Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Last Week of Summer Shares

Today's delivery marks the end of the Summer Share.  Wow, where did the summer go?  Fall Shares will be able to keep going for about another 10 weeks.    I can say that I feel that our investment was a good one. We haven't hardly had to go 'veggie' shopping since starting with the CSA.  We hope to be able to continue next year.  Andy says that he feel that things went fairly smoothly this year and he is hoping for the Fall Shares to step right in and do as well.  He says that it is always a challenge to have a consistent supply of produce for every week of the season, but it seems to get easier with each passing year.  He wants to thank everyone that has been a part of the CSA this year.  I would say that we all need to encourage our family and friends to look into being a part of the CSA for the coming year.

I always try to guess what will be in our box each week.  This week we had garlic, onions, peppers, green beans, greens, zucchini, parsley and okra.

I can say that I have never ever heard of hot pepper butter.  But I can tell you that we will always have a jar in the fridge.  I am thinking hamburgers and hot dogs for dinner tomorrow night.  We tasted it and it is spicy but our mouths are watering just thinking about dinner tomorrow.  It really isn't a butter like margarine or even butter like apple butter.  To me it is more like sweet pickle relish with a BIG KICK!

Now comes the real organic farming education...Organic Farming 101

Here is a list of products that Andy uses to deter insects and disease...
Garlic spray (made from his own garlic)
Mycotrol O
Montery Insect spray
Surround and Champ (copper spray)

All those products are approved by the NOP (National Organic Program).  They prefer to think of them as band aids.  They use them to help the infested plants to get back on their feet.  The primary focus is always to build up the soils.  Mocotrol O and Montery Insect spray and Dipel are beneficial bacterias of some sort thet will infest the insects and their eggs.  They are very affective in controlling certain s[ecieas of insects.  Surround and Garlic oil work more by deterring insects from the crops.  Surround forms a thin white coating on the plants and the insects really don't like it at all.  Garlic evidently has a bed smell that the insects don't care for either.  Champ or copper sprays help prevent diseases.  Pyganic is used to control tough cucumber beetles.  The bad part about using Pyganic is that it will kill some of the good insects as well as the cucumber beetles.  Andy says that they really try to use it very little.

After all that information...don't you just want to go out back and dig up the backyard and start your own organic garden.  Heck no...I think Andy and Lizzie and the helpers are doing a fantastic job!

Recipe Of The Week: Green Bean Ham Potato Casserole

Green Bean Ham Potato Casserole
3/8 cup of butter
3/8 cup of flour
3 cups milk
1 1/2 cup grated Cheddar or American cheese
4 cups of cooked green beans
4 medium, diced, cooked potatoes
3 cups diced cooked ham

Melt butter and stir in flour.  Add milk, stirring constantly, until thickened.  Remove from heat, add cheese and stir until melted.  Arrange potatoes in a buttered casserole dish and cover with green beans,  Pour 1.2 of cheese sauce over the green beans.  Add ham and remaining cheese sauce.  Top with buttered bread crumbs if desired.  Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Community Support

The weather is pretty cool in Ohio these days.  That means the produce is slowing down.  Crops like tomatoes and peppers need the sun and the heat to grow and ripen. Andy is hoping that the fall crops will start to ripen soon.

Not only is farming top priority at Cedarmore but helping out the community and family comes in at a close second.  This week he helped his brother-in-law get  building ready to move onto his property.  Most of the Amish community will also be there to help.  So he is hoping that he old saying...many hands make light work...holds true.

Some beautiful lettuce, green tomatoes, onions, a few sweet potatoes, a bag of greens, a butternut squash (I think) and ....I asked Rue, a farmer down the road from Cedarmore, last week if the paw paws were ripe yet.  He said he would check and let me know and if there were any he would make sure they got into my box.  Oh, they smell wonderful!  I could smell them before I even opened the box.   I am going to try a new Paw Paw cookie recipe and I will let you know who wonderful they were.  Might even share the recipe later.

But back on the farm...Andy wants to educate us all in the ways he farms on Cedarmore.  We have been learning about soil prep and he seems to think that maybe he made it sound way to easy.  They have problems with diseases and insects just a s the rest of us newbie farmers do. But that there have been times when he thinks they are doing a really good job keeping things under control and they still have to deal with it all.  They sometimes have to use some products but what is used on Cedarmore has been approved by the National Organic Program.  I am sure that he will be telling us more about that later on in the season when things slow down even more.

If you read this blog and you would like to know more about the Cedarmore CSA or if you have questions about Organic farming done the Amish way, please feel free to drop Andy, Lizzie and the workers a line.   I am sure they would love to hear from you.  It may take a few days for them to get your email from their non-Amish/English friend down the road but they will get back to you.  Or if you have any questions for me about how I write the blog...contact me at itsahoot24@aol.com.  We all would love to hear from you.  We live for the comments that are left on the blog.  It is nice to know that someone is reading the blog.  And along the way we hope that you are learning some new things about the Amish way of live and organic farming.


