Posts Tagged ‘gardening’

Our First Garlic Braids

The garlic was ready to harvest this week!  It’s the final part of the glorious garlic cycle:  Cloves planted in the fall, harvested some early bulbs for their tender garlic greens in pesto, and chopped off the flower scapes for the grill.  I thought I’d try my hand at making garlic braids this year.  I found this fabulous youtube tutorial for hard neck garlic and here are the results!  I feel so crafty!

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CSA & Farmers’ Market: CSA #3

Ok, you get the point:  You can eat local and on a budget.  So enough of seeing my weekly meal plans after this post.  Besides, half the time I need to revise them as life happens, appetites vary, and sales change.

Surprise CSA Box:

  •   1 bunch Parsley
  •    1 head Red Boston Lettuce 
  •    1 head  Red Oak Leaf Lettuce 
  •    3 pieces mixed Beets
  •    2 heads Green Romaine
  •   3 heads Baby Bok Choy
  •    4 oz Sugar Snap Peas
  •    5 pieces Garlic Scapes
  •   1 Greenhouse Seedless Cuke 

Farmer’s Market Purchases:  Strawberries, fresh pasta, bread, mushrooms, whole chicken

Within Budget:  Yes

Bibliopharm’s Weekly CSA & Farmers’ Market Meal Plan

Saturday
Breakfast:  toast, blueberries
Lunch:  Strawberry Festival
Dinner:  Caldo Verde (Portuguese Green Soup), grilled fresh sardines

Sunday
Breakfast:  Toast, blueberries
Afternoon Dinner:  Beer Can Chicken, roast potatoes and beets, grilled romaine, cake with strawberries

Monday
Breakfast:  omelet with sautéed garlic scapes, beet greens, and feta cheese
Lunch: PBJ, Snap Peas
Dinner:  Salad with leftover chicken

Tuesday
Breakfast:  toast, homemade yogurt, strawberries
Lunch: Egg salad sandwich, Snap Peas
Dinner:  Kofte (Turkish Lamb Meatballs), bulgar, salad

Wednesday
Breakfast:  cereal, fruit, yogurt
Lunch:  leftovers
Dinner: Grilled sausage pinwheel, rice, salad

Thursday
Breakfast:  Eggs and toast, strawberries
Lunch:  leftovers
Dinner:  Tofu stir fry with boy choy, rice

Friday
Breakfast:  Cottage cheese, crackers, fruit
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner:  Pasta al Carbonara, salad

CSA & Farmers’ Market: CSA Week #2

Surprise CSA Box:

  •    1 bu Garlic Chives
  •    1 head Bok Choy
  •    1 bu Red Oak
  •    1/2 lb Asparagus
  •    1 bu Leeks
  •    1 Green Boston
  •    1 Red Leaf Lettuce
  •    8oz Sugar Snap Peas
  •    1 bu Garlic Scapes
  •    1 bu mixed Carrots

Farmer’s Market Purchases:  pickles, bread, strawberries

Within Budget:  Yes

Bibliopharm’s Weekly CSA & Farmers’ Market Meal Plan

Saturday
Breakfast:  Omelet with sauteed garlic scapes
Dinner:  Birthday Party!

Sunday
Breakfast:  strawberries and yogurt
Lunch:  Greek Salad
Dinner:  Stir Fry with tofu and bok choy

Monday
Breakfast:  buttered toast, strawberries
Lunch:  leftovers
Dinner:  Pork Chops, rice, asparagus

Tuesday
Breakfast:  breakfast smoothie
Lunch:  leftovers
Dinner:  Vegetarian Cobb Salad

Wednesday
Breakfast:  breakfast smoothie
Lunch:  egg salad sandwich
Dinner:  Feta and leek quiche

Thursday
Breakfast:  yogurt with cereal and dried fruit
Lunch:   leftovers
Dinner:  Steak, rice, snap pea and carrot stir fry

Friday
Breakfast: yogurt with cereal and dried fruit
Lunch: Garden salad with leftover steak
Dinner:  Pizza night!

CSA & Farmers’ Market: Week #1

Yippee!!  Our CSA season has begun and there was much rejoicing!

Surprise CSA Box:

  • 1 bu Parsley
  • 1 bu Green Scallions
  • 1 head Green Lettuce
  • 1 bu Asparagus
  • 1 bu Leek
  • 8oz Sugar Snap Peas
  • 1 pt Strawberries
  • 1 head Red Romaine Lettuce
  • 3 heads Baby Bok Choy

Farmer’s Market Purchases:  More asparagus, more strawberries, bread, pickles, spinach, mushrooms

Within Budget:  Yes

Bibliopharm’s Weekly CSA & Farmers’ Market Meal Plan

It’s vegetarian week at the farm.  Why?  Because.

Saturday
Brunch:  Asparagus, Leek, and Goat Cheese Quiche
Dinner:  Girls Day Out in the Big City!

Sunday
Breakfast:  Strawberries and Oatmeal
Lunch:  Asparagus Soup with Almond Romano Pesto
Dinner:  Stir Fry with Sesame Tofu, Bok Choy, Snap Peas, and Scallions

Monday
Breakfast:  Strawberries and Overnight Oatmeal
Lunch:  Leftovers
Dinner:  Vegetarian Cobb Salad

Tuesday
Breakfast: Smoothie
Lunch:  Leftovers
Dinner:  Vegetarian Greek Salad

Wednesday
Breakfast:  Smoothie
Lunch:  Leftovers
Dinner:  Spinach and mushroom omelet

Thursday
Breakfast:  Eggs and Toast
Lunch:  Leftovers
Dinner:  Greens and Beans and Pasta

Friday
Breakfast:  Smoothie
Lunch:  Egg Salad
Dinner:  Pizza

Almond Romano Pesto and a Nod to Pestos in General

Got herbs in your garden or CSA? Make pesto! There’s much room for creativity, it’s marvelous and versatile stuff, and stores for weeks in the refrigerator.

