Farm update: December 3

And somehow, it’s December. It’s quiet here at Quiet Farm, and we have no complaints. We’re deep in the trenches of our home renovation – sometimes, it seems that painting is all we do – and we’re hoping to unveil some amazing new floors and a wicked cool bookshelf sometime soon. But for the moment we’ve got our heads down, our music cranked, our soups simmering and we’re gunning hard for an entirely livable house – with furniture, even! – by the end of 2018. Will we make it? Stay tuned!

QF Snow 01 sml

We got our first real snow here at the farm, and it was lovely. Everything seemed to snuggle under a crisp white blanket – and we don’t even have to shovel here! (Take that, City of Arvada!) Later in the season we may well question our lack of a snowplow when trying to get out of our quarter-mile driveway, but for the moment we’ll stay cozy and warm indoors.

Acreage Reading 01 sml

There’s plenty to do inside, anyway. Between seed catalogs, crop production plans, grant applications, pasture management manuals and much more, we have enough reading material to keep us occupied through a thousand snowstorms. Before the snow flew last week our local conservation agent came out to the farm for a visit; we took copious notes and we’ve definitely got a lot of studying to do to figure out how to restore our pasture next spring. We’re very appreciative of NRCS and CSU Extension; their staff and their resources are invaluable for beginning farmers like us.

Fall CSA wk3 01 sml

Of course amidst all that painting and reading we’ve gotta eat, and our CSA share is helping us do that very well. On the menu recently: a caramelized onion and squash galette, roasted root vegetable hash with fried eggs and a “clean-out-the-fridge” frittata. No one is going hungry on Quiet Farm this winter.

Waffles Pommegranate 01 sml

And there were waffles, too! I’ve made and eaten a lot of waffles in my day, and I can wholeheartedly say that there is no reason to use any other recipe than Marion Cunningham’s Overnight Yeasted Waffles. It originally hails from a nineteenth-century Fannie Farmer cookbook and I am not kidding when I say these are the best waffles you’ll ever taste. I make a big batch and freeze them, because they toast up beautifully for a mid-morning snack and also you can put eggs and cheese and herbs on them and call them dinner. Everything else that needs to be said about these waffles, including the recipe, can be found here or in The Breakfast Book. (If you ever see this cookbook in a thrift store, buy it.)

Marshmallow Tumble 01 sml

And then sometimes, just for fun and so we can stop painting for like five seconds, I make chocolate-peppermint marshmallows and we spend many hours with me tucked behind a lightbox dropping the marshmallows from a bowl so N can capture the fall on camera. (This is harder than you might imagine.) We made a huge mess, and it was great. It’s not all serious around here, friends.

Up next: hopefully a proud photo of our hardwood floors! And maybe some furniture will finally come in from the cold, cold garage! And more painting, to be sure! Stay warm and have a fantastic week!

P.S. Want to see what we’ve been up to on the farm thus far this fall? Past updates can be found here, here, here, here and here!

 

15 thoughts on “Farm update: December 3

  1. One of my former college roommates who is now a professor back where we got our baccalaureates, was a range advisor for Siskiyou and two other counties in Northern California. It was his job to help people manage resources on their properties. We need more of that here, where there are too many tree huggers making such management difficult. In Santa Cruz County, the invasive exotics that contribute to the combustibility of the forest, as well as urban areas, are protected.

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    • Forest and rangeland management are definitely topics of serious concern here in Colorado, too. We are trying to restore our land as best we can and certainly leave it better than we found it. It’s a tough job, to be certain, but we really appreciate our agents’ guidance.

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      • Redwoods here were harvested most extensively to rebuild the region just after the Great Earthquake, leaving stumps that regenerated with multiple trunks. Like it or not, harvesting is advantageous to the trees now. The forests are recovering well, but with too many crowded and structurally deficient trunks. Yet, such harvesting is completely illegal on smaller parcels that are less than ten acres, which is precisely where most of us live. Even at the farm (where we do not intend to harvest) it would be almost as expensive to get permits to harvest as it would be profitable, and such harvest would be very limited. It is no wonder why we get the fires that we get.

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  2. Oh my God I love those waffles! And the funniest story is I was in a consignment store in Palm Springs visiting my best friend and I was looking especially for The Breakfast Book, and she came over, asked what I was looking for and I had no sooner said The Breakfast Book, then she said, “ Oh here it is”, I got so excited. Another awesome book for my enormous cookbook collection which is now unfortunately packed. However, after we move, I am looking forward to trying some more recipes in her book.

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    • Oh Heather, I too have a ridiculous cookbook collection. And I got rid of a million when we moved! But I can’t wait to get them all out of boxes and put them in bookcases in our commercial kitchen once it’s finally built. It’s like seeing old friends after too long away.

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  3. And I must say your husband, Nick is such an excellent photographer. I am always constantly amazed by his talent. It started right from the photos from your adventures. My husband takes photos well, so I know that it is an art form, and not everyone can do it, especially so gracefully. And it takes time and work.

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  4. Can’t wait to see the finished results! Before and after pics are sooo satisfying. Sorry I’ve been MIA for awhile but EU trip was great and there was lots and lots of incredible food. It’s no joke the Italians know what they are doing in the kitchen for sure 🙂

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  5. Will definitely try those waffles!! One question – what is a galette? I made a gluten-free leek & butternut (from Paleo) but don’t really know what it is. Thanks!

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    • Great question, Susan! A galette is basically a freeform tart, and can be either sweet or savory. You can make them in summer with whatever fruit is in season (or with frozen fruit in winter), or you can make them savory any time of the year. They use a standard pie dough, but they’re much less fussy than a typical pie. I love them and make them frequently with whatever we have on hand – vegetables, cheese, herbs, eggs, etc. We’ll work on putting together a post on galettes!

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  6. Elizabeth and Nick,
    Congratulations on your move to the Western Slope! It has been 7 1/2 years for us now and each year we learn more and continue to grow.
    One project at a time there will always be more to do.
    We look forward to seeing you guys around town!
    Anne and Steve- Immunity Farms

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