Saturday, September 21, 2013

Kiwi berries

This has been an exciting week here at the farm. We picked and packed kiwi berries.

Four years ago we bought and planted vines. Since then we have been watering pruning fertilizing and waiting. Those years of work with little to no reward are starting to pay off. We finally have enough of a crop to include them in the CSA share, to sell retail at the two farmers market we participate in.

Kiwi Berries are a small variety of the kiwi fruit with an edible skin. They are best eaten when the skin is wrinkled and they yield to pressure.   Really, the softer the better. As they soften they get more  and more sweet. Leave at room temperature to ripen.

This upcoming week is the last pickup.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

2013 week 14

Please excuse my absence from blogging. 

Three cheers for WATERMELON!  Hip Hip Hooray!  Watermelon you were worth the wait!

This week you will find black garlic in your share from Obis One, a farm in Pennsville.  To learn more about black garlic and for some recipes check out their website. Defintely have to try the Orzo, Cherry Tomatoe, Black Garlic Recipe.  Amazing!

Sweet corn harvest in morning light.
We are starting the downward slope of the season.  Time that was used for planting and prunning is now being used for tearing down and cleaning up. 

The crew is pulling up stakes and stacking them on the wagon for next year.

Phil is mowing the tomatoes with the bush hog.
On one hand we still have a long way to go. We have a tomato field and eggplant field that we haven't even started harvesting, ready in 2 weeks.  But on the other hand many fields are finished and need to be cleaed up.  Tomato field one and two just had the stakes pulled out and are being mowed up and plastic lifted, as we speak. 

Dreaming of the fall and PUMPKINS!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Eggplant Pasta Recipe

  • Eggplant breaded and fried is a perennial favorite and reliable stand by, but I rarely have the patience and time for that.  Here is a simple, quick, delicious weeknight dinner that will have you appreciating eggplant in an all new way. 

    Here we go.

     Then, dice your eggplant.
     Chop an onion and garlic clove.
     Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and add the eggplant, onion, and garlic. You're going to want to cook it until the eggplant gets that ugly squooshy look to it and the other veggies are softened.
     Dice 2 large or 3 medium tomatoes.
     Add the tomatoes to the pan and a some fresh chopped basil.
     Simmer on low while the pasta cooks.

    Add the eggplant sauce to the pasta and fold in until the noodles are coated.
    For added flavor, load this sucka up with parmesan cheese.

    1 box of pasta (I used ziti this time, I have also used spaghetti, anything will work)
    1 medium eggplant, diced into small cubes
    1 small red onion, chopped fine
    1 clove garlic, minced
    2-3 cups diced tomatoes 
    Fresh Basil
    Parmeggiano Reggiano, grated
    Olive oil
    Salt and Pepper, to taste

    1. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and add the eggplant, onion, and garlic. You're going to want to cook it until the eggplant gets that ugly squooshy look to it and the other veggies are softened.
    2. Add more olive oil and turn the heat up to medium high until the eggplant gets browned, about 5-7 more minutes.
    3. Add the tomatoes and turn the heat back down to simmer while the pasta cooks (6-8 minutes)
    1. Toss the pasta in boiling salted water for until al dente. Drain in a colander and return the pasta to the pot.
    2. Add the eggplant sauce to the pasta and fold in until the noodles are coated.
    3. For added flavor, load this sucka up with parmesan cheese and sprinkle with fresh chopped basil.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

2013 week 10

Full Share

This weeks share:

Corn-- It's back in the share.  The ears are shorter than normal, the plant was under a lot of stress during an important part of the growth cycle, in turn making shorter ears of corn.  The corn is still good and sweet, just small in stature.

Cantaloupe Debut! Eric an I ate an entire cantaloupe yesterday.  Half for lunch, half for bedtime snack.

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes!  The grape tomatoes are ready for you-pick in the tunnel! 


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

2013 week 9

Full Share:Eggplant, blueberries, green bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash. (missing from the pic: green beans)

This weeks share introduces eggplant and peppers and tomatoes!

The corn is missing from the share this week.  
Lingering effects of the rain.  Some crops suffered from disease while others, like this corn, are missing the water-soluble nutrients that were washed through the soil. 
In the end, the watermelon field was not salvageable.  Pop-Pop mowed up the field with the bush hog.  Sad. Very Sad.  There will be no Buzby watermelon this July. 
This is our second watermelon field.  Hope for the future, middle of August future.

The sea of rotten cantaloupes in the sort-out pile.  While it is disheartening to see these lopes go to waste.  Our field pulled through it and we are now picking a few melons and each day looks better.
  Our pepper field is suffering from Phytophthora.  We haven't had substantial phytophthora losses in over a decade.  Proudly attributing this success to proper soil husbandry which enable our soils to absorb heavy rain with puddles rarely forming.  However, our soils were no match for the intense rain we had this June.  Many of these peppers had water over the raised beds, which is simply a recipe for disaster.  It has been a humbling experience.

 Phytophthora is a devastating disease that spreads like wild fire.  We are doing what we can to prevent the spread.  Removing diseased plants and cutting the raised bed to prevent it from traveling through the soil.  We are now engaged in a race against time to glean what we can while it lives.

Some good news the eggplant field looks great!
Other good news, its heirloom tomato time.  Yum-O!

Good thing we are busy packing a boat load of tomatoes.  No time to dwell on these trials.

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

2013 week 8

This weeks share

Just normal kinda produce this week.  Nothing too bizzare that requires an explanation.

The news of the week.

Sunday, June 30 around 12:30 we received 3.7 inches of rain in one hour.

It was a sight to see.

And then Monday was .5 inch more.

Rain.  Rain.  Rain.

For a total 13.5 inches in the last 30 days.

We are all a getting a little beat down and discouraged.  It's hard to watch the crops that you have cared for and nurtured get damaged so harshly.

 Today wagon load after wagon load of rotten melons were carted out of the field.  It was just plain sad.  The melons just don't like all this rain but the fungus and molds love it.

But do you know the cool thing about this photo-- it shows our resilient spirit.   My husband and father-in-law are ever the optimists.  Sending the crew out there to pick up all the rotting, foul smelling melons and getting them out of the field. Investing more work in a what some might say is a lost cause. For the chance, the just maybe, that something good can still come from this field.

We could throw in the towel and give up on the melon field. Leave these rotting corpses in the field. Throw our hands up in defeat.

But something in us keeps trying, keeps hoping, keeps working. Maybe we are hard-headed (the Buzby's are known for their hard-headedness).

Yes, we are saddened by the rain, but the great thing about farmers is we love hard work.  When the going gets tough, the tough get going.  We are putting our heads down and working hard.  Working hard to pull out of this mess.

When the negative thoughts are overwhelming, keep your hands busy and keep your mind focused on the positive.

As Grandmom Daily used to sing in the packing house. . . "Accentuate the Positive, Eliminate the Negative"

Matthew 6 (NIV)

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

2013 week 7


For all you folks who love your sweet corn, happy day to you. . . it's here!

It's New Jersey Blueberry season! Yippee!  The Pine Barrens of Atlantic and Burlington counties grow the best blueberries.  The berries in your share come from Hammonton, New Jersey.  

Did you know New Jersey is second, only to Michigan in blueberry production for the United States?

Parsley- a lovely herb that brightens flavor.  It is just wonderful added to so many dishes.
Have you ever made Chimichurri sauce for your steak, chicken, fish or pasta? It's amazing. 
Here are some recipes to try with Parsley

Chimichurri Recipe from Simply Recipes
Tabbouleh Recipe from Ina Garten
Parsley Tea to aide digestion
 Cucumber, Onion, Parsley Salad from Kalyn's Kitchen

 We are seeing the ill effects of all this rain.  Water laying in the field is not good.  We are pretty certain these peppers will not survive in this wet part of the field.

 To much rain is effecting the pickle crop as well, mold and fungus love to grow in wet areas
But we look to the future with hope for some dry, sunny days.
 Happy Summer!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

2013 week 6

We are up to almost 9 inches of rain for the month of June.

The legendary Case 730 Comfort King. When the going gets tough the tough get the 730.  When other tractors get stuck in the mud, everyone around here know to go get the 730.  In the mud this tractor is a BEAST.  Rated at 56 horsepower and weighing in at 7000lbs the 730 can out-work larger tractors.

Once, our John Deere 2840 (80hp, 9000lbs) got stuck while pulling a fertilizer spreader.  The 730 came to the rescue.  Greg hooked up the chain and started pulling before Pop-pop had a chance to put the John Deere in gear. The 730 pulled out the John Deere AND the spreader while the John Deere was in neutral!

