nest in orchard
two headed snake? no, just a happy couple!
BLACK CAPS are in! Look along the scrubby edge of the woods, the back edge of yards, or along a building and you may well find the little black raspberries that are so seedy and yet so tasty!
This is the time of year for another annual event as well. Every year as the barn swallow chicks that were born in the nest in the carport attached to our house begin to get close to leaving the nest, the parents begin a relentless vigil on our cat, Pumpkin. She can not travel to any spot outside of our house with out a noisy mess of bird divebombing at her head. She seems to take it all in stride and hardly seems to notice that there are birds swooping within a foot of her head. The handy side effect is that if she is waiting to come in through the back door, all of the bird noise acts like a kind of personalized feline doorbell and when we hear the rucus we let her in.
When I pulled in from market on friday night Matthew was sitting outside finishing up his weekly phone call to his parents and shelling peas. I joined him and we enjoyed the gentle evening breeze that was wonderfully cool after a brief but intense rain storm (2 inches in 45 minutes). The lightning bugs were putting on a terrific show and the tree frogs were providing the music to the event. It was just a great end to a busy week and a perfect evening to be alive.
But to be honest- lately, we have been having a lot of perfect weather. Its been raining plenty, but not too much. Its been warm enough, but not too hot and its been about the right temperature for both the cool season crops (like lettuce, which doesn't like to be too hot) as well as warm season crops (like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and squash). But I know that eventually it will be hot again and I am thinking of planting another shade tree outside of our house.
Last year I wrote in the newsletter how we keep our house nice and cool with no air conditioner and some people mentioned that it was helpful, so i think a few things bear repeating. This is how we manage our home in the summer. We open the windows at night and draw the cool air in. It helps to open an upstairs window and face a fan out, also open the down stairs windows and we put a fan in our bedroom window, all of this helps to draw the hot air out and the cool air in. In the morning, shut the windows, and curtains or blinds to lock that cool air in the house for the day and also to keep the sun from warming the house up. Having shade trees around the house, but especially on the south and west sides of the house can help to keep the house nice and cool even on blistering hot days, of course the better insulated the house is, the better it holds that cool night air inside.
When it is in the 90s outside, we enjoy our lunch inside in the mid 70s. We are lucky the some hundred years ago someone planted several shade trees on the south side of our house. But, the west side of our house has quite a large older window that gets a lot of sun. By the time the sun has slid lower in the sky, the house begins to warm up a little bit. We could either buy an awning for this window which would help to keep more of the heat out, or we could put a thicker or more insulated curtain on the window to help block that afternoon sun better, or to keep the sun off of most of the house, we could plant a shade tree, it will have to be a decidious tree so that in the winter, the leaves won't block either the lovely sunset or the last warming rays that we keep the curtains open to recieve. I know that I just said our other trees were planted a hundred years ago, but it doesn't have to take that long, trees will help even in ten years or so. An arbor with grapes on it would be a fast and tasty way to block the sun from our house, and i guess that its something to think about.
At any rate, if you have a hot house, a hot time of day, or a high electricity bill from paying to cool your house with the windows and blinds open. Maybe these ideas will help you, too. Plant a shade tree, it will take a few years to grow, but it will beautify your home and make add value to it, even if you move in seven years (the average in the US) and don't get to enjoy the shade you've made. Buy the biggest tree you can afford, or if you don't have any money in your tree budget right now, we have lots of little oaks, maples, and ashes springing up all over the place. We'd be glad to let you dig one or more and bring it home to baby it. I have my eye on a sugar maple that could be moved and i have been scoping out the right spot every afternoon after i notice the house starting to warm up a little.
Last week's trivia answer for those who were pondering it and didn't post an answer, it was radicchio -- a slightly bitter green that's great in salad, it looks like an exotic red cabbage, and last years members may remember it when it show up again in a few weeks.
How about another trivia for this week? What three things do we grow that we plant the same portion that we eat. All three of these things happen to be planted in the same field this year, and they are the only things planted there.
We had great time having the Fromer Family up to the farm on sunday to pick their own, thanks for coming up, it was fun to walk around and see all the sight through the eyes of two little ones!
If you'd like to pick your own peas, beans, or wildflowers. Call or email the first time so we can show you where things are.
Don't forget July 19th's CSA event, get it on the calendars now!
This week's share:
Beets and greens
Next week's expected veggies:
new potatoes, dill, greens, lettuce, cucumbers?, beans, lettuce
Its time for one of our all time favorite recipes! BEET BURGERS!
2 cups grated beets
2 cups grated carrots
½ cup grated onions
1 cup cooked rice (I make a little extra in advance, if I know I am going to be making beet burgers)
1 cup toasted sunflower seeds
½ cup toasted sesame seeds (I omit these)
2 eggs, beaten
2 T soy sauce
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
3 T flour
Minced fresh or dried garlic, cayenne, and parsley or other herbs to taste.
Toast seeds in a dry pan for several minutes, stir often. Mix all ingredients, form into patties and bake at 350. Unless patties are large, you will not need to turn them. Also can be make in a skillet (easier for just a few). Frozen can be reheated in a toaster oven.
Since this is one of our all time favorite recipes, we will make a double or triple recipe at once and freeze the extras, then they make a quick meal when we are in a hurry. A food processor is your best friend for these!
This Recipe came from Christine, one of our members, it was in the comments from the last post, and in case not everyone read it, i wanted to make sure it was out there, its a yummy sounding recipe, my mouth was watering when she told me about it. She said she added chicken once and chick peas another time, and both were great...
Lemon Scented Pasta with Garlic Scapes and Veggies
(Serves 2 as a main course or four as a side dish)
1/3 box of spaghetti
5 or 6 garlic scapes sliced thinly
6 Sun dried tomato halves sliced thinly
¾ cup fresh corn
½ cup flat leaf parsley
Zest of one lemon
Juice of one lemon
1 cup chicken stock
Cook the spaghetti till al dente and set aside. Sautee’ scapes and tomatoes till fragrant then add the corn, parsley, lemon zest and lemon juice and simmer lightly. Turn the heat up a bit; add the chicken stock and pasta and toss everything to coat and until the sauce is slightly thickened.Serve garnished with additional parsley.
Thanks for the recipe, Christine!
Hope everyone has a great week, with lots of delicious meals and for those who are seeing family for the fourth, enjoy! liz