News from the garden
Spring has sprung in the Hudson Valley! Meg’s baby Susanna was born on March 13th, the first spring peepers were heard on the 16th; a carpet of those yellow flowers (small whorled pogonia?) bloomed on the 18th, the first ramps were sighted on the 22ndth, and 18 healthy baby chicks arrived at the post office on the 23rd. Now over a week old, the chicks express all their henly instincts – scratching, stretching, preening, dusting, and fighting over worms and sprouts.
The brassica and allium starts in the greenhouse are keeping their feet warm with electric blankets, and the more tender tomato, pepper, eggplant, and lettuce starts are in the kitchen benefiting from the wood stove. The first sugarsnap and shell peas have been planted in a bed of perennial creeping onion (thanks to Tesha); currant suckers have been stuck in where last year’s cuttings didn’t take; and the new bed of blueberries and rhubarb has been started (more rhubarb divisions welcome!).
The next couple of weeks will be spent preparing garden beds for the transplant of collards, broccoli, cabbage, kale, beets, lettuce, leeks, onions, scallywags, and chards, and for the direct seeding of oats and peas, Asian green mixes, salad mixes, herbs, potatoes (10 varieties!), beans, carrots, radishes, scorzonera, and turnips. Volunteer help will be greatly appreciated.
There are a few open spots for the 2009 CSA, so please spread the word. The new website has information about the CSA and a sign-up sheet: www.shovingleopardfarm.org.
This newsletter will be archived with previous ones on the website so that you can relive the seasons and refer back to Abra’s delicious recipes and Rosalind’s nutrition tidbits.
Seasonal recipe, by Abra
Sun choke Fondant
1 lb sun chokes
3 sheets gelatin bloomed in ice water
1 C cream then whipped
Peel and sweat chokes in butter
Add stock and season heavily
Blend until smooth
Temper in whipped cream
5# cleaned ramps
2 ½ gallons
5 peeled yukons
1 pt cream
Sweat ramps in butter
Add in the Yukon diced and the chicken stock
Cook till potatoes are tender and blend
Finish with cream
The nutrition corner, by Rosalind
In the spring of the year, seeds realize their potential by sprouting. What happens? The seed releases enzymes to convert stored food into available food – for the plant and thus for us in the form of vitamins, enzymes, amino acids and simple sugars. In their early growth state, sprouts are very easy to digest. Recent research by the American Cancer Society suggests that sprouts may contain anti-cancer properties, high levels of active antioxidants, concentrated amounts of phytochemicals and significant amounts of vitamins A, C and D. (See: www.hopkinsmedicine.org/press/1997/SEPT/970903.HTM )
Edible sprouts are many and various: alfalfa, mung bean, lentil, radish, clover, sunflower, broccoli, garbanzo and adzuki. If any of these are new to you, why not give them a try?
*Beekeeping workshops at Poughkeepsie Farm Project. April 4th, 9 am – 12 pm, Poughkeepsie. $30-$35, pre-registration. www.farmproject.org
*Annual Work Weekend at Awesome Farm. April 4th, 10-6, and April 5th 10-5. “Join us for coop building, repairing and upgrading, spring cleaning, and general merry making while we work.” www.awesomefarmny.com
*Grafting Workshop with Lee Reich. May 2nd, 9-11:30 am, New Palz. $60, pre-registration required. www.leereich.com