around the farm

my brassica leaves are all holey and bitten, but after several weeks of relentlessly drowning green caterpillars, there are still some leaves, and more importantly, the prize in the middle. my first cauliflower! we’ve been harvesting broccoli galore as well- eating lots of it now and putting some in the freezer for later.

pink pearly cherry tomatoes grown from seed…

black cherry tomatoes grown from seed (oh how i love them. the color, the flavor, they are by far my favorite cherry tomato ever.)

i grew one brandywine tomato plant this year, and just as the autumn skies are starting to open and dump rain on them, they are all on the verge of ripeness. this was the first fully ripe one, and only one munch by a slug, huzzah! i am eating a lot of fresh tomatoes right now, and even canned a few pints of chopped tomatoes that i grew my very own self (i can a lot from the farmer’s market for all our winter tomato needs, but having enough at home to can is a milestone for me.)


there they are on the windowsill (background), awaiting their eventual demise in a tuna melt (foreground), pizza, tabbouleh, salsa fresca, or open face goat-cheese-tomato breakfast sandwich.

we’ve also been “farming” the wild edibles lately, foraging for elderberries, rosehips, early apples (only the early ones are ready at the  normal time this year… we’ll make another trip for later varieties), and lots of other goodies. i gathered some hawthorn berries, just to see what they are like to eat, in case i ever need to rely on them as a survival food, and just read in some herbal references that they are a tonic with specific benefits for the heart. interesting! i knew they were edible from the peterson guide, and i found a place where they are incredibly abundant. they are bright red, but when cooked you get a tan colored goo, tasty but could use a little elderberry juice for color appeal. 😉 i’ve also been gathering herbs and preparing to make some tinctures and oils and salves. however, the main “medicine” for us right now is a spoonful each of rosehips and elderberries each morning. vitamin C, iron, immune-booster and yummy! quinn is pictured above demonstrating how he cranks the food mill faster than the speed of light, and i will not for the last time sing the praises of the foley food mill, it is oh so handy for removing seeds and skins from tiny seedy berries.

we gathered some rosehips earlier in the season at a friend’s house, and the other day scavenged a good 6 pounds from near the crab dock. we happened to be there because we had a perfectly good tuna carcass that we were not inclined to waste, from the 26 pounds of tuna i had bought to can, and so we turned it into a tiny bit more protein in the form of a crab. i felt pretty proud of quinn and myself that day, as old timers were walking by us noting our catch after almost everyone was skunked, and we had the one keeper on the pier. for us, of course, it is mostly the being there and the doing it, for crabbing is quinn’s favorite thing ever, but the added delight for him of a successful catch was an added bonus. tuna carcass, by the way, makes excellent crab bait. and the hobbit is very good reading for in between sets. (this is still around the farm, because i figure if you can buy your tuna within a quarter mile radius of your home, it’s pretty much part of the farm.)

“roly-poly fish heads…..”

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