Living with pests
What does it mean to farm organically? If it means blindly using
whatever pesticide or fungicide the NOP (National Organic
Program) has approved for all of our problems, then there is not
much that differentiates us from conventional farming. When we
have a serious pest or fungal issue, there is more to consider than
whatever approved product is available.
One example is the popular, organic-approved insecticide BT
(Bacillus thuringinsis). This is a naturally derived insecticide
based on a bacterium which is lethal to caterpillars, but perfectly
safe for mammals and insects. Most organic farms spray this on
broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and other brassica to control those
little green caterpillars we call cabbage worms. It is also widely
used on sweet corn. While BT does kill the pests, it also kills any
other caterpillar in the area, such as wooly bears and monarch
caterpillars. Although we are allowed to use BT, we have decided
not to because it is too broad spectrum.
As a result, we do have more cabbage worms in our broccoli than
other farms. (I suggest soaking the broccoli in salted water for 30
minutes before using it to remove them.) But we also have a huge
diversity of caterpillars. I don’t know what they are, or what they
grow into, and I am reluctant to wipe them all out. Surely they
have roles on the farm that I have yet to understand.
Eggplant or Green Beans
Mints, Oregano, Sage, Thyme, Dill, Bronze Fennel, Summer Savory, Marjoram, Parsley,
Cilantro, Borage, Basil, Lemongrass
Bachelors Buttons, Amaranth, Sunflowers, Black-Eyed Susans, Cleome, Zinnia, Pincushion
September 27: Fresh chicken
Ziti with fennel and sausage
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 lb sweet or hot bulk Italian sausage
1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs, trimmed quartered and sliced
1 small onion, diced
28 oz can tomatoes with puree
1/4 cup red wine
2 large garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
1 pound ziti or other short pasta
Heat oil and cook sausage. Remove from pan. Add additional oil
if dry, and sauté fennel and onion until tender-crisp. Return
sausage to pan and add tomatoes, wine, garlic, salt and pepper.
Reduce heat to low and simmer while pasta cooks.
Cook pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water. Add
pasta to the sauce and mix well, adding pasta water if it seems dry.
Garnish with fennel fronds and serve with Parmesan.
recipe from Serving up the harvest by Andrea Chesman
Roasted Broccoli with Parmesan
1 to 1 1/2 lbs broccoli, cut into florets of even size
3-4 tbsp olive oil
juice of half a lemon
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Preheat oven to 425. Soak broccoli in salted water at least 20
minutes before use to remove any cabbage worms. Toss broccoli
with everything but Parmesan. Arrange in a single layer on a
baking sheet that has been oiled or lined. Roast 15-20 minutes
until cooked through and lightly browned. Toss with Parmesan
and black pepper.
recipe from simplyrecipes.com
I like to cook chicken in salsa verde. You can use a crock pot or the oven. It really tenderizes the meat.
1 1/2 lb tomatillos
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves (or more) garlic
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1 tbsp lime juice
2 Jalapeño Peppers
salt to taste
Remove husks from tomatillos. You can either roast them in the oven, or in a pan, or simply boil. To roast in the oven, cut tomatillos in half and place on a baking sheet with the garlic
cloves. Broil 5-7 minutes.
To pan roast, coat your skillet with oil and heat over high heat. Brown tomatillos on both sides
To boil, cover tomatillos with water in a saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes.
Once tomatillos are cooked, add them with all other ingredients to a blender and pulse until finely chopped. Add salt to taste.
from Simply Recipes
"Earthworms are the intestines of the soil."