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

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Dining in the Fields September 7th, watching our seeds come up in rows, second time a charm


Hello from the farm

There is considerable excitement in the air as things come together for the farm to table meal on Sunday.  If you want in on the culinary adventure featuring the bounty of these fields, some tickets are still available--see the paragraph below.

We're watching the pumpkins, butternut squash and Long Island Cheese squash do their thing as we move into September.  The hot dry weather curbed the late blight on the Sungold tomatoes, so they are doing well despite the earlier damage.  The replant of broccoli, cabbage and greens for Fall looks great as do the little seedlings popping up in rows in the fields, thanks to the great irrigation work being done by Elizabeth and the farm crew. 

Did you Know?  Organic vegetables contain between 18 and 69 percent higher concentrations of antioxidant compounds. The British Journal of Nutrition study analyzed 343 peer reviewed studies for this conclusion and said that the main reason is that organic veggies work harder to grow and are essentially more "fit" than chemically fed veggies which have it "too easy." 

Pretty as a pepper.  The red Carmen peppers are a perpetual favorite. We munch them like candy. 

Need Tickets for Dining in the Fields?  Sept 7th is Farm to Table Time!
 Homefields, the organization that founded and owns the farm and land, is putting together the 2nd annual Dining in the Fields event.  The meal will showcase the food grown here at the farm as presented by chefs Steve and Barb. 
Proceeds go to Homefields for the adjoining farm land that they secured for future vegetable growing.
Some tickets are available!  Purchase tickets at:  www.homefields.org


Goodwill at Homefields Farm is on Facebook: 
Check out our antics, glamour veggie photos, quips, goofy fun and more at: 
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Goodwill-at-Homefields-Farm/121147947971207?ref_type=bookmark



   
Anticipating Fall. Nothing says fall like pumpkin orange. We are starting to see a hint of orange on the pumpkins in the field.  Only a few weeks until pumpkin time

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) 

 Serving Suggestions for the harvest this week:

Potatoes: 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.  
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. 
  
Goodbyes: 
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 to Homefields, the nonprofit group of parents who had the vision and perseverance to make this farm become a reality. Thank you Goodwill for taking the plunge fifteen seasons ago to begin operating the CSA and training program here, and to Community Services Group for staffing the group homes on the property.


Your farmers

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Dining in the Fields September 7th for Homefields, Purple Viking Potatoes



Hello from the farm!

The days go by quickly here at the farm as we are preparing for the fall crops that will take us all the way into November.  The tomato plants are going to put forth quite a harvest again this week--be ready :-)  We're also getting ready for the Dining in the Fields event which is only a little more than a week away now.  The fall crop seeds which have been planted in the last two weeks, have not received any rainfall, so we have been making it rain with considerable effort, thanks to hoses, sprinklers, and an able farm crew.  Thank you Elizabeth, Law Reh and trainees for getting water on the fields!

Win some lose some

Judging by blog pictures, Pinterest and Facebook, one could easily conclude that farming is the idyllic practice of sitting around and gazing with appreciation at a calendar page freshly-picked tomato or pepper.  With farming, we have our fair share of bumps in the road.  On Monday, we spotted late blight on the cherry tomatoes.  Late blight is the fungal disease that was responsible for the Irish potato famine and it is also quite adept at wiping out your tomato crop in just a matter of days.  If you look at the cherry tomato plants you can see the blackened plant tissue.  We immediately applied an organic treatment to prevent further damage and we'll hope that the Sungolds continue to do well. 
A tough little critter called a flea beetle and his cohorts wiped out our field of broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower plants that were growing for fall harvest.  We wanted to have those crops for you this fall, so we started over by buying plants from another farm and replanting. Hope with us that they will mature in time before the very hard freezes arrive.    Never a dull moment when farming and working with weather, plants, insects and animals :-)   We're grateful and very pleased at the abundant harvest of many good things this year including the tomatoes, melons, carrots, potatoes, Sungolds and others.  

*The Week of Sept 7th we will close at Noon on Saturday 

Need Tickets for Dining in the Fields?  Sept 7th is Farm to Table Time!

