It has been a while since I updated on my mini garden. You know how it goes … summer is busy. And, well, plants just grow. (hopefully)
Today seemed like a good day to share because we just ate some fresh green beans. It wasn’t a big harvest but it was enough for a good side dish to a meal. Not too shabby for three small plants, in my opinion.
My favorite way to cook green bean is credited to The Pioneer Woman, click HERE to see how it’s done.
The peppers are still growing … albeit very slowly. They are being attacked by black ants. Peppermeister told me to use some baking soda to protect them. It seems to be working for the time being. (fingers crossed)
How’s your garden growing? Any good harvests yet? I’m holding out for a homegrown tomato. (Soon. Mmmmm.)
I did some maintenance work in the garden boxes this morning. My new mantra is “just keep growing … just keep growing …”
The basil finally decided to get its groove on:
All of the transplants have been released from their mini greenhouse lids … and look at that happy, full row of kale!
I’m proud of the pepper progress, albeit super slow.
And, there’s even a baby tomato hiding in there!
How’s your garden growing this week?
The weather here is still all over the map but my mini-greenhouses are doing pretty well. I had to cover everything recently for a flash flood-type of thunderstorm that, in reality, only lasted a few minutes, but would have devastated my tender little plants if they had been exposed. The overnight temperatures haven’t been too bad. However, it does flirt with the freezing mark on a regular basis despite hitting near 90 the other day. I live in a crazy dry … and very wide ranging little climate zone.
So, every little success must be celebrated. Today, we celebrated GREENS. Mmmmmm. There were just enough greens for me and the Fresh Hubs to each have a big, green salad for lunch today. Lucky us.
This week’s haul included a couple of fun things and a little bit of sad news. First things first, what’s in the box? (All organic from Lattin Farms unless otherwise noted)
- Decorative Gourd
- Decorative Indian Corn
- Potatoes from Workman Farms
- Butternut Squash from Peri & Sons
- Onions From Peri & Sons
What do you do with a full sunflower head? Thankfully, the newsletter came with instructions. (I love that the farm doesn’t assume that I know this stuff. Instructions are appreciated!)
How to Make Your Own Sunflower Seeds
Cover the flower head with a paper bag and secure into place by tying around the bag with a string.
Hang the cut sunflower upside down by the stem in a warm but ventilated area for three weeks to two months while it cures. The seeds will fall out over time, caught in the paper bag.
Place the dried sunflower seeds in an airtight container in the refrigerator for storage. Roast the sunflower seeds by spreading them in a flat layer over a cookie sheet and placing in a 300-degree oven for 20 minutes. Add salt or leave them plain based on your preference.
I love the decorative stuff because they can hang around until Thanksgiving and not be confused with my Halloween decorations.
Now, the sad news … the drought was pretty tough on my farm this year. And, well, drought conditions make it pretty tough on about everything around here. Here’s the official scoop from my CSA newsletter:
“It has been a challenging year for us – drought, heavy insect and disease pressure, crazy weather (including about three weeks without sunshine due to wildfires). Despite these difficulties the basket went out every week full of fresh produce. The variety, due to problems noted above, was not up to our usual standards – lots and lots of some things and less of others. Thanks for putting up with those variables.
We are changing the basket substantially in 2014 to ensure we can send a full basket of good produce every week, despite the challenges we anticipate due to continued drought. Luckily at Lattin Farms we have storage ponds on the farm and will be able to plant for the new seasons we are implementing for 2014.
We will have two seasons rather than three, with an Early Season Basket beginning the first week of June and running through the end of July. This season will begin with the usual greens, plus beets, turnips, carrots and in July the first
of the summer squashes, tomatoes and peppers. Late Season Basket will include August and September and will contain all the crops you got this year. This will allow us to concentrate on our major season as we face the challenges with weather and drought.
Our sign-up for 2014 will be up on the website within the next couple of weeks and we would appreciate early sign-ups with the $50 deposits as we may be required to limit basket numbers if the drought worsens.
We are asking some of our cooperating farmers if they want to pick up some of the spring and fall business that we have had. Look to our website later in the year for announcements on other subscription programs for spring and fall baskets. Thanks again for your loyal support. Rick Lattin”
Well, that’s just how it works here in the desert. No water, no life. You have to do the best you can with what you have so we’ll see how it works out next year for crops and Fresh Veggies in the Desert.
Let me know what you think … I was looking forward to the winter break but now it’s a little sad that I’m watching the CSA change at the same time.
The winter veggies just keep coming! I’m happy to see a nice variety in this week’s CSA share. I am still a little worried, though. It is really dry out there and I know my farm is struggling for water. C’est la vie for gardening in the desert, I suppose?
