The Weekly News
We woke up chilly the last two nights; lows are falling to almost 50. Windows are being closed a bit at night, sleep snuggling is back in vogue, and the felling, bucking, and splitting of firewood seems much more relevant than it did even a week ago.
It seems like summer never really even started, weather-wise – strange to feel it already receding.
As usual, things have been busy.
We captured a bunch of red wiggler worms from the second-oldest compost pile, and started a small-scale vermicomposting experiment, hoping to start producing worm castings for starting seeds in.
We weeded & mulched all the interplanted eggplant and basil, started a test batch of sunflower greens using a new method, did a bunch of foraging for wild fruit and mushrooms, made wild cherry jelly and chokeberry jam, turned a few standing dead oaks into firewood piles, and planted peas for fall salad mix tendrils.
Widget finally caught and quickly dispatched the rabbit she has been hunting all spring and summer – first as a baby rabbit in the woods between the field and trailer, and then out among the rows, when the rabbit got into the fence and set up permanent camp in the edible environment.
That rabbit taught her some serious dodging and evading tactics before she finally advanced in her lessons enough to put teeth to it – tactics which she now delights in using to confound the pursuit of Athena the Beagle (Sean the WWOOFer’s companion).
The porcupine came back gnawing one night, but got away before I could throw furniture polish on him in an effort to convince him to stay away from the trailer. We swam in the mighty purty Saint Croix, ate at Wolf Creek Bar, sold carrots and such at the Market, and composted Gabe’s beard.
It was a good week.
The Weekly Box
- Ground Cherries – also known as Husk Cherries, these look like little tomatillos but have a much sweeter, fruity taste. To open easily, squeeze the husk at the stem attachment side, letting the fruit slid out the tip end. They are sweetest when yellow, more tart when greenish. WWOOFer Sean calls them “ground candy” and gets distracted eating them whenever he comes across a random volunteer from last year’s crop out in the field. They keep best inside their husks, and don’t need refrigeration.
- Fennel – this frilly herb is why your box smells like black licorice. The stalks, leaves and seeds are all edible. I like to eat it raw. Chop up the stalks and use them in a salad, or sautee them. A fennel stalk carried the coal that passed down knowledge from the gods to men; fact! Fennel stalks can also be used for soups, stocks and stews, while the leaves can be used as an herb seasoning. Good on sandwiches, yogurt, and seafood.
- Potatoes – a spud rainbow.
- Watermelon – most of you got Peace Yellow Flesh or Early Moonbeams (yellow) this week, but a couple folks may have gotten Sugar Babies or Crimson Sweets (red). I really like the yellow ones, I discovered this week. Pro tip for eating seeded watermelons – don’t chew, smash with your tongue and swallow the seeds.
- Tomatoes – a mix of the varieties that are producing currently, in with the:
- Peppers – a mix of the peppers that are ready for harvest (see last week’s newsletter for the full listing of tomatoes and peppers.)
- Cucumbers – Lemon and Marketmore Slicing varieties
- Green Beans & Dragon Tongue Beans
- Okra – you can freeze this until you’re making stew this winter and use it to thicken it up, or sautee it now (but don’t cut open the pods until after you cook em, to avoid the slime-factor.
- Kale (Dinosaur, Red Russian, and Dwarf Curly Blue varieties)
- Beets & Beet Greens (the “greens” are only sometimes green, usually more deep red, and they’re bagged with your kale) Cook em up with your potatoes, add em to your salad – maybe a beet and fennel and arugula salad?
- Arugula – salad, pesto, sammiches! The self-seeded children of the arugula you were eating this spring!