09 Aug

Garden News

It’s been such a pleasure working in the garden this past week.  We have actually been able to plant new crops of snap peas, lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, radish, beets, Asian greens, carrots and more.  Now all we have to do is pray that the heat doesn’t return to the high 90’s in order to give those little seeds time to germinate.  The second plantings of cucumbers and beans are starting to climb their fencing, so it won’t be too long before you will have some more of them in your CSA share.

We use lots of leaf mulch this time of year, especially when we are planting new seed beds.  The leaves were saved from last year’s tree cleanup, so nothing is wasted.  The mulch helps to conserve the moisture in the soil, which is so important on hot sunny days when new crops are coming up.

It’s been wild berry picking time!  Although I grow these here on the property, they are still a native berry.  On top are chokecherries, and below, Oregon grape.

Oregon grape is sometimes referred to as “False Holly”  You can see why in this photo.  It is a low growing, ground cover like shrub that is evergreen.  The berries are challenging to harvest because the leaves are prickly!

This is the time of year when I do most of my preserving, canning and playing with the bounty that surrounds me.  The wild berries will be made into jams, chutney and flavored vinegar.  Other fruits and herbs will give their personalities to flavored oils, butters and other experimental concoctions.  It’s an alchemical process with such a wonderful assortment of inspirational vegetation.   So, this is a good time for you, too,  to take advantage of the beautiful organic produce that is grown here in the gardens and preserve some of the goodness for your own eating over the winter.  If you have never “put away” produce, I have lots of experience and recipes, so just ask!  I encourage you to find ways to become more self sufficient.  Right now, there is an over abundance of cucumbers, summer squash and basil that would be wonderful additions to your  freezer or pantry.

This week’s share will  include beets, carrots, scallions, kale, summer squash, shallots, broccoli greens and basil.  There will be a few tomatoes again, but it definitely is not a tomato year.  I am really disappointed and at a loss!  The heat was just too much for them.  Peppers are struggling,  too, but they are coming slowly.  Eggplants are showing promise.

03 Aug

Garden News – August 2nd, 2017

planting, organic farm produce and vegetables, garden, kate rossetto, billings, montana

What a difference a day makes!  It was only in the 70’s today!  Wendy and I felt like children with lots and lots of energy to keep working well into the afternoon.  The July heat had forced us out of the garden by 1 PM on the days that we worked and by that time were were sweaty, exhausted, dehydrated and quite bitchy if I might say so myself!

The challenges we have faced are not like any I have had to deal  with in all of my years of farming.  I always tell people that I fly by the seat of my pants most of the time, but that has been exceptionally true this year.  Just keeping everything watered has been a full time job.  We tried to plant new seeds of the lettuces, radish and other greens and they didn’t even sprout.  What a waste of seeds!  The tomatoes are full of flowers with a few fruits set, but they are not ripening.  I have talked to other growers around the area and everyone is having the same problem.  I think it is just too darn hot!  I am thankful that at least the summer squash and cucumbers are producing!

Today, Wendy and I took  advantage of the cool temps and bravely transplanted the broccoli, cauliflower and cabbages that were started  awhile back.  I had planned to get them  into the garden sooner, but I did not want them to succumb to the heat.  I hope we have a nice long fall, so that we can once again enjoy these cooler weather veggies.  Keep your fingers crossed!

It’s chokecherry picking time and my  next door neighbor has a huge shrub that she invited me to pick as she never uses nor wants them.  So far I have harvest over 35 pounds. Some of them went to the Fieldhouse, some up to Quality Food Distributing in Bozeman and some I will make into a lovely fruit vinegar.  I made some last year and it was a huge hit!  I have a few pounds left and there are more that I can get, so if you would like some let me know.

Your share this week will include the last of the beautiful broccoli, along with carrots, beets, a selection of summer squashes, swiss chard, slicing cucumbers, scallions, Genovese and Tulsi basils.  Pick up your share between 4 and 6 PM and be sure and bring your shopping bags of boxes.  I think it is supposed to be cooler again so it might actually be more pleasant to hang out visit!

