June 2010

Monthly Archive

Native Plant Give-away!

Posted by on 22 Jun 2010 | Tagged as: Farm News

Free Native Plants at the June 26th Community Farmers’ Market
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 21th, 2010

For more information:
Mike Tosick, Chair, Environmental Commission, City of Bloomington, 391-9756

Heather Reynolds, Stranger’s Hill Organics, 339-7916

Bloomington, IN – Discover the benefits of Natural Landscaping!  The City of Bloomington Environmental Commission and Stranger’s Hill Organics have teamed up for the fourth annual native plants giveaway.  Purple coneflower, butterfly milkweed, and bergamot are just some of the native prairie perennials that will be available free at the June 26th Bloomington Farmers’ Market.

“The EC strongly supports the work that Stranger’s Hill Organics has done in promoting the use of native plants in our area,” says Environmental Commission Chair Mike Tosick.  “And we commend them for once again coming forward to give away native plant species to local residents.”

The Environmental Commission will be distributing its Natural Landscaping literature along with the plants.  In addition to a brochure introducing the concept, a series of Natural Landscaping fact sheets explain how residents can assess their property, purchase native plants, create gardens for sun, shade, and other conditions, attract wildlife and build water features. This literature can also be accessed at the Environmental Commission’s website (http://bloomington.in.gov/environment).

The prairie plants were grown organically by Stranger’s Hill Organics. “Native plants are an important part of our farm,” says Heather Reynolds of Stranger’s Hill Organics.  “Besides being beautiful, native plants promote beneficial insects and birds that pollinate crops and provide natural pest control, help to build rich soil, and filter storm water. We are delighted to help to spread the benefits of native plants throughout the Bloomington community.”

“Native plants have evolved over many years and have adapted to local conditions,” continues Tosick.  “They require very little watering once established, are well-adapted to local soil conditions, and do not spread aggressively like exotic plants can do.”

Natural Landscaping:

  • is good for the environment.  Locally, it improves air and water quality by eliminating pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizer.  Globally, it cuts greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel use associated with mowing and chemical production.
  • saves you time and money.  Less time and money spent weeding, mowing, and treating with chemicals means more time spent enjoying the great outdoors.
  • is easy for both novice and experienced gardeners.  Native plants are adapted to the local environment and can thrive with little or no help.

Stop by the June 26th Saturday Farmers’ Market to pick up free native plant seedlings and free information to assist you in creating sustainable, more natural, and beautiful spaces.

You can reach the Environmental Commission by phone via the City Planning Department at 349-3423, or send an email to: environment@bloomington.in.gov. Find out more about Stranger’s Hill Organics at www.strangershillorganics.com.

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Report: Stranger’s Hill Organics Honored as an Outstanding Community Partner

Posted by on 22 Jun 2010 | Tagged as: Farm News

From the Herald Times, June 10, 2010

http://www.heraldtimesonline.com/stories/2010/06/10/news.qp-9119183.sto

Six individuals or groups were honored with Hunger Recognition Awards for their outstanding support of the Hoosier Hills Food Bank Tuesday night at the food bank’s Fourth Annual Hunger Recognition Awards Ceremony and Volunteer Appreciation Reception at the Indiana Memorial Union.

They are:

Bloomington Hospital, Outstanding Community Partner, for being a longtime and substantial donor to the Meal Share prepared food rescue program and sponsor of a large annual food drive.

Mother’s Cupboard, Outstanding Partner Agency. This Brown County soup kitchen and food pantry has stepped up to feed about 90 people per day and provide groceries to 450 people each month.

Stranger’s Hill Organics, Outstanding Community Partner. The Monroe County farm is a food donor and provided the opportunity to start the food bank’s Garden Program, which raises organic produce that is distributed to food bank agencies.

Sen.Richard Lugar, Outstanding Advocate. Throughout his tenure in Congress, Senator Lugar has been an advocate for the hungry and for Indiana food banks, sponsoring anti-hunger legislation and last year’s statewide Hoosiers Fighting Hunger food drive.

T.J. Deckard, Outstanding Volunteer. A volunteer for over six years, Deckard has provided technical support for the food bank’s IT network, saving the food bank thousands of dollars.

Soup Bowl Organizing Committee, Outstanding Volunteers. More than a dozen people have helped lead volunteers Carrie Newcomer and Robert Meitus organize the annual Soup Bowl Benefit, the food bank’s largest source of community support.

