Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Bumpin' Crop...of Strawberries

Bumping Across Life

Did you notice that the days are getting shorter?  Me neither.  But they are.  I can't see it yet but I can feel it.  And so can the weeds.  All I can say is whew!  We've crossed the vegetable rubicon! The last few weeks have been intense.  But now all is well.  "I think we're going to have a really good year," I said to my husband.  "Barring any unforeseen circumstances" (such as injuries, crop failures (there will always be some but we can absorb it -- that's the good thing about not monocroppong) or death, you just never know! 

Last night I woke up during the night only to see the yard filled with lightening bugs (a Midwestern term, they're called "Fireflies" on the East Coast. Soda vs. pop.  Everything is much more fancy out here).  I was just wondering yesterday when they would appear and remembering the time we camped out in  the backyard with our kids and the tent was bright all night from the "fireflies."  And it struck me, hard.  The years are moving along so quickly, too quickly, especially with the farm. 

How many more times in my lifetime will I hear the first of the spring peepers?  Or see the first lightening bug?  Or eat the wild dandelion greens? Or grate the horseradish?  Or chop the garlic scapes for my omelet?  I'm 56.  If I live to be 86, just 30 more times.  Not enough.  I need to catch up and not always be behind trying to catch up.  I just want to have those few moments of every moment where the moment is all there is. Hear that spring peeper sing so loudly it's always ringing in my ears.  See that bright light from the lightening bug so that my mind is always bright.  Eat those bitter wild dandelion greens and make wine for the winter from the flowers to remember the first of spring. And still hear the spring peepers. And see the light.

People will sometimes ask me what I eat (Vegan, vegetarian, low-carb, Paleo, Ornish, Atkins, Zone, Mediterranean, SAD (Standard American Diet) all I can think of is, what's in the bag this week? Again?  And what can I possibly preserve for the long winter ahead?  Seasonally, I guess, would be the answer.  What I can grow?  And what can I get locally.  Because I can't do it alone.  I'm so glad that there are people around who actually like to raise beef.  And pork.  And fruit.  And bees.  And mushrooms.  And chickens.  And eggs.  And maple syrup. And buckwheat.  And spelt.  It's exhausting to think of doing all these things alone.  (I once tried, very unsuccessfully, to do many of these things.  I can still hear the cries of the chickens from a not-so friendly visit from the neighbor's dog).  It's beyond Community Supported Agriculture.  It's just life. And still a little bumpy.

Bumper Crops
Dan was right!  It is a year of bumper crop strawberries. More strawberries this week! Yum...

Mo'Pweeze Bakery
"Home of the Delectable and Divine Allgery-Free Cupcakes
Always Dairy, Egg, Nut, Gluten/Wheat, Soy Free"

Chris has turned a problem (allergic kids!) into a solution for her and others.  She will be at the CSA this week in Hawthorne with her healthy and delicious allergy-free cupcakes! 


P.S.  I cooked up some of the chicory tonight for dinner.  It was really delicious and not a bit bitter. (Although I happen to like bitter, it took me some time to acquire a taste for bitter.  If you're trying to get someone who doesn't like bitter greens (think husband  -- no offense to those men who cook! and love bitter greens! and/or kids) to eat them, add a bit of sautéed chopped apple or a tablespoon of raisins soaked in 1/4 cup of hot water).  Just a bite of bitter is better and more potent than a pill or "supplement."  (I never could get that concept. Supplement.  Why supplement when you can get the real thing?  Vegetables.  Especially greens.  Leafy greens. Bitter greens.  Local greens. Sweet greens. Juiced greens.  Just greens.  Always greens. Every day!) 

Vegetable List

lettuce (red leaf)
lettuce (Boston)
kale (one of my favorite things!)
green garlic and/or garlic scapes


The Crisper Whisperer (7 great scape recipe ideas!)
Pickled Garlic Scapes
Wow!  Even Smithsonian is talking garlic scapes!

It's okay to be bitter (chicory, here I come!)
Chicory & White Bean Soup
Chicory & Orange Salad with Ginger Dressing
Six Tips for Flawless Kale Chips  
Creamy Curried Kale & Chickpeas
Cilantro, it's one of those herbs you love or hate!, 22 ways

My very favorite cilantro recipe -- I eat it by the spoonful!

1 c. cashews (or walnuts, almonds or pecans) toasted lightly
6 T. of cilantro
1/4 c. olive oil
2 T. soy sauce (I use gluten-free tamari)
2 t. brown sugar
1 jalapeno pepper (optional -- some like it hot!)
1 T. lime juice (and zest is always good)
salt to taste

Blend all in a food processor.  Stores well in the refrigerator.




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