Plan a Thriving Garden

31 Jan

 Sign up Today for our next Urban Homesteading Workshop:

Planning a  Garden Throughout the Year

February 12 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.   $40.00

Click here to sign up on-line.

Our very own Farm Manager, Toby McPartland, will be teaching “Planning a Garden Throughout the Year”.  Learn basic intensive gardening strategies, crop planning and planting tips resulting in an abundance of vegetables that grow well in our climate.  The trick is not ending up with all 40 heads of lettuce in one week. Learn how to plan your thriving garden providing abundance throughout the year. 

Toby McPartland, Farm Manager


CSA Members Work Day BYOB

Bring Your Own Bucket

Saturday 02/26/11

8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Please come to the farm and help us apply compost.  We have the compost but we don’t have the machinery to spread it .  Bring gloves, a hat, water bottle, bucket, shovel, rake, wheelbarrow or just your self.  No need to RSVP just come out if you can.  Bring your muscles, big or small and help Fairview rebuild its soil fertility.   

Sneak Peek:


Blood Oranges

Green Garlic                






This Weeks Recipe:

101 Cookbooks

 Turnip Green Tart

It’s convenient for me to make enough dough for two tart shells in one shot, so that’s what I call for here. You can always freeze the extra dough or shell for use later in the week/month. They seem to keep fine in the freezer, well wrapped, for a few weeks, but not much longer than that. Green garlic is also great in the filling in place of the garlic clove – a couple tablespoons (chopped).


Cornmeal Tart Shell:

2 1/4 cups / 9 oz / 255 g all-purpose flour
1 cup / 4.5 oz / 125 g spelt flour
scant 1 cup / 4.5 oz medium coarse corn meal
3/4 teaspoon fine grain salt
1 1/4 cups / 10 ounces / 280 g unsalted butter, cut in cubes
1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup / 60 ml – 3/4 cup / 180 ml cold water

Turnip Green Filling:

1/4 lb. / 4 oz turnip greens, or spinach greens, de-stemmed
1 small clove of garlic
2 large eggs + 1 yolk
3/4 cup veg. broth
1/4 cup / 60 ml heavy cream
scant 1/4 teaspoon salt (more if broth unsalted)
2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons herbs de Provence (opt.)
gruyere cheese & a bit of crushed red pepper flakes, for topping

special equipment: tart pans – 9-inch (23 cm) round, 8 x 11 inch (20 x 28) rectangle, or equivalent.

101 Cookbooks

 Start by making the tart dough. Combine flours, cornmeal, and salt in food processor. Pulse in butter, 20+ pulses, or until the mixture resembles sandy pebbles on a beach. Add the egg yolk and 1/4 cup water. Pulse, trickle in more water if needed, just until dough comes together. Turn out onto a floured countertop and gather into a ball. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, shape each into a ball, press into 1/2-inch thick disks, and wrap in plastic, or place in baggies. Chill for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350F / 180C. Place a rack in the middle of the oven.

When you’re ready to line the tart pans with dough, place one of the dough disks on a lightly floured surface and roll out until the dough is large enough to line your tart pan. I usually eyeball it – you can see in the photo the dough is about 1/6 – 1/8 inch thick. Dust underneath with flour to discourage sticking throughout the rolling process. Carefully transfer the dough to the pan. Don’t worry too much if you get a tear or hole, you can patch those up later with scraps. Work quickly to ease the dough into place, taking care not to stretch the dough. Press it along the bottom of the pan, out to the walls, and against the sides. Trim any excess dough – I use the palm of my hand against the edge of the tart pan to cut off any extra dough, alternately you can roll a rolling pin across the rim of the pan for a clean edge. Chill in the refrigerator for thirty minutes or so while you roll out your extra tart shell. Double wrap that one in plastic and freeze it for future use.

