This simple concoction of local apples, onions and a touch of curry produces a terrific compliment to roast pork, turkey or even chicken. Great on thanksgiving sandwiches too!!…
We are now harvesting our summer crops!
Very exciting as the summer produces amazing ingredients for the home cook, especially the seasonal cook. Our garden is producing a large number of vegetables including the following:
- Straight neck yellow squash (heirloom)
- Crookneck yellow squash (hybrid volunteer from last year)
- Heirloom cucumbers
- Heirloom bush beans (green beans)
- Herbs, rosemary, basil, sage (all heirlooms)
- Baseball zucchini (heirloom)
- Datil Peppers (seeds available in the store)
Very soon the potato harvest will commence, we have at least 500 lbs of potatoes. These are all heirlooms too and 3 different varieties.
As a prepper or homesteader, having a garden and perennial fruit producing trees are very important to have. Especially since the start up costs are very low, apple trees, cherry trees, peach trees, blueberry bushes etc. can be purchased for $10-$20 for good sized specimens.
WIth summer harvest in full swing I use recipes that help use up the harvest while providing the family with wonderful meals. Ratatouille is a key recipe for summer to use up things like zucchini, squash, eggplant, tomatoes and other ingredients. I also use ratatouille for an appetizer in my ratatouille bruschetta recipe which is a great dish for parties.
This year we have three yellow squash plants from last year that have sprung up in funny places like our compost pile, next to my cherry tree and in a pile of straw. Yesterday I harvested several squash from them…they yellow squash pictured above came from the volunteers. Also, the new heirloom “baseball” zucchini are growing well and are delicious . You can find the heirlooms I use at Heirloom solutions a great website operated by nice people in Thompson Ill. I will be doing demos at their country store on June 30th 20120
So far, the heirloom crops are very vigorous and producing a nice crop. I like using heirlooms because you’re keeping a part of history alive and these are saved because of high germination rates and for taste. But the best thing is the seeds can be saved adn used the next year without fear of having funny looking and tasting vegetables that are normally produced by second season seeds from hybrids.
In my opinion, hybrids have NO PLACE in a prepper or homesteaders garden. Having to re-purchase seeds each year as necessary with hybrids is a waste of money as far as I’m concerned.
With all the vegetables you will be harvesting, you will need to be thinking creatively about cooking seasonal vegetables. I recently penned an article Tips For Making Vegetable Recipes New and Exciting which goes into detail about the methods I use to create new recipes using seasonal produce, check it out it might help you come up with new ideas.
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Chef Keith Snow
Seasonal Cooking Made Easy!
As a proponent of seasonal cooking and local foods I often preach about eating vegetables and fruits, and even things like seafood, while in season. Depending on the vegetable the season could be weeks or months.
If you prepare the seasonal vegetable the same way, getting bored with it is likely. A great example of this is summer squash like zucchini and yellow squash. These are prolific producers and can give you a harvest for months on end. It’s always a challenge to find new ways to prepare it for those in the family that are not huge fans of squash.
So What Do I Do?
Lets start by thinking about texture. Be sure to pick these vegetables at no bigger then 6-7 inches, any bigger and they develop a big spongy seed pod which is honestly not very appetizing. When small, the flesh is much firmer.
Next try to imagine how the application of different types of heat will produce different textures. For example,grilling vegetables produces some char and soft pliable vegetables. Sautéing can produce some caramelization with a soft interior. Deep frying produces a nice crisp exterior and meaty interior.
Each of these texture styles can manifest itself differently in the mouth and make the eating experience very different. So the same vegetable can produce a different meal if the texture is considered before you start.
Another way to add variety to the same vegetable is to think about. If you cook squash using the Italian flavors of oregano, garlic and tomato with some Parmesan cheese you have an Italian style vegetable dish.
If you use cumin, coriander, ginger, green onion and coconut milk you have an Indian dish. If you use chili peppers, cilantro and lime you have a Latin or Mexican style dish. IF you use ginger, soy sauce and hoisin you have a chinese preparation.
