Thursday, September 27, 2012

jamón de bellota

Pork farmers (and beef farmers for that matter) talk a lot about what their animals are 'finished' on. What an animals eats certainly affects the taste of the meat. My five little piggies spent the first few months turning a 'jungle' of a patch into a rock pile: eating grass, roots, small trees and shrubs, and anything else they could root up! They are also fed certified organic grain to provide the protein and nutrients they need in order to get up to market weight. And, of course, all manner of scraps from the kitchen and the garden.
I recently learned about acorn-finished pork. (Here is another more farmer-like source) I also recently learned about 'mast years' in native trees (this year seems to be one in our area.

This past Tuesday I spotted a road-side collection of acorns and had to pull over! Luckily, I had a roasting pan in the car (?!). I have been portioning out the acorns to make them last a bit longer (the pigs can be such, well PIGS!). One of our students, Galen, snapped this photo of a post-snack nap. Five perfectly packaged sausages!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Post-frost fun!

We got a hard frost Sunday night - tomatoes, basil, peppers, eggplant: zapped!
Pat + I picked pretty hard on Saturday and Sunday to grab up winter squash, heirloom tomatoes, and other precious veggies that don't like it cold. 
week 8 at TMCC: basil, parsley, brussels, okra, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, radishes, arugula, mixed greens, leeks, and kale
But some things LOVE a frost. Carrots sweeten, Brussels sprouts and radishes settle into flavor, and leeks revel in a cold snap. With the cold rain falling down now (and scheduled to keep it up for a while) I think a nice, nutty, warm veggie roast is just what the tummy wants. 

Quinoa With Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Leeks  from gluten free goddess


1 leek, washed, trimmed, sliced
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed, halved (or quartered, if large)
1/4 cup slivered blanched almonds
1/4 cup plump golden raisins, packed
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons golden balsamic vinegar
Sea salt, to taste
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried dill

In a roasting pan, toss the prepared leek, Brussels sprouts, almonds, and golden raisins in the olive oil. Sprinkle with golden balsamic vinegar. Season with sea salt, minced garlic and dill; and toss to coat. Roast for roughly 20 to 25 minutes, stirring at least once, until the Brussels sprouts are tender, and browned a bit.

Remove the pan from the oven. Add in the fluffed cooked quinoa and chopped parsley. Drizzle with fruity extra virgin olive oil, to taste. Add sea salt and ground pepper, to taste. Gently toss to combine the roasted Brussels sprouts and hot cooked quinoa.

(quinoa instructions)
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
Sea salt, to taste

Add the quinoa and water to a potand season with sea salt, to taste. Cover, bring to a boil, and cook the quinoa until all the water is absorbed and the quinoa can be fluffed with a fork.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

September planting

Despite the cold nights (another light frost last night!), the days are simply gorgeous - warm, sunny, a light breeze... perfect!

And the forecast for the coming week looks great, too... so, I took the chance to plant some fall kohlrabi. Hopefully I'll get the first round of harvest from this bed for the last CSA pickup. Otherwise, Thanksgiving market it is!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

yellow moon and stars

I LOVE the name of this melon (yellow moon and stars, notice the big 'moon' circles and the constellation of 'stars' all over?!) ... and it's delicious to boot.
This week's recipe is melon sherbet... I think it's a good transition from summer into fall: the summer taste of melon and the frozen feeling of fall (we got a light frost last night!). With warm days and cool nights, it's the perfect treat!

Tip Top Melon Sherbet from 101cookbooks

1 pound of juicy, extra-ripe, orange-fleshed melon
1/4 cup mild flavored honey (needs to be fluid, and you might use a bit less depending on the sweetness of the melon)
1/2 cup organic whole milk
generous pinch of salt

Cut the melon flesh from its rind into a medium bowl and puree with a hand blender. You will need 2 cups of puree.
Add the milk, and salt. Now you want to sweeten to taste. If your honey is in a solid or crystallized state you need to dunk the jar in a bowl of warm water until it is liquid again. This way it will mix easily with the rest of the ingredients. Start by blending in 2T. of the honey and taste. If you think the mixture needs to be sweeter, add more honey. Keep in mind you want the honey to bring out and complement the flavor of the melon, not overpower it.
Pour into an ice-cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Friday, September 7, 2012

sunshine in a bucket

Mark set out to harvest some sunflowers for market this evening just as the sun was setting:
I love that he chose to carry them in watering cans!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

blue beech beauty

It's totally tomato time! 
We have been harvesting often and pulling in a pretty good load. The rain from the past two days left us with TONS of cracked cherries, but what can you do?!
Despite the rain, I did grab this PERFECT blue beech paste tomato this afternoon. I just had to share!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

a big move, a new farmer

This post is bitter-sweet, but both necessary and exciting!
Earlier this spring, I announced to the school that this will be my last season at TCS as farm manager. It is with a very heavy heart that I made this decision. This community has been incredible and I truly feel that I have grown, learned, and gained some very strong friendships within the short time that I have been in Tamworth.
As many of you know, Pat was unable to find work here, despite an 8 month stint of unemployed searching. He did, however, find a fantastic job in Rutland, VT. He moved to Rutland last November and I will be relocating there late this fall. (It is with a very full and delighted heart that I made this decision!). 

Wanting for the smoothest transition possible, we started interviewing in August for the new farmer. I had the pleasure of being a part of this process. I'll spare you the details of the process itself and announce that we have hired someone!
John Welton hails from Madison, WI and is currently farming in Freedom Maine at the Village Farm with his girlfriend, Emma. They will be moving to the TCS farm this winter and are excited to jump right in. I have been talking with John a lot about the ins and outs of the farm, trying to get him up to speed and make his first season (and beyond) a great one! I am hoping to organize a 'meet the farmer' gathering in the coming months so that the CSA members, and members of the TCS community will get a chance to meet John + Emma and welcome them into this great place. As the season draws to a close, I will keep everyone up to date on a gathering.
Thank you all for your wonderful support. Tamworth will always be our (Pat + my) first home together and we are already planning future trips back!