May 31, 2020
The emergence of spring and then quick onset of summer brings the desire for new fresh and healthy foods. BBQ grills get dusted off, cleaned up and gassed up ready to sear the mark of warmer times onto our meals. I feel like we start searching for farm markets to open and getting our gardens planted. This year proved to be a bit challenging to buy garden plants but I planted seeds and found some potted plants to replace my frosted ones. (Yes, I jumped the gun and put some of my plants out too early.)
Last week we enjoyed the subtle smoky flavors of hickory infused into our tofu and seitan along with the grilling of early summer veggies such as asparagus, mushrooms and baby potatoes. I hope you enjoyed the flavors as much as Scott and I did.
I get so excited to go out to the garden each week and see what will be available to use in our meals. The radishes are soaking up all the rain and growing very quickly. Chives are being harvested along with the beautiful stalks of asparagus that seem to grow inches per day. The cilantro is loving the warmer temperatures and the potatoes are showing their leaves just emerging from the raised beds they are waking up from. We should have an abundance of zucchini and beans as they are growing quickly as well. As these vegetables become ready for harvest I look forward to incorporating them into our meals. All the time weeding, watering and keeping the critters away will pay off with a delicious yield. I do not use any chemicals or fertilizers on or in my garden. I plant enough to share with the bugs or determined little critter that bravely climbs through my fence. I have even had to move my fence over this year because some furry friend thought my new blueberry bushes were worth noshing on. Two other new additions to the One Dude Ranch (Our beloved farm name) are a Fuji apple tree and a peach tree. I hope that I can keep these trees safe and alive to see them bear fruit in a few years.
Some of you may have noticed the growing pile of compost in the horse pasture. This is a working, composting manure pile that will eventually become what we like to call “black gold”. This compost provides a rich source of slow release nutrients that are incorporated into the garden when the process has become complete. It is a mixture of hay, manure, yard clippings and horse bedding (sawdust). As the pile grows, heat is released causing the organic matter to break down and create an amazing soil amendment. It is a valuable process to help create nutrient dense organic fruits and vegetables. It is also time to plan for harvest time canning and saving all the veggies that cannot be used right away. I have expanded the garden this year even though my kiddos have all moved away and I thought I could scale down production. I feel like we need to become less reliant on produce from the supermarket and more self sustaining these days.
Looking forward to what the summer brings.