News from the garden
Shoving Leopard Farm is about to enter its second CSA pick-up season, and the garden is right on track. The head lettuces are bulking up; the chard, collards, and kale are ready for the first harvest; radishes, beets, and turnips are swelling; and even the first early broccoli has put out a floret. Close behind are the scallions and spinach heads; the bean plants are almost a foot tall, and the earliest tomatoes are flowering… but these may be discouraged to promote a little more vegetative growth.
The first and second successions of the three sisters (corn, beans, and squash) are in the ground and looking robust; the early and the canning tomatoes are in the ground and the fall varieties are a week away from transplant; bell peppers and eggplants have been popped in the ground and share their beds with carrots, basil, parsley, cilantro, celery, celeriac, onions, lettuce, and spinach.
Zinnia, cosmos, aster, snapdragons, ageratum, celosia, and many others are slowly filling the flower garden, which will be encircled by a ring of sunflowers and decorative corn.
The new garden gate/trellis is up and fully functioning. It will support the newly transplanted hardy kiwi vines, various vining cucumbers and nasturtium, as well as pole beans and gourds.
Sadly, we lost one of our best friends and workers in an early morning fox raid. Gretchen and four of her friends have gone to join Hensel in the great worm-bin in the sky. The remaining layers, Blue Boots and the little yellow Auracana, have joined the flock of nuggets for the time being. When the electric fence is fixed, they will all move to a hopefully safe summer run just outside the garden.
Seasonal recipe, by Abra
Seared Whitefish with Peas and Radishes
½ lb fresh peas
1 bunch radishes
Handful of pea tendrils
4 sprigs of mint or marjoram
4 filets of whitefish or similar flakey fish with the skin still on
In a small sauce-pan melt a large knob of butter until foamy
Slice the shallot and gently sweat in the butter
Add the freshly shucked peas and let them simmer until tender but not mushy
Roughly chop the mint or marjoram and stir into the peas
In a very hot pan add a splash of oil and sear the fish skin side down getting it very crispy
(Whitefish has thin filets and should be able to be cooked only on the stovetop. If you have a filet that is thicker place the pan in the oven without flipping the fish.)
Taste the peas and season as necessary
Place on the plate and serve the fish skin side up on top.
Toss the pea tendrils (or another green like Arugula or mizuna) with the radishes and some olive oil and either vinegar or a squeeze of lemon and place on top of the fish.
Nutrition Corner, by Rosalind
The Nutrition Corner, by Rosalind
If you think lettuce is mostly all the same, you might be wrong. To start with, there are four principal categories:
Butterhead (Boston, Bibb)
Looseleaf (green leaf, red leaf)
If you are craving vitamin A, go for (in this order) romaine, green leaf, red leaf, iceberg, or Boston. If it's potassium you're after, go for Boston, romaine, or iceberg. Yes -- iceberg! Not as chic as the others, maybe, but also good for you. With all of these you get about 1 gram of fiber for 1 cup of chopped lettuce.
Source: Food and Fitness Advisor, June, 2008, p.3 (Weill Cornell Medical College)
* June 1st: Anne’s baby is born. Welcome Emma!
* June 13th and 27th: Seed ‘n’ weed parties. Come to SLF garden between 10 AM and 5 PM for seeding and weeding. Snacks and refreshments provided, trip to holy cow planned for right afterwards.
* July 3rd-5th: 5th Annual NE Permaculture Convergence, Montpelier VT. Email: PermacultureConvergenceRegistration@hotmail.com for details.