Claytonia, a Delightfully Lush Spring Salad Green

Claytonia is the succulent green which is part of our Spring salad offerings. It is known as miner’s lettuce in the west — any of you who spent time hiking or camping in the mountain west may have even foraged wild claytonia.  

 

According to a study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, “100 grams of miner’s lettuce—about the size of a decent salad—contains a third of your daily requirement of Vitamin C, 22 percent of the Vitamin A, and 10 percent of the iron you need, so this little leaf packs a nutritional punch.”

 

Claytonia perfoliata, the species for which the term miner’s lettuce was coined, is distributed throughout the Mountain West of North America in moist soils and prefers areas which have been recently disturbed. It got its name due to its use as a fresh salad green by miners in the 1849 Gold Rush in California.

 

At our farm, it lives in our hoophouse and looking at its lushness feels a bit like a Spring goldrush…or at least crisp saladrush! All parts are edible, leaves, stems and flowers.  We love them as a crisp, succulent salad green, but you can saute them as well.  We also find them great tossed on top of a soup or chili.

 

Barbara Damrosch, a favorite gardening guru/writer and the lesser known half of Four Seasons Farm with Eliot Coleman, wrote this great piece about Claytonia in the Washington Post.

 

In this very grey, icy mid-April, we hope you also find some Spring beauty in the claytonia.

Tomato Pesto Frittata

Photo from MarthaStewart.com

A little flashback of a recipe Penelope made for us years ago that somehow never got published.  This grey, snowy, icy Spring when many are dreaming of summer seemed like just the moment.  A touch of summer flavors while we are waiting for Spring and Summer.

Whipped this up the other day for farmer lunch (with our frozen tomatoes, though it would be equally delicious with fresh!)….very tasty and quick to boot! Recipe from Martha.

Ingredients

8 large eggs

1/3 cup pesto (any flavor)

salt and pepper

1 cup shredded mozzarella (4 oz), divided (I didn’t have mozz. on hand, so I subbed in parmesan and it worked out great)

1 tsp. olive oil

2 small tomatoes, sliced (or whole frozen cherry tomatoes!)

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, lightly beat eggs. Stir in pesto, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 3/4 cup mozzarella or other cheese. In a 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add egg mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes. Arrange tomatoes in a single layer on top and sprinkle with remaining cheese. If using frozen tomatoes, let them thaw a smidge if you need to cut them.
  2. Bake until puffed and center is just set, 10 to 12 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes; run a rubber spatula around edge and beneath frittata before transferring to a cutting board. Cut into wedges and serve.

At the Farmstand: April 19-25

We see Spring in the lovely claytonia that is abundant with lush leaves and stems with some crunch making gorgeous salads.

This week at our Farmstand you can find:

• Eggs, plentiful!*

 

Fresh/Stored Veggies & Herbs

• Beets
• Black Currants, frozen
• Braising/Stir Fry Mix
• Carrots
• Chard, frozen (large bags)
• Cilantro
• Claytonia Heads* – Salad 
• Garlic

• Ginger, Baby (LRF), Frozen
• Kale, Frozen
• Mache, Salad green
• Onions
• Popcorn, loose & on the cob
Spinach
• Sweet Potatoes
• Tomatoes, Frozen

 

Meats   

Goat
• Goat Loin Chops
• Goat Loin Roasts
• Ground Goat
• Leg of Goat Roasts*
• Goat Ribs/Rack*
• Shanks, Goat
• Shoulder Roast, Goat*

Pork
• Bacon
• Beer Brats
• Country Style Ribs
• Fat, Pork Leaf
• Fat, Pork Back
• Ham Roasts & Steaks
• Italian Sausage, bulk
• Italian Sausage, links
• Jowl*
• Maple Breakfast Sausage
• Shanks/Hocks (not smoked)

Poultry
• Chicken, Roasting
• Chicken Breast, boneless
• Chicken Legs & Thighs
• Chicken Thighs
• Chicken Drumsticks
• Chicken Wings
• Turkey, Whole

• Bones, Pork & Goat
• Offal & Odd Bits – Trotters, hearts, liver, kidneys, necks, Pig Heads, etc.

Greenfield Highland Beef
• Ground Beef
• Italian Sausage links, hot & sweet
• Eye of the Round & Top Round Steak
• Top Round & Eye of Round Roasts

 

Pantry & Prepared Foods

 Applesauce – Maple Cinnamon & Pure
 Beet Puree
 Bone Broth/stock – Chicken, Roast Turkey, Mulit-Species
 Curried Green Tomato Pickles
Dilly Beans
• Lard, Leaf
• Marinara Sauce
• Mojo Sauce
• Pepperoncini
• Pesto,  Kale, Argula, Basil & Spicy
• Roasted Pepper Sauce
• Heirloom Tomato Salsas
 Salsa Verde
• Soup: Spinach-Broccoli and Tomato & Roasted Veggies(V)
 Canned Tomatillos
 Tomatillo Sauce
 Canned Tomatoes
• Tomolives (pickled green cherry tomatoes)
• Dried Hot Peppers
Dried Tomatoes

From our Farm Friends    Brookfield bees maple syrup 3

• Farmstead Pizza from Field Stone Farm – several flavors
• Blueberries, Frozen from Spotted Dog Farm
• Cider Syrup
• Honey, Brookfield Bees
• Maple Syrup, Brookfield Bees

This Week’s Member Special

All of the above is available for members and retail shoppers, but we also offer some specials for our members.  To learn more about our flexible, free Choice Farm Share memberships, see the details on our website.

• Claytonia

• Pork Jowl

• Shoulder or Leg of Goat Roasts

• Goat Ribs/Rack

• Eggs

 

 

 

At the Farmstand: April 12-18

Perhaps this will be the last week of mud season?  We are hoping based on the forecast.  Fresh pizzas will be available this week and fresh greens.  Claytonia is the abundant salad green, so order that is you want lots.

This week at our Farmstand you can find:

• Eggs, plentiful!*

 

Fresh/Stored Veggies & Herbs

• Beets
• Black Currants, frozen
• Braising/Stir Fry Mix
• Carrots
• Chard, frozen (large bags)
• Claytonia Heads – Salad 
• Garlic

• Ginger, Baby (LRF), Frozen
• Kale, Frozen
• Onions
• Popcorn, loose & on the cob
• Salad Mix
Spinach
• Sweet Potatoes
• Tomatoes, Frozen

 

Meats   

Goat
• Goat Loin Chops
• Goat Loin Roasts
• Ground Goat
• Leg of Goat Roasts*
• Goat Ribs/Rack*
• Shanks, Goat
• Shoulder Roast, Goat*

Pork
• Bacon
• Beer Brats
• Country Style Ribs
• Fat, Pork Leaf
• Fat, Pork Back
• Ham Roasts & Steaks
• Italian Sausage, bulk
• Italian Sausage, links
• Jowl*
• Maple Breakfast Sausage
• Shanks/Hocks (not smoked)

Poultry
• Chicken, Roasting
• Chicken Breast, boneless
• Chicken Legs & Thighs
• Chicken Thighs
• Chicken Drumsticks
• Chicken Wings
• Turkey, Whole

• Bones, Pork & Goat
• Offal & Odd Bits – Trotters, hearts, liver, kidneys, necks, Pig Heads, etc.

Greenfield Highland Beef
• Ground Beef
• Italian Sausage links, hot & sweet
• Eye of the Round & Top Round Steak
• Top Round & Eye of Round Roasts

 

Pantry & Prepared Foods

 Applesauce – Maple Cinnamon & Pure
 Beet Puree
 Bone Broth/stock – Chicken, Roast Turkey, Mulit-Species
 Curried Green Tomato Pickles
Dilly Beans
• Lard, Leaf
• Marinara Sauce
• Mojo Sauce
• Pepperoncini
• Pesto,  Kale, Argula, Basil & Spicy
• Roasted Pepper Sauce
• Heirloom Tomato Salsas
 Salsa Verde
• Soup: Spinach-Broccoli and Tomato & Roasted Veggies(V)
 Canned Tomatillos
 Tomatillo Sauce
 Canned Tomatoes
• Tomolives (pickled green cherry tomatoes)
• Dried Hot Peppers
Dried Tomatoes

From our Farm Friends    Brookfield bees maple syrup 3

• Farmstead Pizza from Field Stone Farm – several flavors
• Blueberries, Frozen from Spotted Dog Farm
• Cider Syrup
• Honey, Brookfield Bees
• Maple Syrup, Brookfield Bees

This Week’s Member Special

All of the above is available for members and retail shoppers, but we also offer some specials for our members.  To learn more about our flexible, free Choice Farm Share memberships, see the details on our website.

