Pick-Your-Own at the Farm

I am lucky enough to have generous pick-your-own limits at the farm from which we get our weekly CSA. The farm is about 90 miles from Boston, so we only get out there once or twice a year, generally if we are coming or going someplace close by. Today we stopped in and spent an hour or so picking raspberries, shell beans, green and wax beans, hot peppers, tomatillos, basil, cherry tomatoes and cut flowers (including up to 3 sunflowers!). We brought it all home, and immediately froze some raspberries, dehydrated some cherry tomatoes and hot peppers (just inherited a dehydrator!), and cooked some fresh pasta sauce with tomatoes and basil. In the coming days I plan on preserving and cooking the rest of our goodies – keep posted!

Freezing Raspberries

Wash and allow to dry completely. Then spread in a single layer on a baking sheet until frozen (2 hours). Transfer to freezer bag.


Dehydrated Tomatoes

Slice to 1/4 inch, place on dehydrator racks. Dehydrate at 140 degrees for at least 10 hours, or until dry to the touch and unable to be dented. I plan to transfer these to a jar and cover with olive oil for my own “sun dried tomatoes”. Or you can seal in a jar or freeze. These won’t be as dry as the peppers, so use somewhat quickly or risk mold.

Dehydrated Hot Pepper

Slice and remove ribs and seeds (as desired – seeds make it hot!) and place on dehydrator racks. Set machine at 135 or so and allow to dry for at least 8 hours – depending on water content and thickness of veg. Make sure completely dry! I will grind some of these into powder to use as seasoning and keep some of them whole – sealing it all in spice jars.

Homemade Chevre

As a locavore in the city I sometimes forget the fabulous bounty available once I drive towards where the suburbs melt into rural farmland. Today my husband and I had an errand that took us about 90 miles outside of the city. Since the weather was quite hot we mapped a lake stop, which took us down a lovely leafy rural route. However, once I spotted the sign below, I knew I had to make a quick u-turn.

Inside the fridge was a price list (feta and hard cheese available by request!) and one lonely 8 oz tub of homemade garlic and marjoram goat cheese. I put my money in the indicated “honor” basket (taking my $2 change in quarters), my beach snack secured. Luckily there was a co-op just up the street (imagine that! what kind of locavore heaven did I find in rural central Massachusetts?) and bought two local heirloom tomatoes to complete my impromptu salad. Local lake-side deliciousness.