It was a great week for getting caught up on outdoor work. The brisk wind dried the saturated soil out quickly and the long sunny days help raise the ground temperatures a bit—it’s still surprisingly cold out there but at least it’s plantable now. I’m doing a big push today and tomorrow to make ridges and seed all of the spring crops that are overdue. The spring greens that I transplanted last week thrived in their rainy, overcast first days and look great. We have a bit of time to wait, but it’s coming on.
The dry days also helped us out on the pole bran work. Last week was so wet that the huge excavator holes were sliding in as they were being dug, making for a lot of extra digging. The first concrete pour on Friday had us all slipping around trying to keep our footing while carrying buckets and shoveling concrete. Work the last couple of days has been more fruitful and enjoyable without all of the mud to wallow through. There are water and power lines to bury and more sight clean-up to do on this leg of the project, but we are proceeding nicely and punctually.
The storage veggies do continue to dwindle, but we are keeping it fresh with some value-added goodies. We have baba ganouj in the share this week. This is a roasted eggplant spread with lemon, garlic and spices. It was mixed up in the height of summer when no one wanted to see another eggplant and has been waiting in the freezer for a time when we are all desperate for one. I eat it straight from the jar but it’s good poured into a bowl, stirred up a bit and topped with a little fresh olive oil. It’s a good dip for carrots or spread it on your bread.
We also have the start of the nettles this week—something green, fresh and straight out of the field. Nettles are packed with good stuff and are known as a blood cleaner and great spring detox food. Steep the leaves for tea, crush them for pesto, mix them in with your morning eggs. Use nettles in all of your (cooked) spinach recipes too. Of course, nettles do need to be handled with care, the spiny leaves will leave your hands tingling if they come into contact. Wear gloves while preparing the leaves, once they have been steamed or cooked they are safe to touch and eat. Enjoy!
In the Farm Shares
In the veggie share: nettles, baba ganouj, carrots, beets, white and fingerling potatoes, celeriac, green and red cabbage, dried red chilies, wheat berries, whole wheat regular and pastry flour, and corn meal.
In the meat share: Pork, broilers and stew birds in the freezer. Stock and organ meats from beef and chickens, lard and leaf lard.
- Full and By Farm: Surprise Visitors (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Full and By Farm: Great Sugaring (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Full and By Farm: Mud Brings Changes (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Full and By Farm: Lists of Work (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Foragers spring green soup -ramsons and nettle hearty soup (elysiandaisies.com)