Sunday, June 30, 2013

Corn (!) and beneficial insects

Ooo! Ooo! The very first bicolor SIW corn was picked today and available in limited supply at the stand. I'm happy to announce summer is officially here. You early birds have the best chance of snagging a corny dinner's worth, at least in the beginning of corn season.

honey bee doin' her thing (bottom left).

Earlier in the season, H.G. treated the corn with beneficial insects- specifically Trichogramma ostriniae - a tiny stingless wasp kind of "fruit fly-esque". These tiny wasps hatch out a card that looks like one of those "do not disturb" door hangers and set off into the corn field, laying eggs inside the eggs of pesky corn eaters. They're parasitic, ya see. The eggs in these cards are way smaller than poppy seeds, for reference. 

Eventually the pressure of those moths gets too great for the tricogramma to make a significant difference. H.G. asked me to handle the last application last week. It felt a little like an adventure to implant thousands of these bad girls into the fields while they could still make a difference. 

Attaching a card of tricogramma to a corn plant.
Fun fact I learned on the farm tour on June 20th: On average, one corn plant will produce less than one ear of corn! How is this possible, you ask? In a few rows of corn, you'll find some plants with nothing (takin' up precious real estate if you ask me), some plants with a single ear, and some with two ears (with 2, they can fully appreciate Sylvio's piano playing).

Standing amidst hundreds of future dinners (and lunches and snacks!)

Cauliflower, Scape & Garlic Pasta

Maybe it's because I'm outside all day working hard and sometimes skimping on lunch, but at dinner all I want is pasta. Something substantial to fill me up and that can be cooked in the time it takes to boil and cook said pasta. Here was tonight's dinner. Heavy on the veg, lighter on the starch (only 1/2lb will end up serving 6). It is filled with garlic and I mean filled. Make your loved ones eat it too and you can all be stinky together.

Cauliflower, Scape & Garlic Pasta

1/2lb soup pasta or Israeli couscous (acini de pepe, lil stars or ditalini would be great)
1 giant head of cauliflower (I got mine at SIW, of course, and practically sang it a lullaby before putting it in the fridge- it was a real beauty), chopped into pretty small florets
1 bunch garlic scapes, chopped
2-3 heads! of garlic, chopped
olive oil
a Tbs or so butter
salt and pep
toasted bread crumbs (a handful or so?)
pecorino romano or parmesan for grating

In your largest saute pan, cook cauliflower with some olive oil on med/med-hi, stirring frequently. Periodically add a splash of water and a lid to help steam it. Meanwhile, start the water on to boil for pasta. After 10-15 min, reduce heat to med/med-lo and add your scapes, season with s&p, etc.

Cook the pasta according to direction on box. When it's complete, drain and set aside. Make a well in the cauliflower, add the butter and garlic. Let everything sizzle a little, then stir in the garlic (You're trying not to burn the garlic which needs minimal time). Add a bunch of breadcrumbs. Stir in the pasta for a minute. Add some more olive oil to finish. Grate on as much cheese as you'd like. Stir, season and serve!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Fun Family Community Event July 6 (hint: blueberries)

Something fun to do on Saturday (besides coming to SIW to pick up our zucchini and squash for grilling next weekend.. P.S. corn is getting close! I'll be sure to announce here and on facebook when the first SIW candy (aka corn) is picked and available)...

Linvilla Orchards is having their annual blueberry festival July 6th (Saturday)! It's free. There is a blueberry pie eating contest. You can pick your own blueberries. All the reasons ya need :) More info here at their site.

these are not blueberries. but we've got cherries at the stand and boy, are they good!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Quick Pasta a la HG

The photo makes everything look slimy. It was delicious, I promise!
What a busy weekend! The stand was a happenin' place to be, gorgeous weather, tubing on the Brandywine, you name it. Sunday night I needed a quick 'n' easy dinner and this is what I came up with. My favorite pasta dishes are ready in the time it takes to boil water and cook the pasta. Everything but the pasta came from SIW!

Quick Pasta a la HG:

Boil water and cook pasta (I used farfalle).

Saute veggies in a lil olive oil. I used my CSA share (garlic scapes, green beans, squash and zucchini) with a red pepper and a few ears of corn. 

When the pasta is nearly finished (how come it always needs one minute more?), add a pint of SIW tomato sauce and mix it all together. Season with fresh herbs if you got 'em, salt and pepper. 

Told you it was easy! With all the veggies and a pound of pasta, this made 8 big servings.

CSA Weekly Share!

