Fiesta time

Whew! The new tunnel is now completed! We called some friends if they would not mind rolling out of bed early Saturday morning to help us put the plastic roof on before the wind picked up. Terrific friends for a perfect day. It isn’t all that complicated; we just didn’t want to sail away on the breath of a breeze.

Both tunnels have also been moved one plot west. We jumped track several times in the process, but in general we stayed the course. Friends came over to glean green tomatoes. They were awestruck by the size of the vines and the tomatoes. Haha! It was party time, dreaming of all the salsa verde. On Sunday, we had a progressive supper while sitting at our table eating homemade tortillas as more food arrived! In thanks for the green tomatoes we received pozole, a pork and hominy soup. What shall I say? It was a sweet ending to a most grace-filled weekend.

Our walk and talk tour on Thursday past was a lot of fun. Questions help us ponder the whys and wherefores about life in a constructive manner. I tried out a new hot pumpkin beverage and judging by the leftovers, only 2 jars had something remaining at the bottom, it was well received. Nathan had suggested using pint-sized canning jars for glasses, which I have plenty of at the moment.

We have planned a fun season finale for those who can come this Saturday anytime between the hours of 2 – 5 p.m. Squash is the main theme since there are a few mammoth Boston marrows left for us to slice and dice. There will be a variety of foods containing squash to sample from beverage to dessert but not the usual fare: no pies or quick bread. Squashy activities are planned such as decorating an acorn squash and squash bingo with prizes. Let us know if you can come and if you are bringing children or a friend or two. We will be indoors unless it is a balmy day.

The harvest this week should include spinach as well as head lettuce, carrots, potatoes, pac choi, onions, squash, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, chard and cilantro.

All the Asian greens go well with any quick cooked vegetable; they don’t like to stew. I had leftover noodles this week and each night I made a different dish other than the original spaghetti. I start with onions and a bit of garlic, add in whatever veggie is handy, meat or beans for protein, noodles at the end of the cooking, a bit of salt and ya, listo! Cheese can be added at the end so it can melt a bit. Cilantro on top for pizzaz. Hot salsa for sitting up straight and in 15 minutes the meal is ready!

Butchering the Boston marrow

We think it is time to have a party, to celebrate the gift of another year of working in God’s good earth!

It is amazing to ponder how brain cells must stretch and connect when learning new things especially in mine – haha. The past year’s challenges: working long hours, grasshoppers eating all things green; the drought’s affect on lettuces, carrots and spinach; intense heat slowing tomato production, the entire insect world having hors d’oeuvres with our Asian greens – oh my goodness! When trying to work with nature instead of against it, deep considerations are necessary rather than simply pulling out the nearest chemical spray to feel in control.

Back to the fiesta – we are inviting our CSA members, past and present, to a “Coming up Squash” Saturday, October 22, 2-5 p.m. It is also National FFA and MLEA week, which is fitting. I plan to have all sorts of foods to sample that have squash as an ingredient. For the few that don’t like the word “squash” – come anyway, you might be surprised. There will also be some activities for the young at heart.

This week on Thursday is our “Walk and Talk” field day from 1-3 p.m. We will be giving a tour of all our doings with homemade bread and raspberry jam for snack.

The harvest this week should include: Brussels sprouts, honey crisp apples, leeks, broccoli, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuces, carrots, potatoes, onions, sweet peppers, Asian greens, kale and cilantro.

Unfamiliar with leeks? Here is a dish, Colcannon (gussied up mashed potatoes) originating in Scotland and Ireland, traditionally eaten this time of year and symbols of fortune are added to the mound: a ring – you will marry within the year, a sixpence – you will become wealthy, a thimble or a button – you will remain single. Don’t break any teeth! Recipe is from “The Victory Garden Cookbook”.

1 lb kale finely chopped
1 1/2 lbs potatoes
4 Tb oil or butter
1 Cup leeks, finely chopped
salt and pepper
1/2 cup onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup milk

Boil potatoes (I like to keep the skins on). Heat a little oil and gently stew leeks and kale ~10 minutes until tender. Brown onions in remaining oil. When potatoes are tender, drain and mash, whip in the kale and leek mixture and 1 teaspoon salt. Heat milk and gradually beat it in until smooth. Mound in a hot dish. Make a depression in the center and pour the browned onions in the well until they pour over the side.