Sunday, June 12, 2011

June 14th and 17th

Eat Greens til the Cows Come Home
These cows were born in a pasture in Wales, Maine in April of last year. There are 6 steers (castrated males) and 2 heifers (females). This year is the first year I've used this pasture. It is a little wet and needs some nutrients, but I think it is going to work out nice. I can no longer see the cows from my house, but it is a short walk or a quick drive just down the road. The pasture had no fencing and no water system set up so this spring I spent many days walking the 11 acres pounding fence posts and stringing wire. I use a battery operated charger with a solar panel to keep the fence good and hot. Currently I am using water from the farm house there to water the herd, but I am hoping to gravity feed water from a creek in the back of the pasture. (It's halfway set up...)

The cows are mostly Devon with a touch of Angus. The Devon breed is from England and was brought to the US in the 1600's as a multipurpose breed (working, milking, meat). Their smaller stature is great for grazing; they process grass and other forage efficiently and make a nice grass-fed finish. Devons are red/chestnut in color...the black in some of mine come from the Angus crossbreeding. A mature cow will weigh about 1000 pounds. Although that is is still a large animal, Devon's are known to be docile. Believe me they still kick up their heels and run a fast clip!!! But in general they are easy to work and move around the pasture.

Ahhhhh, this touch of rain feels nice. I can almost hear the plants and animals singing for the sweet moisture. I can't believe I am saying this after the 2 weeks of rain we had earlier!!! Tomato and pepper plants are in. Corn, squashes and beans seeds have all germinated. These last few days I have seen the potato and bean plants grow. I am always amazed--the strength of those little seeds, pushing through this crazy weather...they keep me inspired with their unending determination.

The insect pressure is high this year all over New England. It's always a weighted decision to spray or not. I have several different non-spray defenses I use for pest control. Mostly I only spray when the survival of the pant is at stake. That being will receive very HOLEY greens this week : ) Flea beetles are little, like a flea, and jump, like a flea, but instead of feeding on the blood of humans, they survive on the juices of plants in the brassica family; broccoli, kale, mustard...

Jump like a flea into the tastes of spring!!!

This Week's Loot: Very holey tat soi, sort of holey mustard greens, arugula, summer turnips and crisp lettuce
Recipe guide:

Check out this AWESOME greens site!!!! You will at some point receive most of these greens throughout this season. It doesn't list tat soi, but it is like across between kale, spinach and pac choi

A very useful herb guide...herb it up!!! (use that tarragon!)