Thursday, August 15, 2013

Week 13 Salsa

A great week for warm weather crop harvest

This week in the food share
spaghetti squash
hungarian and italian sweet peppers
slow food and bulgarian hot peppers
heirloom tomatoes

We made a delicious Strawberry Cilantro Vinaigrette last night to dress up a raw kale salad
5 sprigs cilantro
8-10 strawberries
1 tablespoon spicy mustard
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
1/3 cup water

Blend and pour

And for those of you who love to salsa and signed up for a tomato share the first 10 lbs is going out this week with 5 varieties of heirlooms!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Week 12 Earth Building

This week we dove back in to our mountain of mud for one of our favorite art mediums, Cob. A full immersion experience to retrofit the earth oven with a chimney and create other mud art adornments. 
This week we're also up to our elbows in manicuring the garlic and shallots, making kale chips and harvesting lettuce seeds. 
This weeks share includes
Garlic~Tomatoes~Shallots~Chard~Kale~Nasturtium~Fava Beans~Dill  

Nasturtium Sauce
1 cup leaves
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
2 garlic cloves
sprig of dill
Salt and Pepper to taste
Blend. Drizzle over sliced tomatoes or serve on a bed of kale. Garnish with the edible nasturtium flowers

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Week 11 Beauties

The Garlic has been unearthed and drying and it's the one finest crops we've grown! A robust collection of bulbs rich in oil, vibrancy and aroma. We couldn't be happier. My two co-conspires in garlic planting last fall humored my weighing and selecting of every single clove and I have to say, as tedious as it was for all of us, it was well worth it.
The seven varietals of hops we grow are starting to make their magic. For the home brewers, tea drinkers and dreamers out there we'll have fresh whole hops, dried hops and fresh frozen hops again this year.

This week the share includes a flavorful collection of kale, chard, garlic, shallots, cilantro and basil.  

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Week 10 Half Way

The share this week includes broccoli, tomatoes, chard, onions, fava beans, marjoram, basil, shallot bulbs and kale.
I've been exploring the assortment of squashes that are beginning to develop both male and female flowers. Interestingly the summer zucchini's produce females right at the start while most of the winter squashes start with the males and them start developing female flowers. Why does any of this matter? Seed saving and pollinating adventures.
We also successfully harvested a collection of heirloom brassicas that included purple top turnips, brussel sprouts and an incredibly large and tender heirloom kohlarbi. These much anticipated seeds involved a 2 year investment and surviving the winter. All three are really solid performers in our garden's temperate days and cool night growing cycle.

This week's local food recipes
Fava Bean Hummus and Cherry Basil Vinaigrette 

Shell your beans. Boil for 5 minutes. Add to food processor with
2 tablespoons tahini
a dozen marjoram leaves
splash of lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 of water
tsp of capers
salt to taste

Cherry Basil Vinaigrette
1/2 cup Basil leaves
1 tblsp lemon juice
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
5-8 flathead cherries 
Puree. Pour into bowl for dipping.
Serve with your favorite french bread torn into bite size pieces

We dressed up the heirloom romaine, cherry tomato and nasturtium flower salad with the vinaigrette and spread the hummus over a toasted cheese bread.  

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Week 9 Montana Garlic

We started the final round of transplanting squashes, tomatoes and tomatillos today and pulling the ripest garlic in the spiral patch. This is one of our best garlic crops in the last 7 years thanks to the sometimes tedious but well worth it prime bulb selecting. The scapes left to develop into bulbuls are about to unravel into their full splendor. We walked the maze a few times today before unearthing the garlic gems. We're retaining the spiral maze for the next round of crops as it's one of the most peaceful areas in the garden to walk through.

This week we're heavy into dehydrating garlic scapes and making kale chips for the winter and freezing batches of pesto.Chop and freeze scapes- you'll thank yourself for the extra effort now when food between the 20th parallel north and south is the primary option in a Montana winter.
 This weeks food share includes broccoli, kale, garlic scapes, chard, peas, basil and bunching onions. Anyone interested in extra bags of stir fry bundles, heirloom romaine lettuce, chives, marjoram, scapes, lemon balm, comfrey, edible flowers or borage? This abundance is available for pick up this week.
***For those of you new to storing basil it does best on the counter in a cool place. It will blacken and melt in the fridge.***
Enjoy another beautiful week in Montana!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Week 7 Heat Wave and Week 8 Garlic Pesto

The warm weather crops are loving this weather especially the night time lows in the 50's. This is the earliest year the tomatoes are starting to turn. And can you believe we didn't watered during the heat wave? Highs in the 90's and the mulch is doing it's job, lettuce isn't bitter and we're saving water in the inter-mountain west. We've gone from 3 times a day to not once in the 7 days since it rained. Sustainability at it's finest.

We've been cutting and wrapping garlic scape bundles in between eating homemade Strawberrry-Coconut Ice Cream. Each garlic bundle makes 2-3 batches of pesto. They are great on pizzas, in stir fry, grilled and juiced. We have pounds and pounds of tender garlic scapes available to choose from by the bundle or pound. They freeze great so if you'd like to eat garlic pesto anytime during the year-YES! plan ahead and contact us for pickup or 5$ delivery. We also priority mail order in flat rate boxes.

Last weeks share included a stunning heirloom salad mix, stir fry bundles, heirloom red celery, garlic scapes, kale and herbs. This week we're enjoying kohlrabi, heirloom salad mix, kale, garlic scapes, herbs, bunching onions, strawberries, stir fry mix and snow peas.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Week 5 Mulching and Agroecology

The food share this week includes spinach, heirloom lettuce mix, sun tea herbs, asian green stir fry bundles, basil, kale and radishes. The heirloom mix is a collection of lettuces we've seed saved over the years. Lettuce makes a stunning display when allowed to flower and we're saving a few more heirloom varieties that are doing well in our variable climate. Seed saving is a interesting art of selection that takes into consideration not only texture and often size but more importantly flavor, adaptability to a broad spectrum of conditions and time to bolting. We emphasize heirloom and open pollinated plants as this is the only true means to a sustainable food future.

We finished our mulching project for the season and already really pleased with the amount of watering we've reduced and the possibility of slowing the grass down. Mulching protects the soil from an incredible amount of water evaporation from the sun and wind on the soil surface. It also creates a new zone for soil microbes and insects to co-exist and build organic matter. It is a vital layer of our Agro-ecosystem and the difference in our garden was immediate.
So with less time water and weeding we have more time for enjoyable summer activities like planting seeds, building garden beds and forest forays! The rivers are swelling and so many unique shades of blue and green from the local sediment flow. Happy Summer Solstice!

 Mariposa Lily

Oregon Grape


 Western Larch 

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