“Mom, could you have guessed ten years ago that you’d be making supper for so many people every night that we can’t eat in the house?”
No, I never would’ve guessed.
We call it Farm Dinner. Our biggest dinner of the week is on Mondays, when we invite everyone who lives and works on the farm. When everyone comes, that’s 23 people!
That many does NOT fit around the kitchen table. We have a big farm kitchen and a big table but… it doesn’t work. The farmhouse does not have a dining room, either.
Instead, our dining room is the deck that Simeon and Farmer Reuben built in 2019.
With Grandpa and Grandma joining in we have three generations from ages 73 – 1. My mom loves to help with the babies and her job is to bring dessert each week. I love that I don’t have to make dessert in addition to the rest of the food and my mom gets the appreciation from the grandkids who love yummy desserts. It makes the meal special too, since we don’t have desserts the rest of the week.
Except for Feast Days!
We’ve built days into our season to celebrate special occasions like the blessed bonfire and green walnut harvest on June 23, also known in former times as the Vigil of St. John the Baptist. This is the night we build a bonfire in the woods, invite friends, climb trees to pick the green walnuts and feast on fresh made soups and salads.
Here’s a little teaser: the green walnuts are soaked in sugar, then fermented to make an Italian, alcoholic drink called Nocino. Traditionally, it’s ready at Christmas time – another feast!
Next year our nocino will be sold through a new local distillery – Dumb Ox Distillery – located at Willow Haven Farm. Exciting spirits like White Whiskey and White Rum are in the works – using the brand new copper stills. If you are interested in learning more as Farmer Reuben and his three partners launch this new venture – subscribe here. You don’t have to love organic vegetables to support a local business – support local spirits too!
Rethinking the Veggie Side
I still cook in the farm kitchen, even though we don’t eat there. Last night I used up three bunches of asparagus and 3 heads of bok choy to make a red curry with spring vegetables. The Instantpot easily made 5 cups of organic long grain brown rice for the crowd. Mushroom parsley salad and a lettuce salad with a dill vinaigrette completed the meal.
Living on a certified organic vegetable farm and receiving the same CSA box as everyone else, plus some extras that are left, has taught me to rethink vegetables at meals.
Not anymore. During the growing season I try to have three organic vegetable dishes at every meal:
- a cooked vegetable
- a raw vegetable or salad
- and a fermented vegetable.
You get different minerals and enzymes from each way of serving and preserving your veggies. I’ve seen some diets that say raw vegetables are best. Others that say, no, you have to cook certain veggies to digest them properly (broccoli, cabbage, kale, spinach etc.) And fermentation just brings your nutrition to whole new level by giving you probiotics and easier digestibility.
Bonus Tip: Eat your vegetables with healthy fat! This might surprise you because of all the demonization of fat over the last several decades but I hope it delights some of you.
Fat actually helps your body digest vegetables so try to find grassfed butter, lard, virgin coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil.
You see, there is a reason for oil in salad dressing. And there is a reason corn, beans and broccoli tastes SO GOOD with butter.
In order to feed this many, use up our veggies, provide nutrition and give people options according to their own tastes – three vegetable dishes it is!
An extra special farm dinner
Empty spots at this week’s pizza night gave Farmer Reuben an idea. Let’s give the Willow Haven Farm team a special farm dinner and include them in Pizza Night. It’s the best brick oven sourdough pizza in the Lehigh Valley – made with fresh organic vegetables and locally milled organic wheat flour.
Farm members and guests are coming at 5 pm and 7 pm so we are going to fill the 6 pm seating with family and farm staff.
We’ve invited Grandma and Grandpa, my brother’s family, the packing team, my assistant, Suzanne, and the farm staff that live here. That’s right kids, you get to come to Pizza Night! (Farm kids: you might have to bus your own table, though.)
I wonder if anyone will make dessert? I have rhubarb in the fridge they can use to try making Rhubarb Buckle again.
You’re invited. There’s still room for you too!
If a last minute change makes it possible to for you to come at 5 pm or 7 pm – join us! It will be a merry time on the deck.
|Reserve My Table|
$25/person. Kids 4 & under eat free.
Farmer’s Featured Pizza with Garlic Scapes
You know what I want on my pizza this time of year? Sautéed garlic scapes!
By April or May all the garlic I stored over the winter is used or shriveled up. Just when I need fresh garlic and I’m tired of using dried garlic powder, the garlic scapes are ready.
Never had them? They are the perfect fresh garlic taste to get you through until the full garlic harvest in July.
I’ll tell you how they grow and what to do with them in this video!
Don’t forget to come to Pizza Night.
TOMORROW –> Saturday, JUNE 11, 2022.
We’ll keep farming for you!
Reuben and Tessa DeMaster
posted from June 10, 2022 Farm News email.
P. S. You or your neighbors can still sign up for a farm membership. We’ve started our season but there are lots of weeks to come for fresh farm grown goodness. See below 👇
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FARM STORY VIDEOS: The Willow Haven Farm YouTube channel has fun, informative, and educational videos of our farm life and what organic farming looks like here. Check out it out here >>> VIDEOS!