Zucchini Sliced Bread

This is not the sweet Zucchini Bread we enjoy with a cuppa, but rather a regular yeasted bread that has zucchini in it.  One of our members sent me this recipe.  Thanks Louise for sharing!  I am including her notes:

I use a bread machine to make sandwich bread. Beth Hensperger's Bread Machine Cookbook has a great recipe for a zucchini bread. It's NOT a sweet bread, but instead is a yeast bread that incorporates zucchini for extra flavor. Essentially the zucchini substitutes for some of the liquid since it is mostly water. The cookbook says this makes great grilled cheese sandwiches. Here are the ingredients for 2 lb loaf; use the basic cycle on the machine with a medium crust. 

When I make this I weigh the zucchini, as it varies in volume when you shred it.  For lemon zest, I usually use zest from Eatwell citrus that I zested and froze during the winter.  If you want 100% WW, you can sub white whole wheat flour for the bread flour; increase the liquid to 10 - 11 oz and it may not rise quite as much.  Recipe calls for fat free milk, but whole milk also works.

 

1 cup milk

1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini (6 ounces) 

3 Tbs olive oil

2  2/3 cups bread flour

1 1/3 cups WW flour

2 Tbs dark brown sugar 

grated zest of 1 lemon  

1 Tbs + 1 tsp gluten

2 tsp salt

2 1/4 tsp SAF yeast or 2 3/4 tsp bread machine yeast

Make according to bread machine instructions.

IF YOU DON’T HAVE A BREAD MACHINE

I found this conversion from King Arthur:

Put the liquids in the recipe in the mixing bowl first. If you're using active dry yeast, add that next and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes to get the yeast to wake up. If you're using instant yeast, you can just put it in the bowl and keep going. Next, add eggs, sugar, and fat, if there are any in the recipe. Using the paddle attachment of the mixer, add half the flour called for in the recipe and the salt, as well as any other herbs or flavorings.  Mix on low speed until you have a thick batter.  Add the remaining flour called for in the recipe, 1/2 cup at a time.  Once the mixer begins to labor with the paddle, switch to the dough hook. Let the mixer run for at least 6 minutes at low to medium speed. The dough will begin to smooth out and get supple. It should be smooth, but not sticky.  Always keep 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the flour in a recipe back to see if you need it; if you touch the dough lightly after kneading and it still sticks to your finger, add some more of the flour and let it mix for another minute.  Any bread dough needs 45 minutes to 1 hour rise before being deflated and shaped. After mixing the dough, take it out of the mixing bowl, scrape out any crusty bits still clinging to it, spray the bowl with some pan spray or swipe it down with some soft butter, and put the dough back into it. Cover the top with some plastic wrap (and a dish towel if the kitchen's drafty), and go about your business for a while. Set a timer for 45 minutes to remind you to come back and visit the dough.  A recipe that makes a 1 1/2 pound loaf is large enough that it needs to be baked in a 9"x5" loaf pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F after the dough is deflated, shaped, and put in its pan. Let the unbaked loaf rise for 35 to 40 minutes, until it domes an inch above the rim of the pan. Place the bread in the oven and check it at 30 minutes. If you have an instant-read thermometer, the bread is done when it measures 190°F in the center. If the recipe has a lot of sugar in it, it may require tenting with foil for the last 10 minutes of baking to keep it from getting too brown. Remove the pan from the oven and place on a rack to cool for 5 minutes; after 5 minutes remove the loaf from the pan and return it to the rack to finish cooling completely before slicing.

