Friday, July 17, 2009

Maysie's Messages 7-16-09: Weather, Classes and Yummy Recipes!

Ah, right, this is what humidity feels like! Welcome to summer in Pennsylvania! But wasn’t it wonderful to enjoy the glorious weather of the past 2 weeks? I’m sure it seems like a distant memory, but can you remember back to those endless weeks of rain??? Unfortunately, the string beans remember all too well, as many of them were done in by the flooding that occurred at the bottom of Field 2. But those that remain will be on the list, ready to pick for Friday’s pick up. Unfortunately they will be limited in quantity until our later generations mature. Our sweet corn crop was also done in by the cold, wet month of June and this looks to be first year ever that Maysie’s Farm CSA will not be providing sweet corn. You see, unless you’re planting seed treated with fungicides (and not abiding by “organic” rules) corn seed will rot in cold, wet soil. That’s why we normally don’t try to beat the season and have extra early corn, but this year even planting a month later than normal was too early. Only a small handful of plants emerged out of an entire block in Field 2 – twenty 170 foot rows. So we’ve cover cropped that block with buckwheat – to reduce weeds and add organic matter – and will use the space to accommodate extra fall brassicas after tilling in the cover crop.

And, now with the weather getting warmer, maybe the tomatoes will start coming on strong. They have been craving some warm nights to get them ripening …..

Also, the herbs are coming along beautifully. We have plenty of sage and oregano in the rock pile and some of rosemary in the hoop house. Get one of Ben’s chickens this week and roast it with those herbs…. Delicious!!

Don’t forget about the mints- we have spearmint, peppermint, apple mint, chocolate mint and lemon balm ready for picking. At this time of year they make very refreshing teas. Just steep the leaves in water, strain, cool and serve over ice. The lemon verbena is also delicious in the tea (as are some basil leaves!). This weekend, I am going to try making some brews with these herbs- I’ll let you know how they turn out!!

We did not order any new bread from Sweetwater this week, as our freezer is stocked. Please use up those loaves first and we will have more for next week. Just let them defrost or toast them slightly before using.

Does your little one love coming to the farm and harvesting the pick your own crops?
Maysie’s Farm is now offering cooking classes for your little seedlings. We are dividing the classes by age:
3-6 years – 1 hour class - $10 per child
6-9 years- 1 hour class- $10 per child
9-12 years- 1 ½ hour class- $12 per child
12 and over- 1 ½ hour class- $12 per child

Little ones will have fun “playing with their food” as we do some planting, harvesting and simple kitchen activities like pouring, stirring, and best of all….. eating!!
The older children will learn the basics of growing healthy food, eating healthy food and simple kitchen safety.
Classes are forming now. Please contact Annmarie if you are interested in setting up a class. These make great birthday parties as well!!

Our kale recipe this week comes from Libbie Goodill, one of our interns: The pesto is delicious spread on your Sweetwater Bread, as well as over your favorite pasta.

Kale Pesto
1 bunch kale (about ½ pound), stems removed and coarsely chopped
¼ cup walnuts, toasted and cooled
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt to taste

Bring a pot of water to a boil with some salt. Add kale and cook until tender’ about 10 minutes. . Drain the kale and let it dry out slightly. Place kale in food processor. Add garlic and toasted walnuts. With the food processor running, slowly add the olive oil until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Stir in parmesan cheese and season with sea salt and serve. The pesto will be warm from the cooked kale.

This recipe for Collard Pesto from was sent in by member Jan Goren, who says that this pesto is delicious!

Collard Green Olive Pesto1 3/4 lb collard greens7 large brine-cured green olives (2 1/4 ounces), pitted2 garlic cloves, chopped1/3 cup water1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegarScant 1/2 teaspoon salt1/4 teaspoon cayenne1/4 teaspoon black pepper1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil1 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 cup)Bring a 6- to 8-quart pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, cut stems and center ribs from collard greens and discard. Stir collards into water in batches, then simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer collards with tongs to a colander to drain, gently pressing on greens to extract excess water. (If making pasta, reserve water in pot for cooking pasta.) Coarsely chop collards.Blend olives and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add collards, water, vinegar, salt, cayenne, and pepper and pulse until finely chopped. With motor running, add oil in a slow stream. Turn off motor, then add cheese and pulse to combine.

This last recipe comes from Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables, which we have for sale here at the farm…. It is based on a movie called The Real Dirt on Farmer John,
a witty documentary about one farmer’s trials and tribulations starting Angelic Organics, one of the largest CSA’s in the country.

Scallion and Potato Patties- 4 servings
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Cup chopped scallions, white parts and about 2 inches of the pale green parts
2 eggs
1 ½ cups cold mashed potatoes
¼ cup dried bread crumbs
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 Tablespoons oil

Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.
When the foam subsides, add the scallions. Sauté until tender, about 3-5 minutes.
Beat the eggs in a medium bowl. Add the sautéed scallions, mashed potatoes, bread crumbs, salt, nutmeg and pepper. Stir until well combined

Place a baking pan in the oven and preheat to 250.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Shape the scallion and potato mixture into patties. Sauté the patties in the skillet, turning them once, until they are golden brown on both sides, 2-4 minutes per side. Transfer the cooked patties to the baking pan in the oven to keep them warm while you sauté the next batch. Serve warm.

See you around the farm!

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