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The Harvest is Beginning…

August 9, 2009

A new season has begun! Today at the Farmers Market we saw the first apples of the season being sold! None too soon. We gave up buying apple cider (made from last year’s apples) a few weeks ago because it was clear from the quality of the cider that it was time to let the 2008 apple harvest go.  Of course, there’s no new apple cider yet, but it’s nice to see how the apples get stretched almost a whole year.

Today was a bit of a random day.  We started off at the Farmers Market (of course).  Our loot:

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  • Loaf of whole wheat bread from Our Daily Bread
  • Quart of reduced-fat milk from Battenkill Creamery
  • French baguette from Our Daily Bread
  • 1/2 chicken (2.5lbs) from Mariaville Farm
  • 1 quart peaches from Maynard Farm
  • 1lb mozzarella cheese curds from Heamour Farm
  • 2 ears of corn from Barber Farm

After the market, we hurried over to the garden because it looked like it was about to start raining.  Soon enough it did, but we were able to take some pictures, pick a bunch of things, and see what needs to be done.

  1. Our sugar snap peas have been done for some time, are brown and dead and need to be cleared away. We need a free weekend (not any time soon!) to do that.
  2. The path to our plot needs major weed whacking. We found this tool in the community shed that is sort of like a scythe.  There was a real weed whacker there too, but K has never used one and was afraid of the damage he might do. :) This old farm tool was awesome and cut through the weeds and grass in the pathway with ease.
  3. We have several bugs on our plants.  Now, we’ve not done much with fertilizer or pesticides/fungicides this summer, (not even organic) and it looks like we’re paying the price now.  We found this on our greenbeans:
    Larva of Mexican Bean Beetle

    Larva of Mexican Bean Beetle

    Looked it up and it’s the larva of a mexican bean beetle – who LOVE green beans.  Terrific. We also have these on our zucchini – and they or something else have about destroyed them:

    Some sort of squash bug

    Some sort of squash bug

    Not exactly sure what it is but we think it’s some sort of squash bug.  Sigh..c’est la vie, that’s life in the garden! We got enough zucchini already this year that we donated some to Squash Hunger! and still had enough to enjoy.

  4. We pulled our garlic today and were sorely disappointed.  They did not take well after being transplanted from Terry’s garden earlier this year. Our bulbs were small and pathetic but we WILL enjoy eating this garlic nonetheless. :)  Here’s a pic of them after I cut the stalks and roots off and tried to wash them up a bit.

    Garlic cloves

    Garlic cloves

  5. Our corn.  Um, yeah…maybe because we planted late AND because it’s an heirloom variety – they are small – only about to my waist!  Oh well, here are the four stalks we have.  We’ll see if we get any corn from them.

    "Eh" corn

    "Eh" corn

  6. Corn on the other side of the garden - these look a bit better

    Corn on the other side of the garden - these look a bit better

    Despite the bugs, we still got a full quart of green beans this week! (All our left over quart containers from berrying last year are coming in handy in the garden. :) Last week we made one my favorites – green bean and tofu stirfry and we’re going to try to can this week’s batch.

    Green beans

    Green beans

  7. We have a few baby eggplant! Finally! Those things take a long time to grow. They’re only about the size of my thumb right now – looking to harvest them the end of September, most likely.

    Baby eggplant

    Baby eggplant

  8. And finally, I’d like to present to you the pièce de résistance – our tomatoes! Now, apparently tomatoes have been really hard hit this year.  There’s been so much rain this year that tomato blight (that same fungus responsible fore the Irish potato famine!) is widespread in our area and much of the North East.  And yet, our tomatoes, which we didn’t even properly stake this year, haven’t been touched at all.  Here’s what we’ve currently picked!
    Tomatoes!

    Tomatoes!

    These are all heirloom and organic, and the original plants were bought at our farmers market :) The majority of these here are Green Zebras, with a few Pineapple tomato and Brandywines thrown in.  Yummy!  And guess what we’ll be making this week with them?  Salsa, baby! Can’t wait!

So, after the garden, I came back and spent much of the afternoon resting as I wasn’t feeling my best today (a lot better than last week though!) For lunch I decided to cut some slices of the french baguette (I am addicted to that bread!),  add slices of pineapple tomato, basil leaves from my plant and top with the delicious mozarella curds we bought this morning. Oh my goodness.

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A word about these curds:

I’m in love.  I don’t normally love salt, but these curds were just so perfectly salted I wanted to swirl my tongue over them, tasting the fresh mozzarella and salt over and over.  Yes, they were THAT good.  And fresh.  The lady at the farmer’s market said she was making them at 11pm LAST NIGHT.  In fact, it go to be too late which is why she had no mozzarella today, just the curds.

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Man…we’re planning on making pizza this week so K won’t let me snack on them.  Damn it!

The rest of our random day was spent looking for an Indian market to buy authentic naan (I gotta learn how to cook the stuff from scratch, I’ve seen it done enough times) and then running to the Festa at the church down the street just to see if they had zeppoli as opposed to just fried dough.  They did have it, and it was darn good, but way different than K and I are used to.  First off all, you got 3 for $2.50 – but they were HUGE.  The dough was actually delicious and cooked perfectly right but it had RAISINS in it and was dipped in regular sugar instead of powdered sugar.

Greasy but oh so yummy huge zeppole

Greasy but oh so yummy huge zeppole

I split one with the hubby, and actually liked it a lot, except for the raisins.  Raisins just shouldn’t be in these things.

Back at home, we finally canned our blueberries (that we picked 2 or 3 weeks ago now!) tonight.  Despite the fact that they’ve been in our fridge so long, they still looked great.  Who wants blueberry jam? :)

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 9, 2009 11:03 pm

    I love homemade salsa! I’m not good at making it at all though, you’ll have to share your recipe! :)

  2. August 10, 2009 10:28 am

    I am so jealous of theheirloom tomatoes. I read about them recently and wanted to try them but they are so gosh darn expensive.

    When I visited you I saw the sign for the Festa and was so sad I couldn’t go because I was at a wedding. But those look great.

    BTW I must try some of that Jam next time I visit :-)

    • littlehouseonthegreatflats permalink
      August 10, 2009 10:32 pm

      Cynthia, you need to come to our farmer’s market next year. We got four heirloom tomato plants for about $2.50!

  3. S1B permalink
    August 10, 2009 11:01 am

    You MUST! tell us how the salsa turns out!

    I wonder if going with heirloom maters helped spare them from the blight? hmm I vote yes

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