Monday, July 21, 2014

Basil Pesto. Soooo good!

What to do with that large amount of basil? My answer. Pesto. Period.
 Let's make the pesto.
 Add 3/4 cup of basil leaves to the food processor bowl.
 Add 1/2 cup parmesan cheese.
 Add 3 Tablespoons pine nuts (you could use walnuts, instead)
 Add 2 cloves garlic.
 Put the lid on and turn on the food processor.  While it's on drizzle in 1/3 cup of olive oil.
 Beautiful! Now if you stop here you have Pesto.  Yum.  You could add this straight to drained pasta and it would be delicious or to take it to another level.
 Heat 1/2 cup of cream and 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan and add the pesto.
 Stir in an extra 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese.
 Put your drained pasta in a bowl. 
 Pour over the pesto cream sauce.

 Add some diced tomatoes to the hot pasta and warm pesto sauce.
Dig into this wonderfulness!

Basil Pesto Cream Sauce
3/4 cup fresh basil leaves
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup cream
2 tablespoons butter
12 oz pasta, such as fusilli, cooked al dente
2 large tomatoes, diced

To make the pesto: Add the basil, 1/2 cup parmesan, pine nuts, garlic to a food processor.  Turn on the machine and slowly drizzle in the olive oil to make a nice puree. Season with salt and pepper.

To make the cream sauce: Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan and drop in the butter. Then pour the pesto right in. Stir together and just simmer for a few minutes.  At the end add the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.

Put the drained pasta in a large serving bowl. Pour on the pesto cream sauce. Then add the diced tomatoes. Toss together and serve right away.


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Meet your farmer - Part 2

A Continuation of Get to Know your Farmer Series: 
Farmer Eric Buzby

I was born to a couple of adventurous start-up farmers. My parents brought me home from the hospital to a condemned house. I remember, when I was maybe three or four, pushing my tricycle to the top of the kitchen floor, hopping on and squealing with delight as I coasted down hill to the other side of the kitchen. The floor was sinking. That section of the house had no foundation and every year Dad had to trim the door a little smaller to fit the shrinking doorframe. We were pretty much poor, but I never knew it, never cared. I was happy to be with my parents. They were both there all the time. I never remember either of them going away, ever. Both of them worked on the farm, we lived on the farm, and we really didn't have much reason, or financial ability to travel much. We were just there. Together. I have two younger brothers who really were my best friends and playmates. We rode bikes, played in the woods, ran barefoot down the lane. Simple living, really.

Andy and Eric playing tractors.
I had my first taste of farming at the age of 10. My dad granted me the use of a 3/4 acre field adjacent to our house. He advised me to grow watermelon. I started the transplants from seed. He did the work that I was unable to do. Such as plowing, laying out the irrigation, forming beds, laying the plastic, transplanting the plants, and irrigating.......... in retrospect, he basically did most of the work. I was responsible for three very important jobs: hoeing the weeds, picking them, and... (here comes the good part) selling them. I set up a roadside stand in front of my friends house on Kings Highway. By the end of the summer I had sold $800 of watermelon. I now considered myself independently wealthy. I was able to buy my own (well used) dirt bike for $475 and still had enough left over to fix it up. This was an important lesson for me about the value of farming. I now know that it's not as easy when you have to do ALL of the work, not just pick and sell, but still, it's a thrill to know that what we grow is valuable to others. Our friends and neighbors are willing, even glad to pay for quality fresh produce.

As a high school senior, I found myself confronted with the big decision. Where to go to college. Whether I should even go to college. School had never been a joy to me. I preferred to be outside. However, I was strong in math and science and accordingly was accepted by the University of Delaware and Rutgers as a Mechanical Engineering student. After being accepted, I was struggling to feel comfortable with the idea of actually working as an engineer. Machinery had always enticed me, but the thought of hours in an office made my palms sweat.

There was another factor at play here. My girlfriend of three years was a serious cutie. Smart (top of our class), graceful, a farm girl herself. A real keeper. As I thought about starting a family with her, I harkened back to my early years, running barefoot down the lane, seeing my parents work and having access to them all day, everyday. I wanted my children to experience that. With farming in mind, I switched my major to Bioresources Engineering. My cute girlfriend agreed to marry and we had our wedding my Junior year. Was it difficult being married in college? Not as difficult as being apart from this girl another day. We sure stick together to this day and always.

Wedding Day
High School Homecoming

My motivation for farming comes down to two things: family and meaningful work. The seed of family togetherness was planted in me as a child and grows strong within me today. To know that we're together in this makes all the difference. I wouldn't .... couldn't do it alone. And as far as meaningful work, people have three basic needs right? Food. Shelter. Clothing. Food is first on the list! It's so basic. Everyone needs it. I have noticed how some people are getting upset these days about certain types of food and how they are produced. I asked myself why are they so upset about this? and I began to realize more than ever that food is more than just a basic need. It's deeply personal. You are what you eat. Knowing this, I feel deeply honored to have the privilege of growing food. It's a responsibility I don't take lightly. I'm glad to be a part of this great, time-honored profession of farming and I cherish each day I can do it.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

2014 week 7

June comes to a close and July marches in.  This week we transplanted the pumpkins.  This basically wraps up planting season for us! Now begins the intense harvest season.  The next eight weeks will be hot, intense, laborious, and so exciting.  We will be sweating, we will be tired, and we will sleep well with the satisfaction of feeding thousands of people everyday.

New to the share this week:
Sweet Corn-  For the best flavor eat your corn as soon as possible.  I mean the same day you pick up.  If you can.

Although, if you can't eat your corn that night leave the husk on and store it in your refrigerator.  Refrigeration really helps to slow down the loss of the corns sweetness.  We have had many customers tell us that they leave their unshucked corn in the fridge for up to 7 days and it still tastes great!
To prepare your corn, husk and wash the corn.  Bring a big pot of water to boil.  Toss the ears in, cook for about 5 minutes.
What I normally end up doing is tossing the ears in the boiling water, bring it back to a boil, and then shutting the burner off.  Then I just let the corn sit in the water until we are ready to eat.  This way the corn stays warm until I need it.

Corn is going to be a regular in the share for July and August.  If you ever have a week when you can't eat all the corn or it just isn't fitting into your meal plan. Freeze it!  It is so easy. Just cut the corn off the cob, stick it in a freezer bag, and toss it in the freezer. Done! If you're feeling extra ambitious, you can date the bag. Once you get used to eating this frozen corn, you will be ruined for all other frozen corn.

Blueberries- these beauties are from Hammonton, NJ -- known as the blueberry capital of the world!
How will you use your blueberries: pancakes, muffins, cobblers, fruit salad, right out of the container?