 Homefields, the organization that founded and owns the farm and land, is putting together the 2nd annual Dining in the Fields event.  The meal will showcase the food grown here at the farm as presented by chefs Steve and Barb. 
 Stay connected as they fine-tune the menu, seeing what seasonal organic crops rise to the occasion as we approach the date. Facebookemail , and check out past sponsors, menu, and more here.  Proceeds go to Homefields for the adjoining farm land that they secured for future vegetable growing.
Purchase tickets at:  www.homefields.org


Goodwill at Homefields Farm is on Facebook: 
Check out our antics, glamour veggie photos, quips, goofy fun and more at: 
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Goodwill-at-Homefields-Farm/121147947971207?ref_type=bookmark

Feedback wanted:  How much do you value the carrots that we grow? We spend many times the effort on carrot growing than any other crop.   Just send us an email saying:
a) very very highly
b) highly
c) somewhat
d) a little
e) not at all. (would not miss them) 

   
Purple Viking Potatoes are featured this week.  These are not novelty potatoes, but are a great flavored, well textured potato that is also high in antioxidant anthocyanins known to control blood pressure, slow aging, and are good for heart health.  They won't do your laundry though but they sure taste good. Pass the potatoes please.  


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) 

Torrential Downpour of Tomatoes Predicted: you may wish to seek shelter in a kitchen, wash, core and cut up your tomatoes, place in a large pot with a bit of added water, cook on medium, stir until soft, place in cone or mill type food mill and process for juice/paste.  Cool and freeze in freezer boxes or can in a water bath canner.  (You can see the beginnings of my sauce project last night)
 

Serving Suggestions for the harvest this week:

Purple Viking Potatoes: see the picture of the purple and pink-splashed potato up above.  

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.  
 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. 
  
Goodbyes: 
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 trainees for an excellent harvest. Kudos to Law Reh and Elizabeth for setting up and running irrigation. Pat on the back to farm staff for getting in the last hurrah of brassica transplants, thank you Butch for welding the potato digger and thank you Bob for the shade umbrella on the weeder.

Have a great weekend,

Scott and the merry band of farmers

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sept 7th Dining in the Fields, Proliferation of Peppers, Tomato Tornado



Hello from the farm!


Does being a farmer mean that you are never content with the weather? It's funny (sort of) how we can be complaining about it being too wet one week and only a week later the soil is dry and we are again pining for rain! :-) 

This week we are reveling in the tomato harvest, which according to our highly calibrated memories, is one of the best, if not the best tomato seasons ever in fifteen seasons of growing them.  The sweet peppers are also coming along really well and there will be a dazzling display of colored peppers this week.  They are all sweet, whatever their shape and color may be :-)
This week is about the midpoint of our growing season and as the days are noticeably shorter, our minds turn to thinking about fall crops.  This week we seeded an assortment of lettuce, Asian salad greens, scallions, Asian cabbages, chard, and funky black and watermelon radishes for fall. Next week we'll be planting another round of broccoli, kale, cabbage and cauliflower for October harvest.  

 

 a palette of purple peppers and other colors 


September 7th  is Approaching:   Dining in the Fields, 2014

 Homefields, the organization that founded and owns the farm and land, is putting together the 2nd annual Dining in the Fields event for September.  The meal will showcase the food grown here at the farm as presented by chefs Steve and Barb. 
 Stay connected as they fine-tune the menu, seeing what seasonal organic crops rise to the occasion as we approach the date. Facebookemail , and check out past sponsors, menu, and more here.  Proceeds go to Homefields for the adjoining farm land that they secured for future vegetable growing.
Purchase tickets at:  www.homefields.org


 


 The tomatoes have hit their stride--this is probably the peak week for them. They will continue to bear up until frost, typically around Oct 15th



Goodwill at Homefields Farm is on Facebook: 

Check out our antics, glamour veggie photos, quips, goofy fun and more at: 
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Goodwill-at-Homefields-Farm/121147947971207?ref_type=bookmark

Bread Baker Stephanie is baking Sun-dried Tomato Bagels at $4/half dozen and $8/dozen.   


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) 



Serving Suggestions for the harvest this week:


Red River Onions: cooking up some burgers or making a mean sandwich or salad? This red variety is both beautiful and delicious.  It stores very well, for months and months, something that the Walla Wallas are not capable of doing. 

