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

 

Spring of our contentment

Hundreds of broccoli, kale, kohlrabi and cabbage seeds are to be gently placed in the center of soil blocks in the next couple of days. The greenhouse is to turn into a nursery that is carefully watched over since these little ones do not throw tantrums; things happen quietly.

The high tunnel that was blown apart was moved west to plot #7, in preparation for the big day when all the materials arrive in order to rebuild it. The radishes, and salad greens need about 2 more weeks in the other high tunnel before their harvest. Of course, that ALWAYS depends on the sun above.

We’ve cleaned out a garage and shed and organized the ‘worthy’ storage in other areas. Tractors and other motors are being repaired and prepped for spring.

Yep, it’s spring and the earth is showing it’s miracle of rebirth from what has been dormant throughout the long night of winter past. Most amazing! Our next farm dinner is scheduled for April 21, join us to celebrate Earth Day!

April is a hiccup month for CSA farm shares…..this is our last pickup day until May when spring shares begin. Jubilee Market & Peacemeals remains open for shoppers, good eats, dinners and classes. So…the final winter farm share box will contain: salad mix, frozen raspberries, onions, potatoes, jams/pickles/ frozen corn or carrots or rhubarb, frozen melon or tomatoes.

A hidden agenda

It should be a known fact by now that we have an agenda – be it in hiding or rooted in the ground in full sun. Hint: it has to do with caring for each other… growing creatively….and cultivating community.

It is spring and time to throw off the covers! Our three garlic beds, each 260 feet long, are now cleared of their winter quilts of hay and soaking in the sunshine. They are standing straight and green and will make for many pounds of garlic if all goes well.  Another allium family member is the onion…..which has been part of the farm share box each week since last summer. Whew!

Besides being great flavor additions to recipes, both garlic and onions have tremendous medicinal benefits. These include the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Without going into all the details, fresh onions and garlic are good things to include in meal preparation. Onions and garlic are best stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator. If they start to accumulate, they can be frozen, dried or pickled.

There is a molecule called allicin found in alliums (onions & garlic), which when in a trio, has been shown to produce a substance called ajoene which can be as potent as aspirin by preventing blood clots. Hmmm both of those names, allicin and ajoene, sound like names for a baby girl!

Farm shares will ENJOY more onions, a salad mix, frozen cantaloupe, jam or pickles, spinach and a choice of either tomato sauce or beet pesto (both with alliums)! Hey Ho!

May your days be full of sunshine and your dinner tables yielding good eats!

 

Brrr to grrrr

The thermometer has reached -9°F and amazingly….the spinach and lettuce in the high tunnel is standing straight and green! We hope to harvest greens from these beds in April. There was a point that we thought all might be lost but whoo whoo! we are still farmers – always looking for rainbows when the sun shines on dark times.

Fungus gnats have invaded our greenhouse and what a bother they have been! Their larvae munch on a young plant’s new roots deep in the soil. Nematodes are coming to the rescue via US mail. Tracking their trip, they have gotten as far as Lancaster, PA. Hmmmm The newcomers are rumored to love the taste of the ones chopping off all the roots. It’s a gruesome world out there, does survival comes to the ones with the biggest mouths?

Farm shares will receive a wonderful salad mix with micros this week along with a bags of spinach and/or kale. Onions, frozen: raspberries, carrots, rhubarb or corn will be the other choices.

Ready to munch good eats? Always!

Fire and wind

Oh I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen wind, and the sunny days, well, we have one today!

Beginning with fire – Steve was up most of Monday night getting our central boiler furnace going again. On a warm day, we let the fire go out since there is no need for more heat in the buildings. Then, of course, with freezing weather it is a struggle to build up the bed of coals in the reaction chamber which keeps the fire burning under the stacked logs. I am sleeping cozily in my bed all the while….

Wind? I picture a large, blustery, cloud-like face with balloon cheeks and pursed lips somewhere north of here that is blowing for all it is worth. Then the south wind takes a puff. What is wind exactly? Our greenhouse has roof vents to let out the heated air on sunny days, but in extreme southern wind conditions these vents are kept closed so they are not ripped off by the forces outside. We work out a different circuitous method to cool the building down…using the climate battery and a few open windows.

In the meantime, our remaining high tunnel takes a beating and we are hoping that the equipment to rebuild the other wind-torn high tunnel arrives on the next sunny day without thoughts of fire or wind!

Farm share mini members will enjoy a box of: spinach, a large salad mix, the last cabbage, the last carrots, onions and potatoes – the larger boxes can choose:  frozen tomatoes or cantaloupe and dried Jubilee garlic powder.

Hey Ho, a free cookie to anyone who can recite the poem: The Moon’s the North Wind’s Cookie” which is the first line, so that is 1/8 of the way to a bite!