Since we’ve been trying to live by the seasons for awhile now, I thought it might be helpful (if only for us to record things better) to give a monthly report of what we’re planting, cooking, and prepping each month.
Grant has been working on a large hugelkultur bed in what we call “the back 40.” (I don’t know why we call it that; it’s only two-ish acres). We finally got it planted this month with a large berry order from Indiana Berry (I was uber impressed with Indiana Berry’s customer service). In it, we planted the following:
- Black currant
- Red and purple gooseberry
- Hardy kiwi
- Goji berry
We also planted aronia and seaberry as a hedge/wind block for the orchard and berry bed, and we tried to plant white clover in between the plants in the hugelkultur and the orchard for a nitrogen-fixing ground cover.
We planted about 50 asparagus plants and 100 strawberry plants (again, from Indiana Berry) using this exact plan basically, just modified for our space. We put cardboard down on the narrow paths in the asparagus/strawberry patch, and we’re still trying to figure out what will work in the pathways. Grant would like to do clover, but we still haven’t decided.
We planted 25 hazelnut trees from the Savanna Institute in various “groves” around the property.
Up closer to the house gardens,
we our friend Dan built four new garden beds that we filled with (in order): cardboard, leaves, shredded paper, upturned sod (that we had dug up from the strawberry and asparagus patch), and compost.
We ordered about six yards of compost from our favorite local compost spot that we used in the new beds and as a top dressing in all of our growing areas. We’ve been fencing in the chickens into our tomato bed, so they kind of till in the compost into the beds.
We get wood chips from a local tree cutting company. They only bring us “clean” stuff that doesn’t have black walnut or other concerning types of trees. Grant has been spreading it in the garden pathways (and using it around our trees so that Grant doesn’t have to weed-eat around them).
I’ve been trying to pick back up my kitchen journal since I’ve fallen out of the habit since the remodel. So I have better records of what we’ve been cooking lately:
- Roasted veggies. I’ve been trying to get back in this habit on Mondays, so I have plenty to add on top of salads or for a quick side throughout the week. We’ve been making lots of roasted carrots and beets with some feta sprinkled on top, and we’ve been eating tons of asparagus since it’s in season. On farmersmarket.com (and most local butchers) will sell “bacon ends” for far less per pound than regular bacon. I love using these ends to throw in a few with some roasted veggies for extra flavor.
- Variations on this with different grains and beans depending on what’s in the pantry.
- Lots of grilling out…typically a protein (salmon, whole chickens, and burgers have been our go-tos) + some veggies, which means virtually no clean up.
- I’ve been on a loaded baked potato kick, so I’ll make chili on Sunday, have leftovers on Monday, and then use up the rest of the chili on baked potatoes for dinner on Tuesday.
- Some new recipes we’ve made and will add to the rotation: coconut curry chicken soup, doubling the kale called for with our garden stash (using the leftover chicken from the grill usually), Ina’s portobello lasagna, and some big batches of coconut lentil soup because I had a 25-pound bag of organic lentils that I needed to use up.
I had ordered some local cabbage via farmersmarket.com earlier this month, but I hadn’t had a chance to ferment it yet. The night before we left for Black Mountain for spring break, I knew I had to ferment the cabbage or it would be sad by the time we got home. I made twelve quarts of curtido, which is helpful since we’re out from our February batch. I used kale sprouts (again via farmersmarket.com) for the first time, so I’m excited to see how this batch turns out.
What have YOU been up to this spring? You may want to take some time to jot it down – our to do list still seems long, but it feels better to have written down the stuff that we have checked off over the last several weeks.