“When it Rains, it Pours”

“When it Rains, it Pours”

Ramping up to the first share distribution this week we have been feeling the bursting energy and endless to do list of solstice season on the farm. The first week of share distribution is often full, but this week was especially brimming and threatening to run over. Apparently the saying “When it Rain is Pours” generally refers to unfortunate things happening close together. For a fun exploration of similar sayings in different languages check this out. http://gilkalai.wordpress.com/2010/03/06/when-it-rains-it-pours/ It was certainly “pouring” this week.

It began last Saturday with a late shipment of chicks. Due to the stress of the trip we lost about 50. This is a stressful and apocalyptic feeling not to be able to prevent the little fluff balls from dying.  On Monday, as usually happens around this time in the peak of irrigation season, our basement began its annual flooding cycle. Then on Tuesday, after a long day at my off farm job, we had the need for an unexpected house cleaning.  Then on Thursday night Seth’s Dad woke us up around 1:30 am to let us know that he had just chased a bear out of the goat pen and that the goats had been injured. After a long night of doctoring the goats, we finally made it to bed. The next day our beloved goat Polly died. Peanut continues to be injured, but is showing improvement and Quiche is relatively uninjured, but on hunger strike.

Though this has made for a full and stressful week, the good fortune coming our way this week has been comparable in magnitude. So, in a positive way it also “poured” this week. Our garden is bountiful and there was a plentiful supply for our shares and market. We have a wonderful group of working members and volunteers and lots of kids working with us this season. We feel so lucky to have such a lovely community willing to engage in the tasks of the farm.   The hatchery for our chicks sent us replacement birds that are doing well.  In response to our goats being attacked folks all around town are inquiring about the situation and our friend Karen brought over some special medicines to help the goats heal. Our intern Hannah is showing promise as a very caring animal nurse in giving the goats care and helping us be observant in their recovery process.  I also had the opportunity to do floral arrangements for a wedding celebration for our friends and farm members, Kira and Ben. It was a lovely event.  And thankfully after a long week we were able to sleep in on Sunday, spend some time together as a family, and relax and regroup for the week ahead.

So, even though there were joys and sorrows along the way this week, we feel very alive and excited to have another season underway.  We hope for calmer times ahead, with rain and pouring coming from the sky.

GARDEN SHARES

arugula – cilantro – winterbor kale – green leaf lettuce – pac choi – easter egg radish – spinach – turnips

FRUIT SHARES

Fruit shares were postponed this week but we will have cherries next week 7/1.

TOOLS TO HELP YOU ENJOY YOUR SHARE

Here is a list 10 useful things to have in your kitchen to help with the enjoyment of your garden and fruit shares. If you don’t have some of these items and think you might like to, most will be available at The Mixing Bowl in Salida.

http://salidamixingbowl.wordpress.com/

1.  I love my salad spinner. It makes all the garden produce so much easier to wash and process.  For lettuce and other greens I simply chop or tear a head or bunch and then put it in the spinner basket, rinse it off a few times in the full reservoir, maybe even using the spinner to dislodge any soil.  Then I drain it and spin it dry and it is ready to use.

2. Good quality and sharp chopping and paring knives. Food preparation is made so much easier with these basic kitchen tools.  Check out this book and hone your knife skills.

http://www.knife-skills-book.com/

3.  A colander. Your salad spinner can double as one of these, especially for your greens.  But a good heavy strainer is great for rinsing heartier veggies like broccoli and peas.

4.  Quart freezer bags. If you can’t use  a portion of your share, most everything (maybe not your radishes) can be blanched and frozen.  Simply make a pot of boiling water and blanch your veg for a few minutes, cool, put in freezer bag and squish any air out of a small opening in the top zipper and lay it flat is the freezer for the best use of freezer space.

5. Food Processor. Let your food processor do some of the chopping for you.  A good food processor is key to making greens pestos and can be very handy is grating  a batch of carrots.

6. A grater. For those times when you don’t want to pull out the food processor a good old fashioned square grater is useful in the kitchen for making slaws and salad additions with carrots, cabbage, kohlrabi, and beets.

7. A peeler. Use to take off any skin you don’t like or peel veggies like carrots, beets and broccoli stem into a salad.

8.  Cast iron and stainless pots and pans. Good pans can make all  the difference in your cooking experience.  You will want to saute and sauce so have the right pot in your kitchen for the job.

9.  Support ingredients. Good olive oil, butter, cheese, salt, pepper and garlic.  These ingredients are kitchen essentials for us.  Most any vegetable can be turned into a meal with these basics.

10. Use the comment bar below to contribute your kitchen must haves for maximum share enjoyment!

Hakurei Turnips

These little white gems are the fruit of the garden.  They are sweet and delicious and can be eaten like apples or chopped up with their greens for a more traditional sauteed turnip treat.  Here is a recipe for a yummy looking salad that also uses spinach.

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/roasted-turnips-and-greens