You can see that with a little forethought as it relates to texture and Ethnicity you can make many different interpretations for the same or similar vegetables. I use these techniques all the time when creating new recipes for the same vegetables each year.
Another technique to consider is changing the meal for which the vegetable is to be eaten . so instead of ALWAYS cooking zucchini as a dinner side dish how about breakfast? What could we use it for in the morning? How about an omelet?
What about a dessert? Maybe we make zucchini walnut bread. If it’s lunch time how about shredding the zucchini finely then tossing it in a salad to add more vegetation?
The ways to use vegetables are endless…but it does take thought. These ideas are effective and the way I think when creating recipes.
Try it…it works!!
Five million Brazilian farmers are locked in a lawsuit with US-based biotech giant Monsanto, suing for as much as 6.2 billion euros. They say that the genetic-engineering company has been collecting royalties on crops it unfairly claims as its own.
The farmers claim that Monsanto unfairly collects exorbitant profits every year worldwide on royalties from “renewal” seed harvests. “Renewal” crops are those that have been planted using seed from the previous year’s harvest. While the practice of renewal farming is an ancient one, Monsanto disagrees, demanding royalties from any crop generation produced from its genetically-engineered seed. Because the engineered seed is patented, Monsanto not only charges an initial royalty on the sale of the crop produced, but a continuing 2 per cent royalty on every subsequent crop, even if the farmer is using a later generation of seed.
“Monsanto gets paid when it sell the seeds. The law gives producers the right to multiply the seeds they buy and nowhere in the world is there a requirement to pay (again). Producers are in effect paying a private tax on production,” Jane Berwanger, lawyer for the farmers told the Associated Press reports.
In the latest installment of the legal battle erupting in South America, the Brazilian court has ruled in favor of the Brazilian farmers, saying Monsanto owes them at least US$2 billion paid since 2004. Monsanto, however, has appealed the decision and the case is ongoing.
In essence, Monsanto argues that once a farmer buys their seed, they have to pay the global bio-tech giant a yearly fee in perpetuity – with no way out.
At stake is Brazil’s highly profitable and ever growing soybean production. Last year, Brazil was the world’s second producer and exporter of soybean behind the United States, according to the AFP report. The crops can be used for anything from animal feed to bio fuel, and worldwide demand is growing.
Genetically engineered soy first appeared illegally in Brazil in the 1990’s, smuggled in from neighboring Argentina. The Brazilian farmers found the seed attractive despite the ban in place from the Brazilian authorities because Monsanto had specifically designed the seed to be resistant to its own immensely powerful and popular herbicide Roundup. Read More
This simple sauce is easy to make and absolutely delicious and addictive. PErfect on beans, burritos, eggs or anything that needs a tangy life. This recipe will last a year in the fridge because it has so much vinegar in it….
Now that grilling season is here many of you will be coking up plenty of BBQ and other grilled items. Needless to say, a properly calibrated thermometer can be a lifesaver in determining the internal temperature of the foods you cook.
This is crucial to make sure things are cooked and out of the “danger zone” but also it’s useful to determine other issues such as how hot a pork shoulder that you are smoking is. Internal temperature will determine if the pork is ready to pull or just to slice…HUGE difference. A thermometer takes the guess work out of it.
Now you do not need a high priced thermometer, a simple stick thermometer available just about everywhere, is perfectly acceptable. I used to recommend probe thermometers because of the potential they offer. However, after trying three of them only to have them crap out in weeks was enough for me…..they are all made in China and the quality is just not there. So please do not waste your money.
A stick thermometer will cost around $5-$10 depending on where you buy them. I am a big fan of visiting restaurant supply stores. They stock items that you cant find in grocery or specialty stores and they are much cheaper then you’d expect. Things like small wares, pots, pans, storage containers, serving ware and of course, stick thermometers.
Buy a few…then..learn how to keep them calibrated by watching the video above.
