Wednesday, July 27, 2011

July 28, People and Planet CSA & the Martins

Heirloom Italian Beans Exceeding their 7' Trellis

What's in the Box?
Green Beans -  Strangenbohn Ilanz or Cannellini.  Tomatoes - gold plum shape = Isis Candy,  Little Gold Cherries = Sungolds, the reds are PSR 37's our substitute for Early Girl, and the pink heart shaped tomatoes are Kosovos.  Trinity Sweet Corn, Paris Market Carrots,  Cukes - Poona Kheera, White Wonder & Delikatesse, Onions - Red Torpedo or Mill Creek, Cabbage - San Michele, Romanesco Zucchini, Yukon Gold or Dark Red Norlands, Early Tomatillos & a Bulgarian Pepper,  and flowers.

Mma Tutsi on Gopher Patrol
This week's special gifts:  Eggs, Strawberry Roll-ups and Mustard.

Bavarian Beer Mustard
Our friends at "We Love Olive Oil" in Paicines have developed an old family recipe into a mustard.  This week we are their guests to give it a try.  If you love it, you can order it for $3.75 a jar.  Let me know what you think of it.

Strawberry Roll-ups
As many of you know last year the dehydrator died.  It was very sad.  I have gone through 2 more.  Finally we are up and rolling.  Except I forgot to level the darn thing.  So, this week, the world's ugliest roll-ups.  Close your eyes and eat them quickly.

Beth's Party Marigolds
Green Beans
Cannellini beans are almost never available fresh.  They have a lovely beanie flavor.  This is the only week for them as I'm doing a seed increase so that we can have them as shelly beans and dried beans next year.  As always, the Swiss Stangenbohne Ilanz is a farm favorite.  In a week or two there will also be French Filets oh yes and more!

More Tomatoes
I'll take a picture of each kind and after this you can refer back to the main list to see what they heck they are.  There are 14 kinds of tomatoes this year.  Kosovo was brought back by a UN worker from Kosovo.  It's a very dark pink oxheart type.  These early ones are small, later they'll weigh a pound each.  Thanks to all of you for letting me know your favorites. 

Tomatillos - For those of you who can't remember what to do with these, see July 14, 2010 Blog.  Still the best tomatillo salsa we ever had.

Leo hiding in the Posole
Cabbage San Michele - This is an Italian Heirloom, very very good in a slaw.  So, you got cabbage, you got mustard - I suggest sausages on the BBQ.  Cabbage will remain fresh for many days in the fridge, so please eat corn.

Trinity Corn is the earliest corn we grow.  Of course, there's corn earlier, but it requires fungicide.  We don't do fungicide, as it's not good for the birds who are stealing our corn.  So, here it is July and you have the first corn.  The main season corn is Augusta.  I think it'll be here in a couple of weeks.  The Santa Domingo Posole looks good.  The posole is now 10' heading to 12' feet tall.  Even Leo's 6' legs can't keep up with this stuff.  I'll have to get a ladder to pick it.  Posole takes a heck of a lot of work to eat, but I promise you it's worth every second.  Also new this year we will have some corn for corn flour, corn meal and hopefully even polenta corn!

What's coming...melons, squash, and oh so much more.  Have a great week.

CSA - July 20, 2011 - SCVWD

What's in the Box
Tomatoes!  Yes, I know, they're small, but finally they are here!  Sungold Cherry Tomatoes, White Wonder Cukes; a few Poona Keera Cucumbers, Romanesco Zucchini, very early tomatillos, Yukon Gold Potatoes, Mill Creek Red Onions, Mara des Bois Strawberries, Trinity Sweet Corn, a few Santa Rosa Plums, and Paris Market Carrots.

This week's special gift:  Plum Jam and eggs.  I know, I said there would not be eggs, but the 4 blue house hens just decided to start laying again.  After they become broody, it always takes awhile for them to snap out of it

Mill Creek Onions
These onions bred by local nursery owners Joe and Wanda Turi, who have since died.  The were rescued by Ellen of Golden Rule Garden.   I don't know many places that are growing these yet.  I really like them.  We're doing a big onion trial here this fall, always on the look-out for good onions.

