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Good Earth Summer Series

By Good Earth 24 May, 2017

I'm talking about y'all. And about me, for that matter.

I am new to Augusta. My family are part of the wave of military families flocking to Fort Gordon. I have two kids, a job, hobbies, interests, and no experience in a garden whatsoever.

When I arrived in Augusta last June, Georgia was experiencing a particularly hot summer. In fact, every person I met kindly pointed out that the summer of 2016 was exceptionally stifling. It was nice to know that I wasn't the only one suffering, but it did not make me want to venture outside much. 

My handy husband, on the other hand, found himself bit by the Pinterest bug. While I was alternating between AC and pool time, he went to work building me these pretty impressive raised garden beds .

By Good Earth 24 May, 2017
Add that to the list of things you never thought you'd say (but will).

I mean, come on. Who really pays attention to the quality of a baking potato? Potatoes just are what they are: brown, kind of lumpy, and really delicious with butter and salt. 

That's what you likely think until you talk to a potato farmer. "I had no idea there were different grades of potatoes," Good Earth owner Rick Catts admits, echoing what the rest of us are thinking. "The truth is, in the same way there are different types of apples, there are also different types of potatoes!"

Indeed, until you have tried a Pink Lady or a Honey Crisp apple, you may think that the Red Delicious  is the only (and therefore the best) apple on the stand. 

The Burbank baking potato is like the Honey Crisp of the potato family. It's flesh is more flavorful and buttery than any Idaho or Russet you'll ever bake. 
By Good Earth 12 May, 2017
I'm a big fan of anything that falls under the "fix it and forget it" category. Because the truth is, I usually do anyway.A busy mom of two, I basically have two treatments for vegetables: roasted or grilled. Recipes that involve both of these techniques tend to involve the same simple ingredients: vegetables, oil, salt and pepper. The prepping process, too, is minimal. 

Lend me your ears
It's now May, and corn on the cob season is underway. Corn on the cob as a side dish is the epitome of simple. Growing up I always had it boiled, rolled in butter, and generously coated in table salt. My mom had these corn holders that looked like little ears of corn, themselves, and they stuck out of either side of the cob so we could hold them without getting our fingers coated in butter. Funny: they never seemed to work that well, and I recall quite a bit of finger-licking occurring once the kernels were eaten.

Anyway... Now that I'm the mom, I don't have the time or patience that mine did to boil corn - let alone to shuck it. Enter: Good Earth.

Now, I have heard about grilling corn, but I hadn't even got on board. However today , because 1) the price was right, and 2) it's in season,  I grabbed a few ears of pre-shucked corn and a few still in the husk. (I also picked up zucchini and squash , portobello mushrooms, and a "broccoflower," because as long as the grill is on, I might as well toss on some extras veggies.)

By Good Earth 11 May, 2017
Zucchini is one of those vegetables that is easy to grow in a home garden, so everybody does. When summer rolls around, zucchini and squash are abundant and available at great prices at your local farmer's market. Suddenly, everyone's got tons of zucchini and only one or two ideas for how to transform it into something edible (think: zucchini bread). 

I love zucchini bread as much as the next person. After all, I have two children, and sometimes adding a vegetable to a baked treat might be the only way to get it past them at all. (Note to self: make zucchini bread)

The thing is, I just don't have time to bake right now. Still, I do have a food budget, and when zucchini is available at a bargain, I just can't pass it up. And because its cute little yellow squash cousin is almost always the same price - and it adds a splash of color - I'll grab a few of those as well. 
By Good Earth 29 Apr, 2017
Wait...is that a joke?

Okay, so tomatoes and mangoes aren't a classic duo, but they do have a few things in common: they are both fruits (yes, even you, tomato); they both taste great in salsa; and they are both essential to this unique recipe that was conceived by Good Earth's resident chef. Props to you, Carmen!

If you have not yet been bitten by the salty/sweet bug (think: salted caramel - or chocolate!), this recipe will bring you over to the dark side. Crispy phyllo shell cups, a bed of melted cheese - always a winner! - and a heaping helping of the aforementioned fruits, marinated in local honey. What more could you ask for? If you say "basil," then you are ready for the full recipe! 

Here it is, y'all!

Recipe:
Makes 15 cups
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 5 min

1 package mini fillo shells (we recommend Athens brand)
1 ripe mango, finely diced
1 lb heirloom tomatoes, finely diced
2 tbsp Byne Blueberry Farm local honey
1 lemon
4 oz Troyer mozzarella cheese, grated
8-10 basil leaves, julienned
kosher salt
pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

While oven is preheating, combine diced mango, tomatoes, honey, the juice of 1 lemon in a bowl. Allow ingredients to marinate and flavors to meld. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Once the filling is prepared, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place fillo cups on baking sheet and fill with 1 tsp grated mozzarella. Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes, until cups are crispy and cheese is melted. 

Remove cups from oven and allow them to cool slightly. Fill cooled fillo cups with tomato-mango filling. Top with a few strips of julienned basil.

Enjoy at room temperature!



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