Saturday, December 18, 2010

Last Call For Local Produce!

Okay folks...this is THE VERY VERY LAST market of 2010!
I'm both sad and happy....
Sad it's over and won't see your friendly faces every week.  Happy to take a little bit of a rest and plan for next years market season!
So...we hope we get to see you today at the Bayview Holiday Market, 10 to 2, INSIDE the Bayview Hall!  We will bringing some fresh produce and lots of great locally grown gift items.
Check out -
* Cabbage
* Leeks
* Potatoes - We will have small and large 10 lb bags
* Garlic
* Jerusalem Artichokes
* Winter Squash
* Onions
* Dry Beans
* Garlic Flakes
* Garlic Braids
* Locally Grown Grains!  Emmer, Kamut and Purple Barley from my friends and neighbors
Also....we have GREAT gift boxes full of Willowood Farm favorites or...buy the box from us and stuff it with locally grown produce and crafts from all the great vendors at Bayview Market.
Hope to see you today!
Farmer Georgie
Willowood Farm of Ebey's Prairie

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Locovores Alert - Local Food Gifts for the Holiday's!

It's been quite a week!  Snow, seriously chilly temperatures, lots of wind, than Thanksgiving and now the first of four Bayview Holiday Markets! 
That's right, I'm back up to my early morning Saturday ways, getting ready for a market that will feature all your favorite Bayview Farmer's Market vendors, with lots of great holiday gift ideas, only INSIDE the Bayview Hall!  Yeah!
And here at Willowood Farm we have been busy elves, cleaning beans, dehydrating garlic and wrapping up gift boxes so we have LOADS of great local food gifts perfect for the holidays.
* Dry Bean Bags!  Finally, we have (almost) all the dry beans threshed and dried.  Lots of selection today with all sorts of cool heirloom dry beans.
* Garlic Flakes.  These are dehydrated flakes of Willowood Farms great garlic.  No better way to keep fresh garlic flavor for ages and ages and in an easy to use way as well!  A favorite of our friend Vicky from Little Brown Farm!
* Nootka Rose Garlic Braids.  So beautiful and a great way to store garlic!
* Food Gift Boxes - We are offering several food gift boxes this year.  A Garlic Lover's Gourmet Gift Box, a Bean Lover's Gift Box and our "Harvest Feast" Gift Box.  All are presented in attractive REAL wood slatted boxes that are great for re-use later.  We are bringing a number to market today, or you can come check them out and order for pick-up at any of the next three markets before Christmas.
And because, well, we are all about veggies, we went out and scoured the fields for the "after the big chill" pick.  Amazingly enough, we got some stuff too!  So make sure to come by the market if you are hankering for some great local veggies like:
* Potatoes!  10 lb and 2 lb bags.  All fabulous gourmet varieties and perfect for the holidays.
* Baby Head Lettuce. Yes, this may just be the last head lettuce til spring!  Picked right before the big chill sent in by a frantic farmer.
* Kale!  This actually survived the weather.  Love, love, love the kale!
* Winter squash.  Happily tucked away in our space heater heated "warm room."
* Garlic!  Still some lovely garlic left.
* Red Cippolini onions.
* Cabbage!  Green, red and savoy.  Another survivor of the"big chill" we were happy to find.
So, we hope to see you tomorrow!  Or one of the next four Saturdays.  The market will run usual market time, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Bayview Hall right at the far end of where the market is during the summer.  Hope to see you there!

Farmer Georgie
Willowood Farm of Ebey's Prairie

Saturday, October 30, 2010

What? It's Over Already?

 That's right folks, today is the last Bayview market of the season!  (Well, until we start the indoor holiday market on Nov. 27th!). But for the main season, well, today is it.  And with the close of the markets and shortening of the days comes a lot of reflection on the season - the good, the bad and the tasty.
So here's a quick run, down, by season touching on some of the highlights...
The Winter into Spring - Jan through May.  Was wet.  That's pretty normal.  Did have some quite warm/dry spells in early March, enough to get some plantings in of early greens.  Planted lettuce (about 3000 plants); sewed 3000 row feet of greens like mustards, arugula, spinach, planted about 1500 row feet of brassicas (cauliflower, cabbages, broc); planted about an acre of potatoes and about 1/2 acre of onions.  Weeded and fertilized 8000+ garlic plants.  Planted three acres of dry beans.  A 1/2 acre of winter squash.  Worked on building a 20x48 foot greenhouse.
The Summer - June through Sept.   Cooler and wetter than many of past years.  Although not an unusual summer for this Whidbey Island born and raised girl.  Finished the greenhouse and planted out 70 some tomato plants.  Seeded basil.  Weeded (or at least tried to), fertilized and bug-managed all the crops previously noted as planted (eek!).  Harvested garlic in July.  Sprayed compost tea.  Re-planted multiple successions of many plants - lettuce 2x (about 4000 plants),  planted about 4000 row feet of fall/winter veggies. Picked and picked and picked some more!
The Fall into Winter - September until now.  Wet, wet fall!  Our almost ALWAYS dry and beautiful summer we got buckets of rain causing havoc with all sorts of curing crops.  Harvested about 6000 pounds of potatoes, a couple more 1000 pounds still to be dug.  Beginning pulling dry beans and attempting to dry them in complicated fashions involving a semi-dump truck, lots of fans and a propane heater.  Onions same story - came out of the field WET.  Garlic almost all molded in the barn til we created a "dry room" installed we a heater and de-humidifier.  Amazingly enough, we got some winter squash all the cool summer meant production was off probably 50 percent. Planted another 2000 heads of lettuce for late fall harvest (not quite ready yet).  Kept picking.  And harvesting.  And picking.
What's Left?  Well..we start planting garlic this week and lots of that to do!  We have over-wintering greens to plant into the hoophouse, rows to be weeded and mulched for the winter and lots of cover crop to seed.  Still got some potatoes left to dig. Oh...and about another 1000+ dry beans to thresh, clean and bag! 
That's the great thing about farming in the Pacific Northwest - the fun never stops!
And now, since I know you are all drying to know what we'll be bringing to market today...here is the list:
* Dry Beans - Rockwells and Black Cocos!  These sold out FAST last week so we stocked up quite a bit more for this week. 
* Mesclun bags
* Arugula bags
* Leek bunches
* Winter squash
* Potatoes - including our 10 lb storage bags at reduced pricing!
* Garlic - stock up your pantry and we will still have a bit of seed garlic as well - not to late to plant!
* Jerusalem Artichokes (aka sunchokes).  A tasty fall/winter crop!
* Beets - red, pink and golden types!
* Rainbow carrots from our good friends at Prairie Bottom Farm
* Cippolini onions
* Chard
* Kale
* Collards
* Kohlrabi
And probably something more I'm forgetting!
So hope to see you at market today!
Farmer Georgie
Willowood Farm of Ebey's Prairie

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Winter Squash - It warms your tummy!

I was talking to a friend a few days back who mentioned how good - and versatile - winter squash was.  She had just had a fabulous stromboli stuffed with one of our Jarradhale Pumpkins in a fabulous curry sauce courtesy of the ever-creative Chef Kim at Pickles Deli in Clinton.  It was yummy, yummy but my favorite comment was how the dish "warmed my tummy."
That's really a great description for Winter Squash and Pumpkins and perhaps that is why they are such a fabulous fall and winter food!  But so, so many folks seem intimidated by the Squash/Pumpkin family, maybe they buy them for a pretty display on their porch our countertop - but they never know what to do with them!

