• Updated Website Address: LocalBanquet.org
  • Looking Back on a Decade of Maple Innovation
  • Listening to Farmers’ Voices in the Ecosystem Services Discussion
  • Updated Website Address: LocalBanquet.org

    We've changed our website. Please update your bookmarks to LocalBanquet.org LocalBanquet.org is where you will now find the latest Local Banquet stories, a new Story of the Day update feature, features from the archives, and information on how to contribute to Local Banquet if you're interested in writing about Vermont agriculture. 

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  • Looking Back on a Decade of Maple Innovation

    Back in 2007, Local Baquet ran an article by Bonnie Hudspeth on maple innovation and production in Vermont. Since then, maple production in Vermont has tripled to 1.8 million gallons a year and innovation seems to have entered a new golden (or perhaps amber) age. We did a quick maple innovation news round up for 2018 / 2019 to help everyone keep up with the some of the trends. 

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  • Listening to Farmers’ Voices in the Ecosystem Services Discussion

    In 2015, the USDA funded a project for UVM researchers to engage in discussions with Vermont farmers about the idea of being paid for ecosystem services. Ecosystem services are things farmers do that improve the environment for everyone, a common example is grass-based farms capturing carbon in the soil as a way to combat climate change. Some services happen naturally through sustainable farming, others take more of an incentive to implement, and either way some policy makers believe that farmers shoudl be compensated for their contribution. 

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Farmers' Kitchen—Zucchini Gone Wild

Bonnie and Kate and the zucchini
Bonnie and Kate and the zucchini

Written By

Oliver Levis

Written on

August 22 , 2014

Not many people would say zucchini is their favorite vegetable, but it’s an easy one to grow and it probably puts out more pounds of edible matter than any other plant in the garden. That’s all well and good early in the season, but inevitably the zucchini runs away from the gardener. First you miss one or two, and before long you’re putting those enormous kielbasas anywhere they’ll fit.

At Earth Sky Time Farm in Manchester, we grow lots of zucchini for our CSA and to sell at farmers’ markets. We try to harvest them every other day and we try to pick them at roughly 8 inches long, but life here can be a little unpredictable with the bakery, the kids, the interns, the broken tractors, the potato beetles, the all-night dance parties…whatever. So the zucchinis often get too big.

But, we do have a solution for this abundance: EGGPLANT! Say what? Well, in many ways zucchinis are a lot like eggplants: Both vegetables have colorful skin and mild white flesh, both are mostly water, both need to be cooked, and both are good fried or grilled. But unlike zucchini, eggplants are a long season crop and you only get a few fruits per plant. Since there are so many nice things to make with eggplant, we started substituting zucchini in our favorite eggplant recipes—and what do you know: it works.

Earth Sky Time is a farming community built around food, and at the center of it all is our oven—a 40,000-pound, Spanish, wood-fired bread oven called a Llopis. Because it’s always hot, we cook everything in it.

For our “Mama Ganoush” we start by roasting all of the overgrown zucchini we can rustle up. We roll them in a little olive oil and roast them in deep pans—in other words, we forget about them in the big oven for a couple of hours. We wait until they are black and burnt. Then we take them out and cool them. We then purée them (skin on) in a food processor with sunflower seeds, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, tahini, sea salt, and smoked paprika.

Keep the mixture cold and enjoy this summer treat. It’s up to you if you want to tell your friends that it’s not made with eggplant.

Earth Sky Time is a small certified organic farm and wood-fired bakery in Manchester. We are a community of friends and family working together to feed our corner of the planet some of the best food around. We offer CSA shares and participate in four weekly farmers’ markets: Manchester, Dorset, Londonderry, and Ludlow. We also produce VT Goldburgers (carrot-curry-ginger-almond-flax burgers) and Hoomoos Za’atar, both available at food co-ops and stores throughout the region (see our website for details). We also host Farm Night vegetarian dinners with live music and dancing every Wednesday. For more info visit earthskytime.com or call 802-384-1400.

About the Author

Oliver Levis

Oliver Levis

Bonnie and Oliver Levis are part of an amazing community of friends, interns, CSA members, and local eaters. Earth Sky Time is a small certified organic farm and wood-fired bakery in Manchester. We are a community of friends and family working together to feed our corner of the planet some of the best food around. We offer CSA shares and participate in four weekly farmers’ markets: Manchester, Dorset, Londonderry, and Ludlow. We also produce VT Goldburgers (carrot-curry-ginger-almond-flax burgers) and Hoomoos Za’atar, both available at food co-ops and stores throughout the region (see our website for details). We also host Farm Night vegetarian dinners with live music and dancing every Wednesday. For more info visit earthskytime.com or call 802-384-1400.

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