Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Found Poetry April 27

Casey did this piece of art, poetry.  Reminds of rows in the garden...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What's going on at the farm?

I live the most incredible life.  For all that's wrong, for everything I fear, for all that I wish was different, I live a miracle everyday. 

My lovely spouse has given me a gift beyond measure, a life of farming.  Leo subsidizes the farm, because I have yet to ever make money at it.  The first year, 20 years ago that we farmed, we made $12,000.  That was both of us with a new born child.  I have yet to hit that amount ever again.  But money is not the only thing.  Every day I learn something new, and something old that was forgotten.  I have put my foot in a river that I can never stand in again.  At one time in my life I was a great knitter.  When I look at those things, I ask myself, "How did you do that?"  And frankly I don't know.  I think there's a spirit in everything you ever really try at that gives you a helping hand.
Tomatoes and Peppers

Today was an ordinary day,  I got up, I had coffee and toast, fed the ani-mules, planted peppers and okra.  So what makes this life special?  The quality of light in the morning, the light breeze in the afternoon.  The idea that if this row cover isn't working, maybe I could double it and make it work.  Did it work, don't know yet, but it might.    An afternoon e-mail from a farmer in Italy who would like to send me his heirloom bean seeds to conserve.  A thank you note from a farmer that I sent peppers to.  Another note from a fellow in Canada who wanted to know about starting corn in flats.  Our weather had been so cold, I had done some research and found a study by a farmer in Vermont that I was able to pass along.

I never get over the miracle of seeds.  You give them light and water, a little love and a little nutrients and they grow. 

There's a parable for life in there somewhere.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April 20- CSA - SCVWD

What's in the box?

Flowers, Meyer Lemons, Welsh onions, beets, carrots, The Student parsnips,  Artichokes, and Organic Range Fed Eggs.

These weeks gifts:  assorted jams, lemon muffins, lemon cupcakes.  I bet you were expecting lemonade!

I have lived a very full life, I have been henpecked, spurred on by roosters, buzzed by bees, been made the butt of a joke by a ram,  scratched by psychotic Siamese, nipped by Pekingese, wounded by my own pride, I have even showered with a hummingbird, but this is the topper.  All week there has been a robin...a crazy demented robin...flinging itself against the upstairs window.  He starts at o'dark thirty and continues till sundown.  I believe what we have here is a severe case of narcissism.  He's in love with the beautiful bird he sees in his reflection.    Yesterday I began to hope that he would stun himself, so that he would tumble from the air and the cats would eat him.  (No doubt in the living room).

M'ma Tutsi fearsome warrior princess lost a gopher in the house.  On Sunday morning I shook Leo and told him I heard something strange in the living room.  Without even opening his eyes, he said "that's a gopher, gnashing his teeth, it's okay, it's under the couch."  Then he rolled over and went back to sleep.  It was about 5:00 a.m.  Leo had previously gotten up and removed a bird from the living room.

It wouldn't be so bad if she didn't play with her food.  I mean, my mother never let me get away with playing with my food, and no, you could not hide snacks under the couch for later.  Above, Nanook practicing plausible culpability.  He knows nothing of mousies.

Coming soon:  Mare des Bois Strawberries and Fava Beans.

Meyer Lemon Muffins:
2 c. All purpose flour
3/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
3/4 c. sugar

Mix the above together.

1/2 c. butter
2 eggs
2/3 c. yogurt
6 T.  Meyer Lemon Marmalade
Cream these ingredients together and add dry ingredients.

Pour into muffin cups.

Take 4 T. of   Meyer Lemon Marmalade and 1/8 c. sugar. Microwave for one minute. Stir and put 1 tsp of marm/sugar mixture on top of each muffin.

Bake at 400 degrees 16-18 minutes.  I have exactly 4 jars of Meyer Lemon Marmalade left.  Anyone who wants to make this recipe again, send me an e-mail and I'll put one in your next box.

Pickled Beets

1 bunch of beets
1 c. sugar
1 c. cider vinegar
1 c. water
1 t. salt
2 T. Pickling Spice (in your box)*

Wash the beets, but do not trim them more than I have already.  Do not peel or chop or cut the root before cooking, or the beets will bleed.  Plunge them into a pan of boiling salted water, put the lid on and let them simmer away for 30 minutes.  Please don’t poke them.  You’ll make them bleed.  Pour the water off and let the beets cool.  Slip the skins off once the beets are cool enough to handle.  Slice the fatties and leave the little ones whole.

Place sugar, cider vinegar, salt, water and 2 T. Pickling Spice into a sauce pan.  Bring to a boil and let simmer about 10 minutes. 

Put the beets in a jar and add the vinegar.  Put them in the fridge and let them sit at least a week before tasting.  They keep about 6 months.

Wait!  Don’t throw out the pickle juice.  You can add hard boiled eggs to the juice.  Let them sit 2 days and eat them the third.  Purple eggs!

Wait!  Still don’t throw out that pickle juice.  Add 2 T. of the pickle juice, 1 T. Dijon mustard (or dry mustard) and 2 T. of any flavor Holly jam/jelly.  Shake it up and serve it on salad.   (And more)  Add some chopped olives to this same dressing and use it on a New Orleans Mufaletta Sandwich.

Don’t like pickled beets?  Wait for summer and use the same recipe for pickled green beans or pickled cukes or zukes.

Please return the spice jar when it’s empty.   I hope this tickles you pink, or pickles you pink.

*This is Frontier Organic pickling spice.  

Post harvest storage:  
Everything can go in the fridge, wash prior to use.

Please return boxes, bags and empty jars when you have them.  If you are new this week, welcome and if you have any questions, e-mail me.

Have a wonderful week.  See you in May.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Where's my CSA?

It looks like Spring
Day after day it just looks like Spring, but every night I get frost.  I'm itching to plant things.  So far I've lost a tray of broccoli, tomatillos, and a field of potatoes.  

Patience, patience counsels Leo, but I'm running out of patience.   Yikes, look what happened to the Concord Grapes!  Okay, I'll add a drop of patience.

Casey's Onions
Not all is lost though, the early onions, greens, and garlic all look great.  Which is great, because Casey has been worrying about "her" onions.  Since Casey planted this patch, it is now the official Casey onion patch.  The peas and favas are coming right along.  Some of our early plantings survived the deluge.  We are able to work the fields and are tilling and preparing fields.  The sprout house is full and ready to be set out, as soon as the frost gives up.  We had hail last week!  Hail! 

Casey without onions
Seeds just keep pouring in.  This week the heirloom bean seeds from a seed saver in Italy came.  Also some great squash from the Long Island Seed Project.  Carole Deppe has sent us her latest, Hanaan Pop Beans, which I can't wait to plant.   You put it in a frying pan and pot it like popcorn.  It tastes like a nut.  Cool beans!
Don't be fooled/Frost damage on grapes

Okay, I'm here, the seeds are here.  Where is the weather?  Or as Casey said,  "Dude, what did you do with my Spring?"

Lemon Extract
The wind has been fierce and I'm watering like a little rain cloud. 

In a few weeks everyone will get this Lemon Extract made from Meyer Lemons.  The recipe is from Eugenia Bone and her blog on the Denver Post.  The painting in the back is a new one from our son, Zack.  So Dude, if you have spring, send it our way.

If you are in the People and Planet delivery schedule, your next bag will be May 19.  If you are in the SCVWD delivery schedule, your next box will be May 25.  Of course, that's if we don't have a monsoon or snow flurries.