Garlic Scapes

It is garlic scape season again!  This is a 2-3 week period in June and July about a month before the garlic is ready to harvest.  Scapes are the flower umbrel of a hardnecked garlic. Since we want the energy of the plant to go into the garlic clove, we remove these and eat them.

Garlic scape in the garlic bed
  • Uses for Scapes –  We use scapes in 2 ways – as a green vegetable and as a major ingredient in pesto. Raw, scapes taste like a solid green garlic. They are rather strong. Cooked, they mellow in flavor. The texture is somewhere between cooked green beans and cooked asparagus. The flavor sort of resembles a garlic-y green bean.
    • Green Vegetable – We chop the scapes to a size similar to green beans and cook them in a similar manner. They can be steamed, sauteed or boiled. They can be added to soups, stews or stir-fries. They can also be blanched and frozen – we blanch them for 2 minutes.
    • Pesto – For our family, I take 1 part scapes to 1 part nut or seed to 1 part cheese to 1/2 part oil. I blend these together in the blender or food processor. The blender takes more oil, the food processor less. I have found that any nut/seed, cheese or oil will work. We don’t like the traditional pesto nuts and cheeses, so we use the ones we have, usually walnuts, cheddar cheese and olive oil. The flavor of this mellows with refrigeration. It can also be frozen. We eat it with veggies, crackers or bread OR eat it plain.
  • Just for reference or planning, 1/2 lb scapes chopped = about 2 cups.

Pastured Chickens

We have been raising chickens on pasture again this year.  We purchase day old chicks from the non-GMO flock of Freedom Ranger Hatchery out of PA.   These arrived by mail in late April, brooded in our brooder and moved to our field in May.  Once in the field we kept them in a moveable pen.  This protects them from the local predators – dogs, coyotes, and foxes.  And we move it daily so that they can get fresh vegetation.

Here is the pen:

and the path that they followed.  You can sort of see how they ate down the grass.  And later this summer if we look at the path, we will see that it is greener than the rest of the pasture because of the fresh natural nitrogen application!

We will be processing them soon as whole frozen birds.

Featured Herb – Mint

Mint, probably peppermint

Mint is our herb this week. It is a hardy perennial with aromatic leaves. I like to dry it and use it as tea in the winter. Several leaves can be added to salads or stirfries for a change in the flavor. And some add it to drinks to make them more minty. This is $1/bunch.

Featured Vegetable – Green Garlic

Green garlic to be bunched

Green garlic is immature garlic.  Like all alliums – garlic, shallots, onions – parts of the whole plant are edible throughout its life cycle.  If it is soft and not stalky, it can be eaten.  It can be used in stirfries or soups OR it can be used in salads or eaten raw, depending how well you like the garlic flavor.

Featured Vegetable – Rhubarb

Rhubarb plant

Rhubarb is plentiful this time of year. The tangy, tart stalks taste good with sugar or fruit usually in a dessert type dish. We like Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake and Rhubarb Upside Down Cake. The Farmer has also started adding a bit here and there to his veggie stirfries. It adds a little tang and softness. And I want to try to make some jam with it this year.

Rhubarb stalks

Just a note – .6 lb. is about 2 cups, which is usually what a recipe calls for. Rhubarb freezes easily. Cut it into 1/2 in. slices, put it in a freezing container, and put in the freezer. Voila! Then you have it to use later in the year. We like the coffee cake as part of our Easter breakfast, so each year I try to make sure I save some frozen rhubarb for that.

2019 Farmers Markets Start Next Week, June 5&6!

  • On Wednesdays from 2-6 p.m. we will be at the Syracuse Eastside Neighborhood Farmers Market which is held at the Westcott Community Center on the corner of Euclid and Westcott in the university area.  We are usually on the Euclid side of the building.  I refer to this market at the Westcott market.
  • On Thursdays from 12-6 p.m. we will be at the Fayetteville Market which is held in the Town Center in the parking lot.
  • On any day we are available at the farm in Nedrow by appointment.

Want to get weekly updates about what we have available?  Sign up below! Then stop by a market and say hi!  See you soon!

