Thursday, August 23, 2012

Grilled Cantaloupe. . .Who knew?

Grilled Cantaloupe. Its yummy.

 -Take 1 cantaloupe, slice parallel to the equator.  I got 5 slices from 1 cantaloupe.
-Scoop out the seeds.
-Fire up the grill to medium heat.
-Make sure your grill is super clean, you don't want any meat flavored cantaloupe!
-Grill for 3-5 minutes per side, or until you get nice grill marks.
-When you flip to the 2nd side sprinkle a little brown sugar on the top.  2 Tablespoons of brown sugar is enough for the five slices.  It will melt on the hot lope and oh, baby, yum!

-Remove from grill and place each slice on a separate plate.
-Fill the center with vanilla ice cream!
-Serve as the warm cantaloupe starts to melt the ice cream!

Such a fun new way to enjoy your melon!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

It is time to plant the Strawberries

It's August.

We are up to our eyeballs with work, picking and packing all your favorite summer fruits and veggies.  

But at the same time we are thinking about next season.

Especially next strawberry season. 

Strawberry plants reproduce by sending out daughter plants or "shoots."  In June, after we are finished harvesting the juicy berries we go out and cut these "shoots" and put them in cold storage. 

We pull them out of cold storage in the middle of August and plant them to be next years strawberry crop.

The strawberry plants take special care.  This is a propagation bed.  The misters above the plants keep the leaves moist while the shoots grow roots.

 Each shoot or tip is carefully placed in the growing medium. Then we baby them for the next couple weeks.

-they get misted every 10 minutes for 10 seconds during the day
-they have a shade cloth over them for the first day, to help ease the transition
-the ventilation fan runs continuously to help prevent fungal diseases.

All this to get the roots growing.

Look at how much the roots have grown after just one week!

Three more weeks in the greenhouse and they will be ready to move to their new home in the field.

For the number people, 14520 strawberry plants per acre. We are growing 24,000 plants ourselves, (actually 25.500, just in case) and buying an additional 8,000 plants from a supplier for a total of 32,000  strawberry plants on 2.2 acres. High hopes.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

2012 CSA Week #16

SugarBaby Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Red Cubanelle Peppers, Green Tomatoes, Red Tomatoes, Yellow Peaches, Sweet Corn, (not pictured PYO flowers, herbs, hot peppers)

Here we are WEEK #16.

We are enjoying this mild August weather! To quote Pop-Pop Buzby, "This is good weather for WORKING!"  To quote Farmer Andy, "Man, it is a beautiful day, I think you all should pay me for letting you work outside today!"  Haha.  Can you tell we love our job!  What a privilege to work out in this wonderful world we live in, the sun, fresh air, dirt.  We wouldn't want it any other way.

We have gotten about 5 inches of rain so far this August.  The corn is loving it, I just hope the pumpkins make it through this wet spell.

This originally came to me as a Jalapeño popper recipe.  Recently we have started filling cubanelles with it.  Both ways are amazing! 

This is what my father-in-law, Farmer Andy has to say about Stuffed Cubanelles, "I could eat about 10 feet of the that!"  

The filling:
One 8 oz block of cream cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
dash of chili powder
dash of garlic powder.

Mix the above and use to fill all kinds of peppers.  For cubanelles bake at 400 until cheese is melty and the peppers are getting some browned edges, about 20-30 minutes. Feel free to use what ever cheese you have, switch out the cheddar for monetary, YUM!

Farmer Andy prefers this filling in red cubanelle peppers.  I cut them in half length wise and take the seeds out, and then smoosh some filling in.  

I enjoy using the cheese mixture to make my own jalapeño poppers. I bake the jalapeños at  300 for little bit longer, 40-50 minutes.  

It is amazing in any hot pepper!


Monday, August 20, 2012

Grilled Green Tomatoes with Herbed Cream Cheese

I have a lovely recipe to share with you that is E-A-S-Y and oh so good.

I got it from a new cookbook (Thanks Maggie and Martha).  These two were raving over these grilled green tomatoes,  I had to give them a try!

Grilled Green Tomato with Herbed Cream Cheese  
adapted from "The Gardener & The Grill the Bounty of the Garden meets the Sizzle of the Grill" by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig

One 8oz block of creamed cheese, at room temperature
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons of chopped fresh basil
2 Tablespoons of chopped fresh chives
4 green tomatoes, thickly sliced
Olive Oil

Preheat your grill to a medium-hot temperature.  In a bowl, blend the cream cheese, with garlic, basil, and chives together until smooth.

Lay the tomato slices out on a baking sheet.  Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, on both sides.

Grill the tomatoes on one side 3-5 minutes, or until the tomatoes have good grill marks.  Then flip and grill on the other side the same way.  Keep the grill open while grilling the tomatoes.  

Take the tomato slices off the grill and then put a dollop of the cream cheese mixture on each tomato.  Serve hot with the melting cream cheese oozing off the tomato!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

CSA 2012 week 13

This weeks share starting at the top going clockwise: sugar baby watermelon, 12 ears of corn, 4 cubanelle peppers, yellow peaches, eggplant, 3lbs tomatoes. (Not pictured) PYO flowers, herbs, grape tomatoes, and hot peppers.

New this week *Peaches*

The peaches this week are from Larchmont Farms on Rt 77. Elmer, NJ

The peaches need a day or two on the counter to ripen. Or keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.

5 ways you can tell it is August around the farm

#1 the weeds- Around this time of year the weeds in every field are out of control.  We are doing our best to keep them out of our late field of eggplants, tomatoes, and pumpkins.  But the farm has definitely lost that clean spring look.

#2 The corn planter is put away-  We have been planting corn on a regular basis since April, but now the corn planter is tucked away in the storage building.  It depends on the weather, but we should have corn through the end of September.

#3 The bush hog comes to work. . . to clean up some fields.  We use the bush hog to chop up the fields when we are through with them.  We have already chopped up the first 2 cantaloupe fields. Next on the list the first tomato field. Oh and lots of corn has been chopped up too.

#4 Red and Yellow Peppers-  The colored peppers take a long time to ripen.  A pepper plant first makes a green bell pepper and then as it sits on the plant the pepper continues to ripen and turn those beautiful shades of red or yellow that we all love.

#5 The farm workers are all a little bleary eyed.  Everyone is pushing the limits of exhaustion.  The to-do list is long and never finished.  The jokes in the packing house get sillier. And everyone is starts dreaming of a fall vacation