So...since ironically enough, we are bringing LOTS of winter squash to the Bayview Market today...Let's talk Squash (and Pumpkins).
First of all, their is no botanical difference between squash and pumpkins.  Pumpkins are merely a "culinary" (and usually appearance) designation with pumpkins usually earning the name for their orange color and round shape.  For culinary purposes, pumpkins are said to be denser and heavier than most "squash" varieties but I really don't find that true.  In reality, it's more just a tradition of what a particular variety has been called.  For instance, the fabulous Jarradhale "Pumpkin" is actually a beautiful blue/grey color rather than orange.  It does have a classic pumpkin shape, however...
There are four botanical classifications for winter squash/pumpkins - Cucurbita Pepo (mostly little ones like acorns and delicatas), Cucurbita Moschata (not so common, mostly "cushaw" types), Cucurbita Mixta (medium ones, includes butternut and lots of pie pumpkins) and Cucurbita Maxima (the big ones...hubbards!).
Along with colors and shapes, their can be a wide variance in the flavor and texture of pumpkins and squash (btw, "Jack o' Lantern" type pumpkins while yes, technically "edible" are usually so stringy of texture they are next to impossible to do anything with if you cook them...). 
Here's a quick run-down on some of the varieties we offer:
* Jarradhale.  Blue/Grey Australian pumpkin.  Very hearty, rich, dense flesh.  Great for savory dishes or soup.
* Winter Luxury Pie Pumkin.  Out of this world pie pumpkin.  Heirloom from the 1800s with orange "netted" skin.  Very light, sweet flesh.  Perfect for pie, cheesecake, ice cream, muffins...
* Red Kuri.  A Japanese "Kabocha" type.  Orange, tear-drop shaped.  Dry, nutty flavor reminiscent of hazelnut.  Great for savory dishes or soup.
* Spaghetti Squash.  Sweet, lightly color flesh that when baked, you can use a fork to make "strings" with and use in place of pasta.
* Sweet Meat.  A blue-gray hubbard type.  Known for it's dense, very sweet flesh.  Great for baked squash or in pies!
* Delicata - Small, striped winter squash.  Very pretty.  Thin-skinned.  You can steam whole and cut with the skins intact.  Sweet delicate flavor.
* Sweet Dumpling.  Relative of the Delicata only round shape.  Very sweet, thin skinned.  Great to stuff and serve individually.
* Australian Cheese.  Interesting pink-orange color.  Very sweet, dense flavor.  Good for baked squash, for desserts...
* Uncle David's Dessert Buttercup.  Dense, sweet and hearty.  Great baked type.  Smaller, dark-green color.
And probably a few more...
The other great thing about winter squash/pumpkins is THEY KEEP!  Keep them someplace where they will be in the 50 degree temperature and nice and dry (decorating a table or countertop is ideal!) and most varieties will last several months in not many, many months (the thicker the skin, the longer they keep) and not only will they keep, but most varieties get sweeter in storage.  So stock up - and enjoy!

And since you might want to know what else we are bringing to market today...Here is the list coming to the Bayview Farmer's Market
* Winter Squash and Pumpkins (in case you didn't read about wall o' text and just skipped straight here)
* The LAST of the tomatoes!  Ripe heirlooms, slicers, beefsteaks, green ones.  No more - we are pulling the vines next week!
* Mesclun bags
* Arugula bags
* Beet bunches
* Carrot bunches
* Potatoes of all sorts - including 10 lb storage bags at a better price - so stock up!
* Garlic - food grade and still seed grade available for planting
* Leeks
* Onions
* Kale
* Chard
* Dry Beans - Rockwell's and Black Coco's this week!
And we here Mikey from Whidbey Green Goods is bringing some green beanies (Roma's I think) he pulled from his hoophouse this week.  That's awful late for green beans so enjoy the special treat while you can get them!
Hope to see you at Bayview Market today!
Farmer Georgie
Willowood Farm of Ebey's Prairie
P.S.  And a few recipes...



Jarrahdale Mashed Potatoes with Garlic and Horseradish

The Jarrahdale cooks up very well with the potatoes and
adds a light and fresh flavor. The low sugar of the pumpkin
can't be tasted and the garlic and horseradish give a piquant
zing that spices up this old favorite.

1 Jarrahdale Pumpkin
6 medium sized Yukon Gold potatoes
4 cloves garlic, diced
1/4 C butter
1/4 C cream
1/4 C chopped horseradish
salt and pepper to taste
parmesan cheese to taste

Heat Jarrahdale in 250 oven for 25 minutes. Cool, halve and scoop out flesh.
Microwave potatoes with holes poked in them for about 12 minutes.
Skin potatoes if desired and then dice them.
Add potatoes, squash, cream and butter to a pot on medium heat.
Mash as the potatoes cook down and become tender, about 25 minutes.
Add more cream if the potatoes become stiff or dry.
Add garlic, horseradish, salt and pepper. Cook for another 5 - 10 minutes.
Serve in the Jarrahdale Pumpkin and top with parmesan cheese.







Nutty Renee’s Red Kuri Soup
(Named in honor of my mother, Renee, who came up with this recipe featuring the rich, hazelnut-reminiscent flavor of Red Kuri winter squash.  Peanut butter brings out the creamy sweetness of the squash but be careful to not overdo it as the peanut can also easily overpower the delicate flavors)

Ingredients
2 cups Red Kuri squash
2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup pine nuts
¼ cup finely chopped onion
½ cup milk
¼ cup (no more) quality peanut butter (like Adams)
Baby spinach leaves or arugula, for garnish

Cut Red Kuri squash in half, scoop out seeds and roast until soft.  Roasting the squash is important as it partially caramelizes the vegetable, which is great for the flavors.  Cool and scoop out flesh.  Mix with chicken stock in food processor until smooth.
In large saucepan saute the pine nuts and onions in the olive oil until soft.  Cool and chop coarsely (in food processor if possible).  Add squash and simmer the entire mixture.
15 minutes before serving add milk and peanut butter, stir well.  Do not boil after this.
Garnish with baby spinach leaves or arugula and serve.  Other squash or pumpkins can be substituted, but be sure to roast!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Are we slowing down yet? Heck no!

That's what people keep asking me.  "Things must be slowing down at the farm?"  My answer is "yes and no."
Yes, they are slowing down in the sense there isn't as much daylight so we literally CAN'T be working out in the fields as much.  (Does anybody know a good source for floodlights to light up about 8 acres?  Just kidding!...Mostly.)  However,  when we do have daylight there is sure still LOADS to be done.
What Farmer Georgie looks like after a day digging potatoes!
This last week of dry/sunny weather has been a huge boon for FINALLY getting all the very late maturing dry beans pulled and to cure. We finished the last row yesterday so that means next week we can get back on digging potatoes, only maybe 2000 or 3000 more lbs of taters left to go!  Eek...
And then there are the overwintered crops that need to be weeded, fertilized and even planted....And garlic!  We must start planting garlic!  And overwintered onions!  And we need to pull all the tomato plants out and plant out the greenhouse to winter greens....And harvest the rest of the winter squash.  And pull up all the drip tape.  And disc all the empty fields and plant cover crop.  And, and, and....
Really...a farmer's work never REALLY ends.
And then of course, there are still three more Bayview Farmer's Markets to go as well.  And on that note (notice my very clever transition), let's get down to what I know most of you REALLY care about - what's fresh, young and vegetable like coming to market TODAY????
NOTE - There are NO MORE Coupeville Farmer's Markets til spring (wah-wah).  We have 3 more Bayview Farmer's Markets.  HOWEVER - soon (possibly next weekend) we will be starting "Endless Summer" with Rosehip Farm and Garden.  For those of you who haven't done this before, watch for an email from me.  We will combine available food from Willowood, Rosehip Farm and Garden and Prairie Bottom Farm (all 3 Coupeville area, organically grown - but not certified - small farms), and send you the list.  You order by the specified time.  We pick to order (first-come, first serve).  You come on Saturday to Rosehip Farm & Garden in Coupeville and pick up your food.   It's a GREAT way to keep on getting some great local harvest-time food, and for us local farmer's to keep on selling it!

