Muzina Recipes

[yumprint-recipe id='1']Bitter Greens Salad with Roasted Pears or Apples
Adapted from Gourmet magazine

For salad:
3 firm-ripe Bosc pears or apples, peeled, cored, and each cut lengthwise into 8 wedges

3/4 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
5 cups mixed bitter greens (such as arugula, mizuna, escarole, radicchio, endive, and/or chicory), torn into bite-size pieces

For dressing:
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 1/2 tablespoon cider vinegar
Drizzle of honey
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

 
1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F. Toss pears or apples with oil and spread in 1 layer in a shallow baking pan, then season with salt and pepper. Roast pears or apples, stirring and turning over twice, until pears are tender and beginning to brown, 20 to 30 minutes, then cool about 15 minutes. 2. While pears are roasting and cooling, toss torn greens in a large bowl. 3. Whisk together shallot, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper, then add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified. Just before serving, add roasted pears and dressing to greens and toss to combine well. Makes 4 to 5 servings.

 

 

Daikon Radish Recipes

Overnight Chinese Daikon Radish Pickles

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 cups chopped daikon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)

DIRECTIONS
In a mixing bowl, toss daikon with salt. Cover, and refrigerate until 1 to 2 tablespoons of water is released, about 30 minutes.
Drain and rinse daikon, removing as much salt as possible. Pat dry with a paper towel, and return to bowl. Stir in rice vinegar, black pepper and, if desired, sesame oil. Cover, and refrigerate at least 8 hours.

 

Sweet Pickled Daikon Radish 1 quart

INGREDIENTS
1 cup rice vinegar 1 cup water 1 cup sugar 1/4 teaspoon turmeric 1 pound daikon radish
1/4 cup kosher salt

In a small saucepan over medium heat add the vinegar, water, sugar, and turmeric. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and allow it to cool.
Meanwhile, peel the daikon radish and slice into 1/4-inch thick rounds. (If your daikon is very large, slice the rounds into semicircles.) Place in a colander with salt and mix well. Place the colander over a bowl and let drain for 1 hour. Rinse the salt off with a couple of changes of water and dry the daikon well. Put into a sterilized glass jar. Pour the cooled brine through a coffee filter (or a cheesecloth lined strainer) into the jar to cover the radish slices. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Will keep for about 2 weeks.

 

Both recipes from: http://www.seriouseats.com/talk/2009/12/daikon-radish-what-to-do-with-it.html

Yukina Savoy Recipes

 

Yukina Savoy With Sweet Chili Shrimp

(from: http://www.accessatlanta.com/news/entertainment/dining/in-season-yukina-savoy/nQzWx/)

Hands on: 15 minutes

Total time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4

This recipe matches the sweetness of yukina savoy with succulent fresh shrimp, and then spices everything up with a little sweet chili sauce. Serve with brown rice.

1 bunch yukina savoy, stems and leaves separated

1 bunch green garlic or green onions

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound large shrimp, peeled

1/4 cup sweet chili sauce

Cut yukina savoy stems and green garlic or onion in 1/4-inch slices.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat 1 minute. Add stems and garlic or onion. Reduce heat and sauté vegetables until tender, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to high and move vegetables to one side of the skillet. Add shrimp in one layer. Cook 3 minutes on one side, then turn and cook 2 minutes more. Stir in yukina savoy leaves and chili sauce and stir constantly, heating until leaves are wilted. Serve immediately.

 

Spicy Stir Fry Stuff

(from http://breadandmutter.com/whats-cooking/going-greens-yukina-savoy/)

Ingredients:

  1. butter
  2. salt
  3. pepper
  4. garlic
  5. eggs
  6. yukina savoy
  7. peanuts (ground is nice but not necessary)
  8. rice noodles
  9. soy sauce
  10. hot sauce (I dig the salty kick of sriracha)
  11. cilantro

Steps:

  1. boil water for noodles
  2. in wok or deep frying pan, scramble eggs with butter, garlic, salt, pepper
  3. add to eggs chopped leaves and stems of yukina savoy and cook until wilt (but not totally burned and shriveled up– greens cook FAST)
  4. add to leafy egg mixture the peanuts, soy sauce, hot sauce
  5. combine with cooked/drained rice noodles
  6. turn the burner off and fold in fresh, chopped cilantro last

