As promised in my last post, welcome to this week's garden and local booty update! I have missed doing these posts, but there wasn't much going on in the garden and due to circumstances, I wasn't really up for going to the Root Cellar and cooking a bunch of meals. But the times, they are a changin' (thankfully). As noted in the last post, I have been cooking some of our favorite tried and true meals and we have really been enjoying them. I didn't realize how much both of us missed some of our staple recipes. Trying new recipes all the time can mean some of the "oldies but goodies" get put on the back burner so to speak. Well not anymore! I will make sure that our favorite recipes are in regular "rotation".
Speaking of local booty, we got some really awesome stuff this week from the Root Cellar. This haul ran us $35.
It's all local. Starting from the bottom right: oyster mushrooms, 2 Uprise Bakery granola bars, 1/2 pound pecans, 1/2 pound black walnuts, 2 bags full of soft whole wheat pastry flour (wahoo for the Missouri Grain Project!!!!!), a bag of kidney beans, and a big ol jar of County Goodies pickles.
Not only is having Missouri grown whole wheat pastry flour super exciting, it is very local, this flour comes from Terra Bella Farm in Auxvasse, Missouri, not very far from here at all - about 20 minutes by car.
I am very excited about the flour, as was the woman at the Root Cellar. I had seen whole wheat berries there before, but do not have a grinder. Then when we contemplated getting one, things went awry and we both forgot all about it. Now I just have to figure out what I want to bake with it. We are going to be making some pesto soon since our Genovese basil in the AeroGarden is flippin' huge (more on that below), anyone have any ideas as to what sort of bread I could bake to serve with pesto pasta? Seems like the perfect meal, pesto made from homegrown basil, local garlic, and local walnuts along with some homemade bread made from local flour.
One of my coworkers is a big fan of auctions and garage sales, thanks to her hobby, we have received all sorts of goodies from her: gardening implements, gardening books, and now, vegetarian cookbooks. She went to an auction a short time ago and found 6 vegetarian cookbooks for $1, thought of me, and picked them up for us. I can't wait to look through them. Ann seriously rocks, I have already thanked her profusely but just in case she reads this, thanks again!
On to the garden update. It has been awhile since I have done one of these. We basically gave up on trying to grow anything beyond salad greens, catnip, wheatgrass, and pepper starts since we weren't having much luck with anything else. That is, until we got the AeroGarden. Not only are we getting good herb production from the AeroGarden, the additional light it produces really helps the other plants.
I was planning on starting some seeds for our container and community gardens last weekend, I honestly don't remember what we did on Saturday (no alcohol was involved either, I just have a bad memory), and Sunday my dad and step-mom came down for a brief visit. They brought us a steel, six-shelved, really tall, and sturdy shelf for our kitchen. The thing plain rocks, we have so much more space to work with now! They also brought us a few canisters of different sizes for our flours, sugar, and rolled oats. I was happy enough that they made a visit for no reason (it is usually just holidays and birthdays), but the shelf and canisters are really helpful. Wahoo for storage solutions. So anyways, I got off track as usual, because of all that, I didn't get the seeds started. And this week, well, my excuse is it's been a cross between laziness and working from home. I will get them started eventually. I did make a seed starting plan last night though.
Anywho, check out the progress of our plants. If you saw the last garden update, you may be surprised at how much one of the cayennes has grown.
Our lone jalapeno plant. It is doing better than it was; I'm really not sure why the cayenne has grown so much more than the other peppers.
Our very lush cayenne, the remaining cherry bomb pepper, and our philodendron. This cayenne plant is going to have a great head start when we put it out in the spring.
Here is the other cayenne, it is also looking a lot better and getting quite dense.
As requested, here are a few pictures of the AeroGarden.
Here she be with the light on. I didn't do the best job of arranging the plants in the AeroGarden, I wasn't thinking very spatially when I was planning it, I suppose. Anyway, because of my ill though planning, the Thai Basil, Genovese Basil, and sage have over crowded the mint, oregano, epazote, and chives. They are growing, but not as fast since the tall plants are hogging all the light.
I didn't know if it was better to show a picture with the light on or off, so I decided to do both.
Our Hammond is getting a lot of plant love. :-)
Here it is up close. We have been clipping the basil almost daily and it is going crazy. I think it is time to take about 1/3 of the plant. It should provide more yield and we will have enough basil to make pesto and some sort of Thai dish.
And finally, the one I am most excited about, the epazote! It is finally starting to take off, I can't wait to use some of this, what a treat!
In other garden-related news, we are really enjoying our vermicomposting bin. The worms have taken to the food and we are getting close to starting a second working tray. Those little guys eat!
We shred a lot of paper at my office, and it make excellent bedding for the worms, so I asked if I could have it to feed to our wormies, since it was just going to be recycled, nobody minded, and it sparked curiosity about the worm bin. Some coworkers have even started donating their newspapers to the "worm cause" :-). So we get to reduce waste and produce compost! I emailed some pictures to my coworkers and was even questioned by one's husband about the birthing process (can anyone elaborate, I don't know anything about it, do they lay eggs or what?) and the potential income if they over breed by selling the "excess" as bait. I don't know if I could do that, I think I would feel bad. Is that pathetic?
Anywho, I hope all is well and everyone is having a good week.
I have a date with my food processor, hummus awaits!
'Til next time.