Well, it's that time again. No, not Aliens invading the planet for the second time (though Hollywood apparently is 'in the know' in that category!), but rather for BBQ's, fireworks and celebrating this amazing experiment in democracy that turns 240 years old this Monday, July 4th. We first and foremost hope you all have the opportunity to rest, relax, eat good food, feel thankful for what we have accomplished, and ponder how we can continue to do better as a nation. Perhaps that last bit is the most timely of all questions this 4th of July.
A Report From the Fields:
So you all remember how last week we mentioned that June for a farmer using organic practices is summed up in 1 word, (hint, weeds). Well that reality continues to dominate our agenda, though we are feeling the flow starting to switch gears ever so slightly. We are moving into planning phase for our on-farm Grand Fiesta happening at the end of August (Saturday, August 27th, 2-7pm), beginning our design and preparation for a wood-fired cob pizza oven (hopefully to be up and running for the Grand Fiesta) and construction of a cob stable which will house our overwintering hogs and chickens. What is cob you ask? Well, that is a traditional building material made out of clay, sand and straw. It's easy to work with, easily sourced materials, and well, fun!! More to come as both of those projects continue to develop.
The other element on the farm we are most keeping our eye on is moisture. For the month of June we are looking to finish at about 1/3 our monthly average. And that's after May finished up with less than half of our monthly average. While we do have irrigation set-up for our vegetables, this definitely puts a lot of stress on our pastures and our goals of improving the soils. As mentioned last week, soil micro-organisms are key to developing a healthy soil, and under dry conditions these dessicated little critters either enter into stasis, or die. We even had a chicken slaughter yesterday in hopes of sparking a good rainfall.. kidding.. well, kind of.
It's Cooking Time..
Okay, let's talk food!
In honor of the 4th of July, we will focus this weeks recipe section on grilling foods! And we have a couple of specials treats in mind this week. In this share, there are 3 different crops that are excellent on the grill, and sure to wow. Spring Onions, Garlic Scapes and Kale (yes, kale is AMAZING grilled).
Now, many of you are likely wondering what a garlic scape is. Well, it is the unopened flower and stem of a garlic plant, and it is sometimes referred to as a garlic whistle. (They actually look a lot like pig tails!) They are an ephemeral delicacy, tasting mildly of garlic, and they are.. amazing. Grill this little treat up on medium heat, either directly on the grill or in a bit of tin foil with olive oil, salt and pepper and serve up as some finger food appetizers. Next year we will have a much larger garlic planting and we hope to get some garlic whistle addictions started.
Now,onto the main course, grilled kale. Again, we will have 3 different types of kale available, and any of them will work for grilling, though the Dinosaur Kale seems to work the best, followed second by Curly Leaf Kale.
The process is simple:
Kale marinade 1: (don't throw this out after!! use this marinade in another dish)
Kale Marinade 2:
Kale Marinade 3:
and once again... bon apetit!