ALSO - IF YOU PREORDERED POTATO OR BEAN BAGS DURING THE FARM TOUR IN SEPTEMBER - You are welcome to come by the market today and pick up today - what we have.  Due to our cool September we still don't have all the things on the orders ready (beans that still need to be threshed, and potatoes to be dug), but we do have some of it.  I will be emailing everybody shortly that hasn't already picked up at the markets about your preorder. 

And now, for the list...
Coming to the Bayview Market TODAY!
* Rockwell Beans!  That's right, the famous Rockwell Bean!  In 1 lb bags with my Grandma's amazing recipe on it!
* Potatoes, potatoes, potatoes. We LOVE our potatoes.  And we've got them in all shapes, sizes and colors - Yellow Finns, German Butterballs, Maris Pipers, Romanze, Mountain Rose, Purple Majesty, Peanut fingerling, Red Thumb fingerling, Ozette Fingerling....
* 10 lb Potato Bags!  This is a GREAT way to stock up for winter.  Reduced pricing and in mesh bags that are great for winter storage.
* Garlic - Food grade including 1.5 lb bags at reduced pricing!
* Garlic - Seed grade!  It's not too late to plant (we plant all the way up until Thanksgiving...).
* Chard
* Kale - multiple kinds!
* Collards
* Mesclun Bags - a new crop!
* Arugula Bags - a new crop!
* Onions - three flavors!
* Leeks!
* Winter Squash - oodles in gorgeous colors and shapes.  Perfect for fall decor and great to eat as well!
* Ornamental mini pumpkins and gourds
* Baby carrots
* Lots of BEAUTIFUL, SWEET HEIRLOOM TOMATOES!  Just about the last picking, so get them while still can!
And something we are surely forgetting....
Ah yes, Mikey from Whidbey Green Goods yes he has quite a few of lovely wild-picked mushrooms!
And since it's getting to be that time when I can actually start to see daylight, I better sign off and go pack the truck.  Hope to see you at market today!
Farmer Georgie
Willowood Farm of Ebey's Prairie


 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Harvest Festival Today!



Well, based on the wind hollowing and the pitter-patter of rain at my door, it's going to be a wild and woolly one for the biggest, best, and LAST Coupeville Farmer's Market of the season - Coupeville Harvest Festival!
For those of you who haven't attended the Coupeville Farmer's Market, well this is the one not to miss!  There were be all sorts of activities, including a crazy "Harvest Relay" with teams doing things like bowling mini pumpkins, and shelling Rockwell beans in a rocking chair.  All good fun to raise money for the Good Cheer Food Bank. 
And there are all sorts of "Giant" vegetable contests.  Giant zucchinis, giant onions and giant Pumpkins of course!  The annual Coupeville Giant Pumpkin weigh-off happens at the Coupeville Harvest Festival and it is always an impressive site when pumpkins have to be unloaded on pallets with a pallet fork!
Willowood and Prairie Bottom farms put on our MOST impressive food display of the year.  And if we don't amaze with the amount of food we bring, well then, I don't figure we've done our job. 
I think we'll do it, however. 
We've spent the last week compiling TWO wagon loads full of food. 
Including a 1000 lbs of so of really cool and yummy winter squash, 100+ ten pound bags of potatoes, 100 or so bags of Rockwell Beans, 30 or so bags of garlic, 60+ baby bags of fingerling and mixed colored baby potatoes, oodles of ten pound onion bags and then all the other extras like chard, collards, kale, leeks, tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, spinach, lettuce, carrots, beets, corn, kohlrabi, fennel, green beans, summer squash, braising green bunches, onions, food and seed garlic and, and, and more we are sure!
Yep...it's a lot of food!  We will be offering discounted specials on garlic, potatoes and onions to store for the winter.  We will also have a LARGE selection of all our favorite seed garlic available, so if you are thinking about growing your own this year, come down and check out what we've got.
Not to mention now is the time to buy the great heirloom pumpkins and winter squashes that will turn into fabulous pies, soups and other yummy dishes to warm your tummy as fall and winter weather set in for good.  So it is a great time to come down and stock up - no matter what the weather!
For those of you down at the Bayview market - we will have a limited offering down there.  Not to worry, back in force starting next week.
In the meantime - hope to see you in Coupeville!
Farmer Georgie,  off to brave the elements....
Willowood Farm of Ebey's Prairie

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Get Your Harvest On!

We've been in full-on harvest time mode here at the farm this past week.  Digging potatoes, curing (we hope) potatoes, drying beans, harvesting winter squash...It's a race against time as we desperately try to
"finish" the crops we've labored over all season, before the winter sets on in force.
The sunny weather we've had has been very very welcomed, of course!  We hear the weatherman is saying it might go away for a few days early this next week, but then hopefully come back for a bit longer.  So we hope!
So far, harvest time has been pretty good.  We've got somewhere in the neighborhood of 7000 lbs of potatoes dug and in the barn!  Yowser!  Probably another 3000 lbs or so to go?  Quite a potato yield we had this year!
We threshed out our first batch of Rockwell beans with much success and hope to thresh the rest today.  (And before I get a bajillion emails, yes we WILL HAVE SOME ROCKWELLS at market today.  Straight from the combine, not having received their final screening and bagging yet.  But if you are DESPERATE we will have a nice big basket for the Rockwell aficionados, you know who you are!...). 
We started harvesting some winter squash - granted they could be more "cured" and we are going to get a huge crop, but heck it's something!
So what does this mean you you? It means - fill up the pantry time of year!  I don't know about the rest of you, but there sure is something comforting about having a pantry full of healthy, nourishing, tasty food when the cold and dark days set come in earnest!
 We will be bringing this week the first of our 10 lb Potato Storage Bags.  These are mesh, 10 lb bags, by potato variety.  We still have some potatoes to dig, so we don't have the entire selection available this week, but we've got all the favorites - Yellow Finns, German Butterballs, Maris Pipers, Romance, Purple Majesty....Net bags are a great way to store potatoes for the winter - just keep them someplace dark, where they will stay cool but not too cool (in the 40s is perfect).  With those conditions, you should expect to have potatoes at least into January, if not longer.  I've stored them all the way until March.
We also will have our first selection of winter squash at the markets this weekend.  Yummy!  I love winter squash because it is not all GORGEOUS but it is so tasty, versatile and full of great nutrients (like beta-carotene) that are otherwise not easy to get in the winter.  And all wrapped up in an natural storage bag (no plastic needed!), it's hard winter shell!  We love to bake, mash, soup, roast, pie and just generally go crazy on winter squash!  I will caution, that with our cool, cool summer and wet fall, the squash is LATE this year and less "cured" than I normally like.  But that's okay, just use it on your kitchen table or countertop for a big of "fall color" and the warm inside temps will finish that ripening process.  Most winter squash only get sweeter the longer they age. 
So, hopefully we've teased your taste buds a bit and we'll see you at the markets today.  Only TWO MORE MARKETS LEFT IN COUPEVILLE!
Here's the "official" list coming to Bayview and Coupeville markets...
From Willowood Farm of Ebey's Prairie:
* Beet Bunches
* Leeks
* Torpedo, Ailsa Crag and Cippolini onions
* Garlic - food grade and seed grade
* Chard
* Kale
* Braising green bunches
* Collards
* Winter Squash
* Potatoes, potatoes, potatoes
* Shell Beans - probably the last week they will be available!
* Dried Rockwell Beans!
* Green Beans
* Tomatoes (Bayview only)
* Basil (Bayview only)
* Tomatillos (Bayview only)
From our friends at Prairie Bottom Farm
* Lettuce Mix
* Spinach - 2 kinds
* Arugula
* Cucumbers
* Winter Squash
* Carrots
* Beets
* Leeks
* Dill
* Fennel
* Summer squash
* Scallions
* Green Beans
From Mikey at Whidbey Green Goods (Bayview only)
* Cherry tomatoes
* Slicing tomatoes
* Mushrooms
* Apples
* Figs

Hope to see you at market!
Farmer Georgie
Willowood Farm of Ebey's Prairie

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sun? Sun? Sun? Perhaps it will be all okay...


