Tag Archive: heirloom

Heirloom Tomato Panzanella

Heirloom Tomato Panzanella SquarePanzanella sounds like such a fancy dish.  Ironically, it’s a rustic preparation that perfectly showcases the simple flavors of toasted bread, olive oil, vinegar, and ripe seasonal produce in what amounts to a bread salad.  This is peasant food of the very best kind, most likely created when there wasn’t much to serve for dinner other than stale bread and whatever was growing in the garden.  It’s just the sort of farmhouse style cooking that I love to create, serve, and enjoy at our family table.

While I have enjoyed versions of panzanella that feature fresh onions, cucumbers, and all manner of other delicious additions, my favorite is a dish that centers on the heirloom tomatoes we grow in our garden.  I turn to this dish when tomatoes are aplenty.  I am always amazed at how delicious it tastes given its humble ingredients and preparation.

It’s really no wonder that I love this dish so much.  I’m a person who firmly believes that the dressing served at Thanksgiving dinner is the star of the meal. So, this salad of crusty cubes of seasoned bread tossed with juicy tomatoes, garlic, and basil is like my summer recipe dream come true.

This dish comes together easily.  It’s a no muss, no fuss sort of preparation.  While there is a good amount of slicing and chopping to prep the bread and tomatoes, it can all be prepared ahead of time and assembled before serving. 

This recipe is ideal for using up a variety of types of ripe tomatoes.  I use large slicing tomatoes alongside cherry and grape tomatoes.  Large tomatoes can be cored and diced while smaller cherry and grape tomatoes are sliced in half or quarters depending on their size.  The result is a gorgeous dish full of a variety of flavors and textures that you’ll enjoy eating right down to the last bite.

Speaking of last bites, don’t allow any of this delicious panzanella to go to waste.  While it is most delicious the day it is made, leftovers can be transformed into a delicious savory bread pudding or reheated under the broiler before being topped with a poached egg.  Like so many dishes, the flavor is even better the following day.  Much like that Thanksgiving dressing I look forward to every year, I often make a double batch of this panzanella so that I can be certain that there will be leftovers to enjoy the next night for dinner.   It’s simply too delicious not to dream of eating it on a second night!

Heirloom Tomato Panzanella
I like to garnish panzanella with a bit of balsamic vinegar glaze. It’s thick and delicious, a perfect pairing for the other flavors in this salad. I find the glaze in my grocery stores stocked near the specialty vinegars or in the Italian food section. If you are unable to find it, you can certainly use a splash of good balsamic vinegar or simply omit the garnish when serving.
  1. 1 large loaf of crusty bread (about 1 pound)
  2. 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  3. salt and pepper
  4. 1 pound heirloom tomatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
  5. 1 teaspoon sea salt
  6. 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  7. 4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thinly
  8. 2 tablespoons sundried tomatoes packed in oil, julienned
  9. 1 tablespoon oil from the jar of sundried tomatoes
  10. ½ cup basil leaves, sliced into thin ribbons
  11. 1 ounce Parmesan cheese
  12. salt and pepper to taste
  13. balsamic vinegar or glaze
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the bread into bite sized pieces (approximately 1” in size). Add the bread cubes to a large bowl. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of olive oil over the bread cubes. Season the bread cubes liberally with salt and pepper. Toss the cubes, adding another tablespoon of oil if needed. Spread the cubes out on a large baking sheet.
  2. Transfer the baking sheet to the preheated oven. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes until crisp and lightly browned. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the bread cubes to cool to room temperature.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the tomatoes by coring large tomatoes before dicing or simply slicing cherry or grape sized tomatoes in half or quarters. The tomato pieces should be bite sized, slightly smaller than the cubes of bread. Place the tomato pieces in a bowl and toss with the teaspoon of sea salt. Transfer the salted tomatoes to a small colander set over the bowl to catch the juices as they drain away from the tomatoes.
  4. In a small pot over low heat, warm the 3 tablespoons olive oil, sliced garlic, sundried tomatoes, and tablespoon of oil from the sundried tomatoes until fragrant. Continue to cook over low heat for 2-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. The flavors of the garlic and sundried tomatoes will infuse the olive oil with their delicious flavors.
  5. All of this prep work can be done hours ahead of time. The bread, tomatoes, and olive oil infusion can be allowed to rest at room temperature until you are ready to assemble the panzanella. I recommend assembling the panzanella about 30 minutes before you intend to serve it. This will allow the bread to retain its texture and give the flavors time to meld and be absorbed by the bread.
  6. To assemble the panzanella, place the toasted bread in a large bowl. Add the reserved tomato juices, tossing gently. The bread should absorb the tomato juice and soften slightly. Add the diced tomatoes, olive oil infusion, basil, and Parmesan to the bowl. Toss gently to evenly distribute the ingredients. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if necessary.
  7. Allow the panzanella to sit for up to 30 minutes before serving. Serve at room temperature, garnishing with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or balsamic vinegar glaze if desired. Enjoy!
1840farm.com http://1840farm.com/

