28 July 2012

Brittany Hollow Bouquets and Potatoes in Red Hook

Our flowers at Brittany Hollow are in full bloom and ready to pick daily from 7am to 7pm.  There are lots of varieties of flowers, including several varieties of celosia and zinnias.  There are fields of sunflowers in bloom as well.

If you don't want to pick your own, you can buy Brittany Hollow bouquets at 2 different places in Red Hook:  at Montgomery Place farmstand on route 199 in Red Hook (available Friday, Saturday and Sunday), and at the Red Hook Farmer's Market from 10-2 on Saturdays in Red Hook.  Both of these places sell our delicious potatoes in addition to beautiful bouquets.

Montgomery Place Orchards is the most beautiful farm stand I have ever seen.  All the fruits and vegetables are beautifully displayed.  The Fincke family grows all kinds of fruit and vegetables, and what they don't grow, they purchase from other Hudson Valley farmers (like us!).

Talea and her crew's handywork - beautiful!

Doug Fincke knows how to grow peaches!!!!!

Montgomery Place's hours.....

Another product available at Montgomery Place is hard cider.  We sampled the cherry cider - delicious!

Part of the crew that helps make such a great market - Marissa and Noel prepare peaches for jam, and Caroline makes sure everything looks great!

 Another place to pick up a bouquet of Brittnay Hollow flowers is at the Red Hook farmer's market in the village parking lot every Saturday from 10 - 2.  Sabatino and Tracy Salvatico of Kerley Homestead Farm are selling bouquets of our flowers, along with their all natural herbs and vegetables and fruit from local farmers.  Sab and Tracy have the farm you see across from East Kerley Corner's Road.  They had beautiful lettuce of all types at the market today, which is quite a feat for the end of July.  Sab and Tracy enjoy talking to folks about gardening, so stop by the Red Hook farmer's market and say hi.

Sabatino and Tracy setting up for the
 Red Hook Farmer's market

21 July 2012

Tomatoes: A Taste of Summer

It never really feels like summer to me until I eat my first tomato sandwich or BLT of the season.  I have already ranted about the state of supermarket tomatoes, and how phenomenal local tomatoes are, so I won't subject you to that again.  Let me just summarize by saying that if you think you don't like tomatoes, give ours a try and then re-evaluate.

This week we'll have lots of tomatoes at the market.  Enough of you love tomatoes that we will likely sell out anyway, so come early if you can.  We pick the tomatoes so that they span varying degrees of ripeness, all the way from "eat me now! I won't last a minute longer" to "put me on the windowsill and enjoy me in a few days".

Tomatoes everywhere!  They smell delicious.

Since our tomatoes have come in, my family has been eating what we call "The Summer Sandwich" for lunch every day.  The Summer Sandwich was created by my grandpa Larry, though each of us puts a slightly different spin on it.  Here is what you need for the basic Summer Sandwich: good local tomatoes, cukes, sweet onions, bread (we love the bread from Our Daily Bread, our farmers market neighbor), and mayo.  Several of us also use thinly sliced hot peppers on our sandwich, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper never hurt anyone.  This sandwich is a natural for adding bacon, but even my carnivorous family members agree that it is damn near perfect in its unadulterated form.

Meet the Summer Sandwich.  On the bottom piece of bread there is mayo, sweet Brittany Hollow Farm onions, BHF hungarian wax hot pepper, and a sprinkle of black pepper.  On the top slice we have thinly sliced BHF cucumber and tomatoes.

Now slam those slices of bread together and enjoy.  Try not to drool.
 In addition to having tomatoes, eggplant, sweet peppers, hot peppers, cukes, and sweet onions, we'll also have the full line-up of Brittany Hollow potatoes.  Potatoes are one of our specialties...we grow 6 varieties (red, white, blue, red-red (red all the way through!), Yukon Gold, and fingerlings).  All 6 varieties were dug by yours truly in the rain on Friday!

This is the disgruntled face of someone who slogged around in the rain for several hours picking up little balls of mud  potatoes.

Here they are!  Clockwise: red-red (red all the way through), white, red, fingerling, blue, Yukon Gold.

We'll have everything you need to make your own Summer Sandwich at the Rhinebeck Farmers Market, in addition to lots of other great produce.  See you there!!!

11 July 2012

Flower Power!

If you don't have the time or energy to pick-your-own in this heat you can buy our pre-made bouquets at the Red Hook Farmers Market on Saturday.  But I think you'll really enjoy wandering the fields on your own, so venture out!

The flowers are blooming beautifully right now.  If you haven't come by to check them out yet, you should!  The entire north field is picking well...lots of zinnias, cleome, celosia, snapdragons, ageratum, etc. to choose from.  I picked a bucket of flowers to decorate our house the other day, and was amazed to find that I could make 7 bouquets!  Come on over and brighten up your day!  :O)

Celosia in the foreground, zinnias and ageratum in the background.
It is impossible to make an ugly bouquet with these flowers!

Bumblebee pollinating in the meadow.
 The wildflower meadow is the place to go if you're an insect-lover.  I was over there today and saw honeybees, bumblebees, dragonflies, butterflies, moths, and a hummingbird!

If you like to wander off the beaten path the wildflower meadow is for you.
 The sunflowers are in bloom!  The are in the southeast corner of our fields.  I was at Holy Cow this week and saw a family with a bucket of our sunflowers.  Why not treat yourself to an ice cream cone after picking?!