Quick Stir-Fried Eggplant and Cabbage with Quinoa

Recipe From My Gourmet Connection by Lynne Webb

 

1 cup Quinoa

2 cups Chicken Stock

1 TB toasted Sesame Oil

3/4 to 1 lb Eggplant, cubed

Vegetable Oil

Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper

2 large Eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 medium Onion, chopped

2 cloves Garlic, chopped

2 tsp Sriracha

2 cups Savoy Cabbage, chopped

1/4 cup Soy Sauce

2 TB fresh Cilantro, chopped OR use Garlic Chives instead

 

Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Place eggplant cubes in a bowl, drizzle a small amount of oil, season with salt and pepper and toss. Arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast for 8 to 12 minutes, or until tender and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and set aside. Thoroughly rinse the quinoa with cold water in a fine mesh strainer. Place the quinoa and broth in a saucepan and brig the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until all the water is absorbed, about 12 minutes. Drizzle with sesame oil, fluff with a fork and set aside. In a large skillet or wok heat 1 tsp of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the eggs and scramble until cooked through. Stir into the cooked quinoa. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and increase the heat to high.  Add the onion and garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute. Quickly stir in the sriracha, then add the cabbage. Stir-fry until the cabbage is crisp-tender, another 2 minutes. Add a little more oil to the pan if needed, then add the quinoa-egg mixture. Continue to stir-fry for another minute.  Add the soy sauce, toss to combine, then add the eggplant and cilantro or garlic chives. Mix well, drizzle with a little additional sesame oil and serve.

Lunchbox Pepper Casserole

Recipe Farmhouse Kitchen

I made this dish for the Farm Academy’s visit last week.  Since we had poblanos in last week’s box that is what I used, but the Lunchbox Peppers would be sweeter and you don’t have to peel any skin off after roasting.  It was a great way to use many items for the box and it fed a lot of people.

2 TB Olive Oil

1 or 2 Onions, diced

1 or 2 cloves Garlic, minced

1 lb Potatoes, washed well, small diced, then boiled until tender 

2 Zucchini, diced

1 cup Water or Eatwell Chicken Stock

Lunchbox Peppers, roasted whole

Red Slicers, bottom cut off, halved and roasted

1 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Smoke Paprika

Salt and Pepper to taste

Cayenne or Chili Flakes to taste

8 Eggs, well beaten

1 1/2 cups Cream or Half & Half

8 oz grated Monterey Jack Cheese

 

Preheat oven to 425 F.  Wash peppers, dry and put on a baking sheet, then into preheated oven. Roast until blistering on the top side, flip over and roast until it begins to blister a bit. Set peppers aside and allow to cool. Roast tomatoes for at least 20 minutes until nice and soft. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet. Sauté onions over medium heat until soft, but not browned. Add garlic and mix well, sauté for 1- 2 minutes. Add the water, potatoes, and spices, mix well and cook about 8 minutes.  Then add zucchini and cook with a lid on until tender. Meanwhile. remove pepper tops and slice in half lengthwise.  In a deeper casserole dish or soufflé bowl, put one layer of roasted tomatoes all over the bottom.  Then add the potato/zucchini mix.  Top with the pepper halves. Sprinkle on 1/2 the cheese.  Mix the cream and eggs together, then pour over the casserole.  Pop into the oven at 350 and bake about 30 to 40 minutes. Top with the remaining cheese and bake until there is no runny egg when tested with a knife.

This Week's Box: August 6th- August 12th

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CONTENTS:

  1. In the box - and how to store it

  2. This Week's Recipes

  3. Shopping List

1. IN THE BOX (IN ORDER OF WHAT TO EAT FIRST):

*Items in Box for 2

* Chard- Remove any bands, twist ties, etc. Most greens must be kept in an air‐tight container with a damp cloth to keep them from drying out. Kale, collard greens, and chard do well in a cup of water on the counter or fridge. Keeps 2-3 days.

* Garlic Chives- Store in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic. Should last 3-5 days.

* Zucchini- Does fine for a few days if left out on a cool counter, even after cut. Wrap in a cloth and refrigerate for longer storage. Do not wash until ready to eat. Lasts 4-5 days.Eggplant- Does fine left out in a cool room. Don't wash it, eggplant doesn't like any extra moisture around its leaves. For longer storage - place loose, in the crisper. Keeps 5-7 days.

* Eggplant- Does fine left out in a cool room. Don't wash it, eggplant doesn't like any extra moisture around its leaves. For longer storage - place loose, in the crisper. Keeps 5-7 days.