Well, things are looking a bit more "sunny" this week.  Literally and figuratively!  Not only is the actual sun predicted to shine today and mostly prevail (except for apparently Sunday) for the following week, we seem to be making progress on the farm with our "emergency" drying procedures aimed at well, actually bringing into harvest some of the crops we've been working all summer to grow!
The ducks, however, thought all the rain was quack-tastic!

This past week we were able to create an "emergency bean dryer" out of my father's dump truck.  Mounted some pegboard up a few inches above the bed, installed some high-powered fans and a board to direct the air under the peg board and "voila" a bean dryer!  What's even better?  It seems to be working!  Our truckload of VERY soggy Rockwell Bean plants are, dare I say, dry enough to thrash perhaps even today!
Which is a VERY good thing considering we have at least 2 more truckloads of soggy Rockwell plants to go!  Not to mention the whole other 2 acres of different bean varieties!
I was also starting to panic about the garlic.  Which is normally just fine hanging out in the barn this time of year.  But not on this wet, wet fall!  The air was so wet that everything was starting to get damp, damp, damp.  And garlic doesn't like that!  Luckily, we had an extra cooler room to spare, which when rigged with a heater and a dehumidifier and what do we get - much happier garlic! (Not to mention a pleasantly warm, stinky room to hang out in!).
And even better, we had dry enough weather the past few days to get our first attempt at potato harvest!  Yee-haw!  We didn't have too much time and not near enough people, but...we were able to harvest 2 bins (1000+ total pounds) of potatoes out of two rows.  Wow!  That's some yield folks!
The jury is still out on the winter squash harvest - we need some more sun and warmth for that crop, for sure - but overall, definitely a more positive week to be a farmer this week than last!  Thank you sunshine!
But, I know you guys are all about one thing.  What yummy goodies can we expect to see at market today?  So, let's get right on it.
Shell beans - "pre-shelled."

One thing we are bringing in nice selection this week are shell beans. 
Shell beans, which most American's are not familiar with, are one of those great old-fashioned simple foods that use to be on everybody's plate come this time of year.  They aren't complicated - just beans that need to be shelled.  And oh so pretty and yummy. 
We will have several varieties to choose from and some recipes.  But basically, the deal with shell bean's is they are like a dry bean, only they aren't dry yet.  Which means they not only cook up quickly (figure 20 to 30 minutes, max), but they hold their shape well and are super sweet and creamy.  You do need to plan a bit of time to shell them.  But they come out of their pods quickly and it's a fun thing to do while drinking a glass of wine and enjoying a little fall sunshine!  We particularly enjoy them tossed with fresh pasta, fresh garlic, some sauteed kale greens and topped with a bit of Little Brown Farm's fabulous goat cheese!  (Available at Bayleaf in Coupeville for those of you who don't go to the Bayview Farmer's Market).
And now that I've rambled on WAY too long, let's get to the list!
Coming to the Coupeville and Bayview farmer's markets TODAY:
From Willowood Farm:
* Garlic - both seed (for planting) and food (for eating).  Nice selection of both!
* Head Lettuce - they are huge!
* Shell Beans - we have 3 kinds!  Peregion, Cannelini and Black Coco.
* Leek bunches
* Onions - Torpedoes (fabulous grilled!), Ailsa Crag (big and sweet) and Cippolinis (red & white!)
* Baby Pac Choi
* Kale  - Multiple kinds!
* Rainbow Chard
* Collards
* Potatoes of all sizes and colors
* Red Cabbage
* Some winter squash (just picked yesterday, needs to sit on your kitchen counter and look pretty and "ripen" a bit more!
* A few peppers!
* Tomatillos!
* A few tomatoes...
* And more...
From our friends at Prairie Bottom Farm
* Cucumbers galore - pickling, slicing, lemon, etc...
* Summer Squash
* Beet bunches
* Carrots
* Dill
* Spinach
* Arugula
* Lettuce Mix
* Chives
* Basil
* Scallions
And more...
Hope to see you at the market!
Farmer Georgie
Willowood Farm of Ebey's Prairie

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Can it GET any wetter?

It's wet.  Really, really wet.  I  haven't heard any report on how many inches we've gotten in the last few days, but it's been a lot.  We are SOGGY!  And with a currently predicted 90 percent chance of rain for today!
Wow.  And not in a good way.  Well, good for the late fall/overwintered seeds I planted out on Tuesday.  But NOT GOOD for the dry beans and winter squash that are trying to dry and ripen in the field.  Well...as I told a friend of mine who was trying to grow harvest grains in this soggy, soggy September, it's not over til it's over and the last plant from the fields are harvested.  (My friend responded by remarking, "Farmers are such gamblers!"  Well yes, we are.  Not to mention stubborn.).
Anyways, what can we do but carry on?  So we shall.  And are off to market today despite the likelihood of a really really soggy day (hence much less customers).  But hey, we've got plastic pants!
So, bring out the rubber boots and the umbrellas and the rain jackets, and head on down to commiserate with us!  It's PacNW fun time!
Coming to market today.....

From Willowood Farm:
- Head lettuce
- Beets

- Onions
- Potatoes

- Garlic
- Cabbage
- Baby Pac Choi
- Green (but not green) beans
- Shell Beans
- Garbanzo Beans
- A few tomatoes

And more....
From Prairie Bottom Farms

- Spinach (Coupeville only)
- Arugula (Coupeville only)
- Lettuce Mix (Coupeville only)

- Carrots
- Cucumbers
- Summer squash
- Dill
- Basil
And from Mikey at Whidbey Green Goods (Bayview only)
- Apples
- Mushrooms
- Tomatoes
- Figs
- Green Onions
See ya in the rain!
Farmer Georgie
Willowood Farm of Ebey's Prairie

Saturday, September 11, 2010

FARM TOUR

Farm tour this weekend!  Enuff said!  Hope to see you at the farm!
(p.s. we will have a small "selection" of goodies at the Bayview and Coupeville markets if you can't make the farm tour!).
Farmer Georgie out....

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ah...Garlic!

DON'T FORGET - It's the Whidbey Island Farm Tour next weekend, Sept. 11 & 12th.  Willowood Farm will be open to the public for the farm tour (we are not normally!).  So come check out the farm!  We will be focusing on garlic, garlic, garlic so come check out all our cool varieties, taste some garlic, make some braids, wander around our historic farm and play with the turkeys! 
And now back to our regularly scheduled topic....

