- 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.
- Soothing Violence by Joel SalatinWednesday, May 08, 2018Joel F. Salatin is an American farmer, lecturer, and author who is now the editor of The Stockman Grass Farmer magazine. The Stockman Grass Farmer brings its readers the latest information on high profit grassland ideas from all over the world; each month profiling leading farmers and ranchers with details as to how and why they are successful. Salatin and his extended family raise livestock using holistic methods of animal husbandry, free of potentially harmful chemicals, on his Polyface Farm in Swoope, Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley. He is a leader in the regenerative movement and a true mentor for hundreds of farmers and ranchers worldwide. This editorial from the May Stockman Grass Farmer speaks to our hearts as modern day grass farmers.
- Fresh Cut Flowers - A Tradition at the James RanchWednesday, February 08, 2018Fresh cut flowers have been a long-standing tradition at the Gardens at James Ranch. For over two decades Jenn and Joe Wheeling and their family have tended this wonderfully productive plot of land, supplying the Durango area not only with wonderful vegetables, but with gorgeous flowers as well. As the Wheelings move on to other pursuits, Mountain Belle Flower Farm is proud and delighted to be continuing this flower-growing legacy at the Gardens at James Ranch.
- Heather and Wayne Houk start ‘Tilted Earth Farm at James Ranch’Wednesday, February 08, 2018The 2018 growing season will be the first year that Heather and Wayne will be providing as much of the produce as possible for the James Ranch on the beautiful land that Jen and Joe Wheeling have cultivated for the past 18 years. They promise to grow the famous sugar snap peas that Jenn has shared with the community as well as a wide array of other veggies. The hope it to have almost all the lettuce, herbs, greens, carrots, beets, cucumbers, peppers, squash, onions, broccoli, pumpkins and so much more grown right here on the Ranch.
- Converting from Crazy - Ida, Ida IdahoWednesday, December 07, 2017With a new clue received from a local magazine picked up in Jackson Hole, the Stewarts are headed to Driggs, Idaho to meet a like-minded chef then head to Boise, which has been touted as a new foodie city, then up to Coeur d' Alene which is headquarters for Tractor Sodas, the Grill's new organic soft drinks.
- Converting from Crazy - The Denver/Boulder InspirationWednesday, November 17, 2017The Stewart's are on their epic research trip and stopping off first in Denver and Boulder. There are a lot of great restaurants in the area, but there are three that actually have their own farms/ranches that supply a majority of their ingredients just like the Harvest Grill. Their goal is to see the kitchens and meet with the chefs.
- Converting from Crazy - Wyoming, Detour to Utah and Back to WyomingWednesday, November 17, 2017Due to weather conditions in Jackson, the Stewarts headed a bit south to Utah and had a chance to do a meet and eat with at a restaurant that had one of their favorite kitchen layouts. They also surprised Sasha with a new addition to the family (four legged and furry).
- Converting from Crazy (The Stewart family’s quest for knowledge)Wednesday, November 16, 2017Cynthia and Robert decided to research their next adventuring into the restaurant world by taking a research trip in a motorhome to different restaurants around the western United States. Their goals are to see other kitchens, talk to chefs, understand the restaurant culture and learn how to recruit an employee team that will join in their dream of the ultimate farm-to-table dining experience.
- 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.