Come to the table

It’s out – finally … Peacemeals’ winter menu, that is. Soups, salads and sandwiches along with changes in the pizza department:  Nutty Apple, Sausage & Sauerkraut, Fall Vegetable, Beet Pesto with Walnuts and the usual Say “Cheese”. The idea is to highlight Jubilee produce that has overflowing flavor and is “good for what ails you”, another saying from my flamboyant youth.

I am inspired with gatherings around a humble table that bring repose to the stress and violence of the world. That is Peacemeals to me. Maybe there needs to be a U. S Diplomat of Gastrodiplomacy, now there is a thought!

A somewhat humble gathering around some larger tables is to occur this Sunday, the 11th from 2-4 pm at the Mountain Lake Community Center. Y’all come! Peacemeals is to be serving up sandwiches and veggies. The cake and coffee duo will also be set. It is to be the final occasion to take the last walk about with Dr. Harder as he hangs up his stethoscope to take on messier work in boots and overalls and be a full-time FARMER!

Farm shares this week should include acorn squash, radishes, onions, Cascade potatoes, carrots, parsnips and Farmer Charlie’s Covington Sweet Potatoes. Choices for salad mix or kalettes or Brussels sprouts as supplies last, choices for parsley or garlic greens and choices for frozen Jubilee sweet corn or green beans.




If you give a mouse a hole

My oh my oh – here’s the catch, where there isn’t a hole, a mouse can appear! There is but a quarter inch of space between the cupboard door and the ledge – imagine being that flexible! I finally got him with a piece of potato – whew! I think our furry friends thought we had the welcome mat out since a screen from our root cellar air intake had fallen down like a ramp into the hostas. Haha

A muskrat home is now taking up prime real estate in our retainment pond. Yay! How did it end up as our neighbor without a sign or star for guidance? There are highways in all directions. The newly erected reed house is a cheery sight from the veggie sink in Peacemeals, especially with a frosting of snow. In his youth, Steve and his cousins loved to skate in the sloughs, using the muskrat mounded homes to change their footwear. That makes for a sweet mind’s eye picture. Now, where are the sloughs, the muskrats and the children?

Put out the welcome mat with our good eats! Farm shares should include a small bag of salad mix, delicata squash, leeks, radishes, onions, potatoes, cabbage, garlic, kohlrabi and carrots. And of course, it is all for sale along with baked goods, groceries, hand-crafted items from the DAC (Developmental Achievement Center), dairy items etc.




How much wood

My father and grandfather before him, had all sorts of ditties, prose or poems that would rise to the surface in all occasions and give voice. So… much wood would a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood? My personal lumberjack figured that he and his son have 32 cords of wood ready for the furnace. We appreciate it when farmers choose to bring their downed trees to us instead of burning them. Bob Ewert hauled in trailer loads of huge logs and let us use his splitter until we were able to purchase our own! Whoo whoo!

Math, is not my forte, but more my pianississimo – haha. Shhhhh – a cord of wood weighs about 2 tons so we have….64 tons and the lumberjacks have muscles to prove it! The furnace is very efficient in its heating process and we can watch its ebb and flow via its website and know when to fly out of bed to throw in more wood (not me…).

Hot water at 180°F from the outdoor furnace provides the back up heat in the greenhouse when the climate battery can’t keep up, at least that is what is suppose to happen. Our salad mix is a grand mixture of micro-greens at their peak of nutrition and other greens harvested in the greenhouse. It is a tedious job behind the scenes to harvest, wash and bag the mix. With each mouthful of goodness, there are many people to be grateful for as well as the One who set all of this in motion.

The other good eats in the farm shares should include: Farmer Charlies’s sweet potatoes, bok choi, brussellini, celery, acorn squash, carrots, parsnips, leeks, onions, radishes and Brussels sprouts.

Oh, and the answer is 700 pounds, if he or she could chuck wood, which is from someone at Cornell University in the town of my birth.

A radish named Nero

One can get lost in Roman history of the emperors – such shenanigans that have been oft repeated throughout the centuries. Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus was a cruel Roman Emperor, having murdered and burned his way into history. I prefer not to recount all the horrors here since the objective is to meet a new Black Spanish radish: Nero Tondo.

These radishes have a rough textured black skin which can be peeled. Baking or roasting the Nero Tondos reduces the spiciness. Peel and slice thin, pour olive oil and balsamic vinegar to coat, sprinkle with salt, pepper and other spices if you like. Roast in a hot oven until chippy and they have crisp edges, about 40 minutes.

Joining Nero in the farm shares will be: a salad mix, brusselini, bok choi, romaine lettuce, acorn squash, potatoes, carrots, leeks, onions, giant red mustard and kohlrabi. There are also many other good eats for sale: Brussels sprouts (the last) cabbage, beets (our last) and of course much more. Additional sweet potatoes from Farmer Charlie are due in any day.

I am no president but more like Yertle the Turtle who did aspire to be in lofty places, but a poor little chap had a burp – and thus the story rights itself – and I am back where I belong.




Sweet in tough times

Carrots and other cold hearty vegetables protect themselves by turning their starch stores into sugar. Sugar water freezes at a lower temperature, thus keeping the water in the cells from bursting their cell walls. Hmmmm I think my goal is to become sweeter in challenging times….like now. Would eating more carrots help?

We have normally been able to keep our beds of carrots under cover in the high tunnels long into the cold part of the year. This year, with the warmth, carrots keep growing rather than being in the storage frame of mind, getting larger than what is preferable. Our cooler is filling up with towering totes of cold hearty sweet veggies.

Raspberries continue to ripen; are they cold hardy or just well protected under their leaf cover?  Two lucky shoppers got a fresh Jubilee half pint of raspberries – whoo whoo!

Joining the carrots in the farm share box will be: red and white onions, Acorn squash, Brussels sprouts, Nero tondo & Daikon radishes, beets, kohlrabi, salad mix,  parsley & arugula.