Huston, we have lift off!!

Hello everyone, 

Wow, the vegetables have arrived. Even two weeks ago I could hardly believe that our crops would be ready for the 23rd. It’s really amazing how fast certain plants grow. We have noticed that plant growth has really speed up since the Solstice (June 21st). The most remarkable have been the potatoes and the onions. 

For this second week of deliveries, the basket will contain the following vegetables: lettuce, hakurei  turnips, mesclun salad mix, bok choi, green onions (scallions), spinach, radishes, kale, garlic scapes, and kohlrabi. 

These past days have been rather rainy and the past weeks rather hot.  Some crops liked it, such as the tomatoes, zucchini and cucumbers where some of the cold crop found it a bit stressful.  The broccoli has formed a small head, and we are thinking of harvesting them soon before they go into flowers (especially that they are calling for hot temperatures for the next few days).  Same for radishes, they have gotten a bit spicy due to the warm weather and some have cracked a little due to the rainy days we had.  Radishes are a nice addition to sandwich or as one of the members mentionned, they could be caramelized (reducing balsamic vinegar or honey, water, and the radishes in a pan). 

Bok choi is back for the last time: those plants prefer somewhat cool weather, so now it is time to leave some room for other vegetables.   We have made a stir-fry with bok choi last week seasoned with a peanut butter sauce.  Simply mix peanut butter, warm water, cayenne pepper, fresh ground coriander (you’ll receive fresh cilantro in a couple of weeks by the way!), chopped green onions, roasted sesame seeds and tamari and coat your stir fry with!  Be carefull not to make too much of the PB sauce, that is the kind of thing that we ALWAYS make too much of! 

Don’t forget about the kale chips.  If you have a dehydrator, it is even better to keep all the nutrients in (dehydrate for 6 hours ata 115 degrees).  An oven would do it, use the lowest temperature possible, it should take about an hour or so (depending on the temperature, you want the kale to be crispy).  A simple recipe for kale chips uses tamari, nutritional yeast and dash of oil (salt and pepper if desired).  Nutritional yeast (Redstar type) can be found in natural  health food store under the form of flakes (it actually looks like fish food…)  It is filled with B vitamin riboflavin and filled with yumminess.  The fun thing about making you own kale chips is that you can make any flavor you would like (curried, pesto, cheesy (with the nutritional yeast)).   You could also blend tahini, tamari, cider vinegar, water, scallions, garlic, lemon juice and nutritional yeast.   Be creative!  Also, for Kale: you can prepared a mashed potatoes purée, then add shredded kale leaves and cover for the leaves to cook just a little bit.  I also made the other day sliced onions and diced apples in a frying pan, adding shredded Kale leaves at the end (you could do the same with other vegetables leaves). 

AND DON’ T FORGET : Many of the leaves of your vegetables are good (such as the hakurei turnip and radish leaves). Use them in soups, finely chopped in salads, or steam them with a bit of balsamic vinager or lemon juice.  If you want your root vegetables to store better, remove the leaves and store them in a separate bag.  Root vegetable transpire through their leaves so by removing the leaves the roots store longer without going soft. 

Updates on the garden:  there are only few potato beetles, which we are still screening for everyday (i.e. squishing them with our hands!).  We have a huge population of lady bugs, which are beneficial insects eating aphids.  It is very nice to see so many lady bugs on the potatoes plant!  Potatoes will be ready to be hilled soon, the first flowers has appeared.  Hilling help the new potatoes forming to keep under the ground, and also acts as a weed control method.  We have about 1000 ft of potatoes this year!  Zucchini have started to form very tiny fruits.  We have uncovered the plants (they where covered with a row cover to keep the insects from eating the leaves, thus reducing (or killing) the productivity of the plant) about 2 weeks ago when they started to flower.  This is necessary to let the bumble bees and other pollinators pollinate the flowers so that the plant will form a nice fruit, in this case, zucchini! 

We are still commuting from Coaticook to North Hatley to take care of the garlic planted in North Hatley. We have been mainly weeding and picking garlic scapes (fleur d’ail) (see picture below). Since the garlic is not at the farm, it means that we have to transport our weeding equipement, such as the wheel hoe. What a better way to use the bike rack for transporting pinky the bike and the wheel hoe (see the pic below)!! The wheel hoe was made by Ken from Orchard Hill Farm, where we both apprenticed last season. 

Garlic scapes/Fleurs d’ail

Pinky and the wheel hoe/ Pinky et la bineuse à roue

Jonathan seeded buckwheat (sarrasin) on June 15 on our piece of land for next year. Buckwheat is used as a green manure to help controlling the weeds by out-competing the weeds for water, nutrients, and sunlight.  By planting buckwheat this summer, it will reduce the weed pressure next summer and make it just that much easier for us to grow all the yummy vegetables for you.   

Jonathan getting started to seed buckwheat!
Happy eggplant on the black plastic!
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