Tag Archive: heirloom

Mike the Gardener’s Seeds of the Month Club

SeedsOfTheMonthClubI am proud to introduce you to 1840 Farm’s newest sponsor:  Mike the Gardener’s Seeds of the Month Club.  The Seeds of the Month Club offers a unique opportunity to receive a collection of open pollinated, heirloom, non-GMO seed varieties delivered to your mailbox each month.  Their club offers seasoned and novice gardeners alike a wonderful opportunity to add new heirloom, non-GMO varieties to their gardens.

It’s no secret that I love to garden.  There’s something so fulfilling about planting a tiny seed and tending it for months until it produces a harvest to be served at our family table.  We grow our entire garden from seed and I can’t seem to say no to a new interesting variety when planning our garden each spring.  Throughout the season, I walk through the gardens contemplating how I might be able to squeeze in one more row of lettuce or carrots.  I am forever looking at a small bit of grassy yard space and visualizing how I can convince my family that we should construct a raised bed to plant more heirloom tomatoes next year.

Along with my continual garden planning, I seek out companies that offer non-GMO seeds.  I like to spend my gardening dollars on seeds that help to ensure the diversity that I so love to grow in our gardens here at 1840 Farm.  I like to support the companies that feel as I do, that more diversity in our seed choices and resulting food supply is good for everyone whether they choose to plant a garden or frequent their local farmer’s market.

For that reason, I encourage you to click on the “Join Now” button here on our page to learn more about the Seeds of the Month Club.  By using this link, you will receive a 25% discount on your membership.  As a member, you will receive non-GMO seeds hand selected for your growing zone.  The first shipment of seeds will consist of eight packets and will be followed by four seed packets each month throughout the length of your membership.  The producers of the seeds offered by the Seeds of the Month Club have taken the Safe Seed Pledge.so you can be confident that the seeds you receive will be non-GMO varieties.

My first month’s collection of seeds are in the mail, on their way to our mailbox here at 1840 Farm.  I can’t wait to plant them in our heirloom garden and share my experience growing these varieties with you throughout the growing season.  I’ll be sharing photo updates on our Facebook page, Instagram, and in our Garden Tour Photo Gallery right here on our blog.  I hope that you’ll join me in becoming a member of the Seeds of the Month Club and share in the fun with me.

You can learn more about Mike the Gardener’s Seeds of the Month Club by visiting them on Facebook,  I am proud to welcome  Mike the Gardener’s Seeds of the Month Club to our wonderful community of 1840 Farm sponsors and grateful that they are offering such a generous discount to the members of The 1840 Farm Community.  Here’s hoping that we all have a wonderful gardening season this year!


This post was featured in our newsletter. To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice from around the web, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form to become the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/07/mike-the-gardeners-seeds-of-the-month-club/

French Harlequin Heirloom Marigold

The 1840 Farm Pollinators GardenFrench Marigolds have a centuries old secret:  they aren’t really French.  It is believed that they made their way to France in the 1500s.  An illustration of a striped French Marigold appeared as early as a 1791 edition of Curtis’ Botanical Magazine.  This marigold was described as being yellow with red striped petals.

Centuries later, we still refer to some varieties as “French”.  Perhaps this is a nod to the gardeners of France who worked diligently to cross their most beautiful specimens in a quest to better the blooms.  Or, it could simply be due to the fact that all things French were thought to be beautiful and of the highest quality at the time that the marigold first came to America.

American gardeners in that era were eager to  attempt to replicate the beautiful gardens in France.  Travelers took garden tours, carefully noting both the species and methods used to create France’s most notable gardens.  One of those travelers was  the man who would become our young nation’s third President:  Thomas Jefferson.

The French Marigold was a common sight in Colonial gardens, bringing beauty and utility to the garden plot.  In 1808, Jefferson wrote in his garden journal about having two varieties of marigold in his gardens at Monticello in Virginia.  It is believed that the French Marigold was one of the two varieties that he had growing on the grounds at Monticello.  He often referred to the French variety as the “lesser African marigold” as it was thought to have made its way to France via Africa.

Jefferson enjoyed marigolds so much that he sent them to his granddaughter Anne.  Anne happily wrote to him, reporting that the two varieties of marigold seeds he had given them were still flourishing.  It is thought that the French Marigold was one of the two varieties he had sent her.

