Seeds, Soil, and Zucchini
In need of a marvelous thought experiment with practical implications on this hot sunny afternoon? Try this. Consider that the food you are buying from our farm is quite literally the reorganization of our soil and water with the help of sunlight into basil and arugula, potatoes and onions, and our favorite watermelons. That's why we care so much for the health of our soil, and are continually astounded at the variety and richness of the foods we grow. We try to keep chemicals out of our soil and therefore out of your food.
Our CSA shareholders and farmers market friends get a taste of our food, and in a way, they therby get a taste of Muddy Pumpkin Farms' soil in its beautifully altered form, transformed by a little seed into a plant which has such unique roots or fruits we just want to share them with our neighbors. But since you can't taste all that's going on at the farm this summer, we thought you might be a little curious about what else is happening here, what you might see if you dropped by for a visit.
First of all, we have our perennial crops, including fruit trees and brambles: apple, pear, raspberry, chokeberry, elderberry, cranberry, and cherry. Having fresh raspberries so close at hand is quite the treat, mixed with ice cream, or baked into a sweet kuchen, which LeAnn made yesterday.
We play card games like Pitch, which we played last night. We have done some kayaking on the Missouri and White Rivers. This is a great way to beat the heat, as is swimming at our favorite watering holes. The Missouri River reservoir is finally on its way down again, but it has done its damage, and our fields remain dry. We are currently spending lots of time trying to keep everything watered and alive in the midst of this heat wave. Drip irrigation is an effective way to water around here, but we'd prefer rain.
We go to markets to see all our neighbors. That's you! Come see us and buy our produce. Tomatoes and melons will be arriving shortly!!! We think tomatoes will be ready for market this coming week, and the first melons to mature will likely be Yellow Dolls. If you haven't tried a Yellow Doll, you'll be in for a treat.
We are building some new infrastructure, which comprises the backbone of our operation. Matt is working on a wash house and a cold room. Mark is exploring novel outlets for local, homegrown, and healthy food, like restaurants and schools.
All this makes for busy lives at the farm. Last week we welcomed Alex, another WWOOFer, as she joins Chris in helping with the daily grind of weeding, watering, and market preparing your food.
We're in the height of zucchini season here, so on off days when we aren't going to market, we have to find creative ways to eat or preserve these healthy summer squash. LeAnn has made some batches of bars (just substitute grated zucchini for carrots in a carrot bar recipe). She also made Brett's famous chocolate zucchini cake, a purple ribbon winner at the South Dakota State Fair and printed in A Taste of Prairie Life by Loaun Vaad: email or message us for that recipe. We froze bags of zucchini, some sliced and some grated. Matt stir-fried it with other garden veggies to put on rice. And last night, Alex and Mark baked a variation on this recipe for stuffed zucchini, only they used quinoa rather than millet (our preference) and ricotta rather than feta (not our preference--we just didn't have any feta on hand).