The first garlic bulbs have been harvested! Lucky for you, it's on the CSA list this week:

CSA Weekly Share #4:

1 bag of lettuce
1 quart of peas
2 lbs of squash or zucchini
1 bunch of garlic scapes
1 garlic bulb (woo hoo!)
1 bunch of scallions
2 sunflowers

Just a reminder: pick up days are Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday.  This list may change as the week goes on.. some items are "while supplies last".

Monday, June 24, 2013

Farm Tour Recap

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It's possible there wasn't a lovelier day for taking photos and going on a farm tour! Though I've lived on the farm more than 2 years, I've never gotten an intensive look through HG's eyes of the farm and everything that is grown here. It was pretty fun and definitely interesting to learn about some of SIW's farming practices, see the progress of future veggies in my belly and meet about 30 fellow CSA members and loyal customers. Oh and there was sparkling conversation (+wine and cheese). 

Over the season, I'll continue sharing photos and bits o' knowledge I picked up on this relaxing walk through the fields. On with the pics!  ~Vanessa

One of the first patches of corn we'll be eating shortly!

Farm tourists deciding whether to ride or walk.

Farm pup, Willow, delighting 2 happy tots.

Before the bumpy tractor ride.
Pickup truck passengers gearing up for some fun!

HG taking SIW shoppers for a wild ride.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Summer Evening at SIW

What a fabulous weekend we are having! Fireflies are going nuts in the field behind SIW. Check out this long exposure I took.. unreal, right? 

Spending some time editing farm tour pics and will post my favorites (and any funny candids of HG I can find) along with some highlights for those of you who missed it - on Sunday. ~Vanessa

We have green beans! Recipe of the week

Happy 2nd day of summer!

What a glorious few days it has been. Sunshine, practically no humidity and gentle breezes. I was so excited to sneak of taste of our first freshly picked green beans this week at the stand. Last night for dinner I made a quick and easy side dish I thought I'd share- snappy and garlicky with a touch of zest and crunch.. perfect for this weekend's bbqs!

Garlicky Green Beans with Almonds and Lemon

1.5 lb green beans, left whole with stem ends snapped off
5-6 (or more!) cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1 bunch garlic scapes, cut into green bean lengths
blanched almonds
fresh squeezed lemon juice
olive oil
salt and pepper

Saute the garlic scapes and green beans in a large wok on med-high heat. Stir often- you are looking for the beans to turn that gorgeous bright green color. When they have, make a space in the center of your green bean pile, drizzle a little more olive oil and add garlic. Saute 30 second (make sure they don't burn but can turn golden) and then quickly toss beans and garlic together. Turn off the heat. Squeeze fresh lemon juice, sprinkle almonds, season with salt and pepper. That's it! I garnish with fresh lemon slices for my friends if they'd like a little more lemon punch.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pidge in the kitchen

I promise this won't turn into a blog with a million cat videos. I just couldn't resist this mini clip of our cat, Pidge, munching on the first of the SIW peas. I crack the "inedible" pod and peel off the plastic-y membrane and she goes crazy for the tender bits of green. The death grip she has on my hand confirms her obsession. That and the incessant meowing when I walk into the kitchen.

P.S. Farm tour recap and photos to come shortly! 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sylvio the Gorilla helping the corn grow..

It's amazing what has happened in the past few weeks since the last time I've wandered around the farm. There are fat green tomatoes EVERYWHERE. The silk is golden and lovely on the first corn of the season (still need some time). Green beans, shelling peas and zucchini have officially made it to the veggie stand! 

Here you'll find our intern, Sylvio the Gorilla, in a critical step in the corn growing process. Music is soothing to the ears!! Won't be long now...


Meet HG and get the inside scoop on SIW!

All you procrastinators.. now is the time to sign up for the farm tour! We're talking tomorrow, 6pm sharp.. 'maters growing, corn stalks swaying in the breeze, zucchini popping up left and right (watch them grow before your eyes!). 

The tour will last about 2 hrs (but you can leave early if you need to). Drink some wine, relax and play in the mud (seriously wear some clothes you don't mind dirt gettin' on) while you see just where all that lovely SIW produce is grown!

Call and make your reservation today or tomorrow morning before we fill up! 610-388-7491

Monday, June 17, 2013

CSA Weekly Share #3

There is still time to sign up for the farm tour this Thursday... it's at 6pm sharp. I recommend arriving 10-15 minutes early at the stand, and we can point you in the direction of the barn where HG will be anxiously awaiting.

