It’s a Leek!

Leeks have sprouted and thus begins a new season! It isn’t quite like a birth of a baby in a family. Now that is a thought – what are the differences between Allium ampeloprasums and Homo sapiens? After a leek seed sprouts it takes in the necessary nutrients until it is harvested; it is more or less on autopilot, fulfilling it’s genetic place on this planet. Now a “wise man”, at the other end of the spectrum, may begin that way, but something happens fairly soon after the body is upright and is able to traipse around. In our “wisdom” we think it is normal to consume more than our needs. Would it not be a surprise to wake up one morning to find a group of leeks commandeering the whole tray for themselves? Maybe we need to eat our humble pie and learn from the stalwart leek how to live in a global community.

The high tunnel on plot 3 is planted out into greens, onions and carrots. It will move onto plot 4 to thaw out the soil sometime in March, depending on the weather. We expanded to having a spring share in May this year and hope to impress all the new members! Excitement along with a healthy amount of trepidation is my take for what the future holds in store.

The plantings under the quick hoops are frozen to the ground. Is there life under there?

Our front yard has taken on a new look with the removal of 4 large trees. With open space we hope to plant trees and shrubs that provide fruit as well as trying out a “three sisters garden” with corn, beans and squash growing in a lush profusion. A soil test indicated that there is adequate nutrition for something food worthy, so why not? It would be a good thing to have a neglected lawn mower. The challenge is to plan for beauty. At the moment it looks like devastation hit, but given time, the beholder – you! – might give us some thoughts.

Please take note that our summer shares have a reduced price until the end of February. We need to plan now what to plant for summer harvests. For those interested, download the registration form.

Butchering the Boston marrow

We think it is time to have a party, to celebrate the gift of another year of working in God’s good earth!

It is amazing to ponder how brain cells must stretch and connect when learning new things especially in mine – haha. The past year’s challenges: working long hours, grasshoppers eating all things green; the drought’s affect on lettuces, carrots and spinach; intense heat slowing tomato production, the entire insect world having hors d’oeuvres with our Asian greens – oh my goodness! When trying to work with nature instead of against it, deep considerations are necessary rather than simply pulling out the nearest chemical spray to feel in control.

Back to the fiesta – we are inviting our CSA members, past and present, to a “Coming up Squash” Saturday, October 22, 2-5 p.m. It is also National FFA and MLEA week, which is fitting. I plan to have all sorts of foods to sample that have squash as an ingredient. For the few that don’t like the word “squash” – come anyway, you might be surprised. There will also be some activities for the young at heart.

This week on Thursday is our “Walk and Talk” field day from 1-3 p.m. We will be giving a tour of all our doings with homemade bread and raspberry jam for snack.

The harvest this week should include: Brussels sprouts, honey crisp apples, leeks, broccoli, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuces, carrots, potatoes, onions, sweet peppers, Asian greens, kale and cilantro.

Unfamiliar with leeks? Here is a dish, Colcannon (gussied up mashed potatoes) originating in Scotland and Ireland, traditionally eaten this time of year and symbols of fortune are added to the mound: a ring – you will marry within the year, a sixpence – you will become wealthy, a thimble or a button – you will remain single. Don’t break any teeth! Recipe is from “The Victory Garden Cookbook”.

1 lb kale finely chopped
1 1/2 lbs potatoes
4 Tb oil or butter
1 Cup leeks, finely chopped
salt and pepper
1/2 cup onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup milk

Boil potatoes (I like to keep the skins on). Heat a little oil and gently stew leeks and kale ~10 minutes until tender. Brown onions in remaining oil. When potatoes are tender, drain and mash, whip in the kale and leek mixture and 1 teaspoon salt. Heat milk and gradually beat it in until smooth. Mound in a hot dish. Make a depression in the center and pour the browned onions in the well until they pour over the side.