This week has been an eventful one at the Ecosystem Farm, as we were hit with one natural disaster and are now preparing for another. The 5.8-magnitude earthquake that rumbled along the East Coast on Tuesday struck us as we were washing produce in the packing shed. It was the first earthquake that we’ve ever experienced, and was quite a surprise; while the packing shed did shake quite a bit, it is still standing.
Of course, an earthquake isn’t enough: Hurricane Irene is set to hit us this weekend, with the potential to bring with it both wind and rain. To prepare, we’ve put our transplants in the greenhouse and will move those items in the barn and packing shed that might not fare well in a flood, from our hand-tools and cardboard boxes to our seeds. The last big hurricane that swept through the region—Hurricane Isabel, in 2003—brought floodwaters up from behind the barn and into the shed, so we will be on the lookout for similar damage. And just in time for the storm, we are pleased to report that our river irrigation pump is up and running (although we haven’t had need to use it).
In spite of this outrageous week, this has been a great August—especially when compared to the hot and humid month of July. While it’s still summer, there has been a noticeable shift into a more pleasant time, as evidenced by the new birds that have migrated into the area (not to mention those that have left already) and the shorter days and cooler temperatures that are so welcomed by our summer-weary selves.
Below, photos from this week on the Ecosystem Farm. Click images to enlarge, or view them on Flickr.
This Week’s Recipe: Pesto Pasta with Green Beans and Potatoes
Recipe from Real Simple
1 1-pound box linguine or spaghetti
8 ounces (1/2 pound) potatoes (peeled if desired)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
10 ounces green beans, ends trimmed
1 cup pesto
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmesan
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (optional)
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.
- Meanwhile, place potatoes and salt in large saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are almost but not quite tender, about 15 minutes.
- Add beans and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain potatoes and green beans in colander. Let cool slightly. Cut potatoes into 1/2-inch pieces and cut green beans into 1-inch pieces.
- Place pasta in large bowl and add potatoes, green beans, pesto, Parmesan, and pine nuts (if desired). Toss to combine.
Beekeeping Workshop: Saturday, August 27, 2011, 10 a.m. to Noon, Education Center: Join Jose Castillo of the Ecosystem Farm for an introduction to beekeeping, a wonderful pastime that is well-suited to our area and greatly beneficial to our local environment. This course will address the what, where, and how of basic beekeeping throughout the seasons. Participants will spend time both in- and outdoors. Registration required; click here to register.
Local Food Forum: Tuesday, September 6, 2011, 6:30 to 8 p.m., Education Center: The Local Food Forum is a monthly meeting of producers and consumers interested in local food. We discuss locally-grown fruits, vegetables, eggs and meat—from where to find them to how to make them more available.