farm hopping + recipe

3 06 2010

It’s funny to think of how your life changes, like when planning a day of farm hopping or yarn crawling is just as much silly fun as when it used to be pub crawling or club hopping. Just as much fun, but profoundly different – and including the small logistical details of sharing the fun with your child.

So it’s finally that time of year again, with summer nearly here, when the local farms and markets begin calling to us each week like nectar calling to honeybees. I’ve been thinking that Bebe might be old enough to enjoy berry-picking, although he still shows a surprising indifference to strawberries.

Bebe and I began early with a scenic drive to a pretty pick-your-own berry farm: Mt. Olympus Farm in Ruther Glen, VA. We were sad to find the strawberry fields were done for the season – the last of the harvest was picked over the long Memorial Day weekend. The blueberry and blackberry p.y.o fields aren’t quite open yet, either.

But there were flowers and greenery to run through, other toddlers to peek at, and the farm stand was full of treats for us:

early peaches and blackberries,

farm hopping - fruit and berries

small sacks of young potatoes,

farm hopping - young taters

and fresh butter!

farm hopping - fresh butter

Next we visited our favorite farm to drop off a raspberry box that we borrowed last week. I was able to speak with the owner about their new CSA program – we missed the March/April sign-up period, but we’ll join next year. Bebe had more toddlers to play with, horses and one of the llamas to adore, and more veggie goodness: the farm’s trademark asparagus and some sugar snap peas.

farm hopping - yummy greens

On the way home (Bebe was ready to stop farm hopping and start napping), we stopped by the farmer’s market and picked up some more of the sweet carrots that we liked last week from C & T Produce, along with some salad veggies.

farm hopping - sweet carrots farm hopping - salad fixin's

Bebe loves broccoli & carrots, and he gobbled them up for dinner (well, this time he devoured the broccoli and threw the carrots in every direction except his mouth). Mr. P and I enjoyed a summer salad with rotisserie chicken. And superyum:

Mint-glazed carrots tossed with white rice (serves 2-4)

1 C white rice
1 Tbsp butter
2-3 mint leaves, sliced or shredded
*4-5 young carrots, peeled & sliced into 2 C of thin medallions
1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp water
dash of salt

In a small pot, bring 2 C water to boil on high heat. Add rice, stir and cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes or until done. (Or you can use leftover white rice that’s already cooked).

Peel & slice carrots. *Young carrots are best for this because they are tender and easy to cut – also, carrots seem to lose their sweetness as they get older/bigger.

Melt butter on medium heat. Add sliced mint and stir for 1-2 minutes, then add sugar and continue stirring until sugar is melted (another 2-3 minutes). Stir in carrots and a dash of salt, mix well to get them all coated with the minty syrup. Cook 3-5 minutes on medium heat, then then add water and reduce heat to low. Cover and let cook for 10-15 minutes.

By this time the rice should be done. Toss rice together with carrots, make sure to mix together well, and serve!




2 responses

3 06 2010

Oh that recipe looks so yummy. I swear I could sit around and just stare at pictures of people’s gardening and farm adventures all day long :). Hope you have a great start to your weekend

4 06 2010

Yeah, it’s good, very useful, thanks 🙂

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