surrealestate: (Sentient Broccoli)
I thought my last post on the subject would be the last haul, but I was happily mistaken. Thanksgiving weekend, Steve let us known the fields were still open and there was plenty left out there, so JV and I headed over. Mark was going to come, too, but he'd run nine miles with me that morning and couldn't walk. So we gave him a pass on that one.

Weather was perfect for picking. We started in one of the satellite fields where frosts had pushed the giant turnips up to the surface, which made for blissfully easy harvesting. We could have brought home a truckload of turnips if we'd had a truck (and a reason to take that many). The field also had fennel, mustard greens, and arugula, though the latter two were already too bitter for my personal tastes. Back to the main fields, we found the pumpkin patch and rummaged through to find plenty, dug up carrots, parsnips, beets, and leeks, cut broccoli, chard, and purple caabbage, and found some of the sweetest lettuce ever. Steve also gave me some mushrooms he'd foraged. All in all, an absurdly productive afternoon.

Upon returning home, I took a long, hot shower and headed to a massage party with the intention of doing nothing but (possibly) getting worked on. Unsurprisingly, that wasn't exactly how it went down, but I had a great time and look forward to the possibility of more of the same.

Meanwhile, I still have plenty of veggies to deal with and have already signed up with Steve for next year.
surrealestate: (Sentient Broccoli)
Oops, Week 20 was in October and I somehow never got around to posting this. Better late than never and all that.

List back here )

Dried: maitake
Froze: arugula pesto, vegetable stock
Canned: applesauce
Fermented: sauerkraut, ginger carrots

As always post-share season, Steve invited us to come and harvest from his fields. Due to scheduling issues (and also being sick), I unfortunately had to miss that, but I did send along some apfelwein with Mark and Jonathan, who did get out there both to help and to pick.

Things they brought back include lots of pumpkins, butternuts, lettuce, spinach, carrots, turnips, beets, leeks, broccoli, chard, and whatever else I'm not thinking of. All together, several metric buttloads worth of food. Yay! It's sad for the season to be over, but I will be working by way through these fall crops for many more weeks, which is a nice bonus. I also still have some things to harvest from the garden, including kale and carrots.

I will try to recap the 2009 farm share season in a separate post at some point and also recap my harvest/preserving season in general. There is still plenty to be done with the latter, though, and more evil plans being formed. I mean good. Very good.

Meanwhile, could anyone out there accompany me to CostCo along with a membership card in the next day or two? I can potentially ply you with various goodies.

surrealestate: (Sentient Broccoli)
As always, I sigh at the transition to fall crops and the coming winter. I refuse to even think about the clocks changing.

Week 18 )

Dried: apples, more apples, cilantro, dill, mushrooms, potatoes (specifically, raw purple potato chips!)
Fermented: sauerruben (with star-shaped slices for fun and one beet for color)
Froze: arugula pesto
Canned: applesauce

I also went to the Topsfield Fair with Mare, Jay, and DD. We had a great time and there are some fun pics. Back home, I made a list of all the food the four of us ate there. For the record, we were there for a while...

Click at your own risk! )

surrealestate: (Sentient Broccoli)
Parker drop-offs started back up last week with a fabulous haul as per usual. Then I had some people over for games and was literally canning until a few minutes before start time. Lack of sleep made me an insufficient host, but luckily my guests managed to make up for it by helping themselves to the drinks I was too fried to remember to offer and also with nummy cookies. Mmm... cookies...

I was out on the Cape these past few days (which is why you may (or may not) have noticed my absence locally this weekend) so there's still a ton of food to deal with. But ah, it was lovely there and I wish I could have stayed for another week. Unfortunately, when I got home all I could do was run upstairs, grab my script, and jump on my bike to get to rehearsal, where dinner consisted of potato chips and candy and I probably would have been better off not having any of it but I was so hungry. Even so, it was a tremendously fun session (best one yet) and I'm really looking forward to the big shoe.

