Located at the base of Buckhorn Mountain at 6700' elevation, Buckhorn Gardens is a small, organic vegetable farm 13mi. south of Montrose, Colorado. Our farm is an active part of a 12,000 acre ranch; however, we only manage 3 acres with intensive vegetable gardening.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My apologies for the late blog post! This week was a bit different on the farm because we shifted our weekend in order to harvest chickens this Monday. We raised 40 feed chickens over 14 weeks and processed 39 of them in about 10 hours (we lost one to a suspected coyote a couple of weeks ago). It was a long day during which we experienced some technical difficulties with our borrowed equipment. However, once we solved all the problems, the operation went very smoothly, especially with the help of the trusty plucking machine! This somewhat violent contraption vastly aided in the feather removal process, virtually eliminating the need for human hands to go over the carcasses with tweezers for a fine-tune cleaning. We now have 39 beautifully vacuum-sealed chickens in the walk-in fridge.

That was our major event for the week, but weeding and harvesting continued as usual. We harvested a whopping 145 pounds of tomatoes before the CSA pick up last Thursday. Bed preparation for winter crops continued as well. I pulled thistles out of four 75-foot beds to make way for my bind weed-pulling comrades. Good progress was made overall!

And now for some of the recipes I promised last week. Wondering what to do with all the squash and cucumbers you've been getting from your CSA share? Here are some ideas for you!

Cuke Dip

1/2 cup (or more) finely chopping cucumber
8 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley
3 tablespoons paprika

Mix to blend well. Makes 1 1/2 cups. Serve with corn chips, assorted vegetables, or chunks of French bread.


(Beef) Zucchini Ratatouille
You'll notice this recipe has quite a few veggies you can get from your CSA share or market. Plan ahead for this dish this week, and make it vegetarian if you prefer.

2 large onions, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1lb zucchini, thinly sliced
1lb tomatoes, peeled and sliced
1 small to medium eggplant, peeled and sliced
1 green pepper diced
1 clove garlic, minced
(1-1 1/2 pounds ground chuck)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Sauté onions in olive oil for 5 minutes. Add zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, green pepper, and garlic to onions and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Brown meat, drain, and add to vegetables. Cook 5 minutes, season with salt.) Serves 5.

Have a wonderful week, see you tomorrow!


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