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End of the season

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

This week is the last farmers market of the season here. We are celebrating with a community potluck.

I am ready for a break from this. We’ve been going for 7 months (sadly, with me as the “anchor” vendor) and haven’t missed a week. Over the course of that time, we’ve produced approximately:

  • 175 loaves of bread
  • 120 bags of lettuce, arugula or other greens
  • numerous quiches; bags of sprouts and microgreens; cucumbers; radishes; green beans; containers of pesto, salsa, onion confit, and garlic paste, etc.

This has been a great experience, and the community has been enormously supportive.

PS I’m looking forward to eating all the greens and other things we produce this year!

end-of-season

It’s that time of year

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

This is lemon ginger pear preserves.

We are so grateful to our friends with fruit trees who share with us.

Another great use for the slow cooker

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

Onions (grown here). A little olive oil, red wine, salt, and fresh thyme. Eighteen hours on low.

Caramelized onion confit. Melty sweetness.

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This week at the farmers market

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

This week’s gourmet treat:

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And in a couple weeks, it’s National Farmers Market Week. Go visit yours, and thank a farmer. Trust me that no one is making much profit doing this.

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Onions

Sunday, June 12th, 2016

Having eaten all the tomatoes, the voles and rabbits moved on to the onions. Here’s an example of what they did a couple nights ago (I hope whatever ate this got very sick):

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So despite the fact that the onions were not really ready to be harvested, I decided to pull them to save what I could. There were a fair number that did well and will be good eats:

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There were some others that weren’t really mature enough so I replanted them in other places to see if they might grow further. We will also eat some of the smaller ones as “spring onions.” I will also be making a red wine onion confit this week. Yum!

The variety that did the best by far was the Texas Early White.

On the weather front, we’ve started getting some sporadic storms, which seem to me like early monsoons. (We don’t normally get monsoons until early July.) As the rain picks up, this should help the garden considerably and also the pest problems.

And this week for the first time, I sold everything I took to the farmers market, which included 8 bags of greens.

Farmers market today

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

Well, today we were the farmers market with no other vendors showing up for various reasons. Fortunately, we took our biggest selection of food yet:

market

There were somewhat fewer customers than usual but we still sold a lot. The ebb and flow of customers, as well as the variation of what they buy (sometimes I sell only wheat bread, sometimes only white; sometimes the sweet breakfast breads sell out quickly; other times I take some home), is still a mystery to me. We do have some seasonal residents here who leave for summer, and so it will be interesting to see if the numbers continue to be down. The number of vendors is also a factor.

Highlights for this week are that we took 8 big bags of greens to market this week (and even had a couple bags more to keep for ourselves) and that all the toum sold out. We offered samples of it, which were very popular. I’m thinking of more things like this that might fit into the little 5.5 oz. souffle cup containers we have. So far we’ve done pesto and toum, and pico de gallo is soon to come.

Things about the farmers market that make me happy: increasing access to good, healthy food here; spending a couple hours each week sitting under the shade of a big tree talking with nice people about food; having people ask me “who grew this?” or “who baked this?;” having people tell me their plans for what they’ve bought (a woman today bought some lemon cake and told me she was going to share it this evening with her husband for their anniversary); and giving away and/or taking home and eating whatever we don’t sell.

 

Toum

Monday, May 30th, 2016

We love the show “Splendid Table” (“the show for people who love to eat”…yeah, that’s us). Awhile back,they had a show on something called toum, a Lebanese garlic paste that was described as being light and fluffy like whipped egg whites. We knew we’d have to make it some time.

This week, we just harvested our garlic. And when we do that, there are always a few bulbs that get scuffed or something and need to be used sooner rather than later. Perfect opportunity!

While this toum sounded a little fussy to make, it wasn’t that hard. Only a few  ingredients: lots of garlic, canola oil, salt, lemon juice, and water. And the results — oh my, this stuff is amazing!

Toum can be used as a dip, for garlic bread, as a sandwich spread, in marinades or sauces, in eggs, or in soups, just to mention a few possibilities.

This will be for sale at this week’s farmers market. Very gourmet.

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Spring greens

Friday, May 27th, 2016

This week I remembered to take a picture when the beds were uncovered.

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The greenhouse is looking good as well.

eggplants and peppers

eggplants and peppers

chard

chard and edamame

green beans

green beans

 

Finally

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

We’ve had more than our share of struggles with the garden this year — beds of greens munched to the ground multiple times despite being covered, artichoke plants eaten beyond recovery, even the lemon grass got mowed down by something (most likely deer), a whole bed of tomato starts eaten down by the vole.

We keep trying though and are finally having some success. The new greenhouse is doing great, and we could be harvesting from it within a couple weeks. I also tried a new setup for greens in our regular beds where I put down a sheet of agribon (row cover) and then covered that with two layers of insect netting (the same stuff that we cover the hoops with — which has been getting chewed through and dug under — but this time I put it right on the ground with lots of rocks on the edges). This has worked well. I suspect that the animals either haven’t figured out what’s under there or they can’t easily get in. Probably both. At least for now.

Today we had our first harvest big enough to sell some of — arugula, tat soi, and lettuce all coming in strong. It will be nice to have our produce at the market this week in addition to bread, other baked goods, and pesto.

arugula

Off and running

Friday, April 8th, 2016

So our new farmers market started last week to great fanfare. We had great attendance and sold nearly everything we took. It’s a little early in the year for much from the garden so I took a lot of microgreens, bread, and other baked goods.

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There were so many people there the first week that I wondered if anyone would come the next week. But then this week was just as good. A little different traffic pattern — a few less people and nearly everyone in the first 20 minutes or so — but we sold just as much. The community has shown great support.

This week I added dried beans, focaccia, and pizza dough to what we were selling. (Others are selling asparagus, but we’re opting to eat all of ours. :) One thing I’m seeing clearly is that prepared food sells faster than anything.

It will be good to have more produce available to sell as we get more into the summer.