02 Aug

Broccoli Salad with Bacon & Cheddar

This is one of my favorite salads in the summer using broccoli.  It was my mom’s recipe and I think she got it out of the Junior Women’s of Billings cookbooks.  Whenever I  make it I think of her!  Warm memories of us in the kitchen.

Broccoli Salad with Bacon & Cheddar

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients:
1 lb. broccoli about 4 cups, cut into florets
6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1/4 cup chopped red onion, diced
1/2 dried white raisins or substitute dried cranberries
4 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded or cut into small cubes
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 cup real mayonnaise
2 tablespoons white vinegar ( I use cayenne wine vinegar that I make every fall)
1/4 cup sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
In a large bowl mix together the broccoli, crumbled bacon, onion, raisins or cranberries, cheese and the walnuts.
In a small bowl stir together the mayonnaise, vinegar and the sugar. Add to the broccoli mixture and gently stir. Chill and serve.

01 Aug

Blueberry zucchini cake with lemon buttercream

Blueberry zucchini cake with lemon buttercream

Need to use up some of that Zucchini? This cake will surely hit that sugar craving spot and with the addition of blueberries, it’s got to be healthy, right? I found the recipe on Pinterest and it is a good one!

Blueberry zucchini cake with lemon buttercream

Ingredients
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups white sugar
2 cups finely shredded and drained zucchini
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 pint fresh blueberries (you can reserve a few for garnish if so desired)

Lemon Buttercream
1 cup butter, room temperature
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 lemon, juice and zest of (about 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two 8-inch round cake pans.
Grate a large zucchini (or two small zucchini) and place in a clean dish towel. Squeeze until most of the liquid comes out. You will want to have 2 total cups of shredded zucchini after it has been drained. Set aside.
In a large bowl and using a hand mixer, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar. Fold in the zucchini.
Slowly add in the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Gently fold in the blueberries. Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans.
Bake 35-40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

Lemon Buttercream
Combine butter, sugar and salt and beat till well combined.
Add lemon juice and vanilla and continue to beat for another 3 to 5 minute or until creamy.
Fold in zest*.
*If you are piping this buttercream, I recommend leaving out the zest.

19 Jul

Garden News – July 19, 2017

We have zucchini, which means that summer is really here!  The cucumbers are now just beginning, too, so from now on there will be a plethora of both.  Just remember this when you start complaining that you are getting tired of eating them, because in the deep of winter, you will be missing their wonderful taste!

There are not too many things things in the garden that can handle this heat.  Even the tomatoes, peppers and eggplants aren’t sure if they want to set fruit.

We are starting early each day and harvesting before it gets too hot.  We began seeding our fall crops  this week.  That means that making sure the seed beds stay good and wet is a priority.  Seeds are typically planted shallow and the soil will dry out quickly in this heat.  We always use a light mulch over the new seed beds to retain moisture and keep the soil cool, but it is a challenge with daytime temps well into the 90’s.

Your share this week is another bounty  of goodness.  The last of the tender leaf lettuce, cabbage, beets, rainbow chard, braising mix (all cut up and ready to wash), scallion, dragon radish, haricot vert and basil.  I have some wonderful recipes listed below using some  of  the produce, so let’s get cooking!

Sautéed Greens with Creamy Polenta

First, cook the polenta which will take around 30-40 minutes.   Of course, before serving, add butter and Parmesan to the pot and then taste it, and add more butter and Parmesan.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced or 1/2 cup ramps, Chopped
  • 2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Bunch Swiss chard, the greens roughly chopped and the stems sliced small. Use the whole plant. You can also use other greens like kale, mustards or spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pinches hot pepper flakes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parmesan cheese grated to taste

Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat, add oil, wait 30 seconds and add onions, chard stems, pepper flakes and garlic.  Cook/sauté until they begin to color and the chard stems become tender, but still crunchy. Next, add the greens, lower the heat to medium and cover pan with lid and allow greens to cook for about 3-5 minutes. Taste, season with salt and pepper and serve over creamy polenta. Drizzle a little good quality olive oil over the dish and top with shaved or grated cheese.

Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad
Recipe from DELANCEY, by Molly Wizenberg (Simon & Schuster, 2014)

Serves 2 to 3

Don’t be put off by the number of steps. The dressing can be made a few days ahead.  This salad is wide open to adaptations and a great vehicle for using up leftovers or odds and ends. Take the recipe and run with it, using whatever vegetables and cooked meats you have on hand. Though it changes the whole concept, try substituting hot freshly cooked rice for the noodles.

The dressing:

3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 to 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
6 to 8 tablespoons water, to taste
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1 fresh Thai (also sold as “bird’s eye”) chile, minced

The salad:

8 ounces thin rice noodles (roughly the width of linguine)
3 or 4 napa cabbage leaves, thinly sliced crosswise (can substitute any other cabbage)
1 medium carrot, shredded or cut into matchsticks
1/2 cucumber, halved, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 handful chopped fresh herbs, preferably a combination of basil, cilantro, and mint
8 ounces cooked meat or shrimp, cut or torn into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

To prepare the dressing, combine the fish sauce, lime juice, 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar, 6 tablespoons of the water, the garlic, and the chile. Whisk well. Taste: if it’s too pungent, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time. If you’d like more sweetness, add more brown sugar, 1/2 tablespoon at a time. Remember that you’re going to be putting this dressing on unsalted vegetables and noodles: you want the dressing to have a lot of flavor, but it shouldn’t knock you over. Pour into a serving bowl. (Covered and chilled, the dressing will keep for 3 days to a week.)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the rice noodles, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until tender but not mushy. Immediately drain the noodles into a colander, and rinse them well with cold water. Lay out a clean kitchen towel on the countertop, shake the colander to drain away excess water, and then spread the cooked noodles on the towel to drain further.
Divide the noodles between two or three good-sized bowls, depending on the number of diners, and top with the vegetables, herbs, and meat. Scatter the peanuts on top. Allow each person to spoon on dressing to taste. Toss well, and eat. (Alternatively, you can present this salad family-style: Toss the vegetables, herbs, and noodles in a mixing bowl and then mound them on a serving platter. Arrange the meat over the noodles, and top with peanuts. Each diner can scoop their own portion from the platter and dress it as they see fit.)
I will see you all tomorrow from 4 to 6 for your share pick up.  I thank you all again for your support of Kate’s Garden.  It really means allot to me and even though it has been so hot this season, I am still enjoying being able to provide vital nutritious food for you and your families.  Blessings to you all!

01 Jul

Simple Spring Greens and Radish Sauté Recipe

Keep your health on track with this scrumptious and vitamin-rich radish sauté.

SERVES 4

1 tablespoon butter
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch radishes, sliced
4 green onions, sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
6 generous cups packed, chopped greens (such as beet greens and chard)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat butter and oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sauté radishes for 3 minutes.

Add green onions and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, sugar, celery seed and chopped greens; sauté for 2 to 3 minutes more or until greens are wilted.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

 

28 Jun

Garden News – June 28, 2017

The garden is ever changing with all of the different weather patterns we have been experiencing.  Some days we start off wearing our sweat shirts and boots, and others, sleeveless shirts, shorts and sandals.  It’s always a guessing game.  I often wonder what the plants are thinking?  Should we come out and show our stuff, or shall we hide and shiver?

We have had a busy week, as usual, and the restaurant sales are starting to pick up.  Wendy and I have spent the last few days just harvesting and packaging.  We are done getting everything ready for the CSA pickup tomorrow and here is a list of some of the things you will be receiving.

