Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What to Do With Your Share---Week 14

August is here, and the wear and tear on all things living on the farm is showing. Weatherunderground.com archives show we have had 21 days at 100 degrees or more since June 27th. In this 42-day stretch there has only been 0.80 inches of rain. This punishing weather may subside over the next few days and we are awaiting a couple of days in the 80's and maybe some rain. We shall see what the future brings us.

One of the casualties of this year's unusual weather is the soft-neck garlic. The hot and dry Spring caused our garlic plants to die back early (five weeks early), before they were fully formed. The result was that the cloves in the center of the bulb never developed. The centers instead consist of a mass of garlic paper that was so moist it never dried out properly, and instead lead to rotting in many a bulb.

Early June garlic harvest
Today we had the sad job of culling out these soft, withered heads and had to throw away an estimated 60 to 70% of our softneck. Other varieties fared better, but we are in the process of cleaning and inspecting all of our garlic to make sure we have enough to hand out in future shares, as well as to plant for next year's crop.

So, because of all this the full shares will only get one head of garlic in their share for the near future. The other thing to know is that you may break your garlic open and find some remnants of a soft center in it. If that is the case, do not throw out the whole head, but save any outer cloves that are firm. If you use garlic regularly you can store the good cloves in an open container on your counter. Otherwise you can store them in the fridge.

This Week's Recipe
While I write the recipe section of our blog, it is not without help from Rebecca in the kitchen. With a ready vegetable supply, a freezer of Parker Farms meat and the internet at hand, we are never far from a plethora of options for a tasty meal. Last week our search of the cooler, freezer and world wide web included "eggplant" and "lamb."

The results were exceptional, as the Google suggested the simply named recipe Lamb with Eggplant from the blog Porcini Chronicles. I will not reprint it here, as you can follow the link. Eggplant, onion, tomatoes, ground lamb and spices were all at hand and the results were delicious. It was a sweet and savory dish that we will no doubt repeat in the future. 

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