Our perennial favorite is Carmen, a lipstick red bull's horn type sweet pepper. 
Tomatoes: the tomato plants are starting to contemplate fall.   Look for the harvest to slowly decrease as fall approaches.  Mmm, tomato and cheese sandwich anyone?  
Eggplants:  We really like the long slender Asian type eggplants! They are user friendly, mild and great for grilling with soy sauce, miso etc on the grill or use in any recipe that calls for eggplant--in short, treat them the same as the Italian "bell-type" eggplants.  They are slowing down as the days grow shorter. 

  
Goodbyes: 

Scallions: These mild-mannered onion family folks give an easy onion flavor to salads, sandwiches, stir fries and more.  Or you could do the old classic buttered bread and sliced scallion treat: my grandparents talked a lot about enjoying them in spring.  We found a few more. 
Watermelons and cantaloupe: it was nice melon run, but sooner or later, we knew they'd be done.  We hope you enjoyed them as much as we did.  
Cucumbers:  these are finished for this season, we're sad to see them go. 
Carrots: carrots are really good roasted in the oven with some coconut, olive or peanut oil. Of course they are also good as carrot sticks or in salads. We will miss the fresh taste of farm carrots, it's just not the same getting them from the store. 
Summer Squash:  add raw to salads, steam lightly, or stir-fry. Don't overcook unless you like soft consistency. 
Kohlrabi: sort of a mini-broccoli little crunchy dude, these are tasty raw and taste kind of like mild sweet broccoli. Usually eaten raw.  Some people peel away the outer layer.  May return in autumn. 
Greens: these succumbed to the heat, with the exception of chard which continue to grow through the summer heat. We like to fry these in a skillet with butter or coconut oil until crisp, add some onions and saute them as well--a superb topping for rice, fried eggs or stand alone too.
Broccoli: Broccoli is dicey as a spring crop and the heat has made it flower and diminished its quality--look for a new crop in fall. 
Garlic scapes: we hope you enjoyed the delightful flavor of these. 
Lettuce heads: these have run their course and are stretching skyward--a precursor to bolting--flowering to make seed. 
Lettuce mix--the leaves have given it their all and are now finished.  
Green garlic: this is garlic harvested before the base swells and becomes a bulb. It has a milder flavor than bulb garlic and can be used anywhere garlic is called for. Keep refrigerated as you would green onions/scallions. 
Cilantro: this herb has run its life cycle and is "bolting" or going to seed.  



Your farmers

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Scoville Units, Fall crops arrive, Dining in the Fields, thank you Steve and Barb


Hello from the farm,

Dining in the Fields on Sunday was a great time, the food was fantastic, and it was good to see many of you there.  Many thanks to all who gave their time, energy, food, and materials to make it the feast that it was!  No one left without a pleased palate :-) 

It's September and the fall crops are arriving, woo hoo.  This week we are starting to harvest the Indian Corn aka Ornamental Corn.  This organic corn makes awesome cornmeal, and there will be a flour mill here for you to use in the weeks to come, as well as a knock your socks off corn bread recipe from my wife and daughter that they've continued to tweak and make better and better. We are also starting the squash harvest--we'll have a mix of delicata squash, spaghetti squash and probably acorn squash this week.
For spaghetti squash, cut in half, remove seeds, and bake on a baking tray at 350 for about half an hour up to an hour-- until soft when poked with a fork.  Remove and flake the "spagetti" out with a fork and top with spaghetti sauce of your choice. 

 Enjoy the beauty while it's here, frost will arrive end of Sept. early October!


Feeling the burn, Scoville units and hot peppers

We've got a great variety of hot peppers from mild to wild in the pick your own field this year, hailing from all over the world, including Korea and Japan.  Did you know that the heat in hot peppers is measured in something called Scoville units?  
Being a taster to determine how fiery hot peppers are has be to like getting in a ring with Mike Tyson or George Foreman and trying to figure out which boxer hit you harder.  A pharmacist by the name of Wilbur Scoville came up with a really interesting method about one hundred years ago to determine the heat levels without getting in the boxing ring! A pepper's oil is diluted with sugar water, and then the concentration is increased until 3 out of 5 tasters can sense the presence of heat.  It's a clever way of working backwards at a problem. 

