Heritage Harvest Farm

  (Galion, Ohio)
Heritage Harvest Farm
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Pesto in a Pinch

Pesto in a Pinch

This recipe uses walnuts instead of expensive pine nuts. It's a delicious alternative to authentic pesto and is a great way to preserve fresh basil for the winter.

5 cups fresh basil (Heritage Harvest Farm product)

4 garlic cloves

1/3 cup walnuts

6 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon lime (or lemon) juice

1. Get out the food processor from your pantry or closet and dust it off.

2. Toss the garlic cloves, walnuts, cheese and 1 cup of basil leaves into the processor. Add oil and lime juice. Flip the switch to on and it's go, baby, go until a smooth paste forms.

3. Shut off the processor and add the remaining basil. Switch it on again until all the basil is chopped and incorporated into the pesto paste.

4. Spoon pesto into a clean ice cube tray and pop it into the freezer. In a few hours, your pesto should be frozen and you can remove the pesto cubes from the tray. Toss the cubes into a freezer bag, and you're done.

When you want homemade pesto in January, simply thaw out your required amount and enjoy!

 
 

Marvelous Meatballs

I have been so busy on the farm and preparing for market days this month that I haven't had time to even think about posting on my blog.

As requested, I'm posting more recipes. Here's one of my family favorites: Marvelous Meatballs, made with local beef from Rus-Men Farms, Galion, Ohio, and Heritage Harvest Farm products.

Marvelous Meatballs

1 pound locally raised ground beef (Rus-Men Farms)

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

2 teaspoons dried Italian Seasoning (Heritage Harvest Farm)

Fresh, chopped basil and parsley for garnish (Heritage Harvest Farm)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.

3. Shape 1-inch meatballs, and place on a cookie sheet.

4. Bake for 15 minutes, or until brown and slightly crusty on the bottom. Turn meatballs over on cookie sheet to brown other side, bake for another 10 - 15 minutes.

5. To serve, nestle meatballs on platter of your favorite pasta and sauce. Sprinkle with fresh basil, parsley and more Parmesan cheese.

Makes about 12 meatballs.

 
 

Ah, Nature!

I should have known it was best to keep my mouth closed, but I had been thinking this thought for a few weeks: I haven't seen any snakes yet this year.

Last night, Matt and I were talking about the farm after I had put Fletcher  to bed: the concrete, more greenhouses, the plants...etc. I just so happened to mention to him that it was funny that I hadn't seen any snakes while I planted all those tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers and melons. We didn't see any when we planted the sunchokes. He agreed, telling me that we was on the look-out while he moved some wood to mow yesterday, but didn't see any either.

After the rain stopped this afternoon, Fletcher and I went outside so I could get some work done and he could play Power Ranger on the rock pile. I had been wanted to dig up a few lilac suckers to transplant elsewhere on the farm and decided today was a good day.

Before I could "get down to business," I had to move a couple rocks that I have outlining the flowerbed with my lilac shrub. Of course, I saw what is quite possibly a native trantula species that has yet to be discovered by scientists. It was hairy...it was big...it was FAST. It scurried underneath another rock that I most definitely avoided as I dug up my lilac starts. I hope it's still there because now I know where it is.

I continued my project, eyeing the spider rock every once in a while (OK, it was probably every other minute, but who's counting?). I was able to get about nine starts dug and potted before I saw something in the lilac shrub.

A brown anaconda slithered through the branches of the lilac, right where I was pruning back a couple dead branches. YIKES! OK, it was a brown garden snake, about six inches long. I know that's no where near anaconda size, but for me, they're all anacondas ...or pythons...or cobras, you get the idea.

I tried to smash it with my shovel, but alas, it got away, slithering into a hole (I assume because I can't find it now). I poked my shovel in and around the lilac, trying to force it out so I could whack the thing. Darn survival skills! The snake was gone and was not coming back while I was there.

I decided my pruning and digging project was good enough. I meant to have a lopsided shrub, I swear! I thought about putting out a sign so the neighbors would know why it looks like that. Something like: "Will continue to prune once snake is found and removed."

For now, my lilac has a mullet: short in the front and long in the back ... just how nature intended.

 
 

Fettuccine alla Carbonara

As promised... a recipe using ingredients from Heritage Harvest Farm!

