Tuesday, August 30, 2011

end of august

our "newphouse" right now

a pepper eye view of the world

rainbow cherry tomaoes!

What a week it has been! Reminiscence have been heavy on hurricanes and luck and how hard it really is to rebuild a strong local food network. Almost six years ago, we were third year farmers on brand new land, but with two years of farming under our belts. It was bone dry, we wept in the fields several times at how dry it was- would rain every come? Would we be able to pay our bills? Could we remain farmers, or would we have to give up this occupation that had its hooks deep into us? Hurricane Katrina, swept through new Orleans, breached the levies leaving ruination there, moved up the country and deposited 5 glorious inches of rain onto our rented land in Montour Falls. The season and our farming careers were saved by that event. I still think today that we would not have been able to be farmers today if not for that storm.

On Sunday our dear friends Kara and Ryan at evening song farm (third year farmers but on a brand new piece of land) were treated to the other kind of luck with a hurricane. They were having a great season producing amazing produce and building a new community around their farming venture, and then hurricane Irene swept through Vermont causing a levy to breach, the river that flowed alongside their farm now flows through where their fields used to be. Their greenhouse and all their fields are now under the new course of the water. The newly purchased and installed irrigation system now is buried under the new route of the Mill River and they have now lost not only all of their crops (and income for the rest of the year), but their land as well. Luck is so cruel and it seems hurricanes bringeth and they taketh away. We hope that they have clarity as they decide their paths forward and community support to help them as they recollect, relocate, and restart. www.eveningsongcsa.com shows what they are facing. We are currently focusing as much postive energy as we can their way and will be sending what other aid we can soon. We are so impressed at how organized they have been in laying out what help they need from their community and can only hope that we would show the same resiliance if an equal time of trial were to come to our lives. I do hope their community is steps up to their aid.

In mudddy fingers farm CSA news, there will be no Watkins Glen Market on friday the 9th as the park will be filled with race cars. If you did not receive and email about the alternate plans, please let us know.

Hard to believe but our thoughts turn to winter at this time of year, that's because the window for planting things that will be harvestable before winter is closed or very quickly closing, as the days shorten plants start to grow with less vigor than they did in the extended days of June and July, suddenly the evening is shorter and the shadows longer sooner, even though there is still lots of nice days left in the year, in september we start to think of fall, and eating like its fall. in september we start to bring some fall crops forward, you will see leeks coming every week very soon (we have occasionally brought them up to now), celeriac will make an appearance fairly soon and winter squash too will be showing up before long quite soon our kitchens will be full of the simmers of soups and stews.

For those who want to simmer tomato sauces right now, we have paste tomatoes in good quantity right now and are glad to sell you a half bushel sized box so you can make sauce for the winter. (Sauce tomatoes are bred to make sauce as they are dense and less juicy than other tomatoes and so don't need to be cooked for as long to make a thick sauce, we have red and white- white sauce!?!)

we are arranging and will let you know when our last CSA events of the year will be, check your email in the next week to get them on the calendar. I hope to schedule the ever popular perogie making day and then of course a garlic planting day, and then the season will be done before we know it.

before then, look out for fresh ginger! We begin harvesting in the first week of september and hope to have it for about six weeks! There have been lots of people asking lately and it will soon make its appearance!

keep eating the good stuff,
liz and matthew

Monday, August 15, 2011

over the hump! the wednesday of the season...

at least that's what it feels like. we seem to have passed the hump of the summer. we are at week 11 of 22 for the CSA, so we are halfway through the season! the worst heat of the last few weeks has cooled and there has even been a hint of lingering coolness in the shady spots well into the late morning a few days this week. (but just a hint, it is still august after all!)

the pond still has some water in it for irrigation needs, but the pressure for water is less what the temperature is lower, so it feels like what is still in there should last us the rest of the season. and we had a nice rain over the weekend, getting more than an inch in the rain gauge for the first time in a few weeks.

we were lucky to have no rain on friday night so the meteor watching event was undisturbed by the weather. the moon was quite bright but a few meteors were spotted as they streaked through the sky and we had a nice campfire and some yummy snacks to eat while sat around it. thanks to those who came and slept out with us!

if you didn't hear about the event, let us know perhaps you are not on our email list for some reason!