 

Bok Choy Recipes

Grilled Bok Choy

grilledbokchoy

 

1 head green or red bok choy, left whole if small or sliced in half vertically (as shown above) if larger
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Drizzle of soy sauce (optional)
Drizzle of toasted sesame oil (optional)

Preheat gas or charcoal grill to medium heat. Drizzle bok chou with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill bok choy, turning often, until the leaves are slightly charred and the stems are tender, about 5 minutes. Place on platter and drizzle with soy sauce and sesame oil if you want. Makes 2 to 3 side-dish servings.

 

Stir-Fried Bok Choy & Mizuna with Seared Tofu

bokchoymizunatofu

 

3 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
4 teaspoons Asian sesame oil, divided
3 1/2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar, divided
1 14- to 16-ounce container extra-firm tofu, drained
2 tablespoons peanut oil or neutral oil such as canola or grapeseed
4 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped, peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 small bok choys or 1 large, leaves separated and chopped if large
12 cups loosely packed mizuna (about 8 ounces)

Whisk 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, and 1/2 teaspoon vinegar in bowl. Stack 2 paper towels on work surface. Cut tofu crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick slices; cut each slice crosswise in half. Arrange tofu on paper towels, cover with 2 more paper towels and a heavy pan or skillet to press down and drain tofu for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Heat peanut or other oil in a large skillet (preferably nonstick) over medium-high heat. Add tofu and cook, without moving, until golden brown on bottom, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer tofu to paper towel to drain, then place tofu on a sheet of foil and brush both sides with the soy sauce mixture.

Wipe out any oil from the skillet. Add 2 teaspoons sesame oil and place skillet over medium heat. Add green onions, ginger, and garlic. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce and 3 teaspoons vinegar, then bok chou. Toss until bok choy wilts, about 2 minutes. Add mizuna in batches, tossing to wilt before adding more. Add tofu to skillet. Transfer to a platter and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Asian-Style Vegetable Noodle Bowl
Adapted from Rachael Ray
   
Salt and pepper
1/2 pound whole wheat spaghetti
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
2 large cloves garlic, grated
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons honey or agave syrup
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon hot sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 to 3 carrots, chopped
1 large or 2 small head bok choy or tatsoi, stalks chopped and leaves shredded
2 small bell peppers, thinly sliced or chopped
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain. 2. While the pasta is working, using a blender or food processor, combine a splash of the boiling water (before you add salt), the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, honey (or agave), tomato paste, vinegar, sesame oil and hot sauce until smooth. 3. Get all of the remaining ingredients ready for a quick stir-fry. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over high heat.Add the carrots, bok choy stems, and bell pepper and stir-fry for 3 or 4 minutes, then add the scallions, bok choy leaves, and ginger sauce and toss for 1 minute. Pour over the drained noodles and top with the sesame seeds. Pass more hot sauce around the table.

Jr Farmer : 2

Last time we left off speaking about the earliest plant harbingers of spring, skunk cabbage.  The first amphibious indicators of spring have begun to sing their songs to the world.  Spring peepers and wood frogs have noticed the longer and warmer days and are becoming active.  You can hear them beginning to sing their songs on the first warm days in March.  Wood frogs are particularly fascinating because they are one of the few animals that freeze solid in order to survive the winter.  Much like a seed the frogs go into a dormant state, or torpor, where they contain the potential for life but are waiting for the first cues of spring until they germinate, or in the case of wood frogs, thaw out and reanimate.  The frogs achieve this through many complex physiological changes within their body.  The main change is that they increase the amount of sugars in their body.  This acts just like the antifreeze you put in your car.  Plants, like those in the cabbage family also increase the amount of sugar they produce in order to deal with cold temperatures in the fall and early spring.  This is why many vegetables, notably carrots and brussel sprouts, taste so much better after being exposed cold weather.

