Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene came through overnight. My family evacuated, as we live 4 blocks from the water. However, our neighborhood seems to have fared well. We hope to return tonight, and I'm curious to see what a Category 1 Hurricane did to my little garden.

Of course, the day we prepped our yard for the storm, we discovered peppers for the first time.

A lot of the surrounding towns, not to mention much of the state and entire eastern seaboard, are experiencing massive flooding. I'm thankful that my family is safe, and it's a nice bonus that I still have a house to go home to.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

CSA - Week 12

Last week, we had a lot of rain in the area and the farm experienced some flooding. Because of that, they decided to cancel that week's CSA delivery and extend the season further into November. We were able to receive the CSA delivery this week without issue, just in time for Hurricane Irene.

I will have to add weights another time, as I have evacuated in preparation for the storm.

Sweet Frying Peppers

Friday, August 12, 2011

CSA - Week 11

Such a colorful CSA box this week!

Potatoes - almost 2 pounds (5 potatoes)
Sweet Frying Peppers - over a pound and a half (7)
Red Onion - one pound (6)
Yellow Squash - over 2 1/2 pounds
Roma Tomatoes - 1 3/4 pounds (10)

I haven't cooked with any of it yet because I was out all day Thursday and Friday. I just bought a bag of potatoes the other day, but since they'll last a while, that's okay. I need to use the tomatoes ASAP, but I don't like raw tomatoes much. Sunday is looking like a rainy day, so that would be a great day for cooking.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Vegetables do, in fact, grow from seeds.

Go figure!

After a few months of just kind of waiting it out and learning from my mistakes, I may actually have something here. If I can manage to keep them alive for a little longer, I will have at least one tomato and at least one cucumber. This makes me happy! As I've said, this was a learning experience, and I will not be angry or terribly upset if I don't yield much of anything this growing season, but I will definitely be extremely psyched if I do!

We were on vacation for the past week, and my wonderful neighbor watered my garden while we were gone. She also snagged my CSA delivery from my porch and kept it indoors for me. In return, I asked that she please help herself to anything in the box that looks good! She had the caneteloupe and basil. I am so glad she had the basil since my garden actually is producing a boatload of basil. Week 10 also consisted of tomatoes, red onions, and a head of cabbage.

So anyway, my neighbor warned me that she does not have a green thumb but would definitely get the garden watered. Well, she's my good luck charm. Check it out!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

CSA - Week 9

This week, we received the largest zucchini I've ever seen in my life. They're the size of my forearm.

Zucchini (2) - over FIVE pounds
Eggplant (3) - nearly 3 pounds
Corn on the Cob (8) - 6 1/2 pounds
Red Potatoes (6) - almost 1 1/2 pounds
Cilantro - 5.4 ounces

With the zucchini, my mom will make zucchini bread for the whole family. I plan to make breakfast potatoes with the red potatoes, throw the cilantro in with some salsa, guacamole, and rice & beans, and grill the eggplant. We have a great week ahead of us!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Zucchini and Compost and Buggies, Oh My!

It's "clean out the fridge" week here at A4S Headquarters. Along with the White Bean & Cabbage recipe I posted in the previous post, I also made Zucchini Pancakes. I thought it would be a weird combination, but it didn't really matter to me. It turns out, since both recipes were seasoned with thyme, they kind of tied together nicely. I am sure it's been said before, but Z boy will eat anything if it's made into a pancake.

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed

  • 1. Shred the zucchini and onion on the large holes of a box grater or in a food processor with the shredding disk. Place the shredded vegetables in a colander in the sink and sprinkle with the salt. Toss to combine. Let drain for 30 minutes, then pick up by the handful and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Place on a kitchen towel or double layer of paper towels.

  • 2. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, garlic, cheese, herbs, lemon zest, and pepper. Beat well with a fork. Add the drained zucchini mixture and mix together. Sprinkle the flour and baking powder on top and mix with a fork just until well combined.

