I'm on serious crunch time, cranking out the beekeeping book that Chronicle Books was so awesome as to get behind! It's got me slacking on the blog, but I'm trying!
I recently harvested some honey for my CSA members...Going to try and accomodate as many people as I can who want to buy but truthfully, selling honey has sunken to the bottom of my list of priorities, especially considering that when it was my priority last season, I ended up with no honey in my pantry that winter. That can't happen again.
(Sweet, sweet honey...thanks for not stinging me when I stole it, bees!)
I recently made a big batch of pickled scapes and ended up with extra brine, which I refrigerated for future use. Today I sliced up some heirloom beets and turnips from Newton Farm, packed 'em in a clean, dry jar and covered them with the brine for a quick pickle.
The recipe for the brine was pretty easy. 1:1 ratio apple cider vinegar to h2o, some salt (about 1/2 tbsp for every quart of brine) and a couple generous pinches of pickling spice. If you don't like 'em so tangy you can add a little sugar or honey. Boil and pour over raw veggies of your choice. Put an lid on those S.O.B.'s and refrigerate for a week or so. After that, you can eat at your leisure. Veggies can usually last a few months this way.
(Pickle fast, you! I'm hungry!)
I went to Ellenville, NY with some friends this week to visit Andrew Faust and his family. If you don't know who this fellow is and you are interested in Permaculture in NY, get with the program! Check out his website and attend his workshops, you will have your mind blown.
One of the things I saw at his farm that I thought was really smart was a little patch of tomatoes set up by his partner Adriana. The house they purchased had a black asphalt driveway so they used it to grow solanaceous plants in burlap sacks. The burlap allows the roots to penetrate the container and dry out, effectively air pruning them and preventing root binding. In addition, the black of the asphalt helps to keep the soil at a nice toasty temperature that the tomatoes and peppers love. I thought this was a very practical approach and could be a perfect way for city-dwellers to grow their own if they don't have access to a patch of clean soil.
(I'm SO doing this on the roof next season)
Speaking of tomatoes, I've been harvesting some from my garden (when the squirrels don't get them first) and boy, let me tell you! They taste great with chopped purslane, cucumbers and basil oil! Give that combination a try if you feel inclined.
(I don't even know what sort of tomatoes these are. They just started growing on their own!)
So, that's about it for now. Neil and I are headed up to Cold Antler Farm for a rabbit workshop this weekend. Looking forward to sharing the experience with you when I get back!