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?  
 French Fingerling Potato:  we are harvesting the diminutive French Fingerling potatoes this week. These cute little guys are a gourmet delight and posh places love to feature them.  Hmm, does that mean we are posh too...? ;-)
--see recipe below for fingerlings

Garlic: it is so nice to have fresh garlic. We're not sure why, but our garlic did extremely well for us this year. Our neighbor planted the same type garlic and it didn't fair so well. We're not sure why it did exceptionally well, so we'll just be glad.
For maximum health benefit, cut and let stand for about 10 minutes to oxidize and thereby form the beneficial compounds. Not just super tasty, garlic also is known for reducing blood pressure, heart disease and cholesterol.

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.  

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. Probably the last harvest for these--may return in the fall. 

  
Goodbyes: 
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.  
Easy Recipe for Oven Roasted Fingerlings with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan Cheese  from http://www.thegardenerseden.com/?tag=fingerling-potatoes







Oven Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Parmesan and Fresh Herbs

Ingredients:
(serves 4, double recipe to increase quantities as you like)
2 lb           Fingerling potatoes, washed and cut in half lengthwise
1/4 c         Olive oil
1/4 c         All purpose flour
1/4 c         Reggiano parmesan cheese, grated
1 tsp         Sea salt, fresh ground or regular table salt
1 tsp         Black pepper, fresh ground
sprigs       Fresh rosemary and thyme, a few sprigs to taste
(try this with a clove of garlic and other herbs if you like)
Directions:
Preheat oven, (rack toward the top), to 475 degrees fahrenheit.
In a small glass bowl, (or in a large plastic bag), measure in olive oil, flour and parmesan. Add salt and pepper. Stir or shake to mix well.
In a large bowl, toss cut fingerlings with 1 tbs olive oil to lightly coat. Add dry mix to the large bowl, (or add potatoes to the large plastic bag), and toss with hands, (or shake bag). Be sure the potatoes are thoroughly and evenly coated.
Coat an oven-to-table baking dish with the remaining olive oil and arrange the potatoes cut -side up. Sprinkle with fresh rosemary and thyme.
Roast for approximately 15 minutes, Turn the potatoes and roast for approximately 15 more minutes more. Turn one last time and roast until crisp and golden brown, (approximately 10-15 more minutes).
Cool dish for a few minutes, garnish with a few more sprigs of herbs and serve hot with a tablespoon of sour cream if you like.

Thank you 

Thank you for being a part of the farm and appreciating the harvests that we do.  Thank you farm crew for outstanding work each week to make the harvest happen.  Elizabeth, Law Reh, and Kim, thank you for being outstanding in your respective fields. :-)  

Farmer Scott 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Dining in the Fields September 7 for Homefields, soaking rain



Hello from the farm!

The steady soaking rain this week was a blessing in many ways. We spend great quantities of time and effort concentrating on planting, weeding and harvesting, all of them high priority outdoor endeavors.   When the soaking rain arrives, it gives us license to work indoors on greenhouse organizing, prepping storage crops like onions and garlic and generally putting things in order that have taken a back seat. It's a welcome change of pace. 

The rain was also a boon to the newly planted seeds for fall including green beans, beets, cilantro, arugula and radishes. With a long soaking rain, germination of these seeds is almost guaranteed
The sweet peppers are picking up a lot of momentum as are the tomatoes. You'll see them abundantly this harvest :-)  


 Amaranth is an interesting crop to observe and has ornamental value too.  

September 7th  is Approaching:   Dining in the Fields, 2014

 Homefields, the organization that founded and owns the farm and land, is putting together the 2nd annual Dining in the Fields event for September.  The meal will showcase the food grown here at the farm as presented by chefs Steve and Barb. 

 Stay connected as they fine-tune the menu, seeing what seasonal organic crops rise to the occasion as we approach the date. Facebookemail , and check out past sponsors, menu, and more here.  Proceeds go to Homefields for the adjoining farm land that they secured for future vegetable growing.  www.homefields.org


 
 Did we mention that the onions went gangbusters this year?  These are Red River Onions, great tasting and a superb storage onion to boot.


Goodwill at Homefields Farm is on Facebook: 
Check out our antics, glamour veggie photos, quips, goofy fun and more at: 
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Goodwill-at-Homefields-Farm/121147947971207?ref_type=bookmark



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) 

 

Serving Suggestions for the harvest this week:


Red River Onions: cooking up some burgers or making a mean sandwich or salad? This red variety is both beautiful and delicious.  It stores very well, for months and months, something that the Walla Wallas are not capable of doing. 

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. 

