Author: Bryan Housel

Circle Brook Farm

Farm News – August 15, 2022

Hi Folks, So the heat has broken, but still no rain. It seems we will have to wait another week for a 40% chance of precipitation. The drought is rally starting to hurt us, despite our best efforts to keep everything sprouting and growing. For now, the shares still look great. (more…)

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

The tomato, like the eggplant, is a member of the Solanaceae, or Nightshade family.  Tomatoes are native to western South America, but were cultivated in Mexico by Mexican Indians, who were intrigued by its resemblance to the tomatillo – a staple in their cuisine.  With the discovery of the New World, tomato seeds were brought back to Spain, beginning the introduction of the fruit into Europe.  Tomatoes made their way to North America with the colonists who first settled in Virginia. (more…)

Bhindi Masala

Bhindi Masala

Bhindi (okra) is a staple in Indian cuisine. This recipe for Bhindi Masala comes from Slate Magazine. If you were scarred by stewed okra as a child, you might be wary of overcooking your okra here. Don’t be. Counterintuitively, you want to cook it so long it’s just shy of burning. A long frying session will give the okra time to dry out as its liquid evaporates, and that dried out texture is what you want if you’re trying to avoid slime. Your okra’s not done until it looks wilted and deeply browned. (more…)

Circle Brook Farm

Farm News – August 8, 2022

Hi Everyone, I wish I had better news for you, but after various chances for rain over the last week, we are still very dry here on the farm.  About two hours ago it became dark, and the wind picked up, then I watched the radar as a small storm cell moved to the north of us.  We have another shot at some precipitation tonight and tomorrow, after that we will have to wait until next week.  We are doing the best we can to keep everything growing or at least keep new transplants and newly sprouted seeds from burning up, but there is just not enough water to go around. (more…)

Eggplant

Eggplant

Eggplant is a member of the Solanaceae, or “nightshade,” family of vegetables, which also includes tomatoes, sweet peppers, and potatoes. As you already noticed, they come in a variety of shapes and colors. While the varieties exhibit slightly different tastes and textures, generally eggplants have a pleasantly bitter taste and spongy texture. (more…)

Eggplant Caponata

Eggplant Caponata

With eggplants still in abundance, I can’t wait to make another batch of this Sicilian deliciousness. The recipe makes about 4-5 cups and keeps well for about a week in the fridge. (more…)

Circle Brook Farm

Farm News – August 1, 2022

Hi All! “Hot” and “dry” continue to be the best words to describe conditions on the farm. The few rain events that were forecast turned out to be duds, delivering only a few scattered drops. We are doing our best to keep water on the most important crops and keep newly sown seeds moist so that they will sprout. Just as they say about elections, drought has consequences. Our string bean crop has been languishing in the heat and producing small misshapen pods. Fortunately, we have some pole beans which have drip irrigation on them. These are an heirloom variety called the Rattlesnake bean (down south they call them Preacher beans). They are a flat pod type with some purple streaking and are generally quite sweet and tender. (more…)

Circle Brook Farm

Farm News – July 25, 2022

Hi Everyone, I hope you all have managed okay with this weekend’s scorching heat. It was hard on my workers, but, as always, they stoically endured it. Had it not been for the rain earlier in the week, it might have been devastating for the crops. We were hoping for some more precipitation today as cooler air moves in, unfortunately we got a scant tenth of an inch. Temps this week will be a little more bearable, especially with nighttime temperatures dropping into the sixties. Hopefully, there will be more rain soon. (more…)