Notes from the Farm
Some weeding, lots of harvesting. We are spending several hours per week in the berry patch with the robins. They are having a wonderful feast on the farm this summer. First they ate the bumper crop of Nanking cherries and currants which we planted eight years ago for a wildlife shelter-belt, now they are joining us in the raspberry patch.
We are also in the midst of garlic harvest. The heavy rains we received in July caused some of the garlic to grow so rapidly that the skin split. These bulbs will not keep through the winter but are great to use in the next several months.
This Week’s CSA
Romanesco, zucchini, marjoram, green onions, strawberries, lettuce mix, green or red cabbage, garlic, purple potatoes and…
We would have had carrots sooner except we had a little farm adventure. We seeded the carrots, watered them in and that night the piggies decided to leave their pen and have a dig fest in the carrot field. The next morning our carefully tended field was chaos. There were mounds of soil that small children could have used as a sledding hill. The entire field was turned over! We were not sure if we were to have carrots at all this season. We smoothed out the field and waited. Instead of carrots in a row, our carrots are scattered all over. It was a monster to weed because we could not use a weed burner, nor a row hoe, nor a cultivating tractor. All hand weeded.
These carrots are still small and tender, great for an afternoon snack, or in my case breakfast.
When I worked as part of a wilderness ranger crew in Oregon the supervisors told us that people will ask us really strange questions such as “When do the deer turn into elk?” Welcome graffiti and the abundance of bizarre questions that come along with this beautiful cauliflower.
- What does it taste like? Cauliflower
- Do you color it after you harvest it? No
- Do you put something in the soil to make it that color? No
- How do you make it purple? Long pause …
It’s tempting to mess with people. Sometimes Leon says he colors each one with a purple sharpie. Some people believe him. Yep, we spend all that time coloring our vegetables so they look wild.
The truth is hybridization can create some pretty amazing food, and a large percentage of our food is hybridized to produce bigger fruits, disease resistance, and color selection.
Dill is a popular herb in the Scandinavian countries, eastern and central Europe and Russia. This time you will get the seed-head. Many use it to season potatoes, cabbage, or borscht.
Greek Cabbage Pie with Dill and Feta
- 1 large green cabbage, about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds, quartered, cored, and shredded
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
- ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 12 sheets phyllo dough
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted (optional)
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil, and meanwhile fill a large bowl with ice water. Add the cabbage to the boiling water and blanch for 1 minute. Transfer to the ice water, allow to cool for a couple of minutes, then drain.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, stir together, and stir in the garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds, and stir in the cabbage. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture is very tender and beginning to color, about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the dill and parsley, and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Brush a 10-inch tart pan or cake pan with olive oil. Beat the eggs in a large bowl and beat in the crumbled feta. Stir in the cabbage mixture and combine well.
- Line the pan with 7 pieces of phyllo, brushing each piece with olive oil, or a combination of olive oil and melted butter, and turning the dish after each addition so that the edges of the phyllo drape evenly over the pan. Fill with the cabbage mixture. Fold the draped edges in over the filling, then layer the remaining 5 pieces on top, brushing each piece with olive oil (or olive oil and butter). Stuff the edges into the sides of the pan. Make a few slashes in the top so that steam can escape as the pie bakes.
- Bake 40 to 50 minutes in the preheated oven, until the phyllo is crisp and dark golden brown. Serve hot, warm, or room temperature.