Saturday, April 24, 2010

Radishes, radishes, radishes EVERYWHERE!

Looking for some radishes? Well look no further, Willowood Farm is BRINGING THE RADISHES to market in Coupeville today!

This lovely mild temperatures, combined with nice warm spring rain, plus the two 300 feet double rows we planted, has combined to create a gorgeous crop of lovely spring radishes.  Radishes are really best in the spring and fall, cool, wet weather combines to create lovely roots that are juicy, crunchy and neither too hot or too sweet.  You can be like farm mom Renee, and "just eat them" or you can be more creative.  There are actually, a lot of great things to do with radishes.  Lots of folks swear by "radishes and butter" sandwiches.  Here are a couple of recipes we found particularly radically radishy...

Roasted Radishes with Soy Sauce and Toasted Sesame Seed(Makes 3-4 servings)

20 medium radishes, trimmed and cut into fourths (any radishes work, mixed colors are pretty!)
1 1/2 T roasted peanut oil
1-2 T soy sauce (I used about 1 1/2 T)
2 green onions (scallions) sliced thin
1 T sesame seeds, toasted in a dry pan

Preheat oven to 425 F. Wash radishes, trim ends, peel if needed, and cut into same size pieces. I cut the white icicle radishes into diagonal pieces, and the red ones into half or fourths, depending on how big they were. Cut green onions into thin slices.

Toss radishes with peanut oil, then roast about 20 minutes, stirring one or two times. When radishes are tender and starting to brown, remove from oven, toss with soy sauce to coat and mix in green onion slices. Put back in oven and roast about 5 minutes more.

During final five minutes roasting time, put the sesame seed in a dry pan and toast over hot stove for about 2 minutes, or until starting to brown. Remove radishes from oven, place in serving bowl and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Serve hot.

Or...have you ever tried pickled radishes????? 
  • 1 bunch radishes (about 13 radishes)
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow or brown mustard seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole coriander seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 medium dried bay leaf
  1. Rinse radishes and trim off their leafy tops. Holding the stem end, thinly slice radishes with a mandoline or a sharp knife. When you get close to the stem, stop slicing and discard the end. Place radishes in a heatproof, nonreactive bowl, and set in the refrigerator while making the brine.
  2. Combine red wine vinegar, sugar, water, salt, mustard seed, coriander seed, peppercorns, and bay leaf in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Remove from heat and let pickling brine cool for about 5 minutes. Remove radishes from the refrigerator and pour brine over them. Let cool at room temperature for 20 minutes; cover and refrigerate. Use to top burgers, sandwiches, or anything else that needs a little tarting up.  
 So, we hope to see you today!  Willowood Farm will be with our farmer-partners Prairie Bottom Farm at the Coupeville Market today, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m...Look for the great tractor/wagon displaying bursting with food.  Of course, we are  bring lots more than just radishes including:
* Mesclun
* Arugula
* Braising green bunches (with kale, raab and mustards!)
* Mache (just featured in Martha Stewart Living!)
* Head Lettuce - baby butterheads and some gorgeous, getting big, leaf types!
* Radishes! French Breakfast, Cherry Belle, Plum Purple and Zlata types. A rainbow of colors!
From Prairie Bottom Farm -
* Overwintered scallions
* Chives
* Parsnips
* Wild Arugula bunches
* Green and Red spinach
 AND MORE!!!!!
So we hope to see you at market today!  Southenders...we know the Bayview Market is open today but due to scheduling conflicts we won't be starting til May 8th.  Sorry!
And on a final note, we are planting potatoes at the farm today!  If you are interested in helping out, put on your boots and head on down to the farm. 10-4, with a lunch break.  399 S. Ebey Rd in Coupeville. 
Thanks for eating local!
Farmer Georgie
Willowood Farm of Ebey's Prairie

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Potato Planting Par-Tee 2010!

