Wednesday, October 06, 2010

It has been a while...Tantre Farm Share, week 19

From vaguely left to right: (Top) butternut squash, sweet potatoes (yams? They don't look pale enough to be real sweet potatoes...), kale, lettuce, arugula
(Middle-ish zone) delicata squash, head of garlic, tatsoi, sorrel, radishes, kohlrabi
(Bottom) carrots, red potatoes, green tomatoes, red tomatoes, hot peppers, tongues of fire shell beans, turnips

Only one more week of overwhelming (and overwhelmingly good) produce! I know I haven't been doing these updates much--summer got pretty crazy since I did not book enough critter activities to keep them out of my hair for long enough to lay out and admire my produce. Thank god for school!

So what to do with all that stuff up there? Here's what I've come up with so far:
  • The shell beans will go into some sort of minestrone-style soup (they are fantastic in soup--super creamy dreamy). I'll probably chuck in a couple of carrots, the 2 plum tomatoes, a couple of potatoes and some kale too.
  • One butternut will get cut into cubes and roasted, then tossed while still hot with the arugula, some cheese ravioli, olive oil and a little balsamic, lots of black pepper and shards of Parmesan or pecorino. The rest of the squash will probably go in the basement to be stored for later.
  • the sorrel will go in an omelet. I love sorrel omelets.
  • I'll probably try and ripen those green tomatoes in a paper bag (toss in an apple for good ethylene gas).
  • According to Tantre the sweet potatoes (yams?) need to be cured, though last year that resulted in mine going rotten, so I must have done something wrong. If I don't rot this batch then I'll probably peel, shred and make them into burrito filling (like this Moosewood recipe for sweet potato quesadillas).
  • kohlrabi? Akk. I've been pleased that Tantre cut way back on the kohlrabi this year. The one I got is about the size of a softball so maybe I'll go play catch-the-kohlrabi with the critters!
  • lettuce + radishes = salad (duh)
And the rest of it...will probably get the same old (boring but tasty) treatment of heat, olive oil, garlic, salt, and some sort of acid.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Hope for next year's garden

This year I grew a lot of weeds.

Two years ago I made the dumb mistake of mulching my vegetable garden with straw. Clearly it was very seedy straw because this year the grass growing in my raised beds was out of control--it smothered pretty much everything but the peas, garlic and two very determined turnips. Everything else was swallowed by the aggressive grass. I'd weed it all out, go away for a week, and come back to see a luxurious green carpet again.

Eventually I gave up. I was getting plenty of good produce from the farm share and I just didn't have the energy to deal with the mess I had created.

However, I do have hope for next year.

Today I took this,
 dug up the worst of the weeds,
 covered the bed with two layers of newspaper,
and dumped on about 2 inches of compost ($2.25 per big trash can behind the recycling shed at the dump).

I read about the newspaper/compost weed-blocker plan in this article in the NY Times. I did two of the three beds today (I only have 2 trash cans and each bed took one trash can full of compost so I'll have to head back for one more fill up). And now I'm looking forward to planting some things that I can't get enough of: one bed will get strawberry plants, one bed will get tomatillos (I want to can some green salsa next year) and the third will get a lot of sugar snap peas, garlic, and maybe a few plants that I've failed at in the past (cucumbers are on the list) and still want to try again. Even if I get the weirdly warped and stunted cukes that I seem to specialize in, they'll have to be better than all the grass.