June 7th, 2022
What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Beets, Chard or kale, Carrots, Potatoes, Red Onion and Apricots
What’s in your FLOWER BOUQUET: Feverfew, Scabiosa, Nigella, Statice, and Shasta Daisy’s, also tromeria, sage and Goldenrod
Bread this week: Whole Wheat OR Walnut your choice of one
~number 1’s 12# for $48.00 (last longer and prettier)
~JAM Box12# for $38.00 (perfect for eating right away or making jam)
Please place your order by 5pm Friday evening so we can have your order ready for Tuesday June 7th.
This week on the farm
Many of you have been to our farm here in Hungry Hollow. It stands out for the greenery that surrounds our home and its gardens and for the mature native species hedgerows that run through it. Most visible of course are the large windbreaks that are visible for miles. We are acutely aware that all this is only possible through the use of ancient water that lies in gravel beds 300 feet below us laid down millions of years ago. Without the use of that water, in natural circumstances, this might be a blue oak over story, perhaps a valley oak here and there, perhaps with chaparral and other brush fields, and open grasslands. So we have changed the natural regime drastically and I am certain that it is pretty unsustainable without the addition of all that water. Toward what purpose do we alter the fundamental nature of the landscape? What needs do we satisfy and what responsibilities to our family, community and world do we assume? As we are in the midst answering the question of groundwater sustainability, we have to ask ourselves these question, and what changes should or need to make to do our part to find the balance of water in and water out here at Good Humus. These are essential questions in this time when it has become evident that our species is responsible for changes in the forces of nature and that the world surrounding us has more need of protection from us than we have from it.
Thursday afternoons most weeks of the last few years our grandchildren Nolie and Zoe come over and spend time at the farm with us. We all look forward to the time with them, and each juggle our work schedules a tad to make sure that we do something with them. Claire is known as Bear-Bear and always if the fun game player with the kids-chasing them around in circles. Ali is known as Ah-Ah by Zoe and has become the chief cookie making instigator. Jeff is aka Pop-Pop has help from the kids putting together garden carts, or other small projects. I am Nannie and am the project coordinator, Nolie will say as they arrive “what project are we going to do today Nannie”? We have started a small garden in my house perennial garden with the kids, and have strawberries, lettuce, dragon carrots, beets, radishes, and have planted summer melons. They love to go out and see what they can harvest, and what is happening in the garden. The deer have also been enjoying our garden too, especially the lettuce Zoe that and I planted (Zoe is a salad lover starting at a very young age). So not only do we go out to check at what is growing, but what is happening to the garden, how much the deer have eaten, how many bees are there, and for Zoe how many ladybugs she can capture at one time. They usually know where to find us, working in the barn, so they come running out to find out what is going on, and it is such a joy for everyone. They practice their Spanish with Rogelio and Francisco, who love to see their smiling faces. As you all know form the past weeks newsletters we are in the midst of our apricot harvest, one of the largest ones we have had in years. So I was in a dilemma as to what we were going to do when the kids arrived this last week??? We all needed to sort apricots, and really couldn’t stop to do projects, or play. We have a new set of farm kitties so we set up a fort for them in a large cardboard watermelon bin and they got into the bin along with the kittens and spent a good hour with the kitties. But as kids are, they were ready for another playful adventure. I felt bad, and told the kids that I couldn’t get pulled off the sorting table, and once they realized that, they jumped up to the table and started to learn the sorting ropes. Nolie was on the front end sorting what is bad for the compost, what is good for cutting and drying, and which ones keep going to the pack out boxes. Zoe was separating out the greener fruit from the riper fruit. This went on for awhile, but as kids do they were looking for diversion, so Nolie asked, if he could drive/steer the four wheeler himself today. I asked if he had a driver’s license and he said “well yes I have a license for the lawn mower” I said I would like to see the license, and he said it was in his wallet at home that he had forgotten it! I told him we could ride the four wheeler after more sorting was done, later in the day.
It came time to come through with my promise, so we jumped onto our newer red hornet, Nolie in front, Zoe between us like a samwich, and we headed out to the fields and by ways of the farm. Nolie steering and using the accelerator with me also holding on to the wheel-it has a speedometer and it hit 7, and I told him that 7 was MAX speed. Of course the dogs always are up for a run too so they were up ahead of us, as we got into the apricot orchard they started barking wildly, which not too unusual. But this time seemed different, as they didn’t stop barking, and it was a frantic crazy bark, and had also had stopped running. It seemed unusual actually, and then Nolie spotted a deer up ahead. Ah I said, “there is a fawn around here, and the mama is standing her ground to protect her baby”. Sure enough a small spotted fawn ran out of the trees and disappeared down the road. But the mama decided we were still a threat and would not move, and the dogs were standing right next to our four wheeler, we were their protection. Then all of a sudden the mama starts to charge the red hornet at US!!! It was wild to watch this mama stand up to us, Ru the small dog jumped up onto our laps (we had shut off the moto by this time and were still). We were in a pickle as we couldn’t turn around and we couldn’t pass her, so we waited for her retreat, which took 5-10 minutes, and we finally scooted past her and onto the road. But we were not home free, as she also cut through the trees and was on the road too! We kept driving, dogs barking, the mama deer not retreating. Finally we got back to the meadow near the barn, and were thinking we were safe, but no…she had chased us to the meadow charging the dogs. By the time we got back to the safety of the barn we were quite excited-looking over our shoulder to see if the mama was coming into the barn with us. Nolie said”boy I have never seen a deer so close up”, and I have never seen a deer stand up and protect her babies like that. It was the most exciting happening ever! I let go of my guilt that I didn’t have time to play with the kids, I think the experiences they have here at the farm are so unique, so memorable no matter what we do, and they just saw the natural world working for its survival.
