We still have plenty of
tomatoes! Left, Nicholas and Isaac marvel at
a wagonload of them.
You can still buy extras
to can or freeze— a 25pound box costs $40. e
-mail to order one or
more in the coming
Our Labor Day Tomato
Tasting and farm tour
will be Monday, September 6th, from 3-5
PM. Let us know if you
can come and how
many people will be
with you!
Shareholder Newsletter August 18, 2010 Vol. 11, #6
Rachel Bynum & Eric Plaksin,
53 Waterpenny Lane, Sperryville, VA 22740
(540) 987-8567
e-mail: [email protected]
Website: Www.waterpennyfarm.com
Gazpacho Soup
(from longtime Arlington shareholder Jay Michney)
½ onion, half of it finely diced and half of it left whole
4-5 tomatoes, washed and cored (it will be best if you use ripe
in season tomatoes)
4 pickling cucumbers (or 2 regular cucumbers), 2 peeled and
diced and 2 peeled whole
1 red pepper, seeded, ½ of it diced finely and ½ left whole
¾ teaspoon adobo seasoning
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2/3 cup of water
1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Directions: Cut one onion in half, peeling off the outside
skin. You will only use one half of the onion so you can set
aside the other half for use in some other recipe. Of the half
onion you keep out, cut it into two pieces. Throw one whole
piece into a blender and dice the other piece finely. Set aside
the diced onion in a dish, cover, and place in the refrigerator to
chill. Wash the 4-5 tomatoes, remove the core and place them
in the blender as well. Peel all four cucumbers. Throw two
into the blender and dice two finely. Place the diced cucumber
in a dish, cover, and set aside in refrigerator to chill. Wash a
large red pepper, removing the seeds. Throw ½ of the red pepper in the blender and dice the other half finely. Place the
diced red pepper in a dish, cover, and set aside in refrigerator
to chill. Add the adobo seasoning, salt, and pepper to the
blender. Pour the 2/3 cup of water over the top of the seasoning and veggies. Add the 1/3 cup of olive oil to the blender.
Cover the blender and blend for 2-4 minutes on the highest
setting (I prefer to use the highest setting and the ice crusher
button on mine to get a smooth soup). Remove the blender
from its base and set aside to chill in the refrigerator for about
20 minutes. When you are ready to eat, serve the soup chilled
in bowls with the finely diced veggies on the side for people to
add as much as they like. You could also serve croutons on
the side, but I prefer it without after having had it just with
diced vegetables in Barcelona.
Meet an Intern…
Andy King arrived in May, the sixth of our summer
crew, and will be here through the season. His previous outdoor work experience has served him well here,
and he’s been an important part of a great crew this
year. He participates wholeheartedly in everything.
Hello Shareholders!
I want thank you all so much for supporting Waterpenny Farm: it
is a wonderful place, run by a unique and hard working family,
who seem to get quite a kick out of growing vegetables. I hope
you all are getting as much out of eating Waterpenny's veggies as
they seem to get out of growing them.
I have enjoyed my time at Waterpenny thoroughly. I love cracking jokes with Kelly Shinn (who has just two weeks left before
her sojourn out west to Colorado), talking food and directions
with Rachel Best, playing Settlers of Catan with Anika Roth,
listening to Andy Savoy play the piano every night, and seeing if
I can make Miranda laugh on a daily basis (some successes,
some failures). I am also looking forward to working more with
our new intern Christina.
Beyond the people, the melons and our copious amounts and
varieties of tomatoes are keeping me sane in the summer heat.
I have moved around a bit since finishing school
(Maine, Oregon, California, Washington D.C., and now Sperryville, VA) and have built an odd resume (sternmen on a lobster
boat, trail worker in Yosemite, technical writer for photo-tech
company). But I must say that I have especially loved getting to
have this experience-- working on this farm, in this steamy Virginia, in the shadow of the Shenandoah. The people, the food, the
place: it's just a great combination. I have even found joy in the
bundling of flowers on Friday evenings for Saturday markets.
Thanks again for supporting this local, ecologically conscious,
family farm that makes an effort to provide learning opportunities to aspiring farmers and gardeners, and otherly inclined young
folks (like me). It's so appreciated!
More than one way to cook a squash… It’s
wonderful to have several new recipes from people
who have been eating Waterpenny vegetables for
many years in this week’s newsletter— The fun and
easy recipe below is from longtime shareholder
Eileen Hanning. On the left is one from Rebecca
Krafft, who shared with us the very popular Penne
with Swiss Chard and Cheese recipe on our website.
(from Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable,
¾ lb pkg orzo pasta (multicolored is fun)
Bring 6 cups water or chicken stock to a boil and add
pasta. Cook 8 to 12 minutes
1 chopped onion, garlic to taste
3 large zucchini
olive oil for sauté
Use a cheese grater or mandoline to shred zucchini,
sauté briefly with chopped onion and garlic until lightly
¼ cup grated parmesan or any hard yellow cheese
Add spices to zucchini mixture, stir thoroughly, and then
remove mixture from heat.
Combine with cheese and cooked orzo, salt to taste.
Serve cool or at room temperature.
Zucchini-Basil Muffins
From longtime Arlington shareholder Rebecca Krafft— she
says this one’s a keeper!
This is a nice alternative to the traditional sugar- and caloriepacked zucchini bread – delicious savory muffins, with the
depth added by parmesan cheese and sweetness from zucchini.
Apparently you can also freeze them.
The original recipe is from Bernard Clayton's New Complete
Book of Breads, a breadmaker’s bible, which I was able to buy
from Alibris.com for a song. Clayton’s recipe only calls for ½
cup of cheese. I increased to one cup, adding a ½ cup to the
batter and sprinkled another ½ cup on top.
2 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups white flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. baking powder
2 cups grated zucchini (about 2 medium zucchini)
2 Tbs finely minced fresh basil leaves
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or hard grating cheese (like Pecorino Romano)
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Grease muffin tins. (Makes 18
regular size muffins)
(Production note—in the food processor, grate the cheese with
the metal chopping blade and empty into a container. Mince
the basil with the metal blade; then switch to the grating blade
and grate all the zucchini into the working bowl along with the
Combine the eggs, milk and oil in a large bowl. Combine the
flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and half of cheese in another
bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the liquid, stirring by hand.
Don't overblend! Stir in the zucchini and basil.
Fill each muffin cup about 1/2 full. Sprinkle the top with the
cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Carefully run a knife around
the edges of the muffins; they stick a little because of the
cheese. Then turn out on rack to cool.
Serve while warm. I am told these freeze very well.
There’s pears in your shares!
Above, a photo of our first-ever pear harvest yesterday! Before
we moved here someone planted two pear trees outside our
house. We’ve had some good pears some years and hardly
any pears other years, and we’ve never paid too much attention
to them. Three years back, Steffany pruned them heavily. This
year, however, the trees are completely covered with hundreds
of pears, so we decided to include them in your shares this
We looked up harvesting pears and it’s actually quite
complicated. Unlike apples, they should be harvested before
they’re ripe, then chilled for few days to a few weeks before
they have their best flavor. We haven’t been doing that and the
ones we’ve eaten have been good, but to get the best flavor
you might refrigerate yours for a week before eating them.
In previous years we’ve also enjoyed cooked pears, made into
pear sauce or canned with sugar syrup. This would be a good
use if you don’t enjoy them raw.
Above, a beautiful rainbow follows an afternoon
thundershower on the farm— our dry spell has been broken
by some good showers that have brought the river up and
given us and our irrigation pump a break. Everything’s
growing well and loving the increased moisture and
continued hot weather.