September has come in with a grand sigh of relief. As the sun casts longer shadows each day and the wind brings in the crispness of fall, I am looking at my neglected garden and planting my fall crops. We are harvesting loads of tomatoes; green ones that will never get any riper, and those that are beginning to rot on the vine.
Morning Glory Farm delivered a walk-in cooler full of vegetables today and we are busy processing spicy dilly beans, onion jam, corn relish, pear chutney, and raw bars! Although the organic raw bars are everything but local, they are my favorite shelf stable item. There is something about raw that I love. Perhaps it is the sprouting of the buckwheat or the slow process, including 18 hours in the hydrator at 110 degrees. I love the taste of them. It took us several recipes to get the sweetness in the raw bars just right. The biggest challenge turned out to be the organic apples. They left a fermented aftertaste in the back of your mouth. We then tried several recipes when, FINALLY, we discovered that organic apple juice worked as a perfect replacement.
Living Local Classes are off to a great start this Fall. Currently, we are right in the middle of our week-long Autumn Restorative Cleanse. Every season, as we switch gears, I need a little fire to remind me to take care of myself and these cleanses give me just that! Sherry Sidoti of FLY Yoga, is amazing in leading us through our early morning cleansing yoga poses. The routines of the meals and shakes are a welcome shift into the new season. I welcome anyone to come join our group for two cleansing cooking classes - both include dinner. On Wednesday, September 15th, we are offering Healthy Eating for Cleansing and on Monday, September 20th, Eating for Restorative Health.
We have expanded our animal menagerie with the addition of two new cows! We welcome Julie and Claire, two Jersey beauties, who will be providing the milk for our cheese making. Jerseys are a smaller cow known for the high fat content in their milk. We are currently focusing our attention on cheese recipes. My favorite cheeses to make are the bloomy rind, but we promise Tommes and fresh cheese as well.
We have three pigs ready to be slaughtered creating a familiar conflict I find myself experiencing this time of year - I think perhaps we should keep one pig over the winter and raise piglets. My husband reminds me of how impractical this is given the cost of organic grain and the slim pickings from kitchen scraps. I then remember the taste of our pork. With the pear season having been amazing this year (it must have been the long hot summer) and the pigs being fed buckets of already dropped pears from several sources, I know this pairing of pig & pear will bring a delicious tasting finish to our pork.
On October 4th, Kevin at Détente is hosting a Wild Food Challenge: Harvest a local product and turn it into something edible and we will judge it. All levels of cooks and kitchen scientists are welcome to join in the fun at Détente. I always learn so much about people and what we have in local abundance right here on Martha’s Vineyard at these types of events.
As the catering slows down, we are continuing to provide complete dinners for pick-up or delivery. The Moroccan Chicken Dinner has been the biggest hit this season – made with our own Martha’s Vineyard pastured chicken.
As I write this, I am in Chicago visiting family and I’ve enjoyed visiting the Green City Market. This past Saturday, I bought two boxes of Flamin’ Fury Peaches that were out of this world. Naturally, I saved the pits and will sprout them into a tree for my own garden as they really were beyond delicious! Chicago is my home town and I always cherish the newfound treasures and inspirations from the great Midwest.
Enjoy your fall!