flowers

Hello dear friends,

Each farm has an aesthetic, a specific way of being, a farm reputation that’s created by the head farmer. It’s made up, among many things, of the farm crew and the farm’s layout and the way we present ourselves at market.

Drumlin farmers tend to be sensitive, intellectual, artsy types, often people who made major life transitions and arrived at farming (Matt was a writer, Greg was a union organizer, I was a musician, etc). Drumlin farmers adore food and will cook anything from good old American grilled cheese with a garnish of sultry oil-seared zucchini to steaming, wine-red beet risotto on a bed of braised hakurei turnip greens. We are complete lovers of beauty, and it is standard for us to exclaim a million times in the space of one hectic day over the beauty of this bird, that squash blossom, this cloud formation.

So: it comes as no surprise that even though we harvest pretty much the same crops each year, each season’s first harvest of a crop is a cause for celebration. We did both tiny, dainty purple-black eggplant and shiny green peppers for the first time this week! They were glorious.

And… our flowers are finally in bloom! We have the most incredible variety of flowers here at Drumlin. True to our reputation and nature as a farm, our flowers are deeply beautiful and interesting in texture and color. They’re intellectual flowers. Our ultimate crew favorite is the snapdragon:

snapdragon

I’m going to list the others below. Scroll down, and imagine these flowers in a field at the farm. It’s absolutely stunning…

zinnia

viola

strawflower

black knight scabiosa

rudbeckia

ruby silk grass

qis carmine gomphrena

paper daisies

marble arch salvia

frosted explosion

dianthus

bachelor's button

ageratum

It is absolutely delightful to end a Friday picking flowers as the bees buzz around a wealth of blossoms.

Please continue to send me questions, write comments, and come visit!

Love,

Laura

P.S. Recipe for Beet Risotto! Super easy, don’t be intimidated by the fancy schmancy name.

You will need:

beets, chopped small

onions, chopped small

turnip tops, spinach, beet tops, or some other green to be sauteed

vegetable broth

arborio rice

spices of your choice!

Saute the beets and onions for a VERY long time– until soft. Add arborio rice and the corresponding amount of vegetable broth– if the label doesn’t tell you how much liquid you’ll need to cook the rice, you can look it up online. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the rice is cooked. It will be smooth and almost melty, with a dense, rich, slightly mushy texture. It will also be BRIGHT red. Add salt and pepper to taste; you can fool around with fresh chopped basil, oregano, thyme, or any other of your favorite spices. Saute the greens separately in olive oil (add salt and pepper). Serve the risotto over the greens. Recipe courtesy of my fabulously inventive and kitchenly courageous roommate Signe.

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5 thoughts on “flowers

  1. Oh Laura,
    Your blog entry leaves me feeling nostalgic and at the same time, thrilled that it is summer and these beautiful flowers are finally reaching their peak!

    We are so happy that you are surrounded by such natural beauty and that the people who are in your community there are so passionate about their mission – as you.

    Thank you for your works of art – sharing with others – feeding our bodies, minds and souls.

    Love to you, your farmer friends, all the farmers around the world, and your readers –
    Wendy
    PS. More recipes, pleeeeeez??

  2. Dear Laura, your photos are beautiful and your writing is inspiring. I feel connected with the land again through your sharings. Speaking of which, I was wondering what the trick was to growing nice long carrots. I tried growing them years ago and they were stunted, and malformed, even though I felt like I tilled the soil deep. From the looks of things at the farmer’s market here in Anne Arundel County, it seems farmers around here struggle with this same issue.

    Also, your mom told me the carrot greens are edible? How would one prepare these?

    Peace and light wished for you and many more happy experiences,

    Nam-Hari

  3. Hi Nam-Hari,
    Thanks for your enthusiasm!! I’m so glad you’re reading!

    Check out this website for carrot tips: http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/cultivation2.html
    It could be a pH issue, or perhaps a soil texture issue– is your soil rocky or more sandy? Also, did you plant each seed separately, or did you drop them all in a bunch in the ground? Carrots need to be spaced about a finger’s width apart to grow to their full potential.

    Yes, you can cook with carrot tops! I love to use the whole vegetable– it’s a great feeling. Here are some ideas for you, but you should definitely let your imagination go crazy with vegetable creativity. For example, a customer at the farmer’s market yesterday said he was going to use the frilly tops of a fennel plant as a garnish in cocktail drinks! I think a sprig of fennel would look lovely in a tall glass of lemonade.

    Anyway, the carrot top ideas:

    -vegetable stock! saute onions, celery, carrots, and carrot tops in olive oil. add water, salt, pepper, and thyme, and let simmer for a while. you can even let it sit overnight, to let the water absorb the flavor. then strain the liquid into a container; you can freeze it for later use, or use it right away for beet risotto or soup!
    -saute with veggies and egg. don’t use TOO much of the carrot tops in a stir fry, as they are slightly bitter. but they are really nutritious– potassium, for example– and lovely to look at.
    -garnish on top of homemade hummus or any other spread.
    -i’ve never tried this, but it looks yummy: http://www.food.com/recipe/carrot-top-quinoa-soup-273145

    Good luck!
    Laura

  4. Thanks Laura. Great ideas for recipes. I’m on day 4 of a fruit and vegetable juice fast, but when it’s over, I’m definitely going to try the carrot top quinoa soup.

    Thanks for the input on growing carrots. Based on your input, I think our soil did not have enough peat and sand.

    Happy farming!

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