We like to think of the farm as its own ecosystem.  We try to mimic the adaptations that nature has to deal with the changes in seasons but have to take many measures to make sure we can grow enough vegetables when we need them.  These schedules don’t always work with the cycles in nature and we are always looking for creative and sustainable ways to mimic the efficiencies we find there.  Our greenhouse is a major way we extend the growing season and we discussed the reasons behind it in the last post.  Right now we are working backwards from when we know we need to have veggies ready to harvest and when the temperatures will be warm enough to plant outside.  We are busy planting and adding new additions to our greenhouses almost on a daily basis.  Two weeks ago we had onions, kale, and lettuce.  Since then we have added beets, celeriac (a relative to celery grown for a root veggie), tomatoes, broccoli, hakurei turnips, bok choi, and mizuna (an Asian green).  The space is quickly filling up.

Because we farm organically and don’t use any herbicides or pesticides it means that we have to pay even closer attention to the way that nature controls problems like bugs and weeds.  No healthy forests or field need people to weed or spray pesticides to control pest problems.  Instead we study how and why forests function so well and try to apply those lessons to our gardens.  This year we had an outbreak of fungus gnats in our greenhouse.  These would have potentially been a problem for all the young, tender, and yummy seedlings we are trying to grow.  Instead of spraying some chemical to kill them all off we placed sticky traps where they like to fly and the problem is almost gone without the use of any pesticides.  We call this type of an approach a cultural one.  Cultural practices are ones where we use physical practices to control or nip potential problems in the bud.  Another set of practices we use are biological.  These are practices where we grow certain plants together because they grow better together.  This is called companion planting.  A classic example of this is the three sister’s garden where corn, beans, and squash are grown together.  Each plant provides something that helps the other grow!  Sometimes we grow certain plants not because they help others grow but because they deter or attract organisms, usually bugs, that we don’t want in the garden.   This year we are growing pyrethrum.  This plant is a type of chrysanthemum that will add not only the beauty of its flowers but it also produces a substance that acts as a safe, organic, pesticide.  We are always sure to plant a wide variety of flowers as well so that we have plenty of pollinators to help up grow all our different vegetables.

We use all of these different approaches in order to minimize our ecological footprint and produce the healthiest produce we can.

Hilltop Farmers

Jr Farmer : 1

This gallery contains 12 photos.

Salutations students and educators! March has arrived and we are anxiously awaiting the official arrival of spring. The farm is filled with the sounds of peeping chicks and the first birds are returning and looking for nest sites. The first signs of life are beginning to show and our greenhouse is quickly filling with crops. [...]

A Note From Farmer Brett

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 November 13

Well I am still around and want to announce that my wife and I gave birth, rather my wife gave birth, to our first child, a baby boy.  Very exciting time in our life. Officially a family +1.  Needless to say we have been spending a lot of time with our son.  Such a wonderful thing to watch him develop into his own.  Even in such a short time you can begin to notice a sort of personality develop.  I am sure the only constant will be change. As a farmer this really was the best time to bring him into the world.  The seasons are changing and things on the farm are coming to a close.

I imagine that many of you are getting ready for the holiday season.  Definitely a time of the year that I enjoy very much.  At Hilltop Hanover Farm our official last day of the season is Thanksgiving.  I think that I can speak for most farmers when I say that as much as we love the growing season the off season is a time that we all look forward to.  After exhausting ourselves from late winter through late fall it is time to step back and debrief.

A very common question that I am asked is “what do you do during the winter?” The answer, “lots of things”.  When the season is still fresh on our minds we will sit down and go over everything that happened over the course of the season.  We discuss the crops that did well, the ones that did not, whether we want to try different varieties or different crops all together.   Can we harvest faster and more efficiently.  We have over the last two seasons increased our retail sales, restaurant sales, and our CSA.  We have to determine if we can increase more by still offering the same high quality that people have come to expect from us.  As the farm manager I still have many tasks that require my attention.  All machinery and tools need to be taken care of so that we are ready for the spring.  All crop planning takes place this time of year.  By the beginning of Feb. we have started to seed onions and the season has begun.  In short, we might not be in the fields harvesting or planting, but we are busy being productive.  Also enjoying the time when the sense of urgency is not great.

