Sunday, June 28, 2009

Summer's Here!

Finally!  June 21st came, and so did the sun, the storms, the rain, and the growth of everything around us!  It truly feels like the Earth has tilted on its axis to align in the much-anticipated summer configuration.  Now we can enjoy late sunsets, early sunrises, nice overnight temperatures (can sleep with windows open again!), and the rapid maturation of everything at the farm!  The major transplanting period is officially over, the plants have all spread their rooty toes deep into the soil and have established themselves.  So, that means that everything can commence growing in their new places.  And, commence growing they are!  Everything is busting out all over the farm, and so far we've been able to keep all the weeds in check.  Having the Haygrove has really made us realize how crucial keeping rain off the crops and the paths really is.  The rain never reaches the paths to germinate weed seeds, so we can keep ahead of them with hoeing.  What a relief!  What a change!  It's been really fun looking at past journal entries of this time of year to find that we're usually up to our eyeballs in weeds.  Not this year!  All of our Haygrove crops look so much better than they ever have - the squash blossoms are HUGE, the favas are heading for the stars, the tomatoes have a million flowers and tons of clusters of small fruit, the cukes are flowering, the peppers are fruiting, the carrots are maturing faster than expected, and the head lettuces are virtually rot-free!  Outside the Haygrove, we've finished harvesting all the garlic scapes, which means that fresh amazing garlic is just around the corner - perhaps next week?  Also - the potatoes are in full flower - always a delicious smell 
in the air, as well as promise of baby potatoes to come - perhaps next week?  We are sitting in hopeful anticipation!  The animals are doing well, though we had to put down one of the ducks last week due to an apparent dog hassling that happened over a weekend.  I guess this is one of the major drawbacks (as well as an unbelievable asset) to farming in the city - lots of foot traffic and curious onlookers.  At any rate, the duck was limping and then quickly deteriorated over the week, the other birds were not supportive and we had to end it.  Such is life.  On other, more happy news - the quail are feathering out nicely, the chickens have moved to the field and are loving life out there, busily gobbling up weeds and bugs!  Our farmers' markets have been very successful business days and so far we're happy with the 2009 season in general.  We even
 found some time to enjoy a 2-day canoeing trip for our 12th wedding anniversary!  Felt pretty luxurious and we got to know our little state of Vermont a little better.  We came back to find our farm in need of a mow, a haying, a little weeding, and some tomato trellising.  We're taking good care of everyone's future tomato salads, you'll be happy to know!  We know everyone's just biding time until tomatoes come in - we know!  Well, so are we!  Some pictures for your viewing pleasure, and recipes to tickle your early summer culinary kitchen skills - buon apetito!  Addendum: just got back from putting the geese and ducks to bed, and thought I'd try and do a little commemorative attempt at the moonwalk.  Not recommended that you try this on uneven farm soils.  Let's leave it at that!

Spencer happily paddling the Lamoille

Pointing out the covered bridge we paddled under - how Vermonty!

Happy to make it to the portage at the end of the 26 miles - we did it all in one day instead of two!  The day was just too beautiful to stop the fun!

The root wall fringed with green - nice to have so much color these days to add to the spectrum of green!

Ahhh.  Beets - such a nice addition to the fare.

In one week, the tomatoes went from this to...

...this!  What an amazing difference!  You can tell that they are clearly out of the transplant shock stage and into the active growing stage.  Such a nice place to be!

In one week, these three little Paul Robeson tomatoes went from this to....

...this!  I know it's hard to believe - but those are seriously the same tomatoes!  Very promising, no?  Can't wait to taste these babies!

Garlic scape fun!  Not sure what to do with them?  Recipe at the end...

So stately, the favas - they look like miniature olive trees... kinda.

Fava-liciousness!

Not sure what to do with them?  Not interested in doing the fava bean two-step dance of blanch peel, blanch peel?  Recipe at the end...

Cleaning up the goods for your eating pleasure!

Potatoes in full bloom!

A close up of the beautiful blossoms of a Satina potato.

Our stand of rye ready for mowin'

Spence getting ready to mow...

...mowed!  Now we let it dry and the bale it - we'll see how many we get.  Any guesses?  On farm guesses range from 2.5 bales to 32 bales.  Clearly we are new at this!

And, in 3 weeks, the quail have gone from this to...

...this!  Chubbin' up, as promised.  

OK!  Some recipes, also as promised!
Garlic Scape Pesto
by: Dorie Greenspan
  • Makes about 1 cup
  • 10 garlic scapes, finely chopped
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan (to taste and texture)
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds or any nut you like (you could toast them lightly, if you'd like)
  • sea salt
  1. Put the scapes, 1/3 cup of the cheese, nuts and half the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor (or use a blender or a mortar and pestle).  Whir to chop and blend all the ingredients and then add the remainder of the oil and, if you want, more cheese.  If you like the texture, stop; if you'd like it a little thinner, add some more oil.  Season with salt.
  2. If you're not going to use the pesto immediately, press a piece of plastic against the surface to keep it from oxidizing.  The pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days or packed airtight and frozen for a couple of months, by  which time tomatoes should be at their juciest!
Grilled Fava Beans
as suggested by: Aaron Josinsky
  • young fava beans, still in pod
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Set grill or broiler on high heat - at least 350 degrees.
  2. Toss favas with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Place directly on grill or on a pan under the broiler.
  4. Cook until browned, roll around to brown other sides, cook until brown all over.
  5. Put on a plate, sprinkle with a little more salt.  Eat pod and all, great as an appetizer with beer, or as a perfect side dish.  Enjoy!

3 comments:

Lembcke Family said...

You guys look GREAT! How fun that must have been! The goslings look like they are saying, "ahhh, what a nice day to stretch our legs".

Everything looks awesome on the farm as usual. Can't WAIT TO VISIT and PLAY UP THERE!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great pictures and the informative blog! I love the colors of your farmer's market stand....so inviting. Good luck with everything this season!

Amber Soter, Realtor said...

hey you guys! You both look great and sooo happy. I hope all is well with you! Good luck this summer :)