 

• Pork Jowl

• Shoulder or Leg of Goat Roasts

• Goat Ribs/Rack

• Eggs

 

 

 

Thanks be to the Sugar Makers

That is to the Maple Sugar Makers.  Sugaring season is sometimes short, sometimes long, always weather dependent and such a clear marker of the transition between Winter and Spring.  We are both thankful to not have good maples on our property to tap and for all those near us that do!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This year we had the good fortune to spend a small bit of time with Dan & Marda of Brookfield Bees during sugaring season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We did a few hours of emptying buckets, (re)learning the science and math of turning sap into syrup, and relishing in their delightful woods, neighborhood and sugarhouse.

It seemed appropriate given we not only sell their syrup in our farmstand, but that it is their syrup (and honey & cider syrup) that makes their way into our Maple Breakfast Sausage, Bloody Mary Mix, Pâté and really almost anything else we need (or want) to sweeten a bit for the farm or our own enjoyment, like our new favorite Maple Egg Custard.

 

 

 

 

May the sugar makers get to rest soon and enjoy the sweets of their labor.

 

Red Velvet Brownies

yummy red velvet brownies

Adapted from Vegetarian Times

This is always a favorite and perhaps this end of winter/beginning of Spring temps and sugaring season make a warm mug of maple milk and a red velvet brownie seem like the perfect treat, here is this farm favorite!   To those of you who haven’t yet sampled these gems at one of our farm events,  try. these. brownies. They’re that good.  They are also a great use for any beets that got lost in the back of the fridge and are perhaps a bit soft – boil them down and puree them.

Ingredients

  • 2 large cooked beets (1 cup beet puree*)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour**
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup chocolate chips (optional)

Directions

 1. Preheat oven to 350°F, and lightly grease a 9-inch square baking dish.

2. Purée beets in food processor until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary. You should have 1 cup. Set aside

 

3. Whisk together butter and sugar in bowl until smooth. Add vanilla, then whisk in eggs, one at a time. Stir in beets.

4. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and espresso powder in separate bowl. Fold flour mixture into beet mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pan.

 

5. Bake 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out almost clean. Cool, then cut into 16 squares.

NOTE:  Doubled this recipe is perfect in a 9×13 pan.  And beet puree freezes beautifully!

*To make the Beet Puree:

Wash and cook beets (no need to peel, just trim), either boil for 20-30 minutes until tender or use leftover roasted beets. Drain well and then puree in food processor or with immersion blender until smooth. You can make a large batch ahead and freeze it, taking it out as you need it for brownies, cake…or even pancakes! 

 

**These work well as Gluten-free brownies.  I have used buckwheat flour as well as an all-purpose gluten free flour, but I find that adding a 3rd egg, even a small one, is best when using the gluten free flours.

Bright New Provisioning Possibilities

Back in January a malfunction in our farmstand freezer dimmed our mood and subsequently made shopping in the farmstand a bit like a treasure hunt! Upgrading it had been on the to do list but we were flat-footed or on our heels in terms of readiness to address the domino effect of researching, rewiring, and re-arranging.  In the last few weeks, between bouts of snow removal & mud season (how did commerce take off in this part of the world?), Laura and Donna have integrated the new shopping freezer.

We hope it makes it easier for you to find everything you need from bacon to bones to broth. Little items like pâte and pestos should be much easier to find. But none of us ever worked in a grocery store (Well except a small stint by Donna). Consider this a “soft opening” as we figure out the best ways to display and finish re-organizing the farmstand so please let us know if you see an opportunity to make the new set up serve you better. For the moment, we are like rural kids visiting the city… we simply can’t stop staring at the bright lit up meat and produce. We think Field Stone Farm’s pizzas & the frozen tomatoes are the stars of the show!

Speaking of bright new ways to shop… Mari recently attended an Agritourism Task Force meeting hosted at the Taste Place in Waitsfield. In addition to a delicious lunch, her inner exhibit developer geek was fed by the bright space, vibrant celebration of local talent and the exuberant community offer by Robin Morris and his team. As their site states, “The Mad River Taste Place supports our community’s Makers and Growers through a curated experience where visitors can learn about, sample and purchase food and beverages that originate in the Mad River region and from all corners of Vermont. Stories about the Makers and Growers are told throughout the Taste Place and customers can connect directly with the producers at tasting events.”

