Blooming Glen Farm | bloomingglenfarm
1
archive,paged,author,author-bloomingglenfarm,author-1,paged-29,author-paged-29,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,paspartu_enabled,paspartu_on_bottom_fixed,qode-theme-ver-12.1,qode-theme-bridge,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.11.2.1,vc_responsive
 

Author: bloomingglenfarm

With the cooler days and nights of late summer, I find that instead of craving quickly cooked meals and cold salads, I have been turning to more warm, comforting dishes. The appearance of soups and stews on the table is a delightful reminder of the fast approaching fall season!

Tomato soup is that perfect transitional late-summer meal. Alongside a good grilled cheese, you can’t match the freshness and comfort of this classic dish. My recipe uses whole milk for creaminess (not as heavy as those recipes that call for cream), roasted garlic and sweet peppers to add a depth of flavor, and a topping of balsamic vinegar and fresh corn for some sweetness.

Tomato Soup with Roasted Garlic and Sweet Peppers

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees

-Quarter approximately 3 pounds of red tomatoes and place on baking sheet with 4 or 5 (about 3/4 of a pound) of sweet peppers, seeded and diced, and 5 or 6 unpeeled garlic cloves. Roast in oven for 20 minutes or so until veggies are tender.

-Meanwhile, in a large pot, melt 4 tablespoons of butter and saute 1 white onion until translucent. Stir in 2 heaping tablespoons of tomato paste.

-Pour 4 cups of chicken or veggie stock over onions and bring to boil. Then turn down to a medium-low heat.

-Dump roasted veggies into pot with stock and onions, making sure to remove garlic skins beforehand. Puree with an immersion blender. **If you don’t have one of these you can simply put the mixture into a blender, food processor or food mill.

-Add in 1 cup of whole milk (or half a cup of heavy cream if you prefer) and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

-Let cook on medium-low heat for 20 minutes to let flavors meld. Stirring occasionally.

-Top with a splash more of balsamic and some fresh, sweet corn. Serve along side your favorite version of grilled cheese. ENJOY!

Recipe and photos by Jana Smart- Blooming Glen Farm employee and frequent creator of creative recipes using farm fresh seasonal ingredients. Check out more of her recipes on her food blog http://www.agrarianeats.blogspot.com/

Over the past few days the farm has received over 4 inches of rain. That’s quite a lot in a short period of time! Luckily we had a busy week before the rain came getting lots of our fall crops in, as well as seeding our fallow fields in a variety of cover crops. The rain, however, does spread disease quickly, so enjoy the tomatoes while we have them: 4 pounds this week plus free-choice “grazing” in the last of the cherry tomatoes. And yes, the bird netting worked, and you’ll be getting sweet corn this week!! Enjoy!

CSA share photo, week 12.

Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

Squash CasseroleLucky for us, zucchini and yellow squash are not just a reliable and tasty summer staple, they’re also a great source of nutrition! When we eat summer squash, we benefit from the cancer-fighting antioxidant nutrients vitamin A, vitamin C and manganese. We also get a healthy dose of essential minerals magnesium and potassium, as well as copper. Because many of these nutrients live in the skin of the squash, be sure to leave the skin intact and choose organically grown — like those from Blooming Glen Farm. As is true with most veggies, in terms of nutrient retention, steaming is a much better cooking method than microwaving or boiling.

I usually serve the vegan version (see options below) of this quick and easy squash casserole with a side of greens and BBQ tempeh — best eaten outside, of course! You can make this casserole throughout the growing season; in the spring/early summer, simply substitute with young and more delicate squash, and cut the steaming time by a couple minutes.

Squash Casserole

Steam 5 cups sliced yellow squash, 5 cups sliced zucchini, and 2 onions, sliced or cut into this wedges, in a steamer basket until tender, about 5 minutes. Lightly grease a large casserole dish with butter or grapeseed oil. Add a layer of squash, zucchini and onion in the casserole dish, top with a thin coating of whole wheat Italian bread crumbs (or, season your own); repeat until all the veggies are in the dish.

In a small bowl, stir and combine 3/4 cup breadcrumbs with 1/4 cup parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast flakes, 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley and 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes. Sprinkle the mixture over the vegetables and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until cooked through and browned on top to your liking.

Recipe and photo by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified health counselor, and co-founder and -owner of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy living and eating on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com!