The Basics…

  • 1 Bunch of Leafy Herbs (Basil, Parsley, Arugula, Oregano, etc.)
  • 1 Tbsp Nuts (Pine Nuts, Almonds, Walnuts, Pistachios, etc.)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup hard cheese (Parmigiana, Romano, Asiago, etc.)

Almond Romano Pesto

  • 1 bunch Parsely
  • 1 Tbsp Almonds
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/3 cups olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Pecorino Romano Cheese

Toss it all into the food processor and process until it becomes a paste. Step back and smell the herbs. Your whole house will now smell fresh and green. Happy sigh. Add more olive oil if it’s too thick. Store in a lidded jar with a layer of olive oil, which will help it keep its bright color. Use it on pastas, in sandwiches, and on bruschetta, which is an Italian-style toast.

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When you’re ready to use, scoop out what you need, making sure the layer of olive oil is still enough to cover.

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CSA & Farmers’ Market: Pre-CSA #2

Surprise CSA Box: n/a

Farmer’s Market Purchases:  Asparagus, Salad Greens, Tatsoi, Strawberries, Fresh Goat Cheese, Bread, Steamers, Cheesecake

Mini Farm Harvest:  Rhubarb, Herbs

Within Budget:  No (Our Memorial Day party and holiday weekend guests pushed us over the weekly budget. D-oh!)

Bibliopharm’s Weekly CSA & Farmers’ Market Meal Plan

Saturday
Brunch:  Eggs Benedict, Fresh Fruit
Dinner:   Party!  Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb, Ribs, Steamers, Grilled Vegetables, Salad with Goat Cheese and Roasted Rhubarb, Cheesecake, Strawberry Cake

Sunday
Breakfast:  Mixed Berry Bundt
Sunday Dinner:  Going to a Beach BBQ!

Monday
Breakfast: Breakfast Smoothie
Lunch:  Leftovers
Dinner:  Corned Beef, Potatoes, Cabbage

Tuesday
Breakfast:  Breakfast Smoothie
Lunch:  Leftovers
Dinner:  Greens and Beans and Pasta

Wednesday
Breakfast:  Breakfast Smoothie
Lunch:  Sherried Sardine Toast
Dinner:  Corned Beef Hash and Eggs, Cabbage, Toast

Thursday
Breakfast:  Breakfast Smoothie
Lunch:  Sherried Sardine Toast
Dinner:  Bolinhos de Bacalhau (Codfish Cakes), Esparregado (Portuguese Sautéed Greens)

Friday
Breakfast:  Breakfast Smoothie
Lunch:  Leftovers
Dinner:  We’re Taking In or Going Out!

Our Garden Plan… Now Almost Completely Planted

Danger of frost is not officially over in our area until later May, but the forecast predicts fair weather this week and the dogwoods are blooming, so it’s time to sow!  Here’s the plan…

We’re trying something new this year for us, but the concept originally came from the Native Americans: The Three Sisters. It’s an interplanting of corn, beans, and squash. The corn provides the poles for the beans to climb, the beans provide necessary Nitrogen for future plantings, and the squash shades out weed competition. Together they all provide balanced nutrition.

This summer we are growing a modern sweet corn and a traditional Indian corn, cranberry beans and snap peas, edible pumpkins and ornamental gourds. Corn is one of those crops that our CSA doesn’t provide and besides, for the sweetest sweet corn, you need to have the water boiling before you go out to harvest it.  Because of cross pollination of multiple varieties, we do not plan on saving our seeds this year. We’re just experimenting because I’ve heard that corn is difficult to grow without spraying.

To get started with The Three Sisters, first prepare your full sun garden beds with compost.  Depending on the soil in your area, you may want to create traditional mounds for better drainage. Because our soil is quite sandy and already well-drained, the extra irrigation for mounds would be water wasteful. Instead, we sow on level ground, but still follow the pattern needed for corn pollination and the companion planting benefits.

In the lore of the three sisters, it’s traditional to bury fish remains under the mound in which the plants are grouped. In honor of this tradition, we saved the remains of our grilled Sardines and I suppose you can guess where the leftovers are currently composting! Ick.

There seem to be two philosophies on how to proceed with planting. I’ve found that some sources recommend only planting the corn first until it has a 4″ head start or it will be overwhelmed by the beans and squash. Others recommend simultaneous planting, but keeping vigilant to make sure the corn has room by redirecting wayward bean and squash vines. We’re trying the latter option this year and we’ll let you know the outcome.  We used the little flags to help keep everything according to plan.

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Here’s the other side of the garden where our berry bushes and perennials live.  We interplanted sunflowers, chard, and arugala today.

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We also repotted out lemon tree this afternoon.  It overwinters inside and nearly dies every year, but somehow pulls through.  It’s the best (and only) way to get local citrus where we live.

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We just need to get our seedlings into the ground and we are completely planted for the Spring season.

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I hope everyone had as nice a Mother’s Day.  I’m very grateful for this beautiful and productive day with my family at home.

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