Tuesday, July 21, 2015

On the Farm and CSA Week 8

Every year in the garden is different, but the same in some ways too.
Every spring I till my garden, plant my seeds and imagine exactly what the garden will look like when it grows.
It never does look that way though.
The reason is never looks that way is because the weeds grow. And this year the weeds have been amazing. Big healthy strong weeds courtesy of the rain.

 I am glad we can eat some of them..the lamb quarters for example and the pigweed (which is in the amaranth family), but I'm not eating many of them at this point because of course there are too many other things in the garden to eat. If I want greens...well...right now it is chard. I sure have lots.
So, out with the weeds.
I've fed some to Joey and the chickens...pretty much all they can handle. The chickens, to tell the truth, are not that interested. Really, why would they be? They wander around the property and have been known to pop into the garden on occasion to peck off some strawberries, tomatoes or nice tender lettuce. Weeds? Pfft. Who am I kidding? Maybe in February weeds would seem like a feast to them Not now. Not in mid-July.
I will say my weed profile has changed on this property since I started growing on it some 20 years ago. When I first started growing on my heavy clay, I was cursed with sow thistle and quack grass...signs of a heavy compacted soil.  As the soil lightened up because of years of compost, green manures and mulches being turned in, the pig weed, lamb quarters another annual weeds arrived. Generally as I pull them, I leave them on the soil, because they are good too, to turn into the soil. But this year this technique has been a bit flawed as some of them are rerooting with all the rain. So I pull them twice. C'est la vie.
Will I catch up with the weeds? No-I won't. Ideally I'll get them before they go to seed...or I'll go down trying. My motto is "I do the best I can." I sure am working hard.

A bit more summer was in the baskets today. Yes, again a good big bundle of chard, also beans-mostly Dragon Tongue, a superb Dutch heirloom, onions, basil, beets-mostly white ones, sweet peppers, cukes, cutting celery and likely a wee bit more.

With the appearance of beans, I'll post one of my favourite recipes for beans. I hope you like it.

Roasted (Green) Beans

Beans, topped and tailed.
Olive oil
Sea or kosher salt

Heat oven to 450 F.
Lightly grease a baking sheet with oil and lay beans in a single layer on it.
Drizzle them with oil until they are evenly coated.
Cook for about 15 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to ensure even cooking.
When roasted, remove from oven and sprinkle with salt.

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