A Time for Vines


While some of us may not have been loving the heat of this past week, our vine crops certainly have. The spring crops are wrapping up. Edible pod peas are finished for the season and we are onto the third and final seeding of shelling peas. But the cucumbers are coming into their own! Last week you got a sneak peak; this week you’ll really get to enjoy! Unless, of course, your kids are like mine. Robin has been helping himself to the cucumber patch, but no cucumber has made it anywhere near my lips yet!


Another vine that is normally abundant this time of year is zucchini. Sadly, ours are still limited to a teaser. The photo above gives a sense of what happened to our patch this year. The few large plants are those that have survived our crazy winds. The smaller ones in between are the ones that I re-seeded after the first big windstorm. The sad looking heap toward the bottom of the photo is one of the re-seeded plants that did not survive subsequent winds. It’s been a hard year for zucchini. But they will come!


Another vine crop that is looking promising is our muskmelons. It will be a while yet before they are ripe, but they are coming along nicely. The honeydew plants look lovely too; lots of blossoms, but no sighted fruit yet. Sadly, this will not be a year for watermelons.

Your veggie bags are starting to fill up with other heavier items too. Carrots, potatoes, and beets are all doing well, and the onions are getting bigger. (We’re sending you thinnings right now and saving the best for winter onions.) We’re also starting to send some of the garlic that died back before reaching its full size, again allowing the best to continue growing for fall.

The beans continue to flourish, so do consider if you would like some extras! We pick them three times a week to make sure they don’t get over-mature, once for each vegetable pick-up and another time on Friday. This Friday’s picking yielded 25 gallons! Many thanks to Marie-Louise for finding homes for most of those! This week you have green beans, wax beans, and purple beans (that turn green when cooked), and possibly even some dragon tongue wax beans by Wednesday. There are also still shelling peas and broad beans.

You are also getting another generous bag of greens: rutabaga greens, perpetual spinach, Swiss chard, kale, and lettuce. This may be the last lettuce until our next seeding matures, unless the weather cools off a bit. For herbs this week there are basil, purple basil, parsley, dill, and green onions.

As you might imagine, our menu this week was filled with beans! Maybe for this reason, we didn’t quite manage to finish up our greens. We still have the kale and beet greens left to go, as well as a handful of onions. So what did we eat?

As you might have guessed from my comments above, the cucumber was gobbled up on Sunday before I’d even finished unpacking the veggies. That afternoon, I made a lettuce and herb salad for our church potluck. Monday we had leftover soup for lunch, the last of the previous week’s Oregon giant peas, a salad, raw carrots, and scallion biscuits (see recipe below). For supper we had boiled potatoes, beets, peas, and green beans with baked paneer.

Tuesday’s supper was mashed potatoes, a four-bean salad (see recipe below), and Italian greens (see recipe below) made with rutabaga greens. On Wednesday we had a simple stir fry for supper with the last of the edible pod peas, green and wax beans, the last of the rutabaga greens, a couple of carrots, parsley, and green onions. I had boiled broad beans on the side, which some of us mixed into the stir fry. Thursday’s supper consisted of green beans, a lettuce and herb salad, and Swiss chard rolls (recipe below).

For the rest of the week, I have to admit, we ate veggies that were not from the order. Friday I made pizza with basil, purple basil, and cherry tomatoes on top (your cherry tomatoes will come soon, I promise!), with a green salad (from fresh picked lettuce as my order was gone already). Saturday evening I made another 4-bean salad to take to a potluck (did I mention we have a lot of beans?!?).

Savory Scallion Biscuits

1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 cup yogurt (I used buttermilk)

1/2 cup minced scallions

1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill

1/4 tsp ground black pepper (I omitted)

Comine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl combine wet ingredients and herbs. Blend together quickly. Shape into biscuits and bake for 20 minutes at 400.


Four-bean Salad

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup red wine vinegar (I used homemade chokecherry vinegar)

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp honey

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

Mix in a large bowl until blended.

1 lb green beans (or mixture of green, yellow, and purple)

5 1/2 cups cooked dried beans (recipe recommends mixture of edamame, black, and pink; I used salvadoran red)

1 small red onion, diced (I used green onions)

I cup green pepper, diced (I omitted; they’re not ready yet!)

1 Tbsp each fresh basil, parsley, oregano, thyme (I used basil, parsley, and purple basil)

Add and toss to combine. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.


Italian Greens

1/4 cup olive oil

6 large garlic cloves, sliced

12 to 14 large chard leaves and stalks, coarsely chopped (other greens may be substituted; I used rutabaga greens)

salt to taste

Heat the oil in a wok or heavy skillet and saute the garlic until golden. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and reserve. Add the greens and saute until tender. Add the salt. Just before serving, sprinkle the reserved garlic over the chard.


Swiss chard rolls

Remove and discard (or save for fermenting or another dish!) the stems and any tough ribs of 12 large Swiss chard leaves (I used a combination of Swiss chard and perpetual spinach). Blanch the leaves in boiling water for 3 or 4 minutes, until pliable. Set aside.

1 3/4 cups onions (white and green parts)

1 tsp oil

3 cups cottage cheese (I used strained clabbered milk, but this only works with raw milk)

2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil

Saute the onions for a few minutes, then combine with other ingredients. Place about 1/4 cup in centre of each Swiss chard leaf and roll up into a packet (like cabbage rolls). Place seam side down in a baking dish. Pour 1 cup tomato juice over the top and cover tightly with foil. Bake at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes.



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