Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Everything Is Looking Good

Produce is doing well but they could use a little bit of rain.  The irrigation system is keeping the plants well watered.  With what Andy see now he believes that the fall crops will do just fine.

More About The Growing Methods...
As I understand it, all plant minerals are either positively charged cations or negatively charged anions.  To name a few of the important ones:  Potassium, Calcium, and Magnesium are cations, while Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Sulfur, and Boron are anions.  If we have a P.H. of between 6 and 6.4 that means that we have a good balance of the cations and anions and we should have healthy plants.  If the P.H. is low we are low in one or more of the cations
 Andy is still in the beginning stage of learning all about these things and he in no way thinks that he is an expert.  But he loves to read and research about better organic growing methods.

New Beginnings

It's that time of year even for the Amish. The school bell will be ringing and the schoolhouse will be open.  Anna will attend this year for the first time.  She is so excited.  Lizzie on the other hand, hasn't really figured out how she feels about it.
Cedar Hill School is a one room schoolhouse in the community with a total of 13 children...first through eighth grade.  Two other children will join Anna in first grade.  She will learn to speak English and will learn reading, writing, arithmetic, and spelling.

This is the view from the teachers desk.  The teacher is the Bishop's daughter.  One day I hope to meet her.

This is the view the student will see everyday while they are doing their lessons.

Recipe Of The Week: Peppers and Onions With Cod

Onions and Peppers With Cod

2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 green pepper cut into strips
1 onion sliced thin
1 clove of minced garlics
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of oregano
1/8 teaspoon of pepper
1 1/2 pounds of cod fillet cut into 6 pieces

Heat oil in large skillet then sauté the pepper, onion, and garlic for four minutes.  Add the seasonings and push the vegetables asides in the skillet and add the cod.  Cover and cook until the fish is opaque and fully cooked.  Spoon the pepper mixture over the fish and serve.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Fall Shares Still Available

Once again Mother Nature is making it easy to work outside on the farm.  Andy enjoys these cooler days and I can only imagine that he might get a little more work accomplished.  Right now they are trying to get the fall crops planted.  That would be turnips, radishes, spicy greens, spinach, and lettuce.  Also coming this fall in our boxes will be cabbages, broccoli, kale, chard, red beets and carrots.  Along with potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, and winter squashes.

Fall shares are still available.  The Fall Share runs from the first week of October to the first week in December.  $170.00 for 10 weeks
Email the farm at and Rue will let Andy know.
More On The Growing Methods
Today's modern agricultural world is focused on only three nutrients:  nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.  Although these three are indeed very important, we do not want to overlook the many trace minerals and other nutrients that are often ignored by most farmers in the U.S. today.  I really do not think that the farmers are so much at fault.  It's more huge industries that want to sell their 'junk' (as I am inclined to call it) to the farmers.  They are actually able to grow large quantities this way, but the fact remains that most of the food in the supermarkets are now devoid of these trace minerals.  How this is effecting the health of all those people who are eating this food everyday?
Although they are producing a lot of quantity, most of their plants do not have as good a defense system and are therefore more prone to insects and disease.  But they do have a cure for this, just dump more chemicals on these crops and get rid of all the pests.  If the insects and disease becomes resistant, just use stronger chemicals. And as for weeds, that's easy too, just plants their seeds that have been genetically altered so they are not affected by round-Up and the keep spraying Round-Up to kill off those weeds.  The crop will remain unharmed.  One of the problems that this creates is from an ingredient in the Round-Up., called glyphosates, tying up an important mineral called manganese in the soil. The manganese is then not available to the plants, creating still more problems.  As you can see it is a never ending cycle and each problem just creates more problems.  The end result is we have a lot of people that are eating food that is devoid of many minerals and has been soaked with chemicals.  But it really doesn't end here, what about the health affects it will have on the people?
Next week Andy will tell us about their approach and how they go about growing nutrient-dense food.

Recipe Of The Week: Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Cucumber and Tomato Salad
1/2 cup of salad dressing or mayo
2 Tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon of salt or garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon of leaf oregano
2 or 3 diced tomatoes
1 large cucumber diced
In a medium bowl combine the first four ingredients.  Add tomatoes and cucumbers and toss lightly.  Refrigerate until serving time.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Fishing Trip With The Andy's

The Andy's, that's what you call the Hershberger's if you are referring to the family...the Andy's.  I like it!  So we have had this fishing trip planned for a month or so.  I have been counting down the days!

