Saturday, February 27, 2010

One Last Fantastic Winter Stew & the importance of a good cookbook or two

Rachel and I just finished an amazing winter stew.  We had already dubbed this the winter of soup, and we have mostly lived up to that with various dressed up versions of tomato or butternut soup, both of which were fine and dandy, but, now, at the time when we (and I imagine everyone else) is getting sick of their root veggies, we came across just an awesome (can you tell I am searching for the super right superlative) winter stew from the vegetarian epicure book two.  The secret, without going through the whole recipe, was a white wine mushroom combo (1# mushrooms), and also a rue involving a lot of paprika (which I think is generally underused), molasses and worchestershire.  I think all the winter veg you use after that has a lot of room for play, we used brussel sprouts, lots of leeks, golden turnips, potatoes - but carrots could have easily been part, possibly even parsnips, but then you'd really have to make sure your wine was dry (we hadn't).  Anyway, totally deliscous, and now it's time for Spring, right.

The stew also had me thinking of how necessary just a few good cookbooks are.  Members always ask me what to do with different veggies, and in the past I have generally been the cook who throws things together in the simplest way, but this year Rachel has really struck on some wonderful recipes in some wonderful cookbooks.  We are kinda vegetarians.  For any one else who is kinda one I would suggest getting a peter burley book and/or one of the moosewoods, which we have also used alot the late summer/fall/winter.  Those three plus the Joy, and I feel like we can mix it up enough to not just be eating garlic olive oil plus blank.

As we find good recipes for the veggies that are in season, we will be sending them your way.

For those looking for a link to the brochure, look in the post below, I have actually updated the brochure so that you can order cheese and bread now, though we will be sampling it all the first weeks, and you will have time to order then as well.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Stella Natura & Brochure Link

   This is always the time of year that I mention Stella Natura, the biodynamic calendar that I use to tell which days to start planting.  Well, this year, though the magic of internet I'll stick a picture of March at Open Heart Farm, at least half of March.

As you can make out, it has numerous columns, the phases of the moon being the obvious one, but then, to the left of that astrological signs, and to the right, the part that is most pertinent to me, orI should say the most easily decodable, is what plants are good to seed or work with on that day (actually, there are little blocks that break it down to the hour, with blacked out periods you might notice).  Not all veggies are totally intuitive, rhubarb and asparagus are causing me some consternation (yes, I am doing more of both from seed this year).  The pages above the calendar pages are essays by noted farmers and biodynamic workers in other fields, like Wendell Berry etc.  This year features one by Gunther Hauk that I am excited to read, he is a biodynamic bee keeper who lives in New York State, and from my limited experience talking to bee keepers biodynamics is to some degree successful in beating whatever that thing is that is killing the bees (slipping my brain at this hour).

In other exciting news our brochure for this year is up online, and if you would like to download it in pdf form click here.

More later, probably next time, from the greenhouse.