A huge bag of beautiful braising greens. (broccoli rapini greens, green mustard, tatsoi, bok  choi, kale, mizuna. chard)
Daikon radish
Green Onions
Swiss Chard
Oakleaf Lettuce
Turnips
Arugula

Take advantage of the selection and abundance of greens, as there won’t be much more for awhile.  The weather is getting too hot for them. You can even cook with the radish greens. There will be more coming in the fall when it is cooler.

Now its time to start planting some seed again…more beans, beets, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower.  All of these will be either direct seeded into the garden or started in seeding trays in the greenhouse.

We started harvesting some of the lavender this week.  It is so gorgeous and fragrant!  We are taking orders for these beauties now.  100 stem bundles sell for $15.  They keep well and can be used in culinary delights as well as crafts.  Hang a few sprigs in your closet and put some in your lingerie and woolen drawers to add fragrance and moth protection.

I am including a recipe for you to use those greens!  I know some of you might be intimidated by them, but once you try them, you are going to love how adaptable they are.  I have lots of suggestions, so just ask!

Spicy Pork and Mustard Green Soup

It might look like a lot when the greens are raw, but add them all anyway. They’ll quickly wilt down to a silky texture.

Ingredients

4 Servings

½ pound ground pork
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, crushed
¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon cumin seeds, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 bunch mustard greens, torn (about 4 cups)
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce
8 oz. wide rice noodles

Also try it with:
Beet greens, kale, chard, oriental greens or turnip greens

Instructions

Mix pork, garlic, ginger, Sichuan peppercorns, red pepper flakes, and cumin in a medium bowl. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add pork mixture; season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring and breaking up with a spoon, until browned and cooked through, 8–10 minutes.

Add broth and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until flavors meld, 8–10 minutes. Add mustard greens, scallions, soy sauce, and fish sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender, 5–8 minutes; season with salt and black pepper.

Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions; drain.

Divide noodles among bowls and ladle soup over.

Lavender Pistachio Lamb Chops

8 lamb chops (or a rack of lamb)
2/3 cup pistachios, toasted
1/2 cup honey
2 Tbsp culinary lavender
olive oil

Serve with parsnips or any root vegetable accompanied by a green salad. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a food processor pulse the pistachios and lavender until all nuts are broken up but not powdered. Season lamb with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy gauge or cast iron pan to medium high. Add enough oil to coat pan well. Add chops and sear well, turning once. Set aside. In a small saucepan heat honey just to warm. Dredge each chop in honey then in lavender/pistachio mixture. Place on sheet pan and finish cooking in oven for 10 to 12 mins. Let rest 5 minutes for chops or 10 mins for rack before carving. Serves 4.

For those of you who will be coming for the first time tomorrow, pick up time for your CSA is from 4 to 6 PM.  The gate will be open, so walk down the gravel driveway to the shop.  Be sure and bring your cooler, box or bags to place your share in to take home.  We will be waiting for you.  The address is 2055 Andromeda Ln.  Call if you need directions.  See you soon!
26 Jun

Garden News – June 26, 2017

After months of seed starting, transplanting, preparing and weeding, the garden is starting to strut her stuff!  It has been a little challenging keeping up with Mother Nature’s whims, but things are looking quite nice out there. 

I will have organic, free range eggs available this year. My friend Marlene, who lives on Independent Lane, has the best eggs I have ever tasted. She takes such good care of her girls. The eggs will sell for $4 per dozen. I will have 10-12 dozen the first week to see how they go. I don’t want her to bring more than I can sell for her. You can always call or email me and let me know if you want me to hold some for you, otherwise it will be first come, first serve!

I am excited to tell you that Bonnie Martinell from Boja Farms in Bridger is offering fruit, garlic and winter squash shares through Kate’s Garden as an additional service to you! I know how challenging it is to find organic fruit and produce that I may not grow, or grow enough of for preserving or storing for the winter. It is so important that  small producers like Bonnie and I are allowed to continue doing what we do!

How Pick Up Days Work

For those of you who purchased full shares, you will come every Thursday until the final share date of October 5th.

