Last week began with a couple days to rest and catch up on household tasks after Sunday’s torrential downpours. But as soon as the garden dried up enough, we were keen to get to work push cultivating (to avoid crusting and eliminate the small weeds that were taking advantage of the new moisture), in-row weeding, and getting the bedding plants out into the garden.
We had been gradually putting out transplants for a week or so before the rains, but it was a much slower task. In the dry garden, holes were more difficult to dig, and each had to be filled with water (hauled by hand) before the young plant could be placed in it. With soft, moist soil, the task was infinitely faster. So Judy, Tom, and I spent Judy’s special birthday getting over three hundred young plants tucked into their new homes!
Except for the cabbages (which are once again succumbing to root maggots), the new babies are adapting marvellously to the great wide world outside the greenhouse. If all continues to go well, you can look forward to abundant tomatoes, peppers, and herbs in the months to come!
This week’s taste of the transplants was the pinch of purple basil in your herb bags. The herb of the week was definitely coriander though, as our initial flush of volunteers are bolting and needed to be harvested NOW! We love coriander/cilantro around here, but realize that not everyone does, so if you are one who would prefer to avoid it, just let us know. Some of our favourite uses include: chopped into salad or salad dressing, mixed with a cream cheese (or equivalent dairy product) to make a spread for our daily bread, added abundantly to black bean soup (or salad), or with greens and peanut sauce (see recipe below).
Other herbs this week include mint (the amount we sent is what we regularly use to make a pot of mint tea), summer savory (just a tease: the thinnings of our volunteer patch), and dill.
Once again, leafy greens dominate the order. It is salad season! In addition to the herbs, your orders include lots of lettuce, spinach, orach, and a taste of arugula. Battlefords members also received the last of the asparagus (Saskatoon members received theirs last week), and rhubarb, which will keep going for a couple more weeks (unless you’re tired of it!).
Greens with Peanut Sauce
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp rice vinegar (I use homemade strawberry vinegar)
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2-1 tsp crushed dried Hot Hungarian Wax pepper
1 tsp salt
1/3-1/2 cup hot water (I find if I’m serving this dish with potatoes, the sauce works better without the water, but the water is helpful if you’re trying to coat pasta with it)
Saute 6 cups of chopped seasonal greens and add sauce when just wilted. Serve over your choice of starch (boiled potatoes, cooked rice stick noodles, steamed rice etc.).