Saturday, May 25, 2013

For Carolyn; Wild Leeks continued

Last week a reader asked to help her distinguish between wild leeks and wild garlic. I said I'd post some photos to help so here they are!

The bulbs are an inch wide at the largest but vary and can be as small as a half inch wide. Here they  are fresh picked. Note the reddish stems on the older/larger ones.

Their leaves can be quite wide. I can always spot them because the leaves drape gracefully down, the tips nearly touching the woodland floor.

Cleaned and ready for chopping/braising etc.  They are much sweeter than a lot of onions and their smell is different from cultivated ones.

Hope this helps!!

Hey Carolyn; hope this helps! I'm not sure I've seen wild garlic before so I can't compare. These ended up whole on the grill, blackened and buttered until translucent. They were delicious. We plan on getting a few more this week.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

To eat or...oooo pretty!

Our little set-up camping out on our land; homey.
It's been hair-on-fire here at the homestead (all 4 of them). Today is the official last frost date for my area (and there was frost last night) so starting tomorrow, we are digging in, sweating buckets and planting planting planting.

There's already been a little activity in our beds (I should say 'bed' since currently there's only one called 'primo' because it was the first).
PRIMO with 225 onion sets, fava beans, lettuce, leeks and escarole

The onions are looking good, the fava beans finally decided to poke through and the lettuces are filling in nicely with their guardian angel watching on.

We're finally putting some hand made tools to use which is rewarding. 

Our garden cart and soil sifter both made by my husband

And we planted 101 red raspberry canes with another 30 or so to go in the ground tomorrow. 

I have a degree in Horticulture and while it has served me well, at times I find myself having to side-step my training and remember I'M A FARMER. Because it is different.

Take Daylilies (or ditch lilies as these are). To a horticulturist they are a pretty, albeit overused, perennial with grassy foliage and a wide variety of flowers.  To a FARMER they are dinner.

These made part of dinner the other night
All parts of the daylily are edible. The tender whitish green stems all the way down to the roots and tubers (mild and tasteless like water chestnuts). So we planted a bunch with food in mind and the flowers (also edible) will add a nice touch to the dinner table as fritters from time to time.

Yesterday we got to wander around a bit and found a large number of choke cherries, service berries and (manna from heaven!) wild leeks or ramps as they are called. Eating is going to be so much fun with so many natural foods at our disposal as long as I can start to see their beauty as food as well as fancy.