THIS WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU:
Clockwise from Left:
• Pea Shoots
• Green Onions
• Garlic Scapes
• Fresh Mint
• Salad Greens
I am so disappointed that the salad greens are still not big enough to harvest. One more week will do the trick though. And last night’s beautiful rain will do wonders.
But, the spinach is finally ready, and it is beautiful. We have one part of the farm that is nearly pure sand. Before the dam was built, the Green River used to meander quite a bit more than it does now, and it flooded regularly. That’s what gave our valley it’s incredible fertility. But, the river also deposits a lot of silt and sand when it floods.
This spot of the farm is perfect for planting early in the season because it is high and dry. But, it is poor in the summer because it is impossible to water it enough. Even every day watering will not help, so we have always ignored it after June and replant in September for winter. But last year, we planted a summer cover crop on this acre, and grazed the cows there for the summer, and followed the cows with a flock of chickens. THAT did wonders for the soil there. The spinach is lush and dark, and there are no flea beetles—and there are flea beetles everywhere else on the farm right now. This is definitely an experiment to repeat on other parts of the farm.
We finally made it through the surprise salad onions. But now, the green onions that we planted in February are ready. We planted four varieties of garlic in the fall, and of the two hardneck varieties (Chesnok Red and Spanish Roja) The Roja is the first to make scapes. Scapes are the flower stalk of the garlic (or any other onion family) plant. They are delicious used as garlic—chopped and cooked, or roasted or grilled like asparagus. They are a little spicy raw, but some people like them like that. Other customers have reported that they like to purée them with olive oil like pesto and drizzle it on all kinds of things.
And now, a funny little story: The other day, when it was warm I indvertently left the back door open. Usually the dogs guard the back door, but I came inside to find everything knocked off the kitchen counters and the piano. The living room had plops of chicken (ahem) droppings in several places. Luckily she missed the rugs. The kids locked her in the bathroom while I was cleaning up the mess, and then I caught her and put her outside where she belonged, flustered but unharmed. This morning, Cosmo was looking for his socks under the living room chair and came out with a green egg. It took a minute to figure out that it was laid by that hen the other day, and that the boys were not indeed playing with a fresh egg in the living room.