This recipe calls for bacon, but I had a lot of small pieces of ham left over from Easter, so I subsituted to use what I had on-hand. To come up with a rich sauce, use real butter instead of margarine.

It's a great Italian meal when spaghetti is becoming tiresome. Serve with warmed Heritage Harvest Farm's braid bread and a spinach salad for a complete meal.

A picture of last night's dinner is posted on our Facebook page.

Enjoy!

Fettucine all Carbonara

6 ounces dried fettucini pasta

1 egg (Heritage Harvest Farm product), beaten

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup cubed ham or 6 sliced cooked bacon

Parmesan cheese

Fresh chopped parsley (Heritage Harvest Farm product)

Freshly cracked black pepper

1. Cook pasta according to directions.

2. While pasta is cooking, combine butter, milk and beaten egg into medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until sauce coats the back of a metal spoon, about 6 - 8 minutes. Stir frequently. Do Not Boil, or your eggs will curdle.

3. Once pasta is cooked, drain it and pour the sauce over it. Add your ham or bacon and stir to coat pasta.

4. Serve immediately with parmesan cheese, parsley and pepper.

 
 

Happy Earth Day!

This week's entry will be short...I'm running low on nap time and hear Fletcher starting to stir.

Happy Earth Day! It's one of the few important holidays that Hallmark and WalMart haven't blown up into an imported-plastic-decoration-and-greeting-card nightmare.

Please plant something today (or whenever the weather permits). A single tree, shrub, perennial, vegetable, herb, etc. does its part to better the Earth. Even if it's a flat of pansies, I hope you'll get out into your yard, spend some time outside with your family and enjoy the beauty of plants.

Today, I've been planting trees from the Morrow County Soil and Water Conservation annual tree sale that Matt and his FFA students packaged this week. I know, I know, they're just a foot tall. What difference does that make? It will take some time, but I believe in planting for future generations. Every year, trees grow stronger and more beautiful.

Gotta go ... heard my boy on the monitor call for Mommy. Just get out there and plant!

 

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For the Love of Gardening

Because Matt is on spring break this week, we've been taking every opportunity to get a lot of outside work done. You know, the muscle work. He's built compost bins, fixed the chicken yard fence and cultivated the poly tunnel (sure beats using the ol' pitchfork.).

Wednesday, we decided to take a break and make the rounds to the Amish stores that dot St. Rt. 314 between Johnsville and Chesterville. That's where I buy most of the seasonings for my mixes, as well as cheese and baking supplies. There are also a couple bent-and-dent groceries in which we purchase a lot of canned goods for pennies.

This trip, however, we wanted to stop by a greenhouse owned and operated by an Amish couple to see how far along they were with their plants. We pulled in the driveway and discovered three HUGE greenhouses. Matt kept driving around the house, and we saw another greenhouse in the back of the property and one attached to their home.

Annie popped her head out the door of their house, and Matt asked her if they were open.

"Oh yes," she called out. "Just go around and you can look in any of the greenhouses."

The outside wasn't much to look at ... just uilitarian and purposeful. Roman came out of the vegetable greenhouse and asked us if we wanted vegetables or flowers.

"Both," I said. as I followed him inside. Once I stepped in, it was like I was walking into the "Secret Garden." It seemed as though I could walk forever, floating my hands over the tops of pepper and tomato plants.

Matt began telling Roman that we were newbies to commerical gardening, and that's when the lights went on in Roman's eyes. He shared so much wonderful information and gave us the "25-cent" tour of all the greenhouses, including the one in his basement. We talked about germinating, heating the germinator and greenhouses, seeds and potting soil.

Matt and I felt so honored that they would allow us to go into their home and be so forthcoming of his methods for gardening. It was so inspiring to listen to his advice and encouraging that Matt and I seem to be on the right path toward our gardening goals.

Annie, who I'm simply in love with because of her friendly nature, was sure to give Fletcher a flower just for visiting, and he was delighted. He wanted to put it right by his "seat belt" in his car seat.  

This was just the trip we needed to get our behinds in gear!

 
 

Treasure Unearthed Today

With rain forecasted for today and tonight, I was desperate to get outside and work on the south bed of the poly tunnel this morning. Matt had gone over it with the tiller over the weekend, but I really needed to get in there with my pitchfork and work up the sod and break up the clumps of clay.