Anyway, onto the veggies of the week: )

Yes We Can (we also dry, ferment, etc):
Canned: tomatillo salsa verde, hot pepper & onion relish
Dried: dill, cilantro, maitake mushrooms, apples
Fermented: sauerkraut, kosher dills spears (having been gifted with some pickling cukes)

I also finally de-crocked the ton of pickles I started fermenting a ways back. Unfortunately, there were a large number of hollows which I should have caught beforehand, and I should have just speared all of them, but timing was bad. In any case, what survived the triage is quite good (and the garlic, omgyum!), but there are a lot of them. I guess I could can some but it seems a shame to wreck 'em that way. Who wants pickles?

surrealestate: (Sentient Broccoli)
Last week, Parker Farm said that due to this year's horrid conditions, shares would have to be canceled for the rest of the season. I was, of course, quite sad over the news, but given the situation all over the state, it wasn't entirely surprising. A few days later, Steve changed his mind and announced that, with some small changes and understanding that hauls would likely be smaller, things would, in fact continue. Yay! Too bad he didn't just start out by saying there'd be no drop-off that week, which would have saved an assortment of annoyance on various sides.

Ironically, despite that, last week was the biggest total haul of the year, because my share partner and I went out to Red Fire on Monday to harvest and came home with a metric buttload, then I helped Steve a bit at the farmer's market Saturday which yielded as much as I could carry on my bike. A lot of CSA members had stopped by to say hi and offer support. It was good to see. And because Steve is awesome, he sent us all home with extras.

Week 16++ )

And on the food preservation front:
Canned: tomatillo salsa verde, more tomatillo salsa verde, roasted red pepper spread
Dried: tomatoes, apples, apple powder, oregano, parsley, rosemary, green & yellow beans, mushrooms
Froze: blackberries

I hope everyone who went for it had an easy fast (mine wasn't too bad).

surrealestate: (Sentient Broccoli)
Today there was horrible news on the farm share front that I'm not going to get into right now because I'm too distraught. I get way too emotionally invested in my produce. So for now, this is all about last week.
  • 1 lb red tomatoes
  • 2 lbs green tomatoes
  • 2 lbs apples
  • 1 bunch giant turnips
  • 4 green peppers
  • 2 bunches radishes
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 bunch mizuna
  • 1 bunch arugala
  • 1 bag baby lettuce
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 bunch lettuce
  • 8 oz mixed baby lettuce
  • 2.5 lb red peppers
  • 2.5 lb potatoes (I took purple)
  • 8 oz carrots
  • 1 winter squash (spaghetti)
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 2 tomatoes (1 big, 1 small)
  • 1/2 peck apples

On the preservation front:
Canned: peach jam, slices peaches
Pickled: radishes
Fermented: confetti mix of shredded carrot, turnip, and beet
Froze: roasted tomato sauce
Dried: cantaloupe, honeydew, tomatoes, tomato powder, oregano, sage, chives, parsley, rosemary
surrealestate: (Sentient Broccoli)
Good haul this week, along with some unlisted extras for helping out.

Week 14. Nice Melons. )

And on the food preservation front:

  • Canned four pints of dilly beans, four quarts of pears, and one quart of extra light pear syrup.
  • Froze more roasted tomato sauce, broccoli, blackberries, and arugula pesto.
  • Dried more tomatoes, wax beans, peaches, grapes, sweet peppers, jalapeños (and jalapeño powder), eggplant (and eggplant powder), and husk cherries.
  • surrealestate: (Sentient Broccoli)
    I've decided to change formats and start posting the full share hauls. It's a better reference for me that way and more useful for people curious about what comes in, especially in conjunction with the new tags.

    Week 13

    • 1 bunch mustard greens
    • 1 bunch arugula
    • 1 bunch cilantro
    • 3 onions
    • 1 bunch carrots
    • 6 green peppers
    • 1 head broccoli
    • 2 lbs tomatoes
    • 2 lbs green tomatoes
    • 2 lbs apples
    • 1 lb peaches
    • 1 winter squash (I chose spaghetti)
    • 2 eggplant
    • 2 hot peppers (poblano)
    • 1 lb cukes
    • 2 lbs onions
    • 1 lb summer squash
    • 1 lb yellow wax beans
    • 2 lbs sweet peppers
    • 1 bunch kale or collards (I took the latter)
    • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
    • 3 lbs peaches
    • 1 melon (honeydew)

    In addition, due to my helping out all afternoon, I ended up with even more extra bonuses, including many peaches, tons of wax beans, more cherry tomatoes, jalapeños, winter squash, melons, and a huge bunch of kale. Whew!