September 27

Hello!  The past week on the farm the staff and I have been harvesting for our CSA and retail markets.  Things are looking great!  Even though we could use a bit of rain the weather has been nice.  Perfect weather to work outside.

As I mentioned last week now is the time to amend the soil for the spring.  We have been applying cow manure to the fields that are done for the season.  The time and effort to put the manure down this fall will pay for itself with healthy and beautiful vegetables next year.  Also, remember that you still have a couple weeks before the threat of frost to get some late winter cover crops on the ground.

If you plan on planting garlic this year, your window to plant the garlic seed (cloves) is from mid-October thru mid-November. Prep the soil with well rotted compost to give the plants extra nutrients when they start to sprout in the late winter early spring.  Another option you might want to consider is mulching your garlic after planting.  After planting the seed you can either mulch rather soon after planting or some people will wait till after a few good freezes.  The reason some wait is because at that point the mice and other small rodents have found homes elsewhere instead of under your mulch where they make their homes and feed on the garlic.  I have done both without much incident.  It really comes down to what is convenient.  Well, I have to run.  See you all later.  Enjoy the crisp and cool mornings.

September 19

Last week I spoke to you all about last minute winter growing.  If you have decided not to plant fall crops do not fret because there are still things that you can do to benefit your garden this year and next.

Most people are aware that the best time to plant grass seed is in the fall.  This is also true for your garden. (Do not plant grass seed in your garden)  What I mean is that whether you have a large community garden, back yard plot, or just a small area around your house now is the time to amend your soil.  Two options for amending your soil that I love most are cover cropping and laying manure.  The best is a combination of both.

Here in Westchester NY we are in zone 6b for the frost hardiness zone.  This puts our average first frost at around Oct 15.  However we have experienced earlier and later occurrences, but this is the average.  Considering that we are getting toward the end of September our options are limited.  At HHF we use a combination of winter rye and hairy vetch.  Both are winter hardy and will not frost kill.  If you plant them now or by the beginning of October they will germinate and put on enough beneficial growth.  Both the rye and vetch will go dormant during the winter but when the spring comes the following year they will put on incredible growth.  The pro with rye and vetch is that they act as erosion control by holding the soil together and preventing the leeching of nutrients during rain and snow.  The con of the two is that areas that are planted in rye/vetch come the spring will be very difficult to work with.  The growth they put on in the spring makes working the soil in the spring very difficult.  However, with a few good mowing and tilling the rye/vetch combo can be incorporated back into the soil releasing nitrogen and adding organic matter to your soil.

Regarding the manure application, this is the best time to put raw manure onto your garden.  It will have all winter to break down leaving behind a rich organic material that you can plant into when spring comes.  When you apply the manure during the fall make sure to really incorporate it into the soil.  If you have done this and you still have time now would be when you could also plant the cover crop into it.  The cover crop will lock up all that nitrogen in the manure holding onto it until the spring when it will be released back into the soil.  If you plan on planting early in the spring the cover crop might not be right for you.  But the manure would be great.  If you are unable to do either of these, that is also ok.  Just know that if you do neither than you will want to apply well rotted compost into your garden in the spring.  Do not worry you have plenty of options.  Well, see you next week, and remember to get outside and plant something.  I will only be able to say that for a couple more weeks.

September 12

Hello everyone, I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful weather.  It was a hot one yesterday but that’s ok.  We will have many more cooler days than hot as we go ahead for the rest of the year.

I hope you have been busy planting your fall garden.  If not your window is rapidly closing to get a fall harvest.  Anything that is <30 days might still have a chance but you will need to plant them now.  Some options are quick growing radishes, some spinach, lettuce, and arugula. I love arugula, so good.  If not that is ok you will just have to wait for the spring.

We have begun to harvest our winter squashes.  We planted this year all pie pumpkins so if interested come and get them. Other varieties we grew are butternut, buttercup, spaghetti, acorn, and sugar dumpling.  All delicious in many recipes, soup, pies, ravioli, etc.