The sunflowers are ready!  They are beautiful.

Can you hear them calling, "Pick me!  Pick me!"?
We had a lovely bride-to-be and her bridesmaids come to pick for a wedding last week.  They did a great job and I'm sure they made some amazing table arrangements and bouquets.
Flowers for the wedding party.  You guys did a great job picking!  Hope the wedding was wonderful!
Here are a few more photos I snapped of people having fun in the fields this week.  If you're an iPhone and Facebook user, upload a picture of your bouquet to our Facebook page!
Mother and daughter.  Nicole (Mom) and Olivia wandered the fields.  Olivia said it was like a jungle!

That girl has a good eye for color!

Suki brought the whole family.  What a great portrait!

07 July 2012

Market Report - July 8th

Tomorrow will be our last market with lettuce.  As sad as it is to see the lettuce go, it means that summer is finally here and we are getting into our first real summer season veggies.  We'll have lots more of our red, white, blue, and Yukon gold "new" potatoes along with our  

Sweet yellow onions, perfect for grilling or salads.  These guys are so sweet you could eat them like apples.  Amazing!

Onions you can eat like apples?  Trust me, they're that good.  

Lots of garlic!  Huge cloves of potent stuff.  Also delicious roasted on the grill.  Read more about our garlic harvest here.

Harvested on the 4th of July, the garlic can now be stored for up to 3 weeks.

Our first eggplant of the season!  Tender skins, perfect for the grill (or moussaka, eggplant parm, baba ganoush, etc)!  We only have one box of these to sell, so come early!

Shiny, beautiful, and delicious...these will go fast.

Lots of pickling cukes!  Make a cucumber salad, pickles, or just eat them raw like Debby does!  So refreshing on a hot day.

Why complicate an already good thing?  Just eat 'em raw.

And finally...our first tomatoes of the season.  Hardly worth mentioning since we only have half a box this week.  Hopefully a lot more are on their way.  Summer is here!

See you at the market!

06 July 2012

Garlic Harvest

 The following is a guest post from Brittany's friend Mariah, who came to Brittany Hollow Farm over the 4th of July with her fiancĂ© Collin and were put to work harvesting garlic!

When I decided that my fiancĂ©, Collin, and I would be spending 4th of July at Brittany Hollow Farm, I imagined a small town parade, perhaps a little street fair, a local pie eating contest, basically all of the things that scream small town America. What I didn’t think about was how farm work doesn’t stop for holidays. So when I asked Brittany what her family’s plans were for the 4th, I wasn’t expecting the answer to be “Well, we’ve got to pull the garlic out…”

As most of you probably know, garlic is only harvested once a summer. Brittany decided it was time to pull them out because about 1/3 of the leaves had turned brown. In a wet year, garlic bulbs can be pulled straight from the loose, wet soil, but, since it has not been a wet year, we had a little more work to do than that. We had to use a shovel or pitch fork to loosen the soil enough to be able to pull easily without breaking the stalk off and then losing the garlic bulb in the ground.

Nobody would have wanted to see the sweat-drenched pictures of us pulling the garlic, so we took a couple of staged shots later in the evening.  Collin is making it look easy with his flip-flops and beer in hand.

I took Brittany’s lead and found a pair of Crocs to wear down to the garlic field. This turned out to be a great decision because Crocs are not safe footwear to use for digging and pitch forking, so we left that harder task to Debbie and Collin, and we followed along after them, pulling up the garlic. With five of us working (Darryl was loading the garlic we pulled into the mule and up and to the barn), things went pretty quickly, even with the afternoon heat bearing down on us. My Montana blood isn’t used to this heat and humidity, so quite a few water and shade breaks were involved for me.

Once all the garlic was pulled, we put it into the barn to dry. Darryl explained how drying it in the sun can actually ‘cook’ the garlic, but the barn provides a cooler, slower drying climate perfect for garlic. I also learned that it is important to dry with the stalks on the bulb, so they help wick away moisture from the garlic. Without the stalk, the bulbs can mold. The barn smells so good right now!

Collin also got the chance to dig his first potatoes...he was a natural!  We both thought the boiled potatoes we dug were the best we had ever tasted.

After we were finished, we all treated ourselves to lunch and sweet tea. Collin ate his favorite snack, Ritz crackers with peanut butter and fresh diced garlic, using a few cloves from the field. It sounds gross, but I would recommend this snack to any garlic lovers out there. Tonight we plan on using the garlic to make a light summer pasta dish, with stuffed squash blossoms as an appetizer. Apparently Darryl thought Collin and I did an okay job with the garlic because he gave us some cash to go spend on beer at Crossroads Brewery, in Athens, a fun place to go visit for any beer lovers out there.

Yum!  Stuffed squash blossoms...I love farm life.

I’m not sure if we will be helping out with any other farm chores during our visit, but being a part of the Brittany Hollow Farm was pretty fun for day. I admire Brittany and her family for doing it every day because I’m not sure if I have the stamina to be a farmer, especially during a heat wave! So, when you see garlic at the market, be sure to thank Brittany for spending her holiday working to make sure that it was harvested at the perfect time.

Thank-you Mariah and Collin for coming all the way from MT for a visit, and for being such good sports about doing farm work in the heat!  Great post, Mariah!

As the old saying goes,
"The couple that spades (garlic) together, stays together."