Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tikkannen's Berry Farm

Yes, I'm catching up on photos today :)

I've "discovered" Reino "Ray" Tikkanen's (what a great Finnish name!) berry farm on the Sterling/Foster town line. Been getting a couple pounds of blueberries a week from there -- no need for supermarket bananas or strawberries for breakfast this time of year :)

Farm Profile: Tikkanen Berry Farm by Juliette Rogers Published: August 16, 2006 STERLING, CT - Tucked away on a country road that snakes and curves back and forth across the Connecticut/Rhode Island state line, Ray Tikkanen’s berry farm lies in a little valley crossed by a trickling brook. He’s been farming here since 1946, when he returned from the Pacific and his uncle offered to help set him up raising laying hens on his farm. Ray stayed in egg production until 1970, when he “saw the writing on on wall” in US farm policy and how the poultry business was driving egg producers to go into cage plants in order to survive. The industry was consolidating, and producers were dependant on middlemen who bought their eggs at a price of his choosing, and resold them for a profit. Since he didn’t see much of a future in eggs, he reckoned he had two choices: leave farming to work at Pratt and Whitney, or convert the farm to something else.


You sort of need to know where you're going -- he's on Calvin French Road, and while there's a sign pointing towards his place from Cucumber Hill Road...he doesn't have any more signs at the other turns you need to make, until you see his farm sign!

We roasted a pig!

For Eric's 40th.

The guy who owns the trailer has two of them -- we were doing it ourselves, he was catering another party with his other trailer. When he's catering, he starts it at home twelve hours before dinner and then drives over with it roasting a couple hours before dinner.

He raises his own pigs, so between his farm, Stearn's where it was slaughtered, and Eric's the pig had never been more then five miles as the crow flies.

He dropped off this trailer and pig the night before, showed me & Eric what to do to run the equipment. We put bags of ice over the pig overnight, and Eric lit it off at 5am.

Checking out the pig the night before. His younger daughter is at that cool age where she didn't get freaked out -- she came up a little tepidly, but after thinking about it for a moment decided it was pretty neat. Her older sister wanted to avoid any sight of it what so ever!

And the party day.

Carving it up. The guy in the checkered shirt actually knew what he was doing (he grew up in a community where someone was roasting something every weekend)...the rest of us where following his directions. If he hadn't been there, it wouldn't has been as organized as we read off stuff printed from the internet :D


Oscar at Eric's Party

Went up in the morning to help finish setting up Eric's Two-Thirds Done (40th B'day) party (and help with the pig)...Oscar came along.

Stinky of course decided to go under the roaster and got grease all over his head, which meant he got a bath at Erics...which is why he still looks half-wet in some of the photos.

Marinated Vegetables...

I chose to say this was a bold culinary decision -- to marinate potatoes, zuchinni, yellow squash, yellow beans, green beans, and yellow onions from my garden overnight in a mix of olive oil, red wine vinegar, pepper, and Chinese Five Spice.

The decision to marinate was in no way related to discovering I was out of gas last night after cutting them up :D

Little Sweet & Sour sauce as a condiment; betcha a little homemade sweet relish (if I had any...) would've been perfect with it.

The marinade probably worked out just as well, since the zuke, squash, and beans were picked a couple days past their prime. Not bad, just I have to start visiting the garden at least three times a week now :D

Monday, July 30, 2012

Awesome road side stand!

Had to make one of my rare journeys to the corporate office today, after first picking up some equipment at the data center -- I live roughly halfway between the two, so that was a 180+ miles of driving for work today! Took the scenic route back from New London, through Ledyard & Preston, and found this roadside stand in Preston City selling perennials! $20 bought me seven plants :) They might be pretty scraggly by commercial nursery standards, but for cheap money I don't mind waiting for them to grow here! Hopefully I can get them planted Tuesday night, I was moving some more Daylillies tonight.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Is that a peavy in your bike rack, or are you just happy to see me?

Or are you just happy to see me?
Why yes, yes it is. In fact, there's also a 372XP in my trunk!

Eric called me at 10pm the previous night -- a tree I had previously told him to have a tree service take down at his rental property because it was too close to the neighbors for me to handle...finally came down it's own.  
Knew I only needed a few select things...and hey, it saved at least $7 of gas versus taking the pickup :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Lobster Lunch

Lobster Roll from a local joint (ain't like in Maine, but I'm not in Maine...)

Taters, green & yellow beans, onions, squash, zukes from my garden in oil & pepper and cooked on the grill.  With a dash of sea salt once it got to my plate.  Everything but the taters (Monday evening) were picked immediately before lunch :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Harvest Meal...

Yukon Gold taters, yellow squash, zuke, onion, green beans, yellow beans...all from my garden. Oil & Pepper, wrapped in Reynolds Wrap, grilled up with a steak :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A triple today!

First taters, first maters, and first green beans out of the garden!

Found the potatoes when weeding a flower bed last night -- it was the potato bed last year, so that wasn't surprising.  They went well with lunch:

Tonight I was doing some more weeding, and had a couple cherry tomatoes and a couple baby green beans fresh off the vine!

Could've even had a small summer squash if I had wanted to :)