Locals offer trusty advice for the new small farmer

Locals offer trusty advice for the new small farmer

Kellie Pettyjohn, of Wily Carrot Farm outside Mancos, says good materials and equipment are “worth it in the long run.”
Aaron Yarobrough inspects an egg in the Battle Rock Farms booth at the Cortez Farmers Market in this file photo.
ZUCCHINI GARDEN CASSEROLE

In keeping with the idea of simpler times, here’s an easy recipe that came from my grandmother. It puts all that zucchini to good use and can be made with or without meat. Increase or decrease vegetables according to your preferences. All the ingredients except the rice and spices can be found at farmers markets.Ingredients4-8 medium to large ripe tomatoes, sliced (A note: If you’re not fond of tomato skins, try broiling the tomatoes until their skins burst and they release their liquid. It is then easy to chop up the insides for the casserole, discard the skins, and use the juice in the recipe.) 4 medium-size zucchini (about 1½ lbs.), sliced into ¼-inch rounds2 tsp. salt2/3 C uncooked rice2 Tbsp. chopped parsley½ C each chopped green pepper and onion1 C tomato juice¼ tsp. each cinnamon, allspice, and pepper1 C (or more) shredded sharp cheddar cheese or other favorite1½ lbs. ground beef, bison, or lamb DirectionsPreheat oven to 375.
Grease a 9x13” baking dish
Arrange half the tomatoes on the bottom, then half the zucchini over the tomatoes and salt lightly.
Combine the meat, rice, parsley, pepper, onion, spices and 1 tsp. Salt and tomato juice.
Pat mixture into the casserole. (It should look soupy. Remember, the raw rice is going to soak it up.)
Top with the remaining squash, then remaining tomatoes, and with another sprinkle of salt.
Cover and bake for about 1 ½ hours or until vegetables and rice are tender. (Because aluminum foil Reacts with the acid in tomatoes, i first cover it in parchment, followed by a layer of foil.)
Remove cover and sprinkle with grated cheese and bake an additional 15 minutes.
Serve with a cucumber yogurt sauce laced with mint.

Locals offer trusty advice for the new small farmer

Kellie Pettyjohn, of Wily Carrot Farm outside Mancos, says good materials and equipment are “worth it in the long run.”
Aaron Yarobrough inspects an egg in the Battle Rock Farms booth at the Cortez Farmers Market in this file photo.
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