Recipe Of The Week: Baked Candied Sweet Potatoes

Baked Candied Sweet Potatoes

6 medium sweet potatoes
3 Tablespoons of flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 Tablespoons of butter
some miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 cup sugar
1 cup thin cream or evaporated milk

Cook sweet potatoes until tender.  Drain and peel.  Slice into 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick and arrange in a buttered 9x13 casserole dish.  Combine sugar, flour, and salt.  Sprinkle over sweet potatoes.  Dot with butter, marshmallows and nuts.  Pour cream over all.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Change In The Weather

We have gone from hot and humid to cool and wet weather here in Ohio.  The good side of this for farming is that we have plenty of moisture in the ground.  The bad part is that the cool weather will slow crops from maturing.  The tomatoes have especially slowed down.  Fall crops like broccoli, cabbages, and turnips are looking good and should do well in the cooler weather.

I call this box a real earthy box...potatoes, tomatoes, onions, yellow squash, zucchini, okra and fresh basil.
this is all good but this week I had a note from Lizzie.  I get so excited when I find a nice little surprise like that tucked away in the box.  Seems they had to take Anna to the eye doctor and then picked up some paint at Lowe's.  I know this because Mark got to visit with then for just a bit.  It would take me about 30-40 minutes to drive from the farm to Lowe's.  It takes a 2 hour buddy ride.  Anna gets car sick and they thought it best she not be sick at the doctors office.  I am so jealous!

Things for the animals are going to change since the weather is changing.  During the winter months when the grass doesn't grow Andy brings the horses and cows into the barn.  They are fed hay and bed then down in sawdust from the sawmill.  Each time they put down a layer of sawdust they add a little bit of shelled corn.  Then in springtime they will put the cows and horses back out in the pasture and bring the pigs in the barn.  They will root around looking for the corn and in the process will bring up the packed bedding and then they have nice rich compost.  Andy then takes that compost and applies it to the fields after the produce is done for the year,  Then this will be fertilized for the next year's crops.

The chicken have a really cool 'egg mobile'.  They like to rotate it around on the cover crop fields and in the grass lands.  The chickens love to eat the grass and cover crops.  
Andy says that what ever they don't produce into to those beautiful, delicious bright yoked brown eggs. they drop back into the soil with in turn really builds up the soil.  They are really useful animals.

If you need to get in contact with Cedarmore Farm, please email...


Recipe Of The Week: Green Tomato Bread

Green Tomato Bread

8-10 green tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2/3 cups of raisins
2/3 cup of boiling water
2/3 cup vegetable shortening
2 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 1/2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of baking soda
1/1/2 teaspoons of salt
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon of cloves

Put tomatoes in a blender and blend until smooth.  Use enough tomatoes to makes 2 cups of pulp.  Soak raisins in boiling water and set aside to cool.  Cream shortening and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs, tomato pulp, raisins and soaking water.  Beat well.  Combine remaining ingredients.  Add to tomato mixture, stirring well.  Divide batter into two oiled loaf pans.  Bake at 350 degrees approximately 60-70 minutes.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Can't Catch A Break

Cedarmore just can't seem to catch a break with the weather. It has been really hot and humid. Some of the plants love that kind of weather but the lettuce is taking a beating. Because of the hot weather some of the lettuce is bolting...

Why do plants bolt

Most plants bolt due to hot weather. When the ground temperature goes above a certain temperature, this flips a switch in the plant to produce flowers and seeds very rapidly and to abandon leaf growth almost completely.
Bolting is a survival mechanism in a plant. If the weather get to be above where the plant will survive, it will try to produce the next generation (seeds) as quickly as possible.

Andy figures they will lose some of the crop due to this. But for now the harvest seems to be going well. And because of the hot and humid weather they are having to run the irrigation pump quite frequently. As soon as they get some rain they won't have to run it as much and that would be a really good thing. There won't be a recipe to share this week because things were just to hectic on the farm.

two bunches of lettuce, more corn, beans, a tomato, a few carrots and some type of squash I think

red raspberry jam can't wait to have it on some toast.

I am learning so much about the mechanics of farming.  There is  a lot more to it that digging a hole in the dirt and throwing in a seed.  Andy explains that they have their land divided into three sections or areas.  They rotate their crops so they don't have the same crop in the same ground two years in a row.  He says that they always have a third of their land in cover crops.  When it is the year for a cover crop they might start by planting oats in early spring, plow it in mid June, plant some buckwheat, plow in down in the late summer and then plant rye which would be plowed down the following spring and then planted in some type of produce.  Sounds sort of confusing to me and also sounds like lots of work for man and beast.