Heirloom Meals: Savoring Yesterday's Traditions Today

Thursday August 19, 2010

Heirloom Breeds & Seeds:
Farmer Thursdays

News from the farms....
I had a banner broccoli harvest and made a gigunda batch of cream of broccoli soup for the freezer in anticipation of the cooler days to come.

In keeping with the theme, I thought it best to continue to share the notes and musing from the local CSA farmers.  Again, Elizabeth Keen from Indian Line Farms pulls it together in rare and exquisite form for her members. Here's her weekly summary:
News From Indian Line Farm
We keep on planting, weeding and harvesting here.  Last week we planted another lettuce planting which will be salad in your mouths the first week of September.  We also planted the second to last round of direct seeded items:  arugula, mustard mixes, spinach, white and red turnips, and broccoli rabe to name a few.  We also harvested all the storage onions which are now curing on the upper level of the barn.  Every day is harvest day now.  And our job just got a little heavier with the outdoor tomatoes blushing before our eyes.  On Monday alone we harvested over 500 lbs. of tomatoes and we have to harvest them three times per week.  Time for making tomato everything! 

The farm is looking especially great after last week as we had several visitors.  On Sunday night we let a foursome of Appalachian through hikers tent here.  They were interested in a work for food exchange that we do on occasion.  The worked intently on weeding our smallest greenhouse in its entirety, helping out in our perennial gardens and lastly, clipping the stems off all the over 6000 bulbs of dry garlic.  It was a hot day and they worked really hard.  They kept me busy directing and with some additional food preparation.  They eat so much!!!  They said as I took them to the trail head the following day that their day off here was their best day off on the trail so far.  We felt lucky to have them. 

They next day we had a group from GreenAgers working here.  GreenAgers was launched from The Center For Peace Through Culture in 2007 as one way to address global and local environmental issues.  Taken from their website:  
GreenAgers mobilizes and empowers young people to come together and work cooperatively to design and carry out environmental projects in their own their local communities.  Through this program, young people can not only make a real difference, they can also learn independence, creativity, leadership, responsibility and self-respect. As they develop their own interests and abilities, they are also promoting community and global health, and ultimately contributing to global peace.  Community involvement is a strong emphasis of GreenAgers, as the intellectual, spiritual, creative, and physical energies of young people focus on projects that will make a difference to the local communities and to the environment.  
The first local GreenAgers group has an office in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, headed by Will Conklin. The Great Barrington GreenAgers' plans include setting up a community garden, hosting a monthly Sustainability Discussion Group on how individuals can integrate sustainability practices into their everyday lives, working together with other organizations and schools on new or existing projects, and creating a program of educational environmental presentations conceived, researched and written by students and delivered in classrooms and community spaces. They also plan to have a lot of fun! 
The Great Barrington GreenAgers is a pilot program, laying the groundwork for GreenAgers groups around the country and around the globe.
Working with them was a pleasure.  They finished harvesting the end of our first carrot planting, they pulled all our storage onions from the field and put them in the upstairs of the barn and they helped out with some weeding too.  Big thanks to Will Conklin for organizing our work day and introducing us to this fantastic organization.  
And if that weren't enough we had many folks come to weed and clean garlic on Wednesday.  We are thrilled!
A couple  reminder notes:
    1.  Please bring your own bags to pick up.  We no longer have any recycled plastic bags.
    2.  Food leftover from Friday pick up will all be put away by 10:00 am Saturday morning. 
    3.  We will be weeding Wednesday August 18th from 8-12.  We look forward to your company.
    4.  We will have numerous boxes of tomatoes for processing this week.  The boxes are $15 for 15 lbs.          of tomatoes.

For the farm crew,

Elizabeth

Vegetables for Week of August 16th

Choices:
       Sweet Peppers
       Beets
       Carrots
       Chard
       Eggplant--limited supply
       Leeks
       Cucumbers
       New Potatoes, from Thompson Finch Farm--Ancram, NY
       Frisee
       Escarole

Summer Squash and Zucchini
Tomatoes--up to at least 2 lbs.
Basil
Rainbow Salad Mix
Garlic--NEW
Upick--
Green beans--limited supply
Cherry Tomatoes
Flowers
Herbs
Fruit Share
White Peaches from Maynard Farm

Wednesday August 18, 2010

Heirloom Meals Radio:
Lawrence Davis-Hollander

What is the most anticipated fruit of the summer season? The TOMATO!!
And yes it is a fruit not a vegetable. Today, host, Carole Murko chats with Lawrence Davis-Hollander, author of TOMATO, A Fresh-from-the-Vine Cookbook. Lawrence’s interest in the tomato and, in particular, heirloom tomatoes started at an early age and evolved into his founding the Eastern Native Seed Conservancy - an organization that was dedicated to preserving and eating heirloom varieties. How we wish Heirloom Meals existed when Lawrence’s organization thrived - the synergies and the dinner parties would have been amazing!! WIth that said, Lawrence captures the essence of his work at the seed conservancy and his passion for heirloom tomatoes in his book. It is informative, inspirational, useful and beautiful! Be certain that the Cream of Tomato Soup and the Candied-Tomato Tart with Five-Spiced Hazelnut Crust will be prepared and shared in a future blog post!! Go out and find those heirloom tomatoes, get Lawrence’s book and enjoy eating tomatoes to your heart’s content!!

(Please forgive the quality of the audio - the station has had technical challenges and this was recorded from the live stream from my computer. I don’t know how to edit out the end of the last show - so enjoy the music and wait for my show to start!! The joys of community radio!!)

Tuesday August 17, 2010

Life at Boulderwood:
Buddy, the Bantam Rooster

Animal Tales from Boulderwood Farm.
Buddy, our bantam rooster gives me the "side-eye" glare as if saying, "whatcha lookin' at?"

He's quite tame for a rooster.  He does, however, suffer from the Napolean syndrome as he plays tough guy with our big white rooster, Whitey. Not sure why Whitey allows Buddy to bully him.  I guess I'll never know!!

Monday August 16, 2010

Ms Murky Mondays:
Peachy Keen Martinis

This week I am all about preparations for the Berkshire Grown fundraiser honoring Sarah Gray Miller of Country Living Magazine. I have my lists, my schedule and I am in motion.

I have contacted the farms and purveyors with my orders, rented tables and chairs, sewed my table runners and have begun the preparations.  It's a frenzy of activity around here!!

Yesterday I made peach nectar and lemon simple syrup for the cocktails.


 
 
Peach Nectar for our Peachy Keen Martini’s
 
I wanted to serve a “special” cocktail for this event.  With the gorgeous and delicious local peaches that are currently in season, I decided to concoct some peach nectar to be mixed with Berkshire Mountain Distillers Ice Glen Vodka. What better to way to celebrate local everything!!
 
10 Ripe Peaches from Maynard Farm
3 cups water
 
Boil a large pot of water and put the peaches in the water for about 5 minutes until the skin is ready to peel off. Remove the peaches into a cold water bath to stop the cooking process. The skin should easily peel off the peach.  Slice and remove pit.  In batches, put 2 cups of sliced peaches and 1 cup of water in a blender until smooth.  Strain and store in refrigerator until the PARTY!!
 
Simple Lemon Syrup
 
I am addicted to limonata.  But I just bought a Sodastream carbonator and thought, why not make limonata for vodka and limonatas or just limonata.  Here’s my recipe:
 
4 cups organic cane sugar
4 cups water
Zest of a couple of lemons
3 cups fresh lemon juice
 
Simple syrup is simple - it’s one part sugar to one part water. Cook sugar, water and lemon zest over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved and water boils. Remove and  let cool.  Add lemon juice and store in refrigerator until the PARTY!!  I tried about 1/2 cup  of syrup with the liter bottle that comes with the Sodastream and it seemed to do the trick - YUM!!

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