Hello all and welcome to the Fall extension. We have had an amazing fun filled week leading up to this harvest and delivery. As many of you have noticed we have had a sub standard garlic harvest this season. Usually one of our staples, the mild winter of 2012-2013 coupled with a wet spring and early summer led to a disappointing harvest. Garlic is one of the crops that we save our own seed from, so losing this crop represents a double loss for us: none for eating, none for planting. At harvest time in June we began scouting for creative solutions to this problem and the answer came quickly: source good quality seed garlic from one of our many friends farming in the region. Narrowing it down, we found two excellent growers, living within minutes of each other in northern Kentucky (Henry and Owen county to be exact). It became clear that this was the best week to organize a pick up , so early Wednesday morning we loaded out, the smallest version of our family, Paul, Robin, William and headed to Facing West Farm, home of our 2006 apprentice Megan, her husband Todd and their 2 blond boys aged 3 ½ and 1 ½. We were able to trade sheep shearing and wool product to offset some of the seed garlic’s cost. Facing West Farm was new home to a small flock of Icelandic sheep. So while the kids played, Paul taught our friends shearing. (this breed can be shorn both in spring and fall). We then sorted and loaded garlic, toured their gardens and dined as the sun set over the rolling hill s of Henry county (a heart throb amongst Kentucky’s counties as it is home to Wendell Berry). With an old farm house full of toys, a pair of dear friends tending the land, and fresh food, this quickly became our dream vacation. But wait, the fun wasn’t over, after a fairly good night’s sleep, we headed north briefly and would our way to Hazelfield Farm. These ridge top fields are worked by our friend Todd who we have known since we first moved to the area in 1998(yes, to make things interesting our hosts share a name!). Along with his wife Esmee and their 2 year old son, we were welcomed by a warm farm fresh breakfast, hot coffee and years worth of shared stories. Again we toured the gardens and sorted seed garlic. Always fascinated by small grain, it was nice to see Todd has succeeded this year with wheat, oats, field corn, dried beans, and pop corn. Needless to say, when nap time came and brought our scheduled departure, we were all disappointed to part. We landed back at the farm rather tired by Thursday evening, but encouraged by the professional and personal camaraderie. Swapping tales of crop successes and failures, nap times and homeschooling. It is hard to find folks that can relate to so many of our daily experiences. Now, as the conclusion of the year draws near, it felt so thoroughly amazing to toast the 2013 season with TWO other Kentucky farm families that shared the ups and downs of yet another farming year. Wow, and now, the first week of the fall season, I love this! Can’t wait to eat with you all for the coming weeks, welcome.
Hill and Hollow Style Salsa Verde I rarely use recipes, so please excuse the lack of precise details. if you aren’t comfortable with winging it, please look up any salsa verde recipe on line, be sure to use one that roasts the tomatillos rather than boiling, the flavor is far superior!
Salt and pepper to taste
Place a splash of olive oil on your cast iron skillet and heat. Fill the skillet with a dozen or more tomatillos, a few peeled garlic cloves, some onion quarters, and a mix of hot and sweet peppers. If you want a spicy salsa, use quite a few hot ones, a milder salsa, use primarily sweet peppers. Sear all ingredients until they are soft and the juices start to run from the cooked tomatillos which are now a light olive green color. This can take 10 minutes or more, just flip the vegetables a few times to make sure they are evenly seared. Let ingredients cool and blend. Add chopped fresh cilantro and salt and pepper to taste. This salsa also freezes well, so you can make larger batches and freeze for winter taco nights!
fall week 1 in your basket: