SNOW DAY!…(again). Where was this snow in December when I wanted it? Now that it’s March, seeds in the ground, it’s hardly the ideal weather. However, it is giving me the opportunity to catch up on…this? Yes, this and a few other things that I’ve been meaning to do. We have had some cool volunteers come and go since January, so let me take some time to let you know about them.
This is Evan (Ohio). Megan, and John(California). They were all here around the same time, late Jan., early Feb. Evan is still around, but will leave us April 1.
They did all sorts of planting, seen here putting in potatoes.
Jennan came here from Austin for her Spring Break. Although she was only here for a week, she helped on a lot of tasks around the farm.
This is Brian, he’s local, but really interested in the farm way of life.
We’ve been planting, and taking time out here and there because this spring it is actually acting like spring! It’s been a few years, right Arkansas! The last few years, it got warm very early, good for crops, not for bugs. Hopefully this will make our summer more mild…I’m no mystic, but I like to be optimistic. (rhyme time!) But we are back to our usual up and down weather pattern typical for this area.
Our CSA, Northwest Arkansas Local Harvest, is wrapping up. We have three more deliveries including today, and then we get a much needed two weeks off (more or less) until we are back out in it growing clean local produce for the community! A hearty THANKS!!!! is due to the WWOOF pack for all of their hard work and diligence throughout the year, and to our customers, who believe in their local farmer and invest in such a unique relationship! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I’m going to add pictures, but I have to go deliver, duty calls, but check back in!!!
Here in the United States (I’m having a lot of traffic today from Eastern Europe), we celebrate our Thanksgiving on the third thursday in November. Well, tomorrow is the big day where we stuff our faces with the most heavy, butter laden foods known to man and amazingly enough we don’t feel sorry for it. Traditionally the meal consists of a turkey with lots of side dishes, and my favorite part…the DESSERT! I usually make pumpkin pie, but this year I’m going out on a limb and trying a southern classic…pecan pie? No, Sweet Potato Pie. I googled a recipe, and as you know when you do something like that you get thousands. Everyone has their own spin on this type of pie, and a lot of them had corn syrup as an ingredient. Now, I don’t care if the recipe has been passed down from your great great great granny, I doubt she used corn syrup, and I personally don’t want to eat it. So, after a diligent search, I found a recipe that I will use tomorrow for my pie.
Sweet Potato Pie Recipe
(Taste of Home)
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup evaporated milk
- 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 unbaked pastry shell (9 inches)
- In a bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs; mix well. Add milk, sweet potatoes, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; mix well. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°; bake 35-40 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool. Store in refrigerator. Yield: 6-8 servings.
Nutritional Facts1 serving (1 slice) equals 372 calories, 18 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 86 mg cholesterol, 300 mg sodium, 48 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 6 g protein.
I added the nutritional content from the recipe, but don’t pay attention to those facts, your mouth will be rejoicing with the flavor!
There are many people out there who DO NOT like cilantro, there are even websites dedicated to those who HATE cilantro. Well, I’m not one of those people, in fact I’m PRO cilantro. I’m glad cilantro only grows in the spring and the fall, otherwise my kids would join the other cilantro camp because it would be a part of every meal! I want to share today my favorite way to enjoy cilantro: Cilantro Pesto!
All you need to make this delicious concoction is some cilantro, a food processor, salt, garlic, and olive oil. You might be asking yourself, self, is this like making basil pesto? And your self will answer back, YES! If you go online, there are many recipes to choose from, and I say pick one. If it has too many ingredients, skip it, because the flavor of the pesto will be covered up. Here is how we make it:
1 large bunch of cilantro
salt to taste
1 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves
Place all ingredients in food processor, blend until incorporated. Taste it to see if it meets your needs. More salt? More garlic? And oui, là!
Toss this pesto with some freshly prepared pasta, or rice. We put it on everything! A dollop on some salad, a smear on a burrito, even on pizza!
Cilantro lovers unite! Try this tasty alternative to basil pesto, and this yummy way to enjoy the love of my life which is, cilantro!
You know it has been a long season, when your plants start producing magical, yet comical fruits. They must be saying to us, sit down and have a laugh, it’s almost over.
Not only are there penguin peppers, but peppers with funny noses:
These peppers are doing their job, showing us that plants can have a sense of humor too!
We’ve been really busy here on the farm, our main project right now, on top of EVERYTHING else is re-erecting the Mothership. If you aren’t a 2-greenthumbs superfan, let me fill you in. Last march our hoop house, the Mothership, was blown down in what we later found out was a F1 tornado. Look back into my archives, there were pictures and tears shed. But NOW we are putting a new Mothership back up, better than ever. There were lots of hands involved in this, there are some pictures on my other farm blog Ozark Alternatives and I will add some more here as well.
