Well, as we are only writing the blog in one language per week, this is english week. The weather has been super nice… just the right amount of rain at all the right moments. The final crops for the fall were seeded this week in the greenhouse, three types of kale, fennel, and chinese cabbage. At this point there is only 1.5 beds left to be planted in the field and just a couple of fall crops to be seeded. On the harvest side of things, the summer crops are really kicking in. As you may know, the zucchinis and beets are ready and the cucumbers, carrots, and beans are on the verge of being ready. It’s really exciting to be reaping the fruits of our labors. Thank you for being part of this!!!
In addition to growing all the vegetables, we’ve also been hard at work preparing the soil of a second acre for next year. The buckwheat that was planted on June 15th (see July 1st blog posting) started to flower so we quickly destroyed it before it forms viable seeds. It’s important to till the buckwheat 5-7 days after it starts tto flower because otherwise you might be creating a serious buckwheat weed problem next year. Note how in one photo we can see the buckwheat out competing the weeds that would otherwise be growing.
The black pile in one of the photos is our compost pile to assure that next years vegetables have the fertility they need to be healthy and grow well. The compost is covered with a geotextile to prevent leaching of nutrients out of the compost by the rain and also, to prevent weeds from growing on the compost pile (and consequently, leaving weed seeds that we would inadvertedly be putting in our field for next year).
We are now selling bulk sunflower oil so bring your jars or bottles. The oil is made by people we know in Les Cèdres, just outside of Montreal. It is thus a local, organic and super tasty oil. Sunflower oil can be used for cooking, frying and for salad dressing (this is the only type of oil we have in the house!!). We happy to be offering the oil in bulk now as it is both more economic and ecological by reducing number of bottles being used. The bulk oil is 10$ per liter, the 500ml bottles are 8$, and the 1L bottles are 13 $.
Using collard…well, there are many ways collard can be used. You might have heard of the collard-bacon extravaganza we were talking to everybody at the drop-off yesterday: traditionnaly eaten in the south, where they LOVE to eat collard. Simply cut bacon into pieces, fry, then remove some of the fat (if you wish!) and add chopped collard and steam for a minute or 2. miam (yeah, yeah, we all knew that trick..everything is good with bacon!!). Collard and Kale are one of those extra-super full of vitamins vegetable, use it for good! A lot of people enjoy green smoothies, super healthy and nutritious. Apparently, blending greens is the best way to eat it since it breaks down the cellulose wall of the greens thus making the nutrients much more available for assimilation. You can make a 60% fruits and 40% greens smoothie, using whatever type of greens you have. We also use collard as a wrap. We made tonight a wrap stuffed with hamburger and bacon (again..it is our bacon week) and grated beet salad. You may want to dip the collard leaves in hot water for a little while to tenderize it (not too much though, just blanched) to use it as a wrap. Also, you can make more pesto!! You could add dill, cilantro and/or basil to it and use the sunflower oil . Here is a recipe we found from http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Collard-Green-Olive-Pesto-109229#ixzz0uStwzQ00
Collard greens Pesto
- 1 bunch collard greens
- 7 large brine-cured olives (2 1/4 ounces), pitted
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 cup)
Bring a 6- to 8-quart pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, cut stems and center ribs from collard greens and discard. Stir collards into water in batches, then simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer collards with tongs to a colander to drain, gently pressing on greens to extract excess water. (If making pasta, reserve water in pot for cooking pasta.) Coarsely chop collards.
Blend olives and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add collards, water, vinegar, salt, cayenne, and pepper and pulse until finely chopped. With motor running, add oil in a slow stream. Turn off motor, then add cheese and pulse to combine.
The peas you received are the snap peas type, meaning that you eat the whole thing (not poding peas, not snow peas, but a mix of both!!). We did trellised the peas for easy picking using rebar (metal) post and baling twine. They are now about 5 feet high! Yeah for easy picking!
Beets! We love beets! Super tender and fresh, we don’t bother peeling them. We like to use it a lot for making a grated salad using beets and his friend, the kohlrabi (and I would add the dill or the cilantro in there). The greens are edible and super nutritious.
It`s so fun to be getting to know all of you and to share the bounty of the harvest with you. We love feedback. Whether something you liked or something you think we could improve on, just let us know at the drop-off.
Jonathan and Jolianne
PS: How is everyone doing with the food fashion photo contest, any great inspirations???… let us know via email or on the blog!!!