We’re digging up a storm this week at Dandelion Ridge Farm! We harvested our sweet potatoes this week–much to the chagrin of this toad, who was living amid the jungle of vines! Curing sweet potatoes at 80-90 degrees for a week helps them to store better and brings out their sweetness, so we set up a curing tent in our greenhouse to keep our sweet potatoes at a steady warm temperature during this period.
We also started harvesting our baby ginger! It’s a rare variety called Bubba Baba from the renowned Hawaiian organic ginger seed producer known as “Biker Dude!” Fresh young ginger is more tender and milder than the mature ginger available in stores. It lacks the thick cuticle and fibers that mature ginger have, so there's no need to peel it. Add it to smoothies or stir fries, candy it or use it in sweets, but try this beautiful delicacy while you can! The stalks and leaves make a delicious tea or stock for Asian soups—just put leaves in your cup, muddle, and steep.
We’re going to use some to make Kevin’s Ginger Miso Sauce to have over stir fry tonight! Find the recipe here.
Hope you’re enjoying this break from the heat—we are, and so are our plants at Dandelion Ridge Farm. We hilled up the soil around our ginger this week to give the rhizomes more room to grow, and the plants are looking beautiful (as you can see in this picture)! We plan to harvest the ginger in the fall. We harvested our small garlic crop and have it drying in the greenhouse for use in our canned sauces. Our kale and collard plants are feeling the heat and reaching the end of their lives, so we took them down for the season.
Our edible flowers—marigolds, nasturtiums, and bachelor’s buttons at the moment—are starting to bloom and we’ll bring a few to market this weekend. They add a touch of elegance and a pop of color to any special dish!
We’re still harvesting tomatoes and tomatillos every day, and canning them every chance we get! We’re unveiling our Roasted Tomatillo Salsa this week. We make this Southwestern salsa verde using Dandelion Ridge Farm tomatillos, jalapeños, and parsley. We roast the tomatillos until slightly charred to deepen their bright, tart flavor. Related to the tomato, tomatillos grow inside elegant paper husks and have a tangy, slightly fruity flavor. You’re most likely to find tomatillos in Mexican and Central American cuisines, but you can also stir-fry them, use them in curries, or even try them in a Bloody Mary! Try a sample of our salsa at the market this weekend, and take home a jar or some tomatillos to make salsa yourself!
Our okra is now in full swing, and we’re harvesting a pound every day or two. If you’ve never seen okra growing, the plants are beautiful and tropical-looking, with stunning pale yellow flowers with burgundy centers . Okra, a relative of the hibiscus plant, was brought to the Americas by enslaved Africans. It is popular in Indian, African, Caribbean, and Creole cuisine. While I know some people object to okra’s texture, try roasting or grilling it to avoid any sliminess, or use it in soups and stews, where it can add a silky texture.