From zapping zits to gluing things together, garlic is truly a versatile vegetable.

From zapping zits to gluing things together, garlic is truly a versatile vegetable.

Most of us are familiar with garlic and all the possible uses of this pungent yet tasty vegetable—yes it is a vegetable, belonging to the allium class of bulb-shaped plants which includes onions, chives, leeks, and scallions. Let’s face it, when it comes to recipes like shrimp scampi, the more cloves, the tastier, making garlic one of those vegetables that we love to hate. Though we enjoy its flavor in our food, we detest its odor on our breath.

While most of us can easily identify a garlic bulb or cloves when we see them at our local farm stand, few of us are aware of the less popular—garlic scapes, which are the flower stalks that shoot out of the garlic bulb. Similar to its cousin, chive, a garlic scape looks like a long green shoot with a curl, something akin to a pig’s tail. It has a milder flavor than the garlic bulb and can be sliced and sauted, grilled whole, steamed like a green bean or blanched and used in a salad. They can be used in a number of dishes, including dips, pestos, or soup. The scapes are harvested earlier than the garlic bulb and they pack quite a nutritional punch, containing high amounts of fiber, Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Garlic scapes are just one of the many organic vegetables that Colchester Neighborhood Farm is packing into small and large CSA shares this week. Here are some  fun facts and nutritional information about this vegetable that you can use to wow your friends.

Besides warding off vampires, according to the website chatelaine.com,  it is believed that components of garlic and the scapes will help to re-oxygenate blood and maintain healthy tissues and organs.

Garlic scapes may help to prevent fractures and osteoarthritis.

According to mentalfloss.com China produces the most garlic, growing two thirds of the world’s supply of garlic or approximately 46 billion—with a b—pounds of the bulb.

It is believed that the average person eats approximately two pounds, or 302 cloves, of garlic per year—break open the Listerine!

Garlic is believed to reduce cholesterol.

Garlic scapes can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Ancient Egyptians had 22 medicinal uses for garlic.

Because of its medicinal powers, it is believed that writer Bram Stoker chose to use garlic as the vampire repellent in his 1897 novel, Dracula.

If a pimple shows up the night before yearbook photos are being taken, try rubbing a garlic clove on the blemish. The antibacterial properties of the plant are supposed to clear the skin.

And here’s a use for garlic that might take you by surprise, the sticky juice in the cloves can be used as a glue or bonding agent.

Whether you want to add some wonderful flavor to a recipe or ward off a few vampires, stop by Colchester Neighborhood Farm this week to pick up some garlic scapes and other fresh organic vegetables and other items, including organic eggs.

 

 

Getting your fair share of the pie…and the vegetables

Getting your fair share of the pie…and the vegetables

Today’s consumers have never been more savvy or health conscious when it comes to buying food for their families. They are opting for healthier choices and often times that means buying food that is locally grown, without the aid of chemicals and pesticides. Local farmers recognize this heightened demand for fresh fruits and vegetables that have been organically grown and are working harder than ever to make sure that their farm stands are filled with enough produce to satisfy all of their customers.

 

It can be terribly disappointing to get to the farm stand only to find out that the tomatoes are sold out or the lettuce has all been eaten up. This is the plight of the local farmer….knowing how much produce to grow to meet the demand of his customers. Grow too much and the farm suffers a loss in terms of expenses; grow too little and the customer is disappointed. In an effort to take the guess work out of the process and to ensure that every customer gets their fair share of freshly harvested fruits and vegetables, Community Supported Agriculture, also known as CSA shares, have become quite the trend and consumers and farmers alike are, pardon the pun, eating it up.

 

The way the CSA shares work is simple. Customers pay the farmer upfront for a season’s worth of fruits and vegetables. This gives the farmer a firm grasp on the number of people who will be purchasing from him during the season so he knows how much to plant to ensure that all of his “regular” customers get the vegetables they want. Each week, he sets aside the fruits and vegetables that have been “pre-ordered” by these shareholders. It is the ultimate customer service model and a win-win situation for both the farmer and the customer.

 

Here at Colchester Neighborhood Farm, we are selling CSA shares for our vegetables and fruits as well as the flowers we grow, organic eggs, and our winter vegetable crops…buying fresh and local doesn’t end when the last tomato has been picked.

 

What really sets Colchester Neighborhood Farm apart from other local farms is the people. Yes, it really is the people who are tilling the soil, picking the vegetables, building trellises, tending to the chickens, and all of the other work that happens on the farm. Managed and operated by New England Village, Inc., a nonprofit organization that assists people with developmental and intellectual disabilities find employment, the men and women working on our farm have found their purpose here and are happy to lend their talents and skills to this business. And they are happy to deliver the highest level of customer service to the people who visit our farm stand.