Just stop by the stand or call us to reserve your spot (that's free outdoors adventure to CSA members!)
*Don't forget to wear farm clothes and comfy shoes. I'm bringing a camera too!

Here's what we have in store for this week's share:
1 bag of lettuce
2 bunches of garlic scapes
1 pint of peas (I dare you to get home without eating the whole pint in the car!)
1 each summer squash or zucchini
1/4 lb green beans
2 sunflowers

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Best Zucchini Bread Recipe Ever - getting psyched for zucchini!

Dare I say it? Of the countless zucchini breads I've tried, of the dozens of recipes I've made- this is my favorite. There, I said it! I got it from one of my closest friends. She got it from her gramma who--enough with the boring details. On with the bread!

Bonus: no oil in the recipe (zucchini offers plenty of moisture)! But the trade off is sugar. Sort of lots of it. I think of this almost like a cake. In that I try to eat it on special occasions as a treat, but then I sneak it for breakfast. ~Vanessa

You will need:
bundt pan + butter/oil spray and cocoa powder to grease and "flour" the pan
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 heaping cups grated zucchini (I use a good ole box grater)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
3 cups flour, added one cup at a time
1 cup nuts, chopped (I love walnuts here)
1 cup or more chocolate chips (choc. chunks are even better)
a handful of dried cherries, cranberries or raisins if you want 'em

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Start with the eggs. Beat them until foamy. Then add your ingredients in the order of the above list, stirring as you go. Add the flour one cup at a time and make sure everything is well incorporated. Pour into your greased and cocoa-ed bundt pan and bake 45min-1hour. Test with a skewer to make sure it comes out clean. Then you're good to go! Relax for 5 minutes and invert the pan on a rack to cool further. Don't burn yourself on that first slice you're gonna sneak before it's sufficiently cool! 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

CSA member sporting 2 sunflowers and a snazzy jacket!

This morning was wild! Crazy thunderstorms, ominous green skies and what felt like day turned to night in an instant. Torrential rains and that rolling thunder that makes you want to curl up inside with a good book.. We had a late start to the morning waiting for the first round of storms to pass, but we are up and running! Have no fear, veggies are here. Today is a great day to pick up your CSA share (2 sunflowers got added to the list late in the game). While you are here, I recommend picking up a My House Cookies pie and calling it healthy with a scoop of our local Pequea Valley yogurt. 

Strawberry Rhubarb = springtime.

A dollop on that pie and you can call it breakfast!

baby zukes and yellow squash grown at SIW.

We've also just started to get in our own freshly picked zucchini and varieties of yellow squash. That's reason enough to brave the threat of afternoon showers!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Look who I found shopping at SIW today!

Sylvio the Gorilla (and our summer intern) made an appearance at the stand today! What a delightful guy. He picked up some tomatoes and DiBruno Bro. mozzarella cheese for an early summer treat- a decadent caprese salad. He did wonder why we didn't have any local bananas...

Recipe of the Week

Morning SIW Scramble

what a treat compared to the usual toast out the door!

Start your day the SIW way! Everything's available at the stand... now I won't be hungry until lunch :)

baby red and white potatoes, leftover roasted from last night's dinner!
red pepper, chopped
grape tomatoes, sliced
fresh parsley, chopped
scallion, chopped
2 farm fresh eggs
salt and pepper

Saute all the veggies for a few minutes in a little olive oil (heart health, people!). Add 2 eggs to the pan. Scramble it all up (not shown ;) )

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

CSA Weekly Share #2

What a rainy couple of days we've had on the farm! The stand didn't even float away..

Here's the weekly share for CSA:
1 bag of lettuce
2 bunches of garlic scapes 

We picked the very first of the peas today and they are available in very limited quantities at the stand in addition to a fresh selection of My House Cookies pies- strawberry rhubarb's got my name on it! It will feel like no time before we are swimming in CSA beans, zucchini and tomatoes. 

****Reminder- sign up for our farm tour and get the inside scoop on everything we grow on the farm! JUNE 20th, 6pm****

rows and rows of garlic
We will meet at the big barn on the farm. You can stop by the stand and they will direct you up there. Try to arrive as early as possible since we're trying to start at 6pm sharp. Wear farm clothes because dirt tends to jump on you when you are walking through the fields. Kids are welcome (they ask the best questions). We will provide wine, water and fun farm facts to keep you entertained. it usually last about an hour and a half but you can leave whenever you want.

If it is pouring rain we will try to re-schedule, but otherwise we are going for it! ~HG

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Recipe of the Week!