With all this work in Mommy's agenda, you'd think that Fletcher would be a little bit more understanding. He's got a playhouse full of toys, chalk and miles of concrete to make "pretty pictures" and two dogs to chase and yell "bad boy" to while I get my hands and boots dirty. Ah, no. This was not the case for today.

Fletcher was good for about half an hour, which was enough time for me to work up about a third of the south bed. "Too cold, Mommy... too cold," he informed me. "Go in?"

"Just let me get half-way done, baby, and then we'll go in."

Two seconds later ... "Too cold, Mommy. My go in?"

"Just a few more minutes." I begged, knowing that five minutes is an hour in toddler time. I had to think about how I could entertain Fletcher while I could get my work done when he's obviously miserable and the weather is turning for the worse.

It hit me: "Oh my gosh, Fletcher," I called out. "Look what Mommy found! It's a dinosaur bone."

"T-Rex, Mommy?" he asked. He ran from the back door to where I was knealt down in the dirt.

"I think so! Here's another one," I said as I pulled another rock from the dirt. With Fletcher's supervision, we found at least another six dinosaur bones, probably because that's the amount of dinosaur names I can remember from Nick Jr.'s "Dino Dan."

Farm mommies have to be inventive when it comes to balancing work with entertaining the kids. Who knew Galion was such a dinosaur-bone hotspot? I'll have remeber this one for the next time I've got an antsy boy. Hey, at least I got another 10 minutes to work on this chore.

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The Joys of Being a Farm Mommy

My son, Fletcher, offically turns two-and-a-half today, marking quite a milestone. Well, it's not really a milestone, per se, but it is a big deal to him! He's a big boy, and along with being a big boy comes farm chores.

While Fletcher is reluctant to help Mommy with chores, like feeding the chickens and dogs or weed the garden, one thing he really seems to like is picking worms out of the mud and tossing them into his "whum" bucket and feeding them to Rosie and Roxie (his favorite hens). Then I am reminded not to forget the "Whu-ster." 

Now, when I say he likes to pick the worms out of the mud, what I really means is that Mommy does it and holds them in her hand while Fletcher observes from a safe and clean distance. When he's told to drop them into his worm bucket, he replies, "Mommy do it."

Ah, the joys of being a "farm mommy." You know what I mean. It's knowing that introducing your children to the country life is something that will, hopefully, blossom into a lifelong love. Last summer was spent just wandering around outside with Fletcher as he discovered toads and bugs and acorns and wildflowers. We learned that acorns are an awesome load to haul in his dump truck. I am sure that this summer will be more of the same. But, do we ever really grow out of discovering what resides in our back yard, no matter how big or small? Are we ever too "grown up" to pick dandelions? I don't think so.

So, I am cherishing this time Fletcher and I have together. It won't be long before "Mommy" becomes just plain, old "Mom," But, I'm alright with that.

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From the Farm

Hello from Heritage Harvest Farm! This is our first blog, so I'm very excited to share a lot of news with farm followers.

First, I have been starting a lot of seeds since the middle of February in preparation for spring. I've got onions, celery, cauliflower, Swiss chard, lettuce, radishes and a few herbs either in trays or in the cold frame.

This weekend will be my big seed-starting day! I've got all those tomatoes, eggplant and pepper seeds to get in trays. I've already used two bags of potting soil, and I'm going to have to grab Fletcher and drive to the store to get more! I'll have to turn on the grow cart for the first time of the year!

I also started a few flats of zinnias and cosmos so they are ready for the first week of May (when Northside Farmer's Market will begin for the season). I have more flower seeds to start, but will wait until next week.

Baby chicks should also be hatching next week, and over the next couple of weeks. I keep adding eggs to the incubator in hopes that we'll have success to either sell the chicks or processed freezer meat, or add the hens to our flock. I have been posting ads on craigslist for the eggs and now for the chicks.

Any money we make from the sale of produce, eggs, chicks or meat goes toward the sustainability and renovation of our farm. There are plans to add an orchard and berry patch this year, and we have a lot of excavation to increase our usable land, What we have is small, but we're determined to make it mighty!

 
 
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