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Gordon Skagit Farms -- a bountiful harvest

Gordon Skagit Farms — a bountiful harvest

“As Gill says, “every man is called to give love to the work of his hands. Every man is called to be an artist.” The small family farm is one of the last places – they are getting rarer every day – where men and women (and girls and boys, too) can answer that call to be an artist, to learn to give love to the work of their hands. It is one of the last places where the maker – and some farmers still do talk about “making the crops” – is responsible, from start to finish, for the thing made. This certainly is a spiritual value, but it is not for that reason an impractical or uneconomic one. In fact, from the exercise of this responsibility, this giving of love to the work of the hands, the farmer, the farm, the consumer, and the nation all stand to gain in the most practical ways: They gain the means of life, the goodness of food, and the longevity and dependability of the sources of food, both natural and cultural. The proper answer to the spiritual calling becomes, in turn, the proper fulfillment of physical need.”
― Wendell Berry, Bringing it to the Table: Writings on Farming and Food

Gordon Skagit Farms does a great job marrying farming and art.  A visit there is a visual feast.

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Pen and ink sketches of squashes and pumpkins

Pen and ink sketches of squashes and pumpkins

Squash, the Flavor of Fall

October 17, 2014

Watercolor sketch of acorn squash

Watercolor sketch of acorn squash

I had to quickly paint this squash before I cooked it.  I used its roasted flesh, instead of pumpkin, in the chili recipe that was posted on the Gordon Farm Blackboard (see earlier post about that destination here.)  I also used a tablespoon of Mrs. Wages dry salsa mix instead of chili powder, which I did not have on hand.  And I added half a diced green bell pepper.  This was really the most flavorful soup, and I will make it again for sure.

Here's the recipe again if you missed it in my earlier post.

Here’s the recipe again if you missed it in my earlier post.

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In a pumpkin shell, Gordon Skagit Farms

In a pumpkin shell, Gordon Skagit Farms

Gordon Skagit Farms showcases over 60 varieties of pumpkins, squashes, and gourds:  carving pumpkins, cooking pumpkins and squashes, specialty pumpkins, heirloom varieties, ornamental gourds, and apples, cider, ornamental corn and decorative cornstalks.  And the colors!  Sunset hues, to ghostly whites, sage, and blue greens.  Warty and smooth.  It’s worth the trip to revel in such bounty.

I found them quite photogenic, too.

Pumpkins lining a path, Gordon Skagit Farms

Pumpkins lining a path, Gordon Skagit Farms

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For Bonnie

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Gourds and Squashes

October 5, 2013

Display of mixed squashes

Display of mixed squashes

What is the difference between a gourd and a squash?  I know that squash, gourds, and pumpkins are siblings in the same family, but when do I call something a gourd and when a squash?  I wasn’t looking for a technical understanding, and so I like this description from Vivian Larson at Everyday Flowers:

“Typically gourds are not edible.  They are fibrous with a very hard shell.  Squash . . .  have a much higher water content, varies by variety and are all edible, not necessarily all good tasting though.    Squash can be highly decorative but will usually not keep as well as gourds.”

Now I know (and I think I mislabeled the turban squash below!).

Watercolor sketch of assorted squashes

Watercolor sketch of assorted squashes

Watercolor sketch of turban squashes

Watercolor sketch of turban squashes