Garlic Scape & White Bean Soup
borrowed from an awesome blog-
3 tbsp butter
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 lb garlic scapes, with flower heads, chopped (reserve 2 flower heads for garnish)
2 large potatoes (about 1 lb), peeled and diced
2 cups stock (vegetable or chicken will do)
2 cups water
salt & black pepper, to taste
about 3 cups cooked cannellini beans (about 2, 15-oz cans, rinsed), or other white bean
a good handful of fresh basil leaves, slivered, or other fresh herb

Melt butter over medium-low heat in a medium (5-quart) Dutch oven or stockpot. Once foam subsides, add onion and scapes. Stir and sauté over low heat until vegetables are softened and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Add potatoes, water, stock, salt & pepper: stir, cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until potatoes are just tender, about 15 -20 minutes. Add cooked white beans, cover and continue to simmer for 5 – 10 minutes, to heat beans through and allow flavors to blend.
Blend soup (I use an immersion blender). Taste and adjust seasonings. Allow to simmer over low heat, uncovered, if soup needs thickening. Stir in fresh herbs, garnish with slivered flower head, and serve hot.
Serves 4 – 6.
Sylvio the gorilla standing proudly over rows and rows of SIW garlic!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Farm Tour June 20th!

Can you get more idyllic than this?

Have you been on SIW's farm tour? JUNE 20th at 6pm (that's in 2, count 'em, 2, weeks). Find out exactly where your favorite corn and tomatoes are grown. Enjoy a relaxing ride through the farm with us! 

Spots will fill up quickly so call the stand today to make your reservation! (610) 388-7491 Good, clean fun for the family!  Here are some of my favorite photos I took on a walk this week in that special hour before sunset.  

Magical horses.

Rows and row of future food!

Summer intern, Sylvio the Gorilla :)

What on earth is a garlic scape and what the heck do I do with it?

Garlic scapes are a popular item on the CSA list every year and we have them in abundance! This is because every garlic plant grown on the farm has one scape- and we'll have enough garlic a little later in the season to take out all the vampires in every vampire-centric book, movie and tv show - current and through history!

Scapes are removed early on in the garlic growing season to keep the plant from flowering (that funky  cone shaped doohickey on top is the premature blossom). By robbing the garlic of it's pretty flower, all that energy will instead be focused on growing a bigger bulb. And we get to reap the benefits!

You can use garlic scapes anywhere you would cook with garlic or onions. 

*Chop them up fine and use them in soups, chilis, stews. 
*Pulverize them in a food processor and make scape pesto!
*Chop them in green bean-sized pieces and saute them. Instant garlic "green beans".
*Skewer them and throw them on the grill.
* Wiggle them around and admire their curly-Q-ness!

What's your favorite way to cook with garlic scapes? Share on our facebook page!

Stay tuned later in the week for a recipe featuring scapes :)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tuesday at SIW

Brent's Basil in SIW gourd planters.
Here are some goodies we had at the stand today. We have SIW scallions, garlic scapes and lettuce! We've got local broccoli, spinach, tomatoes and strawberries (plus lots of other goodies..). If you mention this post, I'll give you a free high five! ~Vanessa
Too early for SIW tomatoes, but we have local!!

fresh and crunchy snow peas

Monday, June 3, 2013

CSA Weekly Share for June 3rd!

high tunnel mean faster maturing tomatoes!
Below you'll find this week's CSA list. No worries here- as the weeks go on, this list surely grows and grows just as these baby summer squash and tomatoes will!

sweetest little tomato baby and blossom

CSA Week 1 (June 3rd):
-one bag of lettuce
-one bunch garlic scapes (yummy recipe from last year here!)
-one pint of SIW's world famous tomato sauce
-one 9 oz jar of pumpkin butter (amazing on ice cream or swirled into yogurt or spooned directly into your mouth!)

P.S. We've got a new facebook page! Check it out here..
their future home will be on your grill!

Sunday, June 2, 2013


In case you didn't hear.. we are officially open tomorrow, Monday, June 3rd! Look at those garlic scapes curling in excitement! Come on by to get your first tastes of summer.. We will be open 7 days a week from 10am-6pm until Halloween.

CSA members: This week is your first pick up... :) Just a reminder- pick up days are any time 10am-6pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays to ensure we've got loads of your selected veggies for the week and we can give you a proper hello (these are our slower days). 

Check back here often for delicious recipes using seasonal produce, CSA shares for the week, specials, and other farm/food/SIW related news.