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2017/10/heirloom-tomato-panzanella/


Ratatouille at 1840 FarmFor me, ratatouille is a celebration of our summer garden harvest.  I often think of this dish as I’m planning the next year’s garden, adding seeds to my shopping cart in anticipation of planting, tending, and harvesting the fresh ingredients that put this meal on our dinner table.  I choose seeds that will be ideally suited for creating this beautiful, delicious dish.  Yes, I really do love ratatouille that much.

Ratatouille has humble origins.  It began as a rustic, thick vegetable stew.  In its early days, eggplant was still exclusive to India and both zucchini and tomato hadn’t found their way into cultivated gardens. Those components would not have found their way into the cooking pot hung over an open fire.  Instead, a little of this, a little of that, heat, and time combined to bring together the flavors and textures of what was in season together into a thick stew that could be eaten and enjoyed for many days.  No written recipe was needed and the results would have varied slightly every time it was made thanks to the dish being dictated by what was at its most ripe and delicious.  It was true peasant food, elevating the individual ingredients into a combination that was delicious and versatile.

What was a rustic stew in 18th century France evolved over time into a more refined dish in the Mediterranean.  It is unclear if the dish we know originated in Spain, Italy, or the South of France.  The flavors suggest that it could be from any of those individually or it could have been a regional dish, blurring the boundaries and borders of the three countries.  

Around 1930, a written recipe for ratatouille first appeared.  In this more modern take, eggplant (often called aubergine) and fresh herbs were added.  These early written recipes instructed cooks to prepare each of the components separately, cooking them fully before eventually combining them to create a dish full of their individual flavors.  The dish was named “ratatouille”, a name derived from the French term “touiller,” which means “to stir up”.Ratatouille Squash at 1840 Farm

Julia Child referred to ratatouille as “eggplant casserole” in her epic tome, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  She details how to slice the zucchini and eggplant into thin strips, cooking them to perfection before layering them with the fresh tomato sauce and herbs into a casserole.  She introduces her recipe by writing “Ratatouille perfumes the kitchen with the essence of Provence and is certainly one of the great Mediterranean dishes.”

I never question Julia’s wisdom and was intrigued by the idea of slicing the zucchini and eggplant into ribbons rather than the cubed versions I had been making for years.  I knew that the flavor would be unchanged, but I loved the idea of the thin strips of squash adding beautiful color to the serving of ratatouille on our dinner plates.  Yet I didn’t love the thought of baking the ratatouille lasagna style, hiding the very colors that I wanted to make the focus of the dish.

During a morning of garden chores, I realized that there was a simple solution: stand the thin slices on end, wrapping them together in a round pan over a bed of the fresh tomato sauce.  The beautiful color of the skins isn’t just visible.  It’s a gorgeous sight worthy of an oil painting.  It was even more stunning than I had hoped for.