Watermelon: our favorite watermelon is orange.  Orange?  Yep, that's right. The Orangeglo variety is great flavored and very sweet.  The rind is edible too, see my tasty watermelon rind pickle recipe below

Cantaloupe:  our best suggestion for cantaloupe is to eat it. It seems like the best-tasting cantaloupe we've ever grown.

Tomatoes: the tomato harvest is beginning in earnest.  Look for it to build to a peak in a few weeks and then slowly descend as fall approaches.  Mmm, tomato and cheese sandwich anyone?  

Potato: this week we are harvesting Red Gold potatoes in addition to Evas.  They have a smooth texture that potato experts refer to as "waxy"  Red Golds are red-skinned with yellow flesh.  We also have Eva, a tasty white potato with a great texture. 

Garlic: it is so nice to have fresh garlic. We're not sure why, but our garlic did extremely well for us this year. Our neighbor planted the same type garlic and it didn't fair so well. We're not sure why it did exceptionally well, so we'll just be glad.
For maximum health benefit, cut and let stand for about 10 minutes to oxidize and thereby form the beneficial compounds. Not just super tasty, garlic also is known for reducing blood pressure, heart disease and cholesterol.

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. 

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.  

Cucumbers!:  while most people don't usually drool over cucumbers, maybe they should over these. We don't like to boast, but these cucumbers are fabulous. Check out the Poona Kheera cucumber from India--they are golden brown when ripe, very crisp and juicy and never bitter. A real winner. 

Summer Squash:  add raw to salads, steam lightly, or stir-fry. Don't overcook unless you like soft consistency.

Scallions: Probably the final harvest for these. 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. May return for fall. 

  
Goodbyes: 

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. 
Beets:  these are good roasted or grated raw in a salad. For more work :-) look up a borscht recipe online.  Hope to see again in fall. 
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.  

Watermelon Rind Pickle Recipe--adapted from www.gardeninthemitten.com



  • Rinds from 1/2 of a large watermelon, prepared as described below
  • 4 cups vinegar (white, apple cider, or white wine would all be good — I used regular white distilled vinegar this time)  (farmer used cider vinegar)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1/3 cup of kosher salt
  • shake of ground mustard (farm addition)
  • shake of ground dill farm (farm addition)
  • 1 star anise (farm addition)
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1. Prepare the rind. If you slice your watermelon into 1-inch slices, that will make prep easy. You want to end up with roughly one-inch chunks for your pickles. Try to leave at least 1/4 inch of the pink watermelon flesh on the rind — this adds nice flavor and really pretty color to your brine. You need to take off the outer green layer of rind. It was really easy to do this by using a regular vegetable peeler to remove the green parts. Do this, and you’re left with slices that look like this:
Peel Watermelon Rind
After you’ve got the slices peeled, then just cut them into roughly 1 to 1.5 inch cubes. TIP: The areas of the rind that have turned yellow are much tougher than the green areas. Avoid using this part, or, if you choose to use the yellow part of the rind, forego the vegetable peeler and use a paring knife instead; you’ll have to remove more of the rind to get down to the softer white part.
Set your cubes aside while you make your brine.
Bowl of Peeled Watermelon Rinds

To make the brine, just add your vinegar, water, sugar and salt to a pan that will be large enough to accommodate the brine plus all of your watermelon rinds. Bring this to a boil, stirring regularly to help dissolve the sugar and salt.
Once the brine has reached a boil, add your watermelon rind and bring the mixture up to a boil again. Let it boil for about a minute, then remove it from the heat. Add your cinnamon and red pepper flakes, and let the mixture sit and cool for an hour or so.
Once the mixture is cool enough to handle safely, add the pickles to jars or other containers, adding enough of your brine to cover the pickles completely. Store them in the refrigerator. You can eat them as soon as they’re cool, if you want (and I did….) but they’re even better if the flavors are allowed to meld a bit overnight.
These pickles will keep for about a month. Please note that these are not pantry storage pickles — they need to be kept in the refrigerator and eaten within a fairly short amount of time.
These were SO good. And you can really mess with the recipe quite a bit. I wanted something fast, and many of the traditional recipes recommend making the brine, soaking the rind in it overnight, and then doing a hot water bath process so you can store them in the pantry. I may try that later on. You can also play quite a bit with the spices:


These are quite good, and a great to use something that would otherwise go to waste. 

Enjoy the summer bounty, 

Your farmers