UPDATE- This Saturday kicked off the first Second Saturday Market in Iowa City. It’s a push by some in the Downtown Association to convince city leaders to move the entire market downtown and outdoors permanently. At the market, vendors and shoppers share a mixed bag of opinions.”It’s the most picture perfect day we could ask for,” said shopper Karen Orourke.It was a Sunny day for some 120 vendors with more on a waiting list. Some of those who couldn’t get a spot under the ramp, more than 30 of them moved to outdoor spaces.”I love being outside here it shows the food, our flowers, it just looks better,” said Farmer’s Market’s Daughter President & Owner Jennifer Goodlove.
And some Downtown Association officials want the entire market to move outside.
“It’s just fresh and a lot better than stuff that comes in a jar,” said Goodlove.
Traditionally, vendors are under the Chauncey Swan parking ramp near the intersection of Washington and Gilbert streets.
“I like where I’m at. I like being inside under the ramp,” said Wagaman Produce’s Brenda Wagaman
Nourished by shoppers who increasingly want food that is fresh, local and environmentally friendly, more farmers markets are sprouting up across the Bay State, roughly doubling in number in the last seven years.
Massachusetts is home to 245 farmers markets this season, up from a little more than 120 in 2004, according to the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources.
Agriculture officials and advocates say this offers the state’s farmers ever-expanding opportunities to sell their products, with retail sales now a significant part of many growers’ annual income.
“They’re hugely important to Massachusetts farmers,” said Brad Mitchell,
government relations director for the Mass. Farm Bureau.
The takeoff of farmers markets also may have contributed to Massachusetts’ recent reversal of its declining number of farms, advocates said. The number of Bay State farms hit a low of 5,800 in 1995, but has climbed to 7,700 today, according to the National Agriculture Statistics Service.
“For a long time, we were just seeing farmers and farmland decreasing sharply,” Mitchell said.
Like here, most states that have halted declining numbers of farms have a robust system of farmers markets, said Jeff Cole, executive director of the Massachusetts Federation of Farmers Markets.
In Massachusetts, most farms are relatively small operations, with the average farm less than 70 acres, the Statistics Service said. As a result, most have to cut out the middleman and sell directly to customers, Mitchell said, making farmers markets crucial venues.
Yet the expansion of farmers markets also poses challenges for growers.
By Rossilynne Skena, VALLEY NEWS DISPATCH
On Wednesdays during the summer, Bill Schutzler wakes with the sun and begins to organize into boxes his crop of tomatoes, peppers, garlic, onions and other produce.
It’s the day of Tarentum’s weekly farmers market, which begins at 9 a.m.
He’s one of a host of local farmers who devote hours to preparing for farmers markets and bring in an income from their sales.
Schutzler, of Buffalo Township, plants a big garden on his acre of land.
He also sells garlic, beets and onions from his home, but farmers markets bring in most of the income from his produce production.
Schutzler, who is retired, said he grows everything from romaine lettuce to red raspberries.
“A little bit of everything,” he said. “(It) depends what’s in season.”
He accepts farmers market nutrition vouchers from low-income customers.
Arlene Fusko of Destiny Acres Alpacas also sells wares from her Buffalo Township farm at the Tarentum market.
She offers for sale brown and green eggs, plus alpaca fiber, which is sought after by knitters and crocheters. She’s sold products at the Tarentum market for two years.
“I’m happy with Tarentum,” she said. “I think they do a fantastic job and have a great location. And they also don’t charge anything, which can be cost prohibitive.” READ MORE HERE
Written By: Becky Orr
CHEYENNE – Customers at the Cheyenne Farmers Market now can use plastic to pay for purchases.
Since last Saturday, the weekly market at Cheyenne Depot Square accepts electronic balance transfer, debit and credit cards.
“It was a huge hit,” said Stephanie Batson, assistant director of Community Action of Laramie County Inc. The nonprofit agency operates the market. READ MORE HERE
Previously, customers paid with cash and some personal checks. Many often asked for the location of the nearest ATM because they didn’t bring cash, Batson said.
Accepting cards gives low-income residents more access to the market’s fresh foods and increases overall customer convenience, Batson said.
The market sells locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables, jams, jellies and homemade goods. Community Action runs the market as a fund-raiser. The agency helps people in need become more self-sufficient. It operates programs like