If you are missing the fall crops visit your local farm.  We at Hilltop Hanover Farm will have fresh produce at least till end of October and hopefully a bit longer.  Thanks and see you on the farm!
August 24

I am back!  Sorry for the incredibly long hiatus.  We have been incredibly busy.  Not sure where I left off last but I imagine the tomatoes had not yet begun to ripen and we were still harvesting the cooler weather crops.  Well, the tomatoes ripened and have been incredibly delicious.  You can’t beat a fresh in season heirloom tomato.  Yes they are ugly to the amateur eye but in that “ugliness” is Mother Nature’s secret ingredient.

The rains finally came during the months of June and July which was good for some things and bad for others.  The fall plantings of broccoli and cauliflower loved the cool wet days.  The tomatoes, peppers, basil, eggplant and other heat loving plants however did not.  With regards to the tomatoes many states in the northeast have experienced cases of late blight. In a nutshell, late blight is a fungal disease that affects mostly potatoes and tomatoes.  The spores inhabit the plant and cause the plant to deteriorate rather quickly.  For growers who experience this it is very frustrating.  The best practice for helping to prevent this is having strong healthy plants, to not harvest or touch any plants during wet periods, and refrain from opening up any wounds on the plants.  Only harvest or prune during times when the plants are dry and never before periods of wet weather.  I know, easier said than done.  Also sanitize all equipment that comes in contact with plants during a suspected occurrence of late blight in your area.

It is the end of August and so if you wish to keep the garden going now is the time to get the fall crops in the ground.  Anything that has a maturity date 26-50 days has a good chance of getting to full size for a fall harvest.  At the farm we have just seeded fast growing turnips, radishes, beets, and spinach.  We have already planted our larger fall crops like broccoli and cauliflower back in July.  We hope to continue harvesting our peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes for another month.

On that note, now is the time to think about all those crops in your garden that you might be tired of eating and either preserve, can, or freeze them.  You might be tired of them now but in January how cool would it be if you went into the freezer or cabinet and pulled something out that you grew months earlier and were able to enjoy them once again.

Enjoy the coming weeks and remember to get outside and plant something.  Thanks!

 

June 26

Well, hello everyone.  I took last week off from writing the blog only due to the fact that we were so busy catching up from all the rain.  This last week has been drier with some rain hopefully coming later this week.  The crops are looking good and we have been busy harvesting for our many customers.
Even as a farmer who experiences it every year I still find it amazing how the temperature and amount of sunlight always has positive and negative effects on certain crops.  Our cool season crops dislike this heat very much and are showing signs of that by either not growing or feeling so stressed they are going to seed.  The hot weather crops love the heat as long as we can keep water on them.
We did some experimenting this year with our eggplants.  We always plant our eggplants in plastic mulch but using plastic is not very sustainable.  So as an experiment we planted a bed off eggplant using natural mulch for moisture retention, weed suppression, and all the other eggplant was planted using the black plastic mulch.  The results were not what I was hoping.  The size and health of the eggplant using the natural mulch was significantly less than the ones grown under the black plastic mulch.  The black plastic absorbs heat warming the soil.  This I believe was the largest reason to the significant difference between groups.  Live and learn.

I pulled some garlic out of the field this week and to my pleasant surprise they look great.  I was surprised because we were dealing with some fertility issues in the field that we grew the garlic, but all the attention and mineral applications seems to have paid off.  We will be pulling our garlic earlier than expected this year and will be drying it in one of our barns.  Garlic harvest is something I enjoy doing very much.

Well I have to run and unfortunately do some paper work.  I will see you all on the farm!

June 13

We cannot believe all the rain we have been getting.  Tomorrow we are expecting anywhere from 3-5 more inches.  I do not remember having a monsoon season but it appears we have one this year.  That being said we have had a hard time getting into the fields to prepare more growing areas, just too wet.  The result is the weeds are beginning to take over and the plants in the greenhouse are begging to get transplanted out.  Every year we are faced with obstacles and every year we must be diligent to take every opportunity we have to accomplish the tasks required.  This year the window to get those tasks done is smaller due to the weather.

Many farmers around the country and in our own backyard are facing these crazy weather patterns.  This is more of a reason to support your local business and farms.  They need all the support you the consumer can give them.

