Time to be sure your garden is ready to withstand all that summer brings on; weather change, insects, unwelcome grazers, lack of water, just to name a few. For those of you with container gardens, Windrose Farm “salad bowls” and the like, it’s time for your potted produce to be moved so they do not cook in the mid-day sun. Don’t let Ma Nature cook your greens before they get to the kitchen! Provide them with afternoon shade, and on those really hot days, give them a light mist around 10am, and or later at 3pm. Give them a shot of liquid fertilizer (fish & kelp is good!) to give them that final boost of energy before you harvest. And those of you who planted in the ground, water smart! You know you can maximize your resources by watering & fertilizing smaller amounts earlier in the day.
Did you know…?
Veggies & fruit generate and radiate heat as they grow? Those of us who BBQ know that when you take meat off the grill it keeps cooking. While out at Talley Farms last week, I learned that vegetables do the same kind of thing, though they keep ripening after they are harvested due to not only the heat of the day, but the internal heat they are generating. To slow down the ripening process so our “tree ripened” fruit doesn’t arrive at our stores par baked, they are crated and placed in large forced air coolers so that the ripening process is slowed down / stopped. We also saw veggies being cooled by a process called hydro-cooling; very cool indeed!
Do you have inspiration it takes to make it yourself?
Or perhaps you appreciate the fervor our local chefs put into creating fabulous locally grown meals for us to enjoy. I’m the girl that likes to eat really good, clean honest food! And sometimes, I even like to prepare & cook it! I love the passion & inspiration I get when visiting our local farmers who grow the best ingredients they can. And attending cooking classes at Refugio teach me what to do with our locally grown abundance of produce, meats & grains, and sharing the recipes that I can take home to create an amazing dinner for my friends and family. I might not be the girl that can grow the tomatoes, but I sure do appreciate what it takes to get them to my table. Next time you are out at the farm, or in a restaurant, thank your farmer, chef, producer for all their hard work, commitment and passion for bringing us such awesomeness to our tables!
Whether you have grown it yourself, or purchased the makings from your local farmer, try this simple, yet tasty dressing on your next salad:
FARMER BILL’s Dressing (Farmer Bill Spencer of Windrose Farm “designed” this dressing for bitter greens)
Gently blend together:
½ C Olive Oil (we have so many locally grown to choose from!)
2T Red Wine Vinegar (Chaparral Vinegars are a local favorite!)
1T Dijon Mustard
2t Lemon Juice
1T Maple Syrup (secret ingredient!)
¼ C Farmer Bill’s homemade mayo*
*Farmer Bill’s Homemade Mayo
Using an emulsion blender, add & mix the following ingredients in a 2C mason jar:
1 egg yolk
1T lemon juice
1C Olive Oil
Salt to taste