The solstice has come and gone.  Summer is here!

This week’s share works well with a lot of the recipes in Tender, Crunchy, Sturdy, Bold by Mark Bittman (he should stay away from food politics, but his recipes are still really nice):

beets
mesclun mix
red russian kale
snap peas
summer squash and zucchini
lettuce heads

Mesclun-and-Herb Salad

Use 5 cups mesclun and 1 cup tender herbs (like dill, parsley, chervil, basil or a combination) instead of lettuce. Toss with lemon-shallot vinaigrette: 1/3 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 small shallot.

Cooked Chard Salad With Lemon-Caper Vinaigrette

Cook 1 to 1 1/2 pounds trimmed chard in boiling salted water until tender, 2 to 3 minutes, then drain, rinse, squeeze dry and chop. Drizzle with lemon-caper vinaigrette: 1/3 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon capers with a drop of their brine and 1 tablespoon chopped parsley.

Kale Salad With Raisins and Blue Cheese

Use kale, not chard; instead of cooking, chop and drizzle kale with 1 teaspoon each olive oil and sherry vinegar; knead until tender. Toss with 2 grated carrots, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup blue cheese and honey-garlic vinaigrette: 1/3 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, 1 garlic clove and 2 teaspoons honey.

 

This week we’ve been doing a lot of soil amending and fertilizing: below we’re mixing our home-made liquid compost into a wheelbarrow full of composted horse manure from Backer Farm.  By amending the horse manure with our fertilizer, the compost becomes a more dynamic soil amendment, with amino acids, micro-organisms and other micronutrients in addition to the N-P-K from a balanced compost.  Our fertilizer recipe comes from a project in northeast Thailand called “Smiley Garbage” – we mix about 5 gallons molasses and all the food waste from my family’s home over the winter in a 55-gallon drum and then seal it off for about 3 months to ferment.  The molasses serves as food for micro-organisms present in the organic matter and allows them to break down the food waste into into a potent liquid.  We dilute the mix by about 1 cup per 2 gallons of water when spreading the compost.

Phil hard at work, spreading compost on the kale and broccoli

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