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.
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 other evening, we were out, and when we came back there was a present waiting for us. A farm friend from down south in the land of Greenwood Arkansas swung by, waited, and left leaving a very nice present.
Thank you David for the home-made soap and the home grow loofah! Are you trying to tell us something? For any of you locals, David’s wife makes and sells home-made soaps at Ozark Natural Foods here in Fayetteville. Her brand is called “Dixie Flower Soaps” They are exceptionally delightful, for we have received some of them before. So be sure to check out her products on the shelves.
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.
What’s here? Where? The frost dear reader, the pre-cursor to the dead of winter, it has finally made its frosty disposition known last night. From an unknown source (weather.com), it said that it was only going to dip down to 36°F last night. However, it dipped a few degrees lower than that. Paul went out and cut basil by the bunches before it turned black. We also built a fire. At first it seemed a bit of a stretch at 8pm to be building a fire, but by 6:30 this morning it made sense. Brrrrr! I asked Pat, one of the Missouri angles less you forget how he slept in the RV. He said it was pretty cold. Jake was unavailable for questioning, for he just got a job in the produce section of Ozark Natural Foods, who by the way just installed 20 solar panels!