Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Harvest Newsletter

Greetings from the Garden!  The CSA boxes have lettuce and salad greens, cucumbers,  radishes, fennel, tomatoes,cucumbers,  green beans, Chinese or European cabbage, green or Walla Walla onions, carrots, garlic, and basil.

Field Notes.  Rain on Sunday and Monday was welcome - just under an inch..  Ken had planted late season crops and they are popping up.  And the fall crops that were transplanted earlier also needed rain; they perked up. 
What did not need rain was the onion crop, and when we heard the forecast we went out and Ken pulled the yellow storage onions and we got them on racks before the rain.  The red onions are still growing and we will pull them next root day - in about a week.

Ken has been working on an alternative irrigation system for the garden.  A couple years ago we had an irrigation pond dug near the garden.We have been using our drinking water well, but two years ago it began pumping air and we had to stop irrigating during a drought.  Now Ken has two options: - and with our uncertain weather that is a good thing!

The pigs are now in a lower part of the garden for renovation.  They are clearing out a portion of the garden that has become shady in August as the sun lowers in the sky and the surrounding oaks have grown taller.  The pigs will clear out underbrush and this will make it easier for Ken to take out the trees.  When he moved here Ken never imagined how much the trees would grow and shade areas of the growing space.

From the Kitchen.  Summer provides so many options for salads and fresh food.  About this time of year I am trying new ways to prepare old favorites.  One of my favorite late season green beans recipes is to heat a skillet add cooking fat or oil and add the green beans - As they toast add minced garlic and fresh ginger root.  Top with a splash of tamari or soy sauce before serving.

I like to make mayonnaise - not difficult.  Most recipes include a raw yolk or two beaten with a teaspoon powdered mustard, a pinch of powdered hot red pepper, a half teaspoon of honey, a quarter teaspoon salt, and a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar.  While beating constantly add by drizzle one cup of oil - olive, sesame or walnut are all nice.  At the end add one more tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar.  If raw eggs make you nervous, they can be pasteurized by placing in a spoon and dipping in 165 degree water for a minute..I make the egg whites into macaroons.

I use this mayonnaise for tomato sandwiches, in dressing for cucumber salads, and in cole slaw.  

For cole slaw, cut either Chinese or green salad cabbage into fine slices,  add some salt and turn and squeeze in a bowl.This sweetens the cabbage; Cut onion into fine slices. grated carrot and radish are also nice additions.  I drain the cabbage after about a half hour and add a dressing of mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, and pepper.  I usually leave out the salt as there is some left in the cabbage.  And I use the salt water I drained off in future cooking. - the next batch of pasta for example.

'Til Next Week, Judith

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