Oh the things you will do for Biodynamics…
So what were you doing last Sunday at 5am? I’m going to guess many of you were asleap, and those of you that are early risers were happily going about your morning routines. We were busy in the barnyard stirring Horn Silica, one of the biodynamic preparations. Don’t worry, someone had the sense to brew up a pot of tea for us! Horn Silica starts as ground up quartz crystals which are then buried in the ground for the summer months. We stir a little pinch of powder into the huge tub of water. The hour of stirring, so that the water takes on the properties of the silica, needed to happen before sunrise when the preparation was sprayed on plants. This preparation helps the plants to absorb the light energy from the sun, giving the plants extra strength. It is primarily for the plants whose fruits and flowers we harvest: broccoli, squash, melons, cucumbers, tomatoes, peas, beans… these plants are all in the fields and growing nicely. We have now given them an extra boost! No, it’s not like pesticides or herbicides or even fertilizers. Steve compares organic agriculture and biodynamic agriculture by saying that organic agriculture is prohibitive (you can’t use this or that) and biodynamics is prescriptive (you should use this preparation and that preparation). I like the positive approach of biodynamics, the focus on soil health and the interactions between plants and their environment. I caught Steve stirring it up, and that’s David misting the broccoli at sunrise.
Oh, and if anyone has some live scarecrow training and wants to put in some volunteer time we’d love to set you on the deer. Just joking, but they have started visiting the garden. We’ve put in extra time making sure the electric fence is working at full power, and we’ve all been caught running after them in the evenings. Farmers can get very enthusiastically protective of their crops, and it’s a great excuse to wave your arms and make interesting sounds. There’s a double fence along two sides – a magical distance apart. If the deer can’t jump over both at once, and can’t land in between, they shouldn’t be able to get into the garden. We’re thinking of putting the double fence along the other side too, or finding a radio with crazy battery life, or a scarecrow on a motion sensor… or who knows what we’ll come up with this week!
Hope you’ve all marked your calendars for the feast coming up – Sunday, July 24th from 11am till 2pm. Use this weekend to experiment with a dish, then bring it next weekend to share with everyone!
What’s in my Box?
- Mesclun : That lovely mix of greens you’re learning to dress up in all sorts of different ways, right?
- Iceberg Lettuce Head : The first of the icebergs grown at Riverglen, David’s very proud of them. We think they’re a perfect crunch when chopped up in sandwiches à la submarine style.
- Chard : A staple green for chopping up and mixing into any cooked dish, it wants to be thrown in a minute before talking your dish off the heat. It is better to chop up the thicker stalk at the base and cook it a bit longer than the greens.
- Nappa : From salads to sandwiches, this tasty cabbage is back in your baskets this week. If you’re going for the ”What’s that?” lunchtime award, try chopping up some Nappa with balsamic vinaigrette and strawberries… mmm.
- Beets : A familiar delicious treat, but don’t forget the lovely greens are tasty too ! The leaves and stalks can be used in the same ways as chard, hardly surprising since these two plants are in the same family – Chenopodiaceae.
- Choice herb : The choice is back, ”choose one bunch”. There is some english thyme in there too this time.
- Radishes (Thursday) : You have waited patiently, and here are your radishes. Don’t forget they can be cooked up a bit of you prefer to tame their spice.
- Peas (Thursday) : From a crunchy snack to a quick boil and buttering, have your peas as you please.
|The summer squash are flowering: first comes flowers, then comes fruits, then you get to eat them!|