Monday, March 30, 2015

Harvest Newsletter

Greetings from the Garden!  This CSA box  has salad and braising greens, carrots, beets, celeriac, potato onions, potatoes, and parsnips

Field Notes.  The cooler weather continues.  This is not such a bad thing.  One of the worst year for apples was the one when we had 80 degrees in March.  Many plants got an early start, but were hit by frost after that heat wave.  So unlike many people who want early hot weather I prefer a gradual rise in temperature.  The wide swings in weather are difficult for the plants and animals.  And the farmers, too.

Ken continues to plant and monitor greenhouses.  We are just starting to harvest from the greenhouses.  Most years this begins much earlier in March.  Each season is different;and that not only keeps farming interesting, but also makes it nearly impossible to predict.  The current rapid and dramatic weather shifts add more challenges.  Ken contends that farming is all about working with the windows of opportunity.  At one point fields are wet, then they dry enough to work and more rain might force another wait to get into the field.  Working in wet soil squeezes the air and water out; this compacted soil and disrupts the microbial life in soil.

With spring the work load increases for our working animals.  Oscar has been busy pushing the yearlings searching for a new home - raccoons, skunks, bears, deer,  and any other animals looking to move here. Most mornings we can see Big Red's tracks from his rounds from house to sheds to garden and greenhouses.  The good news there is we have not seen the vole and mouse damage that we had last spring.

From the Kitchen.  Happy Easter week!  This is prime egg season, now is a good time to think about egg dishes.  We eat a lot of eggs - from omelettes and quiche to a souffle on my birthday to sponge cake.  And of course there are deviled eggs for potlucks and family get togethers.  

Two weeks ago Ken had pottery in an exhibition in Hammond, and we brought kim chi and deviled eggs.  I googled deviled eggs and used my version of Martha Stewart's recipe.  For half the yolk mixture I chopped and added some of Ken's pickled red peppers.  For the other half of the yolk mixture I added the trimmings of the onion crop - very like chives.  Here is a photo.

 Digging spring roots continues.  Here is a photo of parsnips that have been scrubbed, cut up, parboiled or steamed and cooked in a heavy skillet with butter to the caramelize stage.  A delicious spring treat!

Happy Easter from all of us!
 'Til Next Week, Judith

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