New Life

I have excuses. So many excuses. Here’s how they go: I really intended to be a good blogger, but then there is life. In between a new home, a new puppy, a new job, blogging fell by the wayside. But, there is more newness: a new garden!

Therefore, we can talk about new things! Is that a good enough excuse for the hiatus?

Here’s what I’m harvesting:
Carrots: Tendersweet and Nantes
Kale: Dino
Cilantro
Lettuce: Brune d’hiver
Broccoli: mystery!
Peas: super mystery! (I got the seeds at the National Heirloom Expo in Santa Rosa, which I highly recommend you attend too).

Here’s what I have planted, either in beds already or in pots:
Beans: French fillet
Garlic: boring white, Purple Glazer, Bogatyr
Onions: torpedo, Walla Walla, and some other mysteries
Cabbage: Golden acre
Leek: Extra large Carentan
Parsnip: All American
Melons: Collective Farm Woman (big hopes for this one), Hale’s Best 45, Melon Ananas Amerique
Winter Squash: Kikuza, Jarrahdale, New England Sugar Pie, Burgess Buttercup
Summer Squash: Striata D’Italia, Table Dainty
Cukes: Suyo Long, De Bourbonne, Mexican Sour Gherkin
Tomatoes: San Marzano, Reisetomate (crazy looking!), Gezahnte, Ox heart, Cherokee Purple, Candy Sweet, Ananas Noire
Spicy Peppers: Thai Burpa, Yellow Cayenne, Shishito, Sante Fe Grande, Pasilla Bajio
Sweet Pepper: Italian Pepperchini, Red Mini, Jimmy Nardello

Perennials:
Artichoke: Purple Globe
Rhubarb
Black Currant: Ben Sarek
White Currant: Pink Champagne
Late season Raspberry: Taylor
Summer bearing Black berry: triple crown
Fruit Salad Tree with grafts of plum, yellow peach, white peach, and nectarine
Santa Rosa Plum
Hardy Kiwi (different than regular kiwi, “fur-less” and small)
Meyer Lemon
Two types of Grapes

And don’t even get me started on the flower garden. See, I have been busy!
Here’s how I’ve been dealing with the loads of peas I’ve been picking lately:
For this recipe, you will need:
2 large handfuls of fresh peas, picked over, rinsed, and stringed if necessary
2 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons soy sauce, tamari, or Bragg’s

Tools:
Steaming Basket (aka, space ship!)
Pot with a lid the steamer fits in
Timer
Knife
Cutting board
Salad bowl
Garlic press
Lemon reamer or other juicing device
Measuring spoons or the willingness to guess

Process:
1. Put the salad bowl (preferably not plastic) in the fridge.
2. Rinse the peas and string them if need be. If you never strung peas before, here’s a quick primer: find the stem end and pull towards the opposite end so a fiber pulls away from the pod. Repeat, ad nasuem. Obviously, this is better with another mental stimulation going on. Might I suggest The Young Turks?
3. Start heating 1 inch of water in the pot and cover about five minutes before you think you will be finished stringing peas
4. Pile the peas into the steamer and place in the now boiling steam bath. Set the timer for 2 minutes.
5. Remove the peas immediately and place in the cold salad bowl.
6. Add the garlic (remember, no peeling necessary if you use a garlic press!), lime juice, and soy sauce.
7. Enjoy with your lovers and friends!

Posted in California Student Sustainability Coalition Magazine, Green Grub.