As I think about what happened, I am aware that the creation of this farm has also created a tiny refuge, a speck of a safe place for wildlife to live in or to pass through. We on the farm are responsible for how we act, how we become a part of all the surrounding life. It doesn’t answer the question of how to balance our water usage, but this oasis is helping the wildlife find their balance too, and we are learning how to live together. Have a great week~Nannie Annie
Sheet Pan Apricot Chicken
3-4 pounds bone-in chicken thighs about 8 thighs
3 medium sweet potatoes or red garnet yams
1 large red onion sliced
1 pound fresh apricots sliced or
½ cup apricot jam
1 clove garlic minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves optional
4 cups kale sliced or torn
1 cup red cabbage sliced
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place large, rimmed baking sheet in oven to preheat. Combine apricot jam, garlic, Dijon mustard and salt and pepper. Peel, wedge and wash sweet potatoes. Season with 1 tablespoon of apricot seasoning mixture and a 2 tablespoons olive oil.
Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Using only half the seasoning, cover the skin of each chicken thigh with apricot mixture, reserving the other half to use as
as the base for a homemade salad dressing. Carefully remove preheated sheet pan from oven. Add seasoned potato wedges in a single layer and top with chicken thighs, skin side up. Return pan to oven and bake, uncovered. After 20 minutes move chicken to one side of sheet pan. Stir potatoes then mix in onions and sliced apricots. Continue roasting, uncovered, 10-15 minutes longer. Or until potatoes and apricots are caramelized and chicken is tender with a delicious crispy, sticky skin and internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Meanwhile, prepare salad greens and make homemade Creamy Apricot Dressing. Whisk 2 tablespoons cider vinegar into the remaining apricot mixture then whisk or shake 2 tablespoons olive oil in until emulsified. Toss salad greens with dressing and serve with chicken potatoes and caramelized onion/apricot mixture.
2 cups rolled oats uncooked.
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp fine salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 ounce beets cooked and peeled.
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce or mashed ripe banana
3 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp flavorless oil plus more for cooking
Combine oats, baking powder, and salt to a high-speed blender. Blend until oats become a fine powder. Pour the oat flour mixture into a bowl and set aside. In the now empty blender, combine remaining ingredients ( beets, egg, oil, yogurt, vanilla, syrup, applesauce). Blend until smooth and well combined. Add the oat flour mixture into the blender and blend again. Stop a few times to scrape the sides of the blender to ensure everything is well mixed. Heat a pan or other skillet over medium-low heat. Add a little cooking oil to the pan. When the oil is hot, portion out the batter into small pancakes. Cook until you see small bubbled forming on the top of the pancake and the edges seem dry, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook the other side for another 2-3 minutes. Place cooked pancakes onto a plate and continue with the remaining batter. Enjoy warm with topping of choice. Let cook completely before storing leftovers in an air-tight container in fridge for 4-5 days or in freezer
Gluten-free caramelized carrot tart with carrot-top salsa Verde
Gluten-free plain flour, to dust
400g frozen Careme Gluten Free Sour Cream Shortcrust Pastry
1 bunch unpeeled carrots, cut into 3cm pieces
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
11/4 tsp caraway seeds
1/2 cup sour cream
Labneh, dukkah and snow pea tendrils, to serve
CARROT TOP SALSA VERDE
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tbs baby capers in vinegar, drained, finely chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Grease a 18cm x 25cm fluted tart pan. Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Roll out pastry until 3mm thick, then use to line pan. Freeze for 1 hour. preheat oven to 200°C. Line pastry with baking paper and fill with pastry weights or rice. Bake for 25 minutes or until just dry. Remove the weights and paper, and bake for a further 10 minutes or until golden and dry. Set aside. Meanwhile, reserve 2 baby carrots to garnish. Cut off tops from remaining baby carrots and wash and reserve, and then chop flesh into 3cm pieces. Place in a microwave bowl with regular carrots, then cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 10 minutes or until slightly tender. (Alternatively, steam in a colander set over a saucepan of simmering water for 20 minutes.) Drain liquid, then place carrots on a baking tray. Drizzle with 2 tbs oil, scatter with caraway seeds and season. Roast for 40 minutes or until caramelized and tender. Cool. Reduce oven to 160°C. Whiz the carrot mixture in a food processor to a puree, scraping side of bowl. Add the eggs and sour cream, and whiz to combine. Pour into pastry shell and bake for 40 minutes or until filling is set. Cool completely. Meanwhile, for the salsa verde, finely chop reserved carrot tops, then combine with all remaining ingredients in a bowl and season. Using a vegetable peeler, thinly slice reserved 2 baby carrots and place in a bowl of iced water. Drain just before serving. To serve, spread tart with labneh and scatter with dukkah, snow pea tendrils, salsa verde and thinly shaved carrots.