Monday, June 27, 2011

Nice chart for egg storage


Store raw eggs in shell 3—5 weeks in refrigerator. Do not freeze; instead, beat yolks and whites together, then freeze.

Store raw egg whites 2—4 days in refrigerator. Freeze 12 months.

Store raw egg yolks 2—4 days in refrigerator. Yolks do not freeze well.

Use raw egg accidentally frozen in shell immediately after thawing. Refrigerate to thaw.

Store hard-cooked eggs 1 week in refrigerator. Do not freeze.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hesperia Library Garden Tour on Saturday

HESPERIA — A stop at the library, a visit to four gardens, a guided tour of two wildlife trophy rooms, and fresh strawberry shortcake served poolside will be the highlights of the 2011 Hesperia Area Garden Tour Saturday, June 25.

Featured will be the gardens of Eileen Homan at 284 Munn St.; Kellie and Charlie Jackson at 8900 E. Newfield Dr.; Earthscape Farm at 4220 Loop Rd.; and Ed and Betty Dean at 6060 E. Loop Rd. A book and plant sale will be at the library during the tour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are a donation of $7 per person, and can be purchased in advance at the Hesperia Community Library at 80 S. Division St. and at River’s End in Fremont and Montague. On the day of the tour, they can be purchased at the library or any of the gardens.

The annual event, which will go on rain or shine, is hosted by the Local History Committee of the Hesperia Community Library and the Hesperia Beautification Committee. Proceeds will benefit the local history room at the library and the village beautification project.

Hesperia Community Library

80 South Division Street

It has been said the name Hesperia means “beautiful garden” and it seems an appropriate name for a small village nestled low among the hills and close beside the White River. The public is invited to visit the local history room to see how volunteers are working to preserve the history of Hesperia and the families who live here. There will be a book and plant sale on the library lawn during the garden tour hours. In case of rain or extreme heat, these events will be inside the library in the community room. Public rest rooms are available. People are encouraged to drive through the village on Division Street to enjoy the beautiful hanging baskets and potted plants that are planted and maintained by the Hesperia Beautification volunteers. People might also enjoy a stroll through the newly landscaped Webster Park next to the library. The four gardens may be visited in any order.

Eileen Homan

284 Munn St.

The daughter of a farmer, Eileen says the desire to grow things is in her genes. Working in her garden sometimes until the daylight runs out reminds her of her dad working late in the fields. Eileen’s garden is artistically cluttered. There isn’t a real landscaping plan, just a love of plants placed wherever she can find room for them. As with most gardens, it is always a work in progress. She has many plants that came from her childhood home — her mom’s peonies, iris, creeping myrtle, and daffodils, as well as many newer perennials and beautifully arranged potted annuals. Eileen likes certain colors, mainly pinks and purples, and you will find those colors in abundance in her garden. Her most recent venture is learning the art of growing dahlias.

Kellie and Charlie Jackson

8900 E. Newfield Drive

Not far from the village and situated along the White River is the chalet-style home and the gardens of Charlie and Kellie Jackson. In what Kellie calls her “two front yards,” the landscape offers areas of strong sunlight as well as areas of deep shade. Enjoying the sun are several varieties of grasses and colorful annuals and perennials in various stages of bloom. Near the house, be sure to notice the window boxes, the “flower fountain,” the tiered flower box placed on a stump, and the row of sugar snap peas on the fence. Closer to the river you will see many hostas and other shade loving plants (see if you can find the parsley fern) arranged in borders and clustered around the trees. You may not be able to resist sitting for a moment in the swing, which faces the river where Kellie loves to sit and read. Water for irrigation is provided by the river and keeps the lawn lush and green which, in turn, provides a backdrop for this beautiful, peaceful garden.