The positive is that all the crops that are in the field and have established themselves are doing great.  We just hilled the potatoes yesterday and they look great.  The tomatoes are putting on some incredible growth.  The flip side to that is we have not been able to prune the tomato plants and so they are beginning to look a bit unruly.  Cucumbers and squash have blossoms and are just a couple weeks away from the first harvest.

Do not despair if you are worried about your garden and all this unpredictable weather.  Hey, now you do not have to worry about watering.

June 7

Happy June everyone.  I know, I cannot believe it either. I know the days are long when the chickens don’t go to bed until 8:30!  Even they are enjoying the long days and warm weather.  I hope everyone has been busy in the garden or shopping at your local farmer markets.  The staff and I at HHF have been enjoying the cooler days this week and have been busy harvesting and enjoying the days.

We have experienced some ups and downs the last few weeks.  The heat last week came just at the wrong time as we were transplanting out some of our cucumbers. The cucumbers did not like the heat but are slowly recovering.  The pests have come out and are keeping us on our toes trying to get the plants large enough to fend for themselves.  Most of our crops if they are not in the ground already are planted in the greenhouse and will be put in the ground over the next few weeks.  I enjoy this time of year because most of our crops are long term seasonal crops which once in the ground only need to be cared for and harvested from.  The fields are almost all full and so all the planning we did in the off season is becoming a visual success.

Please come and support your local farmers and enjoy the outdoors.  Thanks from the staff at Hilltop Hanover Farm.

May 14

We are in incredibly happy about the rain we recently had. Everything including vegetables, lawns, and trees all popped and look great.  We have really stepped it up over that last week seeding and planting in the fields.  It is filling up out there and we have even begun harvesting from the fields. We harvested spinach, first of the season kale, bok choy, arugula, and a few others delicious treats. The potatoes have peaked out if the soil, exciting. The staff planted sungolds, yum!  We begin our first CSA pickup in a little over a week. Please come and enjoy the beauty of the farm. See you next week.

May 2

Driest April in 50 years for the Northeast United States.  That being said we have been working diligently to have the crops ready to go.  We have been irrigating a lot and have had to get creative to keep the crops wet and happy.  We planted our potatoes this week and put in the ground another round of spinach and beets.  Lettuce has also found its home in the fields and is looking good.  In the greenhouse the staff has been planting the last of the tomato, eggplant, and pepper.  These will be ready to get transplanted out by mid-late May.  I hope you all have been working tirelessly to get your gardens ready for the season.  Check  our website for gardening classes and for Mother’s Day Herb Planters.

April 25

We are in the last week of April and it has been very busy on the farm.  We have an incredible staff that has been working tirelessly to get all the plants in the ground.  The weather has been ok but could use some more rain.  I think I have a comment about the weather in every blog because it is such a factor in farming.  In the ground as of this point are onions, leeks, scallions, turnips, cabbage, broccoli, kale, carrots, and peas.  The peas are slow to germinate so we hope to have them ready by the first week in June.  If you are interested in our CSA please sign up as the shares will soon be sold out.  Please come visit the farm and walk around enjoying the view and atmosphere.  See you next week.

April 17

Brett was too busy working to get to a blog post!

April 10

We have been working incredibly hard on the farm these days.  I hope you the reader have also on your garden at home.  This week we turned over the hoop-house from the last of the winter growing to some of the summer crops.  We planted tomatoes and hopefully by next week the peppers.  Due to the incredibly dry weather we have fallen a little behind in seeding, but such is life in farming.  With rain forecast over the next few days we hope to be able to catch up.  See you on the farm!

April 4

It is the first week of April but somehow still feels a bit wintery.  We have crops in the greenhouse that are begging to get outside into the ground.  The staff has been clearing out the hoop-house of winter crops getting it ready for the summer tomatoes and peppers.  I would love to be able to get the peas and other seeding done in the field but with nights in the mid-20’s mother-nature is making things tough.  This time waiting for the warmer temps has given us the opportunity to finish some projects.

For everyone who is planning their spring garden we are holding workshops on the farm so please check out the website and learn techniques for growing that we at Hilltop Hanover Farm practice ourselves.  See everyone on the farm!

