Search This Blog

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Chilled Cucumber Soup

Cucumbers are pouring in this week and looking much better than the first ones the vines produced--the cucumber beetles don't seem to be able to keep up with the production. This year we're growing two varieties: Tasty Jade and Sikkim. Tasty Jade is a long, thick, green cucumber. Sikkim comes to us from the Himalayas of Sikkim and Nepal. It's more round and stout than Tasty Jade and seems more resistant to the cucumber beetle attacks. What's more, it turns a rusty brownish/red when fully ripe (this might be what throws off the beetles!) and doesn't have a hint of bitterness at either end which is something most cucumbers eventually develop. 
With the heat we've all been experiencing lately, we thought a Chilled Cucumber Soup would be just the ticket to bring a bit of a chill back into the house. Easy to make and very satisfying:

Chilled Cucumber Soup
Serves 3-4

2-3 cucumbers
1/4 cup chopped parsley
3 scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup yogurt
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Peel cucumbers and cut them in half, scraping out seeds. Sprinkle the cucumbers with salt and let them stand 30 minutes. Drain excess water.

Chop the cucumbers coarsely and put the pieces in the blender along with scallions, dill, lemon juice, buttermilk, and yogurt. Blend at high speed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill well before serving.

Recipe adapted from:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


We grow a variety of squashes at the farm and they're doing very well in this heat: traditional zucchini, cocozelle (striped zucchini), yellow squash, white and yellow pattypan. They can be prepared in a variety of ways, but while they're at the peak of their season I like to use recipes that put the squash front and center. My favorite summer squash recipe couldn't be simpler.

Pan Fried Summer Squash

-Olive oil or butter
-Salt / Pepper
-2 Garlic cloves

Cut the squash into 1/2 inch cubes or slice into 1/2 inch rounds. Dice 2 garlic cloves. Heat enough oil / melt enough butter to cover the bottom of a frying pan. When the oil / butter is hot add the squash and cook on high until browned on all sides, add the diced garlic, salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Garlic Scape Pesto

Garlic Scapes

June is the month for garlic scapes, the flowering stalk and immature flower head of the garlic plant. Garlic scapes taste very much like garlic cloves but are a little less intense. 

Following is a recipe for garlic scape pesto adapted from  from Ian Knauer's book The Farm :

This recipe makes about 1 1/2 cups of pesto which can be mixed with pasta, rice, quinoa or spread on little toasts or crackers.

10 garlic scapes
1/3 cup unsalted pistachios (you can use any nut/seed here, we used sunflower seeds)
1/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Reserve the oil, salt and pepper. Puree all the other ingredients in a food processor or blender (it helps to chop the scapes before putting them in). With the motor running, slowly begin pouring the oil through the opening and continue until you've poured in all the oil. The mixture will be fairly thick when you're finished. Salt and pepper to taste. The pesto will keep for a week in the fridge or frozen for a month.

To use, prepare a batch of pasta, rice, quinoa etc. and mix the pesto in to taste. Alternatively it can be used as a spread. Delicious!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Lettuce, lettuce everywhere

I'm reposting this salad recipe as it's one of my favorites and a great way to use the lettuce included in this week's CSA bag:

Enjoy this recipe for a French rice salad that can be eaten as an entire meal:

Vinegar (balsamic or red wine)
Olive oil
Fresh or canned tuna / salmon / chicken / beef strips*
Black pepper

Rinse your lettuce and arrange leaves in individual bowls.
Prepare rice (2 cups rice, 2 cups water, simmer until water evaporates)
Boil eggs (1 egg per person)

When rice is cooked, spoon equal portions into each bowl over the lettuce. The hot rice will wilt the lettuce.
Generously sprinkle equal parts oil and vinegar over the rice and lettuce (about 2 tablespoons each of oil and vinegar).
Peel the hard boiled eggs and slice in halves or quarters and arrange around the perimeter of the bowl.
Place your tuna in the center of the bowl over the rice. (If you used fresh tuna, cook it to your liking).
Season with salt and pepper and serve.

*We like to use Fried Dace with Salted Black Beans available at C.A.M. (Columbus Asian Market) on Bethel road. Dace is a fish that is deep fried and canned in oil with salted black beans. It's delicious, not at all fishy but deeply satisfying.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Jacob Sheep go to Indianapolis as Lawn Mowers

Three of our Jacob rams recently left the farm for greener lawns. A neighborhood association in Indianapolis has been awarded a grant to use the sheep as lawn mowers for foreclosed and abandoned properties. They were interested in using rare breeds for this project, settled on Jacobs and contacted us to see if we had three available sheep--which we did. We wish them the best of luck!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Daffodil Show

The Granville Garden Club held its 67th annual Daffodil Show today (and tomorrow) at the Bryn Du Mansion in Granville, Oh. The show is not to be missed by daffodil and flower lovers alike. The quality of the arrangements, the venue and the vast array of daffodils on display--over 300 named varieties--are hard to surpass. The show reminds me of the quality of similar exhibitions I've seen in Britain. I hope you enjoy these photos!

