Thursday, July 12, 2012

It's another warm and rainless week down on the farm as we transplant fall broccoli and cabbage. The ground is d-r-y and we are watering to keep things going. The up side of no rain is very few weeds or leaf diseases on crops, so I suppose a dry season is preferable to unending sog which makes vegetables prone to spoiling and and gives weeds a perpetual green light.
The potato harvest is underway and what a bonanza it is: look for Katahdins, Yukon Golds, Red Norlands, Evas, red-fleshed Mountain Rose, and Purple Viking with its purple skin and bright white interior. These potatoes are so good!  This looks to be the best potato harvest we've had in many seasons.

Spotlight on Scott C.

Position at the farm: Farm Crew
Number of years working for Goodwill: 9 years
Favorite thing to grow at the farm: potatoes
If he could trade places with someone for a day:  it would be expansionist  James K. Polk, who acquired more land than any other US president.  
Favorite kind of music: classical (favorite piece is Beethoven’s 5th Symphony) 
What he wanted to be when he grew up: a major league baseball player
Scott’s family includes: his two sisters, one who lives in New Mexico
Scott’s hobbies include: reading, studying history and geography and watching basketball playoffs
Foreign Language he speaks: a little German
Advice he would give others: have the confidence to do the right thing at the right time
Scott’s nickname: Great Scott! 
Favorite thing about the farm: seeing his work the whole way through its life cycle,
beginning with seeds, watching them mature as crops in the field, harvesting 
them, and seeing the final product on the farm stand shelf
The pick your own field is coming alive. There are beautiful sunflowers to pick.  Thank you Bob McClure for the artfully rustic sign!  
Also ready are:
lemon grass
funky warty crookneck squash

Still to come
Hot Peppers from mild to wild
Sun Gold cherry tomatoes

Suggestions for the harvest:
Potatoes: this fresh new potatoes are excellent!  One has a red interior. They are all good. My favorite summer treatment is a Lebanese style potato salad with just olive oil and herbs.  
Carrots: these fresh carrots are like candy, just to pop in your mouth and eat raw or add to salad, etc.
Beans: wow, not what you find in the store.  Most of us are partial to the Roma variety which flat--all of the them are great. Boil and steam till just tender, or roast in the oven oil--super!
Eggplant: coat with oil and soysauce and grill, or bread them and fry. See recipe below for grilled eggplant
Lettuce heads: salads, sandwiches
Chard: use in lieu of spinach in babaganoush, salads,
Scallions: these mild onions are great anywhere onion is needed
Cucumber: these cucumbers are outstanding!  Makes an off-season cuke seem inedible. My favorite way to use cucumbers is a salad with tomato, onion and garlic with olive oil. 
Beets: these can be grated raw into salad or roasted
Napa cabbage: use for kimchee or anywhere cabbage is needed.
Broccoli: a salad with raisins, nuts, and onions, bacon pieces, is excellent.
Kale: sautee until crispy with onions and butter, Remove the rib and stem first!
Collards: same as kale

Grass Fed Beef...Our neighbor Liz Martin will again be donating a portion of the proceeds to us for any orders that she receives from members here at the farm.  To order, give her a call at or send an email Ironstone Spring Farm - 2856 Charlestown Road, Lancaster, PA 17603  Phone: (717) 575-0110 - Fax: (717) 872-9635 - Email:    Just the beef at:  she's got a lot of info and pricing there.

Honey Garlic Grilled Eggplant

Note: Aleppo chili that this recipe calls for is available in Middle Eastern markets. It’s not spicy at all, but sweet and musky. If you don’t have it, substitute it with a pinch of Spanish smoked paprika, or skip it all together.

Serves 2

1 eggplant (2 if using small Italian eggplants)
1 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 mashed garlic cloves
1 tsp aleppo chili (optional)
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

  1. Peel stripes of skin off the eggplant to create a zebra like pattern of skin and no-skin. This is not only decorative, but makes the skin easier to bite. Slice eggplant into ½ inch thick circles.
  2. Lay out a large sheet of paper towels. Sprinkle eggplant generously with salt on both sides and lay out on paper towels. The eggplant will release a lot of liquid. This will help get rid of bitterness (if any) and make the eggplant more succulent and less watery after it’s cooked. Let sit for 15 minutes, then dry both sides well with paper towels.
  3. In a large bowl, mix honey, olive oil, garlic, chili, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Dunk both sides of each eggplant slice into this marinade.
  4. Preheat the grill to high. Grab a wad of paper towel with tongs, dip it in oil, and brush it on the grill.
  5. Place the eggplant slices on the grill, cover, and turn down the heat to medium. Grill until marked, about 3 minutes. Turn 90 degrees to make cross-hatch grill marks. Grill until marked, about 3 more minutes.
  6. Brush the slices with remaining marinade, flip and repeat the grilling procedure on the other side. Regulate heat so that the eggplant is browning, but not burning. Remove to a plate, and drizzle with olive oil.

Thanks for being a part of the farm and appreciating what we do here on the farm to grow food and provide for people in many ways. 

Your farmers

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