Friday, July 15, 2011

New Stuff!!!

Greetings friends and members of Parker Produce, local food and alternative agriculture. I hope you're having a great time in this wonderful summer weather. Before we delve into what's been going on at the farm and what's in this week's Produce Share, I want to take a moment to remind everyone to take a look at MPBN's Maine Watch television program for this week. I was asked to be a guest on the show to discuss food sovereignty and our right to eat real food with the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture which is promoting big, industrial agriculture at the expense of small family farms and the health of Maine's population. You can watch the show tonight at 8:30 or Sunday at 5pm. You can also view the show at
Now, onto this week at the farm!
Here is a pre-dawn shot of some beet greens with the hay field and the moon in the background. Beet Greens are among the new items in this week's share!
Plus, here's the newest vegetable lover at the farm. Martin is starting to get his fine motor skills down. I gave him this to hold and the next thing I new he had it in his mouth. 'At a Boy!!!

Something about the 'dog days' of summer doesn't sit well with Brinkley. He thought the shade of the Sugar Snap Pea vines was a good place to hang out in the 86 degree heat of the other day. He was right!!!

Also, this isn't about the share this week but will be soon. This is one of the reasons we need to support small scale, local, alternative agriculture. What are we going to do when petroleum is not longer an option? Lots of farmers (including organic and alternative farmers) use plastic trellis material that is thrown away after one year's use. At Parker Produce we're constantly looking for alternatives to, well, pretty much everything. Here you can see some cucumbers climbing up some inverted cedar tree tops. We cut, and mill most of our own lumber here at the farm. Most of the time the tops of the trees are wasted or sent to the chipper. But what if we could use them for something? It works quite well!

Now, onto this week's harvest. Among the many new items you might find in this week's share is Cauliflower. We're quite happy with how this year's cauliflower season is turning out. I say, might find, because not all plants mature at the same time. So, we put certain items on a rotation. This is one of them. If you didn't get cauliflower in your share this week, sorry. But you're on the list to receive it next time or the time after that. You will get some! I can almost promise (I cannot account for acts of nature ;-).

There are lots of options for preparation on cauliflower. But my favorite has always been one of the simplest, the way my mother used to make it. Steam lightly and then smother in a cheesy/creamy sauce and some butter! My mouth just watered.

Also this week, the first basil harvest is here!!! This is one of my favorite things in the summer garden. Harvesting basil is a real treat because it fills the greenhouse with its aroma! Plus, we absolutely love basil in the Parker household. Lizzie is a huge help in processing for pesto! Don't forget you can use your garlic scapes for pesto. There's that mouth watering again. One note, Basil DOES NOT GO IN THE FRIDGE!!! The cold of the refrigerator will ruin your basil and turn it into a slimy, black mess. When you get home, cut the basil stem tips like you would a dozen roses. Then place the bouquet into a glass of water on the windowsill and cover the whole thing with the open plastic bag. If you left it long enough it would actually send out roots...but why would you want to do that with basil?!

Also on rotation, zucchini! When they're small like this they are so tender and delicious you can eat them raw. I don't but you can. These beauties would be perfect grilled just as they are! Gourmet chefs use the flowers when these are purchased fresh at markets. I've never tried but it sounds interesting.

Also new this week is a bunch of Hakurei Salad Turnips. Don't like turnips. That's fairly common. Please try these. I bet you'll like them. These aren't your run of the mill turnips. They are delicious just like this. I eat them like small apples in the garden. But they're also good sliced thinly and put into a salad.

And finally, something that's new even to me. I try new varieties in great number each year. Some you never see, others I like and grow again. This will be one of those. Cincinnati Market Radish. No, they aren't carrots. These radishes are truly amazing, beautiful and prolific. Enjoy with your Astrale Lettuce and the Hakurei Turnips and you've got yourself a good little meal!

1 comment:

  1. I thought the red radishes were red carrots! LOL. I can't wait to taste the turnips. Can you cook them with the tops like regular turnips? Im southern. Turnip greens and cornbread. Yum. Is there any way to get a few green tomatoes? Maybe 5-6? I don't know where else to go to get them.
    I think Martin is adorable. You are teaching him right starting with his veggies firt.