The rear entrance of the mansion and main entrance to the show.

Named varieties of daffodils on display. Many are for sale and can be purchased at the show. The bulbs are delivered at the proper planting time in the fall.

Garden club members can submit floral arrangements. This year's theme was favorite songs. This one was done by the mother of one of our past interns, and as you might guess, she is German.

A daffodil party dress!

A preview of what's to come. Daffodils fill each planter on the walk up to the mansion.

Not a daffodil in sight but this barn caught my eye as I walked out of the mansion.

Georgiana's lamb

Georgiana lambed today in the rain. The lamb was quite vigorous and was already up and nursing before the afterbirth had even passed. If you look carefully (not for the squeamish) you'll see the afterbirth starting to make its way out. Sheep usually eat all or part of it. Research has shown that eating the afterbirth helps tone the uterus and the lamb's nursing helps expel the afterbirth. Georgiana has always had singles; they're always very big and she's very protective. Georgiana was sold to us as one of three Jacobs (the other two were Eliza and Harryo). Georgiana is polled which indicates some cross breeding in her past, not uncommon with Jacobs.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Parsley's twins

Parsley was lambing when I went out to check the sheep this morning. She already had one lamb on the ground and was working on her second one. By the time I came back around she had twins, a ewe and a ram, and was busy cleaning them up. Parsley always has very independent lambs. So much so that one wonders if they're ever with her long enough to nurse but they always thrive. Her ewe twins from last year, Peppermint and Patty normally do not stay together very much but since the lambing this morning, they're inseparable.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Griselda, Rue and Harriet

More lambs this morning . . . that ram sure was busy! All three of these are two years old and first time mothers. Griselda's mother Georgiana (named after the Duchess of Devonshire) has always been an excellent mother and Griselda has taken after her. She is 'cooing' after her little lamb non-stop. Rue's mother, Rosemary who has her own brood this year, always gives us twins and has a very particular look, which she has passed on to all of her daughters, a little severe and other worldly but we love her anyway. Harriet's mother Harryo (named after one of the Duchess of Devonshire's daughter) is a fiercely protective mother and already has twins of her own this year. Harryo and her daughters have a dignity and carriage that surpass any sheep on the farm.

Griselda and her lamb

Rue (Jacob ewe) resting after her confinement

Harriet (Jacob ewe) making sure no harm comes to her new charge

Sage and Ella

Sage and Ella lambed yesterday afternoon. Sage had twins but one didn't make it. Sage routinely has problems with her lambs and I need to keep a close eye on this one. Two years ago she had a single ewe but didn't have enough milk. As a result the ewe became weak and eventually I supplemented its feed with goat milk twice a day. She made it and is now a beautiful ewe with an especially springy and soft fleece. Last year Sage had twins; one was stillborn and Sage wouldn't stop cleaning it off even after a seemingly robust and healthy ram was born. She left the ram in the amniotic sack where it most likely drowned. This year she did better but I still need to keep a close watch on the little guy.
This is Ella's first lamb and she seems to have taken to motherhood. Her mother, Eliza has always lambed singles but they've been big, healthy and beautiful.

Sage (Jacob ewe)

Ella (Jacob ewe)

Monday, April 9, 2012

I'll be participating tonight as part of a panel of young farmers at the following event:

Dinner and a Movie
“An Inspiring Look at the Next Generation of Farmers”
Grow! an Anthony-Masterson film
GROW! Takes an engaging and personal look at the new generation of sustainable farmers though the eyes, hearts and minds of 20 passionate, idealistic and fiercely independent young growers. To start off, they must borrow, rent or manage farmland in order to fulfill their dreams. Some begin as apprentices, working with experienced farmers to learn the basics before venturing out on their own. In the film they speak of both the joys and the challenges involved in tending the land. The young farmers clearly present what motivates them, and what it takes to be successful as a farmer. The film provides inspiration to all viewers to support the new crop of local and sustainable farmers through the food choices we make every day.
Event Information
Sponsor: OEFFA Heart of Ohio Chapter and Granville High School Environmental program
Dinner: Granville School’s food service provider, AVI, will be serving dinner prior to the film/discussion. This is a great chance to experience the food the students have available to them on a regular basis.
Date: Monday, April 9, 2012
Time: Dinner 6:00 – 7:00 PM
Film 7:00 – 8:00 PM
Discussion 8:00 – 9:00 PM
Location: Granville High School Commons – 248 New Burg Street, Granville Ohio 43023
Cost: $6.00 which includes the meal and movie
If you would like to know more about the movie and view the trailer please visit the website If you have any questions please feel free to contact Chuck Dilbone at or call 740-587-8114.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

