Baby Lettuce Mix
Baby Beet Greens
Red Russian Kale
German Extra Hardy Garlic
Ailsa Craig Onion
Some Kind Of Zucchini and/or Summer Squash
Notes from the Farm
Tom Earle of the Earle Family Farm in Conway is an important mentor and friend. Tom was my official mentor through MOFGA's Journeyperson program, and Gina's mentor when she worked for Tom back in '08. There is very little that we do that isn't influenced by him.
One of the, if not the most, important concepts we've learned from him is wholeness... thinking of our farm as a singular whole organism. Thinking about every aspect of our farm as a part of the greater whole, like organs in a body, or cogs in a machine... I prefer the body metaphor...
I'm not good at meditating or thoughtful self-reflection, but I do spend hundreds of mind-numbing hours on a tractor, driving back and forth, situating my situation... I try and use that tractor time for conscious reflection... kind of like a walking meditation, only on a tractor.
In repetition I ask: What makes this farm? How are those elements connected? What parts of our farm are unhealthy? How can I strengthen the whole? What don't I see? It's a good exercise, and I'm always surprised at how productive it can be.
When we moved to Casco we changed our farm name... there were a number of reasons we changed the name, I won't get into them all, it's not that interesting... but for me it was a conscious move to acknowledge this isn't just a business and it's not just us toiling for spare change. We are a Family Farm, and the concept of family is as big as it needs to be. Us, our parents, our neighbors, our fellow farmers who drop everything to help when we're in a pinch, the apprentices who come and live with us, they are all absorbed into the family culture, the farm, our lives... they are all part of the greater whole... and it's that unity, that connectivity, that wholeness that sustains the farm... even when something seismic changes the landscape of our lives.
Half a small head of cabbage
1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Tear leaves from head of cabbage into large pieces; toss with olive oil. Season with salt. Arrange in a single layer on 2 wire racks set on rimmed baking sheets. Bake until leaves darken slightly and get crisp, removing them as they brown, 25 to 35 minutes. Let cool completely before serving, or store in an airtight container up to 3 days.
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup vegetable oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Place egg yolks in a food processor. (To avoid using raw eggs, substitute yolks from pasteurized eggs.)
Add mustard, garlic, and lemon juice. Pulse ingredients until well combined.
With motor running, add oil in a slow, steady stream (mixture should become thick and emulsified). Season with salt and pepper.
Refrigerate in an airtight container, up to 1 week.
1 medium-size cucumber
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
Chopped fresh dill, or parsley
Peel cucumber, and cut into large chunks.
In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add cucumber and salt, and cook, tossing occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Serve sprinkled with dill or parsley.
Tomato, Cucumber, and Pickled-Onion Salad
1 small white onion, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise (about 1 cup)
3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
6 ripe medium tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges
1 English cucumber, partially peeled lengthwise to create stripes, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices, larger pieces halved
2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup packed fresh basil, larger leaves torn
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Toss onion with vinegar in a small nonreactive bowl. Cover, and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Place onion with vinegar, tomatoes, and cucumber on a platter. Drizzle with oil, and top with basil. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.