It's that time of year again...Time to get planting potatoes!
We have 1300 lbs of gorgeous seed, and if the weather and the tractors cooperate, well the fields will be ready!  Now we just need able-bodied helpers...
We will be meeting this Saturday, April 24th, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.,  or thereabouts.  At the farm, 399 S. Ebey Rd. in Coupeville.  Drive up the lane and park in front of the big white Victorian.  We will break for lunch, bring a sandwich or something of the like, we will provide a big farm salad, a dessert and loads of drinks.
If you are interesting in helping out this year, we would love to have you.  A few requirements for the job to be aware of:
* Ability to carry 10 to 20 lbs...
* Okay with several hours of walking back and forth in a field!
* Some slight bending
* Not bothered with getting dirty!  You will get dirty!!!!

All volunteers receive a coupon for a free 10 lb bag of potatoes once they are available in the fall (one per family please). 
If you would like to attend, please email me to RSVP.  We like to have a crew of no more than 25 folks (otherwise I can't keep up with you all!).
Also, I need a contact for you in case we get "weathered out!"
Hope to see you there!
Farmer Georgie
Willowood Farm of Ebey's Prairie
P.S.  These photos were from last year's "Potato Planting Par-tee!"  Good times had by all!
P.S.S.  We are also looking for a "small crew" of helpers for Friday afternoon to cut and prep the potato seed.  About 2 to 5ish....If you are interested send me a quick email.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

It's Spring! Fabulous, wonderful CRAZY spring!

Seeds are planting, things are growing...It's SPRING!
On Thursday night we planted a small section of field into Kamut (ancient Egyptian grain) and rye.  We still have some gorgeous purple barley to plant.  Then yesterday, as the evening approached, a freight truck showed up with a pallet load (1300 lbs!) of seed potatoes to plant. And we have loads of seeds to plant - carrots, turnips, beets, greens, plus another 600 or so starts in the greenhouse to get in and about 20,000 onion transplants to set out!  Not to mention another 2000 head lettuces in the germination chamber and more starts to get seeded as well....
Yes, no denying...It's Spring!
And...on this lovely spring day (albeit a bit drizzly, but still warm and hey, we need the rain!), we will be at the Coupeville Market today with the following fabulous spring veggies:
From Willowood Farm:
* Mesclun
* Arugula
* Radishes - a new crop of French Breakfast type!
* Mache - a gourmet spring green, hard to find!
* Braising Greens - a healthy and tasty mix of kales, collards, beet greens.
* Pea Vines. Gotta love them!
* Garlic Greens - they smell SO good!

* Rockwell and Peregion dry beans
And from our farmer friends at Prairie Bottom Farm -
* Spinach - two kinds!
* Egyptian Walking Onions Scallions
* Evergreen Overwinter Onion Scallions
* Pies!  Fabulous Pies!
* And more stuff I'm forgetting...
Oh yes...Lauren from Ebey Road Farm will be their with her 50 lb sacks of locally grown wheat!  Fabulous for chicken and other animal feed.  And talk with her about their plans for growing grains for human consumption this year!

Say hi to Lydia a the market today. She is one of Willowood's new interns for the 2010 season.  She is "learning the market ropes" today in Coupeville.  Myself, and other other two new interns, will be back on the farm, planting, planting, planting....
Also, watch for an email message soon.  We will be organizing a volunteer party for planting potatoes.  Always a fun time on the prairie!
As always, thank you for all your support!  Willowood will be at the Bayview Farmer's Market starting May 8th...
Farmer Georgie
Willowood Farm of Ebey's Prairie

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Wild, windy and wonderful! (And wheat too!)

