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Soil Testing 2013

January 22nd, 2014 | Posted by Casey in Infrastructure - (Comments Off on Soil Testing 2013)

Map of Testing Sites

Copy of Report

Discussion of Soil Nutrient Management Plan, observations, challenges and hypothesis.

Special Project Summary – Perennials – 2013

January 22nd, 2014 | Posted by Casey in Perennials - (Comments Off on Special Project Summary – Perennials – 2013)

Special Project Summary – Perennials – 2013

Report on status of Perennials and practices from 2013.

Also note: CH Served as ‘Farm Manager’ from July to end of Season, to cover for MR.

2012 Perennials Manager Summary

February 6th, 2013 | Posted by Casey in Perennials - (Comments Off on 2012 Perennials Manager Summary)

Perennials Manager Summary 2012

by Colleen Harrington

It was my fifth season at North Slope Farm when we undertook “the great fruit/nut planting of 2010”.  After digging 125 holes and getting these plants settled in, it was already time to jump in to the main vegetable production season.  The season was flying by and the time we could put towards this new undertaking (perennials) was just bare minimum.  We had numerous casualties by the end of the season.

The following spring of April 2011, when replacing dead trees, we utilized the same varieties.  Time spent caring for our fruit and nut bearing “friends” did increase slightly but not nearly enough.  Our trees were just surviving when they could and should be thriving.

In 2011, much of my time was spent outside of our primary production areas working to re-establish our perennial herbs in the “Corner Garden”.  It made sense for me to increase my responsibilities to include all perennials.

In 2012 I took on the role of Perennials Manager.  At the start of the season, my goal was to be sure all our perennials had:

  • Enough water.
  • Protection from larger predators in the form of fencing and trunk guards (for trees).
  • Quality compost.
  • Ramial woodchips(to promote a more fungal dominated soil) and
  • Pruning and thinning
  • Hand weeding around plants.

These goals were part of a one year management plan which incorporates what I consider to be most “basic needs” for all perennial plantings.

Overall, it was a successful year.  Our Lemon Verbena crop was excellent, with a yield of 7.6 pounds of dried herb tea per 120 square foot bed.  We saw our first peaches ripen and all “basic needs” were met.  As a result the survival rate of our trees increased from just over 50 % in 2010 to over 90% in 2012.

Among this seasons challenges was the “unhappy cherries” (less than half survived).  We also saw severe disease and pest damage in our oldest apple trees along with a harsh spring frost which resulted in our lowest yield in years for apples. Deer pressure continues to be a threat in the form of trunk rubbing and terminal bud nibbling.  The “market garden” is protected by an electric fence which had been destroyed on the entire north side.  We spent a day repairing the electric fence and we were also able to erect a deer fence around the “fruit cluster” in early winter.  Yeah!

The long term management strategy will build onto the “basic needs” plan as we learn more about the specific varieties we grow. We will become more familiar with specific fungal, bacterial and pest challenges here at North Slope Farm.  We also hope to foster the growth of healthy plants by promoting diverse and abundant soil microbiology and by increasing overall diversity on the farm.

Additional goals for the 2013 season:

  • Application of the “Four Holistic Sprays of Spring” (see Michael Phillips book The Holistic Orchard or go to www.groworganicapples.com).
  • To utilize compost extracts and fermented herb teas to promote plant health (The Compost Tea Brewing Manual, Fifth Edition by Elaine R. Ingham, Soil Foodweb Incorporated at www.nofanj.org/literatureretrieve.aspx?ID=104151.).
  • Establish and map soil sampling sites for future reference.
  • Establish beneficial plants in and under drip line of fruit and nut trees.
  • Take soil samples and send for analysis.
  • Track degree days to help monitor specific pest and disease pressures.
  • Tracking exact dates of: (1) bud break (2) week of quarter inch green (3) early pink (4) bloom (5) petal fall and (6) first cover to help with the timing of any holistic spray applications.

