Meagan saw that there were peaches coming in this week's fruit shares, and she told me about this great peach cobbler recipe that she has. I am always looking for ways to cook peaches so that hubby Jon can enjoy them, too (he's allergic to raw stone fruit). Here's Meagan's recipe:
Skillet Fruit Cobbler
4 cups sliced and peeled fruit (Peach/blueberry or peach/raspberry are
definitely the best combinations I've tried)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Simmer for ten minutes in an oven safe skillet, remove and keep in a bowl.
1 cup self rising flour (or 1 cup AP flour with 1 1/2 tsp baking
powder and 1/2 tsp salt)
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp salt
Melt butter in the skillet, add the rest of the ingredients and stir
until well combined. Carefully place fruit evenly over batter and pour
any remaining syrup over. Bake about 40 minutes or until evenly
browned at 350.
And, while I'm at it, here's one of my favourite things to do with peaches - Barbecue them! Here's a recipe, I don't usually follow one as they are good just straight off the grill with ice cream, but cinnamon sugar butter sounds divine!
Burton Howell has worked at the farm 6 weeks. When I found him working with Brodie amongst a tall stand of weeds, he was unearthing some weedy green onions.
When I asked Burton what he does at the farm in his own words, he quipped: “Suffer!" Then added: "Don't put that!... We do a lot of weeding and basically manual labour". He says he enjoys it, and gets to talk with Brodie and have his hands bleed (!). He mentioned that farming is the farthest thing from what he is going to do. Burton enjoys computers and is heading to Brock University in St. Catherine's Ontario soon for Computer Science. He came to the farm this year because his Dad has strong ties with the Bishops and thought it would be a good character building experience-- Burton likened it to Calvin and Hobbes, with Calvin's dad taking him on terrible camping trips for the same purpose!
Though a self-proclaimed "computer guy" Burton most definitely has a farmer's understanding of good food. When I asked what his favourite veggie to eat was, he said: “Carrots right out of the ground”, and further explained that he and Brodie did that here at the farm and it was great- He said: "sometimes it happens that they get “accidentally” pulled out when they are out weeding and get hungry". In true farmer resourcefulness, they washed the carrots in rainwater which collects on the sides of the tunnel, and ate and thoroughly enjoyed them right then and there.
I know we have all appreciated Burton's weeding efforts on the farm this year and we will miss him when he heads off to University. It takes all kinds to get the job done, computer people too!
I always make sure that staff understand what this project is all about before interviewing and taking photos. Today I was having bad luck getting anyone's permission, but I knew I could always count on my husband Jon! He thought I was neglecting him in this project so far, but really, he was the ace up my sleeve for a moment like this where I had a time crunch and needed more interviews!
When I talked to Jon, he was heading out to the field where I interviewed Burton with the manure spreader to spread nutri-wave, a chicken manure product that we use on the organic fields on the farm. I set my computer up on the wheel of the tractor and spent a few minutes chatting farming with Jon. He has worked here a year and a half and helps lead production, focusing on weed management. Jon says his favourite thing about farming is all the variety and working outside – he says he gets to do a whole bunch of different things every day. His favourite crop to grow tomatoes, and he notes: “I like how much time you can spend with each individual plant, taking care of a smaller number of plants each year so they produce well.” Jon's favourite tomato variety is Big Beef.
Jon loves to eat Turnip. Growing up in PEI he remembers eating a lot of it. He doesn't specifically remember if his Dad grew it in the large family garden, but says it reminds him of childhood.
Jon is looking forward to shoots and sprout production in the winter. This summer he really enjoyed the fertigation (fertilizing through the drip irrigation) plan for the crops tunnels. He says this kind of work is a bit more technical- we use different mixtures for different purposes. Jon moved to Nova Scotia in February 2012. He says he love how much people here appreciate the province and everyone loves it here. Outside of farming Jon like playing music and DJing, fishing, and making beer. (And, might I add spending time with his lovely wife in their salad patch -- More about that here: http://grownbyjonandteri.com)
Jocelyn Durston has worked at TapRoot Farms since May 12th, and she manages the wholesale program and meat share program. How she ended up here: "After being a self-taught farmer with my own farm business in BC – thefarmforlifeproject.com-- I moved to NS with my partner Chris and wanted to find work on a farm where I could improve my skills under the guidance of experienced farmers." Jocelyn chose TapRoot Farms because it was recommended by a Nova Scotian farmer who she respects a lot and it was located in the area they chose to live and it is an organic farm. She also added: "...And Teri and Jon work there and they were the first friends I made in Nova Scotia!"
Jocelyn's favourite crop to grow is Flowers, and her favourite veggies were hard for her to decide on: "There are so many to choose from!" She mentioned specifically Kale, Heirloom Tomatoes, and Snap Peas.
Something exciting in Jocelyn's life is that she and her partner Chris just bought 7 acres of land in Canning, and are embarking on their first land owning farming project. They plan to design a permaculture food forest system.
Jocelyn is originally from Vancouver BC. I asked if she missed BC and she listed some things: the Pacific Ocean, and the mountains, and a wide variety of vegan restaurants, and family of course! In Nova Scotia she enjoys the very friendly people, who have strong community interest and support for local farms, and the lower land cost, which made it possible for her and Chris to buy land here. The final thing you need to know about Jocelyn is that she has 5 awesome fur babies – three cats and two rabbits. I can attest to the fact that they are awesome-- Jocelyn has just returned from a trip to Europe and while she and Chris were away Jon and I looked after their fur babies! We enjoyed it a lot.
Thanks to Jocelyn for taking a few moments to chat today so you all could get to know her better!
I was lucky to snag an interview with the elusive Josh Oulton this morning. Josh has not been around as much lately because he's been laid up with a serious infection in his knee. Today he was checking out something on Gerald's tractor when I caught up with him.
Josh has worked here since the farm's conception in 2004. He was born in St. John's Nfld but grew up in Nova Scotia.
I asked him what he does on the farm in his own words, and he said: "I am the coordinator of activities." Some of the things Josh really likes about farming are the seasons, planting crops and watching them grow, harvesting, seeing the farm's crops coming out of the fields in bins and going out and into storage, and the people he works with. Josh's favourite crop is Onions-- to grow and to eat. Why? "They're good."
Josh noted that he is excited most about the animal part of what's going on now at the farm-- He finds them entertaining and a great addition to the things that we do. It is exciting to see some of the plans and dreams coming to fruition now, like the GMO-free feed we are working on and the pastured pork. I asked if there was anything he didn't like, and he didn't even have to stop and think to reply: "Weeds. Who likes the weeds? If we could farm without weeds we'd have nothing to do. They are a nuisance."
Outside of farming, Josh plays hockey, skis, and enjoys spending time with his 3 kids and wife Patricia.
I also asked Josh for a health update, as that is the hot topic on the farm these days. He is feeling hopeful that he will be better soon. He can now bear weight on his leg and think clearly, and is starting to help a little bit whenever Trish asks-- He adds, "I kinda like it, I just show up at the farm and she tells me what needs to be done." A change for Josh from being the regular coordinator of activities.
On a final note, Josh supplied: "This year has been full of adversity and we are getting through it. It's been especially hard for me with the recent hospital stay and health issues, but also hurricanes and babies and marriages have played a part in making this a harder year than most. We will come through it!