Monday, May 9, 2011

A Front Yard Farm

Here at the City Girl household we have been embarking on a brave new experiment. Urban Farming!! When this City Girl read about PRI - Cold Climate's new Urban Farm Certification Program she jumped on board fast! And let me tell you, it's been a whirlwind of classes, networking, and just plain urban farming. A City Girl's dream com true! This City Girl is psyched.

My biggest accomplishment so far? Actually REMOVING the sod in half of my front yard to accommodate a new urban farm plot! This was such a big project that I had to recruit help and I will be indebted to my helpers in free veggies for the summer. I incorporated a circular design in order to minimize the square footage taken up by paths. Plus I just think it looks darn pretty! One of my techie co-workers pointed out that it's reminiscent of a computer's power button. So maybe I was also channeling my inner geek? Whaddya think?
So far I've planted a few of my cool-weather seeds, and much of the warmer weather stuff is growing happily inside our back porch until it's late enough to put them in the garden.

Biggest challenge right now? I still have a backyard bed that needs prepping for the upcoming season. And there has been too much rain for this City Girl to get much done back there! I love the rain for my front yard plot, but can't wait for a dry day or two so I can get the back yard ready.

Hey readers? Any tips on foiling raccoons? My backyard plot will once again contain some corn. Last year's was devoured by a hungry raccoon. I hear they are almost impossible to keep away from corn in an urban setting. I'm determined to give it one more go! So if you've got any great tips, I'd love to hear 'em!

Friday, June 11, 2010

It's CSA Time!!!

Can you believe the Harmony Valley Farm CSA season has already been underway long enough to be on Box #3? This City Girl can't! Life is crazy around here these days so I haven't had much time for posting. Suffice it to say using up the box has been MUCH easier than last year now that I have some experience under my belt!

So here's a quick summary of my faves so far this year:
  • Frittata - you can use up just about anything in these and they are such a breeze to make! Best of all? The 5 year old even likes 'em! I started out with a Harmony Valley Farm recipe for Nettle Frittata (Yes, nettles! And they were GOOD!) and have expanded my horizons from there. Seriously, almost anything goes good in a Frittata - I have tried seasoned ground chicken sausage, potatoes, greens, and even sauteed radishes! And of course throw in some onions and garlicky stuff to your liking.
  • Sunchoke Dip - By far one of my fave standby's from last year! Tastes like hummus, and oh so good with some sliced radish chips. This coming from a gal who swore she didn't like radishes, nuh-uh, never, no-how, no-way! Mmmmm.... radish chips great for dipping!
  • Kale Pie - Though it calls for kale, I made this to use up my Yukina Savoy. And boy was it delish! A little bland for my taste at first, but top with some spreadable cheese and you're good to go! I think next time I'll actually make it as a savory breakfast dish for the week. Wait, next time? What am I talking about? We just got more Yukina Savoy in our box this week! I think I know what I'm doing with it already...!
  • Minty Pea-Vine Pops - Even though someone accused me of trying to be the mom who "hides" vegetables in food to get her kids to eat them, I still love these things. I made them last year, and just had to do it again when we got such a nice large bunch of pea vines again this year. Instead of using peas like the recipe calls for, I steamed the pea vines until tender, then pureed with the cream cheese. And hey, I'm not hiding them! I was perfectly clear when I told my son there were pea vines in there! And he still loves 'em! As did the rest of us!
  • Ryan's Anything Green Curry - Shared by a fellow Harmony Valley Farm CSA-er this recipe rocks my world! It's going to be one of my tried & true standby's this season, I can tell already! We used up some spinach and other greens this way and once again it was one of those dishes the WHOLE family loved. Can't beat that!