A final component of the long term plan is to double the herb production and sales each season until we reach $10,000/year.  This will require identifying more production space, increasing herb seedling sales and upgrading our tea drying process.

As more of our perennial fruits and nuts come into their prime production years, our goal is to gross $20,000 per acre.  However, for the next few years the focus will be on boosting health and vigor by utilizing holistic orcharding techniques.

Click on image below to view varieties and planting details for the Perennials Project. 
Perennial Crop Inventory

 Information about the project, including annual summaries, will be shared on our website under Special Projects; Perennials or a specific crop name.

Introduction to Perennials

February 6th, 2013 | Posted by Casey in Perennials - (Comments Off on Introduction to Perennials)

Perennial Crops– at North Slope Farm

Introduction

January 2013

Prepared by MR and CH, January 2013

 

Intent: To increase the potential income of the farm by establishing crops that will yield a diversity of fruits, nuts and vegetables in a regenerative manner.  Ideally the perennials will make use of land otherwise marginally, productive or accessible, for annual crop production.  Perennials may ultimately become a primary focus of the farm, but in the beginning, tasks should be coordinated with the Farm Manager to ensure a “Wholistic Farm Plan.”

 

Parameters:

  • Capital Investment; North Slope Farm.
  • Daily Management; Directed by Perennials Manager – CH
  • Site Details; infrastructure and fields managed by North Slope Farm, planted areas and future expansion delineated by Field Maps.
  • Enterprise; Establish recommended varieties of diverse Perennial Crops to get practical experience with the crop management and make judgments about the crop viability on our Farm.  Make use of ‘marginal agricultural land’ for minimally disruptive, long term crop production.
  • Regular records will be kept of costs and production.  North Slope Farm will be responsible for costs and income of the operation.
  • Information about the project, including annual summaries, will be shared on our website under Special Projects; Perennials or a specific crop name.

 

Data Points:

  • List Crops, Amounts Established, and Locations – LINK TO TABLE
  • Sources
  • Costs and Values
  • Yield information

 

Summary as of December 2011:

 

When North Slope Farm was purchased in 1994, there was a single, old fruit tree growing next to the farmhouse.  A crunchy, tart pear, great for storage, we refer to it, fondly, as the” farmhouse pear”.  The following year, six apple trees and two Asian pear trees were planted around the farmhouse.  All of these trees have grown to produce beautiful blossoms, organic looking but delicious fruits, while also providing a perfect classroom for practical’s, in pruning and observation, of the short and long term needs of these valuable members of our community.

 

By 2005, the main vegetable production areas were well established and incorporate perennial herbs and flowers, as well as “wild strips”; a place for our native plants, insects, birds and critters.  As stewards of this land, always looking to diversify flora and fauna, the next step in this journey was to establish more fruit trees.  Five apple trees were planted in the market garden and plans for a larger expansion were solidifying.  Expansion of perennial plantings is often a risk, due to potential for loss.  In 1997-98 we lost a new block of 40 Apple saplings, due to lack of irrigation and Rabbits chewing the bark from the trunks.

 

In 2010, with fifteen years of experience in vegetable and flower production, the land and its stewards were ready to get rolling on plans which would establish more diversity of berries and fruit trees within the “Market Garden” and “Corner Garden”.  The plans also included the establishment of a 1/6th acre plot dedicated to fruiting perennials and a 50’x 25’ area for hazelnuts.  These planting areas, known respectively as the “Fruit Cluster” and the “Sycamore Plot”, were chosen based on their proximity to infrastructure but also because these soils are least suitable for annual vegetable production.

 

This ambitious 2010 plan included:  (Peaches) 20 Curlfree, (Pears) 3 Bosc, 3 Red Anjou, 4 Seckel, 2 Moonglow, 2 D’Anjou, (Cherry) 6 Kristen, 10 Windsor, 6 Bing, (Asian Pears) 2 Large Korean, 2 Chojuro, 2 Shinseki, 2 Hosui, (Apples) 3 Enterprise, 3 Goldrush, 3 Jonafree, (Paw Paw) 4 American, (Fig) 5 Brown Turkey, (Gooseberry) 4 Pixwell, (Hardy Kiwi) 6 male, 3 female, (Grapes) 3 Ontario, 3 Buffalo, 3 Candice, (Blackberries) 72 Chester, (Strawberries) 400ft mixed Albion, Earlyglow, Sparkle and Honeyoe, (Filberts) 3 Butler, 3 Barcelona, 3 Royal, 12 Fingerlakes.

