Story and photographs by Emily Hartop
On a mere 2.5 acres in La Cresta, Martha and Bill Brady grow an amazing abundance of heirloom vegetables. These jewels of the farmers' market are not just certified organic, but biodynamic. Martha is a certified nurseryman, teaches composting for the state, and has a degree in agribusiness. Suffice it to say, she's a knowledgeable lady that produces great produce! Martha can tell you whatever you need to know about anything she grows. If you think those Rouge Vif (French for "red pumpkin") pumpkins are gorgeous but have no idea what to do with one, Martha can tell you; I have a feeling she must cook as well as she farms.
Some of the fabulous pumpkins and squashes from Moonrise Farm: Rouge Vif (a French heirloom pumpkin), Sweet Dumpling Squash, White Acorn Squash (a Native American varietal), Jarrahdale Pumpkins (blue pumpkins), Long Island Cheese Pumpkins (a New England varietal), and heirloom spaghetti squash.
Not only are Moonrise Farm growing practices exemplary, but all food not sold each week goes to the Hope Food Bank in Lake Elsinore . The Bradys have a passion
for feeding people and supporting the local community. When I buy from them each week, I know my money is going into a great farm and a great cause. I support local farms and they support my community in return – a win for everyone.
Next Saturday stop by the farmers' market and see Martha and Bill. Besides the gorgeous squashes, they have an abundance of other crops. Coming soon, they'll have many different varieties of heirloom lettuces, broccoli, cauliflower, beets (including the golden variety), carrots, onions, and herbs.
Mention this article, and the Bradys will give you $1.00 off your purchase! Tell them Slow Food sent you, and be sure to pick up a beautiful autumn squash for your harvest table.
This year, why not make a beautiful local pumpkin pie? Buy an heirloom pumpkin, local eggs and cream, and surprise your guests with the best pumpkin pie they've ever had – without ever opening a can.
The No-Can Pumpkin Pie
Recipe by Emily Hartop
Makes 2 large or 3 small pumpkin pies
Pie crusts (3 small or 2 deep dish)
1 sweet pumpkin (do not use a "jack-o-lantern" pumpkin – you need a variety with less water and more sugar)
1 cup brown sugar
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 cups heavy cream
- Cut pumpkins in half lengthwise and scrape out all the seeds. Place face down on a cookie sheet and bake at 400°F for 30-45 minutes, until soft.
- Scoop baked flesh from pumpkins, you need 3 cups.
- Blend 3 cups pumpkin with sugar, spices, eggs, and cream in a blender or with a hand mixer just until smooth (do not overblend! frothy pumpkin pie mixture will create problems).
- Bake in a 350°F oven for 30 min - 1 hour (depending on pie tin) or until a knife inserted into the center of the pie comes out clean.