Thursday, June 26, 2014

SCAPES! What are they??

Garlic patch
 Today I spent the morning at Ivan's farm picking garlic scapes. Ivan has a garlic patch that is approximately an acre. There are about 8 sections with four rows in each, and many, many garlic plants in each row. That's a lot of garlic!
Garlic scapes
But the cloves are not what I was after today, it was the scapes. Garlic scapes are like a stem that grows out of the top of the plant, and each one has a seed head near the top. As the scapes grow, they start to curl around, and that's when you know they are ready to pick and eat. You can cook the scapes or eat them raw (they aren't as strong as the cloves, I tried one.)

 I made it through three rows, between two sections, and that took me four hours! That shows how much garlic Ivan grows. But it was a peaceful morning out in the field, listening to the birds (and the rooster.) The only downside is that I still smell like garlic. At least I don't have to worry about vampires! (Let's not mention it's the middle of the day :))

Just to add some anticipation, blueberries will be ready for harvest within the next month or so! So be on the lookout!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Having a Field Day

Today I was Emanuel's farm picking chard. And not just any chard, but rainbow chard! You may be asking, "what's the difference between rainbow chard and any other chard?" And to tell you the truth,  I don't know. Just that the stalks are different colors like the ones you see here.But it sure is pretty, and tastes good too!
  So the way to pick chard is simple:
  you look for the nicest leaves (ones
  with little or no holes) and check to
  see if the stem is at least nine inches;
 if not then you leave it there to get
bigger for the next picking.

The next thing I did was weed fennel. For     those of you who don't   know what fennel is, I did a little research, because I didn't know either! Fennel is a   perennial herb that is very similar to anise.It has many medicinal culinary values, and the bulb is good to eat too, especially with peanut butter!                        

While Emmanuel's daughter and I weeded the fennel, he and his sons picked patty pan squash. This is just three of the many rows of patty pan that he grows.

                                                                                                     Patty pan is a flattish, round squash that can be stuffed with dressing or cheese and baked, or fried with butter and salt, or however you like to make it. I was fortunate enough to get to bring some home with me so I think I'm going to try stuffing it with cheese and bacon!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Strawberry Party Highlights

Back bending work and worth every bite.

We had roughly 100 CSA members and CRO friends come out to the farms last Saturday to share in the strawberry harvest.  Some folks stocked up and got 10 Qts+ to take home and make jam or freeze for the winter. Over 150 Quarts of strawberries were picked by our guests. There were 3 horse drawn wagon rides, 2 horse drawn buggy rides, over 25 different dishes shared at the potluck,  and a record number of children and youth involved!

Homemade donuts, a house specialty. 

After the pickers left Sligo, the Schwartz family and the Steary family were able to glean 125 more Quarts of berries, which we will be making into jam to be included in the winter CSA shares.

If you'd like to read a more detailed and artful description of the day, with beautiful photo's included, Check This Out. One of our members did the day justice with her write-up.

Thank you again to everyone who came out! What a great day!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Sweet Summer Strawberries

Strawberry Days Are Upon Us Here At CRO!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Don't forget about our Strawberry Harvest Party THIS Saturday! There will plenty of Strawberries for everyone!


 Here's a picture of what you will be working with on one of the farms. It may not look like much with all the weeds, but there are lots and lots of juicy, sweet berries in there; you just have to find them!!


  Like these ones!        
     I had an opportunity to do a little pre-picking today and these berries are dee-licious! I hope to see you all out here Saturday so you can get some of these sweet things for yourselves! They will also be available this weekend at the farmer's market.

   This farm, the Lone Pine, doesn't just grow strawberries. It also has a greenhouse full of flowers and vegetables, which are also planted in the gardens. They include tomatoes, peas, rhubarb and corn. The fences you see in this picture are set up between the rows of peas to help them grow and to make it easier to harvest them. It might be a pain to set up (that's the first thing I did today) but it's worth it to bring in a good harvest!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Pickled Watermelon Radish

Check out the newest addition to our Clarion River Specialties line of jarred goodies: Pickled Watermelon Radish. Made by our friends at the Republic Food Enterprise Center using our organic watermelon radishes, these are my favorite thing we have right now - and we have strawberries. Put a slice of pickled watermelon radish on a cracker with cheese and all I want is another one. Look for them soon in our CSA shares and at our farm stands.