Rhubarb

I yanked out some rhubarb stalks in the rain last evening to replenish the supply of rhubarb sauce. It is cooked with aronia berries or raspberries and even with cantaloupe and eaten with a dollop of yogurt on top of granola. Rhubarb  also makes a nice vinaigrette and chutney, which will be featured in a new Curried Turkey Wrap starting next week.

Rhubarb loves this kind of weather – cold and damp….not much else thrives. I literally have to put all my weight and strength into pulling out the rhubarb stalks. Quite amazing.

Our transplants are stuck indoors and are showing it. Here’s to sunshine and frolicking in the meadows!

I recently learned that to have a rhubarb, is to have an argument. It originated in baseball almost 80 years ago when a team manager had a face to face heated encounter with the umpire. I picture two grown men approaching each other with a rhubarb stalk in hand – touché! No, I suppose that is only in fencing.

This week’s farm share will include salad mix, spinach, a choice of: kale, asparagus or radishes and of course some rhubarb. Now is the time to happily munch on salads – as soon as it turns warm, those leafy greens will be done. We have vinaigrettes: Rhubarb Apple Raspberry and Citrus for sale. Sunshine will bring a larger selection of good eats…..

Wrapped up

After many extra calls requesting missing parts, Steve and Nathan managed to wrap up the Christmas damaged high tunnel. Neighbors and family were asked to come at odd hours to help lift up the side walls and pull the plastic roof over in the early hours of Monday morning. Halleluia! It held through the storm we had yesterday.

Loida and Nathan are now getting wrapped in hugs at the airport in Santa Cruz. Oh MY! I am trying to think happy thoughts. We were indeed blessed in so many ways.

Waddits keep finding their way through a fence that wraps around the newest brassica plot – grrrr.

I have been experimenting with wraps in the kitchen…wouldn’t you know. They will be added to the menu as soon as a round tuit is spotted. Most delish!

Farm shares will be getting an assortment of radishes, salad mix, spinach or arugula for the minis and rhubarb. Hail was spotty yesterday – whew! That would have wrapped up the season.

It is a new day and there is much to be grateful for – yes!

 

Turn, turned, turning

Steve was driving down our road yesterday and someone pulled over to the right and made a quick unexpected U-turn and they came face to face! That could have turned out badly and it would have been my turn to run this farm….

There is no clocking in and out of the work we have turned to in our ‘retirement’ years. It is overwhelming knowing that our main farming couple are to be turning their faces south, way south! Ooof, they will be missed. I turn inwards with sad thoughts and each one leads to many more. To cut that entanglement – there is the joy of each new day to consider. There is also rhubarb to harvest, bread and cookies to bake, rosemary cream sauce and mostarda to whip up, a plan review for my icycle tricycle to submit if I want to sell a carrot stick or two, a W-9 form to fill out so we can be paid, mow between the berries, gather my thoughts for the 3-6 grade tour tomorrow….so let’s go!

Our basement turned into a pond again this past week; there were even frogs swimming around – how did they get in here? It ends up that all the water west of us has to cycle through our basement….or something like that. I have lived in many ‘houseboats’. The hostel during high school had an open basement underneath that was always full of water since we were at sea level. With each rain, fish would come out of the gutters and klongs and I would toss them into the fish pond. Years later, our family hid out in the mountains of Pennsylvania in a cabin that had been built on top of a spring!

It turns out that this week’s shares should include: a salad mix, spinach, onions, rhubarb, asparagus, radishes and more. There isn’t a guarantee that every box gets all of the above due to a whole host of reasons. We do try our best to give our CSA members the best…..but weather, insects, seeds…etc play their part, too.

The redbud tree outside my window has been turning more colorful each passing day. I’ll take that for my lesson today….

 

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom

Well then, we have experienced a bit of each this past week. The whole saying “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these farmers from the swift completion of their appointed tasks” fits us to the pea. The greens were harvested on Saturday morning to beat the rain and snow – Yes! The high tunnel rebuild project is a bit on hold due to parts missing from the shipment that arrived on Thursday.

Fortunately, spinach and lettuce can freeze and thaw and not be the worse for it. Asparagus took a hit, both Farmer Charlie’s and our little patch will take a week to recuperate. Chives, lovage and rhubarb can still be harvested for the farm shares on the glorious day to come…Tuesday? There will also be onions and frozen items to fill in the gaps. Choices for minis: frozen beet pesto, caramelized onions or frozen tomatoes. For share members: frozen raspberries or a choice of 2 frozen veggies: corn (limited), carrots or the previously listed items – a mix n match! There will also be nettles for the brave cooks who don’t have a meadow for a backyard. I am going to tweak my nettle soup recipe to improve its presentation – samples for anyone who is interested.

I made a lovage pesto tonight to eat with Russian pancakes. It was a hit! 5 cups of lovage – not pressed down, grated zest and juice of a lemon, 1 garlic clove, 4 ounces walnuts, 1 cup Parmesan, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, 3 ounces neufchatel, salt to taste and enough olive oil to make it the consistency necessary. I put everything through the food processor.

Lovage can be used in place of celery but is more intense in flavor. The stems are hollow and make wonderful straws…try a tomato drink or a vegetable smoothie.

Rhubarb Vinaigrette is another good find: 1/2 cup rhubarb, 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup sugar, or to taste..I use less, chives, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/4 – 1/2 cup olive oil, black pepper and salt if you think it is necessary. Bring the rhubarb and water to a boil and simmer until soft. Turn off the heat and add the rest of the ingredients.

Ready to munch some good spring eats!

 

On the hunt for the wild things

They are coming! Have you seen their green crowns pushing through the leaf litter? Not the little people, though I once was in great expectation of meeting some. Ahh childhood, when everything was magical and if I quickly glanced sideways there might be a pair of eyes looking back.

This time around, the magic is in finding edible wild things: nettles, Solomon’s seal, curly dock, maybe ramps, violets, morels and so on. Huge patches of green leaves reaching for the sun. A gastronomical delight to find a morel. I hunt on foot and basically on Jubilee land that is free of sprays.

Our solitary high tunnel is trying to get up to speed with the salad mix but with the foggy-do days we’ve been having……The dismantled high tunnel is still in its rough shape since the big blow down Christmas night. The folks we ordered the new parts from are way behind schedule and we will be hurting.  Hmmm