Lizzie had sent me a letter and gave me written and drawn directions to their secret fishing hole.  I was to meet them at 10AM at their favorite fishing hole  at Rocky Fork Lake.  I was there just a few minutes early and they were no where in sight.  So I decided to drive to the farm to make sure they were still coming. (We communicate the Amish way...thru letters in snail mail or notes in the CSA boxes). What do I see when I turned down the main road...a wagon full of Amish.  Passing I noticed that it was Andy.  It threw me because they usually have Merl harnessed to the wagon but today it was Dan.  (I know my horses). 

I made an illegal U-turn (I'm such a law breaker) and hightailed it back to the buggy that was moving downhill at the top speed of 15 mph.  Andy pulls to the right side of the road and slows down like the Amish do when they hear a car or truck behind them.  I just stayed behind the wagon.  Lizzie turns to look and recognizes me and smiles that big smile of hers.  She tells Anna to look.  I wish I had a picture of her big smile.  Then Lizzie turns Lovina around for me to see her.  So cute dressed in her blue dress and black bonnet. And of course barefoot. All of a sudden Dennis jumps up and turns to me and is clapping as fast and as hard as he can.  I thought my heart was going to explode!  It was way past happy!  Next thing I know Moses has taken off his straw hat and is climbing between Lizzie and Anna under the buggy seat.  And he is waving like there is no tomorrow!  I can't take pictures so the next best is to call someone and tell them what I am seeing.  I call Mark.  While I am on the phone with Mark, Andy is making fun of me by pretending he is on his cell phone...ha ha, he doesn't have a cell phone.  He enjoys making fun of me and my English ways!

It took them about an hour to bring the buggy and it took me a little over an hour in the van.  I think I'd like to go in the buggy.  It wouldn't matter to me how long it took.  Well, maybe is the weather was really bad I might that to think about it a little while.

We stopped at the little bait shop so Andy could get some wax worms.  I told him that I had night crawlers and crickets.  Nope, not the Amish way.  "These are Amish fish and they like wax worms" he tells me.  I said we will just see about that!

We got to the secret fishing hole and Andy unhitched the horse and tied him to a tree in the shade of the woods.  Then we all unpacked the wagon...three fishing poles, a tackle box,  a huge watermelon, all the fixins' for a picnic, a box of wood, water jugs...and who knows what else.

Andy and I got the poles ready for fishing for the kids to fish.  Then Andy goes one way and Lizzie, the kids and I, head for the dock.  On the way there Lizzie asks if I can swim.  Yes, why?  Because if any of the kids fall in I was to jump in after them.  Great!  Andy yells and tells me not to worry it isn't that deep.  Yes, but it would be cold.

Lizzie sits and one end of the dock (the shallow water end) with Lovina between her legs and she is holding Moses by his suspenders.  Anna and Dennis are with me at the deep end of the dock sitting criss-cross applesauce in the middle of the dock.  I catch the first fish and decide that will be all for me and help the kids.  They get bored pretty quick and start moving around.  That's when Lizzie decided that is was snack time...back at the picnic table on dry land.

Andy is still fishing like there is no tomorrow.  If I had used the Amish part of my brain (because Andy calls me half Amish now) I would have realized that, yes this is a fun family day of fishing but the fish we caught will be used for food on the table.  I told him about a catch and release pond where we fish at Unity Cabins in West Union.  I told him about the big bass we caught.  He told me that he would really have a hard time releasing those fish if we ever went there.  He said it would be like taking food from his kids.  Wow...different way of looking at things for use.  Food for thought.

Lunch is next on the agenda.  I ask Lizzie what she is going fix.  BBQ chicken.  I'm think smothered in Montgomery Inn sauce.  My mouth starts to water!  There was cheese, heirloom tomatoes, and watermelon to go with it.  I had some Kosher dill pickles (my very own canned and very delicious if I may say so myself), an orange, an apple, and two PBJs.  And a little surprise from dessert. So Lizzie pulls out the wood and starts to build a fire while the kids and I snacked on pretzels.  Come to find out BBQ chicken is just plain chicken (neck included) cooked on the BBQ grill.  What a let down for me.  The Andy's were thrilled with it.  And I was happy with my PBJs.  On the way I had stopped to get my fishing license at Walmart and I saw that the Hostess chocolate cupcakes...the ones with the little white swirly thing across the top...were back on the shelf.  Had to buy a box...something from my childhood to share at the picnic.  Which the kids loves.  Andy and Lizzie made fun of me because it was store bought.  I don't mind...they were go good!  But not quite like I remember them.

The baby was getting really fussy and since we only had about 5 fish, Andy decided to take the older two kids to the spillway (about and hour away) while Lizzie and I would take the younger ones home for a nap.  On the way home we saw one of Lizzie's sisters walking up the lane toward Cedarmore.  She was coming to help Lizzie do whatever she needed help with.  That is the way that the Amish girls learn the skills they will need when they get married.  They help out with the babies, do laundry, can...everything that Lizzie would do on the farm...sort of an apprentice job.