 

Buying fresh fruits and vegetables from Colchester Neighborhood Farm not only provides you with food that tastes good, it gives you a good feeling knowing you are supporting people who truly love their job and the opportunity to serve you.

Preserving Garlic

By  · On Mar 05, 2008
garlic
A time comes in most garlic lovers’ lives when they suddenly go overboard.  Gardening types will become so enamored with the stinking rose that they plant and harvest more than they can possibly eat.  Others, drawn into a passion-induced frenzy, go to their local farmers market and buy cases of precious and perishable garlic with no idea of how they can possibly consume it all before it spoils.
 
Both scenarios necessitate the exploration of methods of garlic preservation.  As we all know, garlic preserved by any method is not a substitute for fresh, but it does have its own charms and advantages, especially when fresh garlic is out of season.  Different methods of preserving garlic lend themselves to their own culinary uses, so explore them all and see which ones best suit your needs.
 
Before we examine the specific preservation methods, I want to emphasize that preserving garlic in oil is not safe unless the garlic oil is frozen.  Garlic is a low-acid food and oil provides an oxygen-free environment, a combination that allows the growth of the bacteria Clostridium botulism, which causes botulism.  However, if you follow the methods for freezing garlic-and-oil mixtures and keep them frozen until needed, it is safe.
 
Since we are discussing the potential dangers of preserving garlic, I would like to bring up a peculiar aspect of garlic’s personality that is a bit disconcerting but not dangerous.  Garlic sometimes changes color.  It turns blue when its sulfur compounds come into contact with copper.  Not much copper is needed for this to happen.  The water in some areas of the United States contains enough copper to cause this reaction.  Copper utensils can also instigate a color change in garlic.  If garlic is harvested before maturity or is not allowed to completely dry, it can turn green in the presence of acid, such as from lemon.  These color changes, as bizarre as they are, do not harm the garlic.  It is still safe to eat.
 
There are six excellent methods for preserving garlic. They are freezing garlic, drying garlic, garlic vinegar, garlic salt, garlic oil, and refrigerator garlic pickles.
 
Click HERE to find out more about the six methods.

Village Connections

Your online update from New England Village.

Colchester Neighborhood Farm
Colchester Neighborhood Farm
We’re learning that there’s truth to the statement “a farmer’s work is never done!”
Click here to see what’s been happening out at our farm so far this spring.
 
Colchester Neighborhood Farm participants
 
 
 
Want to show your support for NEV’s Colchester Neighborhood Farm?
Click here for CSA information and tax-deductible membership opportunities.

Arcadian Fields Job Opportunity

Arcadian Fields, a smallish organic veggie farm, is looking for one
very part time EXPERIENCED helper to wreak havoc in the fields and get
a lot of things done –  fun, fast, perfectly!  The pay is not bad and
I’ll give you veggies too.

Founded in 1998, Arcadian Fields is a 4 acre farm run by Diana Kushner.

94 Blitzkrieg Trail
Hope Valley, RI

Email Diana – djkushner4@gmail.com

***
Lands Jobs Stuff – RI/MA
Subscribe/archives: http://groups.google.com/group/landsjobstuff/

Herb Study ~ Intern Opportunity in Ohio ~ Spring & Fall 2012

Spring Session: Spring session will run April 30 through June 22, 2012 (application deadline April 15th).  The Spring Session will be split into two 4-week sessions.  You can apply for the first 4-week session or the second 4-week session or the full 8-weeks.

Fall Session: Fall session will run for 6-weeks, from September 3 through October 12, 2012 (application deadline August 1st).

Hard Working?  Motivated to learn about medicinal plants?  Want an opportunity to live and work on United Plant Savers’ 360-acre Goldenseal Botanical Sanctuary in Ohio?

Interns work 30 hours/week doing a variety of medicinal plant conservation and cultivation projects.  Interns will be expected to work 28 – 30 hours a week doing:

  •  medicinal plant conservation and cultivation work
  • building and maintaining the medicine trails
  • doing greenhouse work
  • planting and maintaining a vegetable garden
  • maintaining and improving the Sanctuary landscape
  • assisting in the development of Sanctuary interpretive materials and much more all under the supervision of UpS Sanctuary staff
  • Much of the work is physically strenuous and interns will be expected to be self-motivated. 

In addition, interns will learn medicinal plant identification, sustainable wild harvesting principals and practices, medicine making and participate in classes and conferences at the Sanctuary and at neighboring herbal centers.  Interns will have the opportunity to work on and help design interpretive materials for the “Talking Forest Trail Project” that will add lasting value to the Sanctuary.  Interns will also have weekly educational presentations from local herbal experts as well as opportunities to attend related presentations and events such as the Ohio Pawpaw Festival as they occur.