Ed and Betty Dean

6060 E. Loop Road

The Deans have participated in many wildlife hunting expeditions in locations such as Russia, Mongolia, Spain, Canada, Africa, New Zeeland and Mexico, in addition to many locations in the United States. They have brought back magnificent trophies which are on display in two large, beautifully designed trophy rooms. You will see a lion from Tanzania, an orbi from Zambia, a javalina from Texas, a polar bear from the Barrow Strait, Northwest Territories, a fallow deer from Spain, a brown bear from Russia, and many, many others. The Deans will be available to narrate your tour and to answer questions. Following your tour of the trophy rooms, you will proceed outdoors to the deck overlooking the pool, where strawberry shortcake will be served. While there, be sure to enjoy the many plantings around the pool. Feel free to explore the beautifully landscaped and manicured yard and border garden where the shrubs and plants are exceptionally well-placed and maintained.

Earthscape Farm

4220 Loop Road

Drive down the lane to Earthscape Farm and you will see gardens that are not just ornamental. With an increased emphasis on the benefits of consuming locally grown food, your visit to the farm will be an interesting and educational experience. Earthscape is in rural Oceana County on 200 acres. The farm’s mission is to provide families with wholesome foods that have been raised using organic and sustainable farming methods. Owners Bill and Patrice Bobier have farmed the land since 1972, growing most of their own food since then. They started selling their extra produce to other families around 2002. This evolved into a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) endeavor in 2004. Currently, 40 families are shareholders in the program and receive fresh produce weekly from June through October. A partial list of produce grown on the farm includes: spinach, pak choi, head lettuce, leaf lettuce, radishes, onions, leeks, garlic, broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, kale, eggplant, kohlrabi, cabbage, summer and winter squash, beans, melons, corn, celery, beets, peas, cucumbers and this summer nine varieties of potatoes in rows that equal 1 ¼ mile in length. In addition to the Bobiers, there are three full-time and about eight part-time workers responsible for the farm’s operation. Excess produce is sold at the farm, Sweetwater Local Foods Market in Muskegon on Saturdays year-round and at local restaurants (Mia & Grace and The Hearthstone, for example). Grass-fed Angus Beef and eggs are also raised on the farm and are available for purchase. Patrice will have iced herbal tea available for you to try and bathroom facilities are available. To learn more about the farm, go


We've gotten about 4 inches of rain this week. It is wet! Can't cut hay, can't work ground, can't put in transplants, can't plant seeds. It's very disturbing to soil structure to work it or even walk on it when it's this wet. It compacts it. So... We are still picking veggies to fill shares - can't not do that! But the rest of our work is on hold, awaiting dry weather.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Garlic Scapes are the seed heads of garlic that should be cut off in order to get bigger bulbs. They taste like garlic and make a yummy addition to anything that needs garlic flavor. You can also make garlic scape pesto. Simply grind the scapes with almonds or pine nuts, parmesan cheese, olive oil and sea salt. Spread this on a Roast or piece of Whitefish, or good bread.

My favorite way to eat turnips is peeled, cooked in a small amount of water till tender, and mashed with butter, salt and pepper.

The turnip greens can be washed, chopped and sauteed with my usual - garlic and onions!

The turnip's root is high only in vitamin C. The green leaves of the turnip top ("turnip greens") are a good source of vitamin A, folate, vitamin C, vitamin K and calcium. Turnip greens are high in lutein, also.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Where's the heat? And sun?

It's very hard to grow summer crops with this kind of weather. The melons look awful! Even the 2nd planting still in cells in the greenhouse are dampening off (dying) because it's cold and wet. We aren't touching the tomato plants because we don't want to spread disease in them. So... they are in need of trellising and it can't be done yet.
All the late cabbages, cauliflowers and broccolis are being planted in cells for transplanting out in a month. We've also started the ornamental sunflowers, more basil, scallions, and a third planting of summer squash.
We hope it dries out enough tomorrow to hill the potatoes again and finish planting the winter squash and pumpkins.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Broccoli Raab

Yum! We had some for lunch today! This raab is called Sessantina and is not bitter or strong - it tastes like sweet fresh broccoli to me!

Makes 4 servings


  • 1 lb broccoli rabe
  • 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced lengthwise, or a stalk of green garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/8 -1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt to taste

  • Accompaniment: lemon wedges (we skipped the lemon wedges).


Cut off and discard 1 inch from stem ends of broccoli rabe. Chop the onions, garlic and stems of raab. Saute them about 3-4 minutes while you chop the leafy part of the raab. Add that to the pan and cook it till it wilts. Toss with salt and cover. It's ready in minutes!

Photo of Broccoli Raab, Broccoli Rabe, Brocoletti, Cima di Rapa  'Sessantina' (Brassica r

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Farm Work

This past week we've gotten the sweet potatoes planted. Did you ever grow a sweet potato vine from a piece of sweet potato suspended over water with toothpicks? The plants we put in are called slips and they look like little pieces of sweet potato vine. We planted 2 kinds: Beauregard and Centennial.

We transplanted the first flats of melons - same varieties as last year. 3 Muskmelons: Halona, Hannah's Choice and Jenny Lind. 3 Watermelons: Petite Yellow, Quetzali and Sweet Dakota. They seem to do well in our soil, and hopefully will again if this is a cooler summer. There's another 150 plants to put in when they grow a bit larger. We do multiple plantings to extend the season for you (and us!)

All the summer squash transplants are in, though I doubt they liked the 49 degree morning. We also planted some more seed and will start another planting in cells in a week or two. We put in about 100 summer squash plants: 4 varieties of zucchini, 2 of yellow squash, and patty pan. They get picked nearly every day all summer long. It's very boring and monotonous after about the first 6 weeks.

More carrots were planted this evening. A lot of brassicas for fall and winter storage were started today, and there are many more seeds to plant. We've stored 100s of cabbages in our root cellar before, to eat and sell in winter. They keep really well!

I saw the first garlic scapes today. They will be in share boxes the next week.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Beef for sale!

Beef Quarters for sale at the Farm today! Let me know if you are interested. If you have a particular way you would like beef cut, you can order a quarter cut your way if you get the order to me soon. These are grass-fed, supplemented with a little home grown and ground grain (think of it as dessert).

Their great great great grandmothers were raised on our farm. Healthy, humane, no antibiotics or hormones, reasonable pricing. In fact, we may be raising our prices, as the last time we checked, most of our cuts were equal or cheaper than Meijers grass-fed!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Reduce, ReUse and Recycle

Please return boxes each week when you pick up your share, or drop them off for me at Sweetwater Market on Saturdays 9-12:30. Please keep them clean, and be careful when you collapse them to not tear them. They have to last all season. We'll also take Earthbound-type plastic containers and clean plastic bags for reuse.

CSA Begins!

And of course I was busy with a birth! But we had a great crew here, and shares were done on time. Thanks, Mike, Viki, Patti, Stacey, and Carrie!

Read the list of WHAT'S IN YOUR BOX? on the right.

Enjoy the green garlic! It's one of our favorites. We are out of garlic bulbs saved from last year. I usually roast some garlic when it's starting to get softer, and freeze little balls of it to get us to the green garlic harvest. Green garlic is young garlic, pulled before it makes the bulbs with cloves. Use it like you would a scallion, chopped raw, sauteed, added to any dish that benefits from garlic flavor (isn't that ALL dishes??).

The lettuce is a head of Buttercrunch or Winter Density. The salad mix has fresh chard, kale, arugula, mustard greens, a few fresh herbs as well as lettuce mix. You're getting a great amount of spinach - 1# - so eat it fresh and steamed, on pizza or in omelets, as a salad, etc. There will be a smaller amount of spinach next week.

My favorite scrub brush is in your box. We cool almost your veggies in water right away to preserve nutrients and freshness, so most everything is washed somewhat, though not 'ready to eat'.

The parsley plant is an Italian Flat Leaf - the only kind of parsley according to the Italians. It will thrive in a large pot or in your flower bed. Cut the outer-most stems to chop in whatever you are serving.

Ask questions if you receive a mystery item - call or email. If you have a favorite recipe, email it to me and I'll share it with everyone else.