Marsh Edge Farm Notes

Marsh Edge Farm Notes:
Welcome to my farm blog. I don't have a farm, but I do everything possible to have fresh produce on my table all summer long, as well as can and preserve much of what I grow. I live on the edge of Tolland Marsh and three years ago began calling my home garden Marsh Edge Farm. I created a label to place on all my canned goods, and everything I preserve, from jams to saurkraut end up with one of my simple labels.

I have two gardens, one is a spring garden and the other is my summer garden. From each garden I usually can grow enough to keep me in fresh vegetables for the whole summer, as well as enough to can and freeze to last the winter.

I also grow many of the herbs that go into my dishes. One of my favorite things to do with all these vegetables is create recipes that my family will eat. That is what this blog is mainly about, the recipes I develop or create in my kitchen as I experiment. Hope you enjoy reading my farm blog, and I hope you will try some of my recipes.

Updates for 2014

After a few years of very bad crops, I have left behind the vegetable gardens for awhile. However, I have found that fresh produce is available throughout the summer at the many farmers markets in the area. Here is a list of some of the markets and farms I gather my fresh fruits and vegetables from.

Rockville Farmers Market: Thursdays from 10 to 1 at the courthouse parking lot.

Tolland Farmers Market: Saturdays from 9 to 12 on the green.

Coventry Regional Farmers Market: Sundays from 11 to 2 at the Nathan Hale Homestead on South St.

Wright's Orchard on South River Road in Tolland, CT

Larry Lemeks Berries on Goose Lane in Tolland, CT.

Johnny Appleseeds Peach Orchard on Old Schoolhouse Rd. in Ellington, CT.

Buell Orchards in Eastford, CT.

There are many other farmers markets throughout the state of Connecticut on different days as well as numerous roadside stands. Support your local farmers no matter how small and you will gain in health and well being by eating the freshest of the fresh.

A link to the Connecticut Farmers Markets for 2014

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Leftover Steak - What can be done?

It was a busy day today.  The weeds have reached over the vegetables in some parts of the gardens, so they had to be tamed down.  We have gotten some showers in the past few days, which put everything into overdrive for growth.  Despite the drizzle today, I still had to go out to see what I could do for my poor veggies.  The weeding took perhaps 2 hours, and now the gardens actually look like a garden, rather than a scruffy patch of tall grass in the middle of the yard. 

Once the weeds were gone, I realized I had a huge area in my spring garden with absolutely nothing growing in it.  The peas are gone, the cauliflower is gone, much of the dill is gone, and my lettuce and french greens are gone.  I hate seeing garden space not being used, so after turning up the dirt and dressing it with Moo Doo, which is a composted manure for organic gardening,  I took a huge chance by planting Danvers Half Long Carrot seed and spinach seed.  Tomorrow I will take another chance and plant beets.  I am taking a chance because it is already July 24,  and it is a little late to try planting anything from seed in an area of Connecticut that has similar conditions as southern Maine.  Though we supposedly fall into zone 6 for hardiness, everything I plant is hardy to zone 5. 

It is cold around the marsh in the winter.  We have a constant breeze all summer long, and the winds in the winter howl like a train.  We do see temperatures at times to as low as  22 below zero.  So we may very well see a good frost in mid September, though carrots and beets should be able to weather at least a minor freeze.

So what does this all have to do with leftover steak?  In all honesty, the work today used every ounce of energy I had.  I did not think I could even cook, let alone be creative.  However, a hungry family must be fed no matter how one feels.  I wanted something easy, quick, and still with a little creative flow. 

Last night we had a marvelous dinner of N.Y strip steaks, and we had barbequed them over charcoal, brushing them with bourbon barbecue sauce (less the bourbon.)  We ended up with 4 strip steaks leftover.  I wondered what I could do with them.

After perusing my pantry, I spotted a box way in the back that may have been there for awhile, but I took it out anyway.  It was a box of Near East vermicelli with roasted garlic, parmesan, and olive oil.  It sounded like it might work with the steak.  We also had fresh yellow squash from the garden.  So I had the beginnings of a dish.  Putting it together was relatively easy, since I wasn't overly worried about herbs and spices for this night.


Leftover Grilled Strip Steak with Vermicelli

4 leftover grilled strip steaks, cut into bite size pieces
1 box Near East Vermicelli with roasted garlic and olive oil
red wine vinegar
chopped jalapeno pepper
yellow summer squash
butter or margerine
olive oil
salt and pepper

Cook vermicelli according to directions.  (I am currently looking to create my own recipe for this vermicelli) 

Cut yellow squash into 1/4 inch circles.  Place in medium saucepan and cover with water, then cook on medium heat until tender.  Drain and add butter, salt and pepper.

Take your cut up steak, place on microwave safe dish, and shake on about a tablespoon of red wine vinegar.  Cook in microwave on power level 7 or 8 (roast) for about 4 minutes or until hot. 

I did not do it this time, but if I make this again I will be sure to keep some of the bourbon barbeque sauce to be used as a glaze on the plate before creating the finished dish.  Place vermicelli on dish, mix in cut steak, top with yellow squash, place about 1/2 tsp of chopped jalapeno pepper on squash, and garnish with a couple of pieces of thin chives. 


The various flavors do not overwhelm each other.  I was a bit concerned since yellow squash tends to be very lightly flavored, but even with the jalapeno pepper, the delicate flavor of the squash is still detectable.  This dish will work as well without the pepper, but I always like a little spice with everything I eat, so chile peppers and their many varieties become my spice in most cases. 

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