Watermelon Jam Recipe
The last of the watermelons have been harvested for the season. And since we are meloned-out for the season, I preserved the summertime flavor to enjoy all winter. The result: A tangy, sweet and delicious watermelon jam. Get the recipe here:
Watermelon Jam Recipe
The Micro Farm Project has a gorgeous night blooming Cereus cactus right outside the front door. It is not only a low maintenance and lovely plant, but it also grows delicious, edible fruits! Though we love to eat the pulp fresh out of the skins, I became curious about its jam-making qualities. With the addition of cranberries and a pear, the results were spectacular!
Get the recipe here:
Cereus Cranberry Jam Recipe
If you have never tasted a real, fermented pickle...I am sorry. The vinegary store-bought versions are delicious, but they do not hold a candle to the flavor and health benefits of a properly fermented cuke. Yum!
I recently obtained a large box of organic cucumbers and zucchinis. I had intended on using them for a pickling class, but due to an unusually small showing of students, I wound up with A LOT of excess. So, today I pickled...and pickled...and pickled. And since I don't want to can fermented pickles for long-term storage which would kill the friendly bacteria that will be swimming around in the jars, I want to give a little warning: friends and family, get ready to be gifted with a jar!
Read more about the health benefits of fermented foods, and find out how to make your own fermented pickles:
Old Fashioned Fermented Pickles
On October 3 of this year, The Micro Farm Project welcomed their first successful hatch of adorable quail chicks. Roughly the size of a bunch of crickets, we watched as they emerged from their shells one by one. My how quickly they grow! In just four weeks, they have increased in size almost visibly, day by day, and are currently about the size of an apple.
These birds are old enough now to go to a new home, and we are looking for someone who wants to adopt them. Why would anyone want these 5 birds? Here are a few facts about Coturnix quail to enlighten you:
1. Coturnix quail lay delicious, healthy eggs that contain 4-times the nutrition of chicken eggs. Having a few quail is like having an egg farm in miniature.
2. Quail eat very little food, but are able to produce an egg nearly every single day that is approximately 20% of their body weight (imagine that, ladies!)
3. Quail are not subject to laws that prevent some folks from owning chickens. They are small birds, usually considered a pet, not livestock, and they are quiet (for the most part.)
For these reasons, many people who cannot have hens opt to raise quail for their eggs. They are also raised for meat, which is delicious, but quite a chore for very little return!
Curious to know more about Coturnix quail? Read more here:
Raise Coturnix Quail for Eggs, Meat and Profit
Oh, and if you want some, we'll be hatching more. AND we have hatching eggs that we will happily ship. Email us for more info.
What do I love about Halloween? The day after, when we gut the pumpkins and the real festivities begin. This is my daughter, Ellen, who shares my taste for pumpkin goodies. She is holding a giant bowl of homemade pumpkin puree, the product hours and hours slaving in the kitchen....
Just kidding! Homemade pumpkin puree is actually ridiculously simple to make. Frankly, I haven't bought canned pumpkin in years, as the puree can be frozen to use all year long!
Here's the 411...
1. Select a small or medium-sized pumpkin (they taste better than giant Jack-O-Lantern specimens.)
2. Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and stringy stuff.
3. Brush the pumpkin with cooking oil. I prefer to use olive oil or coconut oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
4. Place the pumpkin halves cut-side-down on a cookie sheet. To save yourself some headaches later, line the sheet with foil or parchment paper.
5. Place the pumpkin in the oven and set the temperature to 375 degrees F. Roast for roughly 45 minutes, or until the skin turns bubbly and black.
6. Remove the pumpkin from the oven and allow it to cool completely. Once cool, remove the skin. It should peel away easily, but you can use a knife to remove stubborn spots.
7. Chop the pumpkin into 1 inch chunks and run them through a food processor (or a really good blender,) a few pieces at a time until smooth. If the resulting puree is too thick, add water a teaspoon at a time, just enough so that you don't burn out your food processor motor!
8. If your puree is runny, you can thicken it up by cooking it on low, stirring constantly, until the extra water is evaporated. -OR- line a colander with cheesecloth, add the puree and let it drain for an hour or two.
9. Use the resulting puree to replace canned pumpkin in your recipes.
Read more about pumpkin puree, including how to store it, here:
Homemade Pumpkin Puree
Kari Spencer is a happy wife and the mother of four beautiful daughters. Always on the go, she invests her time in nurturing her family and farm, volunteering as a Master Gardener mentor, and teaching Sustainability online at South West College of Healing Arts. A popular teacher and speaker in Phoenix, Arizona, Kari enthusiastically shares her passion by training others to garden, raise livestock and nourish their families.