Cooking--Farming--Thinking

Eat--Work--Ponder
Posted 5/28/2013 11:46am by Judy Lessler.

  Peanut Soup with Sweet Potatoes or Pumpkin

4 servings  

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 medium-large onion, chopped

1 large red bell pepper, chopped

2-4 cloves garlic, minced

1.5 cups carrots, sliced in rounds

1 can diced tomatoes

2 teaspoons high quality curry powder

1.5 cups cooked pumpkin or sweet potatoes, mashed

4 cups chicken broth

1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon salt

0.5 cups chunky peanut butter

Pepper, hot pepper flakes, or other to taste  

Sauté onion, bell pepper, garlic, and carrots in oil until just starting to brown. Make sure you cut the pepper into small cubes and slice the onions thinly or they will not get done at the same time as the onions and garlic. Add diced tomatoes, curry powder, and two cups of chicken broth. Cook mixture until vegetables are tender. Taste and add salt. Depending on how salty the tomatoes and the broth are, you may need more of less salt. Stir in peanut butter and remainder of chicken broth. Cook another 10 minutes to blend flavors. Add more water if necessary. Taste and add pepper, hot sauce to taste. Serve warm with warm bread.   Recipe from Harland's Creek Farm, 2014.  

Posted 5/17/2013 8:33pm by Judy Lessler.

Do not lose hope.  Spring will come and CSA customers will get bronze fennel.  Imagine making this sauce.

 

Feathery Fennel-Yogurt Sauce with Salmon or Shrimp

4 Servings

 1¼ cups bronze fennel fronds

1 large green onion, trimmed and sliced

½ teaspoon salt

Pepper, white if you have it

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 cup yogurt, whole-milk or low-fat or Greek if non-fat.

4 salmon steaks or 1 pound peeled shrimp

 Brush salmon or shrimp with olive oil. Place on broiler. Drop fennel in boiling salted water.  Return to boil and drain immediately.  You are just wilting the fennel.  Combine fennel, green onion, salt, and pepper in food processor or blender.  Add yogurt and process to chop fine. Pour into dish and mix in remaining yogurt.  Adjust seasonings.

Broil salmon or shrimp until done. Arrange on platter and spoon sauce over salmon or shrimp. This is also good on rice or grilled chicken.

Posted 5/14/2013 11:40am by Judy Lessler.

 

 Green Garlic:  Green garlic is the garlic before it makes heads with cloves in it. You can eat a lot more of it than the bulb. The tough outer greens cannot be eaten; however, the flexible stalk and the bulb are edible.  Just slice them like you would a green onion, and go.  Below is a picture of the bulb and other parts.  You can eat all of the parts on the left of the bulb and the bulb.  The leaves on the right are too tough to eat and have been peeled away from the tender stalk.

Green Garlic

 

Posted 11/16/2012 5:16pm by Judy Lessler.

This is a time for giving thanks.  I am thankful for all the customers of the Durham Collaborative CSA.  You make it possible for us to do a job that allows us to experience the miracle seeing how the earth provides for us.  All of the farmers that participate in this CSA are committed to caring for the earth so that it will take care of us.  We plant, weed, fight pests and diseases, harvest, and pack.  We put a tiny okra seed in the ground and watch it grow to over 10 feet tall.  We see the deer circling the fences in the evenings and hope they will not figure out how to breach them.  We rage at the ground hog but admire his optimism as he attempts to come this way and then that way and under this and over that to get to the produce.  Sometimes these crafty creatures actually get in the fields and manage to build their underground tunnels and houses without us noticing.  I am always a bit sad when we destroy their home and imagine that they had thought that they had set themselves up for the summer only to have the equivalent of Hurricane Sandy come and sweep it all away.

I am very thankful for the all the farms that participate in our collaborative CSAs—Chapel Hill Creamery, Fickle Creek Farm, Pine Knot Farm, and Roberson Creek Farm.  Not once have they failed to meet a deadline or delivery that we were counting on to fill the boxes or to be available for you to pick up at market.  On our farm and on theirs, as well, there are many other farmers who participate in the production of the food.  We are grateful for their efforts as well.

