Waltzing through the watermelons

Steve planted the watermelon patch where the potatoes were hatched last year, and my oh! do we have melons! I made a test run of watermelon bread for the weekend market and will tweak the recipe in hopes of improvement for Wednesday’s sales.

Watermelon juice can be boiled down just like maple syrup or made into sugar! When Mountain Lake was being settled in the 1870′s there was a group of entrepreneurs in California who attempted this but the sugar cane industry had too much power (a dark history which still continues) and all such schemes failed. An outdoor fire with a large hubbly-bubbly kettle will inspire some sweet incantations – maybe next year.

Nathan has been tilling up new plots of land in order to prepare the soil a full year before planting the next crop. It is an exercise in patience! A four-year rotation, which includes a year of rest, makes for complicated planning. These plots need access to water – cistern, pond or city – which takes into account the expense of pumps and tubing. After a soil test is made, amendments are added to the soil and a cover crop is planted.

This week’s harvest should include: scarlet turnips, stir-fry mix, the last cucumbers, watermelon, carrots, red bell peppers, tomatoes, kale, Swiss chard, onions, and maybe some eggplant and herbs. Salad mix will be for sale along with potatoes, Hakurei turnips, hot peppers and raspberries. Wild plum jam and a hot pepper relish are new additions.