GARLIC! GARLIC! GARLIC! 
The pay-off!  Big, beautiful bulbs!
That's right, garlic gets me so excited that I have to say it 3 times!  In bold!  And capitalized! With exclamation points!
Who DOESN'T love garlic?  (Okay, I know some people don't and that is just, I'm sorry...plain weird!).
Well, at Willowood Farm, we love garlic!  Enough to grow a whole heck of a lot of it.  Like about 20 varieties!
You see, there is garlic and then their is GARLIC!  We grow the good stuff.  Of which there are 100s of varieties.  Romantic names like Porcelains and Rocamboles and Glazed Purple Stripes.  All with big cloves, big bulbs and outrageous taste.
Garlic is a crop you wait for for a long long time.  You plant it in October and then wait, wait, wait....Finally come July you start harvesting.  Then you frantically harvest, clean and hang to cure.  Then you wait.  Then you start cutting down bulbs and trimming roots.  Then finally you have THE WHOLE CROP in.  That's where we are right now.  And so today, we will be bringing out the BIG GUN displays.  Lots and lots of garlic.  Food grade and seed grade (For planting) garlic.
Hoeing young garlic plants in April
As far as seed grade garlic, well, that's the big stuff!  We sort our garlic by size, because, well in garlic, "size really does matter!"  At least if you are planting it.  Big garlic planted combined with decent growing practices should result in big garlic harvested.  Small garlic planted combined with even the best growing practices will result in only slightly larger bulbs.  If you continue to save back your biggest and best to replant eventually you will get big garlic.  So when we sell you big garlic it represents multiple years of our own "saving the biggest and best" so you don't have to! Not to mention, our garlic (we've been growing garlic for going on 12 years now), is well adapted to PacNW conditions, so it makes it a good choice for local home gardeners!
So if you want to come buy some garlic to eat, or buy some garlic to plant in your own backyard, come check out the markets today.  But never fear, if you miss us at the markets, we will be featuring garlic at the farm tour next weekend, not to mention we will continue bringing garlic to the markets and...you can also email me directly and I can pack an order for you to either pick-up, ship or deliver.  Just email me at willowoodfarm@gmail.com.
And other goodies coming to today's markets...
From Willowood Farm:
- Potatoes - multiple kinds
- Chard
- Beans, beans, beans
- Shelling peas!
- Beets
- Onions
- Leeks
- Red Cabbage
- Head Lettuce
- Shelling beans (Rockwells!)
- Fresh chickpea bunches
From Prairie Bottom Farms
- Summer squash
- Scallions
- Carrots
- Dill
- More good stuff....

See ya at market!
Farmer Georgie
Willowood farm of Ebey's Prairie

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bring a little bit of the exotic to your plate - Dragon Tongue's Beans!

Today (or really, this morning) I decided to feature one of my favorite varieties that we grow ever year on the farm. 
Voila!  Dragon Langerie, aka "Dragon's Tongue" beans!
Dragon Langerie beans first are unusual in that they are #1 -Not green.  Then add in the fact that they are flat (Romano type) AND marked with purple stripes...That is one crazy looking bean!  But beyond the psychedelic appearance - ohh...my so tasty!
Dragon Langerie beans are for me, the BEST, fresh eating "snap" type bean in the garden. I'll eat them raw as well!  So crisp, juicy and sweet!  No "fibrous" or chalky taste that many beans sport.
Steam them or boil them GENTLY (overcooked Dragon's Tongues, like most beans, turn into mush) and they will retain faint purple markings.  I admit they are not always the "prettiest" bean on the plate...but they are always the best.  Very rich and "beany" and oh...I'm getting hungry!
Dragon Langerie beans, which are a heirloom bush variety from the Netherland's, of all places, are one of those vegetable varieties that represent all that is right and good about eating and buying local food.  You are likely to NEVER find Dragon Langerie beans at your local grocery store (well, unless I sell them to them!), because they do not "transport well" and will loose their crisp wonderfulness quickly when not enjoyed as they should be - soon after picking at the peak of ripeness!
So today, stop by the Coupeville and Bayview markets and expand your eating boundaries and enjoy an unusual summer treat - try some Dragon Tongues! 
Before we continue on into the rest of the "list of goodies" a few scheduling dates:
* This Sunday, the 29th.  Farmer Georgie will be talking about garlic and potatoes at bayleaf in Coupeville.  $5 sign up, limited availablity.  Call bayleaf to reserve your spot!  678-6603.
* The Whidbey Island Farm Tour is approaching rapidly (eek!).  Sept. 11 and 12th!  Just two weekends away (double eek!).  Willowood Farm is proud to be one of the featured farms.  And because this is our big "garlic" time of the year...well, we decided to feature garlic!  We will be offering all sorts of food and seed (for planting) garlic.  We will have garlic braids.  We will be having garlic tastings.  Garlic recipes. Garlic planting demonstrations.  Garlic, garlic, garlic, garlic!  So come, check out our awesome historic barn, walk around the farm, laugh at the turkeys and buy garlic!

And now...(drum roll...)...the list!
COMING TODAY TO THE BAYVIEW AND COUPEVILLE MARKETS!
From Willowood Farm
- Head lettuce!  New crop, smallish but PERFECT!
- Beans.  (If you didn't catch that from above).   Lots of beans!
- Shelling peas
- Sugar Snap peas
- Beet bunches
- Onions of all flavors
- Leek bunches
- Garlic - food and seed grade!
- Potatoes, potatoes, potatoes
-  Basil
- Other stuff I'm forgetting!

From our friends at Prairie Bottom Farms
- Summer Squash
- Baby beets
- More beans
- Kohlrabi
- And lots other stuff...

From Mikey at Whidbey Green Goods (Bayview market only) -
- Chanterelle mushrooms!
- Local apples!
- Local plums - several flavors
- Cherry tomatoes!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Peas and Beans paradise!

Nico - Picking her 5th bin of English Shelling Peas!  Go Nico!
It's a legume lovers paradise on the farm right now!  Yesterday we (or actually Nico, the pea picker extraordinaire...) picked 115 lbs of English Shelling Peas!  Plus over 100 lbs of assorted green beans!

Wowser! 

So what do we do with so many peas and beans!  Eat them!  Can them!  Freeze them!  Pickle them! 

Peas and beans are one of the "staples" of any summer garden, although I would like to point out that most places can't grow decent peas in late August!  That's thanks to our cool Pacific Northwest weather which, while it may be the bane of sunbathers, kind work in your favor in regards to cool weather loving veggies.

If you haven't had English Shelling Peas, well, they are one of the things that garden memories are made of.  There is just about nothing as good as eating a sweet and tender freshly shelled pea at the perfection of ripeness.  And having a hard time getting your kids to eat veggies?  Well, shelling peas are just about 100 percent foolproof for kid fascination.  First, they are like a little present.  They get to open them!  Then, they are a math problem.  Count how many peas!  Then...they are a tasty treat.  Umm...sweet!  It's not wonder kids (and parent's) love them.
If you don't get around to just eating fresh all your shelling peas...well, shelling peas are fabulous frozen.  Just a quick blanch in boiling water and then pop them in some freezer bags and come December and January - all the sweet essence of summer stored in your freezer.

As for beans...well, who could go wrong with beans?  We picked four kinds - all our favorites.  The gorgeous Purple Podded, the sexy Yellow Wax, the diminutive Dwarf Haricot Vert, the outrageous Dragon Langerie.  We love them all! Come check them out along with our recipes for pickling and four bean salads!

And of course, we have much more than peas and beans at the market today.  Things are really growing right now...So come check out the bounty at Bayview and Coupeville markets.

From Willowood (in addition to a couple 100 lbs of peas and beans...):
- Potatoes!  Multiple kinds including fingerlings, Maris Pipers, Romanze, Carola and Mountain Rose!
- Garlic! Garlic! Garlic!
- Chard
- Kale
- Collards
- Onions - three kinds!  Torpedoes, Ailsa Crag (big sweet onion) and fancy-schmancy cippolinis!
- Leek bunches!
- Summer zucchinis
- Cabbage!

From our friends at Prairie Bottom Farm
- Tromboncino summer squash
- Kohlrabi (Coupeville only)
- Cooking onions
- More potatoes and garlic
- Scallions
- Lettuce mix
- Beets
- Carrots!

Turkeys in the beans!  Naughty Turkeys!




And finally, a gratuitous Turkey photo!
See you at market!
Farmer Georgie
Willowood Farm of Ebey's Prairie

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Yes, we are coming! Off to Bayview Market...

