Friday, September 19, 2008
I would first like to thank everyone for being here today for our first ever ceremony in recognition of the hard work and dedication of our staff. A couple of things make this a good time to hold this important event. First, the folks over in the bookkeeping department let me know that today we succeeded in meeting our annual revenue goals, putting us about 6 weeks ahead of schedule. I would first like to thank our dedicated customers and partners for helping us to reach this goal in so short a time. I also want to recognize that this would not have been possible without the careful attention and care from our great staff. This benchmark is especially nice to surpass for the second reason for this event today, the threat of the first frost last night. While we were not yet affected, the cold temperatures are a reminder that the end of the season is nearing and our efforts will soon turn to focusing on preparations for next year. Before we look to 2009, it is appropriate to recognize the hard work of 2008. A conversation with one of the staff today reminded me that we need to make sure to give positive feedback and reinforcement to our workers. So without further ado, let me introduce the Half Pint Farm Employee of the Year for 2008.
Many of you will know immediately of whom I am speaking. This worker, in addition to her normal duties of weeding, planting, washing, harvesting and general grounds maintenance, has continually gone above and beyond the call of duty. She has been diligent in updating the blog on an almost weekly basis, has handled email correspondence and consistently produced recipe cards for the weekly food club pick up. She has been in constant contact by phone with our chef partners and accounts, as well as performing the twice weekly deliveries, often including additional errands along the way. She has been the primary caretaker of our secret flocks of chickens both at home and at the farm. Additionally, I am reminded from off stage, she almost single-handedly maintained the microgreens seeding all year, as well as many weeks of onion cleaning. Add on to all this, the fact that the farm staff has often enjoyed the fresh baked scones she prepares before work three days a week. For all these reasons and so much more, I am proud to present the 2008 Employee of the year, Mara Welton! Thanks for all your hard work!The runner up for the employee of the year award was a very close second and I am sorry that this hard worker can't be here at the ceremony. In fact, this employee is still hard at work, keeping weeds at bay, helping crops such as tomatoes, peppers, artichokes, chard and squash to grow strong and with minimal disease. This worker helped out every harvest day in aiding a smooth transport of the crops will helping to keep the produce clean. I am, of course, talking about Lumite the Landscape Fabric. He had many names and we never quite called it the same thing, often leading to confusion, but without you, Weed Barrier, this year would have been a lot harder and weedier. Thanks so much!
Finally, an honorable mention. No one we talked to quite knew exactly what you do around here all day, but when pressed it was decided that you do help in maintaining the seeding plan and schedule and are a help with the harvest. To Spencer Welton, better luck next year and thanks for whatever it is you do.
To the others on the Half Pint payroll, Mr. Smeems is a frog-catcher and crop-stomper and his little brother, Bullet is a snake-barker and a chicken-hassler and both often antagonize Lumite the Weed Fabric. They both seem unclear on what the actual purpose of the farm is and how they can best serve goals of the company. Perhaps they will have a shot at an award next year.
Thank you for coming today, keep up the good work and help yourself to some pizza.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Pocket full o' beauty
Calypso, aka Yin Yang, aka Orca
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Seeing those yellow tomatoes got me hungry for one of my favorite all-time summer dinners, Yellow Tomato Shrimp fra Diavolo. I'm so excited about it, I'm going to share the recipe here! People rarely think of using yellow tomatoes for sauce, but you absolutely must try it! Their textures and flavors lend them particularly nicely to seafood. In this case, shrimp.
2 T. olive oil
3/4 pound peeled, deveined shrimp
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 T. fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 T. chopped basil leaves (pistou used here)
2-3 large yellow tomatoes, chopped (pineapple used here)
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound fun-shaped pasta
- Prepare the water for boiling the pasta. If the pasta takes 8 minutes to cook, begin when you start the tomato sauce.
- Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp, the garlic cloves and the crushed red pepper flakes. Cook until the shrimp begins to turn bright orange - about 1 minute. Remove the shrimp from the pan.
- To the hot and garlicky pan, add the chopped tomatoes and cook on high until the tomatoes have cooked down a bit and are a nice chunky sauce consistency - about 8 minutes. Sauce may be a little soupy, but this is fine. Add garlicky shrimp and chopped parsley and basil to tomatoes. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Drain al dente pasta, divide amongst the bowls and top with the tomato sauce. A little shaving of parmesan cheese also goes nicely with this, as does a really oaky red wine. Enjoy!