You’re going to partially bake the tart shell before filling it, so pull the shell out of the refrigerator, dock it with a fork, making small holes along the bottom of the shell. Line the shell with parchment paper and fill to the rim with pie weights or dried beans, bake for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the pie weights and finish baking for another 5 minutes, or until the crust is dry and just barely starting to brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

To make the filling: Chop the greens and garlic in a food processor. You can do this by hand as well, but in this case the processor makes quick work of this. Add the eggs and yolk, pulse. Then the broth and cream. Lastly, incorporate the salt, mustard, and herbs. When you’re ready to bake, fill the tart shell and bake for 30 minutes or so, or until the center is set, and has firmed up to the touch. About 2/3 of the way through I like to sprinkle with a bit of gruyere cheese. I can’t help but zap the top of most tarts under the broiler for a minute or two just prior to pulling it out of the oven – it browns up the top nicely, and lends a rustic look to it. Finish with a sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes if you don’t mind a bit of heat.

Prep time: 950 min – Cook time: 60 min

Organic Farming News

EcoFarm 2011

Last week was the annual EcoFarm Conference in Northern California.  During the conference news spread of the alarming decision the US Government made.   Toby McPartland, our Farm Manager was attending a seminar, when they asked farmers to leave the room and write a letter outlineing their consernes over the controversial decision for the USDA to allow GMO Alfalfa. 





*Please contact Secretary Tom Vilsack directly if you’d like to express your concerns about the USDA’s decision.  Washington Office:400 N. Capitol St., NW, Ste. 359
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 720-3631

EcoFarm Attendees Criticize USDA Decision to Allow GMO Alfalfa

Organic farmers and dairy producers at national conference voice outrage about potential for bio-contamination
Pacific Grove, Calif. January 28, 2011- News that the USDA had approved the planting of genetically engineered alfalfa was greeted with a collective dismay and condemnation by the more than 1,000 attendees from 34 states at the Ecological Farming Association Conference, the largest organic farming conference on the West Coast. “We are appalled by this decision,” said pioneering organic farmer Larry Jacobs, President of Jacobs Farm-Del Cabo. “This is a sad day for the future of sustainable agriculture.”

Genetic engineering is not allowed under US organic standards. The organic label assures that consumers are not exposed to genetically engineered organisms through their food choices. According to Don Huber Ph.D., emeritus professor at Purdue University, the commercialization of genetically engineered alfalfa could result in the contamination of organic and conventional alfalfa within five years. Such contamination threatens organic markets and diminishes non-contaminated, non-GE seed options for organic producers.

In an official statement yesterday Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, “After conducting a thorough and transparent examination of alfalfa through a multi-alternative environmental impact statement (EIS) and several public comment opportunities, APHIS has determined that Roundup Ready alfalfa is as safe as traditionally bred alfalfa.” Alfalfa is the fourth-largest U.S. field crop grown annually on about 23 million acres in the U.S. and is the primary forage crop for dairy production.

“As an organic farmer and an organic dairy processor, the decision to deregulate genetically engineered alfalfa is devastating for our industry and it could put our business at risk,” said Albert Straus, President and owner of Straus Family Creamery. “Since 1994, I’ve been committed to organic principles. We are the first and only dairy brand to achieve Non-GMO Project verification for all of our products.”

“Alfalfa is an essential feed for our dairy cows and provides the essential forage in the diet of organic cows,” he continued. “With the potential contamination of organic alfalfa, this could significantly harm the organic dairy industry.”

Sustainable food systems advocate Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, agreed with farmers’ concerns. “It’s hard to understand why the Obama Administration would put the organic industry at risk for the sake of an unnecessary and soon-to-be obsolete product like Round-up Ready alfalfa. This is a bad solution to a problem that doesn’t exist, since 93 percent of alfalfa hay is grown without any herbicide at all.”

EcoFarm President Thomas Wittman added, “The ruling by the USDA Secretary disregards the organic farmers, the dairy industry, and the environment, and I am confident that the decision will be reversed in court.”

The USDA announcement was delivered from the podium at the conference, energizing EcoFarm attendees to mobilize their constituency and question the Obama Administration’s commitment to the health and welfare of the American public.


2 Responses to “Plan a Thriving Garden”

  1. Sophia Melvin January 31, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    Can a petition for the wider public to take action be sent out?

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