Hi!
Sorry this is late today but, well, Farmer Georgie is on vacation and slept in...all the way til 7 a.m.! And then I sat around and leisurely drank a cup of coffee while eating a piece of still warm blueberry coffee cake that my wonderful husband got from the local bakery (versus racing around in my truck in the fields at 6 a.m. spilling coffee and eating a banana while is my normal Saturday morning scenario).
So...not the sort of blog you expect to read about farming, huh? Well, let me tell you. Farming is REALLY REALLY hard work. Especially this time of year. I get to feeling like every day is insurmountable amount of overwhelming things that must be done RIGHT NOW or face immediate catastrophe. I knew an old farmer who used to say, "I can handle emergencies, as long as they come one at a time once a day." Yep, know that feeling!
And I know, when I start fantasizing about going on vacation so I can "sleep in the car on the drive there," that maybe, yes, it's time to take a few days off!
So, last year, for the sake of my sanity and so I occasionally have time to touch base with my husband and two girls, I scheduled one weekend a month off. And so glad I did! So now I'm enjoying some time relaxing over in my 2nd favorite area after Coupeville and Ebey's Reserve. Winthrop and the Methow Valley. It's like a Wild West version of Coupeville!
But I know what you folks really like to know is, are we coming to market??? And yes! We are! Because I have an INCREDIBLE self-motivating, independent thinking crew that can take charge when I'm gone. And they do it for incredibly low amounts of pay. Farm interns rock!
So today, coming to the Bayview Market only (Coupeville market is closed this week due to Arts and Crafts fair) is the following goodies -
From Willowood Farm
* Potatoes - several flavors!
* Garlic - several flavors to go with the several flavors of potatoes...
* Sugar Peas - an gorgeous new crop
* Beans - a couple beautiful types! So yummy...
* Savoy and Red cabbage
* Kale - Tuscan, Siberian and Red types
* Rainbow Chard
* Onions - Torpedoes, Cippolini's, Ailsa Crag!
* Leeks - gorgeous, perfect braising size
* Pea Vines
* Spinach Bags
And more I'm sure I'm forgetting....

From our friends at Prairie Bottom Farms
* Summer Squash
* Beet bunches
* Baby Carrot Bunches.

So come on down and enjoy! And, if you have the time, take a few minutes off and enjoy the respite. I know that's what I'm gonna do!
Farmer Georgie out...

P.S. Does anybody know what happened to the attach photos feature on blogger? It isn't there anymore and I can't figure out how to post photos!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Maybe rain? Please, please, please....

Yummm....coffee....
Definitely a morning for coffee. It looks like it might rain! The National Weather Report says a 50% chance! Now, I know that means that many of you may not venture out to market today (wimps!), but I'd gladly trade that for a chance to dampen down the dust bowl we currently have on the farm.
It is DRY! And DUSTY! I just cleaned my truck last week (I know, a rare occurrence) but it already has at least an 1/8 inch of dust on it again - inside and out!
Watering (and voracious bugs) are probably the two biggest challenges to summer time gardening. We spend about 1/2 of our time on the farm these days moving water, fixing water, thinking about water....no water - no crops!
I definitely feel for those farmers in California and other "prolonged drought-stricken" regions. Some of those places, I just don't know how they will be able to keep farming.
Here on the prairie, we get the "seasonal drought." Always July-August-September is pretty darn dry. In fact, a lot of my neighboring farmers depend on it to ripen their grain crops and cure their hay. Some years, (like last year), our summertime drought starts in May and doesn't end til mid October. That sucks. This year was much better - and while many of your were complaining about the endless rain of the spring, I was happy - more rain in spring means my crops get better established and I don't have to start watering on the first of May!
So...here's to a cloudy and gray sky and hopes that 50% chance of rain delivers rather than just teases!
And coming to the Bayview and Coupeville markets today....
(P.S. Coupeville folks - NO farmer's market next weekend during Arts&Crafts festival so make sure to stock up this week!).
From Willowood Farm
- Golden and Chioggia beet bunches
- Fava beans (last chance on favas so get them while you can!)
- Onions galore - torpedo onions (awesome grilled) and Ailsa Crag (sweet onion)
- Lots of chard!
- Kale - 3 kinds
- Collards!
- Loads of potatoes
- Plenty of garlic!
- And more...
From our friends at Prairie Bottom Farm
- Baby carrot bunches
- Leaf lettuce mix
- Giant beet bottoms
- Arugula bunches
- leeks
- More onions
And more...
See you at market!
Farmer Georgie
Willowood Farm of Ebey's Prairie

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Fava are Fava-ulous!

This week, I ventured out to check on Nico, one of our hardworking picking crew, who was hunkered down in the fava bean patch and informed me "I just picked $10,000 worth of fava beans Georgie!  I've never seen so many fava's in my life!"
We, maybe not $10,000 worth of fava bean (I wish! Heck, I'd be driving a lot bigger extremely dirty truck if that was the case...), but Nico did pick a whole heck of a lot of fava beans.  A couple hundred pounds worth.  And there are perfectly delicious.
For those of you who don't know about fava beans, this is what they start out looking like:
Young spring fava plants

You have to plant them earlier - they like to grow in cool, wet weather.  I plant in February/March.  Then sometime in July they get real tall (at least 5 feet, sometimes higher!) and out emerge gorgeous little white and black flowers that smell like honey at dusk.  Yum! A few weeks later and we have - fava beans!
  
Tender yummy fava beans
 Fava's are an ancient crop, so beloved in Mediterranean cuisine and cultures and some people of Greek descent have developed an allergy to fava beans! 
Fava beans are a bit of work to prepare, you must shell them out of their outer pod and then each lima-sized individual bean has an "outer shell" that is best removed with a quick blanch (20 seconds in a pot of boiling water) to loosen the skin and then slit one edge and "pop" the bright green bean out of it's casing.  That's the good stuff.
And btw, for any of you who might complain that "favas are just SO MUCH work."  Well, this farmer AIN'T buying it.  Now, if you have planted them in February, hoed them two or 3 times, watered them, fertilized them, picked them AND THEN you have gone through the process of de-podding and de-shelling the beans and you still think they are too much work....Well, I can respect that.  
But if all you gotta do is sit down with a nice glass of vino and a friend or two and have a nice 10-20 minutes breaking shelling fava beans to create a wonderfully local and seasonal dish...well then you aren't getting any sympathy from me!
And, here is a nice recipe to follow once you have enjoyed your fava bean de-shelling!
Saute of Fresh Fava Beans,
Onions, and Fennel

3 lb fresh fava beans shelled
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 fresh fennel bulb trimmed, sliced
1 teaspoon fennel seeds coarsely ground with a spice grinder
1 1/3 cup canned low-salt chicken broth more or less
4 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup chopped pancetta
1/2 teaspoon dried savory
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
1.Cook fava beans in boiling salted water 2 minutes. Drain, cool and peel outer skins.
2. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and fennel bulb; saute 5 minutes. Add favas or lima beans and fennel seeds; saute 3 minutes. Add 1 cup broth and 2 tablespoons dill; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes to blend flavors.
3. Stir in pancetta and savory, adding more broth if mixture is dry. Simmer until favas are tender, about 15 minutes longer.
4. Mix in lemon juice and 2 tablespoons dill. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.)


And while fava's will be ruling the day, we will of course, have much more at market today!  Including...
From Willowood Farm:
- Potatoes, potatoes, potatoes
- Garlic, garlic, garlic
- Bulb fennel
- Torpedo Onions
- Ailsa Crag onion (sweet big onion!  Yum!)
- Leek bunches
- Savoy Cabbages
- Chard
 - Kale
 - Collards
And more...
From Prairie Bottom Farm
- Spinach 
- Lettuce mix
- Young summer squash
- Huge roasting beets
- Baby onion bunches
- Squash blossoms
And more...