    This week, I've dried more tomatoes as well as pear slices and also froze: blackberries, green beans, roasted eggplant, and the best tomato sauce ever. I could have canned the sauce but I didn't want to acidulate and even moreso, didn't want to boil it to hell. I'm grateful for plenty of freezer space which gives me that option. I'll be making more sauce and it's so good that I'm tempted to buy bulk tomatoes to make even more. Will ponder.

    I still plan to can, and besides the peaches and pears, I'll also do dilly beans, which is pretty much the easiest, fastest canning recipe ever, so I might as well try it since I've got all those beans. I'm thinking of getting out the juicer and funneling the pear abundance into some pear cider.

    And speaking of putting food by, if you're interested in organic bulk ordering, read behind this cut )

    surrealestate: (Sentient Broccoli)
    Yields are really kicking into high gear everywhere and this week's take was just fabulous. Also, I recently added new CSA-related tags including individual tags for each year as well as each week number, which means you can click the latter to see what the yield was every year on a given week if you're curious how things compare season to season.

    Week 12 )

    The garden is also producing like mad, and I am once again open to trades if other people have different things in abundance (or an alternate offer). Things I have to swap include: kale, blackberries, grapes, apples, and basil. Let me know if you're interested. I'm also making sundried tomatoes, including harvesting a friend's garden and then keeping some of the results, and am open to more of that sort of thing.

    surrealestate: (Sentient Broccoli)
    I was away during Week 10 so I don't really have a list of what's what for that one. Red Fire was fairly similar to this week, it seems like, and Parker had a woefully small package, but that worked out reasonably well for me. (And because he's that kind of awesome guy, we may be getting an extra week at the end to make up for it.)

    Week 11 )

    Meanwhile, the garden has been producing tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, assorted herbs, more kale than I can eat right now, and of course, lettuce, which finally bolted. I could also start harvesting onions at will, but they should also keep in the ground. At some point I'll need to dig up a potato and see how those are. I also planted some falls crops including cabbage and purple carrots and will be planting new lettuce soon as well.

    surrealestate: (Sentient Broccoli)
    The garden continues to produce as well and I'm eating salad like it's going out of style. Or out of season, anyway. The kale is bountiful, but so are the share leafy greens, so I don't quite need them yet. Same for the cukes, which at some point I imagine will be turned into more real (fermented) and fake (vinegar) pickles. :)

    And the shed is supposed to arrive early next week, and then the backyard will be DONE! Yay!

    • 2 cucumbers
    • 1/2 bunch leeks
    • 1/2 bunch basil
    • 1 lb potatoes
    • 1 bunch spring onions
    • 1 lb greens beans
    • 1/2 bunch beets
    • (green peppers and escarole traded away)
    • 1 cucumber
    • 1 tomato
    • 1 green pepper
    • 1 onion
    • 1/2 eggplant
    • 1/2 bunch kale
    • 1/2 head lettuce
    • 1/2 lb green & yellow wax beans
    • 2 oz. basil
    • 1/ 2 bunch sage
    • 1 zucchini
    • 1 beet
    • 1/2 pt blueberries
    • 1/2 yellow watermelon

    surrealestate: (Sentient Broccoli)
    Late summer and harvest really kicks into high gear! Meanwhile, Red Fire reports that they've already lost 1/4 of their (HUGE, so there's still plenty left) tomato crop to the Blight. Hopefully the rest will be safe, but I fear for future updates. Steve tells me his crop is still clear and hopefully it will stay that way.

    In urban homesteading news, my tomatoes are still thriving and we ate the first one of the season this weekend! If the Blight hit, it would absolutely break my heart and I really feel for the hundreds of farmers and thousands of home gardeners who have lost all or part of their crop. None of mine are from big box stores, but neither were the acres of fields lost by local farmers, of course, and I have no idea where the neighbors got their plants. The rest of the garden is also doing great.

