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 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!
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!