August 2, 2011
Naturally grown food for those dear
Hello sweaty fellows. We have been enjoying a significant siesta most days, while the garden either flourishes or founders in this heat. Squash bugs, vine borers, cabbage worms and flea beetles have certainly won many battles, but due to our diversity we still have a garden. Borers are the worst by far; taking entire squash plants, including my beloved Blue Hubbards. After a glorious three-day weekend in Louisville to visit Josh’s parents and many friends, the garden was a bit depressing. The summer squash, despite all our surgical efforts to save it, still wants to consume paths and scratch our legs up, some vermin of the night has been stealing our most perfect tomatoes and leaving them half-eaten in the path.
Just as I was plotting my late-night ambush of said suspected vermin, Josh arrived from the island garden with the sweet scent of our first melon. Beautiful, deep orange flesh, and superbly sweet. As if that weren’t enough to brighten my day, we decided to grabble potatoes. A few minutes later we un-hayed a nice harvest of Chieftan (pink) and Purple Viking new potatoes. Sautéed to a crisp in lard, mm, nothing like it. Not only cheering me in the taste category, the garden has amazed me in her ability to face other pests, weather and other difficulties of summer. The cucumber plants look sad, but still produce enough to fill a four gallon crock of pickles twice per week (if we had the space to make that many), the tomatillos have split branches due to our insufficient trellising, but are still laden with deep purple fruit, and the parsnips act as if it weren’t 40degrees above their most tolerable climate. And I could never walk into a garden with towering sunflowers and not smile. If this is to be the worst month of the season, I’ll still take it.
Before I lose your attention I better explain the headline, Kokofriendzy! The farm we live on, Kokovoko, is owned by Leslie Bebensee and Kokofriendzy is her annual farm party. This year is extra special as it is also her mortgage burning party! This is her 22nd year here, and Josh and my’s 1st, but we still hope to have a few of you over to celebrate as well. This will be neither tame nor uptight, so don’t come if you’re either. Anyone planning on drinking is welcome (or forced) to camp out. BYOB, a dish to share, something to sleep on or in, a water bottle, and of course, RSVP beforehand. This will be a good time for those that haven’t to see the garden, but you are also welcome any other time too. We are hoping for a special CSA’s end harvest get-together in October-ish (?) as well, but I’ll send more info on that as the season winds down.
Now onto tangible goodies, for those near, we do have plenty of pickles available, $5 a pint. Let us know what kind you like as we have both mild and sour batches. Another round of sauerkraut is in the crock now and it’s $7 a pint. We have also been trying our hands at pesto - not a lacto fermented product, but certainly delicious, available for $7 a half pint. The pesto ingredients are as follows: homegrown basil, homegrown garlic, olive oil, parmesan, walnuts. We make it fresh and then freeze it so it will be good thawed in the fridge for a week or two (though no good pesto should be left uneaten for more than a day-it’s too delicious to resist!) We enjoy it tossed on pasta or on bread with fresh tomato, tossed with roasted new potatoes, it’s pretty much like butter, just put it on anything. And don’t forget you get $1 off your next jar of anything if you bring your old jar back. Also on the inventory – beef! Today we had a beautiful Jersey steer slaughtered on the farm, and in two weeks we will have far more meat than we can fit in our freezer. He was grass fed here at Kokovoko, and even the butcher assures us Jersey meat is the most flavorful, even when compared to traditional beef breeds. The price will be determined after he is hung, but if you are interested in a half or any particular cuts, please let us know!
That’s all I’ve got for now, hoping for a cool week!