Friday, April 09, 2010

Independence Days #45

The garden/farm season is well underway now, with planting seeds in my various gardens and starting the seedling planting out on the farm. We still get cold snaps, but the warm weather seems to stick around for longer stretches, and the sunshine prevails over the clouds more often.

What a wonderful time of year! Trees around town are blooming, decked in frilly cloaks of white and lavender and pink, and the spring bulbs are adding their vibrant golds and violets to the mix. Every time I step outside and smell the warming soil, I think how happy I am to spend more of my time working close to the earth.

And as planting picks up, so does harvesting and preserving -- definitely time to exert a little Independence!

1. Plant something: Planted Red Gold and Purple Viking potatoes, Sugar Ann snap and Lincoln shell peas, Prize Choy pac choi, Antares Oakleaf lettuce, Cherry Belle radishes, Chioggia beets at the Southern Belle's garden; grapevines at The Farm; planted kohlrabi, turnip, radish seedlings at the OEFFA Male's farm.

2. Harvest something: Stinging nettles at the fabulous Jen's place; chickweed, dandelion leaves, and wild garlic at The Farm.

3. Preserve something: Dried stinging nettles.

4. Reduce waste (Waste not): Used up half-jar of tomato sauce in one dinner; saved more eggshells for the garden; saved cooking water from pasta and kale for making vegetable stock; cleaned some scraps from the freezer to add to vegetable stock.

5. Preparation and storage (Want not): Bought more cheese for baking artisan loaves; sifted more spelt flour; bought a new shelving unit to get things more organized in the kitchen.

6. Build local food systems: Sold baked goods at market (almost everything sold!); baked fresh croissants for some Francophile friends; helped the fabulous Jen get her garden started; shared grapevines with the Renaissance Man's family; worked three days at the farm; baked more bread for market; attended a college class on marketing local agriculture.

7. Eat the food: Lots of delicious sweet turnip greens, along with pea shoots and radishes; a curry with potatoes from storage, dried peas, fresh turnip greens, leftover canned tomato sauce, frozen cauliflower; nettle fritters; hash browns with local cheddar cheese and egg; homemade pasta with dried kale; leftover bread.

My schedule is picking up steam every week -- this is going to be a very busy summer!

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