What a strange year it’s been weather-wise. First it hits 90 in the beginning of May, now late July feels like fall. The cooler weather definitely makes it a little nicer to work in the fields, though. The vegetables still are coming strong, though, and unfortunately so are the weeds. It seems like this year has been an especially bad one for weeds. The combination of rain and heat has resulted in a real explosion of them. But we’re doing our best to stay on top of them …
This week I’ll introduce you to Odin, the big white dog who sort of looks like a polar bear. Odin is one of the most popular figures here at the farm; it seems like if there’s one thing that people remember about the farm when they visit, it’s Odin. Last summer, a writer from Vogue stayed with us for a week and wrote (quite briefly) about her experience for the magazine. Odin was the only being from the farm whose picture made the cut. Odin is a Maremma, a breed of livestock guardian dogs that originated in Italy. He came to the farm as a puppy 3 years ago to help protect the chickens and generally has done a good job (although we did have a problem with a fox earlier this spring). I’m sure anyone who has met Odin finds it funny to think of him as any sort of guard dog as he spends most of his time lounging around the farm. Usually you can tell where he is by the loud snores that he emits! Hopefully you’ve had a chance to meet Odin; while he certainly is big, he’s also one of the friendliest dogs I’ve ever met!
Pan-Cooked Summer Greens
1 to 2 bunches Swiss chard or Kale, washed, dried and cut into thin strips, stalks discarded
1 tbs olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced (scallions can substitute here)
2 tbs soy suace
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Steam greens until bright, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain. Immediately immerse greens in a bowl of ice water for 30 seconds and drain again. Set the cooled greens aside.
2. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Add the greens and toss gently to combine well. Continue to cook for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the amount of greens.
3. Add soy sauce, and salt and pepper. Gently toss ingredients and cook for 1 to 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat and serve at once.
Recipe from Half Pint Farm courtesy of Dishing Up Vermont
Play around with stuffing zucchini to see what you like the best. Here’s a recipe from our CSA cookbook, From Asparagus to Zucchini
6 or 7 medium zucchini
3 tbs butter
1 small onion, chopped (a couple scallions would work too)
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
3/4 cup greshly grated Parmesan cheese
4 teasppons fresh sweet marjoram
1/4 cup fresh parsley
salt & pepper to taste
2 eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 375. Wash zucchini, cut off and discard ends and steam until just tender. Cool. Split lengthwise, scoop out pulp (reserve), turn upside down and let drain. Mash pulp. Heat butter in skillet, add onion and garlic, and saute until softened. Add squash pulp, bread crumbs, 1/2 cup of the cheese, herbs and seasonings. Add eggs and cook until mixture thickens. Stuff into zucchini shells, top with remaining cheese and place in a buttered casserole. Bake until browned, 20-25 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature. Makes 6-8 servings.
Kohlrabi, Corn, and Tomato Saute
4 cups diced kohlrabi
2 tbs butter
1 cup corn kernels
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 tbs minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper
Blanch or steam the kohlrabi until tender crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large saute pan, and saute the corn, tomatoes, scallions, garlic, parsley, and chili powder for 2 minutes. Add the kohlrabi and saute for another 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot.
From the Joy of Gardening Cookbook
That’s all for this week. As always, please send along any favorite recipes you may have. Or just post them in the comments section!
Have a good one!