Checking in after 3 weeks

My workershare shifts at the farm have been going well. During the last 3 weeks I’ve done lots of weeding, fertilized the garlic, cleaned the packing shed, pulled out the spent radishes, and let the farm puppy out for romps. I’ve been staying an extra hour or two each week. I enjoy the work and the quiet and the warmth of the hoophouses. Yesterday I turned on the audio book I’d been listening to and just stayed until it was finished.

My farmer also showed me where her library was so I could borrow what I want. I returned A Small Farm in Maine this week and am starting on Teaming with Nutrients. The photo is of enjoying time reading in my new little berry garden.

Things are going well in my own garden. Now that I know my macro-nutrients look good, I’ve started thinking about micro-nutrients and soil. Rather than turning everything in this spring I just ran my diamond hoe through the beds, once as soon as the soil thawed and again right before I planted in hopes of disrupting weeds. And I added extra amendments this year. My next soil test will be a pricier one that’ll give me more info so I can tell how I’m doing there. Seedlings are popping up all over the place now. The bush cherry and peach tree are done blossoming. Apples and blueberries are at their peak looking beautiful. And I just finished re-doing my strawberry bed. It’s always been super weedy and I had trouble combating it because the 3 tier garden was too wide to easily weed. So I moved down to a smaller single tier, sifted out grass roots, fertilized, and replanted everything.

Indoors, my lemon tree has a good dozen little lemons on it and the bay laurel is still going strong. I’m usually terrible with indoor plants so I’m pretty happy. I also jumped on an amazon daily deal for an oyster mushroom kit. I had enough points to cover it so it’s a free experiment for me. They are busy brewing right now and I think they’ll be ready this week so I made sure I had eggs and goat cheese on hand for some yummy omelettes. And I’m thinking some on steak or in a soup depending on how much I get.

Asparagus Risotto

Asparagus Risotto

1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
4 cups chicken broth
3/4 lb asparagus, chopped in 1 inch lengths
1/4 cup cream
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

Saute onions in butter until tender. Add garlic and cook one minute. Mix in rice until well coated. Add 1/2 cup broth and stir until absorbed. Mix in asparagus. Continue mixing in broth 1/2 cup at a time until absorbed, taking approximately 30 minutes. Stir in cream, cheese, and basil before serving.

Amish Rhubarb Pudding

Amish Rhubarb Pudding

1 cup flour
½ cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
1 cup buttermilk
3 cups rhubarb, chopped
1 cup sugar
2 TBSP butter
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 cup boiling water

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9×13 baking dish. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter. Stir in the buttermilk just until blended. Pour into bottom of pan and sprinkle with rhubarb and sugar. Dot with butter and sprinkle with nutmeg. Pour boiling water over dish and bake 45 minutes until rhubarb is tender. Will be set on top and saucy on the bottom. Serve hot or cold.

5 Ingredient Soup

This is a soup I make almost entirely from my canning pantry, with some fresh refried beans.

2 cups/15 oz can refried beans
1 pint/15 oz can broth
1 pint/15 oz can corn
1 pint/15 oz can black beans
1 pint/15 oz can diced tomatoes (original recipe calls for rotel)

Mix refried beans and broth until combined. Add remaining ingredients and simmer 20+ minutes.

Chitting Time

Spent my shift at the farm planting parsnips with my fabulous farmer. They are tricky to grow because they are slow to germinate and can get lost in the weeds that get a head start on them. So she plants them in lines across the rows and dresses them with compost so we can find them easily when it comes time to weed. And my pay was these beautiful spinaches and lettuces 😋

It warmed up suddenly this week, surprising us. I had been putting off starting more seeds, but suddenly the season seems back on track and I’m behind. I’ve got what I have hardening off, along with a flat of veggies and a flat of border flowers from the garden center You can see I just picked up potatoes and those are chitting right now. Planting will start this week as it shoots up into the 70s.

And I’ve been making lots of yummy salads, with soups and sandwiches to eat light and avoid cooking for a spell 😀 I’m still snuffling and coughing a bit, but I got my first week of the new workout schedule done. I’m going to adjust a bit…I definitely don’t want to do stairs on leg day….or do leg day on Fridays right before I spend a whole shift bent over at the farm 😀 The things we learn.

Egg Drop Soup

2 cups bone broth
2 green onions, sliced
1 pinch garlic powder
1 pinch ginger powder
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
1 1/2 tsp water
1 large egg, whisked

In a small sauce pot, bring broth to a boil. Add green onions, garlic powder, ginger powder, soy sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer 20 minutes. Mix arrowroot powder with water and add to broth. Allow to cook and thicken for several minutes. Remove pot from heat and stir soup into a whirlpool. Drizzle eggs into swirling soup and let cook several minutes.

(Alternately, use bruised garlic cloves and ginger pieces instead of powders. Just remove pieces when done simmering).

Japanese Onion Soup

I added a few crumbles of Wakame to this as well. Yum!

2 cups bone broth
2 greens onions
3 shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated if necessary and sliced

Bring bone broth to a boil and remaining ingredients. Simmer 10-20 minutes before serving.

Under the Weather

All the seeds in my current flats have germinated now and are off to the races. I have 2 more flats to start, but I’m holding off on those due to our unusually wintery spring. We’ve got 3 inches of snow with a frosting of freezing rain coming this weekend in what’s hopefully a last hurrah.

I’ve had an upper respiratory thing brewing this week. It settled into my lungs yesterday and I could no longer deny it. So I got a double batch of bone broth made last night. I used a bigger variety of root veggies than normal in hopes of extra nutrition. I also added shiitake for extra minerals and b vitamins and nori for extra minerals and iodine.

My green onions are up enough to harvest, so breakfast was spring onion soup and I’m thinking egg drop for lunch. I have some fruit and veggie juice on hand, and green smoothie fixings too. Glad I went the liquids route because my cough already has my throat roughed up. Probably wouldn’t hurt for my diet either…since I’ve been stalled for a while.

Tuscan White Bean and Spinach Soup

This week I brought home a huge back of fresh picked spinach from my workershare shift, and immediately turned part of it into this Tuscan White Bean and Spinach Soup…which was fabulous!

1 shallot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp ECOO
4 cups bone broth
1 can/pint diced tomatoes
1 can/pint cannellini beans
1 tsp rosemary
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 dash crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup shell pasta
3 cups spinach

In a large pot, saute shallots & garlic in EVOO. Add broth, tomatoes, beans, rosemary, black, and red pepper and bring to boil. Add pasta and simmer 12 minutes. Add spinach and allow to wilt before serving.