September 18, 2013

Sweet Purple

We like the grow things purple: bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, eggplant, green beans and, yes, sweet potatoes. And the second question* people usually ask us about the purple vegetables is, will they stay purple when you cook them?

When it comes to purple sweet potatoes, the answer is a definitely YES.

Just ask John, who is probably the only baby on the block who eats purple potatoes for baby food:

Daddy, you realize these are supposed to be orange, right?
 Or ask my baking assistant, Natalie...
Ready for pie baking 101

who helped me make a purple sweet potato pie today. I'm sure this will be the first of many made in the coming months.
Purple Sweet Potato Pie, awaiting a meringue
It's actually a very easy pie to make. So, if you are feeling ambitious, here's the recipe:

Sweet Potato Pie, Paula Deen style

3   egg whites
1   9-inch unbaked pie crust
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2   eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1-2 tablespoons bourbon
1/2   stick melted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 cups peeled, cooked purple sweet potatoes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. For the filling, using an electric hand mixer, combine the potatoes, 1 cup of the sugar, the butter, eggs, vanilla, salt, and spices. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Add the milk and continue to mix.  
  4. Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  
  5. Place the pie on a rack and cool to room temperature before covering with meringue.
  6. For the meringue, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form; beat in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar 1 tablespoon at a time.  Continue beating until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is glossy and stiff, but not dry.  
  7. With a rubber spatula, spoon the meringue onto the pie, forming peaks.  Make sure the meringue touches the crust all around.  Sprinkle with a pinch of granulated sugar.  
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until delicately browned.  Cool and serve.

*The first question people usually ask is, are they supposed to be that color?

August 28, 2013

In the jungle

There is a reason this song came to mind while I was picking cherry tomatoes today.

The cherry tomato plants are going a bit crazy. These plants have not only outgrown the 6-foot tomato cages, some of their branches have since grown all the way back down to the ground. They are so dense, there are hardly any weeds growing between the rows, for lack of sun. 

And they aren't all foliage, no fruit. These plants are consistently giving us 12-15 pints of cherry tomatoes minimum twice each week, which is about what our customers will buy this time of year. 
Today's tomatoes

And look! Our jungle comes with its very own tiger:


June 7, 2013

Just thought I would share some pics of what we have growing. These are about a week old, but you get the idea. Tomatoes  photo 137_1322_zpsf2cd27ff.jpg Cherry Tomatoes  photo 137_1317_zpsb93fd318.jpg 2nd planting of lettuce, starting to pick this week  photo 137_1319_zps49b3527e.jpg 3rd and 4th plantings of lettuce outside  photo 137_1321_zpsccc64615.jpg Outside tomatoes and peppers, still more to plant!  photo 137_1328_zps642b4c88.jpg Inside Peppers  photo 137_1331_zpsbb642a5f.jpg Potatoes Hilled up  photo 137_1332_zpsa6cd2835.jpg Garlic  photo 137_1334_zpsf95ca648.jpg Inside Squash  photo 137_1339_zpsb1062335.jpg Inside little cucumbers  photo 137_1343_zps28e52f94.jpg Sweet potatoes and okra  photo 137_1341_zpsde63ca60.jpg  photo 137_1342_zpse41db921.jpg Jay

April 28, 2013

Mulch layer Maiden Voyage

Finally had sometime to work on the plastic mulch layer this weekend. I added the roller and two guide wheels to keep it from digging in too deep. While i need to do some fine tuning, it looks like it is going to work! Is it perfect, no. Is it faster than laying it by hand, heck yea! I still need to add some heavy springs to pull the rear covering discs down to maintain better soil contact and finish the drip tape laying attachment.  photo 137_1049_zpsdc53ce04.jpg  photo 137_1051_zpsce8769e5.jpg  photo 137_1046_zps1578004c.jpg  photo 137_1048_zps28957a60.jpg  photo 137_1042_zps9093652a.jpg I made 4 or 5 minor adjustments while laying this test strips, the final adjustment dialed it in pretty close in the upper left.  photo 137_1041_zpsd1390978.jpg Same rows, done by hand 3 years ago.  photo cover1.jpg Once I get it finished, i will post a video. Jay

March 17, 2013


Last fall we got our garlic planted. This is the first year we have tried to grow garlic. It is just starting to come up. I am really excited. I should have mulched it last fall, but I never go around to it. I hope that doesn't cause too many problems or doesn't reduce my bulb size. Photobucket Here is a close up picture. Photobucket I will be weeding, fertilizing and getting the drip tape down soon. Jay

New Potato Digger

I saw this on our Local Facebook classified and I thought it looked neat and it would be very useful. So I just bought it and brought it home and for $25 how could I go wrong! Photobucket I was build out of scraps laying around the farm. The previous owner said his grandfather built it and he remembers using it and using it along with his kids. They just don't have any use for it and nobody in their family was interested in keeping it. I am sure I will try it out and see how it works! I may even try to mount it on a 3 point toolbar so I only takes one person to operate. Enjoy! Jay

February 10, 2013

Breaking up is hard to do!

After only using a tiller to work most of my gardens, I know that I can only work the ground to a certain depth. Over the years I have developed a "Tiller HardPan". Basically, it is when the soil is compacted and can't be broken up. It doesn't allow roots to grow down into it and can inhibit some vegetable growth. For example, we have had carrots grow down 6 to 8 inches and then turn right. The reason for this is because they can't break through the hardpan. I have also seen this with sweet potatoes. Well hardpan no more! Since I bought a little tractor, I am ready to take care of this hardpan. I have a 3 point tool bar and now I am ready to use it. Here is the Kubota with the single shank ripper. It would rip down 12 to 15 inches. It did great! I was surprised at how deep it went. I only spun the tires a few times! Photobucket Here is a picture of the ripped ground. Photobucket Photobucket I will finish the other fields soon and maybe try to rip the beds in the big high tunnel.