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Category Archives: Farms

Cherry Picking

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Out at Larriland.

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I got there Friday morning to pick sweet cherries. It certainly was busy.

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The parking area was full. Most people, though, were picking strawberries so the cherry trees were relatively quiet. I know it was the last day of school around here, but there were quite a few families out there.

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Cherries were $3.99 a pound. I picked four pounds. Knowing I was going to make jam, I wasn’t that careful about keeping the stems on the cherries.

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I came home, cleaned and pitted them. Prepared my canning stuff. Found a recipe I liked. And made five jars of cherry “jam”, which is actually more like a syrup.

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The recipe was a low sugar, no pectin, three ingredient one. Cherries. Sugar. Lemon juice. Not too hard to do.

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We are so lucky to have a pick your own farm right up the road. Larriland is a treasure in our county.

Vampires

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Or lack thereof due to the high concentration of garlic in the house.

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After all, how many people do you know that are curing garlic in their laundry rooms? The garlic hanging there is destined for the Howard County Food Bank. The first of many harvests to give us about a month’s worth of garlic to donate. I took about a dozen heads of garlic out of the ground this week. The largest ones, which were already turning brown on their tops. The rest. Will get harvested as they dry out. If it ever stops raining. Garlic is easy to grow, but needs to be dried somewhere cool and dry.

Besides that garlic, I have scapes from the CSA and green garlic also. Green garlic are those immature plants that are culled out to make room for the more robust plants that will become mature garlic.

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In this picture you can see green garlic on the right and scapes all curled up on the left. I made some pesto. Cut some in pieces to use in stir fry dinners. I should have left a few of them whole so I could wrap bacon around them and grill them. Too late for this batch.

If you have never had scapes, I know that Love Dove Farms sells them at the various county markets. I used to buy mine there before the CSA started inundating us with scapes.

Tonight a few ended up in this meal.

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An almost completely locally sourced meal. The salad. Arugula and butter lettuce and chive blossoms from my garden. The main dish. Pappardelle’s garlic chive pasta from Secolari, served with shrimp from Friends and Farms. Pesto from my freezer (last year’s basil). Snow peas, scallions and scapes from the CSA.

With all this garlic, there will be no vampires in this part of western HoCo.

Tidbit Tuesday Again

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Just some random thoughts on a Tuesday evening.

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The zucchini are officially out of control already, less than a week after finding the first few. The behemoth in the picture weighed 24 ounces and was hiding (the usual ploy of zucchini not wanting to be harvested). All told. 84 ounces in 8 zucchini. And, this is just the beginning.

Notice the two little mini white cucumbers. My first cukes of the season. Pickling cukes. They are far ahead of the other cucumbers. All of these vegetables came from my #grow100 challenge area. What can you grow in 100 square feet? Obviously, beaucoup zucchini.

Moving on to other pictures from my camera since the weekend, congratulations to the volunteer of the year at the conservancy, Woody Merkle. We swear he lives there, we see him all the time.

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We had our volunteer appreciation strawberry social on Sunday. Well attended. Lovely berries from Baugher’s and ice cream from Hoffman’s.

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Today after harvesting for the food bank and for the winners of the auction basket at Wine in the Garden, I got those zucchini and cukes and headed off for my CSA pick up.

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Something new. Red Leaf cheese. Not just any cheese, but an award winning goat cheese with attitude. The joys of our CSA. Finding things like this.

This week we also got something new in our meat share.

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Country spare ribs from the heritage hogs at Razorbacks and Barbed Wire Farm. We have gotten pork chops from this farm. Very tasty. I am thinking ribs tomorrow night.

As for the fruit share.

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Stayman apples and strawberry jam. I just finished the raspberry jam from the winter CSA. Am so happy to see a new flavor to try. Heaven on toast in the morning.

My veggie share?

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Completely insane. Almost too much to photograph. There will be lots of cooking going on. I am thinking of using the massive escarole in a soup with the last of the green garlic. Romano beans and snow peas.

OK, another new one.

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Dandelion greens.

We are slowly transitioning into summer, with a mix of squash and beans, and many different greens.

Perfect Pork Chops

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I finally figured out how to make the perfect pork chops. It’s only the third or fourth time we have gotten chops in our Friends and Farms order, or in the meat share from the CSA.

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This was yesterday’s protein and dairy bag. From Wayne Nell and Sons, four large beautiful boneless pork chops, extra thick.

As for the rest of the basket, we are getting eggs again from Miller Farm in Clinton MD. A nice changeover to really farm fresh eggs instead of our regional winter supplier. We got some chicken apple sausage from Logan’s, in Baltimore. And, boneless skinless chicken breasts from Locust Point Farms in Elkton, MD. Instead of milk, as usual, I got my weekly substitute “extra produce”. An option for those who don’t drink milk. Two bunches of scallions.

