July 2010

Monthly Archive

Farmhouse for Rent

Posted by on 29 Jul 2010 | Tagged as: Farm News

Historic farmhouse for rent at 80-acre organic farm
6.5 miles from downtown Bloomington
3 bedrooms, 1 bath
$900/month + utilities
($300/month + share of utilities on a per room basis)

*Ideal candidate for house will be interested in farm labor

Contact: dave@strangershillorganics.com

Okra – Freezing

Posted by on 29 Jul 2010 | Tagged as: Recipes

Select tender young pods less than 4 inches long. If leaving whole, remove stems without cutting into seed sections. If cutting into sections, cut into 1-inch lengths after blanching. Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes. Plunge into ice water to cool, then drain. Pack in small plastic bags. Close securely and freeze. The pods, even when frozen, can be sliced crosswise easily for use in soups and stews.

From A Midwest Gardener’s Cookbook by Marian K. Towne

Okra – Quick *Chicken-Okra-Lentil Soup

Posted by on 29 Jul 2010 | Tagged as: Recipes

  • ½ c. uncooked lentils or split peas
  • 5 c. chicken or turkey broth (or water and bouillon cubes)
  • 3 c. cooked chicken or turkey, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 ears fresh corn, cut from cob, or 1 ½ c. whole kernel corn
  • 1 c. chopped celery with leaves
  • 8 fresh okra cut in rounds or 6-8 oz. frozen okra
  • chopped parsley for garnish

Cook lentils slowly in broth until tender, about 1 hour. Add remaining ingredients except parsley and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes, adding more water if needed. Serve at once garnished with parsley. Serves 6-8.

*When meat is used, we believe in the use of humanely raised and harvested meats!

From: A Midwest Gardener’s Cookbook by Marian K. Towne

Squash, Summer – Terry’s Summer Squash

Posted by on 28 Jul 2010 | Tagged as: Recipes

  • 4 c. sliced summer squash (patty pan, yellow, zucchini, etc.)
  • 1-1½ T olive oil (or heart healthy margarine or butter)
  • ½ large onion (or 1 small onion), sliced into fine rings
  • ¼ t. each of dried basil and parsley (or herbs of preference; or use 1 T. of fresh
  • chopped herbs of choice)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in skillet on medium heat, add onions and caramelize until soft and brown. Add squash and herbs and stir while continuing to cook until squash is tender. May be served plain or over rice or noodles.

Optional: After squash is cooked, lay finely sliced tomatoes over squash, cover, and steam for 2 minutes.

This recipe was submitted by Terry Guertin

Potatoes – Dave’s Easy Potatoes and Herbs

Posted by on 28 Jul 2010 | Tagged as: Recipes

  • equal amounts of fresh or dried thyme, dill, basil and sea salt (enough to coat both
  • sides of your potatoes)
  • unpeeled, washed potatoes sliced about ¼-inch thick
  • olive oil or butter

Melt oil or butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add potatoes so that they lay flat in the frying pan, turning occasionally and sprinkling the herb and salt mixture on each side once coated with the oil or butter. Cook until light brown and easily pierced with a fork; about 20 minutes. Can be made in any amount but the potatoes must lay flat in pan, so make in batches for large amounts. This recipe could also be adapted to baking in an oven pan (just make sure to coat and turn the potatoes).

This recipe was submitted by Dave Rollo

Third annual farm tour gives visitors a look at locally grown food

Posted by on 28 Jul 2010 | Tagged as: Farm News

From the Herald Times, June 30, 2010


Vanessa Carusso works at Stranger’s Hill farm and sells produce grown there at the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market. Joshua Boucher | Herald-Times

Some might find it strange that a person who hates hot weather as much as I do looks forward with great anticipation to our Hoosier summers. The reason for this schizophrenia is to be found during a stroll through the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market on any Saturday morning.

Surrounded by heirloom tomatoes, sweet corn, raspberries, blueberries, peaches, mushrooms, summer squash and a veritable riot of other summer treasures, I’m in hog heaven. Judging by the hundreds of other Bloomingtonians who attend the market every week, I am far from alone.

Once a year we are offered an opportunity to go beyond the market and see just how our favorite foods make it from field to table. Co-sponsored by Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department, Slow Food, the Local Growers Guild and Bloomingfoods, the third annual Homegrown Indiana Farm Tour is coming up July 18.

Farms visited change every year, and this year’s program looks to be especially interesting. A short bus ride from Showers Common will take tour participants to the first stop on the tour, Stranger’s Hill, the oldest continuously certified organic farm in the state. If you’ve ever wondered why organic produce costs more than conventional, here’s the opportunity to see for yourself the weapons that organic farmers must deploy to defend their crops from the ravaging hordes of critters determined to eat your food before it can make it to your plate.

