Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Fall Garden and Mustard Greens with Dill, Lemon and Soy Sauce

I'm not sure how many people actually look for a weekly post here from me, but I consider my blurbs here a regular part of my CSA work duties.
Yesterday I fell short however. Maybe it's the colder weather, darker skies or the cuddliness qualities of  my dogs and cats. All these factors made me lazy last night after a very busy and long harvest day.
So cuddling on the couch with my best friends and a good book was just a wee bit too enticing.
So here I am now this morning. It's early...Mollie is still sleeping before her day begins, and I am sitting beside my woodstove with a few of my kitty cats stretched out in front of me, try to warm ourselves from the remnants of coals from last nights fire.

Yesterday was the coolest day we have had so far this fall, and I've had to move my veg washing station into my garage, which I know was built for that purpose and other vegetable duties because it has never housed a car.
Yes, it's cool. But here in the Niagara Region of Southern Ontario, we haven't had a frost yet. I suspect that will all change tonight though.
Tonight before the sun goes down I'll take my agricultural fabric and cover up the remaining tomatoes, peppers and eggplants in my hoophouses and hope for a few more weeks from them.

Tomatoes in November. That would make me happy.
There are still lots and lots of crops outside that will survive regardless of the chance of frost tonight and hereafter. The chance of continued rain really is the biggest threat, with the bottoms ends of some of my carrots starting to rot, and my beautiful little french breakfast radishes sitting in pools of water.
Sun please!
There's still so much to get done in the garden, but the rain is problematic for these chores. There's still more garlic to get planted and mulch, compost and hay to spread over the garden, trenching, tilling and harvesting. I've still got lots of dry beans to pick for seed and food too, but the dry beans are a little damp from all the wet weather.
Still in the garden and for the foreseeable future regardless of a frost are carrots, beets, celeriac, turnips, winter radishes, many varieties of kale, jerusalem artichokes, chard. collards, walking onions, sorrel and herbs such as thyme, rosemary, sage and parley.

It always surprises me when I visit people I know and see their garden cleaned out and cleaned up for the next year's growing season. Poof-just like that things are gone. My garden is kind of like my house and that is never completely cleaned up. I try, I really do. That is, to keep the garden going. The house? Well that day will come, likely when my hair has a little more gray.
The baskets today contained squash, onions, garlic, beets, chard/mustard mix, salad greens, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, rosemary, thyme, parsley and basil. A good haul of good things from the fall garden.

If you want a great idea for your squash, stop in to visit my friend Karen at The Art of Doing Stuff. Her post today is for a delicious sounding Roasted Pumpkin Soup which you can find here. The acorn squash in your basket would be super duper for this.
When I make this soup tonight for supper, I'll substitute in vegetable stock and leave the bacon out of the topping for a nice veg soup. Sorry Karen, that's how I roll.

The following recipe is a good one for the mustard greens in your baskets. Add the chard as well, to good effect.
This recipe is from "Rodale's Basic Natural Foods Cookbook"

Mustard Greens with Dill, Lemon and Soy Sauce

3 cups vegetable stock
4 Tbsp soy sauce
1 cup barley
1 med size onion
2 Tbsp safflower oil
1 lb mustard greens
1/2 tsp dill
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Combine stock and 2 tbsp of soy sauce in medium size saucepan.Add barley and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes or until tender.
In a large skillet, saute onions in oil until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add mustard greens, stir to mix, cover and gently seam for 15 minutes. Add dill, lemon juice, remaining soy sauce and season to taste. Cover and steam for 5-10 more minutes
Serve greens over barley. Serves 4-6 people.

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