Some of our Peppers by the Scoville Scale
Sweet Pepper= 0
Jalapeno= 3,500-10,000
Serrano=10,000-23,000
Cayenne=30,000-50,000Tabasco=30,000-50,000Habanero=100,000-350,000 (Tyson) Car. Reaper=2,0000-2,200,000 (Foreman, Tyson, De la Hoya combined) 

 Jerusalem artichoke flowers are smiling at you.  Feel free to cut for arrangements.  Despite the name they are not related to artichokes but are in the sunflower family but have an edible root.
Monthly Farm Tour: 
Want to get a behind the scenes look at the workings of the farm? There is a monthly farm tour on the 1st Tuesday of the month at 9am.  If you are planning to attend, please email sbreneman@yourgoodwill.org.  Tour lasts approximately 30 minutes. 
No tours during Dec/Jan/Feb due to Volcanic winter, ok, just joking about the Volcanic part) 


Note from Stephanie the Breadbaker: A Bun in the Oven
This week will be the last week of bread due to my "bun in the oven" making it's arrival very soon.  Thank you to everyone who has purchased bread this season.  I appreciate the support and feedback that I've received.  For future bread orders, questions, or comments, please feel free to contact me at abendessenbread@gmail.com.  Thank you! Stephanie Breneman

I'm making Pretzel Rolls this week at $4/half dozen. 
 

 The flower field keeps humming right along! 

Serving Suggestions for the harvest this week:

Winter squash:  firm winter squash are great for baking, "pumpkin" pie, faux spaghetti noodles in the case of spaghetti squash or halved and baked in the oven with butter and maple syrup and/or brown sugar.  The squash we are harvesting now are not types intended for long storage. Use within a week or two for best results. 

Potatoes: We really like the Yukon Gold for making farm fries.  How difficult is it?  Not difficult at all.  Cut taters into fries, put in pot of heated oil--we like peanut oil, and fry until golden brown. The Red Pontiac is a great all around variety as is the stunning Purple Viking.  The diminutive dynamo French Fingerlings are a delight also and chefs clamor for them because of their flavor and texture.  
Red River and Sterling White Onions: both of these are good storage onions and are desirable for just about any purpose. 
Sweet Peppers:  whether green, yellow, orange, red, or purple. bell shaped or horn shaped, we'll have a sweet pepper for you. Our perennial favorite is Carmen, a lipstick red bull's horn type sweet pepper. 
Tomatoes: the tomato plants are going gangbusters.   Look for the harvest to slowly decrease as fall approaches.  Mmm, tomato and cheese sandwich anyone?  
Eggplants:  We really like the long slender Asian type eggplants! They are user friendly, mild and great for grilling with soy sauce, miso etc on the grill or use in any recipe that calls for eggplant--in short, treat them the same as the Italian "bell-type" eggplants.  

  
Goodbyes: 

Scallions: These mild-mannered onion family folks give an easy onion flavor to salads, sandwiches, stir fries and more.  Or you could do the old classic buttered bread and sliced scallion treat: my grandparents talked a lot about enjoying them in spring.  We found a few more. 
Watermelons and cantaloupe: it was nice melon run, but sooner or later, we knew they'd be done.  We hope you enjoyed them as much as we did.  
Cucumbers:  these are finished for this season, we're sad to see them go. 
Carrots: carrots are really good roasted in the oven with some coconut, olive or peanut oil. Of course they are also good as carrot sticks or in salads. We will miss the fresh taste of farm carrots, it's just not the same getting them from the store. 
Summer Squash:  add raw to salads, steam lightly, or stir-fry. Don't overcook unless you like soft consistency. 
Kohlrabi: sort of a mini-broccoli little crunchy dude, these are tasty raw and taste kind of like mild sweet broccoli. Usually eaten raw.  Some people peel away the outer layer.  May return in autumn. 
Greens: these succumbed to the heat, with the exception of chard which continue to grow through the summer heat. We like to fry these in a skillet with butter or coconut oil until crisp, add some onions and saute them as well--a superb topping for rice, fried eggs or stand alone too.
Broccoli: Broccoli is dicey as a spring crop and the heat has made it flower and diminished its quality--look for a new crop in fall. 
Garlic scapes: we hope you enjoyed the delightful flavor of these. 
Lettuce heads: these have run their course and are stretching skyward--a precursor to bolting--flowering to make seed. 
Lettuce mix--the leaves have given it their all and are now finished.  
Green garlic: this is garlic harvested before the base swells and becomes a bulb. It has a milder flavor than bulb garlic and can be used anywhere garlic is called for. Keep refrigerated as you would green onions/scallions. 
Cilantro: this herb has run its life cycle and is "bolting" or going to seed.  

Thank You

Thank you farm crew for hard work and perseverance to bring in the harvest each week. Job well done!   Steve and Barb from Miller's Smorgasboard--wow, impressive culinary skill!  Thank you. 


Your farmers