Broccoli is one of our favorite vegetables. It is great fresh in salads, it's wonderful cooked fresh and it's just as good frozen. It's also great for you!! Here's a great website on the health benefits of broccoli, as well as other useful information: http://healthfood-guide.com/HealthBenefitsOfBroccoli.aspx
We have lots of broccoli at 47 Daisies! Place your order, and order enough to freeze! Here's how:
Wash broccoli (soak in salt water for 30 minutes then rinse if insects are present)
Cut broccoli into florets (as shown above)
Blanch in hot water for 3 minutes
Place in cold water to cool
Place in freezer containers
Some of our favorite broccoli dishes are; fresh in salad, broccoli casserole, broccoli quiche and broccoli soup. Enjoy!
We will post many updates on the garlic crop as this is one of my favorites (second only to basil). The garlic is up and growing quite nicely. In the picture is Ajo Rojo (a very upright garlic). Garlic is best if planted in the fall (October/November). In the northern states garlic will not produce a shoot in the fall. It will grow roots but no shoot to prevent damage from the frigid temperatures. We don't have the frigid temp issue in Louisiana so fall planted garlic puts a shoot up right away in the southern states. The ability of the garlic to photosynthesize all fall, winter and spring allows for an earlier harvest than in the north and also (hopefully) sizeable and very flavorful cloves. Scapes (flower stalks) will be the first harvest and will be available hopefully some time in April or May. Bulbs of garlic will be harvested some time in May or June, then cured and be ready to eat......Can't wait!!!
I am ashamed to say that Harmony takes the brunt of the cooking in our family. I love to cook and especially bake so when I get the time to cook dinner I jump at the chance. Todays menu....Mac-n-cheese, homemade breadsticks and dilled cabbage and carrots. Trying to stick to as many of our own produced ingredients, the breadsticks featured our garlic, sage, rosemary and basil. The cabbage was steamed with carrots and a handful of fresh dill thrown in. The carrots were literally not out of the soil for more than 5 minutes until they were in the pot to become dinner (YUM!!). If you want a quick and easy breadstick try this recipe below (from The Tassajara Bread Book by Edward Espe Brown). We also use it for pizza crust.
1.5 cups warm water
3 Tbsp honey
1/4 olive oil
2.5 cups unbleached flour [white or wheat] (and about another cup for kneading)
Add any other ingredients you prefer (i.e. dried herbs)
Let rise for 45 minutes, Knead on floured bread board, roll out to desired shape and bake for 10-15 minutes at 425. Quick, easy and amazing.
Betty (black and white) and Praline (tan and white) joined the crew at 47 Daisies in May of 2010. Betty is a nubian doe and Praline is a wethered nigerian dwarf. We are going to be adding a few more goats to the herd this winter/spring. We just found out that Buccaneer and Cadillac will be coming to live at the farm probably some time in March (as soon as I finish the "Barn Makeover".....but that is another story in itself). Buccaneer is a full-blooded nubian buck (pppppp...ewwww...) and Cadillac is a wethered nigerian dwarf to keep him company. We will hopefully be breeding Betty some time late summer/fall of 2011. We are attempting to add milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream (mmmmm....) to our family's food supply. While we will not be selling milk due to Louisiana Law (prohibits the sale of raw milk), or cheese (requirements of a commercial kitchen) we will be sure to write updates as we move through these ventures.
Hope all had a merry holiday with friends and family!!!!!!
We have said for months that we need barn cats. Anyone that knows me knows that I have a SERIOUS fear of snakes. Luckily, I have not seen one snake on our property since we moved here, even though Dylan's seen a bunch (including 2 on the carport, one on the front porch very close to our front door, and a copperhead in the driveway...). I have no idea why this is, and have decided that I'm not going to analyze it too much.
Because of my fear, we're always thinking of ways to try to reduce the rodent population on the farm, as well as the snake population. My "snake dog" was a complete flop...as he doesn't seem to recognize when things are even alive...he gives the same attention to a stick as he does to a snake. We've considered guinea hens, but due to their noise have decided against it for now in the hopes that we keep our neighbors happy (we already have a really loud goat). But CATS are a different story. We have two house cats that have always been excellent "hunters". We had an incident with bats in our house while living in Wisconsin (a story for another day...) and our housecats would catch them in midflight!
We had decided to get barn cats, but just hadn't made the plunge yet. One night a small calico shows up on our back porch and meowed until we came out to find her. She was adorable and cuddly and we figured she'd probably just go home if we didn't feed her. After 3 days of her being on our porch, we gave her some food and Eilah named her "Melon". I guess we're pretty good hosts, because 2 days later she brought a sibling....this one the same size with different markings. Kade named her "Watermelon"......of course.
So since we acquired these two cats and they didn't appear to be going anywhere, we started feeding them in the barn at chore time and they've been awesome! I actually feel like the barn is less "snakey" already. How could it not be???
I'm just going to pretend that this magical bubble that circles our farm and prevents it from raining also keeps all the snakes out...and the 1 or 2 that possibly get in will be swiftly eaten by "The Melons".
Conversations at our dinner table are often centered around the farm, and more recently, about how to have an "all local meal". This is much harder than it seems. You would think, given our lifestyle and availability of fresh produce, that this wouldn't be that big of a challenge, but it certainly is. On an almost nightly basis, Kade (our 9 year old) would ask during dinner, "Is this an all local meal?" and we'd have to tell him no for one or two things (cheese, rice, pasta...). We have had numerous conversations about how this local meal was going to happen, and also how challenging it is. Well, as of a few nights ago, we finally succeeded!
