We tried the horse drawn potato digger to dig our sweet potatoes and it worked like a charm! The sweet potatoes are now curing in one of our hoop houses. They are different than any other vegetable because they need heat to get sweet instead of cold.
We have been busy harvesting. The onions are all out of the field and curing in two of our hoop houses. We dug another eight rows of potatoes last week and hope to finish the job next week. The horse drawn potato digger is working well and the yield of potatoes is good this season. We have had a bumper crop of peppers. They were a bit slow to ripen, but now are pouring in. We have missed frost on two nights so far and hope that it holds off for a while so we can keep on picking those beautiful red, yellow and orange peppers! We need to harvest the sweet potatoes before frost as well. The squash vines are starting to dye back. It is fun to see all the squash and pumpkins emerge, that were hiding under all the foliage. The outdoor tomatoes are finished now, but we will keep on picking the hoop house tomatoes. The hoop house cucumbers have been removed to make room for a planting of spinach for the Fall CSA. Our haying is finally over for this season. We put the last of the second cut hay in the barn on Tuesday. It feels like the main season is wrapping up quickly!
Ken has had time to start training two of our Suffolk Punch horses. Sandy and Eli are both coming along well. I look forward to having a barn full of trained horses. Caesar is always happy to ride along on the sleigh during training sessions. The sleigh in the summer is a hard pull and helps keep the new horse under control. It is also a good way to get them used to the sound of something behind them, especially when the sleigh runners are on the gravel lane-way!
Once in a while the old tongues on our horse drawn equipment break and need replacing. Ken has cut out some blanks with his saw mill that can be used to make new ones. Bill has had the job of making two new tongues this week.
We have had some recipes forwarded to us by CSA members and are happy to pass them along!
From Vicci Coughlin:
I was happy to see the baby zucchini today and do this simple pasta recipe again, thought I’d pass it along. It is from an early Jamie Oliver cookbook.
Baby Zucchini Pasta
This is a light, fragrant and very quickly made pasta dish using very firm baby zucchini, which hardly needs to be cooked at all. The idea is to slice them as thinly as possible in an irregular fashion. The big fat zucchini that are fluffy inside, won’t do for this recipe.
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove finely chopped garlic
8-10 small very firm zucchini
juice of 1 lemon
1 good handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
1 pound of pasta
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 1/2 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated.
Put the olive oil and garlic into a thick bottomed pan and set over medium-high heat and fry for about 30 seconds without colouring, then add your baby zucchini and toss gently. After about 2 minutes squeeze in the juice of the lemon, add the basil and cook a little longer.
Meanwhile cook the past in boiling salted water until al dente. Toss it with the zucchini to mix the flavours, season to taste and add the Parmesan to round all the flavours together- you may need a little extra olive oil to loosen it. Serve with some torn basil and a sprinkling of Parmesan on top.
From Lisa Koivu:
Macaroni and Cheese
One large red onion
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
1 “pail” spinach
1 box whole wheat rotini or fusili
3 c milk
3 c grated cheddar cheese
To the cheddar cheese, add 2 tbsp flour and mix together. Set aside.
Bring water to boil and cook pasta according to directions.
During last 3 minutes of cooking, add spinach to the pot. Drain well once time has finished.
In a 8 c microwave dish, put the butter and the onion, finely chopped. Microwave on high for 5 minutes.
Whisk in 2 tbsp of flour to make a “roux”.
Immediately add milk.
Microwave milk mixture on high for five minutes. Then whisk. Continue to cook a minute at a time, until mixture has thickened (you want to watch it so it doesn’t boil over).
Add the cheese and flour mixture.
Combine the cheese mixture and the pasta in a large white casserole dish. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Optional: Add cubed cooked chicken or ham before baking.
Homemade Pasta Sauce
1 large red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped finely or put through a press
3 quarts tomatoes, peeled and chopped.
1 sweet pepper
2 tbsp olive oil.
1 eggplant, or any summer squash, peeled and diced
3 basil leaves, chopped
1 pound cooked hamburg or sausage (optional)
In a large 5 quart pot, heat olive oil.
Add onions and garlic and pepper
Sautee for about 5 minutes or until golden, on medium-hi heat.
Add tomatoes and basil and salt to taste – at least one tsp.
Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until tomatoes are very mushy.
Cool for about 20 minutes.
Put the entire mixture through a food processor to puree.
After pureeing, add the hamburger if desired.
You could probably hide a lot of other veggies in there, depending on what’s available in the garden.
Crock Pot Stew
1 lb stewing beef, cut into bite-sized pieces and tossed with 2 tbsp flour to coat.
Savory and marjoram, as available
2 tsp salt or seasoning salt
3 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed or chopped
Amazing veggies from Orchard Hill – chopped into bite sized pieces. Could include, but not limited to, beans, carrots, summer squash, peppers, kale, chard….
Put the entire mixture in the crock pot and cook on low for 12 hours or high for 6 hours. If possible, stir well for the first hour to prevent flour from sticking to the bottom. Tastes better the second day.
Note: Sometimes I use an envelope of Lipton Onion Soup Mix when I make this in the winter, but I try not to resort to that with CSA veggies.