“I was traveling last week and came back to find the farm subtly changed, having made the shift into post-solstice maturity. More yellows among the greens now, more grasses headed out with seed. Fat crickets, too, and swarms of flies that bother the cows and horses. In the field, things are ripe and begging to be picked: luscious raspberries, the last of the sugar snap peas, and the first slicing tomatoes. The garlic is beginning to set, the wheat is heavy and turning brown. We cut a few acres of hay this week, between showers; still waiting for that good clear window that we know will come.
Right now it feels like the bounty will last forever, but it’s high time to begin thinking about what to put up. I am more grasshopper than ant, and lazy about it. My freezer is still echoing but I’m determined to at least get some herbs in there this week. They offer a lot of reward for very little effort. To freeze herbs, just wash and roughly chop, and use the immersion blender to blend into a paste with some oil and a little salt. Freeze in ice cube trays, then transfer to Ziploc bags. Cilantro and basil are my first priorities, followed by dill. This week we also have a bumper harvest of sugar snap peas. They are not as good after freezing as they are fresh, but frozen snap peas are much better than no snap peas. They should be briefly blanched then cooled and well-drained before freezing….” Continue reading this Essex Farm Note.