As for those pork chops, I took apart the package and vacuum sealed two of them to freeze for later use. The others.

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I pounded them with my mother’s old meat tenderizing mallet. Breaking them down a bit and getting them both to the same thickness so they would cook at the same rate. Nothing on them but salt and pepper. Pan fried in light olive oil. Very high heat to sear. Finished under a lid with a splash of white wine to deglaze the pan and get the centers to that perfect state of doneness.

Then, I forgot to take pictures. So there is no “after” shot. Still, my husband declared them to be the best I have ever made. They weren’t tough anywhere. They weren’t chewy. They were moist and flavorful.

I served them with the last of the cabbage from a month or so ago. I kept that whole cabbage in the fridge, and I slow cooked it in chicken stock in the oven. Falling apart. I also got a bag of apples as an add on this week, and baked two of them to use as a side for the pork chops.

These were the add ons this week.

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Five pounds of apples. A pint of vanilla ice cream to use with some of those strawberries around here. Sechrist Brothers beef hot dogs. Because sometimes you really want to grill hot dogs and hamburgers and these all beef hot dogs are just awesome.

Protein and Dairy

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An option from our Friends and Farms baskets. One that we enjoy during the summer, when our garden is producing the bulk of our vegetables, and Larriland becomes the source for most of our fruit.

I miss the South Mountain Creamery truck at the Glenwood Market. But, I am happy to report that you can get wonderful yogurt and ice cream and milk from Friends and Farms.

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This week’s protein and dairy bag, with a couple of add ons.

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The add ons. Pequea Valley plain yogurt. No sugar in it. Just plain yogurt. Thick, rich. The flavored ones are good too, in particular I love the maple yogurt. Still, plain yogurt can be used all sorts of places.

As for that ice cream. If you love hot stuff, you must try it. If you are a heat wimp, you will freak at what is in this ice cream. Trickling Springs in Chambersburg PA makes this ice cream. It contains cinnamon, chipotle powder and habanero powder. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. I can’t eat it all by itself but I am thinking of one amazing milk shake.

As for this week’s protein items we received. We got two lovely rainbow trout. Cleaned. Split. We grilled them with lemon and dill.

Also, a couple of pounds of short ribs. They are in the freezer. Crock pot dinner later next week.

My typical dozen eggs. Already gone. Frittatas.

We don’t do whole milk. I choose to get a surprise veggie instead. This week. Beets with greens.

If you want really good meat and eggs and dairy, this is the way to go.

Strawberry Season

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Larriland opens Monday.

It isn’t officially strawberry season in my world until they open those fields for picking. Yes, there are other locations near us where you can pick strawberries, but Larriland is my favorite.

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Rows and rows of berries.

There are other choices for those in central Maryland. Gorman opened a few days ago. Butler’s is opening tomorrow for limited picking. They expect to have greater amounts ripe by Thursday. Lewis Orchards opened today. Many of us know Lewis from the farmer’s markets.

I couldn’t find any information on TLV’s web site. I know they grow strawberries for the market and pick-your-own.

When we stopped at Baugher’s in Westminster yesterday, they expect to open their fields soon, like Tuesday.

Just to whet your appetite, a few links to old posts where I used those luscious berries for meals, and for preserving.

Venison with berries, anyone?
Last year at Larriland, including making strawberry margaritas.
And, a link to my post about Kirsten’s strawberry salsa.

Seriously, you have to go pick strawberries, somewhere. This week. Do it. You won’t regret it.

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Updating the Farms Page

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Another of my resource pages just updated. Click on the link below my header to see what’s new.

Lots of changes in the area. New CSAs. Closed farm stands. Additions to current CSAs.

The new farm is Wheeler. I saw them at the Glenwood Market Saturday. They were selling mostly greens at the time.

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Gorman has closed their farm stand, to focus on their CSA.

Larriland says they will open sometime after May 25th.

Breezy Willow is now making pickles. I tried the new Farm Boy Pickles bought at Glenwood, and made by Jason Caulder. The sweet horseradish version this week. I will be going back, as they are simply awesome.

I was also out at the Breezy Willow farm stand Saturday to pick up soap, as I was running low. Had to grab some Trickling Springs Salted Caramel Ice Cream while I was there.

Farm stands are opening left and right. It is the beginning of the season and the farms are gearing up.

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Can’t wait for the beginning of strawberry season. Larriland, I will be there opening day. I just finished the last of my stash from the freezer.

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