Saturday, June 25, 2011

On the Farm...

At any moment on the farm, there are always a variety of activities.  This afternoon, for example:

Kingsley and Quinlan bring Mabel...

...over for a bath.

And I lend a hand. 

We fix up the cottage for the WWOOFers (World Wide Opportunities On Organic Farms)

The hens take a break from laying to enjoy a dust bath.

Splash the Duck gets ready for a swim.

The Costata Romanesco Squash is growing well. 

The first of this year's raspberries...

...are covering the stone wall.

The impatiens  dot the fences.

And all enjoy the cool sea breezes.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A View From the Field

Claire picking collards for shareholders

Kingsley inspecting the crops

Recording,  planning,
Timing the seasonal crops 

The fields are starting to show some real color, with Snapdragons Salvia and Zinnia buds bursting the rows of green foliage. With the solstice, the summer crops have begun some real growth but alas many of the greens and lettuce will be coming to an end until the fall.

Although we have been picking cucumbers for shareholders and market for a couple of weeks, those have all been fruit with the help of the greenhouse. Those from the field are still a few weeks away.

We have been feeding an unusual number of young squash and sunflower transplants to a wood chuck family that has even been able to outsmart the dogs, Perhaps we need a Dachshund rather than a pair of Maremmas.

The season remains ten days to two weeks behind most years here on the shore line, but that can change as we get into the heat of the summer.

Heaven On A Plate: A Recipe For Greens - Bruschetta style

Elise has worked here since she was five (17 years ago!), she would tag along with her big brother at the time picking flowers and making bouquets.  This is her favorite recipe for using spinach and swiss chard (or any other dark, leafy greens you may have on hand).  Upon the insistence of her enthusiasm we tried it and now it’s one of our favorites as well.  We hope you like it too:

Saute garlic and onions in a little olive oil till transparent; add spinach or swiss chard and cook till wilted (you could also add roasted almonds, dried cherries or dried cranberries at this point).  While the greens are wilting, slice a loaf of bread (this could be a baguette or a loaf of Italian bread – we use Ciabatta) lengthwise into two pieces, put the pieces in the oven till warm and toasty.  When the bread comes out of the oven, either crumble or spread goat cheese on top; spoon onion/garlic/greens mixture over the goat cheese.  You may add chopped tomatoes as your finishing touch.   Yummy!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

View from the Field

Our cool April and May has suddenly blossomed into hazy, hot and humid, complete with thunder storms.

The plants have been waiting for some heat and sun. The summer crops are beginning to show some verdant growth. The greenhouses are filled with eager young seedlings ready for transplanting. We have been picking our Olympia cucumbers for about a week now and the hothouse tomato crop is coming close to fruit.

One drawback to the onslaught of the heat is many of the spring crops: spinach, early  lettuces,
arugula , mizuna and other greens tend to perform poorly, bolt to seed, or become bitter. These are cool loving crops which we may have to sacrifice until fall plantings. Mother nature will be making that executive decision, as always.

There is a lot of other activity on the farm this week. Twenty-eight new chicks, six ducklings and a few dozen turkey chicks are sharing our brooding room, although it is a bit like a junior-high school dance, the chicks on one side and the ducklings on the other. Seldom does a glance, chirp or quack pass between the clans.
We are also waist deep in our new "south" farm pond construction. It has been a long awaited rather messy ordeal that is finally beginning to take form. For any of you who thrill in watching BIG Tonka Toys play with soupy soil come down in the pit and play before we shut off the pumps and let it fill. We will be having future posts and photos to update you on our progress.

Kale Chips Recipe

Kale Chips

· 1 bunch kale - wash, re­move stems, and tear into 3 to 4 inch pieces.

· 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, or for a vegan version use nu­tritional yeast.

· ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar.

· 1 tablespoon olive oil.

· Pinch of sea salt.

Heat oven to 375 de­grees. Mix vinegar and oil, pour over kale and toss to coat. Sprinkle in cheese/ yeast and salt. Toss again until kale is evenly coated. Spread onto a baking sheet, and bake for approxi­mately 15 minutes or until crispy and brown around the edges.

Enjoy by themselves, or try crumbling them up over baked potatoes, or pasta dishes.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Dinners at the Farm

This year we will again be hosting Dinners at the Farm July 7 - 10 and July 14 - 17.  Last summer we were filmed by The Cooking Channel for their show "Unique Eats".  Take a look:

Come join us this summer; make your reservation at

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sheep Shearing, 2011

Today we had our annual sheep shearing open house.  We had great weather and an even better crowd.

Kingsley demonstrating his technique. 

Some volunteers took a turn.

All types of animals were present.

Our two new cows made some friends.

At the end of the day, some beautiful wool.