October 15, 2007 - Morning Song Farm

What's new on the water problem front

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We had a witcher come out to the farm this weekend and douse. If I’d known how cool it was to watch him, I’d have made a party out of it and invited everyone to tag along. He used an obviously well-worn prong and walked along until the prong swung down on its own, indicating water. We walked back and forth across a couple separate areas until he found what he explained is the center of the vein, which is where a well should be drilled. We’ve contracted him to drill a well for us. There is no guarantee he’ll actually hit water, but the alternative is cutting down 1/3 of our trees, so we’re drilling. And praying.

What we're planting this week

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This is a very busy month for us! We’re planting both the shell peas and the pod peas, along with more garlic (lot’s more). Last year we mistakenly cut the new green sprigs of our garlic when it reached 12 inches, thinking the garlic would just grow another sprig. It did, grudgingly. The cloves aren’t as big as they should be, so this year I researched how to specifically grow Garlic Chives. They’re planted with the intention of eating them before they’ve grown into a new clove, and are spaced tightly, like seeding the row for beets. We ordered an enormous quantity of seed to try our hand at growing this delicacy correctly this year.

We’re also preparing the soil for our regular garlic and potato planting. And then the usual: more lettuces, (now that’s it’s cool they’ll be easier to grow), brocolli, more beets (this time we’re trying an heirloom yellow beet), more chives, shallots.

What's in your basket week of 10/16/07

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I’m writing this before I actually know if anything’s gone wrong during harvest, but here’s our tenative list for baskets:

  • The last of our Russian Garlic
  • Mint
  • Rosemary
  • Limes
  • Pakistani Sweet Lemon
  • Persimmons
  • Swiss Chard
  • Fioja Guava
  • Beets
  • Radish
  • Lettuce
  • Oranges
  • Pommegranates
  • Baby Cukes
  • French Melons

A couple new fruits this week

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This week we’re putting a little something in your basket that at first glance fails to impress. It’s the weird looking lemon thing with a little hat on top. That’s our Pakistani Sweet Lemon. Although the juice of the fruit is usable, it’s not very sour. Where the jewell of this fruit lies is in its skin. The peel will impart a scented-geranium scent to baked goods and more. Here’s how to use it easily: grate the entire fruit using a potato peeler, sharp knife or cheese grater. Throw in your Cuisinart or high-speed blender (I use a Vitamix) and add sugar. Blend. Let sit overnight in the fridge. Then use in baked goods, lemonade (limeade this week). It makes a killer sugar cookie.

Another easy use: grate and mix with lime juice, (you can use the juice of the Pakistani Sweet Lemon, too) good quality olive oil, salt little rosemary, a little bit of water (I actually use ice) and blend. It’s a salad dressing with ingredients that appreciative guests have a hard time putting their finger on.

The other fruit new on the scene is the Wonderful Pommegranite. Here’s how we were told, years ago, to avoid getting ourselves completely stained in the process of extracting the delicious, shiny juice pods: cut fruit in half. Place in sink or bowl of water and gently pry the fruit away from the skin, keeping the fruit completely emerged in water as you work. You can put the pretty juicy seeds directly on top of salads (swallowing the tiny seeds) or you can throw all your seeds (now separated from the rind) in your blender with just enough water or juice to make the blades work. Then sieve the gunk out, and enjoy pure pommegranite juice. This juice makes an incredible sorbet: freeze juice, add sugar, put in blender, serve. Top with a pretty sprig of mint.

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