Whether a destination lunch to break your cabin fever, an apres ski stop, or a quest to quench thirst for knowledge or ferments, we suggest you make your way to the Taste Place! And thank Robin. This fantastic facility is his second gift to us all (he also established the Mad River Food Hub) and a huge boost to Vermont’s effort to hold onto its working lands and their culture, the authentic underpinning to Vermont’s tourism.

Finally, the brightest light for us comes from all of you who embrace our bright offers of the old ways of provisioning –straight from farmers and local makers. Thanks so much to Sydney (and Jan) friends of this and other local farms who recently posted this great cheer-leading message on Front Porch Forum,

“It’s wonderful to see new businesses downtown instead of empty storefronts, and we wish every brave entrepreneur success for many years to come. Jan and I try our best to support Northfield businesses both the new ones and the established ones and encourage everyone to shop locally, first, before spending your money elsewhere. Running a business (especially in a small town) is a crapshoot, and depends on local support and patronage.  Save time – save gas – shop Northfield!”

We look forward to showing off our updated farmstand once mud season allows easier passage and seeing you all at the last Northfield Winter Farmers Market, this Sunday, April 8th 11am – 2 pm at Plumley Armory on Route 12.

At the Farmstand: April 5-11

Mâche

April Showers bring better roads? Is that the other end to that phrase?  They are bringing a nice mix of cooking and salad greens, that is for certain.   Enjoy!

This week at our Farmstand you can find:

• Eggs, plentiful!*

 

Fresh/Stored Veggies & Herbs

• Beets
• Black Currants, frozen
• Braising/Stir Fry Mix
• Broccoli, Frozen (large bags)
• Carrots
• Chard, frozen (large bags)
• Claytonia Heads – Salad Greens
• Garlic

• Ginger, Baby (LRF), Frozen
• Kale, Fresh

• Kale, Frozen
Mâche
• Onions
• Popcorn, loose & on the cob
• Pumpkin
• Salad Mix
Spinach
• Sweet Potatoes
• Tomatoes, Frozen
• Winter Squash: Blue Hubbard

 

Meats   

Goat
• Goat Loin Chops
• Goat Loin Roasts
• Ground Goat
• Leg of Goat Roasts*
• Goat Ribs/Rack*
• Shanks, Goat
• Shoulder Roast, Goat*

Pork
• Bacon
• Beer Brats
• Country Style Ribs
• Fat, Pork Leaf
• Fat, Pork Back
• Ham Roasts & Steaks
• Italian Sausage, bulk
• Jowl*
• Maple Breakfast Sausage
• Shanks/Hocks (not smoked)

Poultry
• Chicken, Roasting
• Chicken Breast, boneless
• Chicken Legs & Thighs
• Chicken Thighs
• Chicken Drumsticks
• Turkey, Whole

• Bones, Pork & Goat
• Offal & Odd Bits – Trotters, hearts, liver, kidneys, necks, Pig Heads, etc.

Greenfield Highland Beef
• Ground Beef
• Italian Sausage links, hot & sweet
• Eye of the Round & Top Round Steak
• Top Round & Eye of Round Roasts

 

Pantry & Prepared Foods

 Applesauce – Maple Cinnamon & Pure
 Beet Puree
 Bone Broth/stock – Chicken, Roast Turkey, Mulit-Species
 Curried Green Tomato Pickles
Dilly Beans
• Lard, Leaf
• Marinara Sauce
• Pepperoncini
• Pesto,  Kale, Argula, Basil & Spicy
• Roasted Pepper Sauce
• Heirloom Tomato Salsas
 Salsa Verde
• Soup: Spinach-Broccoli and Tomato & Roasted Veggies(V)
 Canned Tomatillos
 Tomatillo Sauce
 Canned Tomatoes
• Tomolives (pickled green cherry tomatoes)
• Dried Hot Peppers
Dried Tomatoes

From our Farm Friends    Brookfield bees maple syrup 3

• Farmstead Pizza from Field Stone Farm – several flavors
• Blueberries, Frozen from Spotted Dog Farm
• Cider Syrup
• Honey, Brookfield Bees
• Maple Syrup, Brookfield Bees

This Week’s Member Special

All of the above is available for members and retail shoppers, but we also offer some specials for our members.  To learn more about our flexible, free Choice Farm Share memberships, see the details on our website.

 

• Pork Jowl

• Shoulder or Leg of Goat Roasts

• Goat Ribs/Rack

• Eggs

 

 

 

Avga me Domates: Eggs on a Bed of Tomatoes

In Greek: αυγά με ντομάτες, pronounced ahv-GHAH meh doh-MAH-tess.