* Grapes- Store, unwashed, in your refrigerator's fruit drawer. They last up to a week. 

Parsley- Place in a glass with an inch of water in the fridge. Change water often. Can also be stored in a closed container in the fridge. Lasts up to one week.

Peppers- Avoid direct contact while handling chiles as they contain oils that can burn your eyes. Wrap in a towel and store in a paper bag in your crisper. Keeps 1 - 2 weeks.

* Tomatoes- Depending on ripeness, tomatoes can stay for up to two weeks on the counter. To hasten ripeness, place in a paper bag with an apple.

* Onions- Store in a cool dry place out of the light. Lasts 2-3 months.

Potatoes- Store in a cool, dry, dark place. Should keep for a week or more easily. If you want to store them for longer, say 2 or 3 months, keep them between 45-55 degrees, again in a dry place out of the light.

2. THIS WEEK'S RECIPES

Stir Fried Garlic Chives with Chile

Pulled Pork & Roasted Tomato Donburi

Zucchini and Potato Pancakes

Iranian Eggplant and Yogurt Spread with Saffron

3. SHOPPING LIST FOR ALL RECIPES (ASSUMES YOU HAVE SALT, PEPPER, AND WATER):

Shopping list for Stir Fried Garlic Chives with Chile

1 Tb Peanut Oil

1 tsp dried Hot Red Pepper Flakes

Shopping list for Pulled Pork & Roasted Tomato Donburi

21/2 lb Pork Shoulder Roast

2 tsp Liquid Smoke

4 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Shopping list for Zucchini and Potato Pancakes

1 large Egg

1/4 cup All Purpose Flour

2 - 4 TB Sunflower Oil 

Shopping list for Iranian Eggplant and Yogurt Spread with Saffron

1/4 cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1/2 cup (125g) labneh

pinch saffron threads

1/2 cup (50g) toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped

Zucchini and Potato Pancakes

Recipe found on Genius Kitchen

I would add some chopped fresh parsley, because I love  fresh parsley in my potato pancakes.  

About 1/2 lb Zucchini, ends trimmed

1/2 to 1 tsp Salt

1/2 lb Potato, peeled

1/3 cup diced Onion

1 large Egg

1/4 cup All Purpose Flour

Freshly ground Black Pepper

2 - 4 TB Sunflower Oil 

Shred the zucchini into a bowl using the large holes of a box grater.  Place the grated zucchini in a medium bowl and sprinkle with 1/2 to 1 tsp salt.  Transfer zucchini to a colander in a bowl and let drain at least 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes.  Using your hands or a towel, squeeze out the excess liquid.  Shred the potatoes into a bowl using the large holes of a box grater.  In a bowl, mix together the onion, egg, and flour, and pepper to taste.  Add zucchini and potatoes; mix well. Heat 2 to 4 TB of the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat.  When the pan is hot enough to create a small sizzle, ladle in the mixture to form 4” cakes.  Fry until golden on the bottom, 7 to 10 minutes.  Using a spatula, turn the pancakes over until browned on the second side, about 6 minutes longer.  Serve immediately with a dollop of sour cream.

Iranian Eggplant and Yogurt Spread with Saffron

Recipe from David Lebovitz. Submitted by CSA Member, Nancy M.

2 medium (1.2 pound, 500g) eggplants

1/4 cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

kosher or sea salt

freshly-ground black pepper

1/2 cup (125g) labneh

pinch saffron threads

1 tablespoon water

1/2 cup (50g) toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Prick the eggplants a few times around them with a paring knife. Set the eggplants directly over a gas burner and roast, turning occasionally with tongs, until they are soft and wilted, 5 to 10 minutes. (The longer you leave them on the flame, the more "roasted" they will taste.) Place the eggplants on the prepared baking sheet and bake until they're soft all the way through, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the eggplants from the oven and when cool enough to handle, split them open and scoop out as much as the pulp as possible, and set it in a mesh strainer or colander. Let drain for 20 minutes, stirring it a few times while it drains. Once it's drained, mash the eggplant with a fork until it's a chunky puree. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and season with a bit of salt. Cook until wilted and translucent, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the eggplant and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and cool completely. Add the saffron to the water and let it steep. Stir in the labneh and scrape the spread into a wide serving bowl. Spoon the saffron threads and the liquid over the spread and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.

