flowers and Farm fare

I feel like lately all I write amounts to blatherings on how our gardens are progressing. Yesterday I wandered around and wondered at how everything seems to sneak open and surprise me though I pass by the garden everyday. All around our house the purple irises have been blooming, but now joining those are a purple/yellow blended iris; pink peonies have burst forth from their tight fists into glorious flowers; day liles are still present and trumpeting; lilies of the valley clang in the wind--white bells; now I am pacing back and forth waiting to see the fruits of our more recent labors.

TSO's gladiolus are tall and leggy, but flowerless; my triteleias are growing, steady sharp points, but so far from flowering that I grow impatient looking at them. I am now looking eagerly for signs of all of last weekends work; scanning for sunflowers, cosmos, broomcorn, anything new that will add to our gardens beauty.

Down at my garden plot watering my mounds of pumpkins, cucumbers and watermelons today gave me my first glance of seedlings, leafs unfurling and spreading. Hopefully this weekend I will be putting in the rest of my seeds.

While I wait for my plants I have been enjoying the fruits of the Garden teams' labor more and more lately as we move further into my favorite food season at the Farm--summer abundance. It is so refreshing to be using frozen veggies less and less as we enjoy our Farm asparagus, lettuce, spinach, leeks, scallions and radishes. Some suggestions for these tasty treats:

1. Asparagus: I love it barely steamed, al dente.
2. Lettuce: salads and sandwiches of course, but try wrapping cold salads in the leaves like a burrito (curry chicken salad is nice!)
3. Spinach: I like spinach tossed with sauteed garlic shrimp and a sweet and tangy bacon viniagrette.
4. Leeks: Potato, leek and bacon soup.
5. Scallions: great finishes in almost every dish. On hot days toss on top of pasta or potato salad. Mmmmm.
6. Radishes: I recently found a radish butter recipe in the Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern cookbook. I am looking forward to trying with some homemade bread soon.

Some benefits of eating locally and in season foods include:
  • decreasing your carbon footprint since your food isn't traveling as far to get to your table
  • the flavor of the food is noticeable since it doesn't have to be picked before its prime to ensure its ability to stay "fresher" longer
  • you support your local farmers, keeping monies in your local community

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