March 26

It is spring and we are in the last week of March.  It might still feel a little like winter but soon enough we will wake up one morning to song birds and flowers in bloom.  The farmers at Hilltop Hanover Farm have already started seeding in the greenhouse and we continue to truck along waiting for the weather to allow us into the fields.  Some of the seedlings want to head into the field but they will have to wait just a bit longer.  I have begun to prep equipment and started repairing last year’s irrigation in anticipation of spring.  As the saying goes about March “In like a lion out like a lamb”.  Wait, who said that because it sure does not feel very lamb like out there!

March 21

No blog from Brett this week, unfortunately he had flu, but he is on the mend!

March 14

Greetings from Hilltop Hanover Farm.  Well we certainly cannot say this year’s weather has been similar to last year.  We got snow and recently a big helping of rain.  Lets hope the rain stops for just a few weeks so the fields can dry out and we farmers can begin to get back into the fields preparing for planting.  We soon will be turning over our hoop house, which presently still has winter crops in it, to plant our tomatoes and peppers.  Update on the chicks is that they are getting much larger and will be ready in a couple weeks to move into their new home in the barn.  Start thinking about your garden and all the delicious crops that you plan on growing.  Spring is next week, get ready!

 

March 5

This week at the farm we began our spring cleaning.  This entailed organizing our supplies, cleaning our processing barn, and getting the greenhouse all warm and cozy for all the new seedlings.  The onions popped earlier than we expected and are now getting settled in the greenhouse.  Celeriac, the celery/potato vegetable was seeded early this week in an attempt at getting large and delicious celery root later this summer.  You should see the chicks; they have begun losing their down feathers and have started growing real feathers.  They are looking more and more like real chickens.  See you all later.

 

February 28

No longer can we wish each other a Happy New Year. It is almost March and we must look to the coming growing season here at Hilltop Hanover Farm. We have begun the first of many seeding, supply orders are being placed, and the weather has begun to change ever so slightly. We recently received our baby chicks and they are growing fast. Construction projects are getting completed and we just today turned on the greenhouse to provide the optimum environment for our transplants. We are getting ready. Are you?

Best wishes, Brett.

Details Green

April

Welcome to April!   Happy Spring and Earth Day!

On this month we are reminded of our commitment to take care of our home, Mother Earth! And it seems fitting to talk about cleaning, and in this case, Green Cleaning! So what is it and what can we all do to make our homes as well as the environment a safer place to live?
Green cleaning refers to using cleaning methods and products with environmentally friendly ingredients designed to preserve our health and the environments quality, by avoiding the use of chemically reactive and toxic cleaning products, some of which emit volatile organic compounds that stays in our homes long after the smell of the product is gone, causing respiratory as well as pulmonary problems such as asthma, allergies, skin and eye irritations, eczema to name a few.
Green cleaning is a behavioral choice and is as simply as making a few small changes to our everyday choices such as changing the brand of products we use to a safer, chemical free product.
Green Cleaning Tips
Employ Green Cleaning Products:  As the health and environmental impacts of conventional cleaning products become more thoroughly understood, we are opting for non-toxic, biodegradable products made from renewable resources.
Avoid Poor Indoor Air Quality: It is not uncommon when using regular cleaning products in the home or office that the air inside is more toxic than the air outside, specially, during the long winter months and this is because of the presence of toxic materials and substances that are found in many products. Keeping the windows open as often as possible allows fresh air in and keep toxins flowing out.

Be Careful with Antibacterial Cleaners: Many people are tend to believe that Antibacterial and Antimicrobial cleaners are necessary, especially during the winter months, have small children or when cooking.  According to the FDA this products don’t clean any better than soap and water can and this products can add to the risk of breeding “super bugs” bacteria that survive the chemical components and have resistant off springs which also causes our immune system to weaken.  Washing of hands and the working space regularly with mild soap and warm water will do the job just fine.

Tossing Products: When replacing cleaning products, don’t just throw the old or unused ones in the trash, if they are toxic for your home they won’t be good for the drain or the landfill either. Many communities hold toxic and electronics recycling days and will take all these off your hands. Throwing chemicals down the drain means they will end up in our water supply.
By making conscious choices we are ensuring a healthier world for us and the future generation.
We do not inherit the world from our ancestors we borrow it from our children”.  Native American Proverb

Namaste
Juana

March

The first thought that comes to mind is “Spring” specially after the long winter we have been experiencing and when we hear Spring we automatically think of “Spring Cleaning” but I wanted to take this time and share some thoughts on another special remembrance and that is the role of women in history.

