Cooking--Farming--Thinking

Eat--Work--Ponder
Posted 6/29/2020 4:17pm by Judy Lessler.

Pop-Up Farm Stand Ordering is available for July 4 2020 at this link: Farm Stand Link. We are offering mint and Bronze Fennel. 

Hot dogs and hamburgers are traditional for the Fourth of July. You might want to vary the fare by using this easy herb recipe. 

Feathery Fennel-Yogurt Sauce W/ Salmon or Shrimp 4 Servings  

  • 1¼ cups fennel fronds
  • 1 large green onion, trimmed and sliced or 1/3 cup minced onion
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Pepper, white if you have it
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup yogurt, whole-milk or low-fat.  Not non-fat.
  • 4 salmon steaks or 1 pound peeled shrimp  

 Sauce: Drop fennel in boiling salted water.  Return to boil, remove, and drain immediately.  You are just wilting the fennel. Combine fennel, onion, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender.  Add yogurt and process to chop fine. Pour into dish and mix in remaining yogurt.  Adjust seasonings.

Brush salmon or shrimp with olive oil. Place on the broiler or grill. Cook until done. To serve, spoon sauce over salmon or shrimp.    Adapted from Schneider, Elizabeth (2001) Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini. New York: William Morrow.                         

Posted 6/3/2020 1:21pm by Judy Lessler.

 

Farm Stand for Saturday, June 13, 2020 is now open. Link here: FARM STAND June 23, 2020

We create a mini-share for you, but you can tailor our suggested bag any way you like, add more, get different products, etc. 

Pick up is at Durham Farmers Market or Harlands Creek Farm.

 

Wishing you well, HCF Farmers (Judy, Erasmo, and Yoli)

Posted 5/25/2020 3:38pm by Judy Lessler.

Online ordering for Saturday, May 30, 2020, is now open. We will make deliveries at the Durham Farmers' Market and Harland's Creek Farm. Orders are through our PopUp Farm Stand Program.

Go to this link to order:

https://www.harvie.farm/farm-stand/harlands-creek-farm

Posted 1/10/2020 10:50am by Judy Lessler.

Harland's Creek Farm is selling firewood this winter. Hurricanes and blustery weather have knocked down trees over the past two years. Currently, we are cutting large oaks and hickories that came down in September 2018 during Hurricane Florence. 

We deliver by the truckload which contains about a half-cord. Below are pictures and prices: 

     

 Hickory and Oak  

$200 delivered/stacked   -- $160 customer pick-up

Amount: 60 cubic feet ~0.5 cord: Stack 3’x10’x1.5’

Harland’s Creek Farm --  hcffarmers@gmail.com

Call Erasmo @ 919 799-6982  

Posted 4/4/2019 1:38pm by Harland;s Creek Farm.

In the winter of 2019, Harland's Creek Farm researched ways to move away from plastic packaging. Judy read numerous articles and talked to Rhonda Sherman, NC State Solid Waste specialist. We learned we should avoid items that are merely biodegradable but not compostable because biodegradable can mean the material is a composite of plastic and plant material. The plant material degrades in sunlight, but tiny pieces of plastic remain. To protect the environment, we needed materials that are ultimately converted into water and CO2 by bacteria, that is, we want something that bacteria can consume in its entirety.

First, we got excited about various certified-compostable bags. However, there was a catch. These bags are guaranteed compostable at industrial composting facilities. They cannot be put into the waste stream that ends at the landfill because they will end up in an anaerobic environment, (read no bacteria operating). For them to breakdown, certified-compostable must enter a waste stream that ends at an industrial composting facility.

No problem, we decided, we will have the customer return their bags, and we will take them to the local industrial composting facility. Judy called, and the facility could not take them because they only served customers for whom the compostable bags are mixed with a large volume of other compostable. Otherwise, it is too costly for them to process. 

These biobags, as they are called, are broken down by thermophilic bacteria that thrive at temperatures 120-140 degrees Fahrenheit. Several of Judy's friends, however, told her they tossed biobags full of kitchen waste in their home compost pile and they eventually disappeared. Not being industrial composters, these friends had no idea of how long it took or what the temperature inside their pile was. "Maybe three months, maybe a year," one said.  