I have divided the half share group into two parts, and some of you will pick up the first week, and the others on the second week. From then on, you will come every other week for the duration of the season. This makes it easier for me, as I will have the same # of boxes to prepare every week.

Bodie and I are anxiously awaiting seeing some of our past subscribers and greeting our new members!
Your CSA full share subscription will be ready for pickup this week on Thursday between the hours of 4pm and 6pm at Kate’s Garden in Billings Heights (2055 Andromeda Ln). The gate will be open for you, so just walk down the gravel driveway. Be sure to bring your boxes, bags, or coolers to place your produce in. I welcome your quart and larger clamshells, grape sacks, egg crates, and items that you would normally throw away, as I can use them for packaging produce. No take-out food containers, please. If you have questions about what I can use, just ask. I don’t want to be a recycling business, but some of these items come in handy and then they are not being put into the landfill!
09 Jun

Chicken and Kale in Parmesan Cream Sauce

“Chicken and kale in a creamy and cheesy sauce makes a great topping for pasta.”

Ingredients:

1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 pinch sea salt
6 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, diced
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (3 ounce) package grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Combine kale, water, red wine vinegar, and sea salt in a saucepan; cook over medium heat until the kale wilts, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and drain, reserving the liquid. Set the kale aside.
2. Combine the reserved liquid and the chicken in the saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir the kale, cream, butter, and black pepper through the chicken; cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts and the mixture is hot, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the mixture; cook and stir until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens, 3 to 5 minutes.

 

01 Jun

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Recipe

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients

  • 4 cups fresh rhubarb, 1-inch diced (4 to 5 stalks)
  • 4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved, if large
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (see note)
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup quick-cooking (not instant) oatmeal
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

For the fruit, toss the rhubarb, strawberries, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, and the orange zest together in a large bowl. In a measuring cup, dissolve the cornstarch in the orange juice and then mix into the fruit. Pour the mixture into an 8×11-inch baking dish and place it on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

For the topping, combine the flour, the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar, the brown sugar, salt, and oatmeal in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. With the mixer on low speed, add the butter and mix until the dry ingredients are moist and the mixture is in crumbles. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit, covering it completely, and bake for 1 hour, until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream.

25 May

We’ve got cucumbers, greens, broccoli, carrots, peas, onions, radishes, strawberries, and more. Every bed is full! We’ve even started harvesting some of the lettuce and mustard greens already for our restarurant sales. By the end of June the plants will be so big you won’t even be able to see the ground. Springtime is hard work, but we are full of anticipation. There’s nothing like being so connected to your food, you are literally watching it grow.

 

26 Apr

Garden News – April 26, 2017

Hello everyone,

Congratulations! You are all officially part of the Kate’s Garden 2017 CSA. I look forward to getting to know each of you better this summer – and for those of you who are new subscribers, meeting you for the first time. If you haven’t made your final payment yet, remember to please do so by Monday, May 1.

This newsletter is the first of many you’ll receive throughout through the CSA season. I like to keep my clients in the know about what’s going on the garden. Last week we finished transplanting many of our cool-weather crops: scallions, onions, spinach, lettuce, kale, mustards, tatsoi, sugar snap peas, and beets. We also seeded carrots and radishes. You can look forward to getting these veggies during the first few weeks of the garden season. I’m also growing pea shoots for the first time ever this year for Kalvin, owner and executive chef at J P Kitchen. If all goes well, the CSA clients might could get some pea shoots too!

If you’ve been looking around for local eggs, I am trying to have some here this summer from Marlene Wildin, a good friend of mine. Depending on how many her chickens produce, they’ll be available to buy for $4 a dozen each week when you pick up your CSA. I’m always looking for ways to use my garden to strengthen the community, and providing a space for other producers to sell their products is one way I live that value. I want to continue to provide other things I don’t grow to my CSA clients later down the road as well, like potatoes, garlic, apples and other fruits, which will all come from local producers.

