A local group of Girl Scouts, working on their Gold Award, came out to the farm today to learn about sustainable farming and all that it takes to make small farms like ours viable.
We started off in the garlic patch, digging up the last of the garlic we'll harvest this Summer.
And dig they did. (Really, it was just our way of getting them to do our work for us!) I think they will never look at a simple piece of garlic bread the same way again.
Next, we moved on to digging potatoes. First, Michael showed them the beautiful purple potatoes we've been harveting this season.
Then he introduced them to the shovel and they got to digging.
They seemed pretty happy with their haul.
All that digging created some hungry Girl Scouts, so we stopped at the apple trees for a snack.
And the blackberry bushes for another snack.
Then it was of to the hives to learn about honey and beekeeping.
First, Michael smoked the hives to confuse the bees and make it easier to pull the frames from the hive. Smoke masks the bee's alarm pheromones giving the beekeeper time to work the hives.
He showed the girls the capped honey cells and explained what is involved in removing the honey from the frames.
We're not sure if they were horrified or just scared to death of the bees.
We thought it would be a good time to move on to our good will ambassadors, the goats.
What's not to love about a goat.
They are really just taller dogs. With horns.
And an insatiable appetite for anything in the grain bucket. Or anywhere else.
And no visit to the farm is complete without at least one picture of the chickens.
Everybody loves a chicken. They are the gateway farm animal. You start with a few chickens. Move on to bees. And before you know, you've got yourself some alpacas, sheep and goats.
After touring the farm and discovering what is involved in the production of their food, the girls were off to a local restaurant that makes a point of using food grown at small, local farms.
And while I don't think there were any future farmers in this group, I do think they have a better understanding of the food they eat and how it is grown.
What to do when your turnips and potatoes are ready at the same time...puree them together!
Equal parts red potatoes and turnips
Shredded Parmesean and Cheddar
Salt and Pepper
First, bring heavily salted water to a boil. Peel the skins off both the potatoes and turnips (also remove greens) and put them into the pot. Cook until fork tender, remove from heat and drain. Set aside to cool slightly before putting into the food processor.
Once no longer hot, place the vegetables into the processor and pulse to combine. While on a low setting add about 1/2 a tbsp of olive oil and stop when blended- you dont want to over process your puree. Then, again while on a low setting, add 1/2 to 3/4 a cup of heavy cream until it is nice and smooth.
If you are not planning on using the puree immediately, salt and pepper to taste and put away into the fridge (cheese to be added when you re-heat). If it's dinner time, pour/scrape the puree into a sauce pan and put on low heat to warm it up. Add the shredded cheeses and salt and pepper, stir until evenly incorporated.
After the puree has reached the deisred temperature it is ready to use. This puree can be eaten as a side, similar to creamed/mashed potatoes or used as a sauce. I made an alternative to mac n cheese last night, by using this sauce on pasta- delicious!