Sunday, May 10, 2009

Dandelion fritters

I have known for a long time that the dandelion has many food uses. Well I got the idea from this post over at Rob's World to fry up some dandelion fritters. . I have made dandelion wine before but this was a first. First I gathered some flower heads from the garden. I rinsed and washed the flower heads next. Jess helped by dipping the flower heads in egg wash and adding them to the flour and cornmeal mix. I fried them up in the wok and then drained them on a paper towel. We had them for dinner tonight and they were pretty good. I think next time I will try a lighter batter as the flavor f the flowers was quite delicate. I am thinking of possibly a tempura batter. Or perhaps a regular flour batter with a bit of curry powder in it. With a lawn like mine the possibilities are almost endless.

In other notes.
Add 2 more big bunches of asparagus to the harvest total. But the nettle beer has been a failure. It got infected and i will have to try again maybe next week.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Plant sale

Well Jess and I went to the spring plant sale at Umore park this morning put on by the Dakota County master gardeners. We picked up some bee balm and also some Blackeyed Susans. We also purchased a French Sorrel plant to add to the herb garden. The prices were great but you have to get there early. The picture above was taken 15 minutes after it opened.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Harvest update

So far this week we harvested 7 cups of rhubarb and around a dozen asparagus spears.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Living Green Expo.

Today Jess had a choir practice in the cities and I decided to go with and check out the living green expo at the MN state fairgrounds. I have to say that while the whole "green" thing has been growing I was quite surprised at how much there was to see. There was surprisingly little tie dye or patchouli. There was however a good number of folk schools, CSA's and alternative energy folks.
I spent a few hours looking at the booths and exhibits. They had quite a number of electric and biodiesel vehicles. They even had a Tesla roadster on exhibit. It is a sexy piece of engineering!
There were also quite a few vendors of rain capture technologies. One of which even had one of my old college floor mates manning the booth.
There were also a number of composting technologies being exhibited. I was joined by Jess after her practice and she even sat in on a vermicomposting lecture with me. I am interested in starting a worm bin this year as one of my goals and the lecture was really informative.
We then finished up with a great cooking demonstration by Chef J.D. Fratzke of the Strip Club in St. Paul. He made a salad of pea shoots and blueberries with wild ramps topped with slices of medium rare New York strip. The meat came from Thousand Hills cattle company. I liked it so well that we had to leave early so I could go and order some more at Muffuletta.
By the way if you go do try the jerk chicken at the west indies soul food stand. It was great.


Yesterday was a great day. I started with omelets with Jess and a freind of ours. Then J and I went foraging in the woods. Our main quarry was the elusive morel mushroom which we did not find. However we did come back with a few servings of fiddle head ferns and enough nettles to make a batch of River Cottage nettle beer. Made that around dinner time.
Latter in the day Jess and I stopped by the nursery and purchased two Highbush Cranberry bushes and two American Hazelnuts. We also asked the folks at the nursery to order us 4 currant bushes and look into what was available in the way of some Elderberry bushes as well.

Looks like planting is in our future.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Well tonight I got a few more seeds put in the garden. I started 2 rows of Detroit golden beets. I also started 2 rows of parsnips and a row of spinach. I also set up my scarlet runner beans as well.
I also set up a new bed for planting either late this fall or early next spring.

First I soak a layer of newspaper and lay it out in the location of the new bed. Then I add a layer of last years composted chicken litter. I then add a layer of organic matter. In this case I added last years day lily leaves.

Seems to work out pretty well for me.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Preview to summer

Well I am finally getting over a nasty sinus infection that had been making me miserable for the last week or so. I owe much thanks to antibiotics and NyQuil. Amazing stuff!
We have been having great 70's and sunny weather the last few days and being stuck inside made being sick all the more miserable. But today I was able to get out into the garden and turn a few beds and check in on the perennials. The rhubarb is up and growing like well, rhubarb. The hops are all up and will be in need of trimming and trellising probably before the week is over. No sign of the asparagus yet but I am thinking early next week. The strawberries are going like gangbusters as well. The Garlic I planted last fall are all up as well. I was able to do a bit of planting today as well. I got my onion sets and the shallots I saved from last year planted. I also planted up some potatoes left over from last year in trash cans as well.
All this along with trimming up the herb bed made for a rather productive and not to tasking day.

Now I just hope the rain we have been promised shows up.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Current happenings

Well spring continues to creep in. The temps got up to near 65 F today. The ground has begun to warm and the grass has started to really green up. I hear we should see some rain by the end of this week and then things should really start to take off. I am really looking forward to starting to forage for new nettles and also the spring mushroom season shouldn't be far off. I may have to spend some time in the woods this weekend and see how things are coming along.

Also it looks like my parsley seeds have gotten up to a quick start as well.

All is good.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Well just a quick word about some projects and plans for this year at the farmlet.

First I have divided up the chicken run to give some of ht egrass shoots a chance to get started this spring. I am planning on rotating the hens through the chicken yard as the year progresses.

Second I am attempting to increase the amount of area that I am growing on again. I have already put in a small 3X3 raised bed between the chicken run inner and outer fences. I am planning on using that bed to grow greens right next to the chickens for easy feed augmentation. I have also already turned one of the beds that I left fallow last year and am loving the look of the soil. I am also collecting newspaper and cardboard to cover more of the yard and create more raised beds.

Third I have decided that I will start vermicomposting this year. My composting setup should probably be expanded to more pins but I am hoping that vermicomposting will help by breaking down kitchen waste quicker. I will probably put the bin in the pole barn.

I know I will have a million other projects as well but those are a few that I have been looking at as of late.