Sunday, June 14, 2009

Rain drops keep fallin' on my head!

Yet another rainy week. I really can't complain, it is making the garden (including the weeds)grow very nicely! We have taken the washed out days to work in the greenhouses, which we have been ignoring since it has warmed up. So, with the help of two of our very hard working helpers, we weeded the entire tomato greenhouse, and strung up the tomato plants.. finally!

The tomatoes are looking great! We planted about 50 different varieties of tomatoes this year. Most of those are paste tomatoes, as Andy wanted to find the BEST paste tomato out there. We planted the tomatoes under the caller ties of the greenhouse, then hung baling twine from the caller ties. We bought tomato clips from Johnnys Selected Seeds, a bag of 500 for probably $15. Well worth it! We will string up the tomatoes as they grow. In the picture above, you can see my little basil plants inte-rplanted with the tomatoes. They are doing pretty well, but they are very hard to weed around.

Here is one of the first baby tomatoes, it is a Juliette Roma tomato. Andy says 3 more weeks until we have the first ripe tomato... I can't wait! Until then, the broccoli in our big greenhouse is calming my cravings for crunchy, fresh summer veggies. We have about 100 broccoli plants with beautiful broccoli crowns ripening. The best part about this broccoli is that it is too early for cabbage worms, so there will be no surprises in your steamed broccoli!

In other farm news, the chickens are doing wonderfully! They are loving being outside, eating all of the bugs and grass they could ever want. Their crops are so full that they wag whenever they walk. It's pretty fun to watch them. The ducks, on the other hand, are not doing very well. I have lost all of my drakes this spring. George to a heart attack, Perchutto to a fox, and now Buddy to a very strange disease that his girlfriend now has. I have Marla and Maggie left, and they are showing signs of this disease, so I am going to put them on antibiotics, put them of fresh ground every day, and clean clean clean up after them.

Also, I am looking to start a small flock of sheep for spinning wool. I have decided on Corriedales. I can't wait to find some and get started! So if you know of anyone who has lambs or ewes to sell, let me know!

Okay, here is a broccoli recipe. It is simple enough to add to any meal, yet is original enough to really stand out in any meal! Capers taste a bit like little green olives (yum!), and are easy to find at the grocery store. Also, the recipe says to peel the broccoli stems... if you buy fresh, local broccoli, you should never have to do this!!! Enjoy!

Sicilian-Style Broccoli

The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen

1 Head Broccoli

2 Tbl. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Large Garlic Cloves, finely chopped

1/2 C. Vegetable Broth

2 Tbl. Capers, drained and crushed

1/8 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes, crushed

Salt and pepper to taste

Cut off and separate the broccoli flowers. Trim the tough ends of the stalks; peel if necessary, and cut crosswise into 3/8 inch thick slices.

In a large skillet with a lid, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the broccoli florets and stalks, vegetable broth, capers and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook until the broccoli is tender, but still firm, 5 to 7 minutes. Uncover, increase the heat to high, and cook, tossing and stirring constantly, until any remaining broth evaporates, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Thanks for reading and eat well!!

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