Getting Fruit and Vegetables
Black Hen Farm is happy to announce that we are now offering small
quantities of fruits and vegetables at the Los Gatos farmers market
and the San Jose Willow Glen farmers market . We had a period
where no produce was offered due to a back injury (the priority is the
care of the animals), but the back is getting better and we'll have
more produce soon!
What makes Black Hen Farm produce special? We do not use
animal by-products or manure from factory farms. We don't use
blood or bone meal, feather meal, fish emulsion, crab meal, and the
like, which are commonly used in agriculture, including organic.
Instead, we compost the bedding from our organically fed poultry and
our goats along with other plant matter, and fertilize with it and kelp.
We also don't kill wildlife, but have developed systems to exclude
them from crops. Most of the farm is full of ideal wildlife habitat but
our fruit trees and vegetable beds are screened off. This type of a
system is probably only practical on a small scale. On larger farms,
they need to trap wildlife like gophers in order to get a good harvest.
Of course, we don't use synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers.
Who needs them? The poultry take care of a lot of unbeneficial
insects and slugs for us, clear out the weeds before planting every
spring, and provide great fertilizer. Plus, we have lots of beneficial
insects that live in our forests. Native bees thrive here because of all
of the undisturbed land and flowering plants. We double-dig the
vegetable beds by hand and don't use oil-powered equipment, which
also protects wildlife that might be living and nesting in the area.
Produce List and Recipes
Black Hen Farm likes to grow unusual items. For some interesting
recipes, check these out.
Be sure to use the greens on our root vegetables! We think that
sometimes that's the best part! Our mineral-rich clay-loam soil
produces great greens. Try the sesame dressing that follows, or add
to soup or saute in olive oil and garlic with a touch of water.
Burdock (Gobo)*, roots and greens
Chrysanthemum*, greens and flowers
Chinese Cabbage, Loose Head
Daikon*, roots and greens
Eggplant, Thai*, Italian, Asian
Komatsuna Spinach Mustard*
Limes*, Yellow, Key, Kaffir leaves
Mustard, Asian, Red, Southern, Heading*
Pak Choi (Bok Choi), baby
Peas, Snow*, Sugar, Shelling
Peppers, Sweet, Low Heat Hot
Plums*, Cherry (purple, red, yellow), Camp Joy
Radish, Watermelon*, Giant German*
Tomatoes, Slicing, Roma/Plum
Turnips, Red*, White, Yellow, Japanese Carrot-Shaped, greens/root
Sesame Dressing -- Gomaae
This delicious Japanese dressing will complement almost any
- A green vegetable such as spinach, komatsuna, misome,
Chinese cabbage, daikon or turnip greens, and so on
(approximately 1 pound of greens)
- 2 tablespoons roasted and/or ground white, tan, or black
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon - 1 tablespoon soy sauce (to taste)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable broth, sake, or dashi
Combine all sauce ingredients and mix.
Boil or steam vegetable.
Strain vegetable, cool slightly or dash with cold water, and squeeze
to release most of the water.
Roughly chop vegetable, for example, in 2 inch strips.
Lightly dress vegetable with sesame dressing.