Thursday, July 1, 2010

Webb City Sentinel Column - 7-2-10

Farm visits are continuing. Marilyn and I were over at Hillside Farm near Carthage yesterday. Hillside will be selling today for the first time this season. You may remember them for their specialty, garlic. Craig Hansen, the grower, said his garlic career started with a farm tour in Austin, Texas in 1995. A cook on the tour was waxing rhapsodic about his personal garlic supply and Craig talked him into parting with two cloves of this great garlic. The garlic Craig and his wife Kendra sell today traces a direct line to those two cloves, which he has carefully planted and divided over the years.

(Photo is from visit to Agee gardens yesterday - blackberries)

Yesterday I was at Hector Troyer’s checking out his high tunnel tomatoes. His tunnel is just loaded and he should have hundreds of pounds of tomatoes at the market today. I have received differing opinions on high tunnel tomatoes vs. field tomatoes. Some farmers swear by the former while others declare field tomatoes to be superior. Hector thinks it’s a matter of plant maturity. He’s not impressed with the flavor of the first field or high tunnel tomatoes. He prefers the later harvests of both. Perhaps we should do a taste test because next week the market will have the fruit of the fully mature high tunnel tomato plants as well as of the new field tomato plants. (or am I just trying to get you to buy twice as many tomatoes?)

Last week Marilyn and I went by Madewell Meats. Steve has about 150 hogs right now. Most were enjoying the shade of the woods, but several were in the fields or relaxing under sheds near the house. Those that weren’t rooting around were piled up like giant puppies in the shade. No confined spaces for these piggies, they are living well on the farm.

We’re expecting sweet corn today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday) from Wells Farm and Fairhaven. At the Wells stand you will find corn that has not been sprayed (and there will likely be a worm on the end of that corn). At Fairhaven you will find sprayed corn, which is much less likely to have worm damage. We’ll have a table and trash can in the center of the pavilion so you can strip your corn right at the market if you want make sure your corn is as expected. If it’s not, it will be replaced or refunded by the grower.

We’ve got plentiful supplies of many summer crops like blackberries, bell peppers, potatoes, cucumbers, squash and zucchini. Fredrickson Farms sent me this zucchini recipe recommended by a customer, which they found to be delicious:

Zucchini Cobbler
Recipe courtesy of Beverly

5 cups Zucchini - peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (fresh ground is best)
4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups butter, chilled
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 9X13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Place zucchini and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat, and set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir 1/2 cup crumb mixture into zucchini mixture. Press half the remaining crumb mixture into the prepared pan. Spread zucchini evenly over crust. Crumble remaining crumb mixture over zucchini, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon cinnamon.

Tami says this recipe tastes just like apple cobbler and is great with ice cream. For this and other recipes, just stop by the Fredrickson stand near the market’s central entrance.

Lunch today is barbecued beef sandwich, chips, oriental cole slaw, Oreo truffle and drink for $6. For light eaters and vegetarians there will be a luncheon salad for $4. Jack and Lee Ann Sours play.

Tomorrow breakfast is served until 11. All profits from breakfast go to Crosslines, our regional food and clothing pantry. Workers are provided by Central United Methodist Church. The church also provided workers for last Tuesday’s Cooking for a Cause and raised $348 for Crosslines. SwingGrass plays from 9:30 to 11:30. You won’t want to miss them. They have so much fun playing that you can’t help having a good time.

Next Tuesday, the Audubon Center serves lunch and Rob Pommert plays.