Stranger’s Hill is also home to the Hoosier Hills Food Bank Garden, where volunteers grow quality produce for the food bank on land donated by the Stranger’s Hill partners. (Nice going, guys!) Last year — the garden’s first — yielded 5,600 pounds of organic vegetables for local residents in need of food assistance.

Next stop is Chris and Feng Valliant’s Phoenix Hill Farms. Chris and Feng grow Asian vegetables and other greens, but their main claim to fame is their artisinal tofu, which I have written about enthusiastically in a previous column. See where they make their small-batch tofu entirely by hand, according to the methods they learned in China.

The last stop on the tour is the 150-acre Marble Hill Farm, home to a herd of free-ranging Angus cattle. The beef here is all-natural, hormone and antibiotic free, the kind you can feel good about feeding your family. This is a great opportunity to educate yourself on the vast differences that exist between the supermarket meat of today and the meat our grandparents ate.

The usual suspects (Rags Rago of Nick’s and Jeff Finch of Finch’s) will be on hand to cap the day with a feast composed of the bounty of mid-summer, all of it local, and all of it delicious. You can relax and enjoy a delightful al fresco meal while discussing the day’s events with the new friends you are bound to make along the way.

The Homegrown Farm Tour has become a highly anticipated event for a growing number of Bloomington residents, and it sells out quickly. If you haven’t been, this is a particularly good year to give it a try, as all of the farms are in Monroe County, so time on the bus is minimal. Registration closes July 12, but don’t wait: This is an excursion you don’t want to miss.

A note to midweek grocery shoppers: If you need to restock your produce bin, the Wednesday Farmers’ Market in the eastside Bloomingfoods parking lot is in full swing. From 8 a.m. to noon, you’ll find the McCulloughs here with their ever-popular sweet corn, joined by five or six additional vendors selling a rich variety of local produce.

Farm tour info

WHEN: 2-9 p.m. July 18

WHERE: Leaves from and returns to Showers Common, 401 N. Morton St.

COST: $60 (wine and beer available for a nominal charge)

REGISTRATION: By July 12 in the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department office or atwww.bloomington.in.gov/parks.

MORE INFO: Call Marcia at 349-3738 or e-mail veldmanm@bloomington.in.gov.

Sauteed Bell Peppers and Golden Raisins with Baby Spinach

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil6 red bell peppers, cut into strips

2/3 cup golden raisins

2 teaspoons fennel seeds

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper

8 cups (about 6 ounces) baby spinach leaves

Sea salt

Heat 1/4 cup of the oil in a very large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the peppers and saute until slightly softened, about seven minutes. Add the raisins and fennel seeds, and cook until the peppers are soft, about five minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, toss the spinach with the remaining oil and vinegar in a large shallow bowl. Season to taste with salt. Spoon the pepper-raisin mixture over the spinach. Sprinkle on a bit of sea salt. Serves eight to 10.

From “Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes” by Jeanne Kelley.

Pickled Tomatoes

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns6-8 small vine-ripened tomatoes (enough to fill a 2-quart glass jar)

8 small jarred pepperoncini

4 small fresh bay leaves

4 sprigs dill, stemmed

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 cup red wine vinegar

21/2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 tablespoon sugar

Combine peppercorns, tomatoes, pepperoncini, bay leaves, dill and garlic in a 2-quart glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Bring vinegar, salt, sugar, and 11/4 cups water to a boil in a saucepan; stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Pour vinegar mixture over tomatoes. Seal jar; let cool. Refrigerate for up to two weeks.

From “Saveur” magazine.

Corn with Bacon and Miso Butter

This weird-sounding dish is incredibly delicious, especially when made with fresh sweet corn. If you don’t already have some miso (Japanese soybean paste) in your fridge, this recipe is the only reason you need to get some. (Miso will keep forever with refrigeration.)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened1 tablespoon white miso

1/4 pound thick-sliced bacon (about 3 slices)

1 small onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise

10 ears corn, shucked and kernels cut from cobs

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions


Stir together butter and miso in a small bowl; set aside.

Cut bacon crosswise into 1/8 -inch-wide strips. Cook in a 12-inch skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about eight minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, leaving fat in skillet.

Cook onion in bacon fat, stirring, until golden, five to eight minutes. Add corn and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, increase heat to moderately high, and cook, stirring constantly, until some of the kernels are pale golden, three to four minutes. Add water and butter mixture and cook, stirring, until corn is tender and coated with miso butter, about four minutes. Stir in bacon, 1/4 cup scallions, and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve corn sprinkled with the remaining 1/4 cup scallions. Serves four to six.

From “Gourmet Today.”

Copyright: HeraldTimesOnline.com 2010