It’s been an interesting few weeks to say the least! One day hot and dry, the next, damaging winds and hail. The Sunday hail storm two weeks ago did major damage to my roof, shop, greenhouse. I was able to save the majority of the garden by covering the larger plants with buckets and pots….over 200 of them! It took me all day. The pots got broken up but everything survived. The row crops of greens and the the new seedlings coming up were set back a little, but I think everything right now is doing pretty good. I am so thankful the storm predicted yesterday did not manifest. I would have been in a world of hurts, with over 100 tomato transplants out there just getting started! I have a strong feeling that we are going to be in for it this summer. I have never experienced hail storms this early in the season. The garden devas will certainly have their hands full keeping everything safe .
The direct seeded crops of beets, snap peas, radish, carrots and cucumbers are up and the scallions that I transplanted out earlier are starting to bulk up. I still have to transplant the bulb onions, peppers and direct seed all of the summer and winter squashes and melons. I am being more than a little cautious because of the weather. Barb and I are hoping to get all of this done this week so that we can concentrate on weeding and installing supports for some of the heavier plants. With the winds that we have been having, I don’t want them to topple over.
I have to admit that at times I feel overwhelmed by all of the work that goes into an organic market garden. Maybe it is because I am not as young as I used to be and work at a little slower pace, but the joy I experience when I see the fruits of my labor far exceeds the stress and sore body. Being a able to share the garden with you provides me with a great sense of accomplishment and I know that we all benefit on so many different levels.
I have been sending herbs and greens to the Good Earth Market and it is great to be able to have an outlet for some of my early harvest. So if you shop there, look for my products. They are all bagged and labelled “Kate’s Garden”, so you can’t miss them. FYI…The GEM really walks their talk when it comes to their support of local producers. I was really disappointed in “Lucky’s Market”. They are not set up there to purchase from local producers. All of the purchasing is done through their corporate office out of state, so it is next to impossible for producers here in our area to market to them.
I am also planning on being at GEM for their summer Saturday Farmers Market which will be held in their parking lot every week in June until the downtown Farmers Market begins in July. So come by for a visit.
We are still on track for the first CSA pick up day beginning Thursday, June 19th which is just a little over 2 weeks away. Hopefully the weather will be good to us. I will be in touch with you before we begin with more garden news. In the mean time here is a wonderful recipe to take advantage of early spring spinach or broccoli. It’s still a little cool out there in the evenings, so what could be better than a stuffed baked potato?
Spinach and Goat Cheese-Stuffed Baked Potatoes
A healthy, yummy twist on stuffed potatoes. While spuds contain their own vitamin C and iron, spinach and cannelini beans offer even more nutrients. If you’re not a fan of spinach, substitute broccoli florets for an extra dose of vitamin C.
4 large russet potatoes, pricked several times with a fork
4 ounces goat cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 can (14-19 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack and bake for 1 hour, or until soft when squeezed (wear an oven mitt).
3. Remove the potatoes from the oven and cut each lengthwise in half. Let stand until easily handled but still warm.
4. Scoop out the potato pulp into a large bowl, leaving a 1/4″-thick shell. Place the potato shells in a 13″ x 9″ baking pan.
5. With a potato masher, mash the pulp with the cheese, sour cream, oil, milk, salt, and pepper. Fold in the spinach, scallions, and beans. Spoon into the potato shells. Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.