We tried composting biobags on our farm and monitoring the time and temperature of the pile. We were only able to get the temperature up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit on a cold day and abandoned this approach.

Then we discovered glassine bags, which are used in the baking industry. They are made of polished paper and are translucent. They are recyclable, biodegradable, and compostable in a home compost pile. We have decided to use these for our small, leafy greens.

Our current policy is as follows:

  • Items that are bunched, such as, large-leafed greens, as well as beets, carrots, and so on, are bunched using paper twist-ties. The paper in the twist-ties composts quickly in a home compost pile, and the thin wire rusts quickly. Twist ties can be reused by the customer.
  • Small items, such as green beans, tomatillos, okra, potatoes, tomatoes, etc. are packed in smaller paper bags for delivery in our Farm Share program. For display at farmers' markets, they will be placed in reusable, washable containers and transferred to the customer's bag or a paper bag after purchase.
  •  Small-leafed greens, such as spinach, arugula, salad mix, baby greens, will be packed in glassine bags.
Posted 2/10/2019 12:45pm by Harland;s Creek Farm.

Our 2019 CSAs are open for sign-up. In 2019, Harland's Creek Farm is intensifying its efforts in environmental protection: 

  • This year we have CERTIFIED ORGANIC EGGS 
  • We are focusing on reusable and COMPOSTABLE/REUSABLE packing

As always, we are growing organically. This includes our vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Looking to our future, we are expanding our products. Our pear orchard is flourishing; we have planted raspberries; and are increasing our melon production. Also, we continue our efforts to provide opportunities for our farmworkers. Erasmo Flores who began working on the farm is a part-time field hand is now a partner in Harland's Creek Farm LLC. He and his wife Yoli Hill manage and work on all aspects of the farm. They are now bringing their son's into the effort. 

REMEMBER that organic farming is not just healthier for the consumer and the land. Organic farming pulls carbon from the air and makes a major contribution to mitigating global warming. 

Click around on this website to read more and sign-up. 

Posted 1/16/2019 4:26pm by Harland;s Creek Farm.

10 % Discount for Signing up and Paying

EARLY

READ HERE

SIGN UP HERE

Posted 11/27/2018 11:12am by Harland;s Creek Farm.

Harland's Creek Farm is selling firewood this winter. We have oak and hickory. Hurricanes and blustery weather have knocked down trees over the past two years. Currently, we are cutting large oaks and hickories that came down in September 2018 during Hurricane Florence. 

We deliver by the truckload which contains about a half-cord. Below are pictures and prices: 

     

 Hickory and Oak  

$200 delivered/stacked   -- $160 customer pick-up

Amount: 60 cubic feet ~0.5 cord: Stack 3’x10’x1.5’

Harland’s Creek Farm --  hcffarmers@gmail.com

Call Erasmo @ 919 799-6982  

 

Posted 8/4/2017 5:00pm by Judy Lessler.

In my last post, I talked about Tomato Sandwiches and the controversy in NC as to the preferred type of mayonnaise. Tomatoes are often served as a topping to traditional Italian bruschetta (or fettunta), which is grilled, stale-bread with olive oil and garlic. My review of numerous articles and recipes has led me to believe this simple dish of grilled bread rubbed with garlic cloves and drizzled with olive oil can engender the passionate differences similar to those surrounding use the of Duke’s or Hellman’s mayo on a tomato sandwich. These differences may have a long history. Famous Italian cookbook writer, Marcella Hazan, is said to have determined bruschetta was likely invented by the ancient Romans. Burscare means to char and, supposedly, the ancient Roman farmers sampled their newly pressed olive oil with bread roasted over coals. Who knew?  

Italians drink wine with their bruschetta, and all embrace the foundational instruction to use, day-old bread, month-old oil, and year-old wine. But then they converge. Some recommend grilling the bread once, others twice but dipping it in a plate of water between the two grillings. Still others espouse using very stale bread and dipping it in water before a single grilling. One writer advises rubbing an entire clove of garlic into a single piece of bread; another to use one clove for four slices of bread. Finally, do you brush or drizzle the olive oil over the bread? Who knows?     

