Friday, May 29, 2009

Cats are up.

Well I thought the seeds might have been too old but it looks like the kittens I planted are starting to sprout.

Monday, May 25, 2009



I spent most of the day in the garden the last 2 days and things are looking great. I put down cardboard over more paths and covered them in mulch. I am hoping this will help me slowly push the weeds back from the beds. I also set up my first bean trellis and I like the way it looks. On Friday I planted romano beans for the trellis and also 3 rows of bush dragon tongue beans. Yesterday I planted up a bunch of pots of basil seeds. Mostly old seeds but I figured it would be a good time to use them up. I also planted a handful of cilantro seeds as well. I also planted 2 rows of tom thumb head lettuce and 2 rows of mesclun mix.
I also dragged out the hose and filled all the water butts in the garden and also gave everything a good soaking. It has been a really dry spring this year and the plants really needed it. I do hate to use the well to supply water to the garden, but sometimes you have to. I would love to catch more rain water and use that in the future but for now I will just have to bend my ideal. I have a grand idea of using the pole barn and other roofs to fill a small pond and using the pond as a water supply for the garden.
Lastly I spread aged chicken litter on the garden beds as fertilizer/mulch.

Jess and I also went to Gastro Non Grata last night. The food was good the beer was great and the music was unussual.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Recovery day

Well today is a recovery day. I had quite the food day yesterday. I have a friend who is about to be deployed overseas and we had a dinner last night to see him off. The menu contained some great dishes. From oysters both grilled and raw with horseradish vodka to Kobe beef carpaccio with duck confit, the appetizers were delicious. There was also grilled diver scallops served on wilted spring onions with a soy flavored souce and crisped pig ear slices and open faced softshelled crab sandwiches served with morrel mushroom sauce. We finished it with both cheesecake and cardamom rhubarb cobbler. So today I might just sit and diggest.

Also take a look at the coverage of the slow food event from last weekend over at The Heavy Table

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Wonderful Day

Today was the best day I have had in a long long while. The morning started with Jess and i uncovering the garden. We had it covered up last night as we were quite close to freezing. We then harvested a bunch of rhubarb and made a double batch of cardamom rhubarb cobbler. We then made a breakfast of soft boiled eggs on toast. It was wonderful.
Then Jess and I headed to Lake City for the SFM Wild About You dinner. The Lentz farm was amazing, the weather was wonderful and the food was great. There was foraged foods and small batch beers from lift bridge and flat earth breweries. There was a hike up a bluff followed by a bushwhacking adventure back to the bottom. There was also a tour of the nearby stream and some of the plants and birds that exist along the banks.
But best of all we met tons of wonderful people.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sharing food

Today a friend stopped by and gathered up some asparagus and rhubarb that we would have been unable to harvest in time. It was a nice feeling to share some of what the garden produces. Not to get too crunchy granola but I have heard it said that the preparation and sharing of food is one of the primary ways that people show love and I kind of believe it. Someday we will have even more to share and I am looking forward to it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Harvest update.

I just blanched and froze a pound of asparagus. I vacuum packed it in 2 bags and put it in the freezer. I hope to use it possibly in an asparagus risotto this fall. It has been off and on rainy this week so the plants are getting all the sunshine and moisture they could want this spring. The hops are well over 5 feet up the trellis already. Especially the Fuggle variety which always seems to do best. I also have bunches of flowers in the strawberry bed. I am really looking forward to eating home grown strawberry and rhubarb something or other. I also added a few blogs to the sidebar thing.

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.