Here are some interesting facts for this month observances.  Did you know that in 1911 in Europe, March 8 was first celebrated as International Woman’s Day.  In the United States however, minority rights was a political topic “Woman’s Suffrage” winning the vote.  But with the economic depression of the 1930s and World War II woman’s right went out of fashion.  But it wasn’t until the early 1980s in California that Congress passed the resolution of establishing Woman’s History week and in 1987 at the request of the National History Project that Congress expanded the week to a month.  The purpose of Women History Month is to increase consciousness and knowledge of women in history; to take one month a year to remember the contributions of notable and ordinary women.

Remembering on this month all the wonderful women in our lives that change the world for all of us with their courage and determination we salute You!

Coming next month and in celebration of Earth Day, tips for a greener cleaner safer home!

All the best,
Juana

February
A month when we celebrate “Love” and all the aspects of it, seemed the perfect time to share a
poem by Mary Oliver

The Journey
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting
their bad advice
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do, though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late enough
and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind, the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds, and there was a new voice, which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do determined to save
the only life you could save.
On this month when we give and show our love to others, let’s not forget to keep some for ourselves!
Many Blessings for a Lovely and Peaceful month!
Juana

Juana E. Pinyol
Founder/Owner Details Residential Services, Shaklee Independent Distributor, avid Environmental and Human Rights Advocate and Activist, Energy Healer and Reiki Master. Passionately offering workshops and classes about the environment and Healing session by appointment, and now also expressing creatively through writing articles and blogs. For more information please visit Detailswestchester.com (914)743 1149 detailsgreen@optonline.net juana.pinyol.myshaklee.com

 

 

 

 

Details Green – A New Blog

Welcome to 2013

Hope you had a wonderful Holiday Season surrounded by family and friends!

I chuckled every time I say this but… I’m so glad we survived 2012!

This past year has been described by many as a Roller Coaster Ride, but all in all has been a gratifying year, grateful for the teachings it brought us and the lessons learned, it was about finding who we truly are and who we would like to become and all of us has something to offer in our own unique way.

January signifies endless possibilities and as many people say, 2013 is the beginning of a New Era. What are we going to Dream into Reality? For me is about growing personally and spiritually. My passion for the environment and a healthy home has paved a wonderful walkway where I can be of service and do what I love as Owner of a Green Residential Cleaning company in the Hudson Valley area.

Did you know that the air inside the home is three times or more times more polluted than the air outside? This is why cleaning a home with organic/chemical free products is the right choice for us.  And chemicals in the home environment, especially in winter months, can be potentially dangerous for children, the elder, people who are battling a disease and pets.

Even small changes can have a great impact in our day to day lives and together we can make our world a much safer place to live by all, anything from opening up a window for a few minutes while cleaning to discarding the air freshness and replacing it with a few orange peels for a fresh natural scent or cinnamon sticks place on warm oven for a few minutes for a homey feel, even making a pot of coffee neutralizes strong smells like when cooking fish.

Now on the subject of Spiritually, I recently became a Reiki Master, modality that fits right in with my passion for a Healthy Lifestyle.

What is your intention for this month? Whether it is to take this time to take care of ourselves after the hectic Holiday Season, or engage in something new, whatever that may be, may it fill your heart with love.

“On this wonderful blanket of white, lets’ use this time to paint the canvases of our lives.”

Yours truly
-Juana Pinyol

Juana E. Pinyol
Founder/Owner Details Residential Services, Shaklee Independent Distributor, avid Environmental and Human Rights Advocate and Activist, Energy Healer and Reiki Master. Passionately offering workshops and classes about the environment and Healing session by appointment, and now also expressing creatively through writing articles and blogs. For more information please visit Detailswestchester.com (914)743 1149 detailsgreen@optonline.net juana.pinyol.myshaklee.com