The cost for the spring session is $400.00 for 4-weeks or $800.00 for 8-weeks and the fall program is $600.00 for the 6-weeks payable before program begins.  In addition, interns will be responsible for all expenses (i.e. transportation, food).  We will be accepting 6 – 8 interns for each session.  Shared rooms are available, as is camping space, toilets, hot showers, cooking and eating facilities.  This is a unique opportunity for intensive learning and we expect this program will fill quickly.  Interns must be at least 18 years of age.

Betzy Bancroft
Office Manager
United Plant Savers
802-476-6467
office@unitedplantsavers.org

Job Opportunity: Just Right Farm

Just Right Farm in Plympton, MA is looking for part time farm help (approx. 20-30 hrs. per week) for the 2012 season.  This is the first year of our farm-to-table restaurant.

We are a small 300 year old farmstead and we grow the produce needed for our agri-tourisim business and events.  We are located 50 miles South of Boston and about 20 miles from Cape Cod.

QUALIFICATIONS:
The right person for this job will have experience on a vegetable farm, be interested in all things “fresh, local, farm-to-table and sustainably grown, have an interest  in this unique, contemporary farm-to-table (0pen weekends, pre-fixe, reservations only, 24 seats) and the farm as well.

Our farm is small but the success of our business  depends on our ability to produce the food we want… when we need it.  This is rewarding but often hot, dirty and heavy work. 

  • Lots of weeding, planting and harvesting.
  • An understanding of succession planting and record keeping is important here.
  •  There is a certain amount of maintenance and grounds work, too.
  • Must have a strong back, and stronger work ethic, a valid driver’s license and be able to commit to working the entire season (May through Sept.)
  • Knowing a turnip from a tomato is imperative!
  • Housing is available for monthly rent.

Just Right Farm Job Opportunity

It’s Show Time!

The sheep show season has begun and the lambs have already been to their first fair.  During Memorial Day weekend Lynda took all 16 lambs and the yearlings on a road trip to the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair located in Cummington, MA.  The fair is a showcase for woolcraft enthusiasts and vendors including fiber goods workshops for sheep, llama, rabbit, and alpaca fleeces.  The main event, of course, is the sheep show where both wool and meat sheep are shown and judged in a variety of classes.

Here’s a slide show of Lynda preparing the sheep for the show.  The basics of the process is a variety of steps:
1. Use a curry comb to remove any hay or foreign material off the outside of the fleece
2. Sheer the body of the better wool and keep separate
3. Sheer the belly, lower legs, and neck of the lesser quality wool
4. Skirt the wool –  skirting involves removing all inferior wool from the fleece wool including any edges and second cuts
5. Wash the sheep
6. Perform a final sheer to smooth out any rough sheer marks
7. The sheep is then carded and trimmed to its final cut using hand sheers

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Transplanting Seedlings

Now that the long stretch of rain has subsided and the heat has arrived, the seedlings are ready and waiting to either get repotted or transplanted directly into the fields.  Here are some photos from the last few days of plants currently on the move.

High-Tunnel Greenhouse

The newest structure at Colchester Farm is complete… a high-tunnel greenhouse large enough to drive a tractor through!  The greenhouse was raised last fall and the plastic film was stretched over it on Saturday, April 9th; quite a feat stretching the plastic film over the structure without the wind snatching it away into the nearby trees or neighbors’ yards.  It was a magnificent display of teamwork.  A great big THANK-YOU to all of you who were able to get up early and focus on the task at hand, grabbing-hold and PULLING!

Connie hasn’t wasted any time getting the soil ready and has already sowed her spring crop of vegetables!

lambing

Thursday night Lynda and I arrived back at the farm from the Plymouth Winter Farmer’s Market at around 7:30.

Our plan was to unload our market wares, feed the animals, and go home to some food and much needed rest.

But, knowing that we have expectant ewes, the first thing Lynda did was to check on all of the sheep in the pasture.

We were surprised to see that one of the small ewes, a Cheviot, had given birth to a single ewe lamb out in the field. The little girl must have been born just after 5:00 because Ron did a lamb check around 5 and reported no babies. The little ewe was already all dried off, (what a good mom) and standing and had been nursing.

Lynda brought everyone in to their night-time space, the Equinox green house, and did everything for a new born and the mom that needs to be done….I was the warm water bearer.

Then we set about feeding all of the rest of the animals. We had been paying extra special attention to Dierdre all week because it was near her due date and she looked very ready to deliver. Lynda and I noticed some actual pre –delivery signs from Dierdre by the time most of the regular feeding had been done.

We decided to give Dierdre her space and Lynda began repairing the fence that Dierdre had busted down the previous morning in order to get outside into the pasture with the rest of the expectant ewes.

