Category Archives: CSA

Beyond Surreal

These beautiful sweet potato vines are now covered with a whitish silt.

A few weeks ago over 40 people from all around the region came to Kilpatrick Family Farm for a NOFA event where Michael was educating everyone on winter production.

We went out to the field in Granville, a huge field by the Mettowee River, where he grows a portion of his crops. It was such a beautiful day and everyone was just amazed by all the crops.

They were especially wowed by how great the brussels sprouts looked. Man oh man they were really spectacular. They would’ve sold so well this fall and winter. Now they’re still standing but ruined by tropical storm Irene. (Click here for a full article with photos.)

I saw the field when I went to the farm on Friday. The only way I can describe it is that it looked like its soul was gone. Does that even make sense? It looked sad. The muddy, still-drying ground looked like almost like a compacted clay substance and everything had silt on it.

Even though it was a warm sunny day, it just looked so sad. Even worse, some of the stuff looked completely fine, but it isn’t safe for consumption. It will have to be tilled. To add to it, you could smell the putrid stench of rotting hay and straw bales that got soaked in the flooding.

When I was leaving I forgot to even say goodbye to Michael. I was stunned and in a daze. All that food, and money, and effort just gone. All those families who enjoy it so much won’t have it.

But you know what? Everyone has been so nice and understanding and feels so bad. One CSA member at market was almost in tears because she felt so bad. People have already said they’ll stand by the farm no matter what. It’s overwhelming (in a good way) to hear the kind words from customers.

This is why eating local matters. More than any of the other reasons I could ramble on and on about…it really matters to know the people who feed you for times like these so you can boost them up and let them know you care about them and their families.

Also, because in the midst of all this, I was without power and Michael extended the offer of having me stay at his farm. He just lost over $80,000 worth of crops and he was offering hospitality. The people at Purdue or ConAgra certainly aren’t extending those offers my way, nor would I even notice if something hurt their production.

Things will get better though, I know this. I’m completely undeterred by this as well. I will always want a farm. I’m stubborn and I tend to work more with my gut than with my head anyway. This is just another thing to tuck in the back of mind but it certainly doesn’t put me off of the idea of farming.

If you live anywhere near any of the farms that were impacted by the storm, please please help them in some way. Even if it’s just buying some of their products or by saying a caring word. If you live in NY please consider taking part in NOFA’s Locavore Challenge as well.

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~Weekend-O-Rama~

Cilantro, Thai basil & sage

This long weekend (Chris had 4 days off) was an ongoing mix of work, cooking, and eating with friends. I feel pretty good about all of that.

The fence is almost done. Tomorrow looks like the day. It’s really incredible. I’m going to check out a yard sale Sunday for some patio furniture. I have zero clue how I’d actually get it home though. I feel like I want to sit out there with cocktails to celebrate.

sheep on a hill

We got to visit some friends this weekend and they live on a sheep farm. Within the next few years they will have a farm of their own with a year-round CSA. I’m so excited for them, they deserve so much success.

~Dinner in the Year 3000~balsamic pearls in olive oil, balsamic pearls on a salad of tomato, fresh mozz & arugula, beef cooked in a sous vide resting on caramelized carrots and topped with onion foam, strawberry daiquiri gel cube.

We had another installment of Fancy Food Club and the theme was “Dinner in the Year 3000” with a bunch of Modernist cuisine that was very good, especially the crazy gelled cocktails. We are up next. We have most of the menu already decided and I’m going to go completely Martha on the decor for the night, I can’t wait!

I’m currently in a Battle Royale with the tomatoes and weeds in my garden. The rains this summer have been frequent and intense which has caused the weeds to grow….well, like weeds. In 2 days I’ve spent 3 hours weeding and also pruning back my tomato plants. I’m still not done. Tomorrow I have to prune and tie up another row of tomatoes.

muddy garden feet

Oh, and if you are a lover of arugula, please come and harvest some from me. It’s either that or I’m going to have to blanch and freeze it.

This week is another Food Swap. I can’t wait! I already designed my labels and made my items. Now I just need to put it all together. I hope people want to swap with me! If you follow my Facebook page then you already know what I’m bringing.

Ahhh wine. What would I do without you?

Summer Eats are the Best Eats

Strawberries with balsamic vinegar and brown sugar.

Lately I’ve been making proper meals. Meals that are different and really thought out, not just the usual go-to dinners. I’ve also been really good about not ordering food, even when I’m tired.

The summer makes this easy though. There’s so much to choose from! Plus winter veg are all so starchy and that can get real old, real fast. Even though there are still many summer foods that aren’t ready yet, I’ve already been enjoying a wide variety.

Planning also helps me avoid wasting food, which drives me bonkers. I have a small chalk board in the kitchen (idea inspired by Mama Jillian) where I write down all the produce we currently have. This really helps with planning.

It’s nice to have full-fledged salads again, as opposed to just greens with dressing, which I was eating all winter. I’ve been making all sorts of combinations in the past few weeks.

Tonight I started the process for making Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream. Tomorrow night we finish it up and I’m so incredibly excited to try it!

Vanilla bean cooking in milk, cream, and brown sugar for the ice cream.

Some recent meals we’ve enjoyed are:

  • Rainbow Chard Quiche (made with this crust, but this time used vegan shortening instead of lard, since we don’t have a ton of lard left) with our maple bacon served alongside arugula with balsamic vinaigrette, radishes, apples, candied walnuts, and black pepper chevre
  • Pulled pork cooked in a slow cooker with Dinosaur Bar-B-Que sauce and fresh peaches served alongside fresh lettuce, strawberries, maple vinaigrette, hydroponic tomatoes, and toasted pecans
  • Chicken (cooked whole in a slow cooker) with homemade gravy and couscous served alongside cold beet salad with pecans and goat cheese
  • Whole wheat linguine with butternut squash (frozen, in my CSA this week), fresh basil, dried sage, and cream topped with toasted pumpkin seeds served alongside red oak leaf lettuce, thinly sliced summer squash, and balsamic vinaigrette

So, what’s on your summer plate?

KFF U-Pick Extravaganza!

Jack and I drove out Monday to Kilpatrick Family Farm for their U-Pick Strawberry Event for CSA members. If you ever get the chance to drive up the 40 on a nice day, you must do it! Just farms and rolling green hills with mountains in the distance.

We got there and picked strawberries then went over and took a farm tour. It was cool to see how the crops had been rotated since last year and see where the animals are now. There are a lot more pigs so they have a big area way out in the back now.

I saw a lot of familiar faces too! Several friends (both new and old) and Christine from From Scratch Club and Unspeakable Visions came all the way up from Albany for it.

We ate strawberry shortcake and got to pet all sorts of adorable animals. If it weren’t totally weird I’d just hold baby goats all day and tell them silly stories. Ridiculous…I realize this.

When I got home I was filthy and exhausted. Whenever I shower after going to the farm I’m astonished at the quantity of dirt around the drain. But it just reminds me how glad I am that in 2 weeks I’ll be out there working on Fridays.

I just can’t wait for the day when “farm work” will mean walking out into my own backyard and not driving an hour before I can start. Patience, patience.

Before dinner we went out for ice cream. Isn't summer awesome?!