This is a quick and simple dish to make, and the tastes are fabulous. The tomato is cooked in oil until its liquid has cooked off, and a sauce remains; the eggs go on top. Serve with fresh bread to soak up all the delicious sauce.  We love it and with the frozen tomatoes it is like a little taste of summer!

This recipe is for one – just multiply for more.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

 

Ingredients: 

2 eggs

2-3 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped or grated (frozen tomatoes, chopped or grated while still frozen should work perfectly and give you that fresh tomato taste!)

3 tablespoons of olive oil

2 teaspoons of sea salt

 

Preparation: 

In an 8-inch frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add tomatoes and 1 teaspoon of salt and sauté until the liquid from the tomatoes has cooked off, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to keep from sticking.

When the liquid has cooked off and only the tomato-oil sauce remains, add eggs to cook on top of the tomatoes. Spoon the tomato sauce carefully over the egg whites to help them cook, leaving the yolks uncovered. When the eggs have cooked (about 5 minutes), carefully spoon onto plate to serve.

Variation: Add a pinch or two of fresh oregano or parsley to the tomatoes or garnish with chopped chives

The second teaspoon of salt is for seasoning to taste when serving, if needed.

Introducing the Piglets

We are a bit behind on naming and introducing the first batch of piglets that were born at the farm on March 1st.  Fortunately, a young visiting writer & photographer prepared some profiles of each of Grizabella’s six piglets, her first litter.

The naming scheme this year is Ski Areas, for this first litter the name are purely from Vermont Alpine ski areas.  But there are 4 more litters to come as well as chicks and turkeys, so send forth any of your other favorite ski areas as possible names.  From the photos you’ll see that while these piglets are a cross between a purebred Large Black sow (Grizabella) and a pure Tamworth boar (Rin Tin Tin), the Large Black genetics are quite dominant.

Soon they will be accepting visitors during Thursday evening farmstand hours!

 

The sow Grizabella (Group Photo)

Smugglers Notch (Smuggs)

Smugglers or “Smuggs” is a male piglet who is one of the biggest in the litter. He is recognized by his notable red hair that surrounds his eyes and red whiskers. He found hiself to be very photogenic during the photoshoot and kept attempting to “smuggle” himself into all the pictures.

 

Bromley (Stubbs)

Bromley A.K.A Stubbs, is a male piglet and who is particularly small in size. His tail was stepped on by his mother when his was born and fell off, hence “stubbs.” He is distinguished by his severed tail. He was especially friendly from the beginning and was the second pig to roll over for a belly rub. He frequently scratches himself on hay bales and posts.

 

Magic

Magic named after the ski mountain located in southern Vermont is a female piglet. She is reconized by her thin coat and ears, one sticking up and one hanging down and flapping about but are both pink at the bottom. She was also particuarlly friendly from the beginning and was one of the first to fall over for a belly rub. She enjoyed trying to eat the camera while having her photo taken. She is medium sized and very sweet and sociable.

 

Pico

Pico is a female piglet named after the ski mountain visable from interstate 89 and where Mari grew up skiing. She is a small and distinguished by her jet black hair and many skin wrinkles on her sides. Her hobbies are biting at the cuffs of your pants and boots and sprinting laps around the barn. She was very keen to discover the outside world and was the first to venture out of the piglet area.

 

Sugarbush

Sugarbush is a male piglet who is recognized by his enormous slightly pink ears and his not very big body. His hobbies consist of wrestling with his brothers and sisters specifically Magic and Smuggs, digging his nose into the hay and pushing it around, and pilfering banana and onion peels from his larger aunties. Magic and Sugarbush resemble each other aside from their ears and genders.

 

Bolton

Bolton is a male piglet named after Bolton Valley ski area located not too far from here, is recognized by his large floppy ears and is one of the biggest in the litter. He has the appearance of a bruiser but not the personality of one. He enjoys belly rubs, getting milk from his mom, cantering around the enclose with his siblings, chilling out on the porch and digging his snout into the ground, and climbing fully into the food bowl to ensure maximum grain consumption.

and Rin Tin Tin

 

Thanks to Sophie, our visiting writer/photographer, for her piece and for patience with the interviewees, which you can see from the video didn’t always cooperate.

Magic, a bit curious about the camera