We cooked vegetable soup with our canned tomatoes, frozen sweet corn, frozen green beans, zuchinni, rutabaga, carrots and broccoli, a fresh salad from the garden and bread made locally by John Benschoter (Yummy!). It was excellent, and Kade was very happy.
We love that Kade is so into the idea of eating local, and we feel that he really understands the reasons behind it. He expresses them daily to his classmates.... : ) Eilah very much enjoyed helping her dad make the vegetable soup. She enjoyed tasting all the fresh vegetables, even the rutabaga once it was cooked and easier to manage.
Since we've now had our first official all local meal, we are on a mission to try to eat locally, even more than before. If you have accomplished this, or have any ideas, please let us know. We'd love to hear them!!
In our attempt to grow produce 12 months of the year we have sown the first of many crops in the hoophouse in addition to the multitude of crops that are still growing well in the field. Growing in a hoophouse is much the same as growing in a "high tunnel." This technique extends the season for months. In Louisiana's climate this can extend the harvest throughout the dormant season (late fall/winter) and continue into the spring. We will be sowing greens as well as some "test" warm weather crops in the hoophouse this year. On the test list are......Elegance greens mix, mild mesclun mix, ovation greens mix, allstar lettuce mix, zucchini and cucumbers.......more test crops to come.
We will keep you posted as this experiment continues. The elegance greens mix was sowed today 11/14/10......3-5 weeks until the ultimate test (Yummy salads).....
At the end of last greenhouse season (which comes pretty early in Louisiana), Dylan basically closed the doors and that was that. During the summer, we would occasionally open the door to check the temperature and it was often sitting somewhere around 120 degrees.....and so humid it was painful. But then we'd just close the door and say "I'll get to that later".
Well, "later" has arrived. A couple weekends ago, Dylan started working on The Greenhouse Project. He started early in the morning, taking everything out of the greenhouse and putting it outside on the grass. He came in the house around 10 to get Kade and see if he'd like to help him with this project. I immediately asked if he'd seen any snakes (due to my phobia and knowing the greenhouse had been perfect conditions for them for the past 8 months or so....). Dylan stated he'd only seen 3 small snakes and several black widow spiders...no big deal. Completely safe environment for a 9 year old that pays no attention to anything (......right....). I didn't argue and let Kade go help, hoping that would be all they'd see.
Knowing we had a farm visit later that day, I went out around lunch time to check the status of his project. The greenhouse on the inside was starting to look great, but the outside...not so great. Kind of like a big junk hole. So I say to Dylan, "Wow...it's looking great! So...what's all this out here?". Dylan replies with, "Oh, that's all the stuff that came out of here. I have to take care of it when I'm done with the inside." Although I wanted to say, "You have to move it now...we have customers coming over and it looks horrible...", I figured I'd give him the benefit of the doubt. I bit my tongue and let it be.
The greenhouse was completely cleaned out in one day, the mess was cleaned up, no children died of snake or spider bites...and it's all ready for digging/planting so we can have fresh vegetables for the next few months. .....Awesome......
We feel very strongly that the future of our food system is a locally based production system. The average vegetable and/or fruit travels an average of an ASTOUNDING 1500 miles before it hits our plate.
We started 47 Daisies to help with the growing concern that this brings not only to our health but also to our environment. In producing food it should be done in a fashion that works with nature not against it.
There is a raging debate between advocates of local natural food production and conventional agriculture. Can we feed the world's population (or even the population in our town) with small farms? We believe the answer to this question is.....Absolutely! We just have to change the way we think about food and the growing of food.
47 Daisies has implemented an experiment to see if we can grow produce all twelve months of the year.....It should be exciting and we will definitely keep you posted!!
Cool weather crops are king right now with the cool fall weather we have been experiencing. One of my favorites is kohlrabi. If you’ve never tried kohlrabi before I encourage you to give it a chance. It is one of the tastiest and most versatile of the fall veggies…..Enjoy!
Kohlrabi is a crispy, sweet tasting, delicate flavored member of the Brassica family of vegetables, grown for its swollen, turnip-shaped portion of the stem which rests on the ground. It’s a distinctive looking vegetable, with a ball-like shape, pale green and purple-tinged, marked by points where the leaf-stems attached. The flesh of the bulb is juicy and crisp with a beguiling sweetness similar to that of an apple, with a hint of piquancy associated with radishes and baby turnips.
Wash kohlrabi just before using. Small kohlrabi bulbs which are young and tender generally do not require peeling. Medium to larger sizes should be peeled to remove the protective outer skin. The bulb can be sliced, cut into quarters, cubes or julienne strips and steamed until crisp-tender. Or sauté kohlrabi in butter or olive oil, or boil and mash like potatoes. The whole peeled kohlrabi can be added to braised dishes and stews. The crisp flesh can be served raw in salads, as a relish, or as a crunchy accompaniment to dips. The kohlrabi has delicious leaves that are tender and excellent in salads or stir-fried.
With only 36 calories, one cup of raw kohlrabi has nearly 5 grams of fiber and is an excellent source of Vitamin C and a good source of Potassium. Kohlrabi contains important phytochemicals such as indoles, sulforaphane and isothiocynates. Indoles are believed to be potentially significant anti-cancer compounds and are found in other cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower. These plant compounds are not destroyed in cooking, and the bioactivity of indoles may actually be increased by cooking.
Information came from the green earth institute
Dylan and Harmony, whichever of us have the time to sit down and write for a few minutes. : )