July 18, 2012

Hello everyone,

The talk at Kingston Market last Saturday was all about the drought. One vendor was talking of laying off his helpers. One talked of dead potato plants, with only teeny potatoes to show for the 2012 season. Out West, the price of corn has just doubled, reflecting the lack of hay and so more reliance on whatever corn can make it to provide animal feed this winter.

And then, the magic moment of rain, and a perfect one at that. Since last week, I had run out of water in the pond, and my house well could only water about 1/2 the barnyard garden without sucking air. There was nothing more I could do. Every day it was harder to get out of bed and dredge some positive spirit from somewhere. So I’m trying to find the words to describe how BIG this miracle of one small rainstorm is… we’ve certainly sustained losses, but many, many little plant lives got saved with the rain.

So we may get to eat veggies after all! Like the first snow peas–how they’ve managed on so little is beyond me. I recommend sauteeing/stir frying to bring out maximum sweetness and flavor. A little soy sauce ginger and don’t overcook. Also, your bok choy could be added to a stir fry, you could even add the zucchini and if you’ve a large box, your cilantro would be a lovely seasoning. Isn’t this amazing? I was starting to wonder if I’d ever see a veggie other than lettuce.

The small boxes will get their snow peas next week; dividing between everyone would have meant very meager portions. But you do get some of the little fingerling potatoes, best fried slowly in butter. And yes, here as in other gardens, these have died prematurely. But a good portion of the main crop still looks good so keep your potato fingers crossed.

Lastly, carrots in small boxes and beets (which have not grown in weeks and weeks, hence are small) in large.

Farm news, quickly: 12 piglets were born to Bella (sow) this weekend. Unfortunately she too had to put up with the over-the-top heat wave. I really can’t hold this against her, but she lay on four of them– this happens to new piglets. Eight is still a good number. Phoebe (border collie) was most curious and I was impressed with the peaceful way she and the sow interacted.

Other news is that you have a new website to check out. OK, it’s still not totally there, but my neighbour Steev and I have been getting a few things going there, including posting the newsletters. Website might be a great place to share recipes if you find yourself inspired by your box of yummy veggies! See if you can find us: Ravensfield.ca

Till next time, Titia

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