I planted a few seeds in the potting shed. We checked on “D” every 15-20 minutes. Lynda heard some ba-a-a-ing that made her go take a look, (all of the b-a-a-a-ing sounds alike to me). She came back to the potting shed and said ‘we have toes and a nose”. Lynda knew by the position of the presentation that Dierdre was going to need a bit of help getting the lamb out into the world. This little ewe arrived mostly on her own and her mom, Dierdre’s, volition, with minimal assistance from Lynda. The second ewe born needed a lot of assistance. Fortunately, the timing worked out so that two of us were there to give it. I have helped deliver goats and sheep before but, I did it with the how-to manual in hand and wondering if I was doing things right. Lynda displayed knowledge and utter confidence born of years of experience.

If you’d like to hear details and to see photos of the actual birth and immediately afterwards, let me know; (it may be more info and color than most folks care to see and hear about).

Ten days later, both ewes and all three lambs are healthy and thriving.

Due to a previous injury, Dierdre can only feed one lamb and that’s going well but the other lamb is being “grafted” on to the unrelated, Cheviot ewe who gave birth to the single lamb earlier that day.

Grafting is where one mother allows a lamb who is not hers to nurse (she is the “wet-nurse”).

The grafting process may take about 2 weeks to complete.

In the meantime, we are bottle feeding the second – born lamb every 4 hours.

Bottle feeding a lamb is an enjoyable activity but takes time away from the planting that I should be doing and from all of the other things that Lynda has on her very long to-do list. Would you like to plug into this rotation?

We are feeding now at 6 and 10 am and 2, 6 and 10pm. (and if anyone has the gumption to get to the farm at 2am, the little lamb would appreciate it!)

Lynda bottle feeding the second born ewe.

Yoko and her babe.

Dierdre and her twins.

Little Lamb, who made thee?

Dost thou know who made thee?

Gave thee life, and bid thee feed,

By the stream and o’er the mead;

Gave thee clothing of delight,

Softest clothing, woolly, bright;

Gave thee such a tender voice,

Making all the vales rejoice?

Little Lamb, who made thee?

Dost thou know who made thee?

-William Blake

more on lambing

This morning, Ron went to the farm at 6:15 to get some tools needed for a project later in the day.  He hoped that he would have a chance to say hi to Hannah who does the 6:00 am bottle feeding.
He was in luck because not only did he have a chance to see Hannah, he also saw Sophie’s brand new triplets.  They were born sometime in the early morning, and all seem vigorous.
However, the two smallest ones are going to be needing to be bottle fed every 4 hours.  More hands would be a great help in this endeavor!
Let me know if you are interested…..781-588-4255

Abby and George; the 6 week olds.

These 3 'ladies in waiting' are all due within the next few weeks.

Are they playing king of the mountain?

Pig pile on Deidre!

Introducing Nick

Nick has been to the farm several times with his church youth group.  He was part of the group that planted the June strawberries up on the hill in 2008. They came back to plant garlic and help build and repair fencing that fall.

They were here in the winter of 2009  to help with blueberry pruning and  brush burning and last spring the group cleared saplings from the blueberry patch as well as from the wooded areas of the farm to create our old – fashioned wattle fence which embraced our beautiful dahlias, zinnias and cosmos and supported the sprouting  morning glory arbor this past summer.

Well, he is back for some solo  time at the Colchester as part of his Community Service requirement at Silver Lake Regional High School.  Nick has been volunteering with us several Saturday mornings this winter; cleaning out animal pens, pruning blueberry bushes and learning some animal husbandry from Lynda.  His youthful enthusiasm and  smiling face are welcome and appreciated at the farm!

And so it begins…

The first big exciting event of the new year…

There have been some smaller exciting things going on

  • hens have been laying eggs reliably all season, EGG SHARE is going well.
  • blueberry pruning has begun (join us on Saturday mornings… 10:30 to noon; call first to let us know to expect you …781-588-4255)
  • our first time at the Bridgewater and the Plymouth Winter Farmer’s Market … met up with old friends and made many new contacts
  • various repairs
  • received delivery on potting soil
  • interviewing new interns for this year

……….but this is the one we’ve been especially waiting and preparing for since the fall…..

~~~***We are expecting another birth any day and the rest of the lambs to be born between now and the end of March

Lambing season is on…..8 more ewes to give birth … looking for folks to help out with LAMB WATCH 2010

These lambs were born with no humans present but we’d really like to be there to help out if necessary and to remove the babies from being underfoot of the rest of the flock.

So we are hoping to find a few folks to come by the farm to check in late in the evening and early in the morning.

You have an opportunity to help make the birthing (lambing) process go more smoothly by allowing us to be there to make necessary preparations.

You might have a chance to see a new – born or an actual birth in progress.

You will need an orientation by Lynda to tell you what to look for and what conditions should be present for you to make a call to alert Lynda to come along and act as midwife.

Let us know if you’d like to be part of this process…