Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Share Week 10

Our Big, Fat Coyote Spotting
Late the other night, as we were returning home from dinner with friends (a much-needed evening off the farm), we bypassed our driveway and pulled into one of our fields instead to check up on the hens. We wanted to make sure everyone was snug in their hen houses, doors shut tight—something one of our employees said he’d do (but always good for us to double check). Just as we pulled in a fat coyote was prowling through the grass heading towards the hens’ houses. He quickly high-tailed it back into a small wooded area.

While our flock took a beating from the heat a few weeks back, over the course of the season we’ve probably lost just as many hens to predators this year—mostly coyotes and foxes. Occasionally, there is something attacking them even in the middle of the day. We aren’t sure what it is, but we can tell by the pile of feathers that are left in the field that something was in their fenced-in area. While we’ve had troubles in the past 12 years with the occasional fox—or, worse, neighborhood dog, usually it is with the even more vulnerable meat birds we raise that get hit. This year has been a new and difficult experience, and we’re thinking hard about what we need to do differently to ward off the problems we’ve had without compromising the way we raise our birds.

Ken spent Saturday putting in a good amount of seed for fall crops—in anticipation of some forecasted rain this weekend. We ended up getting more rain than we’d expected and hope the heavy downpours weren’t so strong that they washed seed away. We also put in a few thousand transplants for fall, including the lettuce seen in the picture provided. Indeed, it’s time here to start preparing for the final act—autumn. There’s still a ton of work ahead (we’re only about halfway through the season), but it is that time when many of our end-of-season plants get started in the greenhouse or directly in the field.

1 bunch basil
1 bunch cilantro
2 large onions
1 Jalapeno
6 ¼ ounces salad mix
1 head of garlic
1 bunch leeks

*This is an approximate list. We were short on a number of items this week, so there was variation among groups as to the items they receive. For instance, the types of tomatoes and cabbage varied this week among sites; we simply did not have enough of one type to go around for all but do keep track of who gets what so that, for instance, this week you might receive a variety of tomato that last week you did not.

This is a great week to make some fresh salsa. But there are plenty of other things to do with the produce from this week's share. Here are a few that grabbed us.

Using this week's red cabbage and cilantro--
Chinese chicken salad:

Mexican-style Slaw with Jicama, Cilantro and Lime:http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/mexican-style-slaw-jicama-cilantro-lime.aspx
(I wouldn't hesitate to leave out the jicama if you don't want to make a trip to the store. Substitute the leek greens--very thinly sliced--for the scallions.

This week's leeks...
Creamy Baked Leeks with Garlic, Thyme and Parmigiano

This is one way to use up your onions (last week's or this week's--doesn't matter that they're not red) and wow people you might be entertaining (or treat yourself). You can also follow the recipe's method for caramelizing the onions, and make a simpler bruschetta with sliced tomatoes, fresh mozarella and a basil leaf:
Fig and Onion Bruschetta

No comments: