Monday, September 6, 2010

Kirk Farm: "Old Time Organic Farmer"

If I was writing a novel and one of the characters was a stereotypical New England farmer- a little gruff, hard working, generous, honest, and stubborn, with a dry sense of humor- it would describe George Kirk of Kirk Farm in Groton, Massachusetts. He calls himself an 'old time organic farmer' raising chickens, goats and rabbits as well as growing vegetables and flowers for his CSA members, wholesale customers and several farmers markets. In recent years some health issues, flooding and blight have tried to knock him down. But he's up, still farming, with his wife and some part time workers helping him. We encountered him preparing seedlings for his next planting as a member doing a workshare greeted members and knitted in the CSA pick-up room.
Kirk Farm's CSA share is one of the most generous I've encountered so far. The week I was there, members received zucchini, cucumbers, lettuce, corn, squash, onions, beans, garlic, basil, tomatoes, kale, beets, peppers and melon. Phew! They are also encouraged to go into the fields and pick their own bunches of flowers, and visit the rabbits and goats (George loves his goats, and tells stories about their antics).
In addition to the huge amount of vegetables the members receive, and the PYO flowers, they can also purchase Kirk Farm eggs and artisanal cheeses from West River Creamery. Lots to eat and flowers for your table-- what a great way to start the week!
Melon and Cucumber Salad
1/2 melon (musk, honeydew, watermelon, cantaloupe- pretty much any kind of melon)
2 cucumbers
1 small very fresh onion, or 2 scallions
1/4 cup chopped basil
1 Tablespoon lime juice
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil or very light olive oil
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Kosher salt to taste
  1. Cut the melon off the rind, remove the seeds and cut into medium dice (bite-sized pieces)
  2. Cut the ends off the cucumbers and cut them in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon, and slice into thin half-moons.
  3. Peel the onion and cut in half, and then into thin strips (if using scallions, slice thinly on the diagonal). 
  4. Toss everything together with the chopped basil.
  5. Mix together the lime juice and oil and toss with the salad ingredients. Sprinkle on the crumbled goat cheese. Taste and season with salt, if desired (it might not need salt if the goat cheese is salty). Serve with crusty bread.

What to Do With...Green Beans (or yellow wax beans)
  1. Eat them raw: wash them and trim off the stem end and eat them on their own, in a crudité platter with dips, or in a salad.
  2. Steam them: place in steam-basket, bring a few inches of water to boil, cover and steam for 3 to 5 minutes. Eat hot, dressed with butter or olive oil, or refresh in ice water and eat cold in salads.
  3. Microwave them: wash them and trim off the stem ends. For every pound of green beans add 1/2 cup of water. Microwave on high for 4 minutes per pound.
  4. Freeze them: after steaming or micro-waving them, dry well and place in freezer-strength zipper bags and store in the freezer. When ready to use, plunge the beans into rapidly boiling water for one minute only.
  5. Stir-fry them: in sesame oil with garlic and ginger and dress with soy sauce, rice vinegar and minced scallions.
  6. Sauté them: in olive oil with garlic or in butter. 

To store green beans or yellow beans: store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


1 comment:

  1. Or pickle them! Although, after pickling a half bushel of cukes this past weekend, I think I might take a break from pickling for a week. Heh.