During last year’s farmers market we had a “Can you identify this potato?” contest. This unusual potato was given to us by another Master Gardener at the farmers market in September. She told us that it was from Oregon, but wasn’t sure what it was called. So with that clue, our investigation has led us to believe that it is a “Red Thumb”. Notice that it matches a thumb profile — wide and squatty with a slightly upward pointed end. And today, we cut into it to reveal its “unusual beautiful dark pink flesh”. A tell-tale sign — Mystery solved. Yeah, it’s a Red Thumb.
We are adding this thumb to our hand-full of fingerlings. This interesting little potato stores well (as can be seen here). And, it has a pleasing flavor with a firm texture. So to summarize, it fits our specialty crop boutique “like a glove”.
The Red Thumb was used as a side for our ” local” breakfast omelet. All ingredients are local food items!
- 2 farm-fresh eggs
- 1/2 cup farm-fresh Jersey Milk
- 1 Red Thumb, thin sliced (*see note)
- Tablespoon of home-made Salsa Verde (from Chef Butch for a little extra zip!)
* Technically, this one came from Oregon. But, it is one that we plan on growing.
First one of the year! It’s sure to taste better than awful store-bought eggs. We’re thinking that an Omelet is in the works.
We have Black Orpingtons and golden-laced Wyandottes. Both are winter hardy and good layers. But during the winter, these chickens will stop laying. Hens are sensitive to day length, and particularly to the direction in which day length is changing, when it comes to laying eggs. Declining day lengths discourage egg production. It is usual for the flock to go out of production in the latter part of fall because the days get shorter. A flock owner can avoid this problem and maintain egg production year round by using artificial lighting to give the hens a long day length no matter what the season. We don’t do this, as it seems to us that the hens need a break. In seed-time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy. ~William Blake
Our hens are prone to being broody, meaning that they will try to incubate eggs to make them hatch. They are more likely to become broody if they are allowed to accumulate eggs in a nest. This happens mostly during spring under natural daylight as the hens come into production due to the increasing day length. To avoid this problem, we pick up eggs at least once a day to prevent the hen from building a clutch.
Mother Earth News says:
Not long ago, most farms and households in the United States played host to at least a small flock of chickens. Chores such as collecting eggs and butchering birds were a part of daily life for all but the most urban residents. In many cases, the household’s flock consisted of a multipurpose breed suitable for egg production and of sufficient size to fill a frying pan when young, or to roast when mature.
For those interested in reviving the tradition of a hardy, homestead flock, we’ve compiled key characteristics and anecdotal information on 20 compelling heritage chicken breeds, including the Rhode Island Red, Leghorn, Australorp, Jersey Giant and more. In addition to a short description of the breed’s dominant features, the following chart includes the bird’s size, comb type, plumage, egg color, primary use and origin.
For sustainable farmers, what’s music to their ears? Hint: it’s not a new thing, but a rediscovery of something old.
Answer: Farm to table is showing up everywhere. The farm-to-table trend has grown over the past few years. Nowadays, it’s not unheard of for restaurants to have partnerships with local farms. And to think that just a century ago, all food was farm to table. The food then was fresh, local, and literally farm to table. And now there is a culinary rediscovery of the inherit goodness of local foods. We’re coming full circle. And this definitely is music to ours ears.
Shown above is the Cherry Springs Hotel, the tavern built by Jonathan Edgcomb in 1818 in Cherry Springs, Potter County, Pennsylvania. It was Potter County’s original farm to table establishment.
We read that the Sysco founder John Baugh was quoted as saying, “frozen foods taste better than anything I could grow in my garden.” Without a doubt, this gave us pause for thought.
Here is what we would like to tell the current Sysco CEO, whom ever he or she might be. Sysco is exactly why we don’t eat very often at restaurants. In our opinion, locally-grown food is better than frozen food, and food prepared from scratch by a trained professional is better than ”heat, assemble, and serve” meals that are so common at restaurants today. Why pay extra money for pre-cooked, frozen food entrees. Many of Sysco’s products—the meat, the vegetables, the fruits—are not that different than what you’ll find at the local supermarket.
Some questions to ask the food server at your next fine restaurant experience — Do you offer any locally grown items on your menu? Where do the food items on your menu originate? How does the chef (or cook) prepare the entrees? Chances are the answers will be — No, we don’t have any local food on our menu. And, we order our menu items from Sysco’s 400,000-plus item catalog. Our chefs have been trained to properly defrost and heat the frozen entrees.
Our reply to Sysco — “Well, maybe we should rename restaurant chefs or cooks and start calling them Sysco defrosters.”
A seed order arrived today! First of several, but being the first makes it special. In December, children look for presents under tree. But starting in January, it’s the grown-ups who are looking for packages in the mailbox saying; “What is it — What is it? Our Bachelor’s Button seeds are here!”
We are always experimenting with new ideas. Like well, let’s mix this beautiful wildflower with crimson clover and buckwheat for a perfect natural area cover crop. Don’t you think that those buzzing little pollinators will have a field day when that area blooms. We hope that they have a great time in our iridescent arrangement. Plus, Bachelor’s Buttons are a cutting garden favorite, and they are one of the easiest flowers to dry for everlasting arrangements. And wait there’s more, these edible flowers make salads and desserts beautiful and add color to any plate when used as a garnish. Their flavor is very mild – almost like a non-crunchy cucumber.
Where do we buy are our flower seeds? We like to “buy where confidence grows” and then we grow it organically.
223 Avenue D, Suite 30
Williston, VT 05495 USA
We would like to announce that we are in the process of completing our annual update for USDA Organic Certification online. We are excited about working with Pennsylvania Certified Organic (PCO) to launch this new database system. We are providing assistance in trialing the system and giving our feedback to PCO. This will give us a sneak peek at new database, help advance the system into service and ultimately make it easier for us to complete our annual update paperwork.
This recipe has turned out to be one of our favorites. It was one of the recipes demonstrated by Chef Butch and Chef Colin at the “Chef At The Market” event at the Potter County Farmers Market last August. The ingredients:
- 4 cups olive oil
- A few hunks of butter
- 1 bulb garlic (or shallot), peeled and crushed
- 1 pound fingerling potato
We have used Russian Banana fingerling potatoes, 1″ sliced in a large oven safe container.
Pour oil, butter and crushed garlic and/or shallot mixture into container to cover potatoes.
Cover the prepared container with a sheet of wax paper and a flat cookie sheet. Other covers that could be used include oven-safe plastic film or aluminum foil. Bake in oven at low temperature 225 degrees for 3 1/2 hours or more. CAREFULLY remove container from oven, remove the cover.
Remove the potatoes to be served from the pan and the oil. Potatoes can also be stored in the oil as it acts as a preservative and can be kept for months. Save the cooking oil in refrigerator to reuse for the next batch. Chef Butch says… “When making these potatoes, one can use garlic, leeks, sea salt, and a butter and oil for the mix. And, one can also add some Parmesan cheese to the mix.”