Pulled Pork & Roasted Tomato Donburi

Recipe from La Fuji Mama

Fuji Mama tops her donbur with stir fried leeks, but I would suggest using the Stir Fried Garlic Chives instead.  I would suggest you use bought pulled pork or a store bought roasted chicken to save time and make life a lot easier, but if you want to make the pulled pork, you will have plenty leftover. This recipe serves 4, so you should make enough rice for 4 servings.

For the Pulled Pork

21/2 lb Pork Shoulder Roast

2 tsp coarse Sea Salt

2 tsp Liquid Smoke

To make the Pulled Pork, pierce the roast all over with the tip of a sharp knife.  Place the roast in a large slow cooker and rub the salt all over the meat.  Drizzle the liquid smoke over the meat.  Cover the slow cooker and cook on high heat for 6 hours, turning the roast over once half way through the cooking time.  When the meat easily shreds with a a fork it is ready.  Remove the meat form the slow cooker and shred with two forks, adding drippings from the slow cooker as needed to moisten the meat.  

For the Roasted Tomatoes:

4 Tomatoes, halved horizontally

1/4 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper

4 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Preheat the oven to 425 F.  Place the tomatoes, cut side up on a baking sheet, then sprinkle them with the salt and pepper.  Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes and then put them in the oven to bake until the tomatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

To assemble the Rice Bowl: Divide the rice into 4 bowls.  For each bowl, top the rice with some of the pulled pork, two of the roasted tomato halves, and some of the stir-fried garlic chives. Then sprinkle with shichimi togarashi  Japanese 7 Spice.

Stir Fried Garlic Chives with Chile

Recipe from Gourmet August 2015

This recipe calls for 3/4 lb of garlic chives, which I am sure our bunches are not.  However, I was so intrigued with this recipe I thought I would include it this week. Cut up your chives, put into a measuring cup and proportion everything out. I am guessing you will get about 1 cup of chopped chives, so this recipe will probably need to be quartered.  It would be a nice accompaniment with some other dish, maybe a stir fry using chard and peppers?

1 Tb Peanut Oil

3/4 lb Garlic Chives, cut into 1 1/2” pieces, 4 cups

1 tsp dried Hot Red Pepper Flakes

Round 1/4 tsp Salt, or to taste

They suggest using a flat bottomed wok. Heat wok over high heat until a drop of water vaporizes instantly upon contact.  Add oil, swirling to coat wok evenly and heat until hot and just smoking.  Add chives and red pepper flakes and stir-fry, letting chives rest on bottom and sides of wok several seconds between stirs, until chives are tender and slightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.  Stir in salt.  Serve over rice, Or serve on top of the Pulled Pork Roasted Tomato Donburi, recipe included here.

This Week's Box: July 31st- August 6th

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CONTENTS:

  1. In the box - and how to store it

  2. This Week's Recipes

  3. Shopping List

1. IN THE BOX (IN ORDER OF WHAT TO EAT FIRST):

*Items in Box for 2

Chard- Remove any bands, twist ties, etc. Most greens must be kept in an air‐tight container with a damp cloth to keep them from drying out. Kale, collard greens, and chard do well in a cup of water on the counter or fridge. Keeps 2-3 days.

* Garlic Chives- Store in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic. Should last 3-5 days.

* Zucchini- Does fine for a few days if left out on a cool counter, even after cut. Wrap in a cloth and refrigerate for longer storage. Do not wash until ready to eat. Lasts 4-5 days.Eggplant- Does fine left out in a cool room. Don't wash it, eggplant doesn't like any extra moisture around its leaves. For longer storage - place loose, in the crisper. Keeps 5-7 days.

* Plums- Plums should be stored at room temperature until ripe. After ripe, refrigerate as necessary to prevent spoiling. Will last up to 5 days.

