tale of two chiles

Seems like I’m always saying our weather is unusual, but I guess what I really need to do is not expect it to be the same from year to year. Natalie, owner and farmer of Isabelle farm reinforced that notion in her newsletter last weekend saying, “This season, June and July were abnormally hot and dry, and August has been unusually cool and wet. We build our planting plans around cooler, wetter Junes and hotter Augusts, so the crops are a bit confused this year.” Thus the lack of corn, melons, cucumbers and field tomatoes for us so far this summer. Eggplant, peppers and of course summer squash have persevered in spite of these conditions, so this week I’m celebrating some of those crops, especially the chiles in the pepper family. Continue reading “tale of two chiles”

how to build soup

An odd title for a midsummer post in Colorado. But we had a very odd midsummer cool, grey, drizzly day with almost an inch of much needed rain yesterday. It was such a relief from July’s heat, that I was inspired to make soup with the summer vegetables making their first appearances this month. And I say build rather than cook soup because that’s how I think of making a hearty full-bodied soup. Continue reading “how to build soup”

a tale of kale

So many types of kale – curly, ruffled, savoyed (with pebbly surfaced leaves), Russian, Tuscan, green, red, purple, white (really white-veined) and varieties called black and rainbow! And then we create different names for the same type of kale. Did you know that Tuscan, dinosaur, lacinato and black kale all refer to the same narrow, straight-edged, savoyed leaves? Continue reading “a tale of kale”

how to use a recipe

Or perhaps better titled, “how I use recipes”. Every weekend, Isabelle farm owner and vegetable whisperer Natalie and I chat about what she plans to harvest for members’ CSA shares that week. Usually her choices have already made an appearance at the Isabelle farm store, so I pickup a few to prepare in my home kitchen, try out a new recipe or two, photograph and post for your viewing and cooking pleasure. Continue reading “how to use a recipe”

it’s chard time

We’re in the heat and momentum of a Colorado Front Range summer now – long days, hot sun, the relief of grey clouds in the afternoon occasionally breaking into a short thundershower. The heat and hard work on farms and in orchards has started to pay off in ever increasing vegetable variety and the succession of fruits we’ll enjoy from here on. And those of us with a vegetable garden or in a CSA will come up with creative ways to prepare lots of kale and its prettier cousin chard! Continue reading “it’s chard time”