Friday, June 24, 2011

Independence Days 2011-4: Summer's Here!

Summer is finally here! In a way, it seems like it wasn't that long ago when we were desperate for the ground to warm up enough for planting, and yet it also seems like it has taken forever for summer to get here.

This week at the market I've been watching the Renaissance Man start installing the big vertical sundial on the south face of the building. The gnomon (the metal shadow-caster) went up late last week, and this week -- right around the Solstice -- the RM has gone up regularly in a lift to mark the hours on the wall as the occasional bursts of sun create the necessary shadows. While the sundial won't be "done" until after winter solstice, when final markings are made, it's exciting to become more aware of the seasons and the changing of the Earth-sun relationship through the year.

Summer has taken hold in the gardens as well: last week I picked enough chard from garden #2 to use in this week's vegetable rolls (sold at Local Roots in the bakery case). My goal in planting seeds this year was to have enough to feed myself, put some up for winter, and use some in baking -- so far, so good!

In other Independence Days activities:

1. Plant something: walking onions, Golden Detroit beets, Sugarsnax carrots, Masai pole beans at the Southern Belle’s

2. Harvest something: garlic scapes, dill, chocolate mint, bronze fennel, nasturtiums, broccoli, mountain mint at the Delighted Gardener's; golden chard, lavender, dill, cilantro at the SB; strawberries, lavender, mint, cilantro at the Renaissance Man’s

3. Preserve something: dried dill, chocolate mint, lavender, bronze fennel, lemon balm, parsley, basil; froze strawberries, broccoli, garlic scapes

4. Reduce waste (Waste not): tried to stay on top of produce better, and bought less at outdoor farmers’ market; used butter wrappers to grease pans for tea rings

5. Preparation and storage (Want not): prepared croissant dough as soon as I baked previous batch; restocked baking powder, olive oil, butter; chopped and froze garlic scapes and put off making the pesto for a while

6. Build local food systems: baking for market; baked for WB; helped the Delighted Gardener half a day on her farm (lots of weeding!); meeting and potluck about the Local Roots newsletter; sent out press release about Local Roots farm tour; started baking for the Innkeeper’s summer guest season; worked out more trades with fellow producers; chatted to local bookstore owner about the coming cafe at Local Roots; started baking bread for Local Roots Cafe

7. Eat the food: fresh lettuce, straight up; rhubarb-strawberry tart; potato salad with beans and asparagus; grilled cheese with kale and radish; sugar snap peas, eaten straight up; asparagus kale white pizza with leftover artisan dough; chocolate-strawberry flourless tart laced with lavender syrup; grilled cheese and mixed greens with strawberry-vinaigrette on first day at Local Roots Cafe; potato salad with broccoli; local vanilla ice cream with fresh raspberries and raspberry syrup

How did you welcome summer this week?

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