Next, add the brown and white sugar and beat with a fork until the texture is not so grainy. Add your almond milk and flax seeds and beat some more - a classic vegan egg substitute.
Marrying rosemary and chocolate is a spectacular mix. I especially love the combination in Isa Chandra Moskowitz' vegan cookies. I started preparing this recipe for guests when I saw Isa's post on her vegan blog Post Punk Kitchen. When I learned she also authored a cookbook Isa Does It I ordered that thing on Amazon right away! The Rosemary Chocolate chip cookie recipe is found in the book, too.
Howdy Farm has some potent rosemary, as any good rosemary should be. I harvested some twigs off of our many bushes around the farm and got baking! Chandra's complete recipe is listed at the bottom of this post.
Mix the rosemary and coconut oil. You'll start to smell all of the herb oils being released!
There's nothing scary about making vegan cookies. It's as easy as any chocolate chip cookie recipe but without the egg and dairy milk! Instead, coconut oil gives these cookies a great texture and hint of flavor.
Poor on some vanilla. Add baking soda, salt, and half of the flour. Stir well. Then add the remaining flour and keep mixing until the dough looks like good 'ole cookie dough.
These cookies won't expand as much as traditional cookies, so make them just short of the size you're aiming for. Bake on 350F for 10-12 minutes and let cool. Voila!
Isa Chandra Moskowitz' Rosemary Chocolate Chip Cookies [Vegan]
Now, add your chocolate chips! I've used regular sized chips in the past but this time I opted for Ghirardelli mini semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Recipe is from Isa Chandra's cookbook Isa Does It and her vegan blog The Post Punk Kitchen.
Photos and blog post are by Jessica Newman.
Spring time is all about flowers - and not just on ornamental plants. It's the time of the year that vegetables, too, go to flower if left to their natural cycles. At the farm, we have left a variety of plant families go to flower: Allium, Brassica, Lamiaceae,
Apiaceae and so on.
When we stop harvesting greens, they continue to grow and produce flowers. If you desire to still eat the produce, you can prevent the plant from flowering by clipping the flowers. However, in our extreme heat, plants have a natural tendency this time of year to flower in order to spread their seed. When we let plants flower - besides creating a unique opportunity for people to see what produce looks like in this stage and enjoy the beauty of a variety of flowers - they produce their own seed to reproduce for the next season.
Many high end restaurants use these flowers to garnish plates because they come from edible plants and may garner the original taste. For example, cilantro flowers look like babies breath and are beautiful (and edible) on any dish. Chive flowers have an intense purple color and a sweet, onion flavor enjoyable for aesthetics and taste.
As a note, when edible plants go to flower the commonly eaten part usually, not always, no longer tastes so great since the plant is using all of its energy to shoot up flowers instead of produce tasty leaves. For example, basil flowers are gorgeous but the basil leaves on a flowering plant will become tart.
In addition to flowering, the Brassica family of plants - including cauliflower, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage and more - bolt. Bolting is a smiliar idea to flowering but instead of producing flowers, the plant "bolts" upward and produces seed. When lettuce is ready for harvest it produces a nice "head." When left to bolt, the lettuce can shoot up a few feet. At the very top, you can see the lettuce seeds.
Bolting and flowering are mechanisms of nature to re-seed and re-produce themselves without the help of humans. If you have a garden, let some of your produce flower or bolt to witness a unique stage of the plant. Test out eating the flowering parts!
See what's springing at the Howdy Farm...
By Jessica Newman
The Howdy Farm is proud to be hosting what we are calling “Sustainable Saturday at the farm”, which will take place on Saturday, April 25th from noon to 5pm. We are hosting this event as part of Earth Week and will open our farm for anyone and everyone to come take a tour, ask us questions, and find out how we are contributing to sustainable agriculture right here on the campus of Texas A&M. The Howdy Farm would not be where it is today without the help and support of our partners in sustainability, so we would like to take a minute to provide some background information about how we practice sustainability, while also thanking those who have helped us achieve these goals.
First and foremost we would like to thank the Department of Horticultural Sciences for supporting our vision and providing us with the land to fulfill our mission. As many of you know we were forced to relocate the farm when the construction of the new West Campus housing project began, but the department was gracious in letting us use the garden area and empty field behind the building. We have expanded our farm into the empty field, which in-time will mean we can provide even more fresh vegetables to our wonderful customers!
One of our newest additions to the farm, as you have seen if you have been to the farm since last August, is our sustainability building. This building is made from reclaimed and recycled materials including barn wood that is over 100 years old! It is equipped with solar panels, which provide us with electricity for lights, fans, and outlets for charging phones, laptops, and batteries for our power tools. We were able to purchase this building from a company called Reclaimed Space through the support of the Aggie Green Fund and the Office of Sustainability. The Office of Sustainability has been an integral part of our success and we can’t thank them enough for all they have provided us. Here are some pictures of the building, and the solar system that allows us to remain off-the-grid:
The landscape in front of our building was also paid for by the Aggie Green Fund/Office of Sustainability and was designed by Agrilife Extension program specialist, Tim Hartmann. Tim’s focus area is Earth-Kind landscaping, which is a sustainable approach to landscaping through proper plant selection, proper soil preparation, and water conservation. The landscape that Tim designed utilizes plants that are native to Texas, can tolerate drought conditions once established, and attract many beneficial pollinators like bees and monarch butterflies. The landscape is a beautiful addition to our farm and we would like to thank Tim for his time and efforts. Here is a picture of part of the landscape in full bloom:
Attached to our sustainability building is a rainwater harvesting system that was installed by an intern at the Howdy Farm, Chris Paulson. Chris is a huge advocate of maximizing efficiency and conserving natural resources, such as water. Chris also installed a 2nd rainwater tank to our tool shed, giving us the capacity to reserve 2,000 gallons of stored rainwater to be used at a later date when the temperatures begin to rise. One of the rainwater tanks was purchased through the Aggie Green Fund and the Office of Sustainability, giving us another reason to thank them immensely. Here are some pictures of our rainwater systems:
Finally, we have installed a large composting area on the farm to eliminate farm waste by turning it into compost rather than throwing it away. We have reduced the amount of compost we have to purchase by adding this large compost area to the farm, and we want to thank the Northgate Juice Joint on University for providing us with juicing pulp to help facilitate this process. We have built a great relationship with the Juice Joint and it is a great representation of community working together in mutual support. We sell a lot of our greens to them, they juice the greens, and we pick up the pulp to put into our compost pile. It’s a cycle that promotes local business, as well as waste reduction. If you haven’t been to the Northgate Juice Joint yet, we highly recommend that you go check them out. My personal favorite is the Coffee Cashew drink, which contains: cashew milk, espresso, cocoa nibs, and bananas. The drink isn’t overly sweetened, which makes it a healthy alternative to other coffee drinks that contain loads of sugar. Here is a picture of our compost pile:
These are just a few examples of how we at the Howdy Farm contribute to sustainability and the community. You can learn more about these aspects of the farm, as well as many others, by coming out for our “Sustainable Saturday at the Farm” event. We will be happy to show you around the farm and provide you with the educational tools so you can include some of these techniques in your garden at home. We will have fresh produce available for purchase, and we will provide a free bundle of herbs to all of our customers. That’s our way of saying thanks to you, our loyal customers, because without your support we wouldn’t be able to operate. All of the money we make from our produce sales goes right back into the farm so we can continue with our mission. We hope to see you at the farm!
*We obviously can’t thank each and every individual who has helped contribute to our success. The success of the Howdy Farm comes from many individuals and local businesses, and we appreciate each and every one of you.*
The Howdy Farm
Story written by the farm manager: Corey Wahl
Story inspired by the wonderful community of Bryan/College Station
Everyone should get with chives. Chives are perennials, which means they last many growing seasons. The first year, Howdy Farm harvested fresh chives for farmers markets. Now, during the second growing year, the farm is reaping the benefits of chive flowers. Chives are in the Allium family, which includes other bulbs like onions and garlics. Like all other Alliums, the flowers are perfectly edible. In fact, Allium bulbs are very drought tolerant and the flowers of these commonly eaten bulbs make great ornaments for a landscape.
Chive flowerings starting to bud. Photo by Erik King.
Chives in full bloom
Chives all over the farm began to flower in the spring and we have no intention of stopping are chives from spreading. The flower is made up of tiny individual flowers. These flowers are edible while they are in the soft, purple stage. Then, the flowers start to harden, turn slightly pink, and dry out when they begin to produce seeds. You don't want to harvest the edible flowers when they produce seed so that nature can take its course and the chives can keep planting themselves all over the garden.
Chive bouquet at the Howdy Farm with an orange Pot Marigold and edible Chamomille flowers. Bellisimo!
Look closely at bees playing their pollination game.
Howdy Farm Chive Flower Vinaigrette Salad
Chives in Howdy Farm's raised bed gardens.
By Jessica Newman