 

ADDITIONAL LINKS: INSERT LINK s

  • CH Personal Introduction to 2012 Special Projects – Perennials
  • 2010 planning map

 

Future discussion:  Assess production management; strengths and weakness.  Assess production potential and identify limitations to operation.  Identify values and costs of enterprise not reflected in hard data collected.

 

Click on picture below to visit our Photo Sets at Flickr.com

INSERT PHOTO LINK

Green and Beans/What is an Herb?

August 26th, 2011 | Posted by Casey in Product Information - (Comments Off on Green and Beans/What is an Herb?)

Monthly Summary August 2011

August 1st, 2011 | Posted by Casey in Monthly Summary - (Comments Off on Monthly Summary August 2011)

GENERAL OBSERVATIONS:  A real indication of the the success of our training program is the fact that the farm manager and family are able to take a vacation at the beginning of August.  This is one of the most demanding months of the season as our bodies are tired and the harvesting is at it’s peak.  Second and third year trainees get to test  their managment skills and “run the ship” for a bit.  An added challenge is one 2nd year trainee double twists his ankle.  The crew is capable and handles it well.  Thank You!  Some strong, gusty winds and 100 degree days round out the challenges faced this month.  One heavy rain (8/16) dropped .8 inches in just a few minutes!  

EQUIPTMENT 10.5hrs.: IH140 gets some field time in Veg B Mid. to help prepare this patch for bare fallow.  A run through with two center shanks flattens previously formed beds a bit.  May need to build beds up a bit before broadcasting the oats for winterkill.  Training: RC uses Kabota to clean isles of BGB’s.  MR follows with walk behind mower on top of empty beds.  Field beds are generally mowed off with the Kabota and BGB’s with the walk behind mower.  This happens before preparing a bed for planting/seeding.  Kabota used weekly to mow the perimeters of the next chicken pastures in the rotation.  Repaired loose gang with new steel tube bushing and heavy duty washer on disc harrow.  Ford used to disc Mulch SE Mid section (3 passes and clean up passes) and churn down the nutsedge.  Used Ford to disc Veg B North.    

ADMINISTRATION 31.5hrs.:  Payroll, Bills and Workmans Comp Audit.  Staff Metting to update on cover cropping plan and BGB management and prep. for final end of season plantings and winter production.  Website worked on.  Planning for winter production seed order (see special projects).  Finalized seed order (8/26) and placed order.  Field walk through fruit cluster and Madonna fields.  Checking corn, beans and squash for size and rodent damage.  Conclusion was squash is not quite big enough to harvest yet but keep an eye on it and harvest before critters start muching.  MR dealt with  Organic Certification Inspection. 

Discussion of  Limitations.  Awareness and acceptance of your limitations can help in planning.  Example:  you can’t do 20 hours of mowing with 10 hours and a broken down mower.    Here is a list written in log that can be  helpful when prioritizing tasks.  Chores-Water, Shelter, Food:      Self, Dependants, Livestock, Plants – crop care, greenhouse. 

Bank deposit.  Met with NOFA President – Discussed New Farmer Program and working with Duke Farm.  Crew member interested in leasing land for coming season and had discussion with MR about possible arrangements (cost of housing and work requirements as part of North Slope Farm crew) 

INFRASTRUCTURE 26.5hrs.:  Weekly rotation to fresh pasture for the chickens continues.  Perimeter always mowed before moving fences.  This helps with proper fence set up.  Chicken coops get a good cleaning this month and fresh bedding (hay) added.  Some trouble obtaining organic layer pellets; chickens eating organic mash/pellet mix in the meantime.  Walk-in cooler working again!  Market garden fence perimeter weed wacked and fence repaired.  Mowed around perimeter of all the hay fields to see if worthy of cutting and baling.  Old zinnia bed mowed off as well. 

