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Archive for the ‘The Weather’ Category

Dear Veggie Lovers,

We are working hard up at the farm – moving leeks from their nursery bed to their permanent growing spots, and much, much more.

You’ll see the fruit (or veggies, rather) of our efforts at the Wenatchee Valley Farmers Market each Saturday from 8-1:00.

And thought we don’t sell grain products, I thought it would be interesting to share a bit about Emmer.

Emmer

Emmer is an ancient grain originally cultivated in Mesopotamia – aka the birthplace of human civilization, found between the the Tigris and Euphrates River systems in the Middle East. (Don’t you like how I work that in so often?) Like so many old, old, things (my Pinto Station wagon, for instance), Emmer cultivation eased as newer, higher-yield grans came to the forefront, such as Barley. And later of course, wheat.

Emmer is genetically different from wheat. And if you taste it, you’ll agree! It’s got … a more rye-like taste than regular flour. I know, because I had some locally-grown biscuit mix from Bluebird Grain Farms in Winthrop, WA.

Emmer Biscuit Mix

And I have to say, I would eat it again!

Now, Emmer as a grain is not as high in gluten as wheat, so it lends itself more to flatbread-type things, and here’s a good recipe for just that: Emmer flatbread. I’d like to try that, since it seems as though making actual bread might be more difficult. But here’s a blogger who’s done it and lived to tell the tale!

Not only that, there’s a whole old-grain baking movement in the works from the looks of things – 

and after all, Emmer is still around with us today – still cultivated in various regions for many reasons. One variety of Emmer you may have heard of is Farro. It’s grown in Italy and is sometimes used to make Risotto, although this site has a Farro and Beet Salad recipe that looks delicious, if you happen to have some Tzatziki sauce lying about. (Which if you’re Greek, you inevitably do!) But if not, hey, take a chance on the biscuits or the muffins and see how you like the flavor.

You never know – you might be eating more of it some day!

Emmer’s claims to fame includes a tolerance to rust disease and bad weather conditions, something which may come into play in the future – you just never know… food security for much of human existence has not been a certainty.

Due to bad cherry growing conditions in the Wenatchee area this year, growers are concerned about a bad fruit fly year in 2013. What will happen to the price of cherries next year, it’s too soon to say.

So, grow what you can, and make biscuits!

See you at the Wenatchee Valley Farmers Market on Saturday!

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Dear food fans,

Since we are having such great luck with the Walla Walla sweet onions this year, I thought I should post a few onion recipes for everyone to enjoy.

Walla Walla Sweet Onion Salad

  • 2   Walla Walla Sweet Onions thinly sliced
  • 4    Cucumbers thinly sliced
  • 1    Cup mayonnaise
  • 2    Tbs. white vinegar
  • 1    Tbs. of sugar

Separate sliced onions into rings and combine with cucumber in a large bowl.   Combine remaining ingredients and beat until smooth.  Pour sauce over onions and cucumbers and mix thoroughly.  Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hr.  Serve well-chilled.

*** Check out the photos of the Walla Walla sweets on the above page. The word LARGE doesn’t really do them justice! ***

Now if we only had some cucumbers to go with them! Alas, Wenatchee weather has kept everything behind this year. Soon, though. Soon!

Here’s another one:

Walla Walla Sweet Onion Marmalade

2 ½  pounds sweet onion, cut into strips 1/4 by 1 1/2 inches, enough to make 7 cups
1 ½  cups apple juice
¾ cups red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
2 tbsp. sage, rubbed (optional)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp white pepper
½ tsp yellow mustard seeds
¼ tsp (heaping) red pepper flakes
4 cups sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 small boxes pectin (for low sugar recipe)
1 tsp butter

1. Add onions, juice, vinegar, and spices to an 8-quart pot.
2. Take 1/4 cup of the sugar and add it to the pectin in a small bowl.
3. Mix remaining white sugar and the brown sugar.
4. Add pectin/sugar mixture and butter to onions. Heat over high heat, stirring constantly, until a full rolling boil is achieved.
5. Immediately stir in remaining sugars. Bring again to a full rolling boil and boil for exactly 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
6. Remove from heat. Skim off foam.
7. Ladle into jars. Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes.

Notes: Good with cream cheese or plain on crackers.

Onion Jam

Ingredients
3 cups chopped onions (Vidalia,Walla Walla or your favorite sweet variety)
3/4 cup cider OR malt vinegar
2 1/2-3 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes OR dried minced garlic
(optional – dried rosemary or tarragon or basil or sun-dried tomatoes, etc, whatever ‘your flavor’ is!)
1 package powdered fruit pectin

How to make it
1. Puree the onion and vinegar together in a blender until smooth.
2. Pour into a saucepan.
3. Add the sugar and crushed pepper and bring to boil over medium-high heat.
4. Boil for five (5) minutes and then stir in the powdered pectin.
5. Bring to a hard boil and boil for one (1) minute.
6. Pour into hot sterilized jars, secure the lids and process for ten (10) minutes in a boiling water bath.

Man, these all look good, don’t they?

In fact, I think I’m going to make some right now!

Happy onion eating!

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Tomatoes in the green house

The calendar date today is May 15th, which means it is *officially* time to plant your tomatoes, especially if you have already hardened them off.

In addition, it’s a good idea to have already subjected your tomato plants to several hours a day of a fan playing over them, so they can get used to wind.

Though the nighttime temps for Wenatchee hover between 41 and 44 degrees this week, that’s fine. While tomatoes are a tropical plant they are pretty tough, and will tolerate a bit of mistreatment and still produce well – some say they’ll produce better if you beat ’em up a little!

A word of caution: Just because it’s tomato planting time, don’t get all excited and plant out your peppers too.

Peppers in the green house

Peppers aren’t as forgiving as tomatoes and they don’t like nights under 50 degrees. So, keep those inside a couple more weeks and keep watching the weather forecast!

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Here in Wenatchee, March 26th was a very rainy day, but we managed to click a few photos of the farm to show you our progress.

 

 

You see bales we see compost

 

 

Lettuce entice you with these tasty greens!

Don't cry over the onions

A greenhouse for green thumbs

Heirloom variety Tom Thumb getting a start in the greenhouse.

Broccoli and Golden Acre cabbage

 

Coming soon – more lettuce, spinach, snow peas, chard, and more!

Stay tuned to see where the edibles are available in the local Wenatchee area.

Have a happy veggie day!

 

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Is it just us, or does the weather make you want to curl up with a cuppa tea and a good book and take your chances with falling asleep?

For now,  it looks as though RAIN is the operative word in this rather cool spring forecast, which means two things.

1. Things are growing slowly outside – as are the newly sown spinach rows at Flicker Farm.

Spinach beds at Flicker Farm

2. But cold-weather crops will do better this spring than warm weather ones. Think like a duck, or, a vegetable that a duck might eat, and you’ve got the picture. Crops that love cooler temps include:

  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Mustard Greens
  • Broccoli
  • Chinese Cabbage

In short, most of the Brassicas will head up nicely, given enough sunlight and a little bit of warmth at night so they don’t freeze out.

Tomatoes? Peppers? Not yet…..those heat-loving plans won’t even germinate with a soil temp this low. I know people want them to, but they will simply refuse!

For now, all I can say is think *cold* thoughts if you want lettuce, and *warm* thoughts if you want those tomatoes to hurry up for your BLT’s.

And keep that coat handy – winter isn’t over yet!

 

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