Marigolds were long thought to be poisonous due to their pungent aroma.  Gardeners believed that any flower with a strong, unpleasant scent was sure to be poisonous.  Centuries later, we can still use their scent and pest deterring qualities to our advantage in the tomato patch.

Marigolds make excellent companions for tomato plants.  Their pungent aroma is thought to help deter harmful nematodes who love to decimate the tomato patch.  They also bring beauty to the tomato garden by filling the space beneath the towering vines.

Their beneficial properties can be taken advantage of long after the growing season has ended.  Allow spent marigold plants to dry in the garden at the end of your growing season.  Before the first frost, break the dried marigold plant into small pieces and turn them under the top layer of the soil.  Doing so will discourage nematodes from overwintering in your garden’s soil, giving next year’s plants a head start on overcoming these garden pests.

Tennis Ball Heirloom Lettuce is one of the four varieties included in our The Pollinators Garden Heirloom Seed Collection available in The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.  The 2014 Heirloom Seed Collection is a collaboration between 1840 Farm and Fresh Eggs Daily.  Together, we have curated our favorite heirloom varieties into collections that are ideally suited for growing together.  The heirloom, non-GMO seeds in our collection are from family owned seed purveyor Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company.

1840 Farm

We invite you to join The 1840 Farm Community on Facebook and Fresh Eggs Daily on Facebook to share updates from your garden and keep up to date on what we’re harvesting from our heirloom gardens. We’ll also be sharing regular garden updates along with fresh, seasonal recipes in our 1840 Farm Community Newsletter and The Fresh Eggs Daily Newsletter.  In the meantime, you can view photos from the gardens at 1840 Farm by visiting our Garden Photo Tour.  More photos will be added as we progress through the 2014 growing season.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/05/french-harlequin-heirloom-marigold/

Long Island Cheese Heirloom Squash

There are few images more synonymous with autumn than that of a ribbed, round pumpkin.  Each fall, the Long Island Cheese Heirloom Squash grown in our garden move inside the house.  They decorate the farmhouse during the season and through our Thanksgiving holiday.  Once fall turns to winter and Thanksgiving yields to Christmas, those beautiful squash are stored for serving at our family table.

Throughout the fall and winter, we use each squash in our favorite hearty dishes.  We clean each squash, cubing the flesh before freezing it for use in a variety of dishes throughout the long New England winter.  The seeds become a healthy treat for the heritage breed hens that live here at 1840 Farm.  They eagerly greet us at the door of their run when squash seeds are on the menu.

I love pumpkins of every size, shape, and color.  The Long Island Cheese is perhaps my favorite.  Its appearance is unique, with a slightly flattened shape and heavy ribbing.  Its skin is smooth with tan undertones.  The name originates from its strong resemblance to a wheel of cheese.

The Long Island Cheese Squash is very well suited for use in pies and pureed dishes.  The flavor is slightly sweet with a balanced earthiness.  When fully cooked, its texture is smooth and velvety.  It is equally delicious is savory and sweet preparations.

The Long Island Cheese stores very well.  It’s not uncommon to find whole squash in the farmhouse at 1840 Farm long after we have celebrated the arrival of the New Year.  As soon as we have finished the last cube of squash, we begin dreaming of planting the next crop of Long Island Cheese in the gardens at 1840 Farm.

The Long Island Cheese Heirloom Squash is one of the four varieties included in our Three Sisters Garden Heirloom Seed Collection available in The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.  The 2014 Heirloom Seed Collection is a collaboration between 1840 Farm and Fresh Eggs Daily.  Together, we have curated our favorite heirloom varieties into collections that are ideally suited for growing together.  The heirloom, non-GMO seeds in our collection are from family owned seed purveyor Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company.

1840 Farm

We invite you to join The 1840 Farm Community on Facebook and Fresh Eggs Daily on Facebook to share updates from your garden and keep up to date on what we’re harvesting from our heirloom gardens. We’ll also be sharing regular garden updates along with fresh, seasonal recipes in our 1840 Farm Community Newsletter and The Fresh Eggs Daily Newsletter.  In the meantime, you can view photos from the gardens at 1840 Farm by visiting our Garden Photo Tour.  More photos will be added as we progress through the 2014 growing season.


Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/03/long-island-cheese-heirloom-squash-2/

Oven Roasted Heirloom Tomato Spaghetti

This recipe hails from RIalto restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  I happened upon it by way of The Tomato Festival Cookbook.  For an heirloom tomato lover like me, this cookbook is filled with delicious possibilities.  It includes everything imaginable from cold salads to chocolate cakes that incorporate green tomatoes that simply won’t have enough time to ripen on the vine.

While we enjoy many recipes from or inspired by this cookbook, Chef Jody Adams’ recipe for roasted spaghetti is our absolute favorite.  The dish has a wonderfully rich flavor that we look forward to all year long.  The tomatoes take on a sweet earthiness after their time roasting in the oven which pairs perfectly with the arugula, onion, and basil.  This dish is also beautiful, a real showstopper.

I love to tinker with recipes, adding a little of this or taking away a little of that.  I am especially prone to doing so with pasta recipes, making alterations that tailor the finished dish to my family’s taste.  This dish is so perfect that I have made very few changes.  I didn’t need to.  It’s perfectly delicious just the way it is written and sure to impress and delight everyone gathered around your table at dinnertime.

Oven Roasted Heirloom Tomato Spaghetti
Adapted from Spaghetti with Slow Roasted Tomatoes, Basil, and Parmesan Cheese
in The Tomato Festival Cookbook
Serves 4 as a main course

I have made very few changes to the original recipe.  I find that our homegrown heirloom tomatoes don’t need the sugar called for in the original recipe, but you can certainly add it to your tomatoes if you feel that they could use a little hint of sweetness.  I have also found that I can roast the tomatoes at a higher temperature than called for, reducing the cooking time by more than half with the same results.  After a long day of working on the farm, I opt for getting dinner on the table in an hour instead of the three that the original recipe promises.

2 ounces olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
16 – 20 basil leaves, torn or roughly chopped
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 pounds ripe cherry tomatoes, rinsed and dried
2 ounces olive oil
2 teaspoons Sugar (optional)
sea salt
1 pound spaghetti
2 cups (3.5 ounces) arugula
Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Heat two ounces (1/4 cup) of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for five minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for one minute or until fragrant.  Remove from heat and add the basil leaves and red pepper flakes.

Add the cherry tomatoes to an oven safe casserole dish that can hold them in a single layer.  If you are using the sugar, add two teaspoons and toss the tomatoes to coat.  Using a large spoon, transfer the onion olive oil mixture to the dish, placing on top of the tomatoes.  Sprinkle generously with salt.  Gently add the remaining 2 ounces (1/4 cup) olive oil to the sides and transfer the pan to the warm oven.  Roast until the tomatoes have softened and the skins are slightly charred, approximately 45 – 60 minutes.

Near the end of the roasting time, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add a generous teaspoon of salt to the water and return to a rapid boil.  Add the spaghetti to the pot and cook until al dente according to the package instructions.

Remove the tomatoes from the oven.  Add the cooked pasta and arugula to the tomatoes and toss to fully combine and coat the spaghetti with the tomato infused olive oil.  Serve immediately garnished with Parmesan cheese.


To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice from around the web, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form to become the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/08/oven-roasted-heirloom-tomato-spaghetti/

Creamy Summer Squash

During the summer growing season, our heirloom garden determines what’s for dinner every night here at 1840 Farm.  Every day, the farm provides inspiration for our dinner meal with the fresh eggs, milk, and garden produce that we harvest.  Heirloom tomato season is running a little behind, but our cucumber and squash harvests have both been ones for the record books.

In fact, this summer, I have picked over five pounds of heirloom zucchini squash in a day on more than one occasion.  I love zucchini, but bringing five pounds of squash into the farmhouse kitchen to join the five pounds already resting on the counter provided me with a culinary conundrum.  There was only one thing to do.  It was time to develop a new recipe to use up massive quantities of this fresh heirloom summer squash while it was still at its fresh, seasonal best.

The recipe that emerged has become a family favorite.  We have eaten it every week since squash season began and I will miss it when our season comes to a close.  Luckily, our plants show no sign of slowing down with new flowers appearing every day.

This creamy summer squash is full of earthy flavor with a creamy texture.  The last time I made it, I decided to top it with a sprinkling of the Big Devil Fennel Spice Blend that Pollen Ranch had sent me for our ongoing series of Fennel Friday posts.  This blend combines the flavors of fennel pollen with seven types of pepper, paprika, garlic, curry, ginger, and several other spices.  We liked this recipe before it was topped with this spicy blend.  We loved it once these spices were added to the creamy squash on our dinner plates.