This dish is a show stopper.  Be prepared to find yourself marveling at just how lovely it looks as it comes together.  I’ve made it several times this summer and it still amazes me how gorgeous it is.  The bright yellow of the summer squash, deep green of the zucchini, and purple eggplant are such a beautiful combination especially when added to a deep red tomato sauce.  It truly is a celebration of the best fresh flavors of summer.

This recipe can be made in an oven safe skillet, creating the sauce and then adding the squash before transferring to the oven. I love to use my 9” cast iron skillet for this purpose. You can also assemble the ratatouille in a spring form pan, adding the sauce to the bottom before placing the squash. After removing the spring form pan from the oven, simply run a sharp knife around the perimeter and remove the ring before slicing and serving.
For the sauce
  1. 1 red bell pepper
  2. 1 yellow bell pepper
  3. 1 orange bell pepper
  4. 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  5. 1 clove garlic, minced
  6. 1 large shallot (or small onion) minced
  7. 1 pound fresh tomatoes, diced
  8. 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
  9. 1 bay leaf
For the squash (select similarly sized small to medium squash for the best results)
  1. 2 zucchini
  2. 2 yellow summer squash
  3. 2 eggplant
  4. 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  5. 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
  6. salt and pepper
Make the sauce
  1. Cut each pepper in half, removing the stem, seeds, and ribs. Place the halves cut side down on a foil lined baking sheet. Roast in a 425 degree oven for 15 – 25 minutes until the skins brown and blister. Remove the peppers from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Using a sharp knife, remove the skins from the roasted peppers before dicing into ½” pieces.
  2. In a large skillet (I use my 9” cast iron skillet), heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and sauté for 2-4 minutes until translucent, stirring to prevent scorching. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant for one minute, taking care not to brown. Add the tomatoes, diced peppers, and thyme to the skillet. Stir to combine.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper and continue to cook gently until the ingredients soften and combine. Remove from the heat and taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if necessary.
  4. Transfer 1 cup of the tomato sauce from the skillet to a small pot. Add ¼ cup bone broth or stock to the pot and warm over low heat as you assemble the ratatouille. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if necessary. Add 1 Tablespoon butter and stir to incorporate as it melts. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting and keep warm until serving.
Prepare the squash
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the stem and blossom ends from each of the squash. Using a sharp knife or a mandoline, slice each squash lengthwise into thin strips. The strips should be thin enough to allow the slices to be flexed into shape without breaking. I set my mandoline on the 1/8” setting for this recipe. Set the slices aside.
  2. Spread the remaining tomato sauce to evenly cover the bottom of the skillet or spring form pan. Select a small slice of squash to form into a tight coil and place in the center of the pan, nestling it into the tomato sauce. Alternate the different colors of squash, wrapping thin slices around each other. Overlap the slices slightly and hold them together if necessary. As the coil grows larger, it will be held together by the sides of the pan. Continue to add squash slices until the pan is so full that additional slices cannot be added.
  3. Use a pastry brush to brush the top of the surface of the squash with olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and the fresh thyme leaves. Cover the pan with aluminum foil. Transfer the pan to the hot oven and cook for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to cook for another 20-30 minutes until the squash has softened and browned slightly. If you prefer a deeper browning, place the pan under a broiler for 1-2 minutes taking care not to burn the squash.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before cutting into wedges.Place a wedge of ratatouille on the plate and spoon a bit of the sauce over the top.
  1. You can adjust this recipe to fit what is in season in your garden or at the local farmer’s market, adding more or less of a particular squash or pepper if needed. When time is short, I often make this ratatouille in a more rustic way. You can easily chop the peppers and cube the squash, sautéing the combination of squash before adding the peppers and then tomatoes to the skillet, allowing the tomatoes to become a sauce around the other ingredient squash. Ratatouille is equally delicious served hot or at room temperature. Any leftovers can be used as a base for delicious pasta, rice, or couscous dish the following day.
1840farm.com http://1840farm.com/

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2017/08/ratatouille/

Savory Husk Cherry and Rosemary Jam

Savory Husk Cherry and Rosemary Jam Branded



Husk Cherries (Physalis pruinosa) are related to the tomatillo and tomato.  They share the same scientific family with tomatoes and the same genus as the tomatillo.  The marble shaped fruits are sweet and earthy with a tropical note.  Their flavor defies easy explanation.  Each bite is equal parts sweet and citrusy.  Imagine a sweet, ripe cherry tomato married with the citrus flavor of pineapple and mango.  You really have to try one to understand how beautifully these seemingly unrelated flavors meld together.

