Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Anyone who has been living in Ohio this Spring will know that it has been, to say the least, very wet. Becky's field was hit with a lot of rain and it seemed that the tile was clogged, which created a mucky, wet disaster. She lost all of her roots crops... turnips, beets, carrots, radishes, and even her potatoes. She lost her lettuces, some peppers and tomatoes, and some onions. I haven't yet heard if her sweet potatoes were damaged, but I really hope not... they are my favorite! Here are a few pictures of the damage... and these were taken 2 days after the heavy rains and after the field had drained quite a bit.
Becky plans to till everything under once it is dry enough and replant. That is pretty much her only choice. To see pictures of what it looked like right after it rained, click here.

Trying to create a ditch to allow the water to flow out of the fields.....

Monday, June 7, 2010

Introducing.... Bee Pollen!

We are offering a new product this year and I am so excited about it! Bee Pollen! So... what do you do with bee pollen, you ask? Eat it! Pollen itself is the male seed of flowers, required to fertilize the plant. It is used as a nutritional supplement that some people swear by. It contains an abundance of vitamins, minerals, proteins, amino-acids, and more. We have seen claims for using it for energy, weight loss, alleviating depression and migraine headaches, preventing cancer, etc...etc...etc... We won't make any of those claims here, but I must say I think this fresh pollen is quite tasty. Other times that I have tried pollen I thought it tasted like hay, in a chalky form that is kind of hard to swallow. The pollen we have been harvesting still has the chalky texture, but it has been surprisingly sweet and flavorful. It is great for adding to smoothies, sprinkling on salads, or just eating by the spoonful (followed by a drink of OJ).Here is a close-up picture where I tried to capture all the colors and textures of the different kinds of pollen. The bees gather pollen in little 'pollen sacs' on their legs. They use the pollen to feed to the baby bees. (Don't worry, we make sure there is plenty left for them).
It is harvested through the use of a pollen trap that goes on the bottom of the hive where the bees enter. See the unpainted wooden part where all the bees are trying to enter? As they enter through the pollen trap, the pollen is knocked off their legs and lands on a screen below. We empty the screen daily, and it is amazing to see the varieties of colors that accumulate throughout the day. You can tell the bees are gathering from different sources throughout the day, as the colors form in layers throughout the trap.
As I type, Isaac is out in the apiary pulling honey supers that will be extracted later this week. We are hoping to get a good harvest of Black Locust honey this week, which will be ready for market by Saturday. Maizy loves to help us "sort" honey as we bottle it. She is only 10 months old so honey is not a regular part of her diet yet... but we can tell she is counting down the days. She watches us eat honey with a look in her eyes that says, "I know that's something good... and I am going to get it." Until then... keep sorting those bottles Maizy. We will have a nice honey cake for you when you turn one!

Friday, June 4, 2010

A meal inspired by... Garlic Scapes

Now let me preface this post with saying that I do not consider myself a great cook, but rather someone who may have a few ideas to share about how to cook up some of the more unusual types of produce that is out there. If you go to the farmer's market tomorrow, you may find Garlic Scapes for sale. These are the tips of the garlic plant that form a white swan shaped neck, which emerge right around early June in central Ohio. The garlic plant forms this scape to produce seeds, however, by cutting the scapes we can encourage the plant to put more energy in creating bigger garlic bulbs. Thus.... the edible scapes can be added to a delicious stir-fry, giving a touch of garlicy flavor without too much spice. Just dice them up like you would scallions, throw them in with your other favorite vegetables for stir-frying, there you have it! I used whatever veggies I could find in our fridge, and I also added some pre-cooked turkey I had in the freezer. To add some flavor, I combined some soy sauce with our own fall honey, sauteed it all together, and served it with rice.
This meal will only take 20 mins, unless you have one of these clinging to your leg the whole time... which makes it harder to move around the kitchen quickly.
Have any other creative ideas about how to cook with garlic scapes? Post it in the comments section!