The other new development is the breaking ground on our NEW passive solar high tunnel (like a greenhouse, but unheated). It's going to be about twice the size of our other two tunnels, and it will be ready by the fall. We are excited for the project because we had such successful winter markets this past year that we want to be even better this winter. And you have to think in advance, which is why we are building now. In the photos above, you can see our greenhouse and the chicken house in the background. The tunnel is located below our "pole shed," which is our tractor garage. The photo on the right shows where we have our drainage tiles put in, which will insure that the tunnel is never too wet. We will keep posting photos as it develops!
Our recipes this week focus on two of Jenni's crops: carrots and sweet onions. We wanted to highlight carrots because summer carrots are a little different than winter ones: they are tougher to grow. To grow carrots this time of year, the watering has to be perfect, and the weed control must be properly managed. Carrots are very slow growing, and when the weeds grow quickly, they rapidly overwhelm the baby carrots. A customer asked us last weekend how we had carrots right now, and naturally, the answer was "Because we're that good." It's true. We are. But last year, we struggled to get it right, and it didn't work out, and we weren't able to have carrots during the summer.
The second veggie highlight is our sweet onions, like a Walla Walla or a Vidalia (different varieties). These onions are freshly picked, and not cured, so they are clear white fleshed--no dry layers to peel. Our sweet onions are mild, and not sharp. An added benefit to using sweet onions: no tears when you chop them!
Heather found some amazing recipes featuring both of these items!
-Grilling carrots gives them a smoky and sweet flavor that is only accentuated with any citrus juice.
-Carrots and apples should never be stored together in the fridge! Apples (and tomatoes, and other fruits) give off ethylene during the ripening process. Carrots are extremely sensitive to ethylene and will become bitter with exposure. So when storing the two, keep them wrapped up in plastic and separated!
Simple Citrus and Mint Grilled Carrots
1 lb carrots, trimmed, topped, halved and cut into ~ 3 in long pieces
2 tbsp olive oil juice
zest of one lemon or lime
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp mint, minced
salt and coarse black pepper to taste
1. Preheat your grill on high and turn to medium heat when ready to grill your prepared carrots. 2. Prepare dressing by whisking the citrus juice, zest, and honey together. Set aside. 3. Grill carrots on medium for 3-4 minutes on each side to create beautiful grill marks. 3. Remove from grill and toss the carrots with the dressing and mint. 4. Serve and enjoy! Serves 4.
- Sweet onions are best when served raw or only slightly cooked. They are not the sharp onions you want to use for soup bases and most cooking, but they are tremendously delicious cooked with pizza, quiche, and pasta. - Perfect for sandwich toppers.
Sweet Onion Mint Sauce
1 large Sweet Onion
chopped 2 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup packed fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
salt and coarse black pepper to taste
1. Combine all ingredients except the mint, salt and pepper into a food processor and blend until smooth.
2. Add the mint and season to taste.
Perfect for grilled chicken, carrots, mushrooms, or vegetable kebobs!
Sweet Onion and Sungold Bruschetta
1 medium sweet onion, medium dice
1 pt sungold cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup black olives
2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
1 tbsp fresh basil, sliced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic,
minced salt and coarse black pepper to taste
1. Smash the sungolds in bowl with your hands. In a separate bowl, do the same with the black olives and remove the pits. 2. Combine into one bowl and add all other ingredients. Serve with a crusty bread and mascarpone cheese or fresh mozzarella.
The Land Connection -- Carrots: Nutritional Powerhouse
Chilled soup! Carrot and Summer Squash
And, obviously, CARROT CAKE. As Street Art. In Helsinki. WHAT!