Friday, August 27, 2010

Picket Fence Farm Newsletter #13

Picket Fence Farm Happenings
Season 2 Issue #13

What’s Happening on the Farm

We have had some cooler temps this week and we are starting to think about Fall! We have some pumpkins turning orange, although the crop hasn’t faired well this year (all the rain and weeds, I guess). Hopefully we will have enough for everyone to have one. We lost all of our winter squash, which is a major disappointment. We planted some fall spinach and lettuce this week, and the lettuce is up and growing already. We were able to make low tunnels to cover them. We have insect barrier on them now, and can add frost fabric when the weather turns colder (which hopefully won’t be for awhile). We were able to have the corn and potato fields plowed up this week...we need to get some green manure crops planted to improve soil and add nitrogen. Also on the agenda is to get our fruit trees protected from deer that like to munch on the leaves...we lost two peach trees last year to a buck scraping them and we don’t want that to happen again either!

What’s in the Box?

Tomatoes-Big Beef, Celebrity, Roma, Lemon Boy
Cherry Tomatoes, assorted varieties
Okra- Clemson Spineless
Cucumbers-Tendergreen, Diva, or Lemon
Some will have Zucchini - assort. varieties
Basil- Genovese
Chives-Garlic or Onion
Green Beans--**new crop for Friday pickups only, Saturday deliveries will receive them next week**

Recipe Ideas

Idea for Basil-- if you want to preserve for later use, chop up and freeze in ice cube trays with some water...use later in pasta sauce, pizza sauce, soups, etc.

Basil Pesto
This freezes well, use the ice cube tray trick again! Great on pasta or as a sauce for pizza.
1 cup packed basil leaves
1/2 cup packed fresh parsley, spinach, or additional basil
1/2 cup grated parmesan or Romano cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts, walnuts, or almonds
1 large clove of garlic, quartered
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil

In a blender or food processor, combine basil, parsley or spinach (if using), cheese, nuts, garlic, and salt. Cover and blend or pulse until a paste forms. With machine running slowly, gradually add oil and blend until it is the consistency of soft butter. Can refrigerate for 1 to 2 days, or freeze up to 3 months.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Picket Fence Farm Newsletter #12

Picket Fence Farm Happenings
Season 2 Issue #12

What’s Happening on the Farm

Well, the garden is still growing and we have vegetables to harvest, so that is a blessing. We have a new crop of green beans and different varieties of cucumbers that should be ready for next week. We will also be planting more lettuce and greens for fall this weekend if the weather cooperates with us. Also on the agenda is to get a plan together to set up our first greenhouse. We need to order a few supplies for it. We may also try to set up some low tunnels... we’ll see. Next week we will have a few dozen eggs for sale, so if anyone is interested let us know now and we can reserve them for you. We should have about 7 dozen available. They will be $3.00 per dozen. Our chickens are free range and are fed organic kitchen scraps along with feed that has no animal by-products.

What’s in the Box?

Tomatoes-Big Beef, Celebrity, Roma, and assort. cherry types
Potatoes- Red
Okra- Clemson Spineless
Cucumbers-Tendergreen, Diva, or Lemon OR
Zucchini - assort. varieties
Basil- Genovese
Eggs- 1/2 dozen

Recipe Ideas

Tomato Basil Salad

4 tomatoes, cored and thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c. olive oil, divided
2 TBSP. white wine vinegar, divided
1/2 lb. feta cheese
1 c. basil leaves, chopped
1/4 c. pine nuts

Place tomatoes on serving platter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with half of oil and vinegar. Top with cheese, basil, and pine nuts. Drizzle with remaining oil and vinegar. Let set for a while to marinate. Serve at room temperature.

Zucchini and Onion Quiche

1 10” pie shell, unbaked
2 medium zucchini, shredded
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 c. half and half
Salt and Pepper
4 eggs, slightly beaten

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a saucepan , cover zucchini and onion with water and cook until tender, about 5 minutes, drain well and let cool. Sprinkle a thin layer of cheese over bottom of pie crust. Spoon zucchini mixture evenly over cheese. In a bowl, stir together half and half, dill, salt, pepper, and eggs until mixture is combined well. Pour mixture over zucchini and top with remaining cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until knife inserted in center of quiche comes out clean.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Picket Fence Farm Newsletter #11

Picket Fence Farm Happenings
Season 2 Issue #11

What’s Happening on the Farm

The garden this week is more like a swamp with all of the rain we have had this week. In three nights of storms we received 8 1/2” of rain at the farm. More rain is likely today. We were not able to dig potatoes this week because it is just too muddy. The excess rain has caused our ripe melons to crack open in the field, so the melon crop is not looking so great. Same happened with some tomatoes (but luckily not all of them)! It looks like some of the new seeds we planted for fall crops have washed out as well. We’ll have to see how they come up and if we need to replant some things. This season has been so trying with the weather. We appreciate our customers hanging in there with us! Hopefully next season will be better with the new greenhouses and possibly same raised bed gardens.

What’s in the Box?

Sweet Corn- Incredible (this is the last of the corn)
Tomatoes- Big Beef, Celebrity, Roma, Lemon Boy
Cherry Tomatoes- Red, Grape, Sungold, Yellow Pear
Okra--Clemson Spineless
Cucumbers- Tendergreen or Diva
Zucchini- assorted varieties
Herbs--Rosemary and Garlic Chives

Recipe Ideas

Herb Focaccia Bread

11 oz tube of refrigerated French bread dough
2 T. olive oil
1 t. kosher salt
1 t. pepper
Fresh or dried herbs or choice (oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, chives, etc.)
Optional: marinara sauce, warmed
Unroll dough and pat into an ungreased 15X10 jelly roll pan. Press the handle of a wooden spoon into dough to make indentations. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and herbs. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden. Cut into rectangles and serve with warm marinara if desired. This would also work with homemade pizza or bread dough.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Picket Fence Farm Newsletter #10

Picket Fence Farm Happenings
Season 2 Issue #10

What’s Happening on the Farm

This week on the farm we started planting for a fall harvest of veggies. So far we have planted carrots, beets, chard, greens, and kohlrabi. In another week or so we will start to plant more lettuces and microgreens. We have tried out our new flame weeder and it seems to work pretty well. The chickens are laying more eggs, so we decided to give the members each a 1/2 dozen to try (adding value to your bags, since we have had a few weeks of lighter than normal produce). Please return your egg cartons when you are finished with them so we can reuse them. In not so great news, we have discovered that we have lost one of our bee hives. We were skeptical that one of them did not have a Queen (and without a Queen, you don’t get new worker bees). Worker bees only have a lifespan of a few weeks normally, so we are thinking they all died off. The other hive is going strong and does have honey in it, so we will have to see how much we will have to harvest and sell. We hope to add more hives to the farm next year.

What’s in the Box?

Sweet Corn- Incredible
Tomatoes-Big Beef, Roma, assorted cherry types
Cucumbers- Tendergreen or Diva
Zucchini-**Friday pick-ups only
Okra- **Saturday deliveries only
1/2 dozen eggs

Recipe Ideas
The following recipe is from a Gooseberry Patch cookbook, Farmer’s Market Favorites.

Iowa’s Best Corn Soup
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 c onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
4 c fresh corn kernels
2 new potatoes, diced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp pepper
4 c vegetable broth
3/4 c milk
1 tsp fresh cilantro, chopped
Heat oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Saute onion, garlic, and cumin for 5 minutes, or until onion is tender. Add remaining ingredients except milk and cilantro; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Add milk and cilantro; cook and stir to heat through. Makes 8 servings.