The husk cherry isn’t just delicious.  It’s also simple to grow and hits its stride Husk Cherries at 1840 Farmjust as the rest of our garden is wrapping up for the season.  It sets beautiful lantern shaped husks on its low growing vines during the summer.  Inside those husks, the little fruits ripen until they are ready to harvest.  The husk provides a measure of protection from pests and I have found them to be vigorous even during years when pests are helping themselves to other plants in our garden.

When the fruit is ripe, the husk begins to change from its brilliant leaf green color to a straw, parchment color.  It takes on a dry texture and will fall to the ground when ready to harvest.  This habit of falling to the ground when ripe gives the husk cherry their other name, “ground cherry”.

The past few years, I have planted Aunt Molly’s Ground Cherry, a variety that has a Polish heritage.  This variety has produced a lovely harvest of beautiful gold fruits with an amazing flavor.  This variety has a high pectin content, making it perfect for sweet or savory jams.  I find that these little papery husks can be kept at room temperature for nearly a month before the fruit begins to suffer.

I remember the first time I tasted a husk cherry.  It was nearly a decade ago.  I was at one of our local farmer’s markets shopping for fresh produce.  One of the farmers had a small basket of husk cherries.  I asked if they were some sort of tomatillo given their papery husk.  The farmer was happy to tell me all about this interesting little fruit.  He even passed over a few for my small daughter and I to taste.  One bite and I was hooked.  The flavor was so unique, so completely original from anything I had ever tasted.  He went on to tell me a bit about them and I purchased several ears of corn and heirloom tomatoes from him before moving on.Photo Sep 13, 8 33 53 PM

I remembered those little husk cherries and looked for them at our local community seedling sales.  I never found them and worried that our painfully short growing season wouldn’t allow me the time needed to grow them from seed for our garden.  A few years ago, I finally decided to try.  I was overjoyed when I picked that first ripe fruit from our garden.  I was even more excited when we had enough of them to make something with them in our farmhouse kitchen.

Of course, then I had to decide what I should make with them.  I couldn’t seem to find a recipe that didn’t mask their distinct flavor.  I was looking to highlight their unique flavor, not cover it up.  So, I kept trying until this simple preparation was bubbling away on the stove.  It may be the simplest option I tried.  It was undoubtedly the most delicious.  This savory jam celebrates the best of the husk cherry’s flavor and offers a wonderful balance of sweetness and acidity accented by rosemary fresh from the garden.  It’s delicious served with a cheese course or as a spread on a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich.

I hope that you will find husk cherries at your local farmer’s market and that you’ll join me in planting them in your garden.  Trust me, one taste and you’ll be planting them along with me year after year.

Savory Husk Cherry and Rosemary Jam
Yields 4
  1. 6 ounces husk cherries, papery husks removed
  2. 2 Tablespoons (24 grams) brown sugar
  3. 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  4. 4" sprig fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped finely
  5. 1 pinch sea salt
  1. Place a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add all of the ingredients and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer before reducing the heat to low. Using the back of a large spoon or a potato masher, gently crushing the fruit to break the skins and release the juice. Continue to simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is slightly thickened.
  2. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. This savory jam can be stored in a Mason jar in the refrigerator for several weeks. Serve it chilled or at room temperature with a cheese and charcuterie course.
1840farm.com http://1840farm.com/


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/2015/09/savory-husk-cherry-and-rosemary-jam/

Heirloom Tomato Pie

Heirloom Tomato Pie at 1840 FarmIf I ranked my favorite foods, heirloom tomatoes and homemade pie would both be at the top of my list.  In fact, they might occupy the first and second spot.  Please don’t ask me to choose one of them as my absolute favorite because I’m not sure that I could.

