No Frost Yet!

No frost yet … but it sure felt frosty when I went out to use the facilities before bed last night. It was then that Shawn heard voices in the garden and we realized that Judy, Tom, and Johnny were out gathering veggies. We had not heard the revised forecast, calling for a drop to zero with frost overnight, but they had been alerted and were getting prepared. Shawn and I quickly postponed our plans for sleep and headed out to gather peppers and melons in the dark. Fortunately, the bulk of the peppers had already been safely stowed in our living room, but the smaller ones remained and we didn’t want to risk losing them. Above is a glimpse of the fruits of our labours. A much larger pile of boxes is to be found in Judy and Tom’s dining room!

Nevertheless, it was a relief to awaken to the discovery that the winds and changed, bringing in clouds which prevented the temperature from dropping much below what it had been as we picked. We saved a lot, but there was still much that had not been brought in. It would have been sad not to have the beautiful cucumbers in your order today, nor the zucchini, diminished in number as they are. Cherry tomatoes, basil, and pole beans might also have been veggies of the past. As it is, we hope to have them at least another week. The abundance of peppers and muskmelon in your order today is thanks to last night’s efforts, and we hope that our nocturnal harvest will provide you with peppers and melons for the rest of the summer season.

The roots and greens, of course, would not have minded the frost. The supply of potatoes, carrots, beets, and onions will be steady for months to come, and the greens (kale, chard, perpetual spinach, and parsley) for at least another month. Celery can handle some amount of frost, so we hope to be able to continue sending you half a plant each week until fall pick-up, at which point we will divide up the remaining plants.

We thought there might be a gap in the corn supply this week, but it turns out the corn that has been supporting our pole beans has started to mature, so we were able to send some after all. There were fewer mature beans than we’ve had the last couple weeks, but we were able to send a couple good handfuls of those to each of you too. There has been a gap in the lettuce supply for a couple of weeks now, but the final seeding is looking promising. We expect to be able to send some next week.

Thanks to the seed varieties Judy’s neice Rachelle has been growing for Prairie Garden Seeds, we have been able to add some colour to your tomatoes this week. Each full order includes 4 yellow paste tomatoes and 3 Alma (small, round orange tomatoes) in addition to a couple of the usual Oxheart. We hope you enjoy the splash of colour!

Speaking of colour, I tried a new recipe yesterday from The Book of Kale and Friends: Kale Beet Bread. We enjoyed it, and I hope you will too! Here is my slightly modified recipe:

1 1/2 cups finely chopped kale

1/3 cup packed grated beets

1/2 cup packed grated carrots

3 eggs

1/2 cup honey

2/3 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup buttermilk (or yogurt)

2 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour (I used half whole wheat and probably could have used all whole wheat if we’d had enough!)

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

a pinch of nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

Beat the eggs, then beat in the honey, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla. Mix in the kale, beets, and carrots. Sift the remaining ingredients into a large bowl, stir well, and add the liquid ingredients and veggies, stirring only enough to combine. Transfer into bread pans and bake 40-45 minutes at 350.

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