Things are starting fill out in the garden! That’s good news for our CSA customers and for the farmer’s market that starts next week. This week’s share features only garden items, a first for this season!
Dry edible beans are from last season. They’re a beautiful variety called Trout bean, Appaloosa or Jacob’s Cattle. Originating from Prince Edward Island, the legend is that it was a gift from Maine’s Passamaquoddy Indians to Joseph Clark, the first white child born in Lubec, Maine. I really like these in a stew.
Some of the cauliflower in the hoop house is maturing much slower than others, since snow peas have just started and didn’t yield many in the first picking, there is a choice between the two.
The cabbage, so far, is looking beautiful. These are a variety called Farao. They are not a storage variety, and have tender leaves, so should be used relatively soon. Great for a stir fry or making egg rolls!
Last, but not least, the lettuce. It won’t be long before it’s too hot for the greens. Make those summer salads while you can! Try this vinaigrette to top yours.
I know many folks are not fans of cabbage. Even if you are one of them, it’s worth trying this recipe! Bacon makes everything better, even cabbage.
Half a medium head of cabbage, roughly chopped
1/2 pound bacon, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Chop your bacon into bite size pieces and add to a warm pan. I like my bacon chewy rather than crispy. So, I fry this up at a low temp, just until the fat is translucent. Depending on your bacon, your pan should have plenty of oiliness for the cabbage. If not, add a bit of olive oil or lard.
Add your cabbage to the pan and mix it well. I sprinkle with just a bit of salt during this step, you can skip this if you choose. At this point you can turn up the heat if you plan to stand at the stove to stir this. If you have a toddler in the house, like I do, keep it lower and stir when you can.
Depending on your temp, you may cook this for 10-20 minutes. Stir it often to avoid anything getting crispy. When this is all finished the cabbage will be translucent and have a great caramel color. Try it with your picky kids or spouse, we shoveled it down at are house. This stuff is awesome!
It seems as if we will make it to 15 weeks this year! Many gardeners are already done due to a frost last week. We didn’t get that one, fortunately, so we still have time to get more produce out.
This weeks box includes cabbage, tomatoes, a variety of hot peppers (jalapenos, the long red ones are chili peppers and the orange ones are habaneros), beets, sage and potatoes. The cabbage, tomatoes and peppers would go well in this Creole Cabbage recipe. Instead of the can of tomatoes and rotel, use some fresh tomatoes and your choice of peppers the jalapenos are generally the milder and the habaneros the spiciest! Any peppers that you don’t immediately use can be frozen. We slice or chop them then freeze directly in freezer bags to use in cassaroles, stir frys and scrambled eggs as needed.
The amount of sage in the box is probably too much for most recipes, so I would encourage you to preserve it for later. Here is a great photo tutorial on how to freeze any herb in oil for use later.
Unfortunately, this is about it for the potatoes. We had issues with gophers in the garden that really took a toll on the potatoes and some of the beets too. The skins are slightly imperfect so they won’t be good for saving. It should be a good amount to use quickly.
Finally, on the 5th of May, I did our first real planting of the year!
On Sunday, I made my first trip to Helen’s Country Greenhouse just outside of Minto to pick up some cole crops that I didn’t raise from seed: broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Kale is another in the same family that we have started in our seed cabinet. It sure feels good to have some ground planted!
For those of you who don’t know, Dave and I like to push the seasons! We have tomato seedlings that could go into the ground right now, if only our garden space wasn’t still so wet. I had marked on the farm calendar to have peas, spinach, radish, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and carrots in the ground about 3 weeks ago. Our garden still had snow piles 3 weeks ago. Needless to say we’ve been chomping at the bit this year and these photos make me feel a bit better about the season!