Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Here is the share in all it's glory! This is quite a bit of food and frankly, should last the average family of four well past one Christmas Dinner. Everything in the share with the exception of the apples, cider, carrots and parsnips are from our root cellar and were harvested this fall. The carrots and parsnips were dug from the snow covered earth just last week. Everything can be stored in the root cellar at your home with the exception of the cider (unless you want vinegar) which should go in the fridge or freezer (if you want to drink it later [don't forget to take out about a cup or two to leave room for expansion]).
Some notes about a few things in the share:
The potatoes all represent different methods of culinary preparation. The Keuka Gold (which are the small gold ones on the bottom of the bage) and Red Norland potatoes are best for boiling or roasting as they are small and tender. The Kennebec (the larger yellow ones in the middle) are a great baking potato and the Buttes (the dark brown, long narrow tubers) are a russet. This makes them good for french fries or frying in general.
Parsnips are one of those root crops that really should be grown and eaten by the majority of the people in Maine. They are extremely hardy. I have the majority of mine in the garden still, under the snow and will harvest them next spring when they will be sweeter for the cold and snow. A great idea for cooking parsnips is to put them in a pie. There is a great recipe in the Fedco Seeds 2009 catalog but you should be able to find one on the internet by searching 'parsnip pie'. I don't recommend eating them raw as they are quite an acquired taste that way.
The Hubbard squash is a very large variety. The 'skin' as it were is actually more like a suit of armor. Cutting into it is not for the weak at heart. Make sure you are careful and have a big knife and lots of elbow grease.
Other than that everything is self explanatory. I hope you enjoy and that everyone has a safe, happy and local food holiday.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Speaking of wonderful ways to live, here is a shot of part of our root cellar, which is broken into two major categories. As you can see, this is the section where we keep our pumpkins, squash, some onions and garlic and my home made beer and hard cider. On a day like today when it's hard to think of anything growing outside (actually it's hard to even think straight it is so cold) it's a wonderful sight to open the basement door and be greeted by a bounty like this. Why 'civilization' ever got away from subsistence living is literally beyond me.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Holiday harvest shares are coming up for the Christmas share folks. I went out in the garden today and shoveled the snow to reveal fresh carrots. Here they are, fresh from the garden, the good earth, spongy and sweet, still clinging to the sugary roots. Most root crops can be stored in the ground the way they grow until spring with a heavy mulch. An early, substantial snow like this makes an awesome mulch. Isn't nature grand when we get out of the way and recognize that she is providing for all her creatures?
Finally, our beautiful baby girl helping daddy make pumpkin cookies from our Long Pie Pumpkins (another gift from the root cellar...and a summer of hard work). She loves to stand up on a chair and help us cook. She gets her own spoons, spices and pile of flour. A wonderful tradition passed down through the generations from my wife's grandmother.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
This is the first season we have offered this Holiday Harvest option and I'm quite pleased with how the Thanksgiving version ended up. I'm very interested to know how our members feel after hosting their various holiday get-togethers. The share includes, in the front row: beets, carrots, turnips (both large storage type and small bunched, butternut squash, broccoli, decorative gourds, salad mix (baby spinach, baby Bull's Blood beet greens, baby Red Salad Bowl lettuce), spinach, apples from Mainely Apples in Dixmont (a family orchard run by some friends of ours), potatoes (white and red skin), baby onions, Long Pie pumpkin and buttercup squash. On the top row: leeks, large onions, freshly pressed cider (also from Mainely Apples), decorative white pumpkin, Elephant garlic, German Extra Hardy garlic, Brussels sprouts, and kale.
Here is everything bagged up and ready to go.
If you happened to get on of the pie pumpkins that isn't fully ripe you can hasten the process by keeping it in a warm, sunny spot. A south facing window is a wonderful place to ripen a pie pumpkin. Also remember that fruit ripens from the inside out. The color that we associate with ripe is simply natures way of telling us that the fruit is ready inside. So even if the pumpkin isn't fully orange by the time you are ready to use it, chances are it will still be ripe enough on the inside.
Enjoy and happy holiday.