Hope to see you at market!

Farmer Georgie
Willowood Farm of Ebey's Prairie






Saturday, July 24, 2010

What, it's morning already?

With the sky "lightening" and the list of things still to pick for market looming, I'm shooting out the list quick and dirty (farmer style!).  But here's a pretty picture first...
The prairie, looking southeast, across ripening field of winter barley...



So, coming to the market today, the result of too many hours of work and not enough sleep...
From Willowood Farm:
*Head Lettuce
* Potatoes - multiple kinds!
* Garlic
* Baby Fennel Bulbs
* Beets
* Summer Leeks
* Cabbage
* Spinach
* Fava Beans
* Peas
* Pea Vines
* Onion bunches
* Chard
* Kale
* Collards
* Broccoli
* And more I'm forgetting...

From our friends at Prairie Bottom Farm:
* More beets
* Scallions
* Arugula bunches
* Lettuce Mix
* Maybe some baby summer squash????
* And more...

See you at the Coupeville and Bayview markets today!
(Tired) Farmer Georgie
Willowood Farm of Ebey's Prairie

Saturday, July 17, 2010

What? It's Mid July already?

And on that note...I've gotta get running!  It' already ten to 7 and time to get out and pack up the market truck!  This time of year, there never seems enough hours in the day to get it all done. 
But before I forget...today is the 100th year celebration for the Muzzall Family Farm, aka "Three Sisters Beef."  The Muzzall's are multi-generational Whidbey farmers and I've known their family since I was a kid in dairy 4-H.  They ran a dairy for years but several years ago (with the ongoing collapse of the dairy industry) switched over to grass-fed beef.  They know have a going concern with that business and are considered by many to have some of the finest beef products around!
So if you have a chance after markets today, swing by their farm for an old-fashioned, farm-style party!
Here is the invite from Shelley at Three Sisters...

Ron, myself, and the 3 Sisters would like to invite you to the farm this Saturday, to enjoy a tour around the farm, kids activities, education about the history of the farm, and trolley rides.  4-H members will be here to talk about their projects.  If you work up an appetite, a BBQ lunch will be available for purchase.
The 3 Sisters market will be open.  So don't forget your beef and eggs.  A portion of the proceeds will go to the 4-H program.
This event is this Saturday July 17th from 10-4pm.  938 Scenic Heights Road Oak Harbor 98277
Please pass this on to your friends and neighbors!
We hope to see you at the farm!
Shelly
3 Sisters

And now, getting right to the good stuff...
Coming to the Coupeville and Bayview markets TODAY!
From Willowood Farm
* Collard greens (and a "southern style" recipe card!)
* New potatoes including gorgeous little fingerlings!
* Cauliflower
* Head lettuce - lots of crunch romaine this week!
* Cauliflower
* Cabbage
* Chard
* Kale
* Loads and loads of fava beans
* English shelling peas
* Garlic

From our friends at Prairie Bottom Farm
* Beet bunches
* Scallions
* Carrot bunches
* Juicing beets and carrots (aka the big ones...)
* Red onions
* Snow peas

And more!  Gotta run and pack the truck!
See ya at market...
Farmer Georgie
Willowood Farm of Ebey's Prairie





Saturday, July 10, 2010

We are HOT! On the farm...


And then we keep picking....This is Lydia, picking spinach, at 6:30 in the morning.


After surviving the heat of the afternoon, we start picking again. This is Dan, digging potatoes, at 8:30 at night.  Thank goodness for 15 hours of daylight in July! 








And I am also happy, happy, happy to report that the weather has cooled down nicely for market day today.  Still sunny and beautiful, but looks like we are going to have our more normal "high 60s" weather today.  Which is great, because all those veggies we picked early and late do not like sitting around at market day in 80 degree weather! 
We have a great selection today so check out the list...
Fresh veggies coming to the Coupeville and Bayview markets today!
From the hard-working crew at Willowood Farm:
* Gorgeous baby new potatoes!
* Carrot bunches
* Kale - 3 kinds
* Rainbow Chard
* Lovely summer cabbage - great for coleslaw!
* Garlic scapes
* Fresh garlic - roasting types!
* Spinach bags
* Pea vine bags
* Dandelion greens
* Agretti - this new strange very popular green from Italy.  We will bring recipe cards!
* Walla Walla Onion bunches
* Collard bunches
* Fava beans!  First picking!
* Head lettuce - gorgeous new crop
* Broccoli
* Romanesco cauliflower

From our friends and neighbors at Prairie Bottom Farm:
* Potatoes - bigger ones
* Red spinach
* Peas - snow and sugar snap
* Beets
* Mustard bunches
* Cauliflower
And more!

Hope to see you at market today!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Really quick market list!

Since I was suppose to be on my father's sailboat oh, 7 hours ago, I'm going to make this quick and to the point!  (Trying to take a family vacation first of July when you are a farmer is, well, not always easy to do!).

So here is the quick and dirty list because the reason I'm so late today???? We picked like FIENDS for the big pre 4th of July markets.  Our cooler is PACKED to the gills with lovely stuff.  And here are the details...

Coming to the Bayview and Coupeville markets tomorrow!
From Willowood Farm
* Loads and loads and loads of Kohlrabi!
* Garlic Scapes
* Fresh Garlic
* Broccoli
*Romanesco Cauliflower
* Chard, kale and collard bunches
* Cabbage!
* Walla Walla Onions
* Mesclun bags
* Spinach bags
* Carrot bunches

From Prairie Bottom farm
* Mixed colors baby taters
* Scallions
* Snow Peas
* Cauliflower
* Mixed mustard bunches
* Beets
*
And from Whidbey Green Goods
* Sugar Snap peas!

And more I surely forgot to list!  Hope to see you there tomorrow and everyone have a happy and safe 4th of July!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Garlic Scapes! Garlic Scapes! Garlic Scapes!

Don't forget - buy your tickets to the new Slow Food Whidbey "Taste of Whidbey" event at the markets on Saturday!  Limited tickets available so best to pre-purchase if you can.  $25 a ticket.  Event will be Sunday, June 27th at Greenbank Farm from 2 to 4 p.m.  Five local grocers, five great local chefs working together to offer a "tasting" of Whidbey's great seasonal fare.  Plus wine from Whidbey Winery!  Great food, great cause.  Come eat and hang out with the growers, chefs and other foodies!  We will have tickets at the Coupeville and Bayview Willowood Farm booths for sale.  Tickets will be available at the door day of the event, until we run out!

And now, back to our regular scheduled topic.  Something about garlic scapes, I do believe!  To refresh my memory, here's a photo.  Or two. Or three.


So here they are, in all their garlicky glory.  The "scape."  Beloved in Asian cuisine, relatively unknown in American.  Produced by "hardneck" garlic.  Essentially the "seed head" of a garlic plant.  Each garlic bulb only produces one.  Once a year.  Precious, precious commodity.












And another precious commodity.  My youngest, at about 6 months.  Her teething ring of choice?  That's right folks, nothing appeases a teething baby better than a garlic scape!  Not only a great shape to grab for little hands, and the perfect mix of firm/soft and unbreakable texture.  But then your baby has garlic breath!!!!!!!  My farmer heart overflows with pride.  
                                                                                  And here's Farmer Georgie.  Taking a "scape smoke break" in the garlic field.  Because we all have our vices.  Mine?  Dirty hands and garlic scape ciggies.










So, as many folks ask when seeing garlic scapes for the first time.  What the heck can you do with these things!  As the pictures above show, what the heck CAN'T you do with these things????
In general, garlic scapes can be used in anything you would use garlic in. They will be a bit milder.  But...If you want to get a bit more creative.... Try grilling them!  Try braising them!  Try stir-frying them! Try them with a pot roast!  Try them under a bed of salmon!  Try them in pesto!  Try them pickled!
Really, as long as you have taste for garlic, you are going to like garlic scapes.  Think asparagus texture, garlickly flavor.  How can you go wrong with that?
Here are a few recipes, to get you even more inspired...


