Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Harvest Newsletter

Greetings from the Garden!  This week's CSA box has greens, cabbage, onions and garlic, celery root, carrots, black radishes, beets, turnips, rutabaga, potatoes, the last of the winter tomatoes, and parsley 

Field Notes.  Spring seems to have arrived early!  The last two Saturdays have been great for maple sap collection, but this week is to warm and last week was too cold.  Optimum weather for maple season is a combination of warm, sunny days in the 40's and night time lows in the 20's.  

When that happens the sap rises during the day and falls at night.  Too cold and the sap stays in the tree's roots; too warm and the sap will stay up in the branches and the tree leaves will bud out.  We have to wait and see what we get for weather.

With this warm weather orchardists are afraid the trees will bud and possibly bloom so early they will be vulnerable to frost when and if it chills down. 

On a more positive note, Ken is out cutting some oaks that are shading the garden.  He has cut trees around them for decades, and now their time has come.  The wood will be used according to its size - the trunk should make lumber, some of the branches will heat our house and others will grow shiitake mushrooms.

And we have gotten the first goose egg of the season!  We sell them as we have them.  Let us know if you want some

From the Kitchen.  After we reduced the poultry population a couple weeks ago, we had a series of feasts!  There was roast bird with sauerkraut stuffing, sliced breast meat for sandwiches and meat from the simmered bones for soups.  We roasted vegetables with the meat - onions, carrots, potatoes and more.  Then there were soups - a beet and cabbage borscht with the stock and a vegetable soup with minced celery root, onion and garlic, rutabagas, carrots, potatoes and frozen peas.  We also have sprout salads with either grated roots or leaves from the salad or braising mix. Sometimes Ken has made pot pie!

I also have been cooking up the squash with small blemishes, and taking it off the skin and saving for a couple different dishes.  I prepare some with pecans or other nuts: toast the nuts in a small skillet, place on a cutting board and chop.  Heat some cooked squash with butter in the skillet and season with salt, pepper and a bit of nutmeg - or for variety a bit of curry.  Once you serve, top with the chopped nuts.

'Til March 23rd, Judith

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