Late Summer Magic

It’s feeling like Fall in the mornings now. Still hoping for the great extend-o summer of 2011 that everyone (like me) who has giant tomato plants LOADED with green tomatoes is counting on. Not that you can count on much with growing–flexibility is my new mantra. Man, talk about letting go of attachment, nothing I’ve ever experienced is better practice for letting go and “letting God” (whatever that means to you, we all have our interpretations, right?) than market gardening.

Just got an email from an old friend who has been doing a bunch of volunteering and working on farms and at markets both here in the states and in Mexico. It is inspiring to learn how paths ultimately converge, and how more and more people I know have been into or are now getting on board with organic farming, local foods, food security, seed saving… To me, THAT is the way and the light for all of us.

One of the other very nice farmers at market clipped an article out of the SF Chronicle last week and his very nice partner passed it my way.  I think I’m going to laminate it and hang it up in my booth. It’s a really well-written, comprehensive piece on Edible Flowers, encouraging folks to grow their own.

I am happy that edible flowers are experiencing renewed interest lately–this is the second article in as many months about them in regional papers. I was speaking with one of my market neighbors about this most recent article, expressing some concern that more and more folks will just decide to grow their own flowers to eat. Of course, I totally support people engaging fully in producing their own food, but as this is my business, I do sort of count on people to buy their edible flowers at $4 a box, from me!

However, she reminded me that many humans are basically lazy, and would prefer to have someone else do “it” for them whenever possible, whatever “it” may be. Phew, thanks for the reminder!

Here’s what’s headed for market on Tuesday in Ashland:

Green beans–They’re still dealin’! The trick is to figure out which ones are too big and dried out (but great for seed), and which ones are still crunchy and sweet for selling.

Cukes–Now I’ve got regular Marketmores, and the incredibly crunchy, light green, totally epic Armenians. You don’t even have to peel them! The kids pull them straight off the plants and grind them down as they cruise the garden. I love grazing children.

Thai basil–fragrant and delicious, I’ve got more in the ground, again, hoping for some continued heat!

TOMATILLOS!!! I think lots of people have no idea what to do with them, but think salsa verde. Not only for fresh salsa, but also for dishes like pork verde or pozole verde with chicken. You can make the sauce now and freeze it or can it, and you’ll have it all year. I think they’re delicious fresh, as well. Tomatillos are expensive in the winter, and I’ve never found organic tomatillos around here at that time of the year. I think that will be my recipe for the week.

Black Plums–These tomatoes are juicy and sweet, not the least bit mealy or pasty, like the San Marzano Romas can be. At this point I’ll probably have one pint basket for the first lucky winner, with more to come.

Greens mix–I usually have a few half or quarter pound bags on hand.

Pak choi bunches–Perfect for a small stir-fry.

Edible Flowers–This week’s mix includes Sunflower, Nasturtium (flowers and leaves) Calendula, Garland Chrysanthemum, Johnny Jump Up Violet, Pansy, Dianthus (Pinks), Impatiens, and maybe some Borage.

This is an interesting time–staying focused on the summer crops, and now feeling called to get the Fall stuff going, all the greens starts and snow peas and…

Such a cool cycle, and it never ends.

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