In the last seven days we have seen many weather extremes that have made farm life interesting. We really didn’t enjoy the stretch of hot weather as it definitely shortened the work day and production levels. Then it was much cooler weather that made everyone feel much better but that was followed by almost three inches of rain. It has been a rather long run of wet days the last few weeks. Seems like it just starts to dry out and it rains again. We have not been able to dig potatoes for a few weeks and now we are out of harvested potatoes. Hopefully we can have some nice sunny days with a little breeze to help dry out the soil because there are still more than plenty in the ground!
All of the shallots have been pulled and we started on the red onions today. One more cycle in the greenhouse and all the onions will be dried for the season. The early planting of winter squash has been cut and piled. Hopefully in the next day or two we can get it all picked up and into storage. We have wagers going among the guys on how many 20 bushel bins we will fill. The high guess is 17 and the low is 8. I would be happy with any of those numbers and only time will tell.
Sadly, watermelons are all done for the year. We really enjoyed some of the sweetest melons we have had in a couple of years. I think it was a combination of a dry June and such warm weather. I know that many people will be asking for them at the market. Cantaloupes have slowed down but warm weather should pick their production back up. Tomatoes are at their peak right now with canning and freezing quantities available.
After a wet and cool market Monday I was inspired to make a warm hearty meal for dinner. Honestly the prep work took longer than the cooking and I think the results were amazing.
2 medium zucchini, cut up
2 ears of corn, cut off the cob
1 large onion, chopped
1 head of garlic, peeled and chopped
4 san marzano tomatoes, diced
Cook the onions and garlic in a frying pan with olive oil. When they are cooked add the rest of the ingredients at medium heat. Cover and stir for a few minutes. Transfer to a Pyrex pan and cook at 400 degrees for another 15 minutes. I added a little balsamic vinegar just before serving it. Sandi and I enjoyed it very much, the girls liked certain veggies more than others! For dessert we had baked apples with a little cinnamon and whipped cream. Nothing fancy but very tasty. Please share some of your favorite recipes and I will include them in the future newsletters.
Tomatoes, admittedly, is not a subject we should be writing about. We are not a tomato-loving household and, as much as we regret it every year, have never prepared our own sauce for preserving. But, we know that there are plenty of you out there who love to can, love to experiment with new dishes or love to create those time-honored family recipes each season.
We would love to hear what your recipes are for preserving and canning tomatoes!
Send us a message on Facebook, Instagram, or leave it right here in the comments of our site. We think if more people like us had more recipes we would be more inclined to try some of them.
If you freeze them or can them just let us know your fall process for tomatoes and we’ll share them with the whole group. Sauce, salsa, purees and whatever else we’re forgetting!
Being that we’re at the acme of tomato season if you are in need of any large quantities of these versatile red fruits to let us know and we’ll arrange farm or market pickup logistics! We have tons of them and they have been sweet and delicious (so we hear….)
That’s right! We’re taking over! Marty’s Birdland Food Truck will be at the Brighton Farmers Market on Sunday August 12th for an amazing meal made with what we grow. We’re so excited for this event and we really want to make sure everyone is there!
Don’t miss this event because it is only happening once! The menu is set and everyone is ready to go, now we just have to wait until Sunday August 12th so we can EAT.
We will still be at the market that day with our tables ready with your weekly local groceries but make sure to come to the market this day hungry.
In other news, we have a new video that was just released. Check it out!
It’s been rather dry until the last few days. We got a very nice soaking rain and didn’t see any washouts or damage to the crops. We did get about a week behind in our transplanting and now that the soil is nice and moist again it’s full steam ahead. We have heavy clay soil and it has many pros and cons. But in a dry year we really shine! In the fall or even early winter we perform our heavy tillage in preparation for the spring. Then when the weather turns in the spring we only disturb the top three to four inches of the soil leaving all that moisture underneath to be saved for dry spells like this. The major con of our heavy soils is a wet year we really struggle.
Today we got caught up with the cherry/grape tomatoes in the high tunnel. We grow them inside to prevent them from cracking and keep the diseases away. The guys got them all weeded and trellised up. I was able to Rototill the drive paths and in between the pumpkins to control the weeds. Soon we are transplanting the last of the cauliflower, fennel, turnips, rutabaga, and broccoli. We are on the home stretch but will still be transplanting for about another month.
A couple big announcements this week!
We are teaming up with Chef Gabe Sanders of Hearth & Cellar for another Feast on the Farm. Sunday, October 7th we will transform the packing shed into a five star restaurant with white linens on the table and a five course meal you’ll be thinking about until next year’s dinner. Tickets are not on sale yet but don’t miss out because people are still talking about last years dinner and want to be first in line for this year!
We are also teaming up with Marty’s Birdland food truck to provide Fisher Hill Farm chicken dinners at the Brighton Farmers Market on Sunday August 12th. We are calling it the Fisher Hill Farm Takeover featuring the best food around.
Sandi celebrated her birthday last week with a day off from market on Sunday to spend her usual market hours completely alone. As much as she loves her kiddos and truly enjoys seeing the customers each week, those few hours of solitude kayaking on the West River were immensely rejuvenating!
New crops this week include broccoli, fennel, and fresh shallots. Hope you enjoyed the corn last week because we sure did and it just keeps getting better from here!
Have you seen this on our table recently? If you’ve been to any of the local farmers markets we bet you have. You may have asked yourself just what it is. Or maybe you thought that it was a zucchini but not sure what kind or what it could taste like.
It’s called Costata Romanesco. And it didn’t take long for the secret to get out. When our chef friend, Gabe, encouraged us to grow this Italian heirloom zucchini this year we were a little nervous when this large, ribbed squash began to take up its own crate on the table. Would the two-tone color and large size scare people off?
Turns out, just two weeks into harvest season and we can’t keep this squash on the table! Members love the very small seeds, the flesh that doesn’t get spongy or have a core even in large sizes and the almost nutty flavor of the skin. Slice one of these ribbed squash for a fun star shape to saute or throw a larger diameter slice right on the grill.
Happy Zucchini Season!
There are so many ideas out there on how to use zucchini on the grill, in a sautee, or even a salad. But we found this recipe and thought it was a bit different and wanted to share!
Food processor recipe makes 2 servings plus 1½ cups leftover pesto!
For the kale pesto:
3 cups chopped kale leaves
¾ cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup pine nuts (toasted or raw)
5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about ⅔ cup)
For the zucchini noodles:
4 medium zucchini
2 tablespoons olive oil
⅓ cup kale pesto (above), plus more for serving
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
Salt and pepper
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about ½ cup), plus more for serving
Grated Parmesan, for serving