Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Happy Passover!

Spring is in the air and the yard is starting to look like one of those horrifyingly picturesque hallmark cards.

After a long spell of rain and chilly nights we finally had a little bit of a break today.  I was able to get outside and get a little work done and check on all my babies.  Spring is so exciting all the trees are budding and flowering, and the radishes that I direct seeded awhile ago are coming up and are ready to be thinned.

Another great thing about spring?  ASPARAGUS.  Of which we have a lot.  When I came here last year in April we literally ate fresh asparagus with ever other meal.  They're a shit pain to grow though.  They're a perennial rhizome and after they're planted they usually take about three to four years before they will produce a viable harvest, that is if the gophers didn't eat all the roots in that time.  They also require heavy mulching in the winter to protect the roots from frost.  If the ground freezes you can permanently damage the root and eventually kill it.  But asparagus is worth it.  While generally speaking I think most homegrown vegis taste superior to anything you'll find at the store, there are certain things that when eaten fresh have such an improved flavor that it's almost like you're eating an entirely different vegetable.  Asparagus is one of those vegetables.  It's one of those "this is what it's supposed to taste like?! where have you been my whole life?" kinda things. 

I seriously can't wait for Eastover brunch with lots of matzah brei and maybe some asparagus and poached eggs drowned in hollandaise mmmmmm.

Not much else going on farm-wise, though I did get a fun pressie from Suzanne yesterday.  She gave me a batch of water kefir crystals!  I didn't even know water kefir existed.  I'm a big fan of milk kefir though, and since I currently don't have any milk kefir grains or even any kombucha I figured I might as well try my hand at some other probiotic fermented beverage goodness.

For those who are like "wtf are you talking about" kefir grains aren't actually "grains" they're weird little gelatinous blobs of bacteria and yeasts that you than add to what ever beverage you're fermenting.  In the instance of milk kefir, they feed off of the sugar that naturally occurs in the milk and ferment it so it becomes a kind of sour fizzie mildly alcoholic (1-2%) yogurt smoothie.  Lots of people blend fruit into it to kinda take the edge off the sourness but I prefer adding just a little agave or maple syrup.  The water kefir though, is made with water, sugar, dried fruit and a chunk of lemon.  So far, eh, I don't know, it's not terrible, it kinda just tastes like really weak watery kombucha.  It's not sweet at all because the crystals eat up the sugar during fermentation.  I'd like to try flavoring it with different stuff to see if I can't make it more palatable.  Maybe brew some with the grape or cherry juice we canned last year, try and make some kind of probiotic italian soda kinda thing.  Who knows!  All I do know is that it grows like crazy.  Seriously.  That black line is where the crystals came up to yesterday, all the ones above that line where made in LESS THAN 24 HOURS.  At least I'll have lots of crystals to experiment with?


  1. now you're making me think I might just not like not-farm-fresh asparagus... that jar of gunk, on the other hand, looks pretty gross. I think I remember you telling me about that stuff back when you were still at school.

  2. hey! your blog is awesome. my name is Jon and I'm friends with Molly and Colin at Geneseo. Keep up the awesome work!