Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Life on the Farm and CSA Week 3

It's been sort of an up and down week.
As my crew here gets a bit older, we have periods of sadness when someone passes on and our family becomes a bit smaller.
I knew one of my elderly chickens was struggling, and yesterday I had to bury her as she passed in the night.
It never gets any easier. They all are special and have such interesting personalities, just like we all do. And they are all missed and remembered.
Today as I tried to get the baskets together for my deliveries, I encountered difficulties with the ultimate chicken personality, Ruby.

She is indeed a special girl.
Because of the huge amount of rain coming down, I washed the produce in the kitchen instead of outdoors, and assembled the baskets in the garage.
Percy, our big orange tabby likes to come and go as he pleases. So he fashioned a hole in the screen door, that his pleasingly plump shape can fit through.

It took Ruby no time at all to pick up on this, and she became quite adept quite quickly at barging in the garage unannounced and generally uninvited.
If you don't know chickens well, then you may not know they will eat anything. You may have visions of them pecking daintily on grains or grass. But cat food? Oh yes. Cat food holds great appeal...for Ruby anyways. And trying to deter her while I fixed up the baskets and then got them into the car was a challenge. She is not deterred easily, and has a dogged determination to carry on with her mission, regardless of the number of times I had to place her back outside. Quite admirable really. I wish I had her tenacity for certain chores.
The baskets made it out to my car and were delivered full of spring veggies, fresh and intact with no chicken damage whatsoever.

Between harvesting in the pouring rain and dodging Ruby, I'm feeling like those veggies are mighty valuable indeed.
I have been working hard here, but the rain has made a few things impossible.
It does seem late to still be planting, but it isn't too late yet. I would prefer to have everything in, but I don't. I've got lots more beans to plant, but the rain has been unrelenting. The clay will take a while to dry up, so that's how it is. You just can't work with wet clay. So we wait.
It's okay...lots of weeds to work on now. It will all happen.
I don't think I could have fit anything else at all into today's baskets. Lettuces (lots), swiss chard, kale,  garlic scapes, chives, radishes and lambs quarters all should help to give you a big dose of vitamins this week. And good eating too.
I love lambs quarters. You say weed, I say fabulous veggie, high in nutrients and good taste. I prefer it to spinach, and am happy to see it sprouting up, not only because I like to eat it, but it's presence indicates a loose, nutrient rich soil. I'm glad to see it showing up more and more farmers markets. It should. It's good eating.
Let's do maybe something a bit different with the radishes. You could just crunch on them raw, but they are excellent sautéed too. This recipe is from the new" Organic Life " magazine...I've adapted it a bit to fit your basket ingredients.

Sauteed Radishes with Garlic and Radish Greens

Radishes with greens (1 1/2 lbs)
3 TBSP butter or vegan alternative
3 garlic scapes, chopped
Pinch sugar and salt and pepper to taste

Remove greens from radishes, remove all but 1/2 inch of the stem.
With a mallet, smash the larger radishes, or slice.
Melt butter in saute pan, add radishes and cook till softened, 5 minutes or so.
Add all other ingredients, including the radish greens. Cook till they are wilted-1 minute more.


Diana Goodwin said...

Love your post.. read all and every one of them. I also buy my plants, seeds from you and hope that they produce as much veg as your garden seems to. You were kind enough to let me sample of box of your bounty 2 years ago and have been hooked on heirloom plants ever since.
I am looking for a good home for 4 young hens .Rhode Island, Barred Rock, Gold laced Wyandotte and Columbian I am tired of fighting nature to keep them alive(fox, weasel, hawks,bald eagle, and the worst raccoons). They are used to free ranging but have been "cooped" up this summer due to these predators. It just seems so unfair and would love to home them where they are free. If you can help that would be great.. maggie-goodwin@hotmail.com.

hou said...
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