Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Super Moons and Meteor Showers

Though I didn't see the meteor showers, the super moon in the night sky was something to behold! Nature gives us so much to enjoy and appreciate, if we will only take a moment out of our busy lives to really look at what's around us! Sometimes we get so busy on life's merry-go-round that we fail to see what's unfolding right before our eyes! 

Living on the farm, we are very attuned to nature, everything here revolves around nature.  When we sow seeds, when we plant, and when we harvest all are dependent on what is happening at that time, in nature.  Many farmers (including my grandparents) like to sow seeds when the moon was in a particular phase- either waning or waxing. Many of us like to "companion" plant vegetables, or plant flowers along  with our vegetables that will naturally deter unwanted pests in the garden.  We are not separate or apart from nature. 

When you have a "sit down" meal with your family (which we hope is often), maybe spend a moment thinking and discussing the role that nature played in the wonderful meal you are about to enjoy. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Things Past and Future

                                                Nature at Work
This is the continuation of a blog we began awhile back, then stopped until the realization set in that we to get back "on track" with it, so here begins our humble attempt to do just that! We hope you enjoy our farm blog.

Today marks the half way mark in our spring-summer CSA program.  Hopefully, through our farming efforts we have been able to contribute not only to the health of our Shareholders, but to their pleasure as well. This season as in past seasons, has had it share of "ups and downs" here on the farm.

Some examples of those "downs"  are the time we forgot to pack the Cheese shares for our deliveries and had to apologize big time for doing such once we realized we had left the farm without the Cheese. And, like the time a few weeks before our season began one of our delivery drivers left us for a full time job. (he was employed part time at the farm). After that, of course we did not forsee that the driver we hired to replace the one that left us before the season opened,  we would be losing to another full time job during our delivery season.  Doesn't anyone need to work part time anymore?

We've had our "ups" as well.  Those are all  the times when Shareholders share their family photos enjoying their veggies or fruit from their farm shares that they post on Facebook for everyone to see. And we always love having our students come to the farm to help us during the season-not only are they enthusiastic, great kids, but they really are a wonderful addition to our farm.  Then, there are the "thank you's" we get in emails from Shareholders saying how much they enjoy our vegetables and fruit, and also the smiles we see first hand when we fill in on delivery days. (we still do that).  

So all in all, so far its been a pretty darn good CSA season.  We are always trying to find ways to make our farm's CSA program better and implement fresh ideas  so come forth with any and all suggestions you may have to help us with that. YOU are the main ingredient in our farm's CSA recipe for success.  

Speaking of recipes, here's a good one for you today since we have pickling cucumbers (also great for snacking out of hand) available in our online Country Store.  They are small and crunchy!  This is a recipe that can be used to "pickle" radishes, peppers or beans as well.  

Pickling Recipe for Veggies
This is a really simple recipe that can be used for pickling a wide range of vegetables. I have used it for cucumbers, kohlrabi slices, radishes, summer squash, peppers and beans. ~ Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris - adapted from "A Taste of Home" recipe.

Refrigerator Pickles
3 to 4 pounds pickling cucumbers
20 fresh dill sprigs
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, sliced
16 peppercorns
2 cups water
2 cups white vinegar
1/4 cup canning salt
Cut each cucumber lengthwise into four spears. In a large bowl, combine the cucumbers, dill, onions, garlic and peppercorns; pack into clean canning jars. In a nonreactive stainless steel pot, combine the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; cook and stir just until salt is dissolved. Pour over cucumber mixture into jars, leaving approximately ½ of space at the top; cool slightly.

Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Yield: approximately 48 pickle spears