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  • Writer's pictureElie Ravitz-Basser

Week of 8/1/22-8/7/22

It's early August, a fact one can tell by admiring the farm's foliage. The Hickory and Pine trees have changed colors throughout the summer, transforming from a light shade of green to a deep, dark emerald. Summer is clearly coming to an end. The Mimosa trees, too, which are studded with pink, fragrant flowers, are almost done blossoming. While the grass seems to be completely green, a closer inspection reveals tufts of brownish, dying grass. Even the crickets and cicadas, once loud, are slowly quieting down. The Fall is coming soon.

Even though much of the produce, like cherries and strawberries, have reached the end of their respective fruiting period, other trees are just beginning to bear fruit---locally grown peaches, for example. In the grocery stores and farm stands, the peaches are ripe and plump, ready to be used for canning or cooking. Although our farm has peach trees, they rarely bare edible fruit (as we don't use fertilizer to keep the insects away). As a result, I like to cook with store-bought peaches. I'm very picky about my peaches, I like to choose the choicest ones. When baking, I find that the best variety is the Yellow Peach. For snacking, I tend to like White Peaches. Speaking of baking with peaches, I've been busy making cobblers and pies with the tender fruit. See below for my Peach Cobbler and Blackberry&Peach Tart recipes! The Peach Cobbler is so effortlessly easy to prepare, and is beyond delicious. All it takes is 2o minutes of prep---cooking the peaches and then pouring batter over them. I like to add cinnamon and serve the cobbler with whipped cream. For the tart, simply coat the Yellow Peaches in sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Then, add the ripe blackberries. Pour the fruit into a tart shell and BOOM...a delicious late summer tart emerges.

Aside from peaches, I've been baking a lot with fresh basil. Soon, I'll also be able to use our fresh Heirloom tomatoes. Right now, they are still ripening, green on the vine. The supply of basil planted in our garden has lasted the entire summer, thanks to the constant sunlight and rain. I use the basil for a variety of different foods, though mostly in Bruschetta and homemade Margherita pizza. The Bruschetta is simple---chopped tomatoes and basil with oil (and lots of it!) on slices of warm bread. Although the tomato takes center stage in this recipe, don't underestimate the other ingredients, especially the basil---it is crucial. The pizza, too, depends on the fresh basil for its success. First, I prepare the pizza dough. Give yourself approximately an hour for this step. Then, roll the dough into a wide circle and simply add toppings---sauce, balls of mozzarella, pine nuts. Cook for ten minutes at a high temperature until the bottom is cooked and crusty. Add lots of basil before slicing and enjoying.

Sometimes, I'm too lazy and the kitchen is too hot for me to cook in. When this is the case, I'll grab something easy, like a slice of watermelon. I'm not the only one on our farm who likes watermelon. Bambi, our two month old deer, is a huge fan of the tasty treat. He also likes to snack on Pine tree needles and banana. Bambi has grown tremendously since we first found him. He's bigger than our goats, many of whom are over four times his age. Bambi spends much of his day grazing with the other bottle-fed baby goats on our lawn. Although some of them were sick from parasites a couple weeks ago, the goats are doing well.

Goats become infected with internal parasites by eating worm eggs or coming into contact with deer (who transmit the parasites). Goats with parasites often suffer from weight loss and loss of energy. Additionally, goats with parasites will be lacking red blood cells under their eyes. One of our older goats, Teapot, who we bottle-fed two years ago, was sick with parasites a few weeks ago. She, and the other goats with similar symptoms, were promptly given Ivermectin, an anti-Parasite. I'm happy to report everyone is feeling much better!

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