Monday, October 31, 2016

The Joy Of Beets

Beets are a crop we love to grow here on Crandall Hill. Whether they're planted early in the spring or later in the summer, they thrive in our garden spot.

Detroit Dark Red along with a couple Chioggia in the mix
They were planted mid-summer this year and we've been harvesting for about a month and a half. Today they're all coming out the ground and it's your last chance to buy these certified organic jewels.
Many folks are into juicing and finding fresh beets - let alone certified organic beets - is a chore in this area. Beets are high in fiber and rich in vitamins A & C. Here's a local, convenient source so call today 814-274-8004 to reserve yours.
Beets are high in fiber and rich in vitamins A & C.
I have found they keep well for several months in the refrigerator when they're lightly wrapped and when there's a paper towel to absorb any extra moisure that accumulates.
Here's a recipe to get you started.
Onion Beet Salad
2 1/2 lbs. of whole fresh beets
5 Tb. olive oil
1 large red onion, chipped
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tb. honey
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. pepper
Scrub beets and place on a large square of aluminum foil. Drizzle with some of the olive oil and turn to coat. Fold foil over beets and seal tightly. Bake in 400-degree oven for about an hour or until tender. Allow beets to cool and the skins will slip off.
Cut beets into cubes and place in large bowl. Add the onion. In separate bowl whisk together the vineyard, honey, salt, basil pepper and rest of the olive oil. Pour over beet mixture and gently toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, stirring occasionally. Serve with a slotted spoon.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Autumn Reflections

It seems like an older brother can get one's attention like no one else! Oldest brother Steven is visiting from Alaska with his wife, Johanna, and he mentioned that it seems I don't update the blog often. And he's right!
So today, while looking for photos needed by another sister-in-law, I downloaded a bunch of recent photos taken a couple of weeks ago on two sunny mornings in October.

Morning sun hits the venerable
old Northern Spy apple trees

The nearly-full moon was
still in the western sky as the
sun rose in the east.
Johanna mentioned that the beauty of fall in northern Pennsylvania was especially dear to her after all her years in Alaska where autumn "falls like a curtain and it's winter." And our autumn has been particularly beautiful this year - even today on the next-to-the-last day of October when the most colorful of the leaves have fallen.

The view from my back porch on Oct. 18.
Old orchard in the foreground and
potato field at the top of the hill.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

2016 Potato Harvest Complete

Arthur completed the 2016 potato harvest before the rains came on Thursday and they're all in storage. Now begins the sorting and packaging process.
We worked yesterday and this morning to sort, package and label an order for Todd Williams at Costa's Shursave Food Shop in Coudersport.
And that work really reminded me of my father. Some of my local readers will remember my father, Joe Heimel, who worked at the family's grocery store on Main Street in downtown Coudersport. Dad was the produce guy and he was a speed demon at sorting and preparing produce for display. And he was artistic to boot - hand-lettering signs and putting together attractive displays on benches out in the front of the store. His fruit baskets were works of art!
Our potatoes are on display at Costa's in a beautiful wooden rack, created by Arthur especially for this purpose. We've bagged our popular gourmet assortments as well as bags of individual varieties including red, purple and yellow potatoes.
Our USDA Certified Organic potatoes will also soon be available at Genesee Natural Foods.

Todd Williams from Costa's checking
out our new display rack.