Greetings from the Garden! This week's CSA box has lettuce, Chinese cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant or zucchini, onions, basil, celery, potatoes and the first sweet corn.
Field Notes. Ken has focused on clearing space for late plantings, planting, cultivating and green manures. Whew! He works long hours with a break mid day when it is hot. Last week's heat placed stress on some crops. Lettuce, which likes cool weather bolted. Bolting is when a plant prematurely starts to go into seed production. In the case of lettuce that means some varieties become bitter and must go to either the chickens or pigs.
Some crops require heat. This week we have the first of the sweet corn. Peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, and tomatoes are setting fruit. Some varieties have crested the wave. Most crops are like a wave; they start slowly, crest, and then each picking is less. We have to balance when they are no longer productive enough to warrant the space.
This has been a busy week in the kitchen as we are preserving some of the surplus for later use. Ken has done some tomatoes, I have made some applesauce and apple juice, and tried my first tomato paste. Some people love the art and skill of home food preservation. It is a satisfying endeavor to use and save and know just what is in our food. Each year someone tells me how cheap something - like tomato sauce - is at the store. I balance the knowledge of all the nutrients in our soil and in our food and the lack of additives. And I just prefer the flavor. I don't think of myself as a great cook, but rather a person with access to great food.
Now is the time to preserve the summer's bounty.
From the Kitchen. Preserving food is the focus here. Even though it was hot we had the stove going. As mentioned above, I canned the last of the yellow transparent apples as applesauce. And tomatoes and chestnut crab apples in the form of juice. My first try at tomato paste was a success.
Ken found a recipe for chocolate zucchini cake in a Penzy's catalog, and since it was cooler this morning he decided to go for it!
'Til Next Week, Judith