Pumpkin Patter

Great Atlantic Pumpkin
at the farm
They can weigh 2,000 pounds, but we are not going for a record like that.

You probably know that pumpkins are part of the squash family, 
but did you know that the word originated from the Greek language?
Or that signs of pumpkin seeds date back 5,000 years in Mexico?

We have other "pumpkin patter" as well as some 
savory (and sweet) ways to cook with pumpkins,
but you'll need to go to our new farm blog space at
We appreciate that you've been following the blog, 
and hope you will "follow us" as we move to a new "blog space"
Same farm, same musings just a new link.

Good for the table, good for the ground

Daylight savings time change confirms we are now officially 
It's the time of year we want to burrow into a favorite sweater 
and are happy to have the aroma of a long 
simmering soup or stew throughout the house. 
Our chefs are also tweaking the menu at the girl & the fig.
A new chicken dish on the menu is this 
pan-roasted half chicken, fall panzanella, butternut squash, 
currants, walnuts, pancetta vinaigrette, which certainly makes 
good use of our prolific crop of winter squash at the farm.
It seems to fit the feeling of the season that 
much of what we are growing at the farm burrows underground, 
just the way we are inclined to do under a throw blanket with a book by the hearth.
Even though radishes, carrots, onions and leeks are 
part of the spring bounty at the farm, we also grow them at this time of year as well.
"Plants like onions, garlic, and other members of the allium family confuse bugs 
with their strong scent and just encourage them to fly away," 
so having them in our rotation is a core part of our biodynamic farming plan
We've talked about "companion planting" here before. 
Here are some other tips on companion planting and 
which good tasting vegetable plants are also good for your soil.
Baby tri-colored carrots a few weeks ago
carrots growing fast
good for the soil
Not only do the alliums replenish the soil and provide nutrients so 
the beds can thrive throughout the year, these vegetables are 
important ingredients for so many of our Chefs' inspirations.
onions cooking at the fig
Alliums appear in almost every recipe since they are so versatile and 
pretty much essential as flavoring component. 
So, of course we would grow them all year round! 
Shallots are considered a "cousin" to onions and garlic, but they have a milder flavor. 
They are just as "flexible" but chefs use them differently 
than they do their stronger cousins. 
"A shallot can insinuate itself into a wide variety of dishes 
without overwhelming other ingredients.
It is suave and elegant, with an appealing subtlety. 
When it is used with other alliums, any dish blossoms with a full spectrum of flavors, 
which is why I always add shallots of my French onion soup."
She considers them indispensable for vinaigrettes, as do our chefs at "the fig." 
And a must-have in your kitchen are our "Pickled Shallots," courtesy of

Pickled Shallots
2 cups shallots, sliced
11⁄2 cups red wine vinegar 1⁄2 cup sugar
1⁄2 tablespoon salt
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
In a saucepan, combine the wine vinegar, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the thyme, bay leaf and shallots and stir to coat evenly. Cook briskly for exactly 1 minute over high heat and remove from the heat. Allow the mixture to stand until it cools to room temperature. Transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Makes 11⁄2 cups 

 How do you like to use alliums?
And what vegetables are simmering 
in that stew on your stovetop these autumn days?

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