GREENHOUSE:

COMPOSTING 3.5hrs.: Composted 4 BGB’s.  New 6’x6’x6′ compost pile started with plant material removed from Veg B Mid and straw in alternating layers.  Pile extended 8/27 with more weeds removed from 6 beds in Veg B Mid.

PLANTING 33hrs.: Mowed off field beds where harvesting is complete and BGB’s that will be prepared for the next seeding.  Carrot and beets direct seeded in Veg B South.  Mowed off remaining BGB’s.  4 BGB’s composted, broad forked, rototilled, raked, rolled, direct seeded with lettuce, turnips, carrots and a final rolling to secure the seed in the soil.  Preparing for winter production planting and cover crops.  Focus is on controlling weeds in tilled ground.  Pig weed- mow, cut and remove.  Nutsedge-mow, cut harrow then drag with spring tooth.  Ford used to disc Veg B North before sedding wheat and clover.  Prep. and plant five remaining field beds in Veg B South with gold beets, red beets, radishes, turnips, kale and scallions.

CROP CARE 82hrs.:  Lots of weeding in Veg B South (current main crops harvesting from) and BGB’s (2 salad mix).  Kale, chard and salad mix weeded and thinned somewhere? in market garden.  Hand weeded 6 beds Veg B Mid.  Hoed 2 beds of young salad mix and carrots in BGB’s and a row of direct seeded chard and beans in the field beds.  We also fit in another round of tomato stringing!

HARVESTING 286.5hrs.:  Kale, beets, squash, chard, green beans, tomatoes, peppers (1st 8/20), eggplant (1st 8/20), flowers, salad mix (new beds 8/25), basil, carrots.  Green bean bed abandoned early in the month due to a combination of over and under sized beans. These plants we will often let go to seed and collect dry beans for winter.   The plan for earliest planting of beets is to top them and store them for late summer or early winter sales (8/26 harvested and topped 275# from Veg B South).   

HANDLING 61hrs.: Routine washing for Hopewell, West Windsor and Summit Markets.  Sorting tomatoes is also ongoing.  600# of tomatoes sorted out and set aside for sauce.  MR picked up Tomato Sauce; 96 qts. from 600#.  Cost $345 or $3.60/qt. with 6.5# tomatoes/qt. plus time packing, drop off and pick up.  Estimated minimum value/jar $10.

MARKETING 163hrs.: Hopewell( 8/4 $751, 8/11 $563.75, 8/18 $622, 8/25 $707)  West Windsor (8/7 $1,770.50, 8/14 $2116.80, 8/20 $1,304, 8/28 $1,610) Summit (8/8 $3,000+. (Note: Blackberries require lots of time sorting.  Possible customer loss as a result.  Beautiful salad mix in field that did not make it to market this week?  Hot weather?  Or maybe crew small this week?), 8/15 $3,390, 8/29 $2,250). Farmstand set up on Thursdays with little traffic. Organized a tomato order for Nomad Pizza 40# Hierlooms and 32 pints sungolds.  Made a couple trips to Solebury Orchards to pick up a fruit order.  We resell this delicious fruit at our farmers markets. 

SPECIAL PROJECTS 17hrs.:  Serious planning begins for winter production in Farmhouse Gothic and Ralph’s House.  Winter field production under tunnels also proposed.  Speial Event:  collecting eggs for Bent Spoon.  Need 10 dozen for Friday 8/13.  New Film: Jared Fletcher delivered copies of The Farmer and the Horse to sell at markets.  Summer Conference:  Two crew members headed off to the annual NOFA Summer Conference in MA.  TOMATO SAUCE:  Ripe tomatoes are collected and stored in cooler until 600# goal reached.  They are taken to Baumans for processing.  DELIVERY:  CH offers free delivery to Rock Road residents.  Produce delivered weekly.  A couple deliveries to neighboring towns with a delivery fee.  TOMATO FIGHT: Tomato Maze cut out for tomato fight.

