Notes from the Farm
We try to make our farm as sustainable as possible; for us this means maintaining diversity, building the soil using manure, compost and worm castings, and rotating cropland with animal pasture. The ram and wethers, who were grazing the perimeter of the property, are now in a movable circular pen, which we are maneuvering through the harvested brassica field. This gives them plenty of nutritious treats (they love cauliflower leaves) and cleans and fertilizes the field for us.
This Week’s CSA
Walla onions, potatoes, apricots (last week), zucchini, marjoram, yellow crookneck squash and:
Good old-fashioned green beans. You know what to do.
These are Leon’s pride and joy, along with corn. How does the saying go?…. “You can take a man out of Iowa but you can’t take Iowa out of the man.” Back to carrots, these beauties are purplish-red on the outside and orange on the inside. Unlike the beans they retain their color when cooked. Yes, they taste like a carrot, I do not know how many times I get asked that question.
Treat as you would a green bean, steam ’em, saute ’em, pretend you live in the midwest and make a casserole. When cooked the purple fades, so if you are enticing a kid to try these because they are pretty maybe raw is the way to go.
These are early apples, meaning non-keepers, meaning eat them up soon. Great as fried apples or right out of the bag.
Fresh Apricot Cake
- 1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsps baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 8 TBS cold, unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon sized pieces
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 chopped toasted nuts
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- apricots, halved and pitted
- 2 TBS unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Adjust an oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan; set aside.
- Resift the flour with the baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/2 cup of the sugar and hazelnuts.
- Beat the eggs lightly with a fork in a small bowl, and add the milk and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture and stir with a fork until the mixture is moistened. Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Arrange the apricot halves cut side down on top of the batter and brush with the melted butter. Combine the remaining 1/4 cup sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over the apricots and batter.
- Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan in a wire rack until warm or at room temperature.
- To serve, remove the sides of the pan and set the cake, still on the pan bottom, on a dessert platter.
Source: Baking in America, by Greg Patent