One final, important note: When you pick up your CSA, one thing I ask of all my clients is to bring recycled containers. Start saving your plastic clam shells, like strawberry or tomato containers (no messy-food containers please). Grape pouches or other bags with zip ties are great for packaging produce too. I also use wine bottles around the garden to cover posts that stick out of the ground, so save those if you have them! The Earth gives so much to us, and it’s important that we give back to the Earth. Let’s take initiative and work together to keep trash out of the landfill.

So far, season 2017 is promising to be a good one. I’m looking forward to what’s to come, and as always, thank you for your support of Kate’s Garden!

All the best,
Kate

04 Apr

Garden News – April 4, 2017

Hello everyone,

The growing season is getting closer and closer, and it shows! This month I pruned all of the fruit trees and sprayed them with dormant oil spray, a natural insecticide, and liquid seaweed, a natural fertilizer. We always try to spray before the first buds break to catch the bugs while they’re hibernating. The greenhouse is also full of seedlings ready to be transplanted, and just last week I started outside with some pink lettuce and ruby streaks. These little plants are what will eventually be in your CSA. Don’t worry, they’re receiving plenty of tender love and care!

I want to thank everyone who has signed up for a CSA so far. When you buy from Kate’s Garden, not only are you supporting a small farmer, but you are helping bring Eastern Montana’s local food system back to life. So far I’ve sold 11 half shares and 4 full shares. I’m almost to my goal of 20, but I still have a ways to go. If you’re considering purchasing a share, act quickly – I need to know how many subscribers to grow for, and I’m starting seeds now!

Finally, I wanted to update you on the progress I’ve made getting my produce into local restaurants. Already, eight different restaurants in Billings have decided to source from Kate’s Garden: Lilac, The Fieldhouse, Walker’s, Juliano’s, J P Kitchen, Ember Cooking Company, Last Chance Pub & Cider Mill, and Seva Kitchen. Cooperation between restaurants and farmers is a huge step to building a stronger local food culture, and I’m so grateful to have this kind of support. You, too, can continue to support me by patronizing these restaurants. Let’s show them how grateful we are that they chose Kate’s Garden over Sysco!

It’s been a busy year, and this summer promises even more potential for us. I’ve decided to do a couple things in 2017 I’ve never done before. I’ve hired on a full-time intern, and together we’ll be participating in the Yellowstone Valley Farmers’ Market. Look out for my May newsletter for more updates on these exciting new changes.

 

All the best,

Kate

01 Apr

Kuchen Bars Recipe

Crust

1 c butter, melted
2 eggs
2 c flour
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Mix ingredients well and spread crust into a greased jelly-roll pan.

Fruit

4 c rhubarb, chopped

Arrange on crust.

Filling

4 eggs
2 Tbls flour
1 ½ c sugar
1 ¾ c cream

Mix ingredients and pour over fruit on crust. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake for 30 minutes or longer until filling is set…50 minutes if deep dish.

 

27 Feb

Scents of Balance on Yellowstone Public Radio

“I was interviewed for YPR earlier this month by Stella Fong for her bi-monthly radio show. Of course we talked about food, getting Kate’s Garden ready for spring planting, the CSA and lots of other good stuff. It was a wonderful experience for me…and I got to wear headphones and see the inside of those glass soundproof rooms! Such fun!”

01 Feb

Spicy Stir-Fried Sugar Snap Peas

Serves 3-4

1 lb. sugar snap peas
2 T soy sauce (can use low-sodium soy sauce if you prefer)
1 tsp. sesame seed oil
1 tsp. Sriracha sauce
2-3 slices fresh ginger root
2 large garlic cloves, sliced
1 T peanut oil
1 tsp. black sesame seeds or sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
Remove the strings from the each sugar snap pea by snapping the stem end and pulling the string down the side, then slice each one on the diagonal. (The sugar snap peas actually have a string on each side, but on most of them I only removed the string from one side.)

