Monthly Archives: July 2012

Episode 38: Supporting Farms Through All Kinds Of Weather

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Our area was one of several that were recently hit with severe weather. Power was knocked out for days and temperatures were in the triple digits. Our farmer friends were hit hard by the storm and it got us thinking about how important it is for us to support farmers regardless of the weather. We believe Community Supported Agriculture shouldn’t be dependent on the weather.

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You know what happens when you assume

I try not to fall into believing packaging and thinking something is better than it really is. You know I love shopping at the farmers market, any farmers market will do. The one we frequent most sets the standard for other markets. I know the bar is high, I trust the vendors and farmers. I rarely worry about reading the ingredient.

A few weeks ago I was at another market and saw a woman selling savory pies. Madigan had a sample and loved it. We got one, tucked it away in the freezer for a night when she and I would need to have dinner without Boomer and we could enjoy this chicken and veggie pot pie.

As I pre heated the oven, I was reading the directions and saw the ingredients…

and I was very disappointed. Yellow and Red? And as we were eating it, I was trying to figure out where those two came into play. Don’t get me wrong, the pie was DELICIOUS and would most likely buy another one, but my expectations were that this was homemade, not half way homemade.

I am almost certain it was packaged pie crust. I am no baker, but that top crust looks perfect, and perfect comes from machines. Again I would like to say that it tasted very very good, the filling had LOTS of chicken and good flavor from the veggies, but thought I could make this totally homemade. So it’s on the list, the list of things I want to make homemade.

Lesson of this post, don’t assume just because it’s from a farmers market you don’t have to read the labels.

Juicing

Oranges, carrots, chard and zucchini

turns into this

The zucchini gives the juice a banana vibe…we call this one mystery banana because it tastes like banana.

CSA bag 9

This week we had chard, potatoes (red and yellow), celery, cucumber, zucchini, a little pepper, basil and parsley. My friend from also brought us squash, zucchini and cabbage. What we don’t cook and eat we juice. You would be surprised what zucchini, carrots and oranges taste like together….no really it had a little bit of a banana flavor to it.

Filed Under: CSA

This canning business is hard work

If you remember I got a pressure canner for christmas from my mom. She got us a really great canner, lots of positive reviews, my cousin Christene even has one. And yesterday I finally got to use it.

I have been reading that the corn early in the season is the best to can, so I pre ordered a “sack” of corn from a farm in Pilot, VA. I had to make Boomer go with me to the market to get it since I didn’t think I would be able to carry it all. It was about 50 lbs of corn.

The bag the corn came in was a 100 lb feed bag for a horse (reduce, reuse, recycle) and was about 3/4 full. Since Madigan and I would be home most of the day ourselves, we tackled shucking the corn while cartoons were still on.

For perspective, that is a LARGE beach towel. All the husks went into a large kitchen trash bag. (Yes it could have all gone to the worm but our bin is small.)

That’s 60 ears of corn. We kept back 10 ears to eat this next week…but I thinkk after spending so much time with corn, I might share them with folks at work.

I took a break to freak out and start whipping up food. We had a wind storm on Friday night that downed a lot of trees, one being at my in-laws house. Lots of people without power, so I do what I can do, which is food. It turns out that everything was okay-ish and we weren’t needed, so back to processing corn.

Cutting the kernels off the cob raw was hard, and I am sore today. My hands got all tingley at one point, so I think I finally know what people are talking about with carpul tunnel. I think the suggestion of using an electric knife is brilliant. I think I would get one if I saw it at a yard sale or thrift store.


It took a long time to get to this spot. 17 pints in the pressure canner. It took a long time to get the canner up to 10 lbs of pressure. Since it was my first time I think I was a little passive on temps. Being a little more cautious what with the exploding canners from the 60s.

It worked…I think. The cans all popped. The seals look sealed. I would like to say that when they put something in the recipe like loose pack and generous 1 inch, take it seriously. I see that the corn expanded, and could have used a little more water. I will chalk this up to live and learn.

Would I do it again, yes…would I do it tomorrow, no. I think saving corn would be a couple times a season. And when it comes to the corn later in the season they say that is better to freeze due to the sugar content. Now to find myself an electric knife.