Saturday, June 27, 2015

roasted Joi Choi/Chinese cabbage

The warm weather has really sped my garden along, and we have been enjoying Chinese cabbage for a while now, and Joi Choi has come along earlier than anticipated.  We've been trying out new recipes to use up all the wonderful greens and have recently tried roasting them like we would broccoli.  I wasn't sure how it would turn out - but it's really yummy and even better is that all four of us like it.

A. with Tender-heart Chinese Cabbage

Little J. holding the finished product

Can you believe that the entire cabbage fit on a regular plate once roasted?!?

You can make this with any Chinese cabbage, Bok/Joi Choi, or a combination of these

3 cups chopped cabbage or Joi Choi, or both
3 TBSP olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3/4 tsp. dried rosemary
salt and pepper, to taste

1) Preheat oven to 450 F.
2) Toss all ingredients together and put on a baking sheets.
3) Bake about 15 minutes or until the tops start browning.  You'll have some crisp pieces, and some juicy pieces. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

around the farm, week 25

sun dried laundry

Biscuit staying cool

acting innocent as if they didn't just spill Snow Bear's water

flowers blooming

chive seeds ready for harvesting

tomatoes ripening

looks like I interrupted a meeting

strutting her stuff

burgundy beans on the verge of producing

corn getting tall

Ithica lettuce in back, Tom Thumb lettuce in front

I may have planted too much celery - this bed is full, and two long rows as well

from left to right: potatoes, cabbage with radishes interspersed, white onions, choi, kohlrabi and red onions back of kholrabi

peaches coming along nicely

Monday, June 22, 2015

blueberry curd

I'm so surprised that blueberry season is already here. Everything seems to be coming on early with the hot weather so I'm a bit out of skelter with my usual stocking up rhythm!  I had been making rhubarb curd so I was already in a curd mood when I was pondering what to do some blueberries we picked.  This is rich and creamy, just like you would expect.  It doesn't have the bite of a citrus curd, but is very tasty!

Blueberry Curd

2 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup sugar
2 TBSP lemon juice
6 egg yolks - stirred
8 TBSP butter

1) Through a fine mesh strainer, strain yolks into a bowl.  This will remove any remaining egg white bits leaving you with a soft, creamy, lump-free curd.
2) In medium saucepan, bring blueberries and sugar to boil.  Turn off heat and let sit 5 minutes.
3) Again using a fine mesh strainer, strain berry mixture, collecting all liquid.  It helps to press on the mixture with a spoon to get the most you can out of it.
4) In medium saucepan, add strained blueberry mixture and butter.  Slowly stir in egg yolks.
5) Cook over medium heat and stir constantly until thick and coats the back of the spoon.
6) Cool, and store in fridge for up to a week, or freeze for later use.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

around the farm, week 24

I was watering my lovage when I discovered this cutie partially hidden under a leaf.

I pulled back the leaf to get a better look.  Isn't he pretty?!  I have no clue what kind of creature this caterpillar will become, but I hope it is as grand as he is right now.  I covered him back up in case he's susceptible to sunburn or snack-craving birds.

We've dug up a few rows of baby potatoes for this week's share, and  made some chips with ours.  Soooo good.

We've also been coming up with new ways to use all the greens and eggs coming our way.  Here is a veggie omelette covered in a dill yogurt sauce.

Totoro has turned into a killing machine.  She goes out in the morning to tackle the rodent world, and after bringing one or two dead creatures back (and into the house if she can), she enjoys lounging in her bed before heading out to continue the war.  

We've been very busy harvesting, planting, watering, weeding - rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat!  I can't believe how fast the heat is making everything grow!  It might be a great year for the heat loving plants.  I have muskmelon starts going, and I decided to take a chance and started some Sugar Baby Watermelons.  If the weather continues like it has been, this will end up being a good bet!

Monday, June 15, 2015

wood working class

A's wood shop class has come to an end, much to his disappointment.  It has been a great experience for him and has kindled a love of wood working.  He made many things, and in the process, I got thoroughly spoiled by gifts he brought home for me.

This is a cake stand that he surprised me with for Mother's Day.

Earlier for my birthday, he made me a new cutting board.

I love these items, and am continually charmed when I use them.

A. was quite prolific in wood shop.  He ended up bringing home many projects, and is eager to continue practicing over summer.  Big J. and I are slowing coming up with a plan on how to set up a wood working area for him. In the meantime, he's not deterred by the cramped quarters in the carport, and goes out almost daily to play with the multi-tool contraption Grandpa J. brought down for us.

He has lots of ideas of projects he wants to tackle, and I can't wait to see what he comes up with!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

around the farm, week 20, 21, 22.....23?!

Wow! Time is flying.  I knew it had been a bit since I updated my blog, but sheesh!  Here is a quick update on what's happening:

Remember this newly opened area?

It now looks like this:

Big J checked his garlic bed and feels the garlic will be ready in a week or so - can't wait!

I've been planting squash going down the hill south of the above garden and potato patches.  I think the baby fruits are too cute!!

Poppies have sprung up in the herb bed.  I love how colorful they are!

Lavender and Chive Blossom Flowers

It's been hot here.  I've been grooming Snow Bear and get about a small dog's worth of hair off of him every time.  Don't have anything for scale, but it's a good size clump.

Ducklings -
Besides what I hatched, we have no more ducklings.  I lost two nesting ladies to predators of some sort which was sad. The others faithfully stayed on their nests - until the eggs started stinking about 2 weeks after I thought the ducklings would hatch.  At this point they finally gave up, and we are back to square one.  I hope once they start laying again that I can collect and incubate the eggs and see if we can have a bit more luck growing the flock this summer.

Chickens -
Everyone is fine, although a few are a bit cranky seeing me work in the garden and not being allowed in to do taste testing.  Big J. (mostly) and I (casually) have been scything our hillside, and every morning I bring them a wheel barrel or two of fresh cut greens.  If that weren't enough, every weed I've been pulling from the gardens and every cutworm that has been exposed is brought to them. Apparently these culinary delights pale in comparison of dining amongst the broccoli and lettuce, and beaks are turned up in the air disdainfully at my meager offerings.

This will be my fourth week running my CSA!  I'm excited every week to see my awesome subscribers and share what's growing.  The heat is causing some things to be ready a lot sooner than I anticipated, while making other plants bolt before they're harvest-able size.  No worries - it's all great and I love the challenge/anticipation of it.

Cats -
Totoro and Biscuit have called a truce.  They grudgingly put up with each other now, and I'll take whatever progress I can get!

That's all I can think of for now.  Happy gardening!!