August 1, 2012

Hi everyone,

Greetings from the desert…but wait–aren’t those clouds in the sky? Last night was a very light rain, maybe they’re saving the big one for today.

Today’s harvest was a joy. The garden, despite our trials and tribulations, is coming into its glory time. Even under weeds, there are many plants doing their utmost to become. The onions, which you have today, seem like a good crop. I have had encouraging signs from tomatoes and cucumbers, and all the carrots I weeded this week will be ready soon–later than I had planned, but these are Nantes, sweet and juicy and always a favorite.

“Weed as you harvest” is how I go about it. Firstly, it respects the plants and gives them back something positive for their gifts to us. Secondly, it’s just plain addictive to see what else you can find in the row. Sometimes it’s the row beside the crop I’m  harvesting that catches my eye and becomes the treasure hunt. But most importantly, I weed because the plants need to “see” the right color.

Every plant has its own unique color. No two are the same, so as a community they share the full spectrum of the Sun’s light. Plants also give off their own color. This is called bio luminescence, and yes, even us humans give off color.

Bioluminescence is the purest form of light known to science, it has more exactness than even a laser! If a plant is not healthy, its color changes. One of the ways it keeps its color accurately bang on the exact perfect wavelength is to mimic others of its own kind. A second way is to harmonize with other plants that it considers particularly friendly–companion plants.

On the dark side, weeds try to compete with our veggies by introducing colors that don’t fit, or confusing the color arrangement. Really. How amazing is all that?!

Because all of nature seems to be modeled similarly, the human eye can readily detect the alteration in color from an unhappy plant, as well as the ‘color clash’ of incompatible plants or weeds. So when I weed, I feel like everything is kind of out of focus, until I get rid of the offending color and the beauty of cucumbers or carrots comes through.

If you would like to see this for yourself, you are welcome to visit the farm throughout the next three weeks, but you will have to phone first to arrange a suitable time. Not to forget that there is also the added excitement of meeting garden cats, Pheobe the wonder dog border collie, 8 happy piglets, and some newly hatched chicks. 613 268-2248.

On to boxes: The large boxes have their yearly garlic braid. You’ll notice it is a bit smaller so I can stay within your budget. After that, everyone gets beans and onions. Years ago a friend taught me how delicious these are when steamed together–a perfect mid summer veggie.

Also we have the first scallopini: tempura batter is so easy and you can mix other veggies (mushrooms, sweet potatoes, peppers, whatever) plus shrimp in for a very fine meal.
1 cup rice flour and
1/2 cup wheat flour (or use 1 cup wheat flour and 1/2 cup cornstarch)
1 tsp. baking powder,
dash salt,
1 egg and enough water to make a thin batter.

Dip veggies and deep fry, keep the done ones hot in the oven on a dish big enough to leave them single layer. Dipping sauce is soy sauce, ginger powder, sugar and chives or green onions, thinned with water to taste.

Large boxes get carrots, small ones are due for beets(eat your greens, Popeye) and small boxes also get fingerling potatoes–oven roasted these are delicious. Large boxes get komatsuna for their greens: steam and dress with chopped walnuts and hard boiled egg. They are an Asian equivalent to swiss chard, taste like bok choy.

Till next time,

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