The holidays are here, and the Christmas spirit has descended upon us! In this month's newsletter, we will share what products you will find at the market this, our new puppy, methods we use to combat weeds, the new hedgerow in the grove, and a
delicious avocado pie recipe.
Avo's at the Market
Great news: We are still harvesting avocados! There are a few more weeks of Lamb-Hass on the horizon. This month, we will also bring our first-ever crop of Mexicola Grande to the market.
The Lamb-Hass is very similar to the Hass in flavor and oil content. It comes later in the season, so we are happy to have avocados until the end of the year. The Mexicola Grande is a very different from the typical avocado. It has a smooth purple skin, that looks similar to
an eggplant. The flavor is slightly sweet; some people will even eat the thin skin right along with the flesh.
This will be our last month at the market until we are back in the late spring with our early varieties. We look forward to seeing you before the end of the year!
The Farm Pup
Welcome to the newest addition to the Chetwyn family: Benny! We found out about this little puppy a few weeks back and knew he is just what we have been looking for. For a while now, we have been thinking of getting another dog, since Becca is getting older, and having a farm
dog is wonderful.
Benny has been to the farmers' market a couple of times and is loving the farm life, especially playing in the grove with Becca. The herd and the pigs have introduced themselves, and Benny has found these strange new animals very intriguing. He is a smart little guy and soon he will
settle in with the rhythm of the farm.
Out of the Weeds
Weeds. They are one of the big issues we deal with as an organic farm. And after those wonderful rains from this past October, little seeds that were waiting in the dry dirt sprung to life. The
hills, the grove, and the pasture exploded with a bright green. Even though it's beautiful, we have to find ways to deal with the weeds, so our own crops aren't overrun. Ans because we are organic, we have a few ways to deal with weeds that keep our property safe from harsh chemicals.
Organic Weed Spray
One of our methods is a mixture of lemon-grass oil, clove oil and soybean oil. By using this as a spray, we are able to get rid of all the smaller weeds around the edge of the grove. That way Dave
can see the edge of the road when he is cutting down the bigger weeds with the mower attachment on the tractor.
As mentioned above, mowing is very helpful in taking down the gnarly weeds. Sometimes they get out of control and weeding by hand won't do the trick. This is when machine power comes into use. Weed
whips are also helpful in this way. One weed, we call it tar weed, is a tough and sticky plant that pops up all over our property. We have found that it can be controlled by weed whipping it when it is young.
Another option is mulch. Mulch creates a thick cover over the ground, which prevents unwanted plants from sprouting up. And whatever does grow, the mulch makes easier to pull up. We have have a goal
of the whole grove mulched by the summer, which will be a difficult but rewarding job.
One of the best solutions to keeping the new growth in check: our herd. We let them roam around the property and they eat most grass to the ground. By doing this, they prevent those plants from going
and spreading seeds later on.
In the last newsletter, we mentioned receiving plants to create a native hedgerow. You can find that article here.
We are happy to report that all of those little shrubs and trees are now in the ground. After a day of flagging out where the plants would go, shoveling holes, and mulching, the job is done. We look forward to seeing the hedgerow grow and bring in future generations of critters
that make Chetwyn a healthy and sustainable ecosystem.
Lime + Avocado = Pie?
Okay, at this time of year the limes and avocados are still coming in strong. With this in mind, we took to the kitchen to find a recipe that uses both of these wonderful produce. The conclusion: Avocado-lime pie. It's like key-lime pie, but a lot creamier and has a brilliant shade of green.
For the crust:
1½ cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs (about 10 squares) 3 tbs granulated sugar 2 pinches salt ½ cup coconut oil or unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
2 cups smashed avocado ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice (we used our organic Bearss limes) ½ cup sweetened condensed milk 4 tsp lime zest 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 Pinch of salt
For the crust:
1) Preheat oven to 350 2) In a medium bowl combine the gram cracker, sugar and salt. Add the coconut oil/butter and stir until the crumbs are evenly coated 3) Press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie dish using a spoon or the bottom of a measuring cup 4) Bake the crust until lightly browned, about 10 minutes 5) Remove the pie crust from the oven and cool it on a rack in the dish for 15 minutes, and then refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour. The crust can be tightly wrapped in its dish and frozen for up to 2 weeks. Thaw before using.
For the filling:
1) In a blender, combine the avocado, lime juice, condensed milk, lime zest, vanilla, and salt. Blend until smooth and silky 2) Spoon the mixture over the cooled graham cracker crust 3) Cover pie and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and preferably overnight.