Eggplant- Does fine left out in a cool room. Don't wash it, eggplant doesn't like any extra moisture around its leaves. For longer storage - place loose, in the crisper. Keeps 5-7 days.

* Basil- Trim the ends and place basil in a glass containing about 1 inch of water; then cover with a loose-fitting plastic bag and leave at room temp. Replace the water whenever it gets cloudy. Should keep for about a week.

Cabbage- Wrap cabbage in plastic wrap and keep it chilled in the refrigerator. An alternative to plastic would be placing it in a tightly-locking container that limits air flow. Properly stored, cabbage should last about a week. 

Parsley- Place in a glass with an inch of water in the fridge. Change water often. Can also be stored in a closed container in the fridge. Lasts up to one week.

* Potatoes- Store potatoes in a cool, well-ventilated place. Don't wash the potatoes before storing as dampness promotes early spoilage. Will last at least one week.

* Tomatoes- Depending on ripeness, tomatoes can stay for up to two weeks on the counter. To hasten ripeness, place in a paper bag with an apple.

Raisins- Store in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Refrigeration is recommended in hot environments. Should last several weeks.

*Onions- Store in a cool dry place out of the light. Lasts 2-3 months.

2. THIS WEEK'S RECIPES

Farfalle with Chard and Pesto

Open Faced Tomatoes, Pesto, Mozzarella Sandwich

Cabbage & Potato Casserole

3. SHOPPING LIST FOR ALL RECIPES (ASSUMES YOU HAVE SALT, PEPPER, AND WATER):

Shopping list for Farfalle with Chard and Pesto

1 1/2 to 2 cups  Farfalle pasta

4 cloves of Garlic

1 tsp Olive Oil or Organic Canola Oil

1/4 cup raw Cashews

1-2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Coarsely grated Parmesan, to taste

Shopping list for Open Faced Tomatoes, Pesto, Mozzarella Sandwich

1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1/2 cup Olive Oil

4 Garlic cloves

1/4 cup Pine Nuts

Shopping list for Poblano Stuffed with Cheddar and Chicken

1 to 2 TB Butter

2 oz Bacon or Pancetta or 4 oz bulk Country Sausage

1/2 cup heavy Cream, Half and Half or Broth

1 tsp Coarse Grain or Country Mustard

1/2 cup freshly shredded melting Cheese (Gruyere, Swiss or Gouda)

Cabbage & Potato Casserole

Recipe from Spruce Eats

1 to 2 TB Butter

2 oz Bacon or Pancetta or 4 oz bulk Country Sausage

1 head Green Cabbage

1/2 lb Potatoes

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 cup heavy Cream, Half and Half or Broth

1 tsp Coarse Grain or Country Mustard

Freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste

1/2 cup freshly shredded melting Cheese (Gruyere, Swiss or Gouda)

Preheat oven to 375 F.   Chop the bacon, pancetta or sausage, if using.  Melt the butter in a large oven proof frying pan or stove-proof baking dish over medium heat.  Add the pancetta, bacon or sausage, if using and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is cooked through and browned.  Meanwhile, remove and discard the first layer or two of the cabbage leaves.  Cut the cabbage in half lengthwise, remove and discard  the core, and roughtly chop the leaves - you want the chop to be about bite-size, although if you want to shred it or cut it into ribbons, that works, too, creating a greater variety of texture within the final casserole.  Add the cabbage to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leaves are wilted, about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, peel and chop the potatoes into small bite size pieces.  Add them to the pan.  In a small bowl, whisk together the cream or broth, mustard, and pepper.  Add the mixture to the pan and stir to combine with the potatoes and cabbage.  Cover and bake until the potatoes are just tender, anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.  Uncover, sprinkle with the cheese, and cook until bubbling and browned, 10 to 15 more minutes.  

 

 

 

Open Faced Tomatoes, Pesto, Mozzarella Sandwich

Recipe sent to us by CSA member Karen A.

