>THIS WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU:
• Shelling Peas
• Sugar Snap Peas
• Salad Onions
• Fresh Mint
FRUIT: T&M Berries’ Strawberries or Raspberries, from next door–if you don’t get berries this week, you’ll get them next week
U-PICK: We are ready to open up a few rows of peas to u-pick subscribers. Please don’t spread the word—our u-pick is only for our subscribers. Thanks!
Whenever I have boxes of both Sugar Snap and Shelling Peas next to each other, the number one question I hear is, “How can you tell which is which?” It’s not very difficult once you know a few clues. In this photo on the left, I’ve laid out a few samples of our shelling pea variety “Knight”. The pods don’t get as big as other varieties, but it is naturally disease resistant, so we don’t have to spray for aphids, the plants are vigorous, and they taste great. Notice the darker green color and the longer, straighter pod. The samples on the right are our sugar snap variety “Cascadia”. This is a fairly large-podded sugar snap variety, but all of the ones I’ve ever grown have these things in common—they are lighter, brighter green, and they are all crescent-shaped. They also get very, very sweet when they are quite fat. That’s the best time to eat them. You can eat both types of peas raw, but you want to make sure and shell the shelling peas, because although the pod is tasty enough, it’s too fibrous to be enjoyable, unless you’ve got a rumen. If I cook sugar snaps, my favorite way is to just sauté them lightly in butter.
Our herd of cows increased over the winter–mostly because both Beauty and Juniper lost their pregnancies, and I was afraid of being without milk for a whole year (since it takes producing a calf to get milk). Naomi came to us about a month ago with her now 3-month-old calf. (The calf is destined to be next year’s beef, so don’t get attached.) We also found a Dexter bull on craigslist for an unbeatable price, so he’s here to get the conception job done. According to Della, the milk connoiseur, who obliged me by doing a blind taste test of both Beauty’s and Naomi’s milk, “Naomi’s milk is sweeter, but Beauty’s milk is better.” (Better, in this case means creamier–Beauty’s milk was like half-and-half when I stopped milking her in May.) Here is the herd enjoying a sunny spring day in the newly-planted pasture. From left to right: Beauty, Juniper, Mini Mo the bull (rolling), Naomi and her calf, and Smarty (now at the butcher).
The progress moves along quickly now with the house, and we will be moving out of our old house by the 30th. The septic system is nearly finished, the electrical work has been done, and the fire sprinklers are installed. Now we have to get through the inspections and other (nonsense), while we get plastering, painting, and floors finished. We will most likely have to move all of our things into the house and then camp in the trailer until we pass the final inspection–hopefully by the end of next week. We shall see. At least it’s summer. Luckily we have Luis to help with some of the house business, and take care of all the picking while we deal with the house. We had an overwhelming response to our appeal for help with house expenses, and we will be in contact with everyone who helped just as soon as we can. Thank you all!!!
Here’s Cosmo admiring the big excavator digging drainfield trenches.