This is my favorite type of seasonal recipe.  You don’t need to measure the ingredients precisely or use a kitchen timer to track the cooking time.  Instead, you can adjust the ingredients to your liking and cook the squash until it is as tender as you would like.  So be creative and see what you can create.  In fact, I would love to hear how you adjust this recipe to make it your family’s favorite way to enjoy your summer squash harvest!

Creamy Summer Squash
I like to use soy sauce to season this dish because it also lends an earthy flavor.  The mayonnaise is an easy way to add a creamy texture and tangy flavor without any effort.  The mayonnaise will blend easily with the soy sauce and summer squash’s liquid to emulsify into a smooth, creamy glaze that accentuates the freshness of the squash while still allowing its flavor to shine through.

Olive OIl
Summer squash cut into 1 inch cubes
1 Tablespoon butter
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 – 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
Big Devil Fennel Spice Blend

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add the olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.  Add the cubed summer squash and saute until the squash begins to soften and release its liquid, stirring often to prevent the squash from sticking to the pan.

Continue to cook until the squash is your desired tenderness and most of the liquid has evaporated.  Push the squash to the sides of the pan and place the butter and soy sauce in the middle.  Allow the butter to melt and blend with the soy sauce.  Gently stir the squash to coat with the soy sauce and butter.

Reduce the heat to low.  Add the mayonnaise to the pan and stir until the glaze is smooth and creamy.  Taste and adjust for seasoning.  Remove from heat and serve warm, topping with your favorite blend of spices.


To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice from around the web, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form to become the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/08/creamy-summer-squash/

Deb’s Cornbread

Last week, I published a recipe for Oven Baked Polenta with Heirloom Tomato Sauce.  When I shared the link with The 1840 Farm Community on Facebook, quite a few readers left comments about their own home ground cornmeal.  When Deb mentioned that she milled her own lavender cornmeal blend, I had to know more about it.

I asked her if she would be so kind as to share a photo and a little information with all of us.  Not only did she provide me with the information about the meal, she also graciously provided me with the recipe for her homemade cornbread and gave me permission to share it with the rest of you.

First, let’s start with the cornmeal.  Deb combines two heirloom corn varieties when milling her lavender cornmeal.  She mixes equal parts of Bloody Butcher and Aztec Blue corn before milling her cornmeal.  She estimates that her dried corn is almost eight years old and still tastes delicious!

I can’t wait to try this recipe for cornbread.  It sounds delicious and will be a perfect recipe for me to make using the fresh cornmeal that we mill here at 1840 Farm.  I’ll also be doing a little research to see if I can find a local farmer who might have these heirloom varieties of dried corn available.  Deb has inspired me to want to make my own lavender cornmeal!

Deb’s Cornbread

Deb originally found this recipe in The Whole Foods for the Whole Family Cookbook.

Deb added that she has used butter and olive oil in this recipe with great success.  She prefers using raw honey to add sweetness.  She also suggested that adding ½ teaspoon of baking soda is helpful if you choose to use buttermilk or sour milk in this recipe as a substitute for the milk.

Deb loves to serve this cornbread to her family topped with butter and honey or maple syrup as a side dish for chili or beans.  She makes a version of this cornbread with a crispy crust by pouring the batter into a hot 10 inch cast iron skillet before transferring it to the preheated oven.

1 cup cornmeal*
1 cup whole wheat or unbleached flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 – 4 Tablespoons melted butter, lard, or oil
1 – 4 Tablespoons honey, maple syrup, molasses, or brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup milk, buttermilk, or whey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Prepare an 8 inch square baking pan by spraying with cooking spray or applying a thin layer of butter or oil.  If you choose to make the cast iron skillet version, place the butter or oil in the skillet before placing it in the oven to warm up while you prepare the batter.

In a large bowl, combine the melted butter, sweetener, eggs, and milk.  Whisk to combine.  Add the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.  Pour the batter into a greased 8 inch square pan or warm, oiled cast iron skillet.  Transfer to the oven and bake for 25 minutes.  When finished, a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread will come out clean or with small crumbs attached.

Thanks, Deb for sharing one of your favorite recipes with The 1840 Farm Community!  Do you have a favorite recipe to share?  Send me an Email and tell me about your favorite recipe so that I can share it in an upcoming issue of The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter!

