It was a race against the clock this week to get things planted for fall. The brassicas were well beyond ready to go into the ground and the weather was unsure if it wanted to cooperate. Planting in dry ground would be ideal but even the slightest bit of moisture can make this soil heavy and difficult to handle. Luckily, with only a bit of drops on their heads, our farm crew planted plenty of cauliflower and broccoli to be ready for harvesting in the fall.
Along with the unpredictable weather comes unpredictable pests and disease issues which leaves us wondering what we’ll harvest next. But things still looks promising. Our tomatoes and rainbow chard are doing quite well and our heirlooms and figs are well on their way to greatness.
As we embark on the last leg of summer and the second half of our CSA season, we appreciate the few bursts of moving air that break up the humid August days. Although they only provide seconds of relief, they remind us that cooler and calmer days lie ahead here at the farm and we will appreciate the bounty of new crops they bring.
Below, photos from this week on the Ecosystem Farm. Click images to enlarge, or view them on Flickr.
This Week’s Recipe: Swiss Chard with Garbanzo Beans and Tomatoes
Recipe from Allrecipes.com
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup garbanzo beans, drained
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 bunch red Swiss chard, rinsed and chopped
- 1 tomato, sliced
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Stir in shallot and green onions; cook and stir for 3 to 5 minutes, or until soft and fragrant. Stir in garbanzo beans, and season with salt and pepper; heat through. Place chard in pan, and cook until wilted. Add tomato slices, squeeze lemon juice over greens, and heat through. Plate, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Sustainable Table: Tuesday, August 9, 2011, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. It’s one thing to purchase produce that’s in season, and quite another to cook it. Sustainable Table is a monthly cooking course that demonstrates how to use in-season fruits, vegetables, and herbs to create healthful, wholesome, and delicious meals. Each class will spotlight one well-loved fruit or vegetable standard and one unusual item. Participants will receive printed recipes to take home.
Grow It, Eat It, Preserve It! Food Preservation Workshop: Saturday, August 13, 2011, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Education Center: This Food Preservation Workshop will cover safe, nutritious, and cost-effective methods of preserving your garden harvest. University of Maryland Extension Educators Cassandra Corridon, Rebecca Davis, and Lynn Little will discuss food preservation equipment, food safety, and water bath and pressure canning. This workshop will feature two hands-on activities in which participants will learn how to process a low- and high-acid food using water bath and pressure canners. Participants will be able to take their canned foods home, and will receive a copy of So Easy To Preserve. This book includes in-depth information for both the new and experienced food preserver, featuring tested recipes and instructions for water bath and pressure canning, making jams and jellies, pickling, and freezing and drying. Space is limited to 15 participants and registration is required in advance. Registration deadline: August 1, 2011.
Behind the Scenes Barnyard Visit: Tuesday, August 16, 2011, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Come and meet the Accokeek Foundation’s heritage breeds of livestock during this special behind-the-scenes opportunity in our barnyard. Join the Foundation staff as they feed the animals and provide opportunities for you to interact with cattle, sheep, hogs, and poultry. Afterward, follow Accokeek Foundation Manager of Livestock and Pastures Polly Festa to the Education Center, for a free presentation on heritage breeds of livestock.