- Dryland Corn and Elote Con CremaThursday, September 07, 2017
Four years ago I (Cynthia) was walking through the Durango Farmer’s Market to see what I could buy for the Grill to serve. I stopped at a booth that had a corn stock that was only 4 feet high but had these large, beautiful ears of corn jetting off the sides of it. This was my first introduction to dry land corn.
The producer of the corn, Candice Wood from Wood Family Farms, explained the principle behind dryland corn and after I tasted it, I was converted. Not only was the corn sweet and juicy, it had a much more “corny” flavor. This is due to the fact that dryland corn is just that, it is not irrigated. Its roots are forced to go deep into the soil in search of stored water for it to survive unlike irrigated corn whose roots stay closer to the surface because the water is readily available. As you can see in the two graphs below, the dryland corn root system (graph B) goes down to close to 6 feet where the irrigated corn’s roots (Graph A) are only 2-3 feet deep.
With the roots extending deeper into the soil, the dryland corn is absorbing more minerals from the soil and actually has access to more nitrates that leach below the root zone of irrigated seed corn. We have to know that drawing in more minerals not only adds to the flavor, but adds to the nutrient density as well.
Like any crop, the season doesn’t last forever and this year it was a little later than usual due to the cooler temperatures. We feel fortunate that Wood Family Farms sell their corn just with the James Ranch this year, so come buy some from our Market or get grilled corn on the cob from the Harvest Grill. Either way, it’s worth the trip!
Below is a recipe that uses fresh corn as well as summer squash which we are picking straight out of the market gardens right now.
1/4 cup butter
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
5 chile Poblano, roasted & peeled OR 7 peeled green chiles
4 cups corn (1 1/2 lbs. frozen or 5 ears shaved)
2-3 yellow, medium size summer squash, halved & sliced
¼ lb. James Ranch Young Belford cheese, cut in small cubes
1 tsp. of salt, or to taste
Thick sour cream
Melt butter and sauté onion & garlic until soft. Cut chiles into strips, add to onions, cook covered for 5-8 minutes (do not allow to brown). Add corn, squash, cheese and salt to chile mix. Cover tightly and cook over low heat 10-15 minutes until squash is just soft and cheese melted. Serve hot with sour cream.
- Farm To LunchboxWednesday, September 21, 2017Are there any other parents out there like me who groan internally with the thought of crafting a daily, nutritious, filling school lunch that your children will actually eat? I’m sure there are. I am deeply committed to feeding my family nutrient-dense foods from our farm as much as I can. So for this reason, I roll up my sleeves and do a little planning. At this time of year, there is such amazing, local food available that it is a natural fit to work some of it into your kids’ school lunch.
- Wasps Are Friends, Not The EnemyWednesday, September 02, 2017Since I have been actively working on the ranch the last few years, I have been paying attention to the wasp populations and actively encouraging their numbers by building housing and planting more and more bushes and plants with flowers to feed them. Beneficial wasps, both predatory and parasitoid, are another way we accomplish chemical-free, organic farming.
- It Takes A Village To Feed A VillageWednesday, August 10, 2017The families of the James Ranch provide a well-rounded variety of organically grown food products for the local community: 100% grass-fed beef, artisan raw milk cheeses, pastured pork and eggs, fresh produce and flowers, and our restaurant (Harvest Grill and Greens at the James Ranch Terraces). It's a family affair and we have a lot of moving parts that come together to offer our community the freshest, most nutrient-dense food in the Four Corners. We are also proud to carry products from other local farmers! We'd love to take a second to introduce to you the current lineup of farmers that we'll be supporting and carrying at James Ranch Market and Harvest Grill.