One of the things I like about farming next to the railway tracks is all the wildlife we see there – rabbits, groundhogs, mice, muskrats, sometimes skunks, all sorts of birds, & occasionally deer and coyotes.
One of the things I don’t like about farming next to the railway tracks is all the wildlife we see there – and the damage they cause.
The other day a family of very young groundhogs scurried into the underbrush as we came by. We were able to count 3 little ones before they disappeared. Unfortunately their home happens to be just opposite our newly planted tomato patch. They have been tasting the various tomatoes.
Discerning little creatures that they are, they tried and rejected Peron Sprayless, as well as Red Pearl, Green Tiger & even the always popular Sungold tomatoes.
Their favourite was Black Yum Yum (obviously well named), a new to us heirloom. However, the plants are trying to keep on growing and we may still be picking Black Yum Yums if the groundhogs move on to something else – perhaps eggplant or sweet peppers or cucumbers?
Growing conditions have been great this past week, with plenty of sunshine & some rain as well. The nights continue to be on the cool side. These are all things that plants & trees like!
What’s in the box?
Lettuce, pea shoots, spinach & radishes
(more herb & tomato plants are also available).
- The lettuce is finally ready – a nice mix of colours that are beautiful in a salad.
- The peas shoots are for cutting and adding to your salads or sandwiches. Place them outside in the sun, keep well watered and they should last another week or more. If you cut them down only about half way or so, most will regrow enough for a 2nd cutting.
- Spinach & radishes continue… Here are 2 recipes for radishes you may want to try.
Serves 2 or more
- 1 bunch radishes, trimmed, very large ones halved/quartered, if desired
- olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for serving
- small handful fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
- some thin sliced red onion
- sea salt
- fresh cracked black pepper
- crusty baguette
- blue cheese, if desired
- Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place radishes in a roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil and scatter butter pieces over. Strip thyme leaves off stems and sprinkle over the radishes. Season with salt and give everything a good toss.
- Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until radishes are wrinkly. If your radishes are small or skinny, watch them carefully, so as not to overcook them.
- Midway through cooking, give the pan a shake.
- Let cool slightly. Slice radishes into fat rounds. Place on a serving dish, drizzle with olive oil and dress with thin slices of butter. Sprinkle generously with sea salt and, if you like, some black pepper, too. Scatter red onion slices over the radishes. Serve with crumbled blue cheese or with hunks of crusty baguette and additional butter, salt and thyme.
ROASTED RADISH & POTATO SALAD
For the salad
- 10-15 radishes (your favorite variety, rinsed, trimmed, and halved or quartered depending on size)
- 3 medium Yukon potatoes (rinsed and cut into bite size pieces
- 1/4 red onion (thinly sliced)
- olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1/2 lemon (juice)
- 2 tablespoons dill (finely chopped)
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine potatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper. Empty potatoes onto a foil lined baking sheet, and place in the oven. Cook for about 20 minutes. In the same mixing bowl, toss the radishes in olive oil, salt and pepper. Empty into an oven-safe saute pan, or another foil lined baking sheet, and pop into the oven for about 10 minutes, or until radishes are softened.
- As the potatoes and radishes are roasting, mix together your dill sour cream sauce in a large mixing bowl.
- Remove the potatoes and radishes from the oven and let cool. Once cooled, combine the roasted vegetables, fresh onion and 1 cup of the dill sauce. Let cool in a refrigerator and serve on a nice spring day!
(both recipes are from Food52.com)