2011 What’s Cooking

July 11th, 2011 | Posted by Casey in Product Information - (92 Comments)

 

 

June 20th, 2011 | Posted by Casey in Product Information - (131 Comments)

The “Greens and Beans” page was created as a space to share nutrition information and recipe ideas for the bounty of life giving plants foods that we grow and make available to our community.  It is for individuals who  are interested in cooking and eating with the seasons. 

The Story of One “Sister”

It has been a kind of awakening for me to take time each week to focus on just one plant food.  I wasn’t aware that I had a visual image of snap pea flowers that could be described as “giant perfect snowflakes” or that tomatoes would send me off on a hybridization tangent or that I would EVER use the world love in a title (“Garlic Scape Love”).  I mention connections a lot because they are so interesting and important and often revealing.  When I sat down to contemplate winter squash this is what happened.  I thought Beta Carotene..fall..three sisters…water…drought.  This is what came to mind when I sat down to write about winter squash?  I got stuck on water or lack of in this case.

This season’s crop of winter squash was planted outside our 3 acre market garden.  Meaning no protection, no weeding and no irrigation.  We did end up extending the electric fence to that area but beyond that the area just never made it to the top of the task list.  It was stressful at first to know that we had planted those seeds and now we weren’t finding time to provide them with the most essential nutrient.  Water.

But everything needed water.  If anything had a chance to survive wouldn’t it be the three sisters?  Native Americans didn’t irrigate did they?  Is this why the rain dance came into existence?  At this point I thought ..research Native American Agriculture..three sisters..irrigation…rain dance.  I am still reading up on that but in the meantime I can tell you what happened to our three sisters in a drought year. 

We did harvest winter squash from that field and a small bit of corn and the smallest bit of beans.  As the weeks passed with no rain, I began to really feel connected to the history of the land.  Wondering if Native Americans grew the three sisters on this exact plot of land.  Romanticizing about the fact that we had waited for the rain just as the Native Peoples had.  There was something special about the experience.  I guess I never thought we could take a step that far back.  Since tractors and drip lines and cultivators and none such are so easily accessible why would we?  Like I said, there was just something special about the whole experience. 

The Spread

“Veggies of the Week” was winter squash.  Our plates were loaded with delicious squash in many forms.

Baked Delicata Squash with sauteed kale, toasted walnuts and gorgonzola cheese.

Winter Squash Soup

Winter Squash Fritters and

Mixed Greens Salad with Radishes and Turnips.

Baked Squash with Sauteed Kale, Walnuts and Gorgonzola

4 Small Delicata Squash cut in half lengthwise and scoop seeds out.  Don’t forget to save the seeds for toasting.

1 bunch lacinato kale (any variety works) chopped

1/4 to 1/2 cup Walnuts toasted and coarsely chopped

2 cloves garlic minced

Gorgonzola cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Drizzle olive oil in a pyrex dish and place squash halves skin side up in dish.  Bake until you can easily push a fork into the skin.  About 30 minutes.  While the squash is baking heat 2 tabelspoons of olive oil in a cast iron pan on a medium/high flame/burner.  Add garlic to the pan and saute for about 1 minute.  Be careful not to let it burn.  Now add the kale and saute about four minutes while stirring.  Set aside until the squash are finished cooking.  Now fill each squash with kale and sprinkle on the toasted walnuts and gorgonzola cheese.  You could serve as is but I like to put it back in the oven for about five minute to warm the cheese.  Serve warm if possible. 

Let’s Talk Nutrition

When you are holding a winter squash in your hands, you are basically holding a giant muti-vitamin/mineral capsule.  That’s the way I look at it and from what I understand I am not the first.  Native Americans would bury winter squash with their dead to provide them nourishment for their final journey.   