We recently had some friends over to make Easter Eggs. I admit it's been since my childhood that I've done anything like this and it was worth the wait! The eggs below are a style of Ukrainian Easter Egg made using a wax resist method, in other words, Easter Eggs for adults. The final product is beautiful. We enjoyed it so much we're considering offering a class next year if our talented mentor is willing to teach it . . .

A sample of eggs our friend brought with her.

The work table and some eggs in process.

Some of our finished eggs!

What's Easter without lamb? Our matronly ewe, Rosemary, would have none of it so she made sure we woke up to twin ram lambs this morning.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spring Lambs

We weren't planning on lambs this year but sometimes accidents do happen, especially when there's a wind storm, a downed fence and an available ram to breech the gap. Our first lambs of the season were born on April 1, which, taking everything into consideration is quite appropriate. Since the parentage is uncertain, all lambs this year will find their way to the freezer in due time. Until then, they sure are cute! What's spring without lambs running through the pasture?

Harryo (a Jacob ewe) and her twin ram/ewe lambs

The gang getting their first taste of spring pasture

Penelope (a Shetland ewe) and Parsley (a Jacob ewe) exchanging hellos with Eliza (a Jacob ewe) munching contentedly in the background

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


We hope you enjoy these pictures of the beautiful arrangement Artiflora of Granville, Ohio created using our daffodils. Enjoy!

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Market Garden

Thanks to the mild weather this spring, work has been going on steadily in the market garden. Lots of cleanup, soil amending and tilling. We'll be putting spring greens in the ground tomorrow (weather permitting) but for now, enjoy these pictures of baby plants under grow lights.

Our CSA is almost full for the season. If you're thinking of joining, please send us an email to confirm space is still available.

Monday, March 26, 2012

A kid and 6 kits

What an exciting day on the farm--in fact the entire weekend was full of exciting things. Part of our mission at terravita farms is to introduce people to endangered breeds of livestock in the hope that one day they too will want to raise them and ensure their survival. We're happy to report that two more farms are now raising the critically endangered American Chinchilla rabbit. Congratulations to Tammy in Ohio and Chris in North Carolina on their new charges. Each of them purchased a trio of weaned rabbit kits, 1 buck and 2 does, to start their American Chinchilla rabbit herds. We wish them and the rabbits all the very best!

For more information on endangered breeds of livestock, visit the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. We've been members for years and enthusiastically support their work.

An American Chinchilla rabbit kit and admirer

Everything always happens at once on the farm, especially in spring. As we were waiting for our second American Chinchilla rabbit buyer to arrive this afternoon I ran out to the barn to make sure everything was in order. I peeked in the goat stall and did a double-take. In front of me was a newly born Toggenburg goat kid, Nigella's first. She was due on Friday March 16 but this being her first freshening, a late kidding is normal. What isn't normal is for the kidding to take place in the middle of the day. Usually it happens in the wee hours of the morning--the most inconvenient time! The little doeling looked great, Nigella was cleaning her off and the afterbirth was beginning to pass. As I looked over my shoulder to the driveway, our guests were arriving! They didn't stay long, considering the circumstances--I was a little distracted--but left with their 3 rabbit kits and a hank of Jacob yarn which they couldn't resist.

Nigella and her doeling

Nigella can't stop cleaning her off!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Take time to smell the flowers

Last fall we planted 1,000 daffodil bulbs between the fruit trees in our new orchard. The plan was to offer them for sale to Village Flower Basket in Granville, Oh. It's now spring, the daffodils are blooming and we're cutting them daily for delivery to the florist. We learned that counter to our desire to present the florist with a big bouquet of beautiful flowers, for their purposes they need to receive the flowers tightly budded (closed). I must admit that it's much less of an impact when you show up with a bouquet of tightly closed flowers so I've included pictures of what they look like when they're open.

Should you need daffodils for a special occasion or just to celebrate spring, please contact us for quantities and pricing--hurry, the season will be over before you know it!

These flowers are ready for the florist.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Gertrude and Edward are proud to present:

After 3 years of false starts, our Pomeranian Saddleback geese are the proud parents of 8 little goslings--100% hatch rate. It's been a little over a week since they hatched and we're glad to report that parents and goslings are doing great!