<< Back to main

July 30, 2013

Posted 8/17/2013 8:51am by Don Kretschmann.

July 30, 2013

Greetings from the Kretschmanns,

    Many years ago Peter Escher, was visiting our farm.  He was a little Swiss man, one of the original founders of biodynamic farming in the U.S.  I was complaining that when we went to farmers' markets people seemed more than willing to spend any amount of money on bedding plants and flowers, but very little on "actual" food.  Peter said, in his normal understated way, that those flowers were satisfying a different hunger.  Anyone who has ever visited our farm, is nearly always struck by the multitude of flower gardens around the house, barn, outbuildings, and near fields which Becky orchestrates.  From the first crocuses and Lenton roses, there's a cascading sequence of blooms.  There are themes of colors in each season; stars of the show for April, May, June...; colors, shapes, and scents galore.  I've always felt a real transformation when returning from sometimes overbearing work in the fields, when entering this magic zone of refreshment and beauty as I approach the yard and house.  Becky keeps us well fed with this soul food. 

   The first of our apples, Pristines, have sized up incredibly fast--the early apples always do.  That's why they are early.   Most remarkably, they are one of the later varieties to bloom as well.  These are very juicy and make the best pies and baked goods of any apples as a result.  The down side to all that juicyness is that they bruise incredibly easily.  We were amazed picking them on Saturday, that though we had been extremely careful not to bruise them, as we unloaded them we could see all these little bruise marks from just touching them to tug them off the tree!   Apples seem to be on the "like" list for about every variety of bug, moth larvae, and critter out there.  We routinely use them with great success as the preferred bait in our Havahart traps.   It's no wonder the apple was the great temptation in the Garden of Eden story. Michael Pollan, in The Botany of Desire,  uses the apple as symbolizing that which satisfies the human desire for sweetness.  And what is an apple but the seeds of an apple tree surrounded by lots of sweetness and moisture.  Nature's purpose?   Perhaps to ferment, decay, and somehow prime, nurture the new seed.  But...as you might notice, without the use of harsh chemical insecticides, we sometimes incur a good bit of damage on our apples.  Our standard in selection is that the apple should be usable when attacked with a paring knife.  Without cutting it, sometimes that's hard to tell what's inside.  We do our best.

   Remember that the potatoes this week are "new"--meaning that they really don't have any skins yet and must be refrigerated or they begin to darken much like as if you had peeled them.  Carrots are a bit of a disappointment this year as they germinated a bit thinly and then we had a short dry spell in June followed by lots and lots of rain.  Anyway, this caused a fair number of them to split.  

  Thanks for your patience and open mindedness,  

               --Don, Becky & the Farm Crew

Recycling: We appreciate any blueberry containers you might return to us.  No other types/shapes, please. 

Fresh Dill Pickle Spears:  Slice 1 or 2 cucumbers into spears and place in a glass quart jar with a few sprigs of fresh dill.   Then heat 1/8 c salt, 1/4 c vinegar, and 2 c water to boiling with a cut-up clove of garlic.  Pour this over the cukes and when it cools, refrigerate.  (To avoid breaking the jar with the boiling water, run hot tap water on the outside of the jar just before pouring the boiling liquid in.)

Apple pie--Quarter, remove the core and cut up about 2# apples into chunks the size of a sugar cube.  (You needn't peel them.)  Option: a handful of raisins. Mix with about 1/3 c. sugar or honey, 2 tbs flour, cinnamon to taste, and 1/3 c. apple cider.  Make dough and line piepan with crust.  Fill with apples, pressing them to get in as many as possible.  Cover with the topcrust and pinch the top and bottom together with your fingers.  Cut off excess with knife.  Poke a few holes in the top to let the stream out.  Bake @ 375 deg until inserting a sharp knife reveals the apples are cooked. 

Pie crust-sift 2c. flour(any kind)+ 1/2t. baking powder+ 1t.salt. Blend 1/3c. boiling water+2/3c. oil.  Pour hot oil/water over dry ingredients and mix.  Roll out for crust immediately.  Between sheets of 6mil plastic makes it easy and clean.  Just peel back the plastic after rolling.

We enjoy blueberry shortcake as well as strawberry.   Also, you can make shortcake batter as a kind of pastry crust too.  Put it in the bottom of a 9x9 or 9x13 baking dish then top with cut up apples (as you'd prepare for apple pie) and bake.  We call it "Apples on Shortcake" or with ice cream, just "Mmm..."

Our Favorite Shortcake: Sift 2c. flour, 3 tsp. baking powder, 1/4 tsp. salt, 2 tbs. sugar.  Mix in 1/2 c. oil well, until evenly distributed.  Beat 1 egg and 5/8 c. milk and mix with dry ingredients.  Pat out with oiled hands or use a plastic spatula to spread dough onto an oiled cookie sheet about 1/2 " thick.  Bake @375 deg about 20 min. (we use all whole wheat flour with fine results)

ID: We're starting to pick some heirloom tomatoes--Cherokee Purple, Arkansas Traveler, and our own "Big Pink".

Special Orders:  We will have flats of organic  blueberries for the next several weeks, @$58/12 pts.  Please use the website to order because sometimes we miss the e-mails or they slip down in the in-box and aren't revisited in time.  Order berries by Sunday, or we won't be able to get them next week!