Welcome to Our Winter Flophouse

The rushed Jewish holidays and fall chill make this November feel much more like December.  For anyone who has missed the excitement, the first night of Chanukah is the same as thanksgiving this year. It will not happen again for about seventy thousand years, so there has been lots of hype and strange recipes floating around. Hard frosts have made instant memories out of so many plants, cosmos and basil, tomatoes, eggplants and peppers. We are still pulling off the last tomatoes (from another hoophouse), but they are mealy and sad now. But look, hope grows in our new hoophouse …

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Compostable Toys and Farm Photos

Again, I am guilty of not keeping up with the farm blog now that the farm is kicking into the real season.  We are so busy with the CSA, selling flowers to a wholesaler and trying to connect with more chefs that writing has been falling by the wayside, and so many writing ideas are slipping away! That’s OK, I will keep trying. I have to share this photo I took of a project my two year old did with the newly harvested baby squash.  She spent a long time moving them around and arranging them until she was happy …

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Lessons from Sunflower Seeds and Shelling Peas

There is so much happening on the farm now, it is hard to find time to write about it. We are already into our fourth week of the CSA season, and strawberries are sadly winding down already.  Deer attacked our late strawberry planting, so the season will end a little earlier than we hoped.  We are also harvesting spring onions, radishes, tons of lettuce, spinach, arugula, cilantro and peas. A couple of weeks ago we went to a birthday party and one of the party favors was a little plastic pot with sunflower seeds that children could water and watch …

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Spring on the Farm

I thought I would share some images of a few things happening on the farm. We are picking our first delicious strawberries – they are Chandlers and they are coming in beautifully right now.  My daughter (she is 2)  calls them Princess Berries and she plans to grow them when she grows up.   Of course picking and eating strawberries is great fun and the children love it. They are showing up in pancakes and smoothies too and will go into our first CSA shares that we deliver tomorrow. Last week, these two new hives of bees sat on my mantle …

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Kale Chips: A Surprising Hit with Preschoolers and Recipe

Last week, my sweet boy turned 5 and we celebrated by hosting his preschool class at our farm for a treasure hunt, pony rides with a neighbor, and lunch. He originally requested a party at one of those indoor bouncy centers, so I was very happy that we were able to coax, sell, and redirect him toward a homespun farm party. The day before the party, my husband brought in a large bag of tender baby kale from the farm–the first of the spring new growth. When I asked my son what we should serve as a snack for the …

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A Talk with Sandor Katz about Pickled Peppers

I love the taste of naturally fermented sour dill pickles. Since I don’t live anywhere near a Jewish deli and I have lots of fresh vegetables on hand from the farm, I really want to learn to make my own. But my initial attempts at pickling have not been a success. Natural fermentation is the traditional way of making pickles taste like they are fresh from the barrel at a Jewish deli rather than fished out of a jar from the supermarket.  They are not packed with any vinegar and not refrigerated, giving them the amazing taste and some say …

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Cosmos, Okra and More – an Eclectic Harvest

Even though it is the first night of Sukkot and it is raining (again!), I promise not to complain about the weather.  Maybe it will magically clear up in time for dinner tonight.  Either way,  we have some amazing foods to eat from the farm tonight.  We raise  shitake mushrooms on the farm and today a pile appeared on my kitchen counter when my husband dashed through the house between farm tasks.   Shitake mushrooms are always a huge treat both because they are delicious and because they are always a surprise. Unlike the vegetable crops, they do not really have …

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September at Farmers Market

If you haven’t already been shopping at your local farmers market, now is the time to jump in before it is too late.  In most areas, the choice and abundance is reaching a peak by Labor Day, with the summer crops coming in strong (you will find tomatoes at nearly every farmers market in the country now) and the fall crops starting to make an appearance.   This summer, I am spending time off the farm at my family’s summer place near Lake George.   I was thrilled to find a new farmer’s market in town that is drawing growers from around …

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tomato time

We try to eat at least somewhat seasonally in our house, switching from fresh vegetables to frozen in the winter and following the fruit that is coming from Florida rather than  further afield.  Most of the year I skip over my fresh produce section in the store because there is minimal organic and we either have fresh vegetables from the farm or are working through our frozen stash. Of course, I make exceptions but it always feels particularly strange and a little like a betrayal to buy tomatoes from someone else’s farm, especially from an anonymous supermarket source . Plus, …

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I baked my own Mother’s Day Cake

Ok, I admit it, I baked my own Mothers Day cake.  But I like baking and the baby was napping and my son was out planting tomatoes with Dad, so it was easy. And the strawberries were hand picked for me and left washed and shiny on the counter. After a bit of searching a couple of years ago I found my “house” yellow cake recipe which I used for this cake.  It’s called “Natural Yellow Cake Mix” from the Whole Foods website.  There are a few things I love about this recipe. First, the cake tastes great as is …

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