Things are trucking along here at Dandelion Ridge Farm, settling into the autumn rhythm. We don’t have to water so much these days (thank goodness!), and are doing our best to keep cold sensitive plants like ginger warm enough. Greens like kale, collards, romaine, and dandelions are thrilled with the cooler weather, though—summer heat is not their friend! We hope to keep greens and herbs going throughout the winter.
We will have very limited quantities of tarragon, lemon thyme, and marjoram this week. These plants are young and not producing much yet, but I think we can manage a small harvest. Tarragon can be a challenge to get established, but its licorice-y flavor adds so much to a dish. Lemon thyme has a fun, citrusy brightness against thyme’s savory background. And marjoram has similarities to oregano, but is more subtle, sweet, and nuanced. Stop by our farmers’ market booth on Saturday to try some!
Today, I went to a workshop at one of the University of Kentucky’s Horticultural Research Farms about agricultural high tunnels. We got our tunnel this spring, and while it has been wonderful to grow in a more protected and controlled space, it is definitely an adjustment, with its own tricks and challenges. We always benefit from these educational opportunities and I certainly learned a lot from the experts today!
Kevin’s presentation at the Hudson Valley VegFest in Kingston, NY this past weekend was a hit! He spoke about our journey into farming, from harvesting and weeding in his parents’ subsistence garden as a kid to learning about more sustainable practices as an adult; from our meager first harvests from our raised bed garden in Asheville, NC six years ago to this year’s harvest of 4,300 pounds and growing! Kevin discussed the array of problems with the current corporate food system and the need for each of us to do what we can to break with the industrial model and engage more fully with the food that sustains us.
In the kitchen, I’ve been playing around with different ways to preserve ginger, including dehydrating both the roots and the stalks and leaves. I’m also working on an intense Ginger Marmalade made with apple cider, so stay tuned for that! I think it will be a great addition to a holiday