Field Notes. We are so grateful for the rain on Tuesday (and so are the plants). We watched the water levels of the irrigation ponds drop, rain barrels become empty, and wondered how long it would be. Ken has read that the first rain brings not only water, but the droplets surround particles in the atmosphere and bring nutrients with them. Because of this it is really important to keep soil ready to absorb that first rain. Ken keeps the soil cultivated so it is not hard and crusty. This helps. And the rain Tuesday started slowly, so the moisture could soak into the soil rather than running off.
Ken has been mowing and weeding and cultivating. He is less inclined to mow everything and trim edges as years ago when he did that the cucumber beetles, having lost their habitat in the tall grass outside the field, moved into the crops! HE has also worked to leave some blooming plants for the bees . During the hot summer days he works outside early and late. During the heat of the day he finds either jobs in the shade or those that require a slower pace.
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From the Kitchen. Enjoy the asparagus as we are at the end of the season. The plants need to grow and save energy for next year's harvest. Asparagus looks like tall ferns once Ken stops harvesting. We have been adding asparagus to pasta salads, served as a cold salad with Asian dressing, and I actually cooked some in a hot heavy cast iron skillet in bacon fat. It was delicious.
Last week a woman bought a large quantity of garlic scapes to make pesto - what a great idea. Her green garlic pesto would be a great addition to sauces, chicken, pasta. I have been mincing and adding scapes to salad dressing and I added sliced scapes to chicken breasts with Ken's Asian plum sauce.
Our summer cabbage should have a different name. When one says cabbage, most people think of a big light colored dense head that is best used for sauerkraut. This early season cabbage has a mild, green flavor. Summer cabbage is GREAT in salads, slaw or cut into quarters lengthwise and lightly steamed. Ken adds butter or umeboshi paste - a pickled plum sauce available at natural food stores.
'Til Next Week - or better yet see you Sunday for the Farm Tour,