Winter squash can be stored for up to 6 months and contains significant amounts of Vitamin A, Potassium, Calcium and Fiber.

Just 1/2 cup of baked squash with a pat of butter will give your child 100% of the Vitamin A they need for the day.  That’s just looking at Vitamin A.  I couldn’t help playing around with the charts and numbers a little more.

Serve your friends and family baked squash topped with black beans and sautéed kale and they will be getting all of the Vitamin A, Potassium and Calcium they need for the day.  I had to stop myself there.  I was feeling a little Wizard of Ozish.  Vitamin A and Potassium and Calcium oh my!  Antioxidants and protein and fiber oh my! 

Try one of our winter squash recipe ideas to celebrate the harvest and help build up your bodies nutrient reserves in preparation for the longer, cooler, darker months of winter. 

As so often happens if we allow it, when we trust and respect our natural surroundings, we find nourishment in our plant friends.

My Industrial Tomato

October 25th, 2010 | Posted by Casey in Product Information - (Comments Off on My Industrial Tomato)

The “Greens and Beans” page was created as a space to share nutrition information and recipe ideas for the bounty of life giving plants foods that we grow and make available to our community.  It is for individuals who  are interested in cooking and eating with the seasons. 

MY IDUSTRIAL TOMATO

Step right up and get your perfectly symmetrical, red tomato.  It was picked green by a machine, packed into a cardboard box and shipped hundreds or thousands of miles to reach us.  Don’t worry, this tomato was bred deliberately to withstand these exact conditions and still reach us perfectly symmetrical and red.  All that was sacrificed was the flavor. 

Hybridization did not exist until the early 1950’s.  Up until that time, families selected tomatoes for a variety of desirable traits which always included flavor.  They saved the seed each season to ensure these varieties were passed down from generation to generation. 

The family heirloom tomato is how we refer to them today, in order to distinguish them from “industrialized” tomatoes.  They are often called “ugly tomatoes”, “antique tomatoes”, “heritage tomatoes” or “mystery tomatoes”.  There are so many shapes, colors, sizes and textures and all of them have flavor. 

Well, there is a bit more to the story here.  Flavor is not all that is being lost through hybridization of our plant foods.  We lose diversity.  Yup that’s a biggy.  It is a direct threat to our food supply.  Allow your mind to ride my drama-queen-brain-wave for just a few moments.  Think of it in terms of the Irish Potato Famine.  Were potatoes really the only thing they grew and ate?  No, but most of the land was planted with “the simple potato” destined for export.  Within six months of the first crop failure people began to starve to death and in the end over 1 million of them did.  Over the past couple of decades, our food industry (the Bristish if you will) is dictating what we (the Irish) consume.  We are losing diversity, nutrients,  and flavor quickly.  The question I have for you is “Are we as helpless as the Irish were?”.    

Do I think we are all going to starve to death if we do not protest hybrid tomatoes?  No I do not.  However, it does scare me how quickly and easily we have forgotten what a real tomato tastes like.

 Every heirloom variety is gentically unique.  Each has evolved in it’s own specific growing conditions where it is able to resist the diseases and pests that exist in the same tiny corner of the universe. 

It is up to us a gardeners and responsible stewards of the earth to assure we sustain the diversity gifted to us through heirloom varieties.   

The Spread

On a lighter note, below is a list of what we cooked up at last weeks Greens and Beans coooking club meeting. 

Tomato, Avacado and Corn Salsa

Tomato and White Beans Soup

Sliced Tomato with Mozzarella and Basil and

we dressed up our mixed greens salad with

Tomato Vinegrette Dressing.

Let’s Talk Nutrition

Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K. They are also a very good source of molybdenum, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, chromium, and vitamin B1. In addition, tomatoes are a good source of vitamin B6, folate, copper, niacin, vitamin B2, magnesium, iron, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, vitamin E and protein.