The cooler weather at the farm this week has us thinking of fall. Though it may still be early August, as farmers we must always be looking a few months ahead- sowing, transplanting and even harvesting crops now, to be eaten later in the season. Direct sown crops like turnips, carrots, beets, arugula and radishes must all go in the ground. Crops that we started a month or so ago in the greenhouse are also being transplanted- celery, parsley, spinach, bok choy, tatsoi and fall lettuces.

Purple-top turnips and transplanted spinach.

The winter squash crop looks exceptional this year. The butternuts, delicata and cheese pumpkins are all starting to color up and finish ripening. The first winter squash to be harvested, red kabocha, or “sunshine” squash, was picked this week.

Red Kabocha winter squash harvest.

You may notice when you come to the farm that the propagation greenhouse has been covered with a shade cloth and converted to a drying area. In there you will see onions drying and the winter squash curing, while the remainder of our seedlings have been bumped to a smaller greenhouse.

The prop house changes duties for the fall.

We aren’t by any means through with summer just yet. Even as we plan for fall, most of our mornings are still spent harvesting summer crops. Like summer squash and tomatoes, crops like okra have to be harvested almost every other day. Okra has a beautiful flower, similar to hibiscus, but the plant itself is very prickly, and rash inducing. Only the brave dare harvest without gloves!

Mighty okra

Despite the realization that sweet corn takes up a lot of space, requires a disproportionate amount of fertility and nutrients, and in general is just really difficult to manage organically, well, like everyone else we love to eat it, so we keep trying. Our first corn rotation blew over in the big wind and hail storm, causing terrible pollination. The second rotation had quite a bit of worm damage, but the worst was the birds- they know just when the corn is sweet and almost ready for picking and they swoop in, strip the tips down and devour the top two-thirds of the cob, rendering them pretty much inedible. Okay, so let’s hope the third times the charm. We didn’t think our neighbors would appreciate a big cannon blasting noise every few minutes to scare the birds off, and we definitely weren’t into having teenagers out there with their BB guns, so we opted for a gigantic bird net. Call us crazy, but we had to try. So now eight out of ten of the 200 foot beds in the third and final rotation of sweet corn are covered in what looks like a gigantic hair net. Yes, red-winged black birds, we left two beds for you! Please, please, please leave the rest for us!!

Bird-proofing the sweet corn. We hope.

Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

This flavorful chili is a very light and healthy recipe that utilizes a lot of this week’s share–onions, tomatoes, tomatillos, hot peppers, summer squash, and okra. This is a great way to use up some of those items you may not know what to do with. Tomatillos give this chili some sweetness and depth of flavor, while the okra gives it some good texture and acts as a thickener.

Summertime Chili

Cut up 2 pounds of tomatoes into quarters and put on baking sheet with:

2 poblano peppers, stem removed and seeded
1 jalapeno, stem removed and seeded (you might want to wear gloves for this step!)
1 pound of tomatillos, husks removed
2 cloves of garlic

-Drizzle all veggies with a little olive oil and place in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until they start to get tender and brown slightly. [**The last 5 minutes I set my oven to BROIL to char the veggies a little bit, but feel free to simply roast if you don’t like that flavor] Set aside to cool.

-Meanwhile, in a large stockpot, saute 1 white onion and 2 cloves of garlic in a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Cook until translucent and add 2 heaping tablespoons of tomato paste. Mix well.

– Add in with the onions 2 pounds of ground beef (Tussock Sedge Farm is both local and grass-fed) and brown until fully cooked. Salt and pepper generously.

-Place all of the roasted veggies in a food processor with 1 teaspoon of salt, 2-3 tablespoons of chili powder and 1 teaspoon of cumin. Pulse until pureed.

-Add pureed mixture in with the cooked beef and onions along with 2 medium sized summer squash, cut into small pieces, and 1 1/2 cups of chicken or veggie stock

-Bring chili to a boil and then turn down to a low setting and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally.

-In the last 15 minutes of cooking, chop up a handful of okra and toss in. This will help thicken the chili and give some additional texture and flavor.

-Let cool a bit and serve alongside some cornbread and maybe a cold beer. ENJOY!

Recipe and photos by Jana Smart- Blooming Glen Farm employee and frequent creator of creative recipes using farm fresh seasonal ingredients. Check out more of her recipes on her food blog http://www.agrarianeats.blogspot.com/

This week’s share sees the debut of tomatillos, a lesser known plant in the nightshade family (sharing the stage with potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant). The tomatillo, or husk tomato, is a staple of Mexican cuisine, and the key ingredient in fresh and cooked Latin American sauces. The most well known way to eat tomatillos is as salsa verde. The husk of the tomatillo turns brown as they ripen, and the fruit can be any number of colors when ripe, including yellow, red, green, or even purple. Ripe tomatillos will keep in the refrigerator for about two weeks. They will keep even longer if the husks are removed and the fruits are placed in sealed plastic bags stored in the refrigerator. They may also be frozen whole or sliced.