    Late last week, with Mark's invaluable help, I started a half-bushel of cucumbers on their journey toward half-sour dill picklehood. Real, fermented, old-school pickles, which I will soon taste to see how they're doing. And for those who might be wondering, that's about 25 pounds, which is a LOT. I turned the ones that didn't make the cut into Sweet Swedish Refrigerator Pickles.

    Finally, I racked the hefeweizen onto blackberries (harvested from the backyard and frozen in earlier years, then thawed and pureed) and it is a lovely shade of purplish-pink. I also received my scores from the Sam Adams Long Shot contest. I submitted my dunkelweizen (Froggy's Slam Dunk) and I think I did pretty well: 34.5, which is on the high end of the "Very Good" category. Given the obvious flaw (I underfilled the bottles and it ended up a bit undercarbonated), I am very happy with that result, and judges' comments were generally quite positive. I've never entered a homebrew contest before so I don't really have anything else to go on. Seems okay to me, anyway. Maybe I'll scan and post the sheets.

    • 1 bunch spring onions
    • 1/2 bunch beets
    • 1 lb new potatoes
    • 1 summer squash
    • 1/2 bunch arugula
    • 1 cucumber
    • 1 mini red cabbage
    • 1/2 head bibb lettuce
    • 1/2 pound cauliflower
    • 1/2 bunch basil
    • 1/2 bunch scallions
    • 1/2 bunch yellow chard
    • 3 ears corn
    • 1/2 lb carrots
    • 1/2 head romaine lettuce
    • 1 tomato
    • 2 zucchinis
    • 1 cucumber
    • 1/2 bunch cilantro
    • 1/2 head cabbage
    • 1/2 pint blueberries
    • 1/2 small watermelon

    surrealestate: (Sentient Broccoli)
    One-third of the way into CSA season and I am still very happy with the share-split situation. I think Park and Red Fire both have a lot to offer and I love getting the best of both worlds. (Since people have asked, if I had to go back to only one or the other, it'd Parker.)

    Week 6 )

    Week 7 )

    I also still have garden lettuce heads up for trade.

    And I'll be walking a marathon to raise money for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Even a few dollars helps.
    surrealestate: (Sentient Broccoli)
    Forgot to post this last week, but better late than never.
    • 1 bunch chard
    • 1 bunch carrots
    • 1/2 bunch red russian kale
    • 1 head red lettuce
    • 1/2 lb green beans
    • 1 lb fava beans
    • 1/2 bunch baby fennel
    • 1/2 bunch purple kohlrabi with greens
    • 12 oz cucumbers
    • 12 oz summer squash
    • 1 lb baby potatoes
    • 1/2 bunch dill
    • 1/2 bunch carrots
    • 1/2 head red lettuce
    • 1/2 bunch kale
    • 1 head new garlic (with stalk)
    • small amount (~2 oz) basil
    • 1/2 pint blueberries

    I've also been eating from the garden: lettuce, parsley, basil, thyme, mint, and kale are among the harvestables. And there have been sour cherries and mulberries from public trees as well as wild blueberries in the woods. [ETA: And blueberries from the yard, too! How could I forget those?] And the most recent kraut (extra big batch) turned out great.
    surrealestate: (Sentient Broccoli)
    My newly-acquired mad skillz are making short work of the farm share this time around (it's gotten easier to deal with every year, go figure), and even with being away for four days, I had the need to harvest my own garden lettuce for a Tuesday lunch salad. And it was yummy, oh yes. The lettuce, of course, loves this weather.

    This weekend, I used farm-fresh bounty for multiple ice cream flavors including a Chunky Strawberry (which was one of the best things I've ever eaten, ever), Strawberry-Balsamic-Black Pepper sorbet (copying the flavor profile of last week's awesome jam, and also awesome), and Sugar Snap Pea, which, while not at the same tongue-exploding level as the others, was still really good and garnered more "Who'd a thunk it?" votes than any other flavor. In other frozen homesteading news, I also used my apfelwein in a sorbet that went over very well.