Oystercatcher’s Quick Pickled Garlic Scapes
Courtesy of Joe Scott, Chef at Oystercatcher in Coupeville, WA
·      Garlic scapes, however many you want to pickle, chopped into 1 inch pieces
·      Champagne vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
·      Rice Vinegar
·      Dash of salt
·      Sugar to taste
·      Pinch of whole fennel seed
You will need equal parts of the vinegar, how much depends on how much you are going to pickle.  Chop garlic and pack clean mason jars.  Boil equal parts of both vinegars, add sugar and salt to taste.  Sugar should balance the acidity of the vinegar.  How sweet – versus tart – you make it is a personal preference depending on how you like your pickles.  When boiling, pour over scapes.  Add a pinch of whole fennel seed.  Seal lid.  These pickles are ready in 4 hours.  If you prefer to keep the scape whole (which gives you a very cool shape on a plate), you should plan to let the pickles sit for at least a week (or more) so they absorb the pickling juices.  By chopping the scapes you provide more surface area to absorb the pickling juices quickly.

Garlic scape pesto
1 pound garlic scapes 
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
Olive oil (about 1/2 to 1 cup)
Pine nuts if available
Chop the garlic scapes into 3 inch lengths. Put it int he food processor and process until pureed. Add the parmesan and pine nuts and process until smooth. Slowly add the olive oil as the food processor runs and continue until all the oil is combined into the garlic. Store in an air-tight jar in the refrigerator.
So, have fun with garlic scapes!  And yep, we will be bringing them in LARGE QUANTITIES....to the Coupeville and Bayview markets this weekend.  Along with the following fresh from the fields goodies:
From Willowood Farm:
Broccoli, kale - 3 flavors, collard bunches, chard bunches, fresh garlic, garlic scapes, mesclun mix, spinach bags, red japanese turnips, purple Italian artichokes, kohlrabi, pac choi bunches
From Prairie Bottom Farm:
New potatoes, cauliflower, beet bunches, carrot bunches, radishes, peas, Walla Walla onion bunches...
From Whidbey Green Goods (Bayview market only):
Peas, scallions, cabbages, celery...

So hope to see you at the markets!
Farmer Georgie, Willowood Farm of Ebey's Prairie

 

Friday, June 18, 2010

Photos, photos and more photos!

I finally got around to taking a few more photos of the farm (and downloading them!).  So I thought today's posting can give you a visual tour of some of our activities here on the farm...



Here is the 2010 team, posing in front of the new hoophouse as I get ready to make the first "cut" and open a door!  Yee-haw!


Rockwell Beans coming up!!!!!!!!!!!  Look at those long, long rows!!!!!!! 





Garlic blowing in the breeze...







And because I know you all want to know what's coming...here is the list for the Coupeville and Bayview markets tomorrow:
From Willowood Farm -
- Kohlrabi!
- Garlic
- Garlic scapes
- Walla Walla Onions with greens
- Mesclun Mix
- Kale - 3 kinds
- Chinese cabbage
- Pac Choi
- Head lettuce
- Broccoli
- Purple artichokes
- Pea vines
From Prairie Bottom Farm
- Lettuce mix
- Red and green spinach
- Baby carrot bunches
- Beet green bunches
- Chard bunches
And more....
Farmer Georgie is actually going camping with family this weekend so make sure to say hi to the interns this weekend at the market!  And don't forget to purchase your Slow Food "Taste of Whidbey" tickets!  We will have them at both booths!
Off on a beautiful day...
Farmer Georgie
Willowood Farm of Ebey's Prairie




Saturday, June 12, 2010

Slow down and enjoy!

Slow down and enjoy!  Is it even possible for a farmer in June?
Hmm...I don't know.  I do know that I think the past week might have been one of our craziest ever.  I don't think there was a day I didn't work at least 14 hours.  One day I worked 16!
Why?  Because there is just SO MUCH to do in June!  I finally finished planting the 2.5 acre bean field this week between rain storms (the Rockwells are already up!), we put the plastic on our new 1000 sq feet greenhouse, we picked insane amounts of food, we got a start on getting our squash planted (lots more to do there...) and we got the tomatoes planted!   Oh, and weeded.  Always the weeding...
So the fact that I'm going to be selling tickets at the farmer's market this weekend for a really cool farmer-chef tasting event for a new Whidbey Island "Slow Food" chapter has been kinda cracking me up.  The whole idea of "Slow Food" is to slow down, enjoy fabulous regional food, sit down at your table and break bread together with family and friends!  I love it!  I dream of it!  I hope for it, someday?????
Lately my enjoying my 8 acres of vegetables has involved eating dirty Japanese turnips in the fields, trying not to eat one pea for every one I pick, and eating raw broccoli straight from the plant.
So, I'm going to re-dedicate myself to slowing down, enjoying all the great food I grow! I hope you will join me in that pledge.  Appreciate the fruits not only of the labors of your own (if you have a garden) but your local farmers (yes, like yours truly), but especially the miracle that is our amazing cycle of nature, birth and renewal, the magic of seeds and the glory of converting rain and sun energy into healthy, tasty lovely food!  Because we all gotta eat right?  Might as well eat right!
And on that note, here are the details on this great Slow Food event coming up:
Sunday, June 27th from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Greenbank Farm. Six local chefs will be pairing with local producers to offer a "tasting" made from fabulous, seasonal foods grown right here on Whidbey.  For instance, Willowood Farm will be pairing with Chef Sieb Jurrians of Prima Bistro, to produce some fabulous plating from some yummy veggie picked from the fields that week.  Other restaurants represented include Oystercatcher, Whidbey Pies, Christopers, Deception Pass Cafe and Fraser's Gourmet Hideaway.  Growers include yours truly, Rosehip Farm and Garden, Three Sister's Beef, Penn Cove Mussels and several others.  I'm hungry already!
Each chef and farmer team will set up in a booth together, highlighting the prepared food and showing off fresh from the fields products as well.  And there to talk to you about what the grow, cook and do!
Tickets are $25 and can be bought from participating vendors (like Willowood) at the farmer's market, or at participating restaurants.  The money goes straight to buy the food from the farmers (thank you very much!), and to help support the newly formed Whidbey Island Slow Food Chapter.  Slow Food is an international group, focusing on supporting regional food traditions, sustainable food production and yes, just slowing down and enjoying fabulous food!  http://www.slowfood.com/
And now, as the sun shines out my window (yeah, yeah, yeah!), let's get to the list of food coming to the Bayview and Coupeville markets today....
From Willowood Farm
- Broccoli!  Loads of it! 
- The very popular bags of heirloom, edible podded peas
- Fresh Garlic!
- Garlic scapes
- Kale bunches (2 kinds)
- Red and White Japanese turnips
- Rainbow chard bunches
- Baby pac choi bunches
- Chinese cabbage bunches
- Walla Walla onion bunches
- Mesclun bags
- More ginormous heads of lettuce (this may be the last week for head lettuce for a few weeks when a new planting is on, so get while the getting is good!)
And more...
From our friends at Prairie Bottom Farm
- Lettuce Mix
- Mesclun Mix
- Baby carrot bunches
- Baby beet bunches
- Spinach
And more....
So we hope to see you there!  I'll be holding down the fort at Coupeville this weekend as Wilbur and Julieanna at gone for the National History Day competition (Go Wolves!).  For those of you in Bayview, make sure to say hi to two of my fabulous interns, Dan and Matthew!

Thank you for supporting (and eating!) local food!
Farmer Georgie
Willowood Farm of Ebey's Prairie