Traditionally the Indians grew their pumpkins and beans in with their corn. I have to admit, I am not totally sure why they did, but I can tell you why I grow my pumpkins under my corn...first of all it saves space. Both corn and pumpkins take up a lot of space in the fields. Corn needs several rows in order to pollinate sufficiently and pumpkins need plenty of ground to let their vines wonder. The second reason I grow my pumpkins and corn together is that the scratchy, crazy understory is supposed to deter rodents from wanting to enter in and eat your corn. Now I don't want to jinx myself so I won't tell you how that is going. All I will say is that harvesting your corn is very challenging : )
I find the corn patch to be very majestic. One morning the sun was just right: making the corn silks glisten crimson red and the pumpkin blossoms glow bright yellow.
Farming has been pleasant...ly hot and dry lately. I know, I know, us farmers are never satisfied. But if you could do a little rain dance (and I mean little, like whatever dance would get us a nice soft inch of rain, just once and then another in a few weeks). Oh and the crows are still being a bit pesky. I think there is an unsaid race happening right now between me and them as to who is going to get the first ripe tomato. No fair! They are cheating ! They are eating them green!
OH and I almost forgot...we (zach, my dad, myself and 3 shareholders-and a ghost shareholder who didn't physically help but kept us fed) put up a hoop house this weekend. I did not download a picture, but you shouldn't miss it when you come to the farm--it is a bit like an airplane hanger right now. This unheated greenhouse will hopefully supply some winter greens for the winter shares and early green for next year's summer shares! I will update you more on that later...
This Week's loot: lettuce, greenbeans, cucs, zucs, sugar buns corn, carrots, beets, chard and herbs
Next Week's loot: lettuce, beans, cucs, zucs, taters
So it turns out that canning is the new "in". Even hip city folks are doing it!!! Check out this blog for fun preservation recipes: www.savingtheseason.com
3 pounds small zucchini
1 pound onions
1 pound red or yellow bell peppers
3 tablespoons kosher salt
3 cups cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon pickling salt
1 tablespoon honey (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon whole yellow mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon total of whole black peppercorns and whole coriander, finely ground
1 dried chili pepper, finely diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and split
1 -- cut the vegetables into a 1/4" dice and toss in a colander with 3 tablespoons salt. Set aside for 2 hours for the salt to draw water from the vegetables, then rinse by pouring a kettle of boiling water over the vegetables and draining well.2 -- combine all other ingredients in a large sauce pan and heat until sugar is dissolved. Add vegetables to the hot vinegar syrup and cook over medium heat for 20-25 minutes, or until the vegetables are translucent and yielding. Discard garlic.3 -- pack hot relish into prepared jars, leaving 1/2" head space. Seal and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Do not open for a week, to allow time for the flavors to blend and mellow.