One of our members sent me a note about how much she loved the Eggplant Stacks Along with her note was this reminder of how delicious Tomato Sandwiches can be, particularly when you take advantage of  the basil in the shares.  Thanks, Karen, for the note!

 

Grill a slice of French bread on both sides in olive oil in a heavy skillet. Slice a tomato and grill on both sides. Spread pesto on the grilled bread (or use several basil leaves), top with a slice of mozzarella and the grilled tomatoes slices. 

 

And as a little reminder here is a pesto recipe that includes parsley which keeps your pesto fresh and bright green!  This recipe is courtesy of Matteo Mistura @ the Food Network

2 cups Basil Leaves

1/2 cup fresh Parsley leaves

1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1/2 cup Olive Oil

4 Garlic cloves

1/4 cup Pine Nuts

Salt

Using a pestle and mortar, combine the basil and parsley and crush until a paste starts to form.  Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to crush until a cream paste has formed.  Or cheat and use your food processor like I do, although I hear the mortar/pestle way makes a far superior pesto!

Farfalle with Chard and Pesto

Recipe by Vegan Richa

1 1/2 to 2 cups  Farfalle

5 big Chard leaves and soft ribs

4 cloves of Garlic

1 tsp Olive Oil or Organic Canola Oil

1/4 tsp Salt, or to taste

1/2 tsp Chili Flakes or Black Pepper

1/2 cup packed Basil or use 2 TB Basil Pesto

1/4 cup raw Cashews

1-2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 cup water if you need it to blend well

Heat oil in a pan on low-medium heat, add garlic and chopped chard.  Cook covered on low for 4-6 minutes or until chard just about starts to wilt.  Blend with basil, pepper, olive oil, cashews and a little water if needed.  The pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days without any change in color.  Cook pasta and serve topped with the pesto.  Garnish with some powdered raw cashew mixed with nutritional yeast and pepper flakes.

 

 

Mulberry Trees

The mulberries are pretty loaded this year, but it is obvious when you look up into them, just how much the birds love them. I found this bird’s nest tucked up in there. Finding a nest always feels like finding a special little surprise. Later that day, I saw a farmer had posted on Instagram a picture of one of their mulberry trees and had this to say about Nigel:

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“This mulberry tree will always remind me of the late great Farmer Nigel of Eatwell Farm. He said that mulberry tress at the edges of orchard rows will keep the birds satiated and will reduce their fruit thieving.”

It’s true, we keep our birds well fed with mulberries. I always tell people who visit it is the one crop we never harvest, it is here for those of you who make the trip to the farm, and for the birds!  Thank you, Jellicles Farm, for sharing your memories.

Artemisia

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I walk the farm and I see many dreams Nigel had for the land.  There are lots of projects he started but never had the opportunity to finish, or move forward far enough to realize it was not such a great idea.  About 10 years back Nigel planted Artemisia Arborescens. It is in the wormwood family, and there had been some amazing research done on the essential oil.  As things go in the aromatherapy world, great research does not often translate into great demand. Also, distilling the Artemisia is very problematic because the essential oil is so inky blue it is almost impossible to clean it out of the still and ends up costing a lot to produce. I look at the rows of massive bushes that just sit there, taking up space, providing excellent cover and habitat for the troublesome rabbits and ground squirrels and I ask myself, why am I keeping them? They are taking up precious land. I can hear Nigel’s voice, the excitement he had for this particular essential oil, the fact that the plants that we have, are the correct type, and they are hard to find.  But I also know that some of our lavender needs replacing pretty soon, and that would be a great spot to put it.  So decisions have to be made soon.  

Someone Is Enjoying Our Peppers

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Some pesky critter is enjoying our peppers a lot! Sadly, they have also enjoyed our cucumbers and melons, and it is looking like they have taken a big bite (pun intended) out of our crops this year. It is an enormous challenge we face each year trying to keep the ground squirrel population in check. Part of our problem is we have too many good hiding places for them. We do have some amazing predators living up in our trees. There are many gorgeous hawks all around the farm, and owls. If you look closely up in the tops of the poplar trees you will find many large nests.

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