Groundhog Day, Candlemas, Brigid, Feast of St. Blaise….
Did you notice that the days are getting just a little longer?
February 2 marks the midway point between the first day of winter and the first day of spring. We’ve rounded the corner, and are now on our way to a new gardening season.
I’ll be selling vegetable plants at the South Side FarMar, in Fort Wayne, beginning in April. For the best size transplants, I’m starting now. Already sprouted are 11 different pepper varieties–most heirloom. Sweet peppers for this season will be Alma and Feher Ozon paprikas, Sheepnose and California Wonder Bells, Red and Yello Mini-Bells, Jimmy Nardello’s Sweet Frying, and Buran. Hot varieties include Red Habanero, Wenk’s Yellow Hots, Ancho Gigantea (poblano), Cochiti, and New Mexico.
I’ve also started some early broccoli and some kale, to transplant into the garden in late March (if weather allows); and some interesting varieties of radicchio and endive, for salad mixes in May and June.
I’m also thinking about adding baked goods as a “value added” product this year. To do so, I’ll need to find a certified commercial kitchen (like a restaurant or school cafeteria) that will rent me space a few hours a month. If you know of a place, leave a comment, please. I’ve been making sourdough and other breads for the past few months, and think I’ve got the hang of it. Today I made a country-style rustic bread, using a “poolish”, or pre-ferment, that I started about 8 hours before mixing the rest of the ingredients. Topped with sesame, these look and taste just like an artisan bakery. I also experimented with a loaf using dried rosemary. Yum!