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Tabbouleh Recipe

  Oh Parsley! What is it like to be known foremost as a garnish? Are you flattered to be eye candy accenting a main dish like a gaudy charm? Or do you secretly weep from the margins of platters that you are not respected as a real ingredient, fit to flavor an entree? Allow me to take this opportunity to share my love for my dear parsley. So much flavor, such perfect texture, and loaded with nutrition, too. Swoon, swoon… Here’s a recipe for Lebanese Tabbouleh full of so many flavorful ingredients… adjust the ratios accordingly to meet your personal tastes. I like mine with more parsley, less couscous.

Tabbouleh Recipe

You’ll need:

  • ¼ cup couscous ( I prefer original, not pearl)
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice of 2 large lemons, to taste
  • 3 cups chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
  • ½ pound ripe tomatoes, very finely chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, finely chopped
  • Salt, preferably kosher salt, to taste
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Oh my goodness, I bet you could get most of those things from your local CSA at the right time of year. Just sayin…Simple Steps: 1. Cook the couscous per packaged instructions – Suggestion: use an electric kettle to boil water; pour over the couscous (possibly topped with a dab of butter) in a medium mixing bowl. Cover, wait 5 minutes, and like magic, voila! it has cooked itself to perfection and only awaits your assistance to fluff it with a fork. 2. Add the rest of the ingredients and gently toss it. Taste and adjust. Chill it for a bit for best flavor.

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Berry Scone Recipe Idea

When I walked the field in the fall when I was in the long process of buying the farm, I was very excited to find that all around the edges of the farm there are Autumn Olives growing. They create a prolific crop of small silvery- red, tiny, tart berries each fall that birds love to eat. Fortunately the berry is edible for chickens and humans too, and I harvested many branches for the hens to snack on, and a few pounds to freeze for myself to enjoy throughout the winter.

I’ve been eating them almost daily for breakfast recently, topping yogurt with a handful of berries, a scoop of chia seeds, some rolled oats, and a healthy dollop of maple syrup.

Today though, I wanted to try something different so I looked for a stellar scone recipe and I found one I’m definitely going to stick with:

I generally followed the “Master Scone Recipe” from Sally’s Baking Addiction,  which is my kind of recipe because it explains how to make it your own,  has great comments about successful substitutions, and comes out dang delicious. I’m looking forward to trying out a series of sweet and savory farm-inspired scones! Today’s variety is:

Autumn Olive Clementine Scone

Clementine peel is one of my favorite add-ins to rice and it worked so well in these scones, too. Easier than orange zest, just finely chop the whole peel and eat the snack inside!

I subbed in Stonyfield organic plain whole milk yogurt for the heavy cream, only because it is what I had on hand. This being my first try with scones, I didn’t really know the right dough moisture/consistency and worried that it was too dry while mixing the wet/dry/add-ins, so I splashed some coconut milk, then realized the berries were thawing and the butter was melting so it seemed too wet, but anyhow I set panic aside to chill, and forged ahead, with no regrets.

The flavors were great, the texture fantastic, and since they came out of the oven at a perfect afternoon tea time, I plated up a warm scone, brewed up a pot of earl grey, stuck my pinky in the air, and enjoyed thoroughly.

What’s next:

Basil currant?

Rosemary beet?

Spinach scallion?

 

Cowboy Quinoa Dip

I was scrolling through old drafts just for kicks, to see what crazy ideas I’ve had bobbling around in my little red head and found this one with only the title and ingredient list, and got a little excited to share this gem.

Cowboy Quinoa Dip

And what a pleasant reminder ’tis of a great “dish to pass”. So I took the opportunity to make and share it with some friends at the farm just to double check the details (and snap its pretty picture) and yes, it’s still a hit.  I’ve shared this dish warm or cold with tortilla chips for dipping, or solo as a side dish. And we actually used it as an awesome base in our tacos for lunch today. It holds well in the fridge for a few days as well so consider adding it to your meal prep rotation. The flavors of salsa plus the protein and energy from beans and whole grains hit the trifecta of healthy, delicious, and filling. Oh and it’s quick, too!

Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes

You’ll need:

1 cup quinoa plus 1 1/3 cups water
2 tbsp butter
.5 cup cilantro, chopped
1 small red onion
3 medium tomatoes, diced
1.5 cups black beans, cooked or canned
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp lime juice
1.5 tsp sugar
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt

Simple steps:

First, cook the quinoa: In a 2 quart pan, bring the water to a boil. Add quinoa, simmer for 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Remove from heat, add butter and a pinch of salt. Fluff with a fork and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a small dish, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, sugar, chili powder, paprika, and salt.

Finally,  combine everything and stir it a little bit.

Enjoy!

 

Note: In this batch I didn’t have a red onion around, so I diced a white onion and let it sit in the oil/vinegar mix for a bit while I prepped other things.

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West side pick-up in Greece!

Big news, big news!

Super excited that I’m bringing the farm’s goodness to my folks on the west side of this fair city in 2020. Thankful for my dear cousin Kelly for connecting me to the ladies of the newly launching Arigo Wellness Network, conveniently located in Canal Ponds in Greece, NY. See you there, Wednesdays in the heart of the summer, all the finest the farm can give! Join up, it’s good for your health!

Here’s the rub:
West side CSA pick-up at Arigo Wellness in Canal Ponds (Greece)
8 Wednesday pick-ups from July 8 – August 26th 4-6:30pm.
110 Marina Drive in Greece
This will be a pre-packed share with some options. 8 weeks of fresh, delicious farm goods in a convenient location for $200. Sign up now on the Main Member Page.

Any Questions?

Seed Stories

I’ve heard folks squawk that you shouldn’t plant your watermelons near your pumpkins, because the two will cross and you’ll harvest neither delicious watermelons nor beautiful pumpkins,  but a pithy mixed-up goblin of a gourd instead. Them folks is confused.  In fact, data is uploaded to a seed from the prior generation’s pollination situation, and if you’ve purchased watermelon seed, it is already determined to “Run Program: Watermelon”.  And the same goes for the pumpkin seed; it’s going to fulfill its pumpkin legacy.  Furthermore, any and every plant will only cross-pollinate with other plants of the same species, and pumpkins and watermelons are not the same species. Therefore, plant your pumpkins and your watermelons wherever suits your toots.

saved zinnia seeds, with lots of chaff

But now, let’s say you are having a banner growing year and thinking of taking the next step in your journey toward gardening guru status: harvesting and saving seeds from your glorious garden to plant next year.  While planting a garden and caring for the crops all season is a labor of love indeed, saving seeds is an additional task of attentiveness that rewards with long lasting results. Not only will you have seeds of your own to start the next season, but the work itself will challenge you to pay attention to some details previously gone unnoticed.

I started to take an interest in seed-saving almost as soon as I started farming back in 2010, and quickly learned that saving seeds is a case of not being able to have your cake and eat it, too. Growing bush beans for seed, for example, requires passing up tender green beans and watching them grow tough and bulge out with the new seeds inside, until the pods turn brown and dry out with maturity.

Since I’m really in the business of growing marketable crops, saving seeds needs to be a pretty intentional and planned out process. I want to save seeds from the finest heads of lettuce, but I also want to get those same fine lettuce heads to my members or even my own salad bowl, so I better grow a lot of lettuce if I want to harvest the seed from just a few beauties. With all of the tasks and ToDos there are to do, I’ve found success by choosing to focus on just one or two seed crops I want to save at any given time. This lends me the opportunity to allot time to follow through with the seed harvesting, which often does not top my long list of priorities in peak season, and also the time to prepare and learn about this specific variety for successful harvest.

I’m no expert on seed-saving; as I said, I still check my resources for each crop I want to save, but it’s really quite easy to get started as a hobbyist. And in addition to having ‘free’ seeds to plant, each seed I’ve saved has a story, so when I pull the packets of bean and lettuce seed out of storage in the spring, I reminisce as I place them  into greenhouse trays or straight into the ground, hoping for another bountiful generation in the garden. I’d like to share these stories with you and encourage you to give seed-saving a try. Stay tuned for stories from my ventures in seed saving…