    • 1 bunch Swiss chard
    • 1 lb sugar snap peas
    • 1 bulb fennel, with voluminous fronds
    • 1 bunch orange carrots
    • 1/2 bunch yellow carrots
    • 1/2 head escarole
    • 1/2 bunch beets
    • 1/2 bunch turnips
    • 1/2 head romaine lettuce
    • 1/2 bunch parsley
    • 1/2 head green leaf lettuce
    • 1/2 bunch scallions
    • 1/2 bunch stripy beets
    • 1/2 bunch mixed chard
    • 1/2 lb hakurei turnips (no greens)
    • 1/4 lb carrots
    • 1 small (and pointy) head cabbage
    • 3 cucumbers
    • Squash mix: 1 zucchini & 1 small summer
    • 1 pint (somewhat iffy) strawberries

    surrealestate: (Sentient Broccoli)
    The lettuce is already dwindling: a mere 2.5 head total for me this week, though there are plenty of other leafy greens. It's been a great week for urban homesteading though. Activities have included starting new batches of both vanilla-chocolate porter and apfelwein, canning the best jam ever, and my very first kraut, which turned out amazing and inspired all sorts of additional cooking so that I could make a reuben for lunch, which was possibly the best sandwich I've ever made.

    The kraut contained much of the previous haul: Napa cabbage, bok choy, collard greens, kohlrabi, hakurei turnips, beets, and carrots. I should really take a picture because it's so absurdly colorful. I am totally hooked and have already started a new batch with the Napa I got from C&A and this week's bok choy and mustard greens.

    To avoid last week's confusion, I will be dividing the list: Parker, then Red Fire, then the RF fruit share, but be aware this is just *my* take-home, not the total, and of course many of the measurements are very fudge-y. This week, Parker was about twice as big as Red Fire.

    • 1 head romaine lettuce
    • 1 head red leaf lettuce
    • 1 head chicory
    • 1 pound sugar snap peas
    • 1/2 bunch carrot
    • 1/2 bunch hakurei turnips
    • 1/2 bunch mustard greens
    • 1/2 bunch chard
    • 1 head broccoli
    • 1 bunch arugula
    • 1/2 head bok choi
    • 1/2 head green leaf lettuce
    • 1 bunch dill
    • 6 garlic scapes
    • 2 hakurei turnips
    • 1 lb summer squash (1 zucchini, 1 yellow)
    • 1/2 bunch baby white onions
    • 1/2 bunch purple kale
    • 1/2 head broccoli
    • 1 head cabbage
    • 1 pint strawberries

    surrealestate: (Sentient Broccoli)
    The list is long, the bounty is huge!
    • 1 pint strawberries
    • 1 bunch Russian red kale
    • 1 bunch Swiss chard
    • 1 head Napa cabbage
    • 1 head Bibb (is that also a place?) lettuce
    • 1 bunch collard greens
    • 1 head escarole
    • 1/3 lb mesclun
    • 1/4 lb spinach
    • 1 purple kohlrabi
    • 2 (maybe 3?) Hakurei turnips
    • 1 zucchini
    • 1/2 bunch (baby?) scallions
    • 5 small carrots
    • 1/6 lb garlic scapes
    • 1/2 bunch dill
    • 1/2 stalk broccoli
    One of last week's experiments was spinach paratha, which was fantastic and will certainly be made again.
    surrealestate: (Sentient Broccoli)
    This year I am trying something new with my farm share. I am once again with Parker Farm (yay Steve!), but I am sharing it with a friend who has a share with Red Fire, which we are also sharing, along with a fruit share. I am hoping the results will be more variety, ease of trading away things I don't like, etc, and while it's a bit early to make the call since this is only the first week, it seems to be working well so far. My side of this week's haul is as follows:
    • 1 bunch chicory
    • 1 head romaine
    • 1 head red leaf
    • 1 head bok choy
    • 1 bunch pea tendrils
    • 1 bunch spinach
    • 1 (smaller) head romaine lettuce
    • 1/2 bunch new beets with greens
    • 1/2 bunch Hakurei turnips
    • 2/3 lb spinach
    • 1/2 bunch kale
    • 1/2 bunch green garlic
    • 1 head broccoli
    • 1/2 pint strawberries
    A "bunch", of course, is a somewhat arbitrary measure and the sizes vary. In this case, the Red Fire bunches that were halved weren't that large to begin with whereas the Parker bunches were huge. (The chicory was approximately 2.5 times the size of my head and I could build a fortress of solitude in the lettuce.)


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