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!
02 Jul

Freshly Harvested Lavender

Lavender Harvest 2011 003

What’s not to love about Lavender!  Besides its visual beauty, it can be used for so many things.  We include it in the formulations for our  “Lavender Collection.”  Inhaling its fragrance brings relief from the stresses of our daily  lives.  The soothing properties of this amazing plant are a must in our lotions and creams.  A quick spritz of our Lavender mist can uplift the spirit while bringing about a restful nights sleep.  We can even cook with it!  The dried flowers are in the classic French  “Herbs de Provence” culinary herb blend.  Here in Montana the first harvest is usually in late June or early July, and sometimes we can harvest again in late September.

03 Sep

Pink Herbal Lemonade

The lavender and hibiscus flowers turn this refreshing lemonade a gorgeous hot-pink color. You’ll get the most juice from lemons that are at room temperature. If you can’t find hibiscus flowers, substitute four large strawberries, thinly sliced.
• 4 cups water
• 1 cup sugar
• 2 tablespoons dried lavender flowers
• 4 whole dried hibiscus flowers
• 1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 large lemons)
• Lemon slices and whole lavender sprigs, for garnish
1. Bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and add sugar; stir to dissolve.
2. Add lavender and hibiscus flowers and steep, covered, for 5 minutes.
3. Strain and add lemon juice. Chill for several hours before serving.
4. Garnish with lemon slices and lavender sprigs.

 

19 Feb

Chocolate Lavender Kisses

Meringue is the secret to these sweet fudgy lavender-scented cookies. Easy, quick and delicious, these are a perfect homemade gift for the holiday season. For a festive touch, place kisses in small cellophane bag and tie with a bow. Your friends and family will cherish this sweet expression of your love!

Recipe
4 egg whites (at room temperature)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup lavender sugar*
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

*Note: To make lavender sugar, combine 1/4 cup of granulated sugar with 1 tablespoon lavender buds. Place in food processor and blend into a fine powder. Add to 1 3/4 cups of sugar in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Allow it to sit for 3 days to infuse the sugar with the lavender flavor.

  1. Preheat oven to 200F with the rack in the center of the oven.
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  3. Beat 4 egg whites in a large mixing bowl with cream of tartar, vanilla and pinch of salt until foamy.
  4. Take 2 tablespoons of the lavender sugar and sift together with cocoa and set aside.
  5. Add remaining lavender sugar – 1 tablespoon at a time- to the egg white mixture. Beat well after each addition making sure the sugar is dissolved. Continue to beat until mixture is glossy and makes stiff peaks.
  6. Sift the cocoa/sugar mixture over the meringue. Using a spatula, fold in the cocoa mixture gently just until it is blended.
  7. Spoon the meringue mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a ½ inch star tip. Place 1 inch meringue kisses onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. (I use a reclosable storage bag and clip off ½ inch at the corner. Alternatively, drop the meringue by tablespoon on to your baking sheet.)
  8. Bake the meringues for 1 ½ hours. The meringues are done when they are crisp and firm to the touch. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues in the oven for another hour to finish drying.
  9. Store lightly covered in a dry place.
  10. Makes 75 meringues.