Of markets and melons

Ceci n'est pas un honeydew
First melon of the season!

‘The time has come,’ the Walrus said,
‘To talk of many things:
Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —
Of cabbages — and kings —
And why the sea is boiling hot —
And whether pigs have wings.’

We’ll talk of many things today. The farm’s been busy, and this tardy post will cover melons, markets, and chickens all in one fell swoop. (Incidentally, has anyone ever done something in two fell swoops? Continue reading “Of markets and melons”

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The Floodgates Open

Market stand: 7/22
Our market stand this week, or: "hey, it's not just radishes!"

Things happened this week. That much is pretty irrefutable. With regards to the farm, excellent things happened. Namely, produce is growing! In the picture above, you can see what we brought to market this week:

  • zucchini and yellow squash
  • radishes
  • spring onion
  • lettuce
  • arugula
  • purslane
  • basil (thai, lemon, and italian)
  • thyme
  • sage
  • oregano

It’s really terribly exciting to have more coming out of the ground than just radishes, which had been the trend for the last two weeks. In addition to more produce, we also had 400% more customers than last week! We sold through about 75% of what we had by 10:30am, and by the end of the day  we were left with just a few bunches of herbs. As the market runs until 1pm, we did a lot of explaining to people: “No, there’s more! Come back next week!” Chalk it up to the market having an ad in the paper this week.

In addition to more customers and more produce, we also had more cowbell more heat. That’s pretty good for a lot of things in the field, and pretty bad for a lot of things on the market table. Hence the new greens cooler (note: greens cooler is actually blue in color. Neither you nor I am colorblind. Well, you may be — I don’t really know.)

The last “more” of the week is more newspaper men. Having started with zero of them in previous weeks and zooming up to one this week, they are making up a larger percentage of our customers than ever before. And the market will hopefully be making up more of said newspaper man’s articles, but we’ll have to wait a few more days to see. The slightly-rhyming Rick Hiduck (whose name promptly lodged itself in my head for the rest of the day) of the Rocket Courier came out to see what was up and talk to some of the vendors.

And, of course we’ve got the weekly recipe! These quick refrigerator pickles are easy to make. Our family couldn’t tell that they weren’t cucumbers at a recent cookout.

Quick Zucchini (or squash) Pickles

Adapted from 101 Cookbooks.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium zucchini (or squash), thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fine-grained sea salt
  • 1/4 cup (small handful) fresh dill sprigs
  • 3 or 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar, preferably natural cane sugar

Directions: 

Toss the zucchini and salt together in a colander and place over a bowl to catch the liquid. Cover and let stand one to two hours. Toss once along the way.

Lightly squeeze excess water from zucchini and pat dry. Pack into a pint size jar along with the dill and garlic.

Combine the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and boil until sugar dissolves. Pour the liquid over the zucchini, seal the jar and let cool. Place in the refrigerator. The pickles will keep for about one week.

Thunderheads
Thunderheads

We’ll leave you this week with some storm clouds moving in on the farm. Allie took this one a while ago, but we haven’t had a great place to reference it yet. Not that right now is all that much better, but hey, it’s your second photo of the post.

If you are curious about the conspicuous lack of post last week, Allie was out in Seattle with her sister (whose great cooking blog I’ll plug: Tessa’s International Cafe). Nick may or may not have taken this as an opportunity to slack on the blog a bit.

I know I promised you chickens last time, and you’ll get them tomorrow. Going to be another scorcher, so I’ll finish up the chicken post while we take the afternoon off. In the meantime, you can check out the new chicken pictures on our Flickr stream.

Market Week 2: Radishes

Radishes for sale
French breakfast, red globe, and purple globe radishes

We made it through week two at the farmer’s market today. And we even had produce! Radishes, to be exact. The location got moved this week to the American Legion on Route 6 in Wyalusing. It’s a great spot, and hopefully we stay stable so folks can keep coming back.

We’ll probably do a longer post about it in the future, but the pre-market ritual is interesting. Today we were up at 6am to get outside, pluck some produce, wash it, group it, and pack it up. As we progress to having more than just radishes, we’ll need to start working the night before. Good thing the kitchen is progressing, as you can see in the picture below. For the last two months, we’ve just had a mini fridge, microwave, and electric kettle. Now, we’ve got a full sized fridge and a gas stove. Sometimes it’s the simple things in life . . .

Washing radishes
Market Prep

We also started a new weekly tradition: recipes. Each week, we’ll have a new recipe that features at least one thing that we’ve got for sale. This week it’s radishes, so here’s what we’ve got cooking:

Honey Dijon Potato Salad

Serves 4-6. Originally from Rachel Ray.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb small red potatoes, quartered
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons cider or white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 radishes, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
  • 3-4 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 cup parsley leaves, chopped

Directions: 

Cover the potatoes with cold water. Salt the water and bring to a boil. Boil the potatoes until just tender, 12-15 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, combine the honey, Dijon mustard, and vinegar in a bowl, then slowly whisk in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

To the bowl add the radishes, capers, onion, celery, parsley and hot potatoes. Using a wooden spoon, break up the potatoes into large chunks.

Toss the potato salad, adjust the salt & pepper, then serve.

That about wraps it up for this week. Coming up: chicken news. It’s like a reality TV show . . . someone gets exiled and has to spend the night outside.

First Farmers’ Market!

Farmer's Market Sign
Our first market!

We made it to our first market! On Friday, July 1, we were at the Wyalusing Farmers’ Market. Because of the delays in planting (weather and otherwise), we didn’t have anything to sell just yet. But we showed up, got some face time with (hopefully!) future customers, let people know what’s on the way, and handed out some free samples of Allie’s delicious baked goods — chocolate rosemary olive oil loaf and raspberry squares this time.

Free Samples
Free Samples A-Go-Go

Luckily(?), no one else was there with produce either (the weather is at least nondiscriminatory in its scorn). In the longer term, it may very well just be us, plus a gentleman who sells fruit, as the only farmers present. There are some great local artisans there, as well, selling everything from embossed leather wallets to soy candles to knitted goods.

Click on the pictures to see a few more from the market in our Flickr stream. And get more info about the farmers’ market on its Facebook page.

Coming up next: the first fruits (roots) of our labor!