While Moses was playing with the kittens and Rachel was giving the baby a bath, Lizzie and I canned peaches.  Lizzie called them company peaches.  They were peach halves.  She was impressed with my knife skills.  She had bushels of peaches but went through them and picked out the ones that were ready to can.  Said she would do the rest later.  That was fun for me and once again I learned things about canning that I didn't know.

Everyone was so tired.  I decided that I needed to get home to can my own peaches.  On the way out I caught a chicken hawk in trying to find some lunch.  Literally under the egg mobile chasing chickens.  And there were two more in the sky.  Like a crazy woman I chased them away and drove back to the house to let Lizzie know there was trouble on the horizon.  She said that they had already caught one in a  live trap.

Andy and Lizzie never let me go home empty handed.  This trip I got a cantaloupe, some of Lizzie's peach pie filling and a huge watermelon!.  Not to mention a basket of heirloom cherry tomatoes that are so awesome.  I have eaten most of them but I am going to save the seeds from a few so I can grow some next summer.

I wish I was one of those writers that when they write every word describes things in a way that you can feel it with all of your senses.  I want you to feel the way I do about the farm and the Andy's.  I want you to feel the love on those little faces.  The hot smelly dog breath of Sem. The gravels hurting my feet and I try to keep up with the kids on the way to the barn.  And the most delicious cold well water as it travels down my throat.  Cedarmore Farm is truly heaven on earth for me.  It is my happy place.  And I am so very honored and thankful God saw fit to make our paths cross that cold winter day when were  looking to find a CSA.  Blessed beyond measure for sure.

UPDATE from Lizzie in the CSA box last Tuesday....First thing she asks me is if I got my peaches canned. Then she tells me that she had done another 30 quarts.  And some peach butter.  Andy caught 32 more fish at the spillway.  So since it was an off Sunday (no church service) they were able to sleep in and have all you can eat fish for breakfast along with some coffee soup (coffee, milk, and torn up pieces of bread that soak up the coffee and milk.)  Not only do they have to worry about the chicken hawks...the cat had gotten five of the two week old turkeys.  Good news is that they still have 11 turkeys left.  Lizzie says, 'bad cat'.  That cat better not get my turkey!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Recipe Share Request

Okay all you cooks out there it is time to share you favorite recipe from the fruits and vegetables that you have received in your CSA boxes.  Email your recipes to me at
 and I will post them on the blog as soon as I can.  If you could also send a picture that would be wonderful.

Storing Fruits and Vegetables

Several of the CSA members have asked what the proper way to store the fruits and vegetables are so they don't end up in their compost bins because they have gone bad.

Store in The Refrigerator
Brussels sprouts
fresh herbs (except basil)
green beans
green onions
leafy greens
yellow squash
Store at Room Temperature
acorn squash
basil (in a jar of water)
butternut squash
peaches and nectarines*
spaghetti squash
* Store these items in the refrigerator once they ripen.

Lots of Important Information

The bad news is that there are no more cantaloupes.  The good news is there is another patch coming on!  They should be ready to harvest in a few weeks!  Oh that sweet, sweet goodness!  Tomatoes are looking good even thought there are some blight issues.  Andy says that this is really not unusual with all the wet weather we had early in the season.  the wonderful colorful larger tomatoes are heirloom tomatoes that have been handed down for their forefathers.  That to me makes them taste even better!  The flavor of them is just hard to beat (they are Andy's favorites) but they are softer and more easily damaged and they tend to go bad quicker.  The long skinny tomatoes are Italian heirlooms.  They are more meaty and more like a Roma tomato.  The round orange-red tomatoes are Mt Fresh tomatoes.   These are the most dependable tomatoes that are grown on the farm.  And there are a few green tomatoes.
If you are looking for canning tomatoes...they have some available for 50 cents a pound.  They are smaller than the ones that we get in our boxes.  Some have cracks or blemishes on them but they are still good.  If you would like some, just send an email to the new email address to order them for next week.  Please do this before Thursday.
Andy and Lizzie have been able to grow some watermelons.  they are hard to go organically and the fact that they take up so much room in an already full van (picture coming next week) and the fact that the cucumber beetles like the taste of watermelon, there are a limited number available for CSA members.  They re basketball size and are $4.00 each.  I can tell you that you really don't want to miss out on this.  They are delicious.  I was able to pick one up on Saturday.  Delicious!
onions, red pepper, cucumbers, green beans, tomatoes of every color, potatoes
(I have already made kosher dill pickles out of my cucumbers...they are to die for!)
Growing Methods Continued
'During the winter months when grass does not grow we bring our cows and horses in  and keep them in the barn.  We feed them hay and bed them down with sawdust from the local sawmill.   Each time we put in a new layer of sawdust we first sprinkle in some shelled corn.   In the spring time we put the cows and horses back out on pasture and turn the pigs in where the cows and horses have been.   They will go routing after the corn and in so doing they turn that bedded pack into nice rich compost.   We then apply this compost on our cover crops and also on the fields after the produce is done for the year.   This will be fertilizer for the next year's crops.
 For the chickens we have a portable shelter that we call an egg mobile.   We like to rotate it around on our cover crops  and grass land.   The chickens will eat the grass and cover crops.   Whatever part they don't convert into those delicious golden colored eggs they, drop back on the soil which really seems to build the soil well.'      