Whenever a discussion comes up about the health benefits of the tomato, most of us think of the phytonutrient Lycopene.  Lycopene has a reputation as a cancer-fighting antioxidant.  A ton of research had been conducted to study this effect and not just on rats, on humans as well.  The antioxidant function of lycopene is known to help protect against prostrate, breast, endometrial, lung and pancreatic cancers. 

Lycopene is a fat soluble carotenoid which means in order to get the protective benefits of the tomato, you need to consume them with a fat.  Olive oil, cheese, avocado or nuts are some good options. 

The color of the tomatoes has also been studies for lycopene content.  A slightly higher amount can be found in the dark red and dark purple varieties.

I recommend buying organic.  Not just because I am an organic farmer but also because the organic tomatoes were found to contain much higher amounts of Lycopene.  Up to 5 times as much in some studies. 

Step right up and get your plump, juicy, deep red colored, vine-ripened, hand-picked, local organic heirloom tomato.

Greens and Beans/Carrot Soup

September 16th, 2010 | Posted by Casey in Product Information - (Comments Off on Greens and Beans/Carrot Soup)

The “Greens and Beans” page was created as a space to share nutrition information and recipe ideas for the bounty of life giving plants foods that we grow and make available to our community.  It is for individuals who  are interested in cooking and eating with the seasons. 

An Unexpected Reaction To Carrot Soup

It reminded me so much of a traditional sweet potato dish that I loved to cook during my years in Sub Saharan Africa.  I was unexpectedly transported back to that coziest of places next to the cooking fire, preparing my evening meal.  Comforted by the sounds of neighboring families drumming, dancing, singing, chatting about the day and relaxing for the first time since just before sunrise.  This is what I experienced after just one bite of carrot soup. 

Each bite of soup brought on an additional wave of memories.  Happy moments woven into the difficult, yet soul-satisfying daily life of a subsistence farmer, in a small village, in Africa.  Most villagers (myself included) found hope, joy, warmth and comfort each night around the fire.  Bellies full and satiated further by song, dance, fire and community.  All matter of pain and suffering were dissolved into the night.  And at the peak of my carrot soup induced trance, I am quite sure I proposed marriage to the chef. 

We served up our carrot soup alongside:  Basil Mashed Potatoes, Basil Pesto with Brown Rice, Corn and Beans, Mixed Greens Salad with Tomato and Parsley and Basil Lemonade.

Carrot Soup Recipe

Recipe details to be updated, but for now here is a sneak peak at the flavors involved.

Onion, Carrots, Peanut Butter, Soy Sauce, Hot Pepper, Basil, Cooking Oil. 

Really the recipe will be posted just in time for our fall carrot harvest.

Let’s Talk Nutrition

Carrots are one of the best sources of carotene, a substance that is converted by the body into Vitamin A.  Vitamin A is important for proper vision, especially night vision.  Carrots also provide fiber, calcium, potassium and other trace minerals. 

1 cup of cooked carrots (fresh carrots not frozen or canned) contains:

Calcium 48mg, Carbohydrates 16g, Protein 2g, Fat 0.1g, Calories 70g, Phosphorus 47mg, Iron 1mg, Potassium 354mg, Sodium 103mg, Vitamin A38,300 (IU), Ascorbic Acid 4mg, Thiamine, Riboflavin and Niacin <1mg.

Accept all of what this brilliant root has to offer by not peeling.  Wash the carrots well but try your best to keep every good bit for your soup pot.  To retain maximum amount of nutrients, you can steam your unpeeled carrots and top with chopped herbs, either butter or olive oil and a little sea salt.   

You can also try raw carrots cut into sticks for snacks or appetizers (they make great dippers), shredded carrots go well on salads.  My favorite is grated beets, carrots and fennel with citrus sesame dressing.  You can find the dressing and salad recipes at Thesuppersprogram.org

As fall approaches we can talk more about roasting root vegetables which a another delicious option for carrots.  Carrot and parsley juice is refreshing and energizing any time of year but everything serves our bodies best when eaten in season.

The Next “Greens and Beans” Cooking Club meeting will be Thursday September 9th.  For more information or to RSVP please call 609-647-9769.