If you are using a tomato topping, many other issues arise. Do you peel the tomatoes? Must they be seeded? Should they be drained after chopping? Can you mix them with salt, basil, and olive oil to save steps at table? The statistician in me figured out if I tried all the variations recommended in the articles I read, I would need to make 72 different combinations.  

I did not try 72 combinations; however, I did develop my own recipe for Italian Bruschetta with Tomatoes, which I distilled from these readings (and some years of experience). It is given below.  

I did try three different ways of charring the bread. I was suspicious of Marcella Hanzan’s statements attributing the origin of bruschetta to Ancient Romans. Now I believe her. My three versions were: flamed charred bread, dark pan-grilled bread, and light pan-grilled bread. The two with black char on them were definitely the best.   I was surprised!

 

https://s3.amazonaws.com/sfc-dynamic-content/gallery/292/w500/bruschetta_assembled.jpeg         

Italian Bruschetta with Tomatoes

6 servings  

6 small ripe tomatoes or roma tomatoes

6 thick slices (half-inch or more) of stale Tuscan or sourdough bread

6 cloves of garlic

6 tablespoons top quality olive oil

6 large basil leaves (optional)  

Dip tomatoes in boiling water to loosen peels. Cool quickly, peel, split, remove most of the seeds, and chop into half-inch pieces. Drain in a colander, place in a bowl, and add salt to taste. Peel and gently crack the garlic with the side of a knife or a garlic press. You want the garlic to remain nearly whole.  Grill bread over charcoal, on a gas grill, under a broiler, or on the stove. Rub one clover garlic into onto each slice of bread. Drizzle with olive oil. Top with tomato mixture.  Sprinkle with basil cut into thin ribbons if desired. PEELING THE TOMATOES IS ESSENTIAL.

 

Posted 7/25/2017 11:18am by Judy Lessler.

It is tomato sandwich time. The picture is a tomato sandwich with turkey bacon. It just needs the last preparation step. It has to be smashed. After taking the photo, I pressed down hard on one side, turned it over, and pressed hard on the other. This causes the juices to penetrate the bread, and if you do a good job, you may need a bib to eat it.   

 

Here’s the scoop on tomato sandwiches: The classic tomato sandwich is simply tomato and mayonnaise on white bread. In assessing quality, people could debate the variety of tomato, the type of bread, and the appropriateness of additives, such as basil, dill, or a cucumber. These ingredients do not inspire much passion at least not the passion the type of mayonnaise does. Should you use Hellman’s or Duke’s?     

In the mid-twentieth century when I was growing up, some people were known to use Miracle Whip instead of mayo. This has since been recognized as a colossal mistake, and since the dawning of the twenty-first century, it is rare to find a Miracle Whip proponent. Curiously, Miracle Whip has become very popular in Germany, which a strange development given that Angela Merkel is now the leader of the free world, and you would expect that Germans, in general, would be upholding high standards of decorum and manners as benefits their new leadership status. I learned about the popularity of Miracle Whip in Germany from Wikipedia, and, upon consideration, think it may be OK. Wiki did not mention how the Germans were eating Miracle Whip.  Perhaps it is not on tomato sandwiches and does not represent a desecration of culinary standards.  

You do not need to search far to find articles and “research” on the Duke’s versus Hellman’s conflict. In 2015, Our State magazine published an article by Susan Strafford Kelly called Mayo Mutiny about this conflict. Kelly reports interest in resolving this conflict is now so widespread and intense that people are conducting their own blind studies and posting the results on social media. She also noted a general preference for Duke’s mayonnaise. 

Only 18 months later, Kathleen Purvis reported in the Charlotte Observer on the results of a small experiment conducted by the Piedmont Culinary Guild with chefs and farmer. This created an uproar among Duke’s proponents because Hellmann’s won.  

I worked for thirty-years as a research statistician. I can confidently state that these small scale experiments are flawed in terms of sample size, randomness, and control of extraneous variables. Therefore, just go with your own preferences, but remember to keep the Duke’s on hand to make a sandwich for your visiting aunt.    

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Where to buy our organic food

You can get our food by:

Visiting one of these local restaurants:

Pittsboro restaurants that have local food we love are: