We have arrived at the last and 21st week of CSA pick-ups. After the last CSA pick-up our remaining interns will move on to other pursuits. We are very grateful for all their young energy and enthusiasm and wish them well with their future endeavours. One of the final jobs to tackle before our interns leave is the planting of garlic for the following year. For the past few years we have been no-till planting garlic into a cover crop of oats that will continue to grow into the fall and then winter kill. This year we added some daikon radish into the mix. The cover crop is a bit smaller because it was so dry in August/September, but we hope that it will have time to grow into the fall. To no-till plant the garlic, our draft horses open up a shallow trench with a riding cultivator and we drop in the cloves. Afterwards the riding cultivator closes in the the trench with discs and covers over the garlic. I realized when I was watching our granddaughter, Della, planting garlic that she is the eighth generation of my family to be working this land. I grew up listening to stories from my grandmother about how much she enjoyed farming here with horses. As I remember the story, after their children were grown my grandfather went to work for the railroad loading coal in Aylmer and my grandmother stayed home and farmed with a hired man. My Aunt Betty did all the cooking and my grandmother had the time of her life farming…My grandmother’s Haight ancestors cleared this land in the 1820’s.
I have heard about people planting ginger and growing it in hoop houses in the north and this year I decided to give it a try. In April when I bought the tubers to start in the greenhouse I also got some turmeric. Both grew fairly well and it was fun to dig up the plants and see what was there. I’m not sure about growing enough for the CSA, but I will enjoy using what I have grown this season.
All the fall grains and cover crops have come up well since the rain has returned. Ken tried a new experiment planting barley into a switch grass field. He removed the switch grass and no-tilled winter barley directly into the field. He is hoping that the barley will come off in time for the switch grass to grow again next year. Stay tuned to find out how that goes.
10 cups cooked strained mashed pumpkin
8 cups white sugar
1/2 pound butter
grated rind and juice of 4 lemons
Simmer all together 20 minutes or until thick – do not boil
Pour into hot sterile jam jars and seal . (I cover the jars with an inch of boiling water in a large pot and bring to a boil for 10 – 15 minutes. Remove from water and make sure the lids are tight.)
The old fashioned way is to boil the pumpkin in lightly salted water, drain and mash. You can microwave it and put it in the food processor if you wish. ( I just poke the pumpkin to break the skin and bake it whole in the oven until it is soft. I then let it cool, cut it open, remove the seeds, scoop out the pumpkin flesh and puree it in the food processor. Long Pie pumpkins work well for this recipe.)
Great on toast, biscuits and in tarts.