Cooking--Farming--Thinking

Eat--Work--Ponder
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. 

Posted 6/11/2010 9:26am by Judy Lessler.
Keith Mulhollem, a recent graduate of the CCCC Sustainable Agriculture Program and an experienced flower designer is working at Harland's Creek Farm this year.  He will be attending market with us this week to make custom bouquets at market.  In addition, we will be bringing a set or pre-made bouquets that Keith has designed to be long lasting.  These bouquets feature Dahlias and Lilies.  Dahlias are a beautiful flower with a fairly short vase life; lilies have a long vase life and do best if they are put in the vase un-opened.  With this combination, you will have a week or more of beautiful flowers.  Once your dahlias are done, the lilies will be open and continue for many days after.  Below is a picture of one made on Wednesday.  The lilies are beginning to open.


We will also have salad mix, braising mix, and beets.
Posted 11/23/2009 8:31pm by Judy Lessler.

Roasted greens make an excellent addition to the Thanksgiving meal and are also welcome on a cold evening.  Refrigerate leftovers and heat and serve with fried eggs and sause. 

 

Roasted Greens

Coarsely chop dry greens  using Pak Choy, Tatsoi, and other greens if desired.  Sprinkle with chopped garlic and slivered almonds.  Drizzle olive oil over mixture.  Cover and roast in a hot oven—350 F until greens are done.  Remove cover and toast garlic and almonds.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

8 oz of greens should serve 3 people.

 

Roasted Greens with Eggs and Sausage

1 serving

Melt 0.5 tablespoon of butter in a small cast iron skillet.  Place the greens in a semi-circle on one side of slillet and cooked sausage in a semi-circle on the other side of the skillet.  Break a fresh egg in the middle. Cover and cook over low heat until the egg is done to your liking.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve. 

Increase by using a larger skillet and one egg for each serving.

 


 

Harland's Creek Farm www.harlands-creek-farm.com

Posted 10/29/2009 3:41pm by Judy Lessler.

Harland's Creek Farm will be featuring recipes for greens at market on Saturday October 31, 2009.  Below is a picture of  Collards with Pasta and Sesame.  We will be handing out this recipe as well as one for Collard Slaw.  Also, come by an get our recipe for Chard Pie, a savory, cheesy recipe that will be perfect for up coming cool days.

collards with pasta and sesame

Also, I have been really enjoying greens and eggs since my daughter was here from California.  This morning I had some tatsoi saute'ed in butter and scrambled eggs.

One strategy for using greens is to wash and blanch them in boiling water for 2 minutes.  Cool them quickly in ice water.  Squeeze some of the water out of the greens and then chop.  At this point they can then be frozen in a plastic freezer bag or stored in your refrigerator for later use.  I liked having them processed to this point this morning when I want a quick breakfast of greens and eggs.

Posted 10/28/2009 11:10am by Judy Lessler.

 You can use dark brown sugar instead of the molasses.

 

collards with pasta and sesame

Collards with Pasta and Sesame

2 main course servings

 

8 oz collards

0.5 cup water

1 teaspoon molasses

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1-3 cloves garlic minced

1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

4 oz whole wheat spaghetti pasta

0.25 teaspoon pepper or hot pepper flakes (optional)

Salt to taste

 

Wash greens and cut into ribbons 1 inch wide.  Add greens, water molasses, and oils to a skillet or wok.  Bring to boil, cover and cook until greens are tender but not mushy, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, boil the pasta and toast the sesame seeds by putting them in a small pan over high heat and shaking until they start to brown. Remove lid from greens and cook liquid down.  Mix in pasta.  Stir in raw garlic, pepper, and salt to taste.

Adapted from Schneider, Elizabeth (2001) Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini. New York: William

 

Posted 4/8/2009 8:38pm by Judy Lessler.

The US weather service issues a freeze warning for 4 am to 8 am on Wednesday April 8 2009. 

We were concerned becasue it is usually 4 to 5 degrees colder at the farm than the forecast low temperature.  Also, in 2007, there was a severe freeze on April 5 that killed leaves on trees, all of the flowers on our holly bushes, and all of our transplanted corn.  Thus, the freeze warning was a call to action, and we spent a good portion of Tuesday preparing protections for it.  Below are some pictures of our efforts.   They were sucessful AND the cold was not too severe.  We dropped to 28 degrees for a few hours right at dawn and warmed up quickly after that.

We loaded the corn transplants on a large trailer and backed it into the barn.


 

The barn has a huge door to allow for large equipment to be brought in.  We covered the door with a large tarp and weighted it down to keep it clossed.

 

Covered barn door

 

Next we focused on beds of tender transplants and flowers.  

 

Lilies that volunteered from 2008 were covered.

Lilies that volunteered from 2008 were covered

 

Beets,  tender lettuces, and pac choy were covered in Plots 1 and Plot 2.

 

Beets and tender transplants covered

 

Covered blueberries in Plot 3 looked like little ghosts floating in the field.

 

Covered blueberries in Plot 3

 

Some plants are cold tolerant Here is a frost covered red cabbage.  It survived just fine.

 


Posted 3/30/2009 2:36pm by Judy Lessler.

At HCF we either plant by direct seeding or transplanting.   Until 2008 when we built our own greenhouse, we direct seeded most of our produce and flowers.  We now use a lot of transplants.  This allows us to get some plants in the field earlier and gives us more control over the early stages of their development.  

Plants are first seeded in the greenhouse and spend several weeks there.  When they are large enough, they are moved outdoors to a cold frame or other location to "harden-off."  This means that they are getting used to the harsher weather of the outdoors.  We find, however, that many plants do better in this harsher climate because they are actually adapted for outdoor growth rather than indoor growth.

Some of the plants are both direct seeded and transplanted.  This year we hope to have transplanted corn as well as direct seeded corn. This will be our third try for a good crop of transplanted corn.  In 2007 we put our corn out around April 1, and on April 5 there was a hard freeze that killed the majority of it.  Last year, 2008, we had corn tasseled out when we were hit by a major hail strom on May 20.  Most of it was killed.   Here is a picture of the corn just after it had germinated in the greenhouse.

 

This corn is now outside waiting to be transplanted as soon as we have a 10 day forecast that includes April 15 with no indication of frost.

 

The next picture is of chard, kohlrabi, and cabbages waiting the the cold frame and getting hardened up.  Some of these went to the field last week and the week before.  Future blogs will show pictures of the early vegetables in the beds.


More to follow.

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Where to buy our organic food

You can get our food by:

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