Tuesday, September 4, 2012

CSA Newsletter

Mowing the fence line in the field
Greetings from the Garden!  This box has tomatoes, corn, peppers, eggplant, cucumber, green onions, beans, basil, melon, the last of the zucchini, and the first of a new crop of kohlrabi.

Egg mobile
Field Notes.  Now that the new eggmobile is in place, Ken has been catching up - first in the garden and now in the field.  In the garden he has been making room for more fall plantings.

With the dry weather we have decided to move forward with making the irrigation pond by the mobile tunnel deeper; the water level is currently too low for irrigation.  And we will be working on an irrigation pond for the garden - we currently use well water.  With the dramatic shifts in weather, we feel it best to prepare for the worst.  Once we complete these two projects, heavy rain can be held for later use during dry periods.  These infrastructures mean hiring heavy equipment, but we believe the cost is worth it.

Smaller cockerels
The soil is still dry.  Very dry.  This creates stress on plants.  The current bean crop is just too dry to continue to produce. More will be coming.  They are blooming now.  Many root crops are small.  Leaves look limp midday.  We wish for rain - a nice slow drizzle that soaks in.  Farmer friends just posted photos of hail.  Hail does so much damage in such a short time.

From the Kitchen.  This week has seen lots of chicken recipes after we butchered seventeen cockerels - young roosters.  They reach an age when they fight and harass the hens.  Of the forty some we moved from down by the mobile high tunnel, 17 were large enough to butcher.  The rest remain by the garden.  And without the hens they seem much quieter - hmmm. 

Stock with Ken's pickles and the dehydrator in the background
So first a roasted chicken with roasted onions, beets and carrots.  Then after cutting the meat from the carcass, I boil the bones one hour, pick the meat off the bones, and return them to the stock to simmer until they soften so the cartilage and marrow have gone into the stock.  Next I drain the stock through cheesecloth and cool the stock so I can skim the fat.  Then I heat the clear stock and can most of it in either pint or quart canning jars in the pressure canner.

Then with some of the stock we have stews and soups with green onions, red peppers, and cabbage or broccoli.  Sometimes with curries,  sometimes with chipotle and paprika.  I have served them with rice.  and I made some cold salads with chicken, vegetables, and cous cous or quinoa or bulgur wheat.  These grains seem lighter weight, and so we usually have them at supper so Ken does not run out of steam mid afternoon.

Pullet egg on left
With the egg mobile's small pullet eggs, we have had omelettes in the morning - sauteed onion, red peppers, sometimes zucchini. 

Enjoy the corn - we are heading to the end.  It has been a good run!

Ken moving the egg mobile
'Til Next Week!

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