July 18, 2017
Caleb walking amongst the Nabechan, a giant Japanese scallion.
This Week’s Menu
Basil (opal or genovese)
Yellow zucchini or pattypan squash
Red cabbage or mizuna bunches
And quail eggs for Cambridge, Dorchester, and Quincy!
Quail egg recipes
You can eat quail eggs the same way you eat chicken eggs, but the best way to eat them is to boil them versus making a sunny side-up or scrambled egg. This is because of the amazing texture and taste of the egg. The yolk is creamier and the whites cook firmer, so when plopping a marinated, pickled, or just plain quail egg in your mouth, it kind of well… plops open as your teeth bite into it! They are the perfect snack.
After bringing your water to a boil…boil for two minutes if you want soft boiled eggs with the yolk still runny. Boil for two and a half minutes for a soft-boiled egg. Boil for three minutes for a medium boiled egg. Boil for four minutes for a hard-boiled egg. The yolk will be completely set. Give them an ice bath afterwards and then the shells should peel off easily.
Then the possibilities are endless. They are amazing in soups and stews as they soak up and marinate so well. They are also great in stir-frys and salads, on toast for breakfast, blended raw in a smoothie, or pickled. Here are some pictures to help you think of how you might enjoy yours!
Pekin ducklings are growing fast and tomorrow we transfer them out to pasture. We kept them in a grassy pen by the barn this past week to see how they cope with the elements while keeping a close watch on them.
Most recently farming has been feeling like a constant and bloody battle against pests, predators, and diseases. The new electric fence we installed has seemed to work in keeping the laying chickens in and the foxes out. So that is a load off of my mind. Then some mites moved into our coop but luckily we caught that early on and treated the chickens with pyrethrum, an organic substance derived from the Chrysantheum flower.
But we are still in limbo in our battle with the groundhogs. Round one happened last year, and we lost hard. I’m talking about over 600 damaged lettuce heads – that’s almost $2000 of produce! I actually snuck up behind one once and netted it! I managed to get it into a cage, only to find that it escaped out of a hole on the other side of the cage. Last year they won. This year we’ve been setting traps, daily and diligently, but to no avail. Multiple traps next to their dens at multiple locations around the farm. No matter how we bait it, they don’t enter! We agreed that after so much effort and so much loss in produce and labor, when we finally caught one, well… we would eat it! So last month we caught one! And well… since it is illegal to trap and release, we kept to our promise and prepared farm fresh roasted groundhog. Round 2, we won! To bring you up to speed, last week we couldn’t give everyone green curly kale, because we discovered that half of them were gone! At this point, they’re still winning.
Today we were out in the field spraying the tomatoes with a certified organic copper spray, since we received reports that Late Blight (a fungus) was reported in upstate NY last week and was predicted to land in Massachusetts by mid this week. We started these baby tomatoes back in February! Nursed them, watered them, potted them up, and then transplanted them. We lodged stakes between every two plants, and we pruned them, and then we started stringing them! No way are we going to let an early case of Late Blight (which usually comes in late summer) destroy our crop! We’ve also discovered a new threat – the green horned tomato caterpillar. Usually they are manageable. This year, they are everywhere!
Yesterday while we were rescuing the tomatoes, one of our poor goslings was sabotaged from below the murky waters of the swamp. A large snapping turtle tried to take it down. We managed to intervene and rescue the gosling, who now has a large tear in her breast. We hope she is going to make it. So here is where the battle starts to feel daunting. During all of these set-backs and battles with pests and predators, the weeds have been growing ferociously! And I wish we could tackle them, but now comes the deadline to start seeding all of our Fall and Winter crops. Up against a force of nature, we’re striving to become one ourselves in order to keep up.
I’m extremely happy with how the Cornish game hen came out. They are so tender and sweet. Every experience I’ve had eating them so far has been excellent!
The garlic harvest may be this week or next week, but WOW, look at the size of these!
The first tomato! And it’s about to whacked off its stem in this picture!