Phew — hectic week! I had meant to post some of this stuff last weekend, and not only didn’t, but am behind by a day on this week’s CSA shipment to boot! Best to get on with it then… week 2’s shipment (which Boj patiently let me photograph before we divvied the loot — thanks Boj!):
I was super-pleased to see the scapes; in fact, we ate them that night. The lettuce was to be expected, as were the mesclun and bok choi (Asian greens seem to be an early crop ’round here) although I must say we were definitely surprised by the size of the Monster Bok Choi. (Seriously, check that thing out. Gargantuan.) I was a little surprised to see kale (isn’t that a winter thing?) and happy to get more herbs (oregano and flowering lemon thyme!) along with more over-wintered potatolings.
I’m a little ashamed to say it, but I was happy that chard and beet greens weren’t on offer. There. Full disclosure. The email earlier in the week had promised radishes, but I guess those will make an appearance in next week’s basket instead, which works out nicely because unlike Maria, my radishes seemed to have bolted (or something?) and never really fleshed out their roots, although I plan on planting a second try soon.
I’d like to compare this week’s delivery to last year’s, but sadly we missed that week, so I can’t. The Boy commented that he thought we were getting more food than last year though, and I have to agree. Factor in that we’re also paying about 25% less for the share and I’m happier with the communication and thus far I have nothing but happy things to report about this year’s farm! Here’s to hoping we’ve found a CSA to stick with in years going forward!
What else? Rain, rain and more rain. After over a week of glorious heat and sunny skies, mother nature has taken pity on my empty rain barrel and is attempting to overfill it by a hefty margin. While this does leave me feeling a little cooped up, I can’t complain at all: the lightning shows have been fantastic, the garden desperately needed a good soaking, and both The Boy and I love falling asleep in heavy rainstorms. (Sadly, The Smelly appears to be frightened of thunder, so he’s been spending a fair amount of time this week hiding in the basement. We’re hoping some treat-bribery and cuddling session during the storms will help.)
Prior to all the rain, however, my garden was still making me happy. In a weird turn of events, while my beans and peas are only just now starting to flower, I actually have a sweet pepper in production! Most of the tomatoes are also flowering, which seems very ahead of schedule, but then again, it’s also been hot out. The heat has had other benefits too: while I had been lamenting a week or so earlier that I had onion “scapes” (not sure if they’re also referred to as scapes or not) but nothing on the garlic front, my garlic is now happily scaping away. I’m watching for them to reach the “two turn” point, at which point I will
devour them carefully cut away the tops to promote larger bulb growth. (I’m not completely sure where I read that you should wait for two turns before harvesting — because believe me, I could eat them right now — but it seems like as good a measure as any.)
Anyway, back to the onion “scapes” for a minute. I harvested these, on the assumption that since they’re also alliums, a) they are likely non-toxic and b) they might even be tasty! Are you concerned that I didn’t google for the possible toxicity of the onion shoots? Clearly you don’t know me very well. I will regularly trust my own nose for a sniff test — despite knowing that my sense of smell is horrible. The fact that I’m still alive is a tribute to either my great stubbornness or my iron constitution (or both). Needless to say, it’s doubtful CFIA will ever hire me for a food safety policy position.
Anyway, onions. So I cut them up and pan-fried them in butter the way I would the garlic ones and honestly? They’re pretty good. They lack the meatiness of the garlic scape, and have a chivier/onionier flavour to them, but definitely still good. Also, since I ate them on Tuesday, I’m pretty confident they’re non-toxic. So there, CFIA.
Next up, potatoes (Chubbs included for scale):
These hit a huge growth spurt at the start of our sunny period, which impresses the hell out of me because, to be frank, they’re growing in sand with some cow poo mixed in. Obviously, the crazy leafy growth doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll get a cartful of spuds out of it, but I am hopeful. (If nothing else, it encourages me to know that something can thrive up against the north wall.)
I’ve since hilled them up… and had them shoot up again, and flower! (The flowers are light purple and quite pretty; if there are any blossoms left after our epic rainfalls, I’ll snap some pictures.) I’m actually a little concerned at this point that I’m going to run out of dirt to hill them up with.
Now, before you write me off as crazy for worrying about running out of dirt, let me explain that we just don’t have that much lying around. Really. I had some bags of topsoil from setting up the raised beds a couple years ago, and those vanished into my first hilling. For the second one, I finally got around to digging a hole/trench for the greenhouse and shelving (I want it to fit under our natural gas meter) and used that up (it was a wheel-barrow-full!) and… that’s pretty much it for unoccupied dirt on our property. So a trip to the dirt emporium (or more sensibly the city’s compost site; goodness knows this soil needs organic matter) is in order soon!
Lastly, and also on a dirt-related note, The Boy rescued a star-nosed mole the other day from a window well. I regret not asking him to hold it and let me take a picture when he finally caught the little critter, but I felt so bad for it, we just let him go. Consequently all my photos are blurry and don’t do this creature’s weirdness credit. Go check out the link for a picture.