Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Independence Day Challenge Year 2, The ninth week

Today, I received a warning from a friend who works for the cooperative extension.   He is a soil and water guy who has been doing a study of heirloom variety potatoes. His warning was for late blight.  Last year, we had 3 weeks of rain around late July and early August. We had late blight last year and most likely we will have it this year.It has rained  for 4 weeks with an occasional outbreak of that most elusive heavenly body, the sun. Last year we were able to pick the spuds before the blight reached the roots. This year the potatoes are just starting to flower.  So, we made our way to our local garden center and picked up some copper. The kind woman at the garden center told us that we should put it on in the morning and we need 3 hours free of rain after application; in order for the application to be effective.

Makes me wonder about the lowly spud.  Such simple fare. So cheap.  such an important staple food.  It is a major crop for us. We grow over a hundred pounds a year. I have been saving seed each year and grow wide variety  of varieties. Kennebecs, Yukon Golds, Caribe, Onaway, Yellow Finn...Such friendly reliable names... But to grow a potato is quite a feat.  One must battle pests and fungi  to bring a simple mash to the plate. 

Plant: Nothing this week ...to wet. but I am pondering planting more spinach this week. The weather is predicted to be wet and coolish for a while longer. So it should stay cool enough for  a while longer, cool enough for spinach?

Harvested: Lettuce, garlic scapes, oregano, strawberries, broccoli, yarrow, kale. Everyone in my house praises broccoli. Including the green -phobic three year old. We've made great advances in advancing his diet;)

Preserved: We grow over a hundred heads of garlic each year. Each year, I try to find a way to preserve the garlic scapes. I've pickled them with caulifower. That was yummy and a great garlic boost when one has a cold.  I've frozen garlic scape pesto. But they seem to get lost in the freezer and forgotten. This year I am mincing them into a paste and laying it out in the dehydrator. When they are dried I crush the clumps in the mortor and pestal. This makes a lovely smelling herbal blend to add to foccacia or dips.  Dehydrated Oregano and kale.

Managed reserves/ prepped: Cleaned out plenty of closets, decluttering and packing up unnecessary items, deep cleaning. Mulched and weeded the garden. I received the bulk foods order.  Oats, buckwheat, red lentils, honey, rice vinegar, Doctor Bronner's, pastas, some herbs and spices, coconut and raisins, yeast. It is a lot of food.  But if I am not able to stay here through harvest season our larder will still be pretty full. I only order food that we eat and save a fair amount of money than if I were to buy it retail.

Local Foods: Went to farmer's market. Purchased some chicken parts. The  honey I purchased with the bulk food order was from a local Bee keeper.

Eat the food:  lettuce, broccoli, garlic scapes, strawberries


Anna M said...

Out of curiosity where does one get bulk food in New England?

When I was in Idaho I could go to Walton Feed but it's a bit prohibitive to ship that here.

I miss being able to buy 50 pounds of what a the grocery store.

Wendy said...

Good idea about crushing and drying the garlic scapes. I think I'll "borrow" it ... if you don't mind ;).

I've been using mine in cooking, because I ran out of garlic about three weeks ago, and mine's not ready to harvest, yet.

Ugh! Rain. Love it, but sheesh, can we have some sun already?

Fleecenik Farm said...

Anna, I order through Associated buyers. They are a wholesaler who sells to natural food stores and also buying clubs. They will help you find a buying club near you. A great company.