In a pickle

I’m not well-versed in Shakespeare but have seen many of the plays. Action makes more sense to me than lofty words so I doubt that Alonso and Trinculo in “The Tempest” were chatting over cucumbers. I made four different recipes of pickles from the remaining cucs at week’s end, mainly chunked and sliced since dill pickles require a shorter cucumber. After 10 minutes in a water-bath, there are now 21 quarts of happy pickles for the winter months. It’s just the beginning since we consume more than 2 quarts a week. Please ask about “seconds” if you are interested in canning, we don’t need THAT many smiling pickles!

We had some guests from Guatemala stop by and tour our farm. They work with Mennonite Central Committee in the San Marcos department of Guatemala in many areas, one being organic agriculture. Life on the mountain ridges that hug the southern border of Mexico is much more tenuous than here. They were invited to share in our church and have a meal with us – all amazing since I could understand the main points of the conversation in Spanish! When they walked up to me at the Saturday farmers market, I set the magazine down that I was reading to greet them. After a brief chat, they left to tour our farm. I picked up the magazine and there was a picture of the man I had just met! What a riot!

Steve and I are off to harvest the rest of the red potatoes. Hopefully we can get it done before I melt into another puddle. Why do people need sweat lodges? I take cold showers and have never understood the need for added torture. We didn’t have a water heater for years so I learned to enjoy, yes, enjoy cold showers year around. I had to run before taking a shower.

Harvest shares this week should include: beans: yellow wax, green and purple, along with onions, potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, dill, parsley, leeks, and carrots.

Folks have asked for a quick pickle recipe:

Early Ready-to-eat Dill Pickles

Slice cucumbers into spears and fill 1/2 gallon jar.

Place 2-3 heads of dill in the jar.

Heat the following ingredients and pour over:

1/4 cup salt                                                                                                                                1/2 cup vinegar                                                                                                                          4 cups water

Let sit on the countertop until cooled. This keeps in the refrigerator.


Re: You sit

I like to place garden benches in amongst flowers but have never dreamed of putting one in say, the raspberry or pumpkin patch. Friends often ask if I sit there of an evening and read – I have, but only twice to meditate on life. Both benches have been curbside finds. Thoughts of peace and calm flow over me with only a nod in their direction, I don’t have to actually sit in them. ‘Tis odd.

Another thought that is more of a conumdrum for me is the need for bags in packaging and transporting produce. There was a time prior to all these plastic and paper bags; I think it was still in my lifetime, imagine! I have a REAL problem buying extra plastic bags when I know we’ve worked ourselves into thinking that they are necessary. In my youth, banana & palm leaves made excellent wrapers as did newspapers. It would be wonderful if everyone brought their own bags in order to humor me and to help out the environment in one small way. I guess we don’t want to lose customers, that isn’t the point!

Steve started our trajectory into a farm market off site! He came home content from Saturday’s presence at the farm market in the Mountain Lake park. We will try and continue having a stand there, so if you are short of produce by week’s end, stop by for a visit. We appreciate everyone’s support of local farmers!

The heat index this past week was close to being unbearable! The true worth of the produce we sell has not been set, I’m sure many of you realize that. Steve and I are the volunteer managers of this enterprise.

Looking at the harvest that is coming in each day you should have a very nice selection of cherry tomatoes and a couple of slicers. Yeah! There will be plenty of juicey, crisp cucumbers as well. Look for more new potatoes, basil, parsley, yellow beans and maybe other shades, onions, carrots and mature dill.

I’m making my first batch of dill pickles today and dreaming of creative ways to enjoy cucumbers and to share the winners with you!

New Potato and Cucumber Salad

1 lb new small potatoes, cooked & cooled                                                                              2-3 T olive oil                                                                                                                            2 T wine vinegar                                                                                                                        2 tsp dijon mustard                                                                                                                    1 tsp honey                                                                                                                                2 cups cucumbers, diced                                                                                                         2 T green onion tops, snipped                                                                                                   salt and pepper to taste

The count stands at 30!

Our big race for the summer season is….the first crunch of a cucumber and the first kiss of a tomato! We’ve had the experience and now to share the abundance with you! Keep your expectations cool while you sip mint tea since these are sweet little cherry tomatoes I’m talking about. By Wednesday for pick-up we might have 2 per half share so you don’t have to share half bites.

This coming Saturday la novia de Natán arrives! What a delight and uncertainty at the same time. As you know, I love words, but when they get twisted and knoted up in a different language I’m befuddled. French, Thai and even German from 40 years ago can appear in what was planned to be a profound thought in Spanish. Haha!

Farm work is cooly progressing forward though I have moved flowerbeds into first place on my honeydew list. A wedding is an excellent excuse to do what I love and that is to play with flowers. We could start selling hostas except that we have some very nasty weeds that trail along with the roots.

Harvest this week should include a healthy bunch of green onions, carrots and parsley. Twice as many new potatoes to eat after a quick boil. A sampling of spinach and peas where we had hoped to have tubfulls. Such goes farming. And then of course a most auspicious couple of cucumbers and maybe a duet of tomatoes to keep us in 2-beat da-dum time.