While the storm last week may not have been as dramatic as anticipated, it did deliver a large amount of water. All the ponds are full and cresting over the spillways. It is a relief to know that we have irrigation water for next year. It is hard to believe that last year at this time, they had not filled at all. Still, when the light appeared Thursday morning and we could see the fields, it was a bit overwhelming. The fields looked more like one large pond than areas of grass; there was white water in the drainages from the rushing water. And yet, by the afternoon most of the water had receded and the drainage flows had calmed.
With each additional rain, the large puddles return and are slower to disappear. Some of the plants in the flower field, as well as the strawberries, onions, and garlic in the big field, were sitting in water after the rain today. While I am loathe to complain about any rain, it would be nice to give the soil time to absorb this moisture and to let the plants dry out a little.
We are still learning about this farm: how the water moves, how the soil acts, which plants thrive at which times and where. It is delightful and humbling at the same time.
In the rain, the tasks have turned to construction. The windows are in on the chick barn, where the baby chicks will leave until they graduate to the mobile coop. Now we are building the deck and doors.
The animals are warm, dry and happy in the barns. I look forward to a time when they can have more space but I am also grateful for all the manure we are collecting.
We will be open this Friday from 2 pm to 5 pm. We will be closed the next two Fridays for the holidays. We will be making felted angels this week.
For this week, here is the list for sale:
- Brussel sprouts
- Purple and Fingerling Potatoes
- Winter Squash
The chard, collards, and kale will be freshly harvested and the rest has been previously harvested and stored. When we are growing year round next year, we hope and will plan to be able to offer even more diversity.
I thought this recipe looked delicious!
Fennel, Kale and Rice Gratin (Adapted from nytimes.com)
1 bunch black kale, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 ½ pounds bulb fennel, trimmed, quartered, cored and chopped (about 4 cups chopped)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 large garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup chopped fresh dill
½ cup milk
1 cup cooked rice, preferably short-grain
3 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (3/4 cup)
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet and add onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes, and add fennel. Cook, stirring often, until the fennel begins to soften. Add salt to taste and continue to cook, stirring often, until the fennel is very tender and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and kale, stir together for until the kale is wilted and lightly cooked, then stir in dill. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 2-quart gratin or baking dish. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Whisk in milk and salt to taste (I use about 1/2 teaspoon). Stir in fennel and kale mixture, rice and Gruyère, and combine well. Taste and adjust seasonings. Scrape into baking dish. Drizzle on the remaining tablespoon of oil. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until set and the top and sides are beginning to color. Remove from oven and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. This is good hot, warm, or room temperature.