Thanks to this recipe, I can combine my love of the two and serve a delicious dinner at our family table.  Heirloom Tomato Pie is a family favorite when we are harvesting ripe heirloom tomatoes from our garden every day.  It combines the delicious flavors of heirloom tomatoes with the richness of buttery pie crust.  It also beautifully pairs the soft texture of the ripe fruit with flaky pie crust.  One bite and you’ll understand why we love it so much!


Heirloom Tomato Pie
Serves 4 to 6

If you have a favorite pie crust recipe, it can be put to good use in this recipe.  I like to make a slightly savory crust by adding my favorite olive oils from the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club instead of the ice water usually called for in a pie crust recipe.  The resulting pie crust is flaky and delicious, filled with the earthy flavor of great olive oil. You can read my favorite pie crust tips to create a delicious pie crust every single time.

The pie crust in this recipe should be blind baked, or prebaked before the filling is added.  Because the tomato filling is so juicy, adding it to an unbaked pie crust would result in a soggy crust.  By blind baking the crust and topping it with a bit of grated cheese, the crust will develop into a flaky base for the unctuous filling.Heirloom Tomato Pie Crust at 1840 Farm

1 1/2 pounds ripe heirloom tomatoes
2 cups (240 grams) All-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
8 Tablespoons (4 ounces) butter, grated
4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, minced
2 Tablespoons basil, chopped
2 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
2 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese, grated
8 ounces ricotta cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 eggs
Balsamic glaze for serving, if desired

Slice the tomatoes into 1″ thick rounds.  Place them in a colander to drain as you prepare the crust.  Allowing some of the excess liquid to drain away will help to concentrate the tomato flavor and yield a rich, thick filling.

To make the crust, place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse the dry ingredients to combine.  Add the grated butter and pulse until the butter has begun to incorporate into the flour and resembles small grains of rice.

With the motor running, add the olive oil one Tablespoon at a time until the dough forms a ball.  Take care not to over process the dough.  Over processing will help to develop the gluten in the flour and lead to a crust that is chewy and tough.  Less is more when it comes to working pie crust and will result in a flaky, light crust.

Transfer the pie crust dough to a pie plate.  Using your fingers, press the dough into shape gently until it is a uniform thickness and completely covers the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Flute or decorate the top edge if desired and transfer the pie plate to the refrigerator to chill while the oven warms.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil to catch any pie filling that may bubble over during baking.  When the oven has come up to temperature, remove the pie plate from the refrigerator and place on the baking sheet. Line the plate with a sheet of aluminum foil, pressing very gently to settle it into the edges of the crust.  Add dried beans, rice, or ceramic pie weights to weigh down the crust as it bakes.

Place the pie plate on the lined baking sheet before transferring to the hot oven. Blind bake for 15-20 minutes, until the crust begins to set up but before it begins to brown. Remove the crust from the oven.  Carefully remove the foil and beans, rice, or weights.  These items will be extremely hot, so take care when removing them. After the weights have cooled, they can be stored and used over and over again.

Heirloom Tomato Pie FillingReduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Sprinkle half of the grated Parmesan cheese over the bottom of the blind baked pie crust.  Allow the crust to cool as you prepare the filling.

In a small skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion in a teaspoon of olive oil until translucent, approximately 5-8 minutes.  Stir frequently to prevent the onion from burning.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, create the filling.  Combine the mozzarella cheese, smoked mozzarella, ricotta, mayonnaise, and eggs.  Stir until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.

Arrange the sliced tomatoes to cover the bottom of the pie crust.  Spread the sautéed onions over the tomatoes and sprinkle the basil on top.  Season with salt and pepper.  Transfer the filling to the pie, spreading gently to completely cover the tomatoes.  Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese on top.