CSA Share, week 11.

Posted by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

I came upon this method for drying cherry tomatoes that is a bit different than the standard “dry” dehydrating method. Here, you toss the tomatoes in olive oil before drying–a simple touch that gives them a wonderfully caramelized flavor that is perfect for pizza or pasta toppings. These are a great alternative to those expensive oil-packed sundried tomatoes you find in most stores. The only downside is you will need to freeze them if you want them to keep for storage. Good luck getting that far though! These make for a super sweet and delicious snack!

**If you want to dry these the traditional way to keep for a while in your cupboard, simply omit the olive oil and check to make sure the tomatoes are completely dry before storing.

-Heat your oven to 250 degrees

-Cut whatever quantity of cherry tomatoes you have in half and put in a bowl and lightly coat with olive, grapeseed, or other light oil.

-Spread on cookie sheet, cut side up (1 pint will fit on one cookie sheet give or take)

-Slow roast them in the oven for 5-6 hours depending on how dry you want them.**I was going to eat them right away so I didn’t dry them all the way (only about 4 hours) and used them in a pasta dish. YUM!

-Throw them in a quiche, on a pizza or some Penne and ENJOY! If you want to freeze them, simply cool and put in a plastic baggy.

Recipe and photos by Jana Smart- Blooming Glen Farm employee and frequent creator of creative recipes using farm fresh seasonal ingredients. Check out more of her recipes on her food blog http://www.agrarianeats.blogspot.com/

Edamame: the Japanese name literally means “twig bean” (eda = “twig” + mame = “bean”) and refers to these young green soybeans grown on a twig-like branch. This very delicious and nutritious kid-friendly snack is very simple to prepare: the pods are boiled in water or steamed, until they soften. The most common preparation uses natural coarse sea salt for taste. The salt may either be dissolved in the boiling water before adding the soybean pods, or added after the pods have been cooked. Boiled soybean pods are usually served after cooling, but can also be served hot. Either squeeze the beans out with your fingers or slide them out of the pod with your teeth, getting a nice taste of the salt (the pod is a little tough and fibrous, so you don’t want to eat it). This popular snack is great with a cold beer! 

CSA share, week 10.

Chef Rich Baringer of Dinner’s Done Personal Chef Service braved last Friday’s thunderstorms and joined us again for a cooking demo during CSA pick-up. He had another wonderful assortment of recipes. Two of my favorites featured cantaloupes, which return to the share this week, and another crowd favorite featured grilled fennel.

Grilled Honey Mint Cantaloupe 

First, preheat your grill to medium-low. Then, heat 1/4 cup butter and 1/2 cup honey together in a saucepan.  Once melted, stir in 1/3 cup fresh mint, chopped and a dash of cayenne pepper, if desired.

Next, take 1 cantaloupe, seeded and cut into 8-12 wedges and place melon wedges on a sheet pan and brush with sauce. 

Rub grill grates with a paper towel soaked in vegetable oil and place melon on grates (basted side down). Grill until lightly marked and softened, about 2-4 minutes. (The smell will be heavenly!)

Cantaloupe wedges on the grill.

Baste tops of melon with sauce and flip to grill on other side, another 2-4 minutes.

Remove melon from grill and allow to cool slightly.  Cut melon off of rind and into bite-size pieces; place in serving bowl.  Drizzle with remaining sauce before serving.

Cantaloupe Guacamole

Combine the following ingredients, and serve with tortilla chips or as an accompaniment to grilled fish or steak: 2 ripe avocados, peeled and roughly mashed, ½ ripe cantaloupe, cut off of the rind and finely diced, 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced, 1 teaspoon jalapeno (or more to taste), seeded and minced, ½ a 14-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed, 2 teaspoon lime juice (or more to taste), ¼ teaspoon salt (or more to taste).

Grilled Fennel from the Barbecue Bible by Steven Raichlen

Use 4 small or 2 large fennel bulbs (1 ½-2 lbs). Cut each bulb lengthwise into ½” wide slices through the narrow side.