Mix the soy sauce, sesame oil, and Sriracha sauce in a small bowl and set aside.

Put the wok or heavy frying pan on the burner and preheat at least one minute. (It should feel very hot if you hold your hand above the wok.) When wok is hot, add the oil and let it heat until the oil is shimmering (about 15-30 seconds, depending on how hot your stove gets.) Add the sliced ginger root and garlic and stir-fry just long enough so that they become fragrant and season the oil, then remove. (Be careful not to brown the ginger and garlic or they will have a bitter taste.)

Add the sliced sugar snap peas and cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until the peas turn bright green and are just starting to cook, about 2 minutes. Pour in the sauce mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce just starts to coat the peas, about 1 minute more. (There will be some sauce in the bottom of the wok, but not much.) Serve hot, sprinkled with black sesame seeds or sesame seeds if desired.

 

13 Aug

Salad Primavera

Serving Size: 8

Ingredients

• 1 Cup Basmati Rice
• 8 oz Flavored Tofu, drained and diced
• 2 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved
• 4 Green Onions, chopped
• 1/2 Orange or Yellow Bell Pepper, diced
• 1 Cucumber, peeled, quartered and sliced
• 1 Yellow or Green Summer Squash, diced
• 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
• 2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
• 1/2 Cup Olive Oil

Instructions
1. In a medium sauce pan bring two cups of water and the rice to boiling. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low; cook for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is fluffy.
2. Remove the rice from the heat. Cool and transfer to a large serving bowl.
3. Add tofu, tomatoes, green onion, bell pepper, cucumber, and squash to the rice and stir to combine.
4. In a blender or small bowl with whisk, quickly blend together the vinegar, mustard and olive oil to create and emulsion dressing.
5. Drizzle the dressing over the rice mixture and toss to combine.
6. Serve and Enjoy!

 

18 Jul

Roasted Garlic & Tomato Bruschetta

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
1 garlic head, whole
3 teaspoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 medium tomato, diced
¼ cup fresh basil, chiffonaded
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
12 slices baguette, 1/2-inch thick

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut the top 1/3 off of the garlic head, exposing cloves. Place on foil; drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil over the head of garlic and sprinkle with a dash of salt and pepper. Wrap with foil. Bake in preheated oven 1 hour or until tender. Let cool.
2. Meanwhile, combine tomato, basil, 2 teaspoons olive oil, salt and pepper to taste in medium bowl; set aside.
3. Squeeze garlic out of skins. Mix garlic, cream cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese in a small bowl; set aside
4. Arrange bread slices on baking sheet; spread garlic cream cheese mixture over one side of each slice; sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Bake in preheated 350°F oven 12 minutes or until golden brown. Top with tomato mixture and remaining cheese.

06 Jul

Garden News – June 2016

There’s been a whirlwind of activity here in Kate’s Garden  since my last newsletter.  I’m am finally feeling like I can come up for air!  I feel blessed to have found two wonderful young women, Raechl and Sherry, to help me this season and we  have been working around the crazy weather  as best as possible.   The transplants that were started in the greenhouse during the winter months are now outside firmly planted in the ground.  The majority of direct seeding into the garden beds is done with the exception of some more carrots and  I will be starting new seeds in the greenhouse for second plantings  of cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and scallions for fall harvest.

The timing for seeding,( whether that be in the greenhouse or outside in the garden),  is so important when you are planning production for the CSA.  It’s not like a home garden where you plant once and eat what grows when it is ready.  In a production garden you must make sure that you always have certain crops that grow fast always available, like radishes and greens for instance.  So you are re-seeding every few weeks for a continuous supply.  We call that succession planting.  Some plants like the greens and brassicas do not do well in the heat of summer, so you must get those crops in the ground early in the spring so they are ready before the heat comes on, and then there are the tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and squash that thrive in the heat. Second plantings of beets, kale, spinach and other greens usually go in now, as the first plantings have been harvested for my wholesale accounts or will be ready soon for the beginning weeks of the CSA.   It was so warm in April that those heat loving plants that were in the greenhouse grew rapidly and were ready to put outside way too early.  I had to get them in the ground so they have been just sitting there not doing much because of the temperature fluctuations and the cool nights.  Every year in the garden is an adventure!  You just think you finally kinda know what you are doing as a grower and then Mother Nature throws you a curve ball and has a good laugh on you!  I am constantly challenged and always learning.

