Make Room for Mushrooms
This year we have added a special treat to our growing list. Mushrooms! We buy certified organic "blocks" from a company in Gardiner, Maine. The blocks are compressed hardwood, organic fertilizer and mushroom inoculate. Currently I am just growing Shiitake, but I intend to add Oysters as well.
I set the blocks on shelves inside our "mushroom hut" and try to keep it cool (with pine tree shade and shade cloth) and moist (with a humidifier). It takes a little over a week for the blocks to start growing and once they do, they really take off. In order to get a second harvest from a block, I have to soak it in water overnight. It sounds easy enough except the blocks float, so trying to keep them submerged in my barrel of water can be...comical.
I am still perfecting the climate control in the mushroom hut. I would like to have a more consistent size. However, big or small, they have incredible flavor. They are perfect for eating fresh, sauteing, dehydrating or freezing for winter soups and beef liver pate. Be sure to try them out!
As I type, we are getting a small rain shower and boy do we need it! The soils are dry and dusty once again and the plants will be happy for a drink. Despite the dry, most crops are looking bright and happy and taste exquisite. I cannot believe this is the last week of July! With a new month, although we are still weeding, most of our days are spent harvesting and lots of new crops will appear in the share. It's nearing time for me to plant the last of the fall crops and soon it will be too late to seed anything in the garden in order to have it mature by first frost. Wow, this summer is flying!
This Week's Bounty: lettuce, beets with greens, zukes, summer squash, cucumber? snap peas, broccoli, scallions, fennel
on the horizon...carrots, new potatoes, beans and mini red onions!
The Farmer's Table (a sample of what the farmer has eaten)
chard, fennel and mushroom quiche
smoked pork with sauteed kale and summer squash and a few new potatoes (I had to pull up a plant to see how they were doing! They are still a bit small but yummy yummy!)