 

Posted 7/25/2012 11:07am by Judy Lessler.

Farm News.  Here is a short history of some of the tomatoes in your box.  It does not go into how, over the centuries, tomatoes were nurtured into the luscious fruit that we have today or what the farmers that grew the seed did to get the seeds to us.  It just covers what has happened here at Harland’s Creek Farm. 

Last January we ordered seeds and made a planting plan.  On March 27, we prepared some seeding trays with a mixture of peat moss, vermiculite, compost, and an organic fertilizer called Plantone and put two tomato seeds in each cell of the tray.  We sat these in our germinating box.  This is a box filled with sand in which we have imbedded heating cables in a serpentine pattern.  We keep the sand wet so that heat is conducted throughout the entire box.

When the tomatoes germinated, we removed them from the heated sand boxes and placed them on the tables in the greenhouse.  When they were about 2 inches tall, we cut away one of the plants, if both had germinated.  Then these trays were set in front of a fan to help harden the stems.  They were watered 2 or 3 times per day as needed, and when we watered them, we also gently brushed our hands across the tops to further harden them. After about 4 weeks they were moved outside to a protected area so that they would have more exposure to the weather and get sturdy enough to go to the field.  Meanwhile we were developing the field infrastructure. 

Tomatoes need support in the field.  At Harland’s Creek Farm we use tomato cages and these are supported by two wires that run from cedar posts that we bury into the ground about three feet.  We add nutrients to the soil and cover the soil with landscape cloth to prevent weeds.  On the day of planting, the tomatoes are dipped into a solution of fish emulsion to give them a nitrogen boost before they go out to the field.  We plant them in holes in the landscape cloth and put a tomato cage over them.  When a bed is complete, we run two heavy wires through all of the cages at about 4 feet and 5.5 feet off the ground.  We use two wires so as to not have a pivot point that could blow the entire structure over during a high wind. 

 Your tomatoes have grown and survived rain, heat, wind, and a little bit of hail. We pick them every day or every two days depending on the weather.  After they are picked they are wiped clean and identify what we call “farmer tomatoes”.  Farmer tomatoes are those blemishes or wet cracks but with lots of parts that can still be eaten.  We try to get them to you in 3 to 5 days.  While they are waiting to make the trip to your house, they are stored in a cool room that is kept at 68 degrees.

 

Posted 7/22/2011 11:06am by Judy Lessler.

Harland's Creek Farm will be at Durham Farmers' Market on Saturday July 22, 2011 with a BEAT THE HEAT recipes and a suggested strategy.We are bringing recipes for Packs for:

Salsa Verde and Salsa Cruda
Cold Potato, Basil, and Tomato Salad and Cold Potato Soup
Cold Green and Gold Chicken Salad with tomatillos and Sungold tomatoes and Cold Basil and Peach Chicken Salad

The Green and Gold Chicken Salad is an original recipe from Harland's Creek Farm.  Instead of using celery for the crunchy interest, it features chopped tomatillos. These are grown locally in the summer so you avoid buying a no local product.  In addition, we use split cherry tomatoes to reduce the amount of mayonnaise that needs to be added, which makes the recipe lower in calories.   

AND here is your BEAT the HEAT strategy: Stew a whole chicken, take the meat off the bones, and save the broth. Boil some potatoes and the same time.  Cool all and store.  Then you can use basic ingredients during the week for making the cold soups and cold salads.

 We will have Vegetable Packs with all the vegetables and herbs you need to make the Salsa Verde, Potato, Basil,a dn Tomato Salad, and the Cold Green and Gold Chicken Salad.  The latter recipe is below.  Others will be available at market or you can email me at lesslerjud@msn.com for a copy.

 Summer Green and Gold Chicken Salad

6 servings

1-1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken

8-oz tomatillos, chopped

1/3 cup mayonnaise

¼ to ½ teaspoon salt according to taste

1/8 teaspoon pepper

6-oz (1½ cups) Sungold cherry tomatoes split  

1-2 Serrano peppers, minced (optional)

Coarsely chop chicken and tomatillos and combine.  Add mayonnaise, salt, and pepper and mix well. If desired, add minced Serrano peppers and mix well.  Toss with split tomatoes and chill. Serve on lettuce leaves or in sandwiches.

