Farm Happenings, 2015 Week 51

My favorite recipe for horse collar pumpkin (or butternut squash) is provided below. It is a soup perfect for dreary weather.

Now this is a Pressly original concoction, but my husband and parents absolutely love it and I loosely based my recipe off of my tried-and-true Joy of Cooking cookbook’s recipe. This is a large batch, so you can make it smaller by halving the quantities of everything, using just 1 butternut squash. This soup freezes well.
Horsecollar Pumpkin Soup1 horse collar pumpkin, or 2-3 butternut squash
1 bunch turnips, roots diced (greens set aside for another meal)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 large onions, diced
2 large carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 Tbsp fresh celery leaves or lovage, chopped finely
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried
6-8 cups chicken stock or water
salt and pepper
1/2 bunch of kale, leaves shredded
olive oil

Halve and bake horse collar or butternuts, facedown in a pan at 350F, for 35 minutes or until tender. In the meantime, sauté garlic, onions, carrots, turnips, & celery on medium-low heat for ~30 minutes in a deep pot until tender but not browned. Add salt, pepper, thyme, and celery leaves. (The lovage or celery leaves are the ingredient that really makes this soup amazing, in my opinion.)  When pumpkin is cooked through, scoop out flesh and add it to pot with chicken stock.  Stir in kale, and let simmer for ~15 minutes. Add more seasonings to taste. Serve either as chunky soup or puree till smooth (or as close as possible – my blender provides me the consistency of applesauce and I love it). Enjoy!


Anemones are blooming beautifully right now, loving this unseasonably warm weather. I didn’t really expect these to start blooming until February – whoops!

Tulips, when planted for the cut flower trade, are planted very close together, harvested with bulb attached, and thus treated as an annual. Tulips don’t bloom consistently enough in our climate to perennialize them for cut flower production.
This is one of the many tips I am currently learning from Leah Cook of Wild Hare Farm in Cedar Grove, NC. We are both members of ASCFG, a flower farming association that has paired us up in a 2-year mentor-mentee relationship. The guidance and knowledge I will gain from this experienced farmer is meant to push me years ahead of where I would be without this one-on-one attention. I am very excited about this mentorship, and was selected as one of five mentees in the entire country for this program’s inaugural season. We will communicate by phone and email frequently throughout the next two years, will visit each other’s farms several times, and attend the organization’s yearly conferences. Through our weekly phone conversations, Leah has already prepared me so much for the next couple of months of sowing seeds and staggering plantings. I’m soaking it all in as fast as I can!!
Have a wonderful Christmas and holiday season with your friends and family this week. This is truly a week to rejoice and worship God and be thankful for the greatest gift the earth has ever received – our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!!