Independence Days 2011-10: Winding Down
Now that fall is here -- in truth as well as in spirit -- I'm content to start seeing the garden die back before winter. I had hoped to plant more fall crops to extend the growing season, and I'm pleased to report that the beets and turnips I put in last month seem to be growing nicely, but I'm also happy to start clearing the garden and adding layers of mulch for a nice winter coat.
But though things are winding down in the gardens, I'm picking up in the kitchen. Cooler weather seems to encourage people to buy more bread, so I've been hard at work daily keeping my shelves restocked and keeping the Cafe supplied. I plan to bring a couple of old favorites (rosemary cider bread and pumpernickel bread) back into the weekly baking routine soon, and I'm trying to make more time to bake sweet treats for the bakery case.
I've signed up to teach two more classes at Today's Kitchen Store later in the year, as well as a book-making class at Local Roots, so the prep for those classes will take some time, too. And I'm really trying to make an effort to catch up on book reviews and to write more articles.
It's good to know that as the year starts winding down, I'm getting some things done:
1. Plant something: kale, lettuce, and arugula seedlings at the Renaissance Man’s
2. Harvest something: basil, purple beans, zucchini, butternut and spaghetti squash, golden chard, tomatoes, peppers, nasturtiums, radishes, carrots, celery, rhubarb, chocolate mint from the Contradance Callers’; sage, lavender from the Renaissance Man’s
3. Preserve something: cured squash for long-term storage; dried thyme, lemon verbena, chocolate mint, pears, basil, rosemary
4. Reduce waste (Waste not): using the empty 50# flour sacks for garbage bags and for paper recycling; returned empty syrup bottles and got 50 cents off new syrups; donated more bread at the end of the market week, only taking home 1 loaf each week (because I just can’t eat that much bread any more!)
5. Preparation and storage (Want not): restocked oil, sugar, honey, flour, cheeses for baking
6. Build local food systems: baked for market and café; did more prep for upcoming cooking classes; wrote article about poly-farming project; updated brochures for fall/winter tisane blends and holiday baking; started work on October newsletter for Local Roots; taught cooking class at Today’s Kitchen Store; enjoyed a couple of shared potluck style meals with friends
7. Eat the food: cucumber slices and corn crackers; pasta with tomatoes, garlic, basil; raspberries; eggs with chard; pizza with leftover garlic-herb dough; the Renaissance Man’s lasagna; lots of crisp apples dipped in peanut butter; roasted potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, and kale