Original recipe from Harland's Creek Farm. © August 16, 2001



 
Posted 5/25/2011 9:09am by Judy Lessler.

A word about the nuts and bolts of being an organic farm:  We have to document our work and processes for the inspection.  Crop rotation is an important factor in organic farming because it makes for healthy soils with plenty of organic matter, and because the changing environment helps to control pests and diseases.  For example, when clover is growing, the Colorado potato beetle has to move on.  Unfortunately they seldom move on all the way to Colorado; however, after the cover crop and a rotation of potatoes to a new area, it takes the beetle some time to find the potatoes, and we, so far, have been able to control them with little effort.  Below is are a couple of pictures of cover crops on the farm.

                 

On the left you can see us mowing down a summer cover of Sudex grass and cowpeas  On the right, the winter cover of crimson clover has flowered and is ready to turn under.

Posted 3/10/2011 2:39pm by Judy Lessler.

Harland's Creek Farm is preparing for spring.  Our green house is completely full of newly seeded trays, and our outside coldframe is stuffed with plants waiting to go to the field.  The pond that we use for irrigating the farm is not completely full, and this is a bit of a worry for us.  It was a dry winter; however, we have had three rains in the past week, which we hope will top us up.

We built a high tunnel this winter and have a few things growing in it.  Below are some pictures--look for salad mix and arugula at the Durham Farmers Market beginning on March 12, 2011. 


 

 


  

   

Posted 11/9/2010 9:29am by Judy Lessler.

Right at the end of a tough summer of extreme heat, we organized ourselves to plant a fall garden.  Except for spinach which has been planted twice without success, we have had excellent results.  We have been harvesting 3 kinds of kale, chard, beets, salad mixes, pac choy, arugula, mustard, tatsoi, turnips, carrots, and fennel. Below are a series of pictures of the fall garden.  In these pictures you can also see the beds where the summer vegetables were.  Winter cover crops are currently planted in these beds.

 


This is a picture of Debra Nelson and her fiancé Graham Stansbery.   Debra has been instrumental in the success of the farm this year.  Since early July, she has lead the fieldwork on a day to day basis, worked on the fall planting, and been a general delight to us all.  We are very grateful for her efforts.


Posted 8/20/2010 9:18pm by Judy Lessler.

Basic Edamame

 1 pound Edamame beans

7 cups water

1 tbsp salt

 Boil water in a large pan.  Wash Edamame pods well. Add Edamame pods to boiling water and boil for 5-9 min or until first pod opens.  Drain and cool with running water or ice water.  Sprinkle with salt or serve with a dipping mixture of powdered ginger and soy sauce.  Edamame can also be shelled an used in various dishes. 

Edamame Humus

4+ Servings

16 oz Edamame

¼ cup Tahini

2 cloves garlic minced

3-5 tablespoons lemon juice or vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt to taste 

Boil edamame in shells in 6 cups water until tender, about 5-10 minutes.  Cool and remove beans from pods. Place edamame, tahini, and garlic in food processor.  Process vegetables and alternately add lemon juice and olive oil while processing. Add salt to taste.  If you have no garlic, you can use garlic salt. Serve chilled or at room temperature.  Original recipe from Harland's Creek Farm @2010 www.harlands-creek-farm.com

 

Chicken and Edamame Salad

4-6 servings

1.5 cups chicken chopped

1 lb Edamame, boiled and hulled

1 cup bell peppers, mixed colors chopped

3 Tablespoons mayonnaise

Basil (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

 Poach chicken breasts or stew a whole chicken.  Cool and chop meat.  Save broth and additional meat for other uses. Boil the Edamame in salted water until soft and hulls are popping open. Run under cool water, and hull beans. Chop bell peppers in to fairly small pieces.  Add mayo and salt and pepper to taste.  Chill if desired. Before serving, shred some basil leaves and mix in with the salad.

 Original recipe from Harland’s Creek Farm, September 9, 2004. 

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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: