Heirloom Meals: Savoring Yesterday's Traditions Today

Thursday August 05, 2010

Heirloom Breeds & Seeds:
Farm Girl Farm Thursdays








Hello Farm Girl Farmers--

Season 6 of Farm Girl Farm, just like any good serial, has definitely been its own season—some new characters, some new locations, but very much rooted in the seasons that came before.  In the vein of “last year at this time,” there are many differences—most notably, we’re on our way to what looks like a very healthy crop of ripe tomatoes, where last year of course we were grieving over the lost crop.  This year, the  river is hanging low in its lair, last year, it jumped the banks more than once—at one point flooding the fields so badly that as we harvested vegetables knee deep in water, they actually floated away at one point.  All in all, I’m glad to be living out this season rather than last!

There are similarities, of course—each season right about now, even last season with the absent tomatoes, we look around and there is so much to do, so many veggies to take care of, the battle of priorities is always center stage. We have 3 hours for field work this afternoon—do we keep spraying the tomatoes?  Pull the garlic?  Weed the onions?  Mulch the eggplant pathway? Plant the next succession of lettuce? Fix that really leaky spot in the irrigation?  It is overwhelming but this season, more than any other I can remember, I’m just so grateful to be in this situation, glad to have so much food to take care of, happy to be scared that the tsunami of tomatoes is about to monopolize all of our harvesting time, and acutely aware that in a few way too short months, this will all be over and the cycle will begin again.  I much prefer the problem of too many veggies needing our attention than few or none.

I’m also grateful for all of you, participants in this journey of nature—you are such an important part of the cycle.  Some of you have been around the seasons with Farm Girl Farm for several years running, some of you are just embarking with us this year.  But without you to love and appreciate and prepare and consume the veggies that we care for, there’d be no point in doing what we do.

Go team!


.Enjoy the veggies this week.

--Laura Meister, Farm Girl Farm Farmer

Wednesday August 04, 2010

Heirloom Meals Radio:
Alida Cantor

Let's face it - "heirloom meals" could not have been created if it weren't for heirloom seeds. And today, host Carole Murko interviews Alida Cantor who works at the Chef's Collaborative as the Project Coordinator for the 2010 RAFT heirloom vegetable Grow-Out. Renewing America's Food Traditions is the life "raft" of local, sustainable and historically significant varieties of fruits and vegetables. Alida's work in getting the seeds out to farmers and then the produce into chefs kitchens is a certain way to sustain and renew interest in these heirloom varieties. Top on Carole's list is to find one of those "long pie pumpkins" that Alida mentioned. So listen up - Alida's passion for food, farming and sustainability is contagious - if we all catch her bug our food system might stand a chance!!

Monday August 02, 2010

Ms Murky Mondays:
Time Flies

Musings about life, happenings and such.
How did August sneak up on us? Wasn't it just days ago that there were buds on the trees and seedlings in the ground? Is it true that I have harvested my garlic and it now hangs drying in my kitchen?

And, am I dreaming that all of my amazing friends, family and fans successfully sponsored my project on kickstarter so I can build a proper website? Am I really planning an event for Berkshire Grown that will honor Sarah Gray Miller of Country Living Magazine at my house on August 22nd? Was Farmer Val ever really here at Boulderwood? She's gone, and seemingly without a trace.
Time marches on for sure. The beauty of life is that there is always something that reminds me of friends and family - be it a scent, a meal and in this case, a plant.  So this post is dedicated to the memory of Mike Halko - master garderner, tomato grower and dear family friend. Until this year, the only place I had ever seen a "cigarette" plant was when Mike delivered it to our house each summer and then took it back to his greenhouse each winter.  I found this at Ward's this June and it's been flourishing in my old sap bucket all summer.  Truly the only cigarette anyone should ever have!! Thank you Mike!!

Friday July 30, 2010

Carole’s Concoctions:
Anything-Goes Frittata

One of our favorite Boulderwood luncheon concoctions is the frittata especially since we have farm fresh eggs and our bountiful CSA harvest.  For this anything-goes-omelet concoction I sauteed our garden grown onions with zucchini and summer squash in olive oil until they are golden and slightly caramelized. When putting oil into the pan to heat up be sure to swirl it all around so all sides are covered.  The frittata will come out so much easier for you.




While those cooked I whipped 6-8 eggs (depends on your frying pan size).
Once the veggies were caramelized I added fresh herbs (tarragon, basil, parsely combo) and chopped garlic.
Here's a great garlic tip! Mash a 1/4 teaspoon of salt  into your chopped garlic then add to the saute mix until it gets aromatic and then add eggs. This will prevent burnt garlic syndrome.

Keep the stove top on low for 3-5 minutes until it cooks all the way through (don't let it get too brown!)  If you are a cheese lover like us now would be the time to sprinkle some cheese on top and broil it in the oven for 2 minutes.

Once you take it out of the oven it should slip right out of the pan for you.



Set the table, bring out some fruit, get everyone seated and enjoy!

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