Copyright: HeraldTimesOnline.com 2010

Pumpkin, Sugar – Spiced Pumpkin Bread

Posted by on 21 Jun 2010 | Tagged as: Recipes

  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 c vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 c cubed sugar pumpkin (or winter squash)
  • 3 c all purpose flour
  • 1 t ground cloves
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 t ground nutmeg
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1 c coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour two 9×5×3-inch loaf pans (or use 24 lined or buttered cupcake tins).

Place pumpkin or squash in a heavy saucepan with 1/8 inch of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook until pumpkin or squash is soft, about 20 minutes. Mash or puree until smooth and cool to at least luke warm.

Beat sugar and oil in large bowl to blend. Mix in eggs and pumpkin.

Mix flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt, and baking powder in another medium to large bowl.

Stir dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture in two additions. Mix in walnuts and/or chocolate chips, if desired.

Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 h 10 minutes (about 40 minutes for cupcakes). Slide a butter knife around edge of loaves and/or cupcakes and cool on racks. This recipe can also be made with a 15- or 16-oz can of pumpkin or squash.

This recipe was submitted by Heather Reynolds

Potatoes – Potato Salad

Posted by on 21 Jun 2010 | Tagged as: Recipes

  • 2 lbs. new potatoes
  • 2 – 4 stalks of celery
  • 1 small onion
  • sweet pickle relish
  • 3-4 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 c. Miracle Whip
  • 1/3 c. plain yogurt
  • ¼ c. stoneground mustard
  • 2-3 Tbl. white wine vinegar
  • 2-3 Tbl. honey

Cut the potatoes into about ½ in. chunks. Cook until soft (just less than mashing consistency). I find they cook most evenly if you boil them in enough water to cover on the stove top, the microwave doesn’t seem to work as well. Chop the celery and onion in small pieces. Mix them together with the potatoes.

Mix together the Miracle Whip, yogurt, mustard, vinegar and honey. All of these amounts are very approximate so start out using less of each ingredient then add more of whatever it seems to need until the taste seems about right. Keep in mind that the pickle relish will add some sweetness that is slightly tart.

Have the dressing and everything else all ready when the potatoes finish cooking. Quickly mix the other vegetables with the potatoes then mix in around 2/3 of the dressing. Add more if it seems to need it. It’s better if the dressing only binds it together and doesn’t make it soupy. Then add around 3 Tbl. of pickle relish and mix it in. Taste it and continue adding pickle relish until it seems right. Put it in the refrigerator to cool, saving any extra dressing.

Put the eggs in cold water, bring to a boil then put a cover on the pan and turn the heat off. Allow to sit for 17 min. Drain and rinse with cold water for several minutes. Peel. Slice them into ¼ in. chunks. It’s easiest to slice hard boiled eggs if you dip the knife in cold water after each slice. When the salad is partially cooled add the eggs. Once it’s chilled taste it to see if it needs more dressing. As it sits it will tend to get soupier so be careful about too much dressing.

This recipe was submitted by Lee Jones

Squash, Butternut – Risotto with Fennel & Butternut Squash

Posted by on 21 Jun 2010 | Tagged as: Recipes

  • 5 c. vegetable stock
  • 1 cup white wine or sherry
  • 1 cup fennel bulb, minced
  • 1 cup butternut squash, peeled & cut in 1/2” pieces
  • 3-4 Tbl. fennel leaf, minced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c. evaporated milk, undiluted
  • 1 plum tomatoes
  • salt
  • 1 – 2 Tbl. olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, minced
  • 1 Tbl. fresh thyme
  • 1 1/4 cups arborio rice, uncooked
  • 1/3 c. grated parmesean, plus extra
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbl. fresh parsley, chopped

Sauce: In a sauce pan heat 1/2 cup stock, 1/2 cup wine, 1/2 cup fennel, 1/2 cup butternut squash and the garlic. Bring to a boil and boil until the liquid is reduced so it is a very thick mixture. Reduce the heat to low & add the tomatoes and fennel leaf with the evaporated milk. Cook gently until heated through.

Heat the remaining 4 1/2 cups of vegetable broth to boiling then turn to low.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet to medium, add the onions and remaining fennel bulb and butternut squash. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the rice and thyme and stir to coat the rice in oil. Add the remaining wine and 1/2 cup of hot stock. Stir until the liquid is absorbed. Continue to add the stock 1/2 cup at a time. Always wait until the liquid is almost absorbed before adding more. Stir very frequently. Once all the stock has been added the rice should be tender but slightly chewy. Stir in 1/3 cup of parmesean cheese and salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, make a pile of the rice with a well in the center, spoon the sauce into the well. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve with extra parmesean.

