Saturday, August 18, 2007
PANTRY FINDS at DIMOND HILL FARM
There is so much largesse in the summer, especially in August when the days start to wane a bit and the shadows grow longer and the gardens have born almost all that they can. Right now we have summer squash, zukes, and cucumbers coming in like gangbusters. Despite our own garden offerings, which vary each year, I really should get a bumper sticker that says "Warning~I Break for Farmstands"
HEIRLOOM TOMATOES at DIMOND HILL
Today I made a marinara sauce with perfectly vine-ripened Kentucky tomatoes grown by some Mennonite neighbors (as well as basil from my garden and fresh garlic from Dimond Hill Farm). My husband brought home several bushels from a recent trip--a great gift as our tomatoes have only just started along now. I plan to try my hand at several kinds of pickles this weekend from our vast bumper crop of cucumbers [a longer European kind and an heirloom pickle variety, my particular favorite: both from RENEE's GARDEN. I've been impressed by the plant stock, flowers and fruits, and bounty from these seeds. I will definitely get her seeds again next year!] Our squash got a slow start from a cold and wet June (and new manure topsoil that hadn't yet composted but will be like rich cocoa next year) but much of it is catching up.
On our way home yesterday from my interview for several programs of "A Chef's Table", taped remotely at our New Hampshire public radio station in Concord, we stopped at Dimond Hill Farm in Hopkinton. I have always admired their large yellow barn with its cupola on a high hill, and surrounding fields all still in agriculture. Last year, my husband took measurements of the barn with an Amish builder from northern New York. He hopes to replicate it someday in Kentucky.
THE DIMOND HILL BARN SMELLED OF NEW MOWN HAY
The timber-framed mid-nineteenth century barn is built in the classic New England barn standard: center aisled drive-in floor for hay and deliveries; cow tie ups and other sections; large lofts on several levels for hay storage. A true cathedral to agriculture and the land. My kind of church. There is a line in THE BEANS of EGYPT, MAINE by Carolyn Chute describing one of the main characters who "was happy to see the barn, happy to enter it," like a workhorse I suppose. That would also best describe my husband: happy to see a barn, happy to enter one.
CORN at TENNEY FARM in ANTRIM, NH
The blueberries are like large cobalt marbles this year and so very sweet and we hope to go picking this weekend with the kids: a fall-like cold front has come through today and the weather will be perfect. The corn, too, is the best it has been in several years. Soon we will have apples and pumpkins and winter squash but I'm not ready to think about fall just yet. Soon enough...and I'll know when I'm ready.