Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Goodbye wet June

The question of the week has been: How have we been dealing with this wet weather?

Answer #1: Covering warm-loving seedlings with as much protective row-cover as we can. This is our sad melon patch with black plastic to heat up the ground should the sun choose to come out, and covered with white row cover to shelter it from pelting rain.

Answer #2: We work indoors... in our two hoop houses. This is really just just an elaborate row cover in itself. We reserve tomatoes and a few peppers for this decadent treatment. In addition to being tomato heaven, each hoophouse is equally a device to more effectively give us something productive to do on pouring rain days.

Answer #3 Things are growing! Some things... like weeds, but also PEAS! They seem to love the fog-bank we are stuck in, so the trellises are overflowing with pea vines.

Answer #4 We must trudge through it... One of our cardinal rules is to not work the soil when it is wet. It turns into a compacted mess if you do. But we have been forced to bend these rules, because the soil has been wet for the past month. Last week, we tilled and got as many plants into the ground as possible (there was a 2 day clearing-- a truce with the sky when it did not rain...)

Answer #5 Our hair gets curly...
... and finally, we buy rubber pants and make the best of it!
The harvest:
Pac Choi
Garlic Scapes
Greens (spinach and beet greens)

Peas: A great follow-up to the strawberries. Try to make it home before they get eaten!
Pac Choi is one of those great Asian vegetables that do so well in Maine. It has crunch greens, juicy stems and a great tangy flavor great in many stir-fry or sauteed recipes. Don't cook it too much! (But wash it enough to get the aphids off.-- little pale bugs who feed on juices from many plants. Don't panic... Lady Bugs are on the job, multiplying to meet the opportunity of eating so many aphids.)
Garlic Scapes: You can put them in a vase, wear them on your wrist, or chop them up just like garlic. In our kitchen we have taken the quick and easy route of putting four or five of them in a food processor along with some other herbs and oil. Buzz it for a few seconds and add it to... anything. Morning eggs, pulled pork or chicken, stirred in with rice, etc etc. But they really do look great as bracelets too; don't pass it up before you make them into dinner. (By the way, they are the un-opened flower bud of garlic-- a by-product of a bigger bulb.)
Greens: The Spinach and Beet Greens are not overflowing in quantity; really just an addition to salad.
Strawberries: This weather may close the curtains on our berry patch. Come and pick 'em before they go bye!
Blessings on the meal
John and Stacy

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