The majority of culinary herbs are harvested in the Spring and early Summer. The essential oils in the plants are at their highest in the cool of the mornings and before the plants flower.  So, we are out in the gardens at that time harvesting.  We have been sending lots of herbs to the restaurants,because the chefs here in Billings and Bozeman use them.  It is great to be able to find people who appreciate them and it brings in extra income and gives me such a sense of support right here in our own community.  There are lots of chive blossoms right now, so if you happen to have them growing in your own gardens, here is a recipe from my website for making chive blossom vinegar that is delightful in salad dressings and splashed over poultry and fish.

The beehive that my friend, Tony Seitz, installed last month is already humming!  He is building hand crafted  chicken coops and beehives and they are exquisite.  The honey bees are returning to the hive  heavy with yellow pollen collected on their hind legs which will help feed the queen and create a thriving hive.  There is a plethora of flowering plants in the gardens right now, as the roses, peonies and poppies are all blooming. The bees are happy and busy!

I sometimes find it challenging not to worry and stress myself out with anxiety over the gardens.  I beat myself up thinking that the they are not perfect, not producing as I expect, and there are always things that go wrong.  I don’t want to disappoint my clients and want them to be happy with the food and energy that is produced here and have wonderful experiences with everything that Kate’s Garden has to offer.  But this morning, as I sat outside in my daily meditation, I realized that everything is perfect just the way it is.  Just the experience of being blessed with the beauty the surrounds me and being able to do what I love to do,  is enough….I am enough!  We are all perfection and enough!  Being in gratitude for everything that life brings us evokes a sense of peace.  We are worthy and deserving.  It is a discipline that we must practice in every moment.    What is that song?   No worries!  Be Happy!

The snap peas are starting to climb!  That is usually an indication that the CSA  will be beginning soon.  June 23rd will be the first pick up day.  You can come between 4 and 6 PM.  Be sure and bring a box,  cooler or bags to carry your produce home, as I do not provide boxes.  The gate will be open, so just walk down the gravel driveway  to the shop.  You will be greeted by my German Shepherd, Bodie, who can sometimes be boisterous, but a big friendly baby!  I am so happy that the majority of this year’s subscribers purchased full shares, so that I don’t have to figure out who picks up which week.  It can sometimes be a little confusing.  I will be in touch by email with the half share subscribers to let you know when your first pick up day will be.

Bodie and I are looking forward to meeting you here in the gardens.  You are welcome to come by for a visit anytime, just let me know when you are coming.  You don’t have to wait until the CSA starts.  The gardens are in a constant stage of change so it is always so beautiful to see.  I will be in touch again in a couple of weeks!

Before I close, I wanted to mention that there is a pre-buy of Colorado peaches being offered as a fundraiser for the Shepherd-Warrior Martial Arts Scholarship Program for at-Risk & Underprivileged Kids.  I have purchased organic peaches from them for serveral years now and have never been disappointed.  They come in ripe, juicy and ready to eat or preserve.  It’s always a challenge finding organic fruit….especially peaches.

Rocky MT Freestone Peaches
from Palisade Colorado
Coming in Early to Mid August 2016!
Order NOW! Limited Quantity!
Call Sherry at 406-671-2933
This is a fundraiser for Shepherd-Warrior Martial Arts   Scholarship Program for at risk & Underprivileged Kids
Certified Organic Peaches $46.00 per 18lbs
Non-Organic Peaches $38.00 per 18lbs