I would just like to add that we also pulled the roof up and over! There are no pictures of that, because all hands were on deck. FARM LIFE!
Here on the farm we have been really busy. We wrapped up one CSA season with good company and tall cans, and rolled on into the fall season with more good company. I tried to think about the number of people who have shuffled through our door this season with the WWOOF program, or otherwise…and I couldn’t get an accurate count. To those of you who know that you have been here, thanks. I’ve enjoyed feeding and gossiping with you all. I’ve really been enjoying this fall weather here in Fayette-town. So mild, yet not quite coat weather. For me, this signals apple season. Apple pie, apple crisp/crumble, apple turnovers, apple sauce, apple muffins, on and on.
Here is a recipe for apple turnovers that is easy, and delicious
- 1 large tart baking apple (such as Granny Smith), peeled, cored, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 3 Tbsp dried currants
- 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon corn starch
- 1/4 cup apple sauce
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 frozen puff pastry sheet, thawed OR 2 pâte brisée dough recipes (enough for a double crust pie)
- 2 Tbsp butter, cut into bits
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon milk
1 Put oven rack in lower third of oven and pre-heat oven to 400°F. Butter a large baking sheet (or use Silpat).
2 In a medium bowl, mix together apples, currants, and walnuts with the sugar, cinnamon, and corn starch, making sure the fruit and nuts are well coated. Mix in the apple sauce and vanilla.
3a Unfold the thawed pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Depending on the size of your puff pastry sheet you are going to want to cut the sheet into either four 5-inch-by-5-inch or six 4-inch-by-4-inch squares.
3b Roll out your pie dough on a lightly floured surface to a 16×11 inch rectangle. Trim the edges to 15×10 inches and cut into six 5×5-inch squares.
4 Divide the apple mixture among the squares, leaving a 1-inch border. If you are using an already prepared puff pastry sheet, dot the mixture in each pastry with a little butter. (If you are using a butter pie dough, you can skip adding the extra butter.) In a small bowl mix the beaten egg with a teaspoon of milk. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg mixture on the border of the pastry.
5 Fold each pastry into a triangle, enclosing the filling, and crimp edges with a fork. Brush the tops of the pastries with more of the egg wash. Cut 2 or 3 small steam vents in the top of each turnover.
6 Place the pastries in the oven and bake at 400°F for 20 minutes, or until puffed and golden.
Cool turnovers to warm before serving.
If you have extra time (because we all have loads of this right?) try your favorite apple recipe and fill your house with the smells of the season!
The weather has cooled slightly, instead of being 100+ degrees, it has dropped into the 90’s! Some people don’t feel a difference, it’s HOT any way you look at it, but for those who work out in it, it makes a difference. Plants hae bounced back, insects are flying around again, and we even got a little rain. We wasted no time and got back out into the field, prepping and planting.
Planting a salad mix, and laying the drip line.
Covering the seeds up.
“Sweet Jane”, came to us all the way from the great land of Long Island. When she left here the other day, she had to return to start school again. I don’t think she was very excited about it, she said that she’d rather stay in the field. I agree, since I too am in school, and would rather be in the field as well.
The chickens are feeling the difference in the heat as well, their egg production is back up.
When the weather gets nice, people do some crazy things. Here in the yard we got our PLANT on. We tackled collectively the victory garden beds in front of my house. We planted all sorts of seeds, different lettuces, different herbs, and I’m sure there was something else I’m forgetting : )
This side of the row: REEM.
That side of the row: also REEM.
That one there, with her tounge hanging out is our newest WWOOF’er Alice. She comes to us from the great state of California.
Plant everybody, plant.
When you get help that is OCD, they make sure the lines are straight!
Thanks again to all that came and helped. It was fun having a few new faces appear.
BAM! Teamwork is awesome!
Our neighbor, Sir Richard Orr (The lion-hearted), is a certified arborist. We needed his help the other day trimming trees, specifically the fruit orchard that we put the chickens on. Those trees had never been trimmed and were in need of serious help.
Richard’s advice was to get Zen with it. Here he is telling Jake about the exciting world of tree trimming.
Richard let everyone have an opportunity to make cuts.
Phone went ding*
As you can see, these trees got a TRIM!
The Master at work.
Grace is taking a picture of her feet right here. I found it funny to look over and see this happening.
The chickens were eating the blossoms. It looked really pretty to see them frolicking among the downed branches.
This was a different kind of tree than the others. It had a whole new set of challenges, but remember: ZEN.
Almost done with this mad tangle of a tree: zen zen zen zen zen zen zen zen zen!!!!!!!!
And last, but not least, Isaac showed up to hold a chicken. AAAAWWWWWWWWWW. That chicken was very zen.