Whoa! Skunks you may ask? Yes, it has been an interesting week (actually the last two). Pigs do not make very good guard dogs. We have always “trusted” them to be a good deterrent against other critters coming in to the hog house where we also house our baby chicks until they are big enough to go outside. Up until a few weeks ago it had been a pretty good arrangement – and then we lost a large number of baby chicks. We have had predators before, but this one had unusual habits and we were puzzled. John started asking around and while he secured the pen, we ordered more chicks and set several “live animal” traps. Well! in the course of 3-4 days, we had caught 3 SKUNKS! We’ve had raccoons, ‘possums and cats, but this was quite a surprise. I am happy to report that things seem to be under control for the time being and no one got sprayed which is even better.
By the way, in case I had not mentioned it before, the hogs are going to the butcher on July 15 (Thursday) and if you would like to get in on some tasty Berkshire pork, we still have some halves left. Please let me know ASAP and I will get your cutting instructions to the butcher. If you are interested in a smaller quantity, we will also offer 20# bundles. In that case, you would not need to submit cutting instructions, just let me know of your interest.
Our second group of chickens is also just back from the butcher. These are whole, frozen birds and we will deliver them to you.
Work on the farm this week has been moving forward. Quite a few strips in the garden have been tilled upon completion of harvest making room for planting of new crops. The weeds, fed by all the rain, have also been going crazy. We have a great crew, but between harvesting, even they have not been able to keep up. If you feel a need at any time to work out some frustration and soak up some sun, we have lots of weeds to be pulled and we won’t turn down any offers of help. Just let us know when you’d like to come.
Speaking of Harvest……the girls did a tremendous job today picking beans along with all the other picking. I believe that they brought in nearly 200 pounds in three colors: green, yellow and purple. Lest you think that only girls work here, don’t worry, brothers Kyle and Micah have been pruning tomatoes and after a day and a half on his knees, Kyle has successfully unearthed the leek which had been overrun with wild purslane and pigweed. Thanks to everyone for a great job!
In your share this week…..
Tomato – this is good news! We wanted you to have the first taste of the season – either a regular round red, or some SunGold cherries (these are golden orange when ripe). Most of the red tomatoes will probably benefit from a day or two on the counter to continue ripening.
Beans – it certainly is bean season. More sunshine this week between the rain has really done them a lot of good. Green and yellow. Feel like you can’t use them all? Blanch and freeze your beans for a taste of summer this fall or winter. While you bring a pot of water to a boil, trim and snap your beans. Add beans to the boiling water and cook for about 3 minutes. Remove from boiling water and plunge into a sink full of cold water to stop the cooking. Drain cooled beans and freeze in usable portions.
Potato – this week’s offering is Keuka Gold. Looks a lot like a Yukon, but without the pink eyes that distinguish a Yukon.
Red Onion –
Garlic – peel off some of the outer layers then cut off close to the top of the bulb. Wrap it in foil with some butter and bake/roast it in the oven. Pop out the roasted cloves and mash in with your potatoes or mix it in with your favorite dips, etc. mmmmm……
We left the stem attached so that if you aren’t ready to use it, you could just hang it up in your kitchen out of direct sunlight and let it dry to use later. If you decide to use part of it now, just put unused cloves in a container in the fridge – they will keep at least 2 weeks or more.
Lettuce – varieties of heat tolerant summer crisp.
Daikon Radish – the white “root thing”. These are crisp and refreshing. Chop or grate into a salad, slice it on a sandwich.
Parsley – curly or flat leaf. Parsley stores very well in a bag in the fridge.
Whole share will also have Zucchini, Cauliflower and Kale this week. Half shares will see some of that cauliflower next week.
Have a great week!
Some new recipes to try…..from Simply in Season
Au Gratin Cabbage
2 cups cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup carrots, shredded
1/3 cup chopped onions (green onions or whatever you have on hand)
saute until crisp-tender in frying pan with a little olive oil. Transfer to a greased 1-qt. baking dish.
1/2 cup milk
3 Tbsp. shredded cheese
Combine in a small bowl. Pour over vegetables. Garnish with 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley and 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes.
Green beans with Parsley and lemon
Cook 1 pound of beans in a small amount of water until crisp-tender. Drain.
In 1 Tbsp. butter or oil, lightly saute 2 cloves minced garlic and 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley. Add the cooked beans, season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir gently and heat through. Sprinkle with the juice of 1 lemon and serve.
Garlic Potato Salad
6 cups new potatoes (cubed)
Boil in water until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
6 garlic scapes or 3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 cup minced onions
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. fresh chopped rosemary (or 1 tsp. dried)
salt and pepper to taste
Combine in a large bowl. Add cooked potatoes and stir to coat. Chill about 3 hours before serving.