Thank goodness it’s RAINING! That’s how I started the week out. Gosh, we needed this. It was so dry that my plastic rain gauge was screaming, “Water me! Water me!” (Let me go on record to say I am careful what I wish for … today’s Morning Call headline forecasting 6 inches of rain in the next two days is none of my doing!)
But last weekend as I was working in the cooling shade of our conifers and Kentucky coffee trees, I also learned a hard lesson on the impact of sun and garlic growing. Yes, when you think of garlic you think of the sun-drenched fields of Italy, so the equation Big Sun = Big Garlic is a no-brainer.
I guess what I didn’t realized is how much the trees have grown to shade our original garlic field of a dozen years ago. The bulk of our 2009-10 garlic harvest was pitifully small, except for a plot of late-planted heirloom varieties that grew in our sun-baked kitchen garden, next to the house. Those bulbs are monsters!
So, I spent last weekend sorting varieties for planting Columbus Day weekend. It’s a family ritual that moved with us from our backyard garden in Coplay to our farm in Maxatawny Township, and I’m not ready to give it up. Who knows where I’ll be in nine months when it is ready for harvest, but I’ll face that challenge then.
This weekend we’ll be pulling the “old” tomato plants at the top of the main field and rototilling to prepare the soil in the sunniest part of the field for a dozen vintage varieties of garlic: Music, German White, Maxatawny, Spanish Roja, Lorz Italian, Siberian, Asian Tempest, Porcelain, Metechi, Persian Star, Georgian Fire, and Chet’s Italian Red.
For the rest of you garlic lovers who like to grow your own, we are selling bags of Music and German White for planting. Laurie Lynch
Rainy September days are great for roasting peppers in the oven (and eating them too!)
Roasted Red or Yellow Peppers
1. Cut peppers in half using a sharp knife, cut out stem, inner membrane and seeds.
2. Place halves down on waxed paper and brush with olive oil. Then flip peppers and brush oil on the other side.
3. Put peppers on baking sheet (I spray mine lightly with Pam to prevent sticking, just in case) and place on oven rack in the middle position at 450° . Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, flipping peppers occasionally until skin is partially charred and blackened.
4. Remove baking sheet from oven and transfer pepper halves into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for about 10 minutes. The charred skin will loosen as the peppers cool.
5. With a paring knife, remove charred skins and place peppers in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
6. Roasted peppers are so sweet they don’t last long. But, just in case, I have a question: Has anyone tried freezing roasted peppers with any success?
Out of Our Shell: I grew Italian Rose shelling beans for my friend Joanne’s Italian co-worker. He loves the fresh/dried beans for soups and was like a kid at Christmas when I harvested the cranberry-marbled pods for him. Joanne and I also decided to try some in the kitchen … and then, Joanne discovered this NPR story on her Apple contraption:
Three Dog Night: We’ve got three dog crates for sale, medium, large, and super large with a puppy divider for anyone who needs to train a new puppy/dog.
Keep It Local: Fun for all Sunday from noon until 5 p.m. at La Cocina Mexicana’s parking lot in Kutztown.
Eat It Local: At Fleur-de-Lys Farm Market we have peppers and potatoes for roasting, eggs for poaching, garlic for planting (and eating), shallots (Picasso and Long) and zucchini for toasting, kale and chard for boasting, and basil for pestoing.
Written on Slate: As you think good thoughts you are planting good seeds inside you, and the Universe will transform those seeds into a garden of paradise – Rhonda Byrne