10Jun2009

New arrivals, new market, new smells!

We have just received 100 bobwhite quail in the mail to grow out for meat!  This was a super-fun box to receive, they have such a neat chirping sound!  They are so tiny, and really made us think that we had just received a box of bumblebees!  They are round and fuzzy and move about in a mass.  So cute!!!  This is going to be quite an adventure – we know so little about them (experiment #2009 for HPF this year!), it will be really neat to learn as we go.  So far we have noticed that they love heat – their brooder is being kept at 95 degrees.  A little research reminded me that these are desert prairie creatures – of course they like it hot!  As they mature, we’ll be able to tell males from females because of their chest coloring – females have white chest feathers, and males’ chest feathers are darker.  They will be growing fairly slowly, but here they are and we’ll be keeping you updated on their growth.  Fun!

In other news, we had our first New North End Farmers’ Market on Wednesday!  It was a great first market, well attended by both vendors and customers!  We really have everything available at this market – veggies, fruit, sweet baked goods, breads, root beer, pork and freshly barbecued pork skewers provided by Mike Betit, our neighborhood pork farmer!  Our new location at the North Avenue Alliance Church was perfect and really had great exposure – it will only get better each week!  Stop by and say hi if you’re able – we’d love to see you!

In tandem with the NNE market’s grand opening, we had our first Food Club pick-up!  What a wonderful thing to meet all of our new members, as well as our devoted 2nd year members!  Thank you so much for supporting our farm, and we hope you enjoy your weekly bag of goodies!  We have a terrific line-up of recipes and produce for you this season!  Welcome to the club!  FYI: we do still have a few shares left – if you are interested in joining our Food Club, click here.  
In other news, I have been riding my bike to and from the farm every nice day recently.  It has been a wonderful way to start each day and a perfect way to wrap up each day!  I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the Spring transform into Summer with each day and each new smell as rains come and go, and as the different trees and meadow flowers bloom!  Today was particularly wonderful because the locust trees are all in

 flower!  Their scent is better than any perfume and almost as amazing as the night-blooming jasmine that surrounded our leaf and stick house in the Solomon Islands during our Peace Corps days.  While I’m still enjoying the scent of the locusts on the last leg of my ride into the farm, I turn into the Haygrove and am greeted with the similarly intoxicating scent of the blooming fava beans!  I tell you – it is almost worth it just to grow these beans for the flowers!  Late Spring is such an incredible time of year – especially this year.  This year it has been much drier that recent years, which means the trees flower more heavily, the plants grow more vibrantly, and everything seems more intense, like a distilled essence.  On my twice-weekly trip to deliver to The Kitchen Table Bistro, I love dropping into that valley and seeing all of the mountains splayed out before me – they have just gotten so green over the past couple of weeks, you can almost feel the vibration of the Earth as it supplies all the trees with the proper ratio of nutrients to push out all of 

those leaves!  Where does all that energy come from?  It reminds me of the time our friend Cletus visited us from Nigeria.  It was December.  We drove him all over New England, and he kept wondering why all the trees were dead.  We had to keep explaining to him that in this part of the world, the Earth sleeps, loses energy, and rests until the Springtime, when the switch is turned back on, the energy starts flowing, and then everything gets beautiful and green again.  He simply couldn’t imagine that it was possible for all these dead trees to come back to life.  Likewise, when the Earth is vibrating with it’s greenness – it’s photosynthesizing amazingness, smelling so good and so alive… I can’t even remember what winter was like!  Thank goodness!  I am so happy to be here, now.  At the cusp of summer!  A series of photos for you and a recipe to enjoy the wonderfulness of escarole – my favorite all-time salad green!  Enjoy!
First baby carrots – look at this overachiever!

Okay – another baby quail shot – too cute!

So fuzzy!

Onions and potatoes looking soooooo good!  We grow these guys in the biodegradable mulch – what a life-saver!  We weeded the onions today, and knocked the potato beetles into a bucket that Spencer dumped onto the ground and then torched with the flame-weeder.  Now you know how we feel about them!

Tomatoes growing like crazy!  There are tons of little green tomatoes starting – I’d say we’re 2 weeks away from the first cherry tomatoes! 

We spent some time on Monday doing the first round of tomato clipping and pruning – always a very satisfying activity!  Everything is neat and tidy now!

Neat rows of rapidly growing tomatoes!

Update on our house garden – everything is growing so well!  Things feel like they’ve just gotten established and will be really taking off now.  I like the wood chip design…

Our first successful globe alliums!   They are soooo pretty!

Escarole Salad (I feel like it needs a better name – it’s just so incredibly delicious!)
  • 1 head of escarole
  • 1/2 red onion, cut into rings
  • 2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 4 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 oz. crumbled blue cheese (we love Boucher Blue or Gore Dawn Zola)
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces (optional)
  1. Make the dressing.  Combine the balsamic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme leaves.  Blend until smooth.  Chop or crumble cheese, and add to dressing – stir to combine, and let sit while you prepare the escarole.
  2. Chop whole head of escarole, wash and spin.  Place escarole in large bowl.  Pour dressing over leaves, toss with tongs to coat.  
  3. Add onions, and walnuts, if using.  
  4. Plate up and eat.  Enjoy!!!!
  5. This should serve 4, but the two of us always finish it off – it’s sooooooo good!

2 Responses

  1. Pam C-H says:

    I love the contents of my Food Club bag! A special thank you for the recipes. I also loved seeing the photo of "my" special carrot in your blog. How can I ever eat it now?

  2. mara says:

    Eat with abandon, Pam! There'll be more! Thanks for letting me take a picture of it! See you Wednesday!

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