Garden Quesedillas

I love making quesedillas with veggies from my garden and local farms. I used organic zucchini and onions from my own garden, and organic corn (Hurricane Flats) and organic sweet red peppers (Honey Field Farm) from Norwich Farmers Market Topped with shredded cheddar cheese and another flour tortilla. Quick, easy, colorful, and delicious.



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Norwich Farmers Market

When my own pepper plants failed to produce this summer, I headed to the Norwich Farmers Market. Honey Field Farm had much better luck with peppers! Such bounty – look at that beautiful array of organic peppers!



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Easy Freezing!

Peppers, tomatoes, basil, all are abundantly available right now in our gardens, CSAs, farmers markets, and local farm stands . . . and they are so easy to freeze for winter use! Tomatoes can be frozen whole (and when ready to use, skins easily slip off after briefly running under hot water.) Peppers can be sliced and frozen. Basil can be chopped and put in ice cube trays with water, and used all winter long in soups, stews, and sauces. It takes so little time and it’s so rewarding to have these local foods available on a cold winter day!

P.S. Keep your HOT peppers separate and label them . . . and be sure to wash your hands after and keep them away from your eyes – I didn’t. YOW!


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First Major Snow Day Tomato Soup!

On the first major snow day of the season, it is satisfying to make tomato soup. My garden tomatoes and basil from the freezer, organic CSA onions from Sunshine Farm, a bit of Strafford Creamery half & half, and thyme picked in the garden 3 days ago. (“Good thyming” says my daughter!) Add a dash of non-local sriracha and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Hooray for cozy comfort food!


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Garden Quesadillas

The community garden has been a much-appreciated resource during this Covid-19 pandemic – so much more enjoyable to shop the open-air garden than the grocery store. Zucchini did not fare well in our gardens this year but I have had a constant supply of yellow summer squash and many meals, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, using these squashes for both quesadillas and on pasta.

Today’s brunch made use of a small yellow squash and some of my own garden onions and peppers. I used my parer to create golden coins of squash and sauteed in olive oil with chopped onions and peppers, cumin, salt, and pepper.

That made a delicious filling for my quesadilla with cheddar cheese and toasted walnuts, topped with a swirl of sriracha sauce. Fresh from the garden goodness!






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Maple-Crabapple Sauce

Thanks to a gift of crabapples from a friend’s tree, I now have jars of canned local maple-crabapple sauce and frozen maple-crabapple juice stored for winter. I am imagining potato pancakes with sour cream and applesauce . . . and hot toddies with crabapple juice, to help get me through Winter.



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Mid-March Local Food from Willing Hands!

Every Fall, Willing Hands collaborates with local orchards and a cadre of volunteer gleaners, to bring in a harvest of apples for food pantries, community dinners, and other organizations that distribute needed food. Tons of apples are collected; some are put in cold storage for later use. This year, when a portion of those apples developed soft spots a new project was born – applesauce-making!

Volunteers picked up sacks of cold storage apples and took them home to cook.

A team of applesauce makers then finished the processing of all those cooked apples.  The LISTEN Community Dinner site offered their commercial kitchen for the project and over 85 quarts of applesauce were made.

The Listen Community Dinner site has been serving fresh applesauce all this week and additional quarts have been delivered to many Willing Hands distribution sites. What a wonderful collaboration for reducing food waste and feeding hungry people local food in March!    (Thanks to Frank Easton for most of these photos.





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Vermont Bean Crafters: Local, Plant-based, Prepared Foods


I have only just learned about Vermont Bean Crafters (though they have been in business for several years) and tried their falafel recently.  Delicious! They also sell frozen black bean burgers, sweet potato burgers, and hummish and make an effort to use organic and local/regional ingredients. (I found mine in the freezer section of the Upper Valley Food Coop in White River Jct. Vt.)

This is what they say about their falafel: This is a falafel intended to be baked, rather than fried; making it a more nutritious shade of delicious. Instead of cooking the chickpeas, we sprout them to increase texture, flavor and available nutrition. Packed with authentic Middle Eastern flavors; like cumin and coriander this recipe holds true to its roots. We hold true to our own by incorporating unconventional ingredients that allow us use more local and organic elements.

And take a look at the description of ingredients in their black bean burger: Sautéed onions, sunflower seeds, buckwheat, cumin, and rosemary pack this burger with great taste and texture. Though organic black turtle beans are the main ingredient, freshly dug carrots and raw kale round out the flavor.

And the sweet potato burgerWe oven-roast sweet potatoes and corn and incorporate these sweet veggies with fresh parsley and carrots. We’ve created our own maple-chipotlé BBQ sauce to brighten the burger’s savory soul.

Hummish: We took some time to develop a bean spread that utilizes regionally-grown ingredients: soldier beans, sunflower oil, and apple cider vinegar. Use this spread as you would hummus: on a sandwich, in a falafel wrap or part of an appetizer plate.

Vermont Bean Crafters collaborate with neighboring growers. Vegetables, grains, herbs, beans, vinegars and oils are sourced from the following farms:

Burnt Rock Farm, Huntington, VT

Dog River Farm, Berlin, VT

Dwight Miller and Sons, E. Dummerston, VT

Genessee Valley Bean Co, Caledonia, NY

Georgia Mountain Maple, Milton, VT

Green Thumb Farms, Fryeburg, ME

Harlow Farm, Westminster, VT

Hoolie Flats, East Calais, VT

Intervale Community Farm, Burlington, VT

Jericho Settlers Farm, Jericho, VT

Kingdom Maple, Westfield, VT

Kingsbury Market Garden, Warren, VT

Maine Grains, Skowhegan, ME

Maple Wind Farm, Huntington, VT

Pete’s Greens, Craftsbury, VT

Schilitz Farms, North Lawrence, NY

Stony Brook Whole Hearted Foods, Geneva, NY

Teeny Tiny Spice Company, Harrisonburg, VA

Woods Market Garden, Brandon, VT

I am looking forward to trying all their products!



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L.A. Localvore Food Swap

My daughter Alisa, who lives in North East Los Angeles, sent photos today of her neighborhood food swap. In spite of living in a densely-populated neighborhood, she gardens, has fruit trees, and keeps chickens, as do many of her neighbors . . .  not what one thinks when imagining life in L.A.  Today, she was able to bring a few eggs, mint, and 23 pounds of fava beans to the food swap.


In exchange, she brought home grapefruits, Meyer lemons, herbs, celery, lettuce, arugula, chard, fennel, and avocados.


Imagine having such bounty at this time of year in our Upper Valley gardens!


And where do you think you are taking that egg?!

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Free-Range Hens at Sunrise Farm

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I love that the red laying hens at Sunrise Farm in WRJ, VT have a large protected space in which to range freely.  They can supplement their diet with seeds and bugs. They lay  eggs in the morning and roost at night in a mobile chicken coop. As the coop is moved, the valuable nutrients from their manure are distributed around the farm. Their Non-GMO eggs are now available at the farm. (Their quality of life is so much better than the lives of most hens!)

Sunrise Farm still has a few CSA openings .

*Half a year of certified-organic veggies starting late April / early May

*Free choice of pickup days, Mondays or Thursday, 11 AM to 6 PM

*Market-style choice of veggies each week, per usual

*Pick-your-own herbs, flowers, and veggies, per usual

*Cost: $660 full share; $380 half share

For those of you interested in half shares, you can either split a full share with a friend, alternating pickup weeks, or purchase a half share on your own.





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