Transfer the pie to the 400 degree oven.  Bake until the filling is lightly set in the middle and bubbly and browned on top, approximately 30 minutes.  If the filling sets before it has browned sufficiently on top, simply broil the pie for a brief few minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.

To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice, 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/2015/09/heirloom-tomato-pie/

One Giant Leap into Real Simple Magazine’s September 2014 Issue

1840 Farm in Real Simple MagazineAugust is a month filled with landmark moments that took place here at 1840 Farm. To begin with, we moved to this farm during August of 2005. Five years later, in 2010, I published my first post on 1840Farm.com and began to dream of turning its pages into a place where I Handmade Fabric Coiled Basket from 1840 Farmcould share my family’s experience with the world. In August of 2012, I opened The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy with a few fabric coiled baskets and the hope that you would love using them as much as we did.

Each year, I marvel at the passage of time. I try to stop for a moment to celebrate how much our lives and The 1840 Farm Community have grown. I could have never imagined that the farmhouse that became our home would come to represent so much for my family and for the readers who have come to feel at home here on our blog.

This year, September holds the promise of adding another milestone to 1840 Farm’s timeline. September of 2014 will be memorable for many reasons. To begin with, we are enjoying an amazing heirloom tomato harvest. We’re serving the beautiful, ripe fruits in one fashion or another for both lunch and dinner every day.

We have come to expect (and hope) that September’s arrival will coincide with heirloom tomato season. It really isn’t much of a surprise that we now have tomatoes in shades of pink, purple, red, yellow, and green ripening out in the garden these days. It was, however, an enormous surprise to be given the rare opportunity to be included in an article in the September issue of Real Simple Magazine!

September 2014 Issue of Real Simple MagazineThis was a first for me. I have written about our life here at 1840 Farm. I have interviewed other farmers and compiled their answers into articles for magazines and blog posts. Yet I have never been on the other side of the equation.

The entire process was new and exciting from the interview to the photo shoot here at the farm and the weeks spent waiting impatiently to see the issue appear at our local bookstores and shops. While I was confident that we had done our best to ready the farm and ourselves for the article and the photo, I couldn’t help but feel a little anxious about the world seeing us in print.

Any trepidation I felt was matched with an equally powerful sense of appreciation. I am grateful that we were given this incredible opportunity. I will forever remember the moment, the wonderful people we met, and those who offered me encouragement and support when I needed it most. Without that support, I might have found myself completely overwhelmed by the scope of it all.

The wait is over and I couldn’t be happier to share with all of you that you can learn a little more about 1840 Farm in the article “One Giant Leap” in the September 2014 issue of Real Simple Magazine. I hope that you will enjoy reading the article as much as we enjoyed playing our part in it!

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/09/one-giant-leap-into-real-simple-magazines-september-2014-issue/

Weekly Photo Journal – August 20, 2014

The last week has marked the start of heirloom tomato season which is news worth celebrating!  We’ve also been busy baking and cooking in the farmhouse kitchen.  Here’s a glimpse at what’s been going on here at 1840 Farm during the last week.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/08/weekly-photo-journal-august-20-2014/

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!

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

Oven Roasted Heirloom Tomato Spaghetti BrandedThis 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
Serves 4
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.
  1. 2 ounces olive oil
  2. 1 large onion, chopped
  3. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 16 – 20 basil leaves, torn or roughly chopped
  5. 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  6. 2 pounds ripe cherry tomatoes, rinsed and dried
  7. 2 ounces olive oil
  8. 2 teaspoons Sugar (optional)
  9. sea salt
  10. 1 pound spaghetti
  11. 2 cups (3.5 ounces) arugula
  12. Parmesan cheese
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
Adapted from Adapted from Spaghetti with Slow Roasted Tomatoes, Basil, and Parmesan Cheese in The Tomato Festival Cookbook
Adapted from Adapted from Spaghetti with Slow Roasted Tomatoes, Basil, and Parmesan Cheese in The Tomato Festival Cookbook
1840farm.com http://1840farm.com/

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.

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

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!

[yop_poll id=”2″]

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

Older posts «