What a crazy, crazy week!  On Wednesday the wind was blowing a good 30 mph or so from the southeast, on Thursday it switched and blew in from the southwest.  If you live in Coupeville and happened to see any spinach leaves flying by, that was just the pound or so we lost while trying to pick in a gale force wind!
Well, whoever thinks farming is boring should have come and worked with us this past week!  The good thing is, however, our wild and windy week seems to be finishing with a gorgeous day for market today.  So...on to the good stuff -
Coming FRESH to the Coupeville Market Today!
(BTW - It looks like due to some early season conflicting schedules, Willowood Farm will start attending the Bayview Market on May 8th.  So for our south end followers, if you have never come to find us at the Coupeville Market it is easy, just look for the great tractor-wagon set up and that is us!).
From Willowood Farm
* Baby Pac Choi
* Mesclun Mix
* Braising or saute greens
* A few precious baby butterhead Amish Speckled lettuces!
* A few more radishes (don't worry, a HUGE new crop will be on in radishes next week).
* Rhubarb - our earliest spring fruit! We had rhubarb ice cream last nite, yum!
* Garlic Greens, think "scallion" only garlicky...
* Arugula
* Pea Vines
* Peregion and Rockwell Bean bags!
And from our good friends Wilbur and Julieanna Purdue at Prairie Bottom Farm
* Spinach - two kinds, green savoy and the gorgeous red-veined Red Bordeaux
* Evegreen Scallions
* Egyptian Walking Onions - very flavorful perennial green onion
* Parsnips!  Overwintered and VERY tasty!  Good size too.
* Beet bunches
* And a few more things...
Also, we will have at our market booth this week 50 lb bags of grown right here on Ebey's Prairie WHEAT! That is right folks LOCAL GRAINS!  This is coming via our neighbors Ebey Road Farm who have been growing grains for decades and our now thinking about diverting some of that great stuff to our local markets (yeah!) versus off the island and into the commodity stream (boo!).  Growing grains for peoples get more complicated in requirements so this grain (from last summers harvest) is being sold as chicken feed.  This summer Ebey Road Farm will be growing out grains for human consumption as well as livestock feed and we hope to be offering some great products from them this fall. That all said, we've been feeding our poultry this current wheat crop since last fall and they LOVE it.  Lauren Hubbard, of Ebey Road Farm who we are lucky to also have working for Willowood Farm this year, should be at the market today and she can answer all your questions about the grain and their plans for the future. We are just SO EXCITED to see these first small steps towards getting the traditional abundant grain crops harvest from Ebey's Prairie for decades back into the hands of our local consumer base! 
And on a final note, a big welcome to our newest intern Matthew!  Matthew arrived yesterday from Tennessee via Oregon and L.A. and India and old sorts of places...He is a big ole teddy bear of a young guy with an amazingly interesting breadth of unique experiences.  We are happy to have him and looking forward to working with him this season.
See you at the market!
Farmer Georgie
Willowood Farm of Ebey's Prairie

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Yes, that's right, today is the FIRST COUPEVILLE MARKET!
And the intrepid crew at Willowood Farm braved the insane sideways rain and 40 mph gusts yesterday to pick for it.  So I'm going to get right down to the nitty-gritty:
Coming TODAY to the Coupeville Farmer's Market:
- Radishes!  The best radishes I've ever grown.  Sweet, mild, crunchy.  Two kinds!
- Pea Vines.  This fabulous hardy green has been sustaining us this winter. Eat them raw, eat them braised.  We will bring recipes!
- Green Garlic.  Immature plants of garlic.  Think green onions ONLY GARLICKY!  Yum...
- Mesclun mix.  Cold-weather mesclun is the best.  Need I say more?
- Braising Greens mix.  A mix of kales, beet greens and other hardy greens perfect for braising and stir-fying. 
- Arugula! Arugula! Arugula!
- Peregion Beans in 1 lb bags and yes, a few very precious bags of the infamous Rockwell Beans...
And from our good friends Wilbur and Julieanna Purdue of Prairie Bottom Farm:
- Leeks!
- Beet bunches
- Spinach - two kinds!
- Green onions
We will also have 2 oz seed packs of Rockwell Beans to plant, for those who are looking!
 So we hope to see you at the Coupeville Market today.  For those of you who have never been there, the Coupeville Market is located in the grassy field right behind the new library, hours 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  You can't miss our booth - we are the one with the tractor and the brightly painted wagon.
Lots more to come on the farm soon, we have been EXTRA busy this past winter working on so many projects may head has been reeling. We hope it will all pay off this year in EVEN MORE beautiful, delicious produce for sale!
For now, however, this farmer is off to finish our last-minute market picking!  See you there!

Farmer Georgie
Willowood Farm of Ebey's Prairie
P.S.  For any of you interested, we have a new farm facebook site with lots of day-to-day updates on the farm plus I post all sorts of links to local and otherwise important food and farming news...There is a link to "fan" the farm page on the side of this blog.