Pumpkin Hollow Farm (a possible beginning?)

Our children are coming for the weekend and Doug and I zoomed around in our convertible looking to see what farms near us would be open that we could take them to.  Our kids and grand-kids love farms and who doesn’t love a good apple fresh off the tree and a bumpy hay ride?

We moved to the country.  To land of our own- not rented- that is zoned for agriculture.  We are surrounded by the friendliest folks you can imagine and surrounded by majestic views.  Walking through the farms, we laughed at the chickens, talked weather and crops with the farmers, and found ourselves at home here.  We live in a place now where we will be able to grow pumpkins really well.  We live in a place where tourists arrive from all over the state to pick and purchase produce.  Wineries, farm stands, and orchards abound.

After nearly seven years of pursuing farming (and often feeling like a failure), I think we are finally at the farm we dreamed of!  Blank slate for sure, but here we are.  We can see the baby goats playing with our dog in our minds, the chickens free ranging near the garden, the apple trees in bloom, the kids picking out their own pumpkins, the homesteading classes in my kitchen, women with wine glasses laughing while making cheese.  By god, we might be sitting on our dream. We are not done yet.  Looks like Pumpkin Hollow Farm (and Farmgirl School) are just beginning.

Two Great Pumpkin Recipes; Grilled Pumpkin “Pie” and Pumpkin Buttermilk Pie

I live on Pumpkin Hollow Farm.  We love to grow all types of pumpkins.  We love the movie, “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” in this house.  We love all things kid-friendly Halloween and we certainly love pumpkins.  Here are two pumpkin recipes I developed last week so that you can make the most of those delicious orbs in the garden.

20170922_182957_Burst01

Grilled Pumpkin “Pie”

We were throwing steaks and tomatoes on the grill anyway, may as well throw on the pumpkin slices too!  What resulted was a smoky, savory, sweet treat to go with supper.

Split one small pie pumpkin in half and remove seeds and pulp.  Slice each half in half to make fours.  Place on grill side down on far end of heat or on upper rack.  Turn a few times until tender.

Meanwhile combine 8 Tablespoons of brown sugar with 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice, and a pinch of salt.

When tender, with flesh side up put a pat of butter in each and split up sugar mixture among the slices.  Let melt and transfer to plates.  Pour cream or goat’s milk that has been brought to near room temperature over the pieces.  Tastes like a sweet and savory piece of pie!

20170926_150959

Pumpkin Buttermilk Pie

Buttermilk or custard pie is one of my absolute favorites.  I wanted to incorporate pumpkin into it for the season. 

Melt 1/2 cup of butter

Add 2 cups of sugar and cream together with a wooden spoon

Add 3 Tablespoons of flour and a pinch of salt and blend

Add 3 farm fresh eggs and mix well

Add 1/4 cup of pureed pumpkin and combine.

Slowly add in 1 cup of buttermilk.

Pour into prepared or store bought pie crust that has been sprinkled with sugar.  Sprinkle cinnamon on top of pie and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes then lower heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for 40 minutes or until knife in middle comes out clean.

20170926_185043

The Root Cellar has Legs!

IMG_0402

There is something going on in my root cellar…growing rather.  I was casually going to get a potato that I so lovingly stored last fall, out of the five gallon bucket that held them nestled in soft straw….I opened the lid and that came out!  All I wanted was some nice fried potatoes with green peppers and onions, their mouth watering scent waking up the house…but I got some kind of sea monster instead.

Nearly three feet long!

Nearly three feet long!

Now, this could be my fault (it rarely is), for I probably should not have skimmed the book on root cellaring.  I started out reading it but as it went on and on speaking of ventilations and temperatures and humidity levels for a hundred different items…well, pretty soon it just started saying blah, blah, blah.  As my eyes glazed over, I closed the book and figured I pretty well had it figured out.

My first problem is that my root cellar is probably not a root cellar,  more like a…basement.  It is dark and dank with spidery corners and a nice concave that was used to hold coal after it came down the coal chute into the basement nearly one hundred years ago and it looks like a root cellar, therefore it must be.  However, my trusty thermometer states that it is precisely ten degrees cooler down there than upstairs at all times.  That makes it a balmy sixty degrees right now.

The squash are happy as pie.  (mmm, pie) They may as well be sitting in the soil soaking their faces in the sun in September; they truly do not know that they are in the basement.  Except for the pumpkin I drop-kicked while tripping over it in the dark one time, all the other squashes are firm and ready to eat.  The potatoes are rioting and seeking a new garden.

My second problem may have been the straw that I packed them in.  The onions in their respective five gallon bucket are waterlogged and attempting desperately to find soil or to just annoy me because I cannot find a firm onion.  The straw might have been slightly damp when I packed the onions and potatoes into their bins last fall.  But I was in a dreadful hurry and was too lazy to dry the straw first.  I very well may have set up ideal Spring conditions in my basement.  Sixty degrees, thinks they’re underground, a bit of moisture.

IMG_0404

The carrots were supposed to be in damp soil (I remember that chapter), and they are growing little hairy legs too.  I suppose that may be normal for January carrots?

I am a bit too chicken to open the lid to the beets.

Lastly, what is curing?  I probably shouldn’t have skimmed that chapter.  I think it means to let them sit out for two weeks accumulating cat hair and being in my way, but I am not sure.  I didn’t cure them though so perhaps that was the problem.  Your wisdom on this matter or just poking fun at me is welcome in your responses.

And as always, this year I will do better!