Oh Boy! Beets
San Marzano Tomatoes
Notes from the Farm
Family as an integrated part of our income changes the way we see our income.
We farm for money, we need it for all the dumb stuff we all use money for... honestly, I often feel like the bulkier half of our family budget is just dumb stuff we don't need, and would probably be better without.
But we farm for more than money... we farm because it's a great way to live a life. Everyday, we get to look out and see a farm... sometimes it's neat and orderly, sometimes it's an unmitigated disaster, and
most of the time it falls somewhere in-between. But it's not lost on us that we're able to exist in a concrete encapsulation of our work, and that our work is ultimately primal, ancient, and echos...
And we farm as a family, which means that there is a weaving mandala of our personalities and relationships with each other imprinted on the evolving layout of our farm. All four of us, Gina, the girls and I are all represented... and our imprints fow with the season.
Gina brings everything back awake in the winter, fring up the greenhouse and tending the farm to be,
layering the successions... and she hands it over to me in late spring to get it in the ground and turn her plans into the growing gardens of the given year.
The girls have become the safety net of the farm... like well trained cattle dogs... bringing in the wandering elements back to the herd. It's the coolest... they've grown up farming, and I don't really have to explain anything to them anymore, I just say that the greenhouse tomatoes need to be cleaned up, and they can go and do just that... clean it up. They have become experts at cleaning up the loose ends I create... they bring the whole farm back to the center. If we don't pick the mini bells, or fairy tale, or eggplant, or whatever... I can set them loose on a task, and they get the job done.
And it all just kind of happens... like watching a high school basketball weave drill... as a family we are able to make the farm work, because we all work together, trust each other and know that someone will be coming back around to take the ball so that the others can keep weaving...
It's the coolest being a part of a family that all works together, for each other, doing something so primal and fun, that it almost feels like we've somehow gotten away with something... I know I keep looking around waiting for someone to tell me to get a job, grow up, be earnest, or some other nonsense... eventually our Peter-Panean existence will fade away, all good things fade, it's kinda what makes them so good... but hopefully it doesn't fade on us too soon.
I could eat this stuff by the bucket load. You spread it on bread, or eat it with crackers...
it's crazy good, and I have no idea why you don't see it more often.
1 cup walnuts (I use pecans)
1 Quart Mini Bell Peppers
½ cup fne fresh breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. red pepper fakes
1 Tbsp. tahini
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. paprika
2 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses, plus more for drizzling, you can often get it at Hannafords in the Indian food section. I often use honey instead, works super well as an alternative.
Preheat oven to 350°. Toast walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing halfway through, until golden
brown and fragrant, 8–10 minutes. Let cool. Pick out a few walnuts for serving and coarsely chop; set
Meanwhile, place a rack in upper third of oven and heat broiler. Broil bell peppers on a rimmed baking
sheet, turning occasionally, until skins are charred and fesh is softened, 12–15 minutes. (Alternatively,
you can char over a gas burner on medium-high, turning occasionally with tongs, 12–15 minutes.)
Transfer bell peppers to a medium bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap so that they steam, 10
minutes (this extends the cooking and also makes it easier to remove the skins).
Remove skins from bell peppers (it’s okay if some bits don’t come off); remove and discard ribs and
seeds. Pulse bell peppers, breadcrumbs, oil, Aleppo-style pepper, tahini, lemon juice, paprika, toasted
walnuts, and 2 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses in a food processor until mostly smooth; season
muhammara with salt.
Transfer muhammara to a small bowl; drizzle with more pomegranate molasses and top with reserved
Glazed Carrots with Ginger and Jalapeno
2 cups water
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound baby carrots, greens trimmed but left intact
3 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 jalapeno chile, stemmed and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh fat-leaf parsley
Bring water, butter, honey, and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Add carrots, ginger, and jalapeno.
Reduce heat, and simmer, covered, until carrots are tender, about 7 minutes. Transfer carrots and pan
juices to a serving dish, and toss with parsley. Serve warm.