  • 3. Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a wide, heavy pan. When the oil is hot, drop the batter into the pan by heaping tablespoonful. Cook for about three minutes on the first side, until nicely browned. Flip and cook for about two minutes more. Place the cooked pancakes on a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with the remaining oil and batter. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt, sour cream, tzatziki or applesauce.

I love sour cream, but didn't have any on hand, so I just added some lemon juice to plain Greek yogurt and called it a day. It was a nice topping for them, I thought. I also think it would be yummy to put both sour cream and applesauce on them, as I do with potato pancakes.

I also wanted to mention a website that my husband found for me that acts as a sort of database for recipes found on different blogs and such. It's cool because you can type in the ingredients you have on hand and get ideas. You can quickly see the ingredients required so you know whether to bother clicking on the link, so once I saw a recipe that included cabbage and other ingredients that I had, I was in business. That's how I found that recipe. The other cool thing is that you can also list foods that you do not like, and it won't include recipes containing those. So, while I can't choose "vegetarian," I can at least say I don't want recipes with beef, pork, chicken, et al. Check it out!

Composting has been going pretty well. Mr. A4S actually kind of took that baby in and made it his own. He's growing tired of the setup, however, because we end up with SO MANY food scraps now that we've increased our fruit and veggie consumption. We were eyeing a tumbler at BJ's Wholesale Club in the beginning of the season, but wanted to make sure it was a solid investment and something we would keep up with. We decided to go see if they still had any in stock, and they did...for $20 less than they were a couple months ago. Hopefully it will make his life a lot easier, because he's a huge help! It should also get us more compost in less time, which will be nice as we try to expand the garden.

Thanks to a friend of mine with several years of gardening experience under her belt, I purchased neem oil to keep my garden organic, but work on the bug problem. What a lifesaver! I noticed the change immediately and I'm so grateful to have someone to help with these problems! Unfortunately, she's now having groundhog problems in her garden, so I'm sad for her.

It's been very hot, so my lettuce is done for now, and I'll plant more in the Fall. I had some great salads with it, though! And I was lucky enough to receive canning supplies for my birthday, so I can start working toward my canning goal as well. I hope to make fruit preserves and tons of basil pesto!

CSA - Week 8

Corn is here! And I have never had more delicious corn on the cob in my entire life. I'm a boiler. I decided to try grilling corn this year, but it always storms when I have fresh corn and I'd rather eat it fresh! I also found out through some Googling that I boil my corn way longer than the average bear. It's a solid 17 minutes or so. The corn from Earthen Harvest was just so creamy and perfect!

Corn on the Cob - just over 5 pounds (6 ears)
Red Potatoes - 2 pounds
Cabbage - 5 1/2 pound head
Kohlrabi - almost a pound
Collards - just under a pound

I gave all of the kohlrabi to my mom since I kept it all last time we got it. I sauteed some leftover CSA yellow scallions along with a clove of minced garlic in olive oil and added the collards once those were soft. That was a great simple side dish (a go-to for greens you don't have other plans for) along side my red potato baked "fries," corn on the cob, and a veggie burger. I cut the corn off of the cob for my bigger mini and she wanted more, more, more!

I used the following recipe for the cabbage and I really enjoyed it! Again, big mini was a fan. She likes coleslaw, so she lovingly referred to this recipe as "a different kind of coleslaw." Hey, if it gets her to eat it, I'm cool with that.

white beans and cabbage

Servings: 4-6 Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes

Adapted from Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces potatoes, scrubbed and cut into tiny cubes
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
1/2 onion, minced
One 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups (8 ounces) very finely shredded green cabbage
fine-grain sea salt


1. Pour the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the potatoes and spread them evenly in the pan. Cook the potatoes for 5 minutes or so, make sure you scrape and toss the potatoes during cooking so that you can get each side browned and cooked through.

2. Add in the fresh thyme, onion and the white beans and spread all around the skillet. Let cook, undisturbed for 2 minutes to brown just a bit, then scrape and toss again. Cook until the beans are nicely browned on both sides.

3. Stir in the cabbage and cook for another minute. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir and toss again. Once the cabbage has wilted down, the dish is ready.