News from the garden
Rokeby appears to have been transported to the Pacific Northwest. The consistent and heavy rains are taking a toll on the heat-loving crops, particularly the tomatoes, some of which are affected by late blight. Some crops are resisting better than others; the chard and beets are bigger than I’ve ever seen them, the kale that is not in an inch of water is looking lush, and the broccoli are making side-shoot florettes as big as the main heads. The cabbages are finally coming to a head, and the Brussels sprouts are looking healthy for a fall harvest.
We harvested the garlic and braided it all – soft- and hard-neck varieties alike. These are now curing and drying in the wood shed. The onions will soon have to be harvested and cured in the greenhouse and the rest of the potatoes will have to be dug up early if the rain continues.
At least one of the chicken nuggets has started to lay little brown eggs, and her friends look ready to do the same. Joe has donated a lovely Hamburg rooster to join the girls, and he – the rooster – seems to have acclimated nicely. The older hens are cleaning up the garlic beds, preparing them for fall and winter crops. Although there have been three recent attacks, the older girls continue to lay beautiful eggs of all different colors. One even laid a soccer-ball patterned egg!
The flowers in the Pick-Your-Own labyrinth are undeterred by the rain and are getting bigger by the day. The stand on the Poet’s Walk has been well supplied with bouquets on the few fair-weather weekends.
Seasonal recipe, by Abra
Blanched Green Beans and Corn Salad
1lb green beans blanched in salted water and cooled
4 ears of corn cut from the cob, blanched and cooled
1 handful of parsley, Arugula and mint
2 egg yolks
12 oz olive oil
2 T white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic
Salt and pepper
Blanch and cool the vegetables.
In a food processor place the yolks and vinegar, salt and pepper. Blend and slowly add the oil in a thin, steady stream until it emulsifies and makes a mayonnaise.
Add the greens to the mayo and blend until a pretty green
Taste and adjust seasoning
Toss the vegetables and mayo for a cool salad.
Nutrition corner, by Rosalind
If you can’t be in Tuscany in August eating your tomatoes, then you want to be in the Hudson Valley eating Marina’s! That is, unless you have osteo-arthritis, in which case you might not want to eat them at all – or their cousins, the potatoes, the peppers, and the eggplants, all in the nightshade family, and reputed to worsen arthritic symptoms. This may be because they upset calcium metabolism. On the other hand, if it’s high blood pressure you want to curb, tomatoes, because of their gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) are recommended. They originated in South America and the word tomato derives from the word in an Aztec language.
• August 5th, canning workshop at PFP. www.farmproject.org/events/index.html
• August 7th-9th, NOFA Summer Conference. Amherst, MA. Rosalind Michahelles presents on Friday. www.nofasummerconference.org
• August 8th, Chicken Coop building day at Shoving Leopard.
• August 25th-30th, Dutchess County Fair. Red Hook. Yippeee!
• September 11th, Grapes and gourmets gone wild. www.dutchesscountybounty.com/events
We have pasture hay for sale. If you or any of your sheepish and goatish friends would like some, I can be reached at 845 758 9961. We are making 35-40 lb square bales, and selling them for $3.50 each. We do not have an economical way of delivering them, but we’re willing and able to help load them up!