Monday, October 27, 2008
Reuters – A purple tomato genetically engineered to contain nutrients more commonly seen in dark berries helped prevent cancer in mice, British researchers said on Sunday.
Well, we have always known that our beautiful heirloom tomatoes tasted better but this can prove that they are also healthier than eating store bought tomatoes too! Cherokee Purple, while not as purple as these, does have a very dark red flesh with purple crown and green gel inside. We are learning more about how colors of fresh foods make a world of difference as far as antioxidents and anthocyanins, like in these tomatoes which have the about the same amount as blackberries.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Happenings here on the farm!
Our 2 young bull calves just got weaned and boy are they are hungry! With our dry weather, grass is growing slowly so needless to say, they have found their way through the fences and the mother cows just follow them right through. Unfortunately, they have decided that our fall planted lettuces were just what they wanted and they have eaten them down to the ground! Lucky we still have peas and beans going but we will really miss that lettuce. One of the calves we will trade, along with his mother, to a neighbor so that we can get a new cow to breed with our bull, Bruno. She is a Red Angus and we hope to have some really nice beef from her offspring.
Our chickens are what we call "yard birds" which is sort of like free-range, only more country. They love to get out and scratch for bugs and worms, especially after a rain. Because of their diet, they have yolks which are so dark yellow you wouldn't believe it. This means they are high in Omega 3 that they get from the grass and protein they get from the bugs. They have access to the entire yard and we will sometimes be sitting in the kitchen and hear one clucking nearby. We even had a few eggs hatch this year when the hens hid the eggs from us! Fresh Farm eggs just can't be beat and with over 40 chickens, we never have to be without them.
photo courtesy of: Kitchen Gardeners International
2 tbsp butter
2 leeks, cleaned well and chopped
2-3 celery stalks, chopped finely with leafy tops
1 quart chicken stock (homemade is best)
5-6 medium white potatoes, peeled (if skins are thin, you can leave the skins on for more fiber and a rustic texture) and cut into large bite-sized pieces
1 can white navy or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 bunch or several stalks of fresh parsley
2-3 stems of fresh basil (or use a tsp of prepared pesto)
juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt & pepper and 1/2 cup cream or half and half (optional)
sour cream and chives to garnish
Remove parsley and basil leaves from stems, set leaves aside and tie stems together with kitchen string. Add butter to a Dutch oven and melt over medium heat. Add leeks and celery and cook for about 5 minutes until soft. Add bundle of herb stems, potatoes and chicken stock to Dutch oven and cook on medium heat until potatoes are fork tender, about 10 minutes boiling time.
Remove herb stem bundle. Chop parsley and basil leaves finely and add to simmering soup along with drained cannellini beans, lemon juice, and salt & pepper to taste. Simmer soup until beans are warmed through, about 6-10 minutes. Soup can be pureed at this stage for a smoother texture. Add in batches to a blender or use an immersion blender. Add 1/2 cup cream or half and half for a creamier, richer soup.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream and fresh snipped chives. This recipe would be great with a bruschetta of tomatoes, basil and garlic.