Friday, June 27, 2008

Local Meal, Not a Challenge

Tonight was a 95% local meal:
- beef tenderloins from Stuarts
- Sauteed greens (mustard greens and swiss chard from Waldingfield, garlic scapes from from Holbrook's, kale from our garden, olive oil, garlic and fennel from the world)
- boiled beets from Holbrook's
- water from our well

Delicious, nutritious, and local!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Our CSA!

Our CSA did start this week! Today!

Our CSA is with Waldingfield Farm in Washington, CT. Our pick-up point is the Sandy Hook Organic Farmers' Market at St. John's Episcopal Church, on Washington Ave in Sandy Hook (co-inciding with the Farmer's Market here on Tuesdays from 2-6 PM).

This week we got greens; lots of greens. We got Bibb lettuce, red lettuce, mixed salad greens, mustard greens, Swiss chard, and Chinese greens that I don't know the name of. Lots of greens. A very impressive first for us. We also bought some of Waldingfield's own salad dressing.

So tonight we had salad! We mixed the Bibb lettuce, red lettuce, mixed salad greens. We used the radishes, fennel, and carrots from the organic market as toppings. We also chopped the garlic scapes and cut some strawberries (from Holbrook's) for more toppings. For the protein, we crumbled some cheese we had from Sankow's Beaver Brook Farm. And we used Waldingfield's own salad dressing. A very delicious meal.

Thank you Daniel, Patrick, and Quincy!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Our Victory Garden

I have been meaning to blog about our victory garden since January. Here's the picture from then.

I haven't quite gotten the dance down: live life, shoot photos, blog about it.

This is closer to how it looks now, taken on June 7.

Like children, these things grow fast and the gardens look different today. It's time for a new shot.

Our garden consists of three 4x4 raised beds, divided into one-foot squares, based on Mel Bartholomew's All New Square Foot Gardening. We also have several pots on the deck with tomatoes, and various herbs planted in pots and garden beds throughout the yard.

We mostly planted items from seeds. Organic seeds. Where seedlings were required, we got help from the Sisters at Bluestone Farm. Most of their seedlings come from their own harvested seeds. The Sisters are indispensable mentors, coaches, and cheerleaders for us.

We don't imagine we'll be able to feed ourselves from this garden. It's not that big, our garden needs more sun (and I'd have to take out a few trees to make that happen), there's really no protien, and I'm a lousy gardener.

It's primarily an educational effort. How do things grow? How do you manage pests without chemicals? I planted one square of lentils because I've been eating them my entire life and have no idea what they look like growing. I think I planted too many and that they won't survive because of that.

So far, we've harvested the spinach (as it was bolting), some kale, and two broccoli crowns. The broccoli rabe went to seed before it was harvestable. I understand we get a second chance on the spinach and broccoli rabe at the end of the season.

Saturdays Forage (6/21)

Our first stop was the Brewster Farmer's Market.
- From Bluestone Farm (Brewster, NY) we got maple syrup, strawberry jam, duck eggs, and some seedlings.
- From the Groovy Baker (East Fishkill, NY), we got biscotti. Lisa Wolf is the Groovy Baker, offerring a variety of organic and gluten-free confections.
- And from someone else from NYC (sorry I didn't get your name), we got imported (from Italy) suprasatta and provolone. Okay, not local but definitely legitimate Marco Polo items. I loved his apron, which said, "The problem with Italian food is that three days later, you're hungry again."

Our second stop was Holbrook's (Bethel, CT). We got beets, sugar peas, gorgeous fresh cut flowers, honey, bread, garlic scapes, early garlic (more like scallions), strawberries, peaches, spinach, raw milk, and fresh mozzerella. John and Lynn are looking forward to Sunday's CT NOFA Farm Tour.

We did some yardwork in the afternoon, and then had ourselves a local dinner:
- BBQ'd chicken from Herondale Farm, (Ancramdale, NY)
- BBQ'd pork tenderloin from Ox Hollow Farm, (Roxbury, CT)
- Sauteed beet greens and early garlic (from today's forage)
- Sauteed spinach and garlic (also from today's forage)
- McLaughlin Vista Reposa (of course)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

My Local Farmer's Markets

There are lots of farmer's markets in the region. These are just the very local markets that I'll be frequenting regularly. Here's a complete listing of CT Farmer's Markets from the Hartford Courant.

Brewster Farmers' Market
- Wednesday & Saturday, June 18 – November 22, 9 AM–2 PM

Wholesome Wave (Westport Farmer's Market)
- Thursdays, June - October 23, 10 AM-2 PM, Westport Country Playhouse
- Sundays, June 29 - October, 10 AM-2 PM, Theatre Company

Sandy Hook Organic Farmers' Market
- Tuesdays, June 24 - October 14, 2-6 PM

Sandy Hook Village Farmers' Market
- Sundays, June 1 - October 12, 9AM-2 PM

Bethel Farmers' Market
- Saturdays, July 12 - November 1, 9 AM-1 PM

Weekly local meal, not a challenge

I'm not currently active in any of the challenges going on (like One Local Summer), but we're certainly still eating locally. Mostly, local foods are well integrated into our daily menus and often we are delighted that an entire meal came from local fare. Like last night...

Bok Choy and Garlic Scapes with Beef. Here's the recipe, courtesy of Maple Bank Farm (ingredients annotated with origin.)

2 garlic scapes (Maple Bank Farm)
1 bok choy (Maple Bank Farm)
Sesame oil
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp honey (Dave's Honey Farm, Easton, CT)
Salt and Pepper

Wash the bok choy and garlic scapes. Slice garlic scapes diagonally. Cut bok choy stems separately from the leaves. Cut bok choy stems in quarters. Slightly cut up the leaves.

Saute the garlic scapes in the sesame and olive oils.

Add the bok choy stems, then add the honey, salt, and pepper to caramelize as cooking. Cook slowly until stems are tender.

Add the chopped leaves and cook an additional two to three minutes on medium high heat.

At this point, we added some sliced beef (left over from the huge top sirloin we cooked the other night - from Stuarts).

Of course, we served McLaughlin's Vista Reposa.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Saturday's Forage (6/14)

We're back on the road in search of food.

First stop was Stuart's in Bridgewater for some beef stuffs for the family Father's Day BBQ. We got a bunch of burgers and a couple of huge top sirloin for the event and a bunch of other goodies to round out the freezer stock.

Then on to Maple Bank Farm in Roxbury for some fresh veggies. We got spinach, radishes, garlic scapes, bok choy, and greenhouse tomatoes (for those burgers)? By the way, they also carry goat cheese from Beltane.

Serendipitously, we found Earth Tones (Woodbury) on our Saturday circuit. (This is my favorite part of Locavoring: new discoveries.) Earth Tones a native plants nursery and a lovely place to visit just for the joy of it.

Then off to New Morning in Woodbury for a number of things, especially raw milk. A sign from Stone Wall Dairy announced that the cows were back on grass. I picked up the latest issue of Edible Nutmeg. As usual, their cover art is stunning.

I think (hope) my CSA starts next week...