This recipe was submitted by Lee Jones

Spinach – Penne with Butternut Squash Sauce & Spinach

Posted by on 21 Jun 2010 | Tagged as: Recipes

  • 1 lb butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1” pieces
  • 4 Tbl. olive oil
  • 1/4 lb panecetta or bacon (I use turkey bacon)
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 cup evaporated milk, undiluted
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. fresh rosemary
  • 10 oz. baby spinach, washed
  • 1 lb penne
  • salt & pepper
  • grated parmesean cheese

Toss the squash with 1 Tbl. olive oil, place on baking sheet and roast at 350 degrees F until tender, 20 -25 minutes. Puree in a food processor. Heat 1 Tbl. olive oil in skillet, add the shallot and sautee until soft, 6 – 8 minutes. Add the pancetta or bacon and cook until slightly crisp. Then add the spinach and stir until wilted. Add the pureed squash, nutmeg, rosemary and salt and pepper to taste.

In the meantime cook the penne in boiling water until al dente. Drain and toss with the squash sauce. Serve with grated parmesean.

Serves 4 – 6.

This recipe was submitted by Lee Jones

Squash, Butternut – Penne with Butternut Squash Sauce & Spinach

Posted by on 21 Jun 2010 | Tagged as: Recipes

  • 1 lb butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1” pieces
  • 4 Tbl. olive oil
  • 1/4 lb panecetta or bacon (I use turkey bacon)
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 cup evaporated milk, undiluted
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. fresh rosemary
  • 10 oz. baby spinach, washed
  • 1 lb penne
  • salt & pepper
  • grated parmesean cheese

Toss the squash with 1 Tbl. olive oil, place on baking sheet and roast at 350 degrees F until tender, 20 -25 minutes. Puree in a food processor. Heat 1 Tbl. olive oil in skillet, add the shallot and sautee until soft, 6 – 8 minutes. Add the pancetta or bacon and cook until slightly crisp. Then add the spinach and stir until wilted. Add the pureed squash, nutmeg, rosemary and salt and pepper to taste.

In the meantime cook the penne in boiling water until al dente. Drain and toss with the squash sauce. Serve with grated parmesean.

Serves 4 – 6.

This recipe was submitted by Lee Jones

Potatoes, Yukon Gold – Mashed Butternut Squash & Potatoes

Posted by on 21 Jun 2010 | Tagged as: Recipes

  • 1 medium butternut squash, (1 – 1½ lbs.) peeled and chopped in 1” pieces
  • 3 small Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 Tbl. olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ Tbl. fresh thyme, minced
  • 3 Tbl. hot mango chutney (optional)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Boil potatoes and butternut squash until they are tender. Sautee the onions and garlic until translucent, add the thyme for another minute. Mash the squash with the potatoes, onion and garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste and hot mango chutney if desired. Serves 6-8.

This recipe was submitted by Lee Jones

Squash, Butternut – Mashed Butternut Squash & Potatoes

Posted by on 21 Jun 2010 | Tagged as: Recipes

  • 1 medium butternut squash, (1 – 1½ lbs.) peeled and chopped in 1” pieces
  • 3 small Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 Tbl. olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ Tbl. fresh thyme, minced
  • 3 Tbl. hot mango chutney (optional)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Boil potatoes and butternut squash until they are tender. Sautee the onions and garlic until translucent, add the thyme for another minute. Mash the squash with the potatoes, onion and garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste and hot mango chutney if desired. Serves 6-8.

This recipe was submitted by Lee Jones

Basil – Pesto

Posted by on 21 Jun 2010 | Tagged as: Recipes

  • 2 – 3 cups of packed basil
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of pine nuts (We usually omit these or substitute almonds)
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 cups of olive oil

Using a food processor, a blender or a mortar and pestle, reduce the garlic cloves and pine nuts, if desired, to a paste. Add the basil and continue processing until it forms a paste mixed with the garlic. Mix in the parmesan cheese. Slowly add the olive oil, mixing it well, until the pesto reaches the consistency you prefer. Some people like to bring it to a sauce consistency. We usually leave it quite a bit thicker (using less oil). When you are ready to mix the pesto with the pasta thin it with some of the water the pasta was cooked in.

We usually sauté a variety of seasonal vegetables to toss together with the pasta and pesto.

This recipe was submitted by Lee Jones

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