Spring on the Farm – 2019

Here are some views of the animals on the farm – goats, cows, pigs, calf, and chickens – and a look at the tulips, opened and closed.  Enjoy!

Pesch and Ralph
Firelight grazing
Wild Woman grazing
Spring piglets
Ted, the calf being raised to be an ox

 

The six chicks from the winter hatch
Closed tulips on a cool day
Open tulips on a sunny day

 

Pie crust recipe

Here is the current pie crust recipe of choice.  It works well and gives a consistent crust. It came from a friend who likes to bake.

Pie Crust

This uses flour, oil and water for a consistent crust.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour Can use all-purpose
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour Can use whole wheat
  • 2 pieces wax paper

Instructions

  1. Mix oil and water until frothy.  2 cup liquid measuring cup is a good place to mix it.

  2. Put frothy oil and water into bowl and add flour.  Stir with fork or spoon until it sticks together.  Try to touch as little as possible.

  3. Separate into 2 lumps.  Put one lump between wax paper and roll out to size of pie pan.  Put in pie pan and proceed according to pie recipe.  Do the same with 2nd lump of dough.

Recipe Notes

You can divide the recipe in half for 1 pie crust - 1/3 cup oil, 3 tbsp water, 1 cup + 2 Tbsp flour.  Follow the directions above.

I like this with a mix of whole wheat and all purpose flour.  You can also do just one or the other.

Pumpkin Pie

Here is my favorite pumpkin pie recipe.  It came from the back of a no-name brand of canned pumpkin.  I cook down my pumpkin and use that in place of the canned pumpkin.

Pumpkin Pie - Makes 2 pies

This pumpkin pie uses milk, eggs, pumpkin, sugar and spices, nice and straightforward.

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups pumpkin, or pureed squash or sweet potato
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups milk

Instructions

  1. Mix pumpkin, sugar, spices and eggs together.  Stir in milk.

  2. Pour into 2 uncooked pie crusts. Bake for 400F until knife comes out clean.  It may take 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Cool and eat.

Recipe Notes

I use something between 3 and 4 cups of pumpkin, depending on how much I have.

Nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice can be substituted for some of these spices.

Here is the pie crust recipe that I like to use.  Enjoy!

Cooking a Pumpkin – Oven Method

Recently I cooked a pumpkin in the oven to prepare it for making a pie. Here is how I did it:

First I washed the outside of the pumpkin.  I poked it 3 or 4 times with  a fork.

Jarrhdale Pumpkin ready to go in the oven

Next I put it on a pan with sides and put some water in the bottom.  I baked it at 400F until it was soft, probably about 2 hours.

Cooked pumpkin

 

 

 

I removed it from the oven and let it cool.  Then I peeled it.

 

Peeled pumpkin from side
Peeled pumpkin from top

 

Cooked pumpkin wedge

 

 

Cooked pumpkin in blender covered with water
Blended pumpkin ready to use

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next I cut it into pieces and put about 4 cups in the blender.

 

 

I added water to the top of the pumpkin.  I blended it until I had a nice puree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I set it aside and blended some more.  Once it was all blended I could use it or refrigerate or freeze it until I had something to do with it.

 

 

Cooking a Pumpkin - Oven Method

Here is a way to cook a pumpkin or winter squash in the oven.

Ingredients

  • 1 pumpkin or winter squash

Instructions

  1. Wash the outside of the pumpkin, poke it with a fork 3-4 times, put in a pan with sides, like a 13x9 pan, cover the bottom with water, put in the oven, bake at 400F.

  2. Cook until it is soft. This could take 2 hours. I check it at 1 hour and every 15-20 minutes after that. It will feel soft and it could shrink and sort of fall in on itself.
  3. Once it is soft, remove from the oven and let it cool at least 10-15 minutes. Cut it open. If it is still hot inside, let it cool some more.
  4. Once it is cool enough to handle, remove and discard the seeds. Pull off the skin or scoop out the meat of the pumpkin.
  5. Put about 4 cups of pumpkin in the blender. Add water to the top of the pumpkin. Blend until smooth. Add water if all of it can't rotate through the blending.
  6. Empty the blender and do another batch, repeating until it is completed.  Refrigerate or freeze until you are ready to use it.