 


To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice from around the web, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form. In a few seconds, you’ll be the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/07/debs-cornbread/

Black Cherry Heirloom Tomatoes

We love cherry tomatoes here at 1840 Farm.  It just wouldn’t be summer, or tomato season as we like to call it, without enjoying the experience of strolling through the raised bed garden and plucking a warm cherry tomato directly from the vine before popping it into your mouth.  Every year, we plant several varieties of heirloom cherry tomatoes and every year we declare the Black Cherry to be our favorite.

We plant dozens of Black Cherry Heirloom Tomato plants in the 1840 Farm gardens each year.  At the height of the harvest, we pick pounds of these beautiful little orbs every day.  We eat an abundance of them fresh and oven roast others for fresh pasta dishes.  We also put them up for the long New England winter that lies ahead.

We have found that these cherry tomatoes are ideally suited for long term storage in the freezer.  Washed Black Cherry tomatoes are allowed to air dry before freezing them in a single layer on a baking tray overnight.  Once they are frozen solid, we transfer them to freezer bags and store them for use during the long winter season.

This method of preservation is simple and effective.  We enjoy fresh tomato sauces with the intense flavor of these cherry tomatoes all winter long.  With each delicious bite, we are reminded that the next tomato season is one day closer.  During our long New England winter, that reminder is a very welcome sight!

The Black Cherry is a member of The 1840 Farm Heirloom Seed Collection as part of our The Tomato Lovers Garden Heirloom Seed Collection available in The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.  The heirloom, non-GMO seeds in our collection are from family owned seed purveyor Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company.

1840 Farm

1840 Farm offers four other heirloom seed collections for purchase. The 1840 Farm Favorites Garden includes six of our favorite varieties to plant in the gardens here at 1840 Farm. The Easy Keepers Garden includes four varieties that are perfect for the beginning gardener and can be sown directly into a small garden plot or containers. The Pollinators Garden features six flowering plants that will help to attract beneficial pollinators to your garden.  Our Three Sisters Garden includes four packets of seed that allow you to enjoy delicious produce and an American history lesson as you put into practice one of the oldest forms of companion planting.

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Fresh Eggs Daily has assembled an amazing collection of heirloom seeds to offer this year. These collections will to help ensure the good health of the chickens and ducks in your care. With their collections, you can freshen up your coop’s nest boxes, boost your flock’s respiratory health, and grow fresh supplemental treats for all life stages of chickens and ducks.

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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/04/black-cherry-heirloom-tomato/

Cast Your Vote for The 1840 Farm Heirloom Seed Collection

Tennis Ball Lettuce at 1840 FarmOver the last few weeks, I have immersed myself in seed catalogs and gardening history books.  While it has taken some time, I have finally narrowed down my wish list of varieties to include in The 1840 Farm Heirloom Seed Collection for 2013.

All of the seeds offered in our collection will be non-GMO, heirloom varieties.  The collection will be offered for sale in our Etsy shop in the next few weeks.  Each seed packet will be paired with a brief history of the variety and my family’s favorite recipe for enjoying our garden harvest at our family table.

Throughout the course of the growing season, there will be opportunities for you to share photos and news from your garden with the other members of The 1840 Farm Online Community and a few surprises in store.  I can’t wait to share all of the information with you in the coming weeks!

So, cast your vote for each variety that you would be interested in growing for your family.  Vote for all of them if you want every single one to make the cut.  If you have a variety that you would like me to add to the list, leave me a comment.  I can’t wait to see your responses!

The 1840 Farm Heirloom Seed Collection - 2013
Vote for all of the varieties you would like to see included in our 2013 collection.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/03/cast-your-vote-for-the-1840-farm-heirloom-seed-collection/

Nearly Wordless Wednesday – August 1, 2012

I had intended to share a photo of the chicks in their garden coop today.  It seemed fitting given that they turn three months old this week.  That is, until I spotted this…

Once I saw the first nearly ripe heirloom tomato, all bets were off.  All I could think about was tasting this Peacevine Cherry. Every year, the Peacevine seems to be the first of our heirloom tomato varieties to ripen.  It’s a beautiful sign of the delicious things to come.

