We harvested the rest of our winter squash and pumpkins today. The heat was incredible. The jack-o-lanterns were so hot they were soft; some of them were even wrinkly and starting to rot. When we returned to the barn, we found that the small ones we had placed in front of the steps were in the same state. They were so beautiful on Friday and now many seem to be unusable.
The turkeys were moved out to a mobile coop today. The move always makes them rather nervous but they should settle in and adjust to their new home. We are working to spread compost and till the fields so that we can plant cover crop in preparation for winter.
This week's pick list:
- Sunflower heads
- Decorative pumpkins
- Lettuce Mix
- Zucchini and summer squash
- Hot peppers
- Basil. dill, cilantro, and parsley
- Pick your own cherry tomatoes and tomatillos (located in the flower field)
We will be offering whole sunflower heads this week. They are beautiful to look at and fun to process. Here is a thorough description of how to process and roast them.
Roasted Sunflower Seeds (adapted from vegetablegardener.com)
Lay them flat on a covered table and rub the front of the sunflower heads. The seeds will easily pop out.Carefully go through the seed pile and pick out undesirable pieces of stem, etc.
If you'd rather have unsalted seeds, skip this whole section and go straight to roasting. For salted seeds in the shell, you'll need a bowl or other container with a couple of quarts of water. Add about 1/3 - 1/2 cup of table salt to the water, add the sunflower seeds, and let them soak in the salt water overnight. Another way to get the salt onto the shells is to put the salt water and seeds in a pot and let it simmer for 2 hours on the stove.
The next day, drain the salt water from the seeds and lightly dry them with a paper towel. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. *Spread your seeds on a large cookie sheet and let them roast for 30-40 minutes in the oven. You can stir them around after 20 minutes or so, if you'd like. You'll want to watch for the seeds to become a little brown and looking crisp - or you can pull them out when they just look dry. Be careful because the seeds can easily burn near the end.