It won't be long before the leeks are ready and I see melons in your future.  Been a very very busy week here,  I think before long the Wednesday group is going to have to go every week.  Any objections?  Let me know.  This week we got a lucky break and got free compost from Zbest.  This compost will be used only on the hay crops, but the field has needed it for a long time.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Insert Bad Words Here

Wild Boar in Garden
What is this we are looking at?  Well this WAS green beans.  Next to it was the rice trial and the kenaf, next to that WAS peppers and eggplant.

Although we tried very hard, Leo and I were only able to save about half of these plants.  At this point I don't know if it was a solitary male or a female sounder group.  I just know that I'm hopping mad.  As if human thieves and gophers were not bad enough.  Don't even mention this to Leo, he's ready to set up the tent and sleep out there.  I don't like sleeping with pigs.

Wild boar are crepuscular or nocturnal, foraging in early morning and late afternoon or at night, but resting for periods during both night and day, they are omnivorous scavengers, eating almost anything they come across,  including apparently part of our CSA.  They are not even paid members.  They hit the farm last Thursday, while I was making dinner.

Personally I prefer my pig as sausage, bacon or ham.  And this one better hope that I don't ever see him again.  If I do, I plan to pretend I'm in Missouri, where hunters are asked to shoot on sight any boars they come across.  The only predators of the boar are bears, wolves and cougars.  So far I haven't seen any of these on the farm.   I keep hoping Joe will come with her bow and arrow and deliver us from this beastie.

Squash, melons and French Filet Beans
Evidence points to the boar coming out of the hills, and down the creek, coming up near the chickens, trampling new corn and then rooting through random crops, returning to the creek via a different path. 

What does this mean to you?  Well, some of the heirloom Italian beans are wiped out.  I will only have enough to save the seed and replant next year.  We will have fewer peppers and eggplant.  Not much I can do about it.  Those seeds were planted in January.  If they don't return, the French Filets are coming on and I have a wee patch of peppers in another secret and hidden location.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

People & Planet July 14, 2011

Sungold's coming soon
What's in the box:
Strawberries - Mara des Bois, cucumbers - white wonder,  Poona Keera, Delicatesse, Romanesco Zucchini or baby Delicata Squash, Kale - either Tuscan or Red Russian, Swiss Chard, Walla Walla or Mill Creek/red Onions, Yukon Gold Potatoes, Basil and flowers.  And Helen was the lucky winner of the first tomatoes of the season.  But don't worry, I think everyone will be getting tomatoes soon.

This week's special gift:  Eggs and June in a Jar.

June in a Jar
That would be strawberries, rhubarb and roses.  My sister says it's good on ice cream.  What do I know, I only have toast or pancakes.  I usually make this for my family that lives in the snow and send it out near the holidays.  Nothing like a little June in December.

This week is the last for kale.  Some where there's a kid yelling yeah!  The Swiss Chard is ugly, but 10,000 diabolical diabrotica can't be wrong.  The lettuce is pristine, and there's not a bug in 10 miles eating it.  It's sooo bitter.  Good thing the chickens like it. 

Corn coming soon
Always cut off the two ends of the cukes, that's where most bitterness is.  The Poona Keera is an Indian cucumber.  Cucumbers originated in India.   It's dark yellow to brown, the Delicatesse is white and green, and the White wonder is pale yellow.  Cukes are great in salads, salsa, relishes and drinks.

Agua de Pepino (Cucumber Limeade)

1 cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks
Juice of 2-3 limes
Sugar to taste (1/4 c or so is good)

Put cucumber, sugar and lime juice in blender with enough water to reach an inch and a half below the top. Blend well. Strain the pulp out of the mixture and serve over ice.