Love this tractor!
We still have to keep going through all this rain.  The turnips and pickles still need to be harvested and packed every single day.  We gear up and get the work done.

Other jobs around the farm just don't get done when it is raining: pruning, staking, tying.

But we are still able to stay busy.  The tunnel tomatoes are pruned and clipped whilst the rain.  The  packing line has been thoroughly scrubbed and is in the process of getting pre-season maintenance.  Shop projects like the trash belts are coming along. There is always work to be done on a farm.

Romaine- I know it has been in the share for 6 weeks.  This weather has been good for the lettuce not too hot.

Rainbow Carrots- Aren't they just so pretty! Just use them like regular carrots.  Yum!

Beets- I love roasted beets. Here is my favorite recipe.

Broccoli/Cauliflower-  I was hoping to have enough of both so everyone got 2 heads of both, but remember back in early spring we had a spell of nice warm weather and then it snowed.  Well, we had planted the broccoli and cauliflower right before the snow.  The harsh weather killed about half the crop. :(  Anyway we are happy we have some to harvest.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

2013 week 5

Wet N' Wild

What a week we've had.  We've had nearly 6 inches of rain in the last couple of days.  Most vegetables prefer about 1 inch a week.  Needless to say we are all feeling a little water-logged. 

Thankful for our sandy soils in this kind of weather pattern. Water generally goes right through.  Even so, tractors have been getting stuck in the mud, making unwanted ruts.  Rain suits and boots are getting lots of use. 

Since the weather has been so unpredictable, we were thankful for a break in the rain for our farm tour.  Saturday afternoon the sun came out and it was BEAUTIFUL!  Thank you to every one who came.  We had a lovely time getting to know you and sharing the farm with you. 

 This weeks share. Not pictured pick-your-own snap peas and flowers.

Kirby Pickles are making another appearance.

Yellow Squash- I just love yellow squash cooked with onion!  Or Here is a link to a satisfying yellow squash casserole.

Zucchini- This may be the week to make THE BEST STUFFED ZUCCHINI EVER.

Spring Onion- They are fresh and not dried, meaning you need to use them up within a week.  And keep them in the fridge until you are ready to use them. 

Cabbage- I've already made coleslaw.  And I have an Asian Slaw recipe in the meal plan for later this week. Cabbage is also great cooked in soups and stews

Basil- like to be stored in water, like flowers. Eric and I totally apologize for having Basil in the share and no tomatoes.  Our bad.  Miscalculation.  Can you help us out by being creative with your basil this week.--- I'm thinking basil pesto, basil hummus.  What else can we do with basil?

Friday, June 7, 2013

My All Time Favorite Salad

Shout out to my good friend Rachael who first introduced me to this salad quite a few years back.  Rachael and I share much in common, our love of food, trying new recipes, and browsing cookbooks.  Throughout our friendship she has introduced me to many wonderful foods: BBQ chicken nachos, Cheesecake Factory Factory Burrito, Bean Corn Salsa, Iced Lattes, Death by Chocolate Cupcakes, Amish Market Donuts, and the list goes on.   Gosh, writing all this makes me NEED a girls night out with my girls!  Love you Rachael! This one is for you.

My All Time Favorite Salad

First grill some chicken.  

During the last couple minutes of cooking slather in BBQ sauce.

While the chicken is grilling cut up 1 onion, 1 red, and 1 green pepper.  I make this salad in the winter with Buzby peppers that I froze.

Saute the peppers and onions with a little bit of olive oil. 
Don't forget to season with salt and pepper.
 Now take the sugar snap peas you picked and cut the top off.
Steam the sugar snap peas for a couple minutes.
Now its time to assemble the salad. Start by making a nice big pile of romaine leaves on your dinner plate.
Add some slices of BBQ grilled chicken.
 Next add the peppers and onions.
 Then the sugar snap peas.
 The next layer is cheese! Provolone cheese.  Cut into strips.
 Add cheese slices to salad.
 Now this is when the magic happens. 
 Add a couple globs of dressing.  You won't believe how good this flavor combination is.  The crisp lettuce with the warm chicken, peppers, and snap peas, then the cheese melts from the warmth of the chicken. Then the tangy blue cheese!  It's amazing.
 Now for the kids I keep all the ingredients separate.  They like it like that.
 Oh yeah!

Feel free to modify with a different dressing if blue cheese isn't your thing, but I do believe you will be missing out.

Happy Cooking!