Feeling privileged to participate in Wreaths Across America today. The organization coordinates wreath-laying ceremonies at more than 1,600 locations across the United States, at sea and abroad. Today, I am in Indiana laying wreaths in Concord Cemetery, which is southwest of my hometown of Churubusco. This is my first Wreaths Across America, and it is emotional. There are only about twenty of us at this tiny cemetery in the middle of cornfields, and no ancestors of our own. It is powerful to remember and to honor the sacrifices these and other soldiers and their families made. They gave their lives for our freedoms, freedoms which I try hard not take for granted. I am counting my blessings today and every day.
This is wildly creative... Laura, a shareholder, recently shared about a birthday cake she made. Since the recipient avoids sugar, the frosting was made with a 50-50 mixture of PKF mashed squash and cream cheese! It looks delicious and seems like a genius idea! What do you do with your squash?
Powder Keg Farms’ produce was featured this past Saturday in the Mountain Top Farm to Table Dinner at Durgon Farms. Hosted by New Biz Launchpad at Eastern WV Community & Technical College Foundation, dinner was prepared by Chef Marion Ohlinger for over 100 folks. It was fun to see how the chef utilized our ingredients for this seven-course meal—and the views of wonderful West Virginia from the mountain top of this Moorefield farm were simply spectacular. We were glad to be there representing PKF along with a few other friends of the farm. #PKF #FarmtoTable #EasternWVCTCFoundation #WV
Abby, a PKF shareholder, shared these photos with us of two things she made this week with her share of farm goodies.
The first dish is stuffed squash. Everything “inside” came from Powder Keg Farms’ garden and the squash from her own. To make it, she cuts the tops off the squash and scoops out the seeds, then scrapes out and the shell (save the flesh and use it inside or for something else) to a quarter-inch thick. Stuffing is chopped, then sautéed with onion and garlic. Throw in whatever veggies and fresh herbs you have on hand. Sturdy veggies like beans or mushrooms should be sautéed but tomatoes, zucchini and other tender veggies don’t require precooking. Place all the veggies, herbs plus parmesan cheese, pesto, salt and pepper and whatever else you’re adding into a mixing bowl. Toss to incorporate then stuff mixture into the squash shells. Cook in a shallow pan until the shell is soft and the inside is hot all the way through. If the top starts to get overdone, put the squash tops back on to protect them from burning. The picture is post-stuffed but pre-baked. These also freeze well if you want to make a big batch.
The second dish was a quiche, which consists of whatever veggies and herbs she has on hand plus eggs and milk. For the crust, mix 1 cup flour, 1.5 teaspoon of baking powder, ¼ cup almond milk and ¼ cup EVOO, plus salt if you choose. Roll it out and press it into a pan. Chop up whatever veggies, herbs and/or protein are being used (be sure to cook proteins and sauté denser veggies) then sprinkle cheese of your choice on top. Whisk eggs and milk together, season with salt and pepper if desired, and pour over top. Cook until set.
What will you make this week?
Recently, Powder Keg Farms scored a refrigerated trailer! This tagalong trailer was made possible by Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College’s Institute for Rural Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (IREED) in partnership with West Virginia State. This wonderful addition is helping us better transport our produce to customers, which has been tricky to do in the summer heat with just ice packs.
Eastern is an institution of higher learning located in the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia covering a six-county region. It created IREED to assist local food growers, producers and others in agriculture to “grow” the regional economy. After West Virginia State conducted a cold storage training at Eastern, the need for a leasable cold storage trailer was noted. As a result, Eastern is excited to now offer a cold storage trailer for lease thanks to its great partnership with West Virginia State.
We are so lucky many agencies and entities exist to help the little ag guys (like PKF) to grow and thrive! THANK YOU! #PKF #PKFCSA #WVAGTech #EWVCATC #WVState #IREED
Powder Keg Farms is combating aphids in its gardens by releasing the Aphidius colemani wasp. This parasitic wasp is native to North America and useful for biological control of aphids in greenhouses and outdoor growing. These tiny (1/8" or 2-3 mm) aphid parasites seek out aphid colonies to provide food and a place to oviposit. Adult wasps respond to alarm signals from plants to locate the aphids where they feed on the honeydew aphids excrete. Parasitization occurs when females lay their eggs inside aphid nymphs. Aphidius colemani eggs hatch into larvae, which feed on the nymphs from the inside. Once larvae mature, adult wasps chew their way out of the aphid mummy and emerge to seek out aphids. These parasites are a good choice for year-round use in greenhouses and outdoors as the short days of winter do not affect them. Was that TMI?
Pictured is Gavin—a rising senior at Hampshire High School, who has been a tremendous help to us this summer—releasing the wasps.
Shareholder Jenny shared this photo and recipe link with us as something to do with squash or zucchini, since those vegetables are exploding right now in the garden and everyone has an abundance. She got the recipe from Bon Appetit magazine, but said she swapped our basil for their mint and pine nuts for the hazelnuts. Looks pretty amazing!
Get the recipe: Marinated Zucchini with Hazelnuts and Ricotta
Thanks for all the texts and photos showing what you are making with your weekly farm fresh vittles from the Powder Keg Farms CSA. We love it! #nomnom #PKF #eatyourveggies
Our “Kelso Poppies” are showing their pretty faces in the garden right now—and what a beautiful sight they are to behold! People regularly ask about them as they are unusual, so here’s the backstory… The Kelsos were the landowners on our homestead 75 years ago. When we arrived and a fragile pink poppy with a purplish center emerged, we salvaged it! From one lone poppy, we now have hundreds throughout the garden. As a special treat to our CSA shareholders, this week each basket will contain a packet of Kelso Poppy seeds so they can grow their own and keep this rare breed of poppy alive and well for generations to come—a nice parting gift as we transition to the Summer CSA beginning next week! In addition to the poppy, we also saved and repopulated the original pear tree on the property and irises that eventually appeared. I continue to feel blessed to have learned gardening skills from my grandmother and be a part of the giving and taking from the earth in such a wholesome, nurturing way.
Just some wholesome food-lovin’ farmers sharing about life on the farm.