Tuesday, April 2, 2013

CSA Newsletter

Greetings from the snowy gardens!  This box has greens, carrots, potatoes, onions, shallots, celery root, and the last of the garlic and beets.

Field Notes.  Snow and cold - or should I say a normal winter.  After last year's days of eighty degrees in March this season's nights of single digits in March seem really cold.  

Although I hear many complaints, I prefer this season's weather for many reasons:
  • After drought, snow is moisture that often melts slowly enough to soak in and make a real difference in the water table
  • Snow acts as an insulating blanket, so usually snow means the frost has not gone so deep into the ground, and once snow melts the frost is out so we can get into the field.
  • Early heat often confuses plants so last year many bushes and trees bloomed early.  Once cold weather returned it nipped apples, plums, cherries, etc so less fruit at harvest.  Also greens like spinach and lettuce will bolt - send up seed heads.  That means the end of harvest.
Ken has tapped the maple trees, and as of this point the season has not really started.  Prime syrup season is warm, sunny wind - free days in the 40's with night time temperatures in the20's so the sap goes up and down the tree.  This week looks promising.  Last year's early heat also meant that the sap rose and the leaves budded out, so there was no sap to collect and boil down.  Fun fact: it takes about 40 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of syrup.

Ken has been planting and moving plants up to larger soil blocks.  During the cold nights in March he had fiber over the seedlings in the greenhouses.  This week he plans to move more out to make space for the heat mats and warm windows for the next batch of plants.  And he intends to transplant more in the greenhouses as well.

Goose and chicken eggs

From the Kitchen.  We have been eating eggs in many forms as this is egg season.  All the hens are in full production right now.  I brought deviled eggs to our Easter meal.  This year I added a bit of powdered ginger to the yolk mixture and got compliments.  I have also made a couple batches of custard, one sponge cake, and some pickled eggs.  

Pickled eggs are hard boiled eggs with shells removed that have been placed in a brine.  I usually do one of three favorite recipes: the first is a traditional pickle brine with some vinegar, mustard seeds, peppercorns, garlic and sliced ginger, the second is a brine with beet pickle juice added so the eggs are sweeter and the whites become an interesting shade of pink, and finally a tamari ginger recipe that is salty and the whites become tan.  I keep the eggs in jars in the refrigerator, and pull them out, slice them and add them to salads or just eat them plain.  
And Ken made me a birthday souffle a couple weeks ago.

We are still eating roasted vegetables with meat.  I pop the meat in the oven and clean onions, potatoes, and carrots and cut them in chunks and add them to the pan about an hour and a half at 325 or for less time if the meat is done and I can raise the oven temperature.  I stir every few minutes.

This is also a time to make fritatas with left over cooked potatoes.  Fritata recipes vary.  I usually saute onion, add beaten eggs and then cooked cubed potatoes and place in oven.  Some people also add greens and or cheese.

'Til Next Week, 

1 comment:

  1. What's up every one, here every one is sharing these know-how, thus it's good to read this
    website, and I used to pay a visit this blog all the time.

    Have a look at my blog - http://www.propertywide.co.uk/