it seems that the heirloom tomato season will be a short one this year, as the plants are looking like they will not be with us for the long haul, but they will be producing for us for a few weeks more at any rate. make sure to enjoy them in all their colored beauty while they are still with us.

tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, squash, beets, chard, kale (back after a couple of weeks off), baby leeks, sweet and regular onions, beans, basil, and fingerling potatoes.

try this yummy recipe for eggplants and squash!
slice asian eggplants, squash, and peppers into bite sized pieces. slice a shallots thinly, toss all in a baking dish. toss wiht olive oil, salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar. bake 10-15 min. stir and toss with cut up basil leaves. bake another 10-15 minutes until soft. enjoy. we had this with pesto pasta the other night and it was nice!~

have a good week! liz and matthew

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Week 10?

Sorry no new pictures. Our staff photographer is on vacation apparently this week.

I am happy to report that a gentle rain is falling outside right now (which is why I'm not outside planting!). We are grateful for that and the radar currently looks like like more is on its way. Sorry for all you weekenders who had big plans for today, but not everybody can be happy with the weather all the time.

The farm is looking really messy right now. This is mostly because the weedeater we normally use to keep the paths mowed is STILL in the shop awaiting a new carburater. AGHH! This makes harvesting more difficult as we have to wade through the weeds.
But at least we have had lots to harvest in the last two weeks! And now the share size is up to 8 items, and we hope that it will stay at that number for the remainder of the season!

For those members in Elmira, Grove Park Farmers' Market now has a presence on Facebook. It is in the development stage as each vendor starts to add postings of what products they will have available. Here at Muddy Fingers Farm we are Facebook novices, so we will be learning our way around it and I will post a link to the market's facebook page here on the newsletter blog just as soon as I figure out how to!
We have squash blossoms. This is a new crop for us this year that we wanted to try out.
A couple squash blossom recipes that we have not yet tried:

What you’ll need:
6 medium squash blossoms – washed, cleaned and trimmed
2 cups Ricotta – room temperature
1 tablespoon flat leaf Italian Parsley – chopped fine
1 tablespoon Basil – chopped fine
2 large eggs – beaten
1 cup flour – or enough to dredge
Vegetable/Canola oil – enough to fry

What to do:
1. Place a few inches of oil {enough to submerge blossoms} into a deep sided pot or fry machine and heat to 350 degrees.

2. Place the Ricotta and herbs into a small bowl and mix well to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer into a pastry bag or zip lock bag and set aside.

3. Set up your dredging station by placing the beaten eggs into a small bowl and the flour into a separate bowl. Set aside.

3. Wash and clean the squash blossoms and gently pat them dry. GENTLY pull back the tops of the blossoms, insert the pastry bag/ziplock bag and GENTLY squeeze enough of the Ricotta mixture in to fill the blossom without bursting it. GENTLY twist the tops of the blossoms to seal. Continue until all blossoms are filled.

4. Dredge the blossoms into the egg mixture and then coat with the flour. Tap off any excess flour. Continue until all blossoms are dredged.

5. Place blossoms into the heated oil and cook until golden {this will only take a few minutes} When golden, transfer blossoms to a plate lined with paper towels to soak up any excess oil and you can season them lightly with salt while they’re still warm. They’re best eaten when still warm.

Source www.bellalimento.com

Squash Blossom Quesadillas
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 poblano pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced
10 squash blossoms
1/2 cup chicken stock
3 sprigs fresh epazote, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 flour tortillas
1/4 pound grated Mexican white cheese
Olive oil, butter or margarine, for cooking

1. Heat a large saute pan with a little oil and saute the onion, garlic, and the roasted poblano pepper for 5 minutes, until the onions have become translucent. Then, add the squash blossoms and deglaze with chicken stock. Add the epazote, and cook for another 5 minutes until squash blossoms have wilted. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside to cool.

2. To compose the quesadilla, lay two of the tortillas on a flat surface. Distribute the cheese equally on both tortillas. Then, spread 1/2 of the squash blossom filling over the cheese. Cover with the other tortillas, place on heated griddle or nonstick saute pan with a little olive oil, butter or margarine, and cook for about 3 minutes on each side. When golden brown on each side, remove and cut into quarters.

Source: Adapted from recipe demonstrated by Aaron Sanchez
of the Food Network’s show, Melting Pot.

New items this week
Purple potatoes
Squash blossoms
plus more of the same