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Recipe Of The Week: Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes

3 medium green tomatoes
1 egg
1/8 cup of milk
1/2 cup of corn meal, flour, or bread crumbs
1 Tablespoon of oil
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of oregano
1/8 teaspoon of pepper
2 Tablespoons of butter

Slice tomatoes into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices.  Beat together eggs and milk.  In a separate container, combine dry ingredients.  Heat butter and oil in skillet.  Dip slices in the wet mixture and then in the dry mixture.  Fry them, turning once, until they are golden brown on both sides.


Cedarmore Farm has had to get a new email address.  They were having so many problems with the old server that Rue (the English computer guy that does all that kind of stuff for the farm) and Andy decided it was time for a change.  So Cedarmore now has a new email address...

Each of the CSA members have been sent an email with this information.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


The farm is still having very nice weather so Andy and Lizzie are able to work outside.  Because there are so many young tender plants in the ground that don't have mature root systems, they are having to run the irrigation system.  There are vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, kale, chard, and carrots...which they hope to harvest some time in the fall.  Right now they still have lettuce, spinach, spicy greens, turnips and more vegetables to plant in the future.
CAUTION...Lift your y legs this week because they are REALLY HEAVY!!!

Andy continues to educate us on the organic growing methods used on Cedarmore Farm.
Growing Methods

The land on the farm has been divided into three sections.  This way they are able to rotate the crops in each section every two years with a year of fallow in between.  During the fallow year they keep putting in cover crops and then plow them under.  This really helps to build the humus in the soil (an element that is often overlooked in the most modern day agricultural world).  If the weather permits he likes to put in a crop of oats in the spring.  Then about mid-June, July it is plowed down and a crop of buckwheat is planted.  If they are having a really good year there would be another planting and harvesting of buckwheat.  But when it is dry like this year, he only expects to get in one crop.  In late summer or fall they will put in a crop of rye to overwinter.  This will be plowed down in the spring and then produce will be planted.  Also during a fallow year, as the cover crops are growing, Andy will spread composted manure from the cows, horses, pigs and other animals on the farm.  The 'egg mobile' will be moved to different spots in these fields so the chickens can do their job fertilizing the soil.    And in turn they produce a good quality egg since these cover crops provide a good source of protein for the chickens.

To Be Continued...

Recipe Of The Week: Buckwheat Pancakes

Buckwheat Pancakes

3 eggs
1/2 cup of mayo
2 Tablespoons of oil
1 3/4 cup of milk
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1 cup of buckwheat flour
2 Tablespoons of sugar
4 teaspoons of baking powder

In a  large mixing bowl, stir all dry ingredients together.  In a separate bowl beat the eggs with a fork.
Add mayo, oil and then the milk.  Stirring well with each addition.  Pour into dry ingredients and stir until mixed well but don't over stir.  Make pancakes in the size of your liking on medium heat in a slightly oiled skillet.

BONUS Recipe Of The Week: Blackbery Sauce

Blackberry Sauce

1 cup of blackberries
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of water
1 Tablespoon of cornstarch
2 Tablespoons of water

Put berries, sugar and 1/4 cup of water in a saucepan.  Smash up the berries with a fork and stir well.  In a separate small dish, stir the cornstarch into two Tablespoons of water.  Heat the berry mixture to boiling.  Remove from the heat and stir in the cornstarch mixture.  Return to a boil for one minute stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Let it cool some before enjoying!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Recipe Share: Marinated Tomatoes

Marinated Tomatoes
6 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
3 Tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tablespoons of fresh basil, chopped
1 Tablespoon of sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of garlic salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon of dried thyme
3/4 cup of canola oil
1/2 cup of red wine vinegar
3 scallions sliced
Whisk everything together except the tomatoes in a large bowl.  Add the tomatoes and stir to coat.  Marinate at room temperature for at least two hours; stirring every now and then.
Once you have finished the tomatoes the marinade that is left over can be used as a salad dressing or for dipping bread.  you can even use the liquid to make rice or quinoa.  We just usually keep adding tomatoes.