Sorry chicks.  You’ll have to wait your turn.  Maybe I’ll share a photo of you next week.  That is, unless the first slicing tomato is ready for its closeup.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/08/nearly-wordless-wednesday-august-1-2012/

Purple Top Heirloom Turnip


Purple Top Heirloom Turnip
Brassica rapa

Planting Depth:  shallow-1/4″ below the soil’s surface
Plant Spacing: 1 – 2 inches at sowing, thinned to 4 – 6 inches
Row Spacing:  12 – 18 inches
Days to Germinate:  7 – 10
Days to Maturity:  52-57

A ripe Purple Top Heirloom Turnip is as beautiful as it is delicious.  If you think that you don’t enjoy turnips, then I beg you to try one from your garden or local farmer’s market.  A fresh, homegrown turnip bears little resemblance to the giant specimens found in the grocery store.  While the grocery store version can lean heavily toward the pungent, a fresh turnip is the perfect marriage of earthiness and sweetness.

Turnips can be eaten raw, roasted, mashed, or substituted for potatoes in your favorite recipe.  The Purple Top’s skin is a creamy off white color with purple shoulders.  The interior is a beautiful bright white with a smooth, crisp texture throughout.

The turnip has been cultivated for centuries.  Thomas Jefferson grew more than a dozen varieties in his terrace garden.  They graced the dinner table and also served as feedstuffs for cattle and sheep raised at Monticello.  In Ireland, it was tradition to display a hollowed out turnip with a flame burning inside.  This practice became the inspiration for present day pumpkin Jack O’Lanterns.

Turnips can be succession planted to be enjoyed throughout the growing season.  If planted every two weeks, the resulting harvest will provide a continuous supply of turnips and greens.  The greens are edible and nutritious and can be enjoyed along with the root when harvested.  In fact, a few leaves can be cut from each bulb during the growing season and enjoyed before the root crop is ready for harvesting.  If stored properly, turnips can be kept in a cool, dry place for up to four months.

Turnips are good garden companions for peas and cabbage.  They are believed to help deter aphids in the vegetable garden.  Planting turnips near crops susceptible to aphid damage can be beneficial in the organic vegetable garden.

Here at 1840 Farm, we eagerly await the turnip harvest each spring.  We quarter the roots and roast them in a 425 degree oven with olive oil and sea salt until they are tender and sweet.  As soon as the hot pan is removed from the oven, we add a pat of butter and some of our own maple syrup.  In minutes, the turnips are lightly coated in a beautiful amber glaze.  The end result is earthy and sweet and serves as a perfect reminder that getting our hands dirty means putting delicious, fresh food on our table.

Related Posts:

1840 Farm Seed Exchange

Tennis Ball Heirloom Lettuce

Cherry Belle Heirloom Radish

This post is featured on the Not JUST A Housewife Linky Party.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/07/purple-top-heirloom-turnip/

Lily Season

There’s a season for everything here at 1840 Farm.  Soon, it will be my favorite season of all:  tomato season.  I’ll walk out to the garden every morning to survey the ripe fruit and return to the farmhouse with pounds of delicious heirloom tomatoes to share with my family.  Just thinking about it makes my mouth water.

I am happy to report that there are tomatoes on the vine out in the heirloom garden.  Unfortunately, there are weeks of waiting ahead before they will be ready to enjoy.  Until then, we’re harvesting lettuce by the pound, along with turnips, peas, and raspberries.

No, it’s not quite tomato season yet, but right now I’m enjoying lily season.  Every morning, I seem to be greeted by a new, glorious bloom in the perennial beds.  The blooms are strikingly beautiful and come in a paintbox full of colors.

The lilies are such a welcome sight in the perennial gardens here at 1840 Farm.  Alas, the blooms do not last very long, so I try to capture them with my camera when they are in bloom.  During lily season, I wade carefully through the blooming perennials to capture each color of lily.  While looking at them through my camera lens, I am always amazed at their beauty.

I hope that you enjoy them as much as I do.  Lily season is in midstream here and should continue for a few more weeks.  I’ll be capturing each variety as they come into bloom and sharing them here and on Facebook.  Then I’ll be counting the days until my beloved heirloom tomato season arrives and I can share photos of my favorite heirloom varieties.

