Dearest Eaters and oh-so glorious Supporters of Local Food and Farmers
This is your (favorite?) farmer....or surely craziest farmer, Brooke, with a Spring Up-date!
Yes - I know. Spring is here!!....(although the snow on the ground would make one think otherwise). Talk about absolutely "nut ball" Kansas City weather: All day Thursday Farmer Dan and I were out in our sun-soaked field seeding spinach, beets, and greens galore. I was barefoot, short sleeved, and sweating!! I even got my first sunburn for the season. Same scenario Friday morning. But by Friday afternoon temperatures dropped significantly in a matter of minutes as cold winds and rain approached . We were madly running around, covering beds and stashing away seeds and tools. By Friday night we were in the midst of a blizzard.....and by Saturday morning I was tramping through 5 inches of snow to collect frozen chicken eggs!!! Craziness. I swear, organic farming proves to be a pretty wild lifestyle. I was a rebellious teenager and spent my early 20's bouncing all over the world - but none of those intense experiences will ever compare to a mid-western Spring in my grandpa's backyard!! Funny isn't it.......
Anyway, Spring is an absolutely "psycho" time for Farmers as we work with the ever-changing whims of mother nature and attempt to get our crops seeded and our production underway despite challenges. However, it is also a very exciting time as creation of life is at our finger tips. After a long winter, our hands get the taste of dirt once again and the possibilities are endless. Growing food is a religion for many of us, and dirt is our drug!! Throw in a little sun and compost, maybe even some manure, and man oh man....I am in Heaven on Earth!
So on that note, how about some Up-Coming Spring Food & Farming Events (hope to see you there):
Saturday, March 27th, 9 am - 2 pm, Shawnee Civic Center, 13817 Johnson Drive, Shawnee, KS
Saturday, April 3rd, 9:30 am - 2:30 pm, Roger T. Sermon Community Center, Truman & Noland Rd., Independence, MO
*The Kansas City Food Circle's 12th Annual Exhibition of Farmers - EAT LOCAL! 2010
Local-Organic Produce, Free-Range Meats, Dairy, Eggs, Vegetable Seedlings, CSA Info and Sign-Up, Free Directory of Local Producers, and free Workshops!!!
Friday, April 16th, 4-8 pm at BADSEED
*Pre-Farmers Market Transplant Sale for your Organic Garden
Join some of your favorite Urban Farmers (BADSEED, Root Deep, Herb'N'Gardener, and Hun's Garden) and get your hands on an array of heirloom & organic transplants including tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, herbs, flowers and more!!
"Urban Homesteading" Spring Classes - (must pre-register, form can be downloaded from www.badseedfarm.com) -
Saturday, April 24, 2-4 pm- How To Raise Backyard CHICKENS!!
*Location: BADSEED Farm, 1201 W Bannister Rd, KCMO, 64114
Join urban-chicken-maniac, Brooke Salvaggio (and her 15 feathered friends), and discover the joys of keeping backyard birds from day-old chick to egg-producer. Learn everything the future city-chicken keeper needs to know for a successful mini-flock including:
*breeds and varieties (behavior, hardiness, egg-laying potential)
*brooder, coop and run design
*benefits of pasture and grazing
*feed and organic supplements
*natural predators (hawks, raccoons, dogs, etc.)
*not-so-natural predators (the City and residential zoning ordinances....)
Students will receive informational packets including local sources for chicks, feed, and various supplies. Not to mention farm-fresh eggs courtesy of the gals!!
Cost of Class - $30
Sunday, May 9, 2-5:30 pm (rain-out date is Sun, May 16th) -Backyard Gardening:
Growing Food For Your Family
*Location: BADSEED Farm, 1201 W Bannister Rd, KCMO, 64114
Urban/organic farmers Brooke Salvaggio and Daniel Heryer will teach a hands-on workshop in the basic art of vegetable farming designed specifically for urban/suburban spaces using “beyond-organic” cultivation practices.