Combine in a large nonreactive bowl and whisk to mix: 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons honey, 2 cloves garlic, minced, 2 small shallots, minced and 3 tablespoons fresh tarragon or basil, chopped.  Add the fennel and toss to coat thoroughly.  Cover and let marinate for 2 hours, not necessarily in the refrigerator.

Preheat the grill to high. When ready to cook, remove the fennel slices from the marinade, arrange on the hot grate, and grill, turning with tongs until just tender, 8-16 minutes in all, seasoning with salt and pepper.  Chop into bite-size pieces, if desired.  Toss grilled fennel with remaining marinade and serve warm or at room temperature.

Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

Now that the worst of that torrential heat wave from last week is waning, I find myself finally able to make my way back into the kitchen and near a stove for the first time in weeks. I’ve been eating mostly cold salads and ice cream lately, so the idea of a baked-cheesy-crispy-veggie-something sounded perfect. This is a variation of a classic French dish that simply involves layering vegetables and topping them with cheesy, herby breadcrumbs. Before you get started, I recommend making your own breadcrumbs. You can buy them at the store pre-made, but I find a very noticeable difference in them from the ones you make from scratch. One of my favorite bloggers, Smitten Kitchen, gives these valuable tips on the ease of making your own:

May I implore you, nay, beg you to forgo store-bought breadcrumbs and make your own? It is too simple not to. Take any bread at all — I mean your favorite kind, rolls the pizza place sent you with your salad, the crusts off your kid’s sandwich — leave it out overnight and pulse it in the food processor the next morning: instant breadcrumbs that will put that sawdust in a can to shame! In a rush? Fresh bread grinds up well, too, whether or not you toast it first. Planning ahead? Make a lot and keep it in the freezer. Breadcrumbs, at the ready!

Once you have the breadcrumbs ready, this impressive summer gratin layered with new potatoes, tomatoes and summer squash will be ready for quick assembly.

Provencal Summer Gratin

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees and oil a large cast iron or baking dish with equivalent volume.

-Thinly slice about 1 pound of new potatoes and assemble them at the bottom of the pan, slightly overlapping the layers. Salt and pepper generously.

-Slice about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of red tomatoes (slice up an heirloom to throw in for variation if you have it). Arrange layer of tomatoes on top of potatoes. Salt and pepper.

-Thinly slice 2 gloves of garlic and arrange atop the tomatoes. Sprinkle some dried oregano and thyme.

-Cut 2 summer squash into 1/4 inch slices and layer on top of tomatoes and garlic. Salt and pepper.

-Pour 1/4 cup of chicken broth and 2 tablespoons of olive oil over layers (for cooking moisture)

-Take 1 cup of homemade breadcrumbs and mix in a small bowl with 1/2 cup of parmigiano reggiano or pecorino cheese and a dash of dried oregano and thyme. Sprinkle over veggie layers.

-Bake gratin for 40-45 minutes. Cool slightly. ENJOY!!

Recipe and photos by Jana Smart- Blooming Glen Farm employee and frequent creator of creative recipes using farm fresh seasonal ingredients. Check out more of her recipes on her food blog http://www.agrarianeats.blogspot.com/

Thanks to a wonderful crew of volunteers a few weeks ago, all of our garlic is harvested and hanging to dry. Two huge crews of CSA members spent the morning tugging the bulbs out of the ground and then tying them in bundles. Over 10,ooo bulbs were harvested over two weeks.

Volunteers harvest garlic.

Moving the garlic back to the barn to be bundled.

After about 6 weeks the garlic will be dry and ready to be cut down, and the stems and roots trimmed off. The larger bulbs will be sorted out and saved for seed for planting this fall, where it will begin it’s 9 month journey to next year’s harvest. We’ve been saving our own garlic seed for the past 5 seasons. The thought is that the seed eventually becomes adapted to your farm, and its specific growing conditions, and with the average cost of garlic seed about $13 a pound, it makes sense to save our own. We started out with a number of different varieties of garlic, but have found our stand-out favorite to be Music. Music is a Porcelain hardneck variety named after its developer, Al Music, a farmer in Ontario who switched from tobacco farming to growing garlic in the early 1980’s and developed the strain from garlic he acquired in Italy. It has a wonderful robust flavor, large easy to peel cloves, and grows consistently well year after year. If you missed the garlic harvest, don’t worry, we plan on pulling all our storage onions pretty soon, another fun harvest experience. Keep an eye out for details. We certainly do love to grow alliums here at Blooming Glen Farm!

Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.