Welcome friends, old and new, to the 2012 season, Hill and Hollow’s 13th! Our beloved CSA, along with our dearest,first born Sasha both turn teens this year! Everything bodes well for a wonderful teenage-hood for all. It is always a difficulty for me, this first newsletter of the season: do I write about the many weeks that have passed since we last saw all of you or do I stay focused on the week gone by? Hard to say which is better. Let me start with setting the farm scene: assembled is a group so awesome I can hardly believe it. April 20th welcomed Andrew and Nikki. After a year at a high powered California CSA, they are nestling into the hollow for a diverse learning experience alongside our family. They come with experience and enthusiasm for the lifestyle and we are so excited to welcome them here. Ansley came next, a Tennessee native, she showed up with her grand dad’s well worn overalls and her power tools. Immediately fixing anything long broken that got in her path, we are already hoping she will extend her predicted stay. Lindsey joined us for part of her spring break, another few days and will return by the end of May to spend her summer break with us. A born and bred Kentuckian living now in Nashville, she is a metro PE teacher and brings with her humor, athleticism, devotion and a work ethic not to be beat. Did I tell you how amazing this team is? Just this week Anastasia arrived fresh from college, I haven’t spent too much time with her yet, but she was a natural these past couple of days and I know this will be a great month with her before she heads back for summer term.
We had a mild winter which has led into an incredibly warm spring. With our new heated greenhouse in full production since February, the combination of unseasonably warm weather and a secure place to start plants, we are busting at the seams with the healthiest tomato, pepper and eggplants transplants we have ever produced. Peppers and eggplants are already set in the high tunnel and this past week we set, mulched and fenced in over 300 of the tomato plants. WOW. Oh no, I forgot to introduce a critical member of this year’s team: Kubota L 3400, Paul’s new tractor. I can not believe how much easier farm life has become in these few weeks since we took the plunge. This machine starts over and over again, flawlessly doing all Paul needs done, heck, the lights even work (and yes, Paul has been seen a top his prize many a night already!). It remains a wonder how he managed all those years with an unreliable machine. William, just one year old yesterday, is starting to screech, so I know my screen time is dwindling. I will end with excitement to share the bounty of the farm with all of you in the weeks ahead. I can’t remember a time when I was so filled with hope, enthusiasm and energy…it is going to be a great 13th year…welcome and enjoy the salad!
week one in your basket:
Pesto, it’s not just for basil anymore!!
Garlic Scape Pesto
1/2 lb. organic scapes (chopped into 1″ sections)
1 c. organic olive oil
2 c. grated parmesan or asiago cheese.
In a blender, combine the scapes and olive oil. Pour mixture into bowl and blend the cheese in by hand.
4 cups of arugula leaves, roughly chopped (remove any tough stems)
2 cloves garlic
½ cup sunflower seed kernels
¾ cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup olive oil
salt to taste
In a food processor, blend the arugula, garlic, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese into a smooth paste. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Then, with the blade running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Process until the olive oil is thoroughly incorporated and the pesto is smooth. Give the pesto a taste and add salt if necessary.