F O R A G E R
unwrapping the old year
14 December 2011
An horticultural glance in the rear-view mirror is generally an opportunity to foresee the future. I did the pickles wrong, the chile peppers so-so and the corn not enough. I planted all the potatoes and onions at the same time, which naturally induced forced labor in order to save them all before they termed out. I have known the heirloom tomato deal is over with for more than a few seasons so next year I may listen to my genius instead of clowning around. I will save ground for better Butternut and sweeter Kabocha. I will email my seed planting schedule to my esteemed Los Angeles broker, Heath and Lejeune on the day I deliver the seeds to my esteemed certified organic transplant grower, Suncoast Nursery. I will grow more carrots and less rutabaga. Well, no rutabaga. I will seek out a warm weather spinach variety. No more Romaine late in the year and no more celery late-planted either. I will do broccoli earlier and later. I will grow cabbage like a Dutchman and do up a patch of pozole in the far north corner like the Mayan do. I will push the lettuce into the summer until the sun blazes like a blowtorch. I will do beets late and put my sweet potato starts in a starter bed in February. I will manage my arugula and bok choy for flea beetles and spray Neem on my tomatoes way before early bacterial blight shows up. I will have three rounds of watermelon, none late. I will have dry beans and okra, more flowers, fewer jalapenos and keep improving on my mechanical tillage. I will experiment in horticultural sectors I have left alone for a long time. I know how to grow watercress now.
As for your box: Wiley said it was crushilacious and I said: “ Well it’s the last one so give them something to remember you by.” Yo Ho Ho. I know you have all been so good, you deserve one last whopper box to tide you over during jingletime. How do I know? No bad boys and girls are members of the CSA. All the bad ones quit because they said they were getting too many vegetables. What? You get too many sweet red peppers and you treat it like you got a chunk of coal in your stocking? Get real, Samantha. I saw you waiting in line at The Cone for those chili fries. I seen you pushing that wagonload of frozen Godfather pizzas out the door at Dons. You have been bad, bad, bad.
But I confess, I am a sinner too. We are surrounded by greasy, gooey temptations so it’s got to be hard even for a saint like me to not gnarf in on a big footlong Subway once in awhile. I did it just the other day. But I was miles from a green pit stop and shivering cold from icy salt water dunkage. I needed fuel, carbs, man. At least I didn’t pack in a 1150 calorie meatball and provolone gut bomb like some people we know.
As for your box: treat it with respect. It’s gotta last you. Boil some water and throw all those Brussels sprouts in there now. The aphids and the, ahem, will float. Drain it. Re-cook the sprouts later tonight with walnuts or tomorrow with tofu but eat them soon in order to submerge your cells in massive amounts of fresh certified bio-flavanoid protection. Rush, because this offer won’t last long. If you leave your mustard in your refrigerator until January 7th you will bear shame. Shame! I dare you to clear the leaves of stem and cut it into your salad tonight. Slather some Ranch or Feta Dressing on it if you have to but crunch that now. The carrots can wait. The cabbage needs hot potatoes. It’s too cold for slaw.
Oh yeah. My friend John Dey grew the garlic in Klamath Falls. It’s so good I had to share it with you. It’s a Christmas thing. Until January, keep foraging.
For more info about Steve, please visit: http://www.farmerandcook.com/