Students will learn "no-till" permaculture techniques for creating fertile garden beds as well as more traditional approaches of forking and turning over the soil. We will work together to prepare, seed, and plant a thriving vegetable garden on-site at BADSEED Farm. In addition to hands-on training, students will receive comprehensive literature including planting guides, information regarding local seed sources, supplies, and soil amendments.
Cost of Class - $40
.......and of course (last but not least)
BADSEED funky friday night FARMERS MARKET SEASON OPENING!!!!
Friday, May 7th, 4-9 PM!!!!!
Okay! Anybody hungry???
Well this "Sicilian mama" has got a delicious local recipe for you. I made this the other night when I happened to stumble upon some of our Japanese Pink Banana Squash puree hiding in the freezer!! (see pic) Hopefully you too still have some of those delectable winter squashes or pumpkins stashed away from last season?? If not - compensate as needed with similar ingredients that you have on-hand. Dan and I use close to 100% local ingredients in our own cooking, but substitutions are A-OK. All recipes in my opinion are simply a loose guide....have fun and improvise!!
Pink Banana Squash Ravioli with Caramelized Onions and Sage
Remember: My measurements are only guesses!! Please use your best culinary judgement!!!
For the Pasta -
If you have never made fresh pasta or ravioli, try it!! It is fun and easy and absolutely delicious. My directions will not be as detailed as you may like (since I am a Sicilian through and through and don't measure anything!!) but you can always use the internet as a resource and "google" millions of detailed pasta dough recipes.
Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups semolina flour (I use Heartland Mills which is organic and grown by local farmers), 2 farm fresh eggs, 1 tbsp olive oil, cold water as needed
In a glass bowl add your flour, making an indentation in the center for your eggs and oil, and a drizzle of cold water. Mix together with a fork until well combined and turn out onto a floured board. Knead for about 10 minutes adding more flour and/or water as needed to achieve the right consistency. Wrap dough ball in plastic and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
For the Sauce -
Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups sliced onion, olive oil, 1/4 cup red wine, balsamic vinegar as desired, 1/4 cup unrefined organic sugar, sage, savory, sea-salt & pepper to taste
Add a generous amount of olive oil to a large saute pan. Add onions, balsamic, and sugar and caramelize on high heat for several minutes. (Set aside a couple tablespoons for the filling). Add your red wine, herbs, sea-salt, and freshly ground pepper as desired. Simmer and reduce to a luxurious syrup on low heat.
For the Filling -
Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups squash or pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup grated salty/nutty aged cheese like Pecorino or Parmesan (I use a local cheese called Taum Sauk from Goatsbeard Farm), two tablespoons caramelized onions, 1 egg, and salt and pepper to taste.
In a food processor combine all ingredients. Process until smooth and creamy. Taste a bit, and add additional ingredients to fit your flavor palette.
Ravioli Making Time -
Put a large stock pot on to boil, and retrieve your dough ball from the fridge. On a large floured board roll out your dough to a nice thin sheet. I have begun to use a pasta-maker for this purpose. I recently received one as a gift and I must admit I am spoiled now and rarely roll it by hand anymore. I get a much thinner (and more consistent) sheet of dough with the pasta maker - but either way works. Divide your dough into two equal sheets, and dollop a consistent spoonful of filling on one sheet every couple of inches depending on how big you want your individual ravioli. Carefully sandwich your other sheet of dough on top. Cut into ravioli shapes using a sharp knife or with a special ravioli "cookie cutter". Seal the edges by pinching down all around (otherwise they can come apart in the water). Any extra dough can be reformed and used for pasta!
When your hot water bath is at a rolling boil add a generous amount of salt and carefully submerge your ravioli. They need about three minutes, but will shoot to the top when finished. Gently remove each ravioli with a large slotted spoon or spatula and add to your saute pan. Gently saute (coating each raviolo lovingly with your onion and wine reduction) on low heat. Add more olive oil and a dash of sage if necessary.
Serve immediately with a heavy sprinkling of your grated, aged cheese. To die for. (serves 2 hungry farmers or 4 normal people)
See pictures attached.
See you soon -
-farmer and mistress of the BADSEED
An Urban-Organic Farm & Market Celebrating Local Food, Culture, and Community