This post was shared on:

Katie’s French Language Cafe

 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/07/lily-season/

Cherry Belle Heirloom Radish


Cherry Belle Heirloom Radish
Raphanus sativus

Planting Depth:  shallow-1/4″ below the soil’s surface
Plant Spacing: 2 inches
Row Spacing:  8-12 inches
Days to Germinate:  3 – 7
Days to Maturity:  21-27

A ripe Cherry Belle radish is a thing of beauty.  It is medium in size with a round, bulbous shape.  The skin is a beautiful bright garnet red with brilliant white flesh underneath.  A delightful, crisp texture is accompanied by its earthy, fresh flavor.  This variety resists the tendency to develop a woody texture as the season progresses.  It’s no wonder that the Cherry Belle Heirloom Radish was the All-America Selection winner in 1949.

The Cherry Belle radish hails from Holland.  Radishes can be succession planted to be enjoyed throughout the growing season.  If planted every two weeks, the resulting harvest will provide a continuous supply of radishes throughout the growing season.

Radishes prefer the cooler conditions of spring and fall to summer’s intense heat.  When sowing in the summer, consider planting radishes in the shade of larger, established plants.  They can be grown as companions with dill, beets, carrots, and beans.  Radishes are believed to help deter squash bugs and boring pests in the vegetable garden.

Here at 1840 Farm, we eagerly await radish season each spring.  Radishes are the first vegetable crop harvested from our garden and announce the happy arrival of the growing season.  They also enable us to enjoy eating a spring menu favorite:  sliced radish tartine.

Related Posts:

1840 Farm Seed Exchange

Tennis Ball Heirloom Lettuce

Purple Top Heirloom Turnip

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Nearly Wordless Wednesday – August 10, 2011

Heirloom tomato, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways starting with the first ripe Purple Calabash of 2011.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2011/08/nearly-wordless-wednesday-august-10-2011/

Why I Garden

Two words:  heirloom tomatoes.  I will freely admit to being giddy this morning.  Why?  I have spotted the first ripening heirloom tomatoes in our greenhouse.  I know that it will only be a few days and there will be Peacevine Cherry tomatoes to enjoy fresh from the vine.  That first taste will be the moment I take a deep breath and remember just why I work so hard in the garden each year.

Why do you garden?

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2011/07/why-i-garden/

Tomato, my love

Heirloom Tomatoes at 1840 FarmIt’s time that I came clean.  I love tomatoes.  No really.  I love them.  Not the languishing in the produce aisle in February variety.  Sorry.  You may label me a tomato snob, but I can’t help it.  If you’ve ever tasted an heirloom tomato fresh from your garden, still warm from sunlight, then you’ll understand.  If you haven’t, get thee to a local farmer’s market.  Immediately.

Seasonal tomatoes should really not be expected to share the name “tomato” with the Fruit that Shall Not be Named.  You know, the February variety that I’ve already mentioned.  I don’t like to make hard and fast rules about what I will or will not eat.  I try not to paint things with too broad of a brush where food is concerned.  Tomatoes are an exception.  I will buy tomatoes at the farmer’s market when our tomato plants still need weeks in the summer sun to set and ripen.  I will not buy tomatoes when snow is two feet deep outside my front door.

I’ve been growing heirloom tomatoes for the last four years in our garden.   When other people are buying their gallon sized tomato plants at the local nursery, we’ve already been tending seedlings for months.  That’s right-we grow them from seed.  We sow them.  We let them live in our house under a special blend of fluorescent lights.  We thin them.  We transplant them several times.  We water them at least once a day with a spray bottle.  We run our hands over the top of them to encourage the vines to be stronger.

Okay, I didn’t intend to make us sound like tomato fanatics.  But maybe we are.  In fact, who am I kidding?  I might as well drop the maybe and admit to being a card-carrying member of the tomato lunatics club.  We love them.  We put in six month’s worth of gardening by the time the first tomato ripens.  We celebrate the arrival of the first cherry tomato, followed by the first slicing tomato.

This year, we planted over 60 heirloom tomato plants in our garden.  I could say that it was too many, but I don’t think that it was.  We haven’t let one go to waste yet.  We eat them every way possible and yet they never get old.

Trying to grow tomatoes in a part of the country with a growing season shorter than 90 days is a bit crazy.  It’s like trying to catch sunlight in a jar without a lid.  It’s impossible.  It’s frustrating.  But, when I watch my kids walk through the tomato patch surveying this year’s crop, sampling a sun-kissed cherry tomato, it’s suddenly all worth it.

While I’m coming clean,  you know when I mentioned being in the tomato lunatics club?  I’ve decided to run for president next year.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2010/08/tomato-my-love/