Goodbye Maine, Heritage Home Farm and Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Handsome Rooster looking for his girls
Its that time of year again. Frost is on the pumpkin, leaves are ablaze in color and falling fast in October winds. Like the blueberry bushes before them, the apple trees are heavily laden with fruit which wends its way into endless transformations such as chutneys, cider, pies, crisps and sauces. 
This is my signal to fly south. Yes, as lovely as it is to be present in northern New England during this time of seasonal flux, I start thinking about the warmth of friends (and weather) in my Southern home in Southeast Georgia. Before I make my way on the inevitable passage to places below the frost line, I wanted to express my gratitude to the farmers who have fed us all season while residing in Maine. Usually David and I have pretty extensive gardens (not unlike most Mainers) which we augment with trips to the local Farmers Markets and stands. This year our schedule was soo hectic, we decided to leave the raised beds to rest for the year. At about the same time we should have been planting, we received a flyer in our mailbox offering a share in CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) for a new farm, right down the road from us, here on the Ridge, in Appleton.

Meet Ethan and Elizabeth Siegel of Heritage Home Farm in Appleton, ME

We popped down to Heritage Home Farm just before my departure (D will stay up here a bit longer with Rosie the Doodle Doggie). Here are some pics of the farm and animals as well as a bit of info about these fabulous young farmers - Elizabeth and Ethan Siegel. Read on to find out more about the Siegels, the farm AND scroll down for a delicious recipe!


Apples just waiting to become pies, crisps, chutneys and more.

How/when/where did you two meet?
We met in Israel on a kibbutz in 2010. 

How/when/why did you two get into farming? 
I, Elizabeth, had worked on a farm in wales through the WWOOF program. Later I lived with Eitan in Oklahoma working as a preschool teacher and running the school gardening program. In 2012 we decided to leave Oklahoma and travel around the USA through the wwoof program, working on 8 different farms. We were trying to discover both where we wanted to settle and the type of farming we were most interested in. 

Why did you pick Appleton and/or What do  you love about Appleton, ME?
We fell in love with Maine after woofing and interning on three different farms. Getting involved with MOFGA and the common ground fair and seeing the massive support from that community convinced us that there is no better place  in the USA than Maine to be an organic farmer. We chose Appleton because of its central location to the midcoast towns. Since moving here we have learned what a wonderful, supportive community we are now a part of. 

New Barn and free-ranging chooks
What is the idea behind your method of farming and your goal for the future of Heritage Home Farm?
Our philosophy is best coined by poultry farmer Harvey Ussery. It is a whole systems approach, where everything is interconnected and related. It is farming the way our grandparents and great grandparents farmed, with a goal of self-sufficiency that extends to include community sufficiency. For example, growing as much of our own food as possible but also recognizing that some members of the community are more skilled in certain areas and that we can share resources with each other. We may have a great potato crop while our neighbor has a wonderful garlic crop. We can then trade and share our resources. Our goal is to eventually not just sell what we produce but to also educate others to the vital importance of this way of life.

Anglo-Nubian goats remind me of Jenny's Girls!!

Heirloom varieties of Melons and Squashes including the Butternut Squash for our Soup!
Part of our final share for the 2015 harvest will make a great soup!




















 Thank you soo much Elizabeth and Ethan for sustaining our family by growing delicious, nutritious food for us to eat. We look forward to seeing you and participating in next year's abundance! Until then, have a safe and happy Winter! Georgia, here I come!
Soo Happy, first baby due in January!




CREAMY VEGAN BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

Ingredients:
·         3 tablespoons veggie stock or water for steam/sautee
·         1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
·         1 c. raw cashews
·         1 clove garlic, finely chopped
·         1 large butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
·         5 c. vegetable stock
·         2 T. fresh ginger, minced
·         2 t. ground cumin
·         2 t. ground coriander
·         1 t. curry powder
·         1 t. ground turmeric
·         Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
·         1 c. coconut milk, plus additional (optional)
·         1 sprig fresh rosemary

Method:
  1. Warm the veggie stock in a large pot on medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the cashews and cook, stirring, until the onions are translucent and the cashews have slightly browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the squash, broth, ginger, cumin, coriander, curry powder, turmeric and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and bring the soup to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and cook the soup until the squash is easily pierced with a knife, 20 to 25 minutes. Uncover the soup and let it cool for 15 minutes.
  2. Starting on slow speed and increasing to high, purée the soup in small batches, in a blender, (or using an immersion blender works too) until smooth.
  3. Serve with the coconut milk and rosemary sprigs as garnish or on the side.

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