What was in this week’s box? (All organic from Lattin Farms unless otherwise noted)
- Stripetti Spaghetti Squash
- Butter Lettuce
- Green Tomatoes
- Mixed Peppers
- Potatoes from Holley Farms
- Onions from Peri & Sons
And, just in case you wanted to see what autumn looks like from near my house, this is a little fishing hole a few miles from where I live:
The county stocks the pond with trout and we have managed to catch a couple of them. My husband is better at catching than I am but I do enjoy the zen of trying. How about you?
What’s in the box this week?
(all organic from Lattin Farms unless noted otherwise)
- Cha-Cha Kabocha Squash
- MIzuna and Mustard Greens
- Islander Peppers
- Garlic Chives from Mewaldt Organics
- Potatoes from Holley Farms
- Yellow Onions from Peri & Sons
- Cauliflower from Peri & Sons
What the Cha-Cha? Now, I’m not a rookie to the squash scene at this point but I don’t remember ever seeing a Cha-Cha Kabocha Squash on the menu before now. Have you ever had one?
To me, it looks like a big speckled green pumpkin or, maybe, a flatter watermelon But, I was surprised when I picked it up because it was significantly lighter than expected. According to the instructions/newsletter, it is the best-eating of the mid-size kabocha squashes. “It has a bright yellow flesh that cooks up dry, flaky, sweet and delicious.” I’m thinking it will be a lot like a butternut squash … I guess we will find out soon enough, won’t we?
In case you didn’t already know, the pick-up spot for my CSA is at the local Whole Foods store. Most of the time, I don’t even go inside unless I need some random other item because, after all, I am going home with a huge box of veggies every week. This week, though, was different. I was stopped dead in my tracks because I found my holy grail item of fall. The Honey Crisp Apple. Oooooh, yaaaaa. It’s on like Donkey Kong, my friends.
I bought a whole bag of these beauties and, after I eat myself sick on just plain old apples, I’m going to make a recipe suggested by Rachel’s Table, Seasonal Sangria. Check her out, she knows how to get it done …
This week’s goodies are definitely feeling more like the autumn harvest. And, I’m loving it!
What did we get? (All organic) acorn squash, mixed greens, early girl tomatoes, mixed peppers, green leaf lettuce, shallots, popcorn on the cob, thyme, radishes from River Bend Farms, onions from Peri & Sons, potatoes from Workman Farms and broccoli from Nevada Fresh Pak
Just look at the popcorn on the cob! The instructions said to let it continue to dry until Christmas. Last year, we just put it in a brown paper bag and microwaved it. Fun!
Radishes, have I told you lately that I love you? I do.
This is the first time I have seen broccoli from Nevada Fresh Pak. It looks good!
The newsletter/instruction sheet this week has some great recipe ideas so look forward to seeing some posts about roast beef and veggies, maybe some broccoli soup and definitely a stuffed baked acorn squash. I’m feeling all chef-like so I think I might even try my hand as some hot sauce. Spicy!
What are you plans for this week?
This weekend was all about some local tasty goodness.
My husband caught a rainbow trout in a nearby pond. It’s tiny but wasn’t going to make it if he had released it so we had a nice little appetizer out of it.
We made a bruschetta out of veggies from the weekly CSA. That’s Nevada tomatoes, onions, basil and (oops some canned olives) the bread is from a ‘local-ish’ store out of Truckee, California.
Next up, fresh peaches and pears! Mmmmm. Now, these might be a stretch because they are from Idaho. But, I bought them from a gal that lives here in Reno because her family owns the farm. She brings them into to ‘town’ to sell. And, they were the fruit supplier for my CSA last year. Kelley’s Canyon Orchard in Filer, Idaho.
And, BONUS, I picked up some local (as in down the street) honey while we were at an elementary school fundraiser. Literally, the kids from the farm were selling these jars of honey. How could you say NO? I’m going to check out their beef prices.
Did you find any fun local foods this weekend?
It’s another great week of veggies in Nevada. I am so happy to be back in the CSA. I get super excited for Thursdays because I know there will be a new veggie box. Nom nom nom!
What’s this week’s haul? All organic–I know I say that every week but it’s really that important. Those peeps out at Lattin Farms work hard to keep their freshies fresh, the old-school way!
- Sarah’s Choice Cantaloupe
- Seedless Watermelon
- Mixed Summer Squash
- Islander Peppers
- Slicing Cucumber
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Japanese Eggplant
- Early Girl Tomatoes
- Basil from Mewaldt Organics
- Green Beans from River Bend Farms
- White Onions from Pioneer Farms
Here’s a close up of the basil — can you smell it? I was trying to inhale the bag on the way home in the car. I love fresh basil.
Ya know what goes well with basil? Tomatoes! I see a caprese salad in my future …