Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Big Red Farmstand, Wed. August 7 & Sat. August 10, 1pm to 6pm

Hello friends,

Oxen working in the woods

Just in case anyone was wondering what Jake was up to over the weekend, he was in New Hampshire attending a workshop on farming with oxen.  (Why, you ask?  Because oxen are AWESOME.  I'm including a couple photos he took to illustrate the awesomeness.)  He had a great time and came home all fired up.  Then he immediately hopped on a tractor, because the upper field was actually dry enough to till, and drove up and down the field for hours, breathing diesel fumes...

Young teamster and his calves
In veggie news, we'll be experiencing a potato hiatus for the next few weeks.  We're done with our "new" potatoes, and we're hoping to harvest some storage potatoes within the next couple of weeks.  They'll have to sit in the barn for a bit to cure and let their skins harden up, and then we'll hope to run them through our fancy new bicycle-powered root washer!

Also this week, we're starting to have a few colored peppers (including but not limited to purple!).  These will be increasing in quantity in the coming weeks.


Meanwhile, the Farm Baby and her mama were holding down the fort, with lots of help from the Farm Baby's uncle.  We spent five hours picking tomatoes on Sunday, and we're eager to pass that bounty on to you all!

According to Tennyson, in the spring a young man's fancy turns lightly to thoughts of love.  That's all very well for Tennyson, but in the summer a young farmer's fancy turns urgently to thoughts of preserving all these beautiful veggies that are coming in faster than we can eat them.  At least, that's where my fancy turns.  There's nothing like a row of sealed jars in a pantry, or a stack of containers in a freezer, to inspire a feeling of satisfaction, self-sufficiency, and sticking it to the global food conglomerates.  And when winter rolls around and you're missing those summer tomatoes, cracking open one of those jars for a sauce or soup is almost as good as the original.
A heavy basket

If you're a canner, you know all this already.  If you've never canned tomatoes before, maybe this is a good time to start!  The 90+-degree weather is behind us, so it's once again possible to imagine turning on the oven or simmering a big pot or two on the stove.  It's totally possible, and not difficult, to safely can tomatoes in a home kitchen.  Making a big pot of sauce or soup and freezing it is even easier; I first started canning several years ago only because I'd used up all the space in the freezer and still had more fruits and veggies to preserve!  There are lots of great books and online resources about canning, as well as experienced canners who will happily answer questions.  This is the set of instructions I use to can whole peeled tomatoes (the most versatile option) -- it's very clear and has great photos!

...24 hours later,
"sun"-dried tomatoes!
Ready to go into
the dehydrator...
 Drying is another great way to preserve.  The Juliet mini-Roma tomatoes we grow are my favorite for making sundried tomatoes (OK, they're not actually dried in the sun, but just saying "dried tomatoes" gets me funny looks).  If you have a food dehydrator, it's really easy and doesn't even heat up the kitchen, but you can also use a very low oven (150 to 200 degrees) and many hours.  I keep my "sun"-dried tomatoes in ziploc bags in the freezer.  They thaw out quickly and are a delicious addition to pizza, pasta, and sauce.


Slow-roasting tomatoes in the oven is one of the best ways to bring out their intense, sweet flavor (of course, eating them raw is another good way, but you know what I mean).  This method is quick and easy to put together, and a low oven doesn't heat up your house to a very noticeable degree.  (Slow-Roasted Tomatoes)

What to do with slow-roasted tomatoes once you have them?  Well, tossing them with some pasta and fresh pesto seems like one decent plan.  Because you can't have too many pesto recipes, here is the one we use in my family.  It makes a larger batch, suitable for freezing.  (Gundel's Pesto)


This week, we hope to have the following available on Wednesday and Saturday from 1pm to 6pm:
  • Basil - $2.50 bunch
  • Beets - $2.50 bunch
  • Carrots - $2.50 bunch
  • Chard - $2.50 bunch
  • Cherry Tomatoes - $3.50 pint
  • Eggplant (limited quantity) - $3.00 lb
  • Eggs - $5.00 dozen (limit 1 dozen per customer)
  • Flowers - $2.50 bouquet
  • Hot Peppers - 2 for $1.00
  • Lettuce - $2.50 head
  • Okra (limited quantity) - $2.50 pint
  • Colored Peppers (new, limited quantity) - $4.00 lb
  • Green Peppers - $0.75 each
  • Roma Tomatoes - $3.00 lb
  • 'Juliet' Tomatoes - $5.00 quart
  • Heirloom Tomatoes - $4.00 lb
  • Scallions - $1.50 bunch
  • Slicing Tomatoes - $3.00 lb
  • Summer Squash/Zucchini - $2.00 lb
  • Tomatillos - $2.50 pint


Going North on 206, turn right at the Community Garden, and follow the gravel road back to the left. You'll see signs for parking. Bring your shopping bags and walk through the woods to the barn (there will be signs for that too).

Hope to see you at the farm!

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