Vinaigrettes

A new vinaigrette, Maple Squash, has joined the team of Raspberry Apple, Italian and Rhubarb. It is starting to sound like a law firm. Steve, ever the farmer, pointed out that their colors represent two opposing camps: the John Deere vs the International Harvester. Hmmm

A vinaigrette is a mixture of two ingredients that repel each other: oil and vinegar. Only one or the other on a salad makes for interesting results: dressed with oil, leaves wilt due to the oil penetrating the waxy protective cuticle of the leaf or with vinegar the whole business slides off the leaf and gathers at the bottom of the bowl. An emulsifier or surfactant brings the two sides together for each mouthful to get the full flavor. Honey, mustard or egg yolks act as the go-betweens, the ingredient that keeps the vinegar and oil in a mixed solution.

There is an oil to vinegar ratio deemed perfect by somebody, which I tweak to reduce the oil content to varying degrees of perfection. There are now four equity partners in the vinaigrette firm……..which one is the best?

Farm share members should receive a little handful of cherry radishes, Acorn squash, kohlrabi, onions or winter radish, Brussels Sprouts, carrots or beets, potatoes, pac choi, a small bag of greens and a choice of a vinaigrette. Yumm

When I grow up, I want to be a surfactant….to bring opposing sides together…….

Parsing the parsnip

Parsnips are the new addition this week, they are a paler cousin to the carrot. Once upon a time, in the mountains of Afghanistan, the original carrot was purple to yellow in color. It’s cultivation spread from the highest peaks to the low countries where the yellow cultivars were selected to give us the orange carrot – a political move with nutritional consequences. Hmmm

Back to the parsnip – it remains the same color. It has a similar tendency as carrots to become sweeter in adversity – wouldn’t our world be a better place if we all chose that path…? We who call the northlands our home……have some sweetening up to do!

Parsnips had a royal past, Emperor Tiberius accepted parsnips as part of the German tribute to Rome, they were used as a source of sweetening. Can you imagine? Where would we be now, if we had chosen to become more caring during the hard times rather than causing adversity in search of sweetness?

This week the cousins: Carrots & Parsnips are to be chosen as well as Brussels Sprouts, Delicata squash, Beets, Sweet potatoes, Onions, Garlic, Winter radishes and Pac choi. Cloud cover is highest this time of year….thus the salad greens poke along.

Long time passing

Where have all the flowers (and the insects) gone? Long time passing……..

Music has inspired me through all the stiff currents and storms of life. I continually have the sound of crickets in my ears, even as I sit here, due to placing phonograph speakers on either side of my head during my high school years to blast out the chaos around me. Hmmmm

An article in the Washington Post describes some major changes in the insect world from those long ago teenage days to now  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/buzz-off-german-study-finds-dramatic-insect-decline/2017/10/19/6a087d40-b4c8-11e7-9b93-b97043e57a22_story.html?utm_term=.3f67b6a0add7

It becomes a bit of a challenge when living in this part of the world to give voice to a word of caution as to how we control the “pests” in our yards, farms and homes. What if future generations had as much authority around the table as the living representatives? Where are the safe havens for balance? No answer is expected, I just wish we could ponder together, learn from our mistakes and come up with a better map to guide us.

Folks that purchase Jubilee produce or a sandwich from Peacemeals, whether they realize it or not, get to partake in a panoply of real food that has been handled with utmost concern for the environment and each individual’s health. It is an interesting mix, that……

The real eats for farm share members this week will include cabbage (400 heads to go), salad mix, radishes OR broccoli, Acorn squash, Pac Choi, carrots, beets, kohlrabi, potatoes and kale.

Be Glorious

The trees out my window are glorious shades of reds and oranges against an endless blue sky! The last dance is imminent when a poof of wind shakes the leaf petiole for the final graceful twirling to earth. A squirrel house of leaves is in the tipmost branches – what a glorious view that must be….except I would hope it is well insulated for the North Wind’s howl – no poof there.

It has been a spectacular day for harvesting crops: head lettuce, Mizuna, winter radishes and brusselini, all for farm share members on the morrow. A glorious mix of salad greens was harvested, bagged, put out for sale and sold by mid afternoon. Members will each get salad mix since I kept a bunch hidden.

There is an impressive pile or rather a mountain of winter squash in our garage that needs to wend its’ way down to the basement to settle on wire storage racks. The Acorns, Delicatas, Buttercups, Butternuts, Kabochas and Sweet Meats are an awesome array of flavor choices. Last year’s crop failure to this year’s abundance is quite the leap!

Farm share members will all receive red head lettuce, Asian greens, salad mix, acorn squash, sweet peppers, potatoes, brusselini, garlic and green onions. There will be choices for kohlrabi, carrots, beets and tomatoes. Fresh Tomato Dill Bread for sale.

Choose to be glorious – hey ho!

Sanctuary

A friend walked into the market yesterday asking forgiveness for having brought forbidden fruit onto our premises. Hmmm  Everything was bagged and locked in his car. Sanctuary was given freely but quarantined at the house.

Our farm seems to be a sanctuary for creatures small and great, though I would like the greater ones to continue keeping their distance!  Over the 25 years we have enjoyed this spot of earth, it seems that all livable space is now occupied. I do get grumpy when a whole crop of French Breakfast Radishes are consumed overnight or when cabbage loopers spoil a crop of brassicas. We try and handle those situations in the least harmful manner: a row cover or Bacillus thuringiensis,  Bt can be sprayed on leaves for the loopers to munch which will give them a belly ache.

Weeds? They are hoed, hoed and hoed rather than options that lead down another path of serious concern to this refuge. The previous owners had sprayed around each tree to prevent grass from growing near the trunk. After we arrived, it took at least 15 years for something green to germinate in those areas. Hmmmm

Ho HO HO! We are always chipper…… As to farm shares there should be Broccoli, Garlic, Beets or Carrots to choose from and then: Sweet Peppers, Parsley, Pac Choi, Salad mix or Romaine head lettuce, tomatoes, leeks and small kohlrabi to fill the boxes.