Couscous Salad

    2 cups good stock
    3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/4 teaspoon turmeric
    1 cup couscous
    1 medium carrot, cut into 1/4 inch dice
    1 small red onion, cut into 1/4 inch dice
    1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch dice
    1 small cucumber or zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch dice
    1 small Granny Smith apple, cut into 1/4 inch dice
    1/3 cup raisins
    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    In a heavy medium saucepan, whisk together the stock, cinnamon, ginger, cumin, and turmeric. Add the couscous in a slow steady stream, stirring constantly, and continue to boil, stirring, for 1 minute. Cover the pot tightly, remove from the heat and let stand for 15 minutes.

    Fluff the couscous grains with a fork, transfer to a large mixing bowl and let cool. Then fluff again, rubbing with your fingers to break up any lumps. Add the carrot, bell pepper, cucumber, onion, apple, currants and toss.

    In a small jar with a lid, shake the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil with the lemon juice, salt and pepper until well mixed. Pour over the salad and toss well. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or up to 3 days. Season with additional salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste before serving.

    With the cucumbers coming on I made both Bread and Butter and Dill Pickles.  If you have a preference, please e-mail me.  I would relish your input.  

    Coming soon:  corn, tomatoes, melons, green beans...oh, and if you got the baby delicatas, use them where ever you would use Zukes. 

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    July 13, 2011 CSA - SCVWD

    Beating the heat
    What's in the box? 
    Strawberries (please please please send me some plastic tubs to put berries in/write your name on the bottom!) Onions or garlic, last of the Red Russian Kale, Violetto Cauliflower, golden beets, (okay I ran out of beets - so someone got green beans), Parisian Market carrots, Romanesco zucchini, cucumbers, portulaca, potatoes and flowers. 

    This week's special gift:  Maraschino cherries.

    So what about Maraschino cherries?
    I love them, except for Leo won't let me buy them because they are full of things that you should never put in your mouth.  As a child, no summer was complete without Shirley Temples and Roy Rogers.  A Shirley Temple is 7-up with a Maraschino Cherry and a wee bit of the juice.  A Roy Rogers is the same thing with cola.  My aunts always made their own Maraschino Cherries.  So, of course, I had to make you try them too.  They are also good on upside down cakes and in some of those 50's cocktails: the Manhattan, the Old Fashioned, a Bourbon sour, and now for something completely modern:

    Violetto Cauliflower and mystery woman
    Safe Sex on the Beach:
    3 oz cranberry juice
    3 oz pineapple juice
    2 oz peach nectar
    1 maraschino cherry.

    Pour over ice in a chilled glass and stir. Garnish with a cherry.

    I knew that I could work sex into this blog if I tried really hard.

    Violetto Cauliflower
    It turns pale green when you cook it!  It's a mild and sweet Sicilian heirloom.  It's good raw too.  Purple is the original color of cauliflower and this one is sweeter than it's white cousins.  Because of its purple color it possesses a powerful antioxidant called Anthocyanin.  It can be prepared in a Vegetable curry with potatoes and onions or eaten raw, steamed with cheese sauce.  You knew there had to be cheese in there somewhere.

    Purslane contains more omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy vegetable plant. It also contains vitamins (mainly vitamin A, vitamin C, and some vitamin B and carotenoids), as well as dietary minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron.   It can be eaten as a leaf vegetable. It has a slightly sour and salty taste.   The stems, leaves and flower buds are all edible.  Purslane can be used fresh as a salad, stir-fried, or cooked like spinach, and because of its mucilaginous quality it is also suitable for soups and stews.  Greeks, who call it andrakla, fry the leaves and the stems with feta cheese, tomato, onion, garlic, oregano and olive oil.  We have ours in salad, with feta cheese!

    Haven't scratched yet
    On the chicken front:
    Dumb Cluck and Little Pecker have returned to the flock.  But we still have eggs that aren't fertile.  We put two new roosters in with the main flock and well, they have a few weeks to figure out what they are there for.  Here's Clipped Wing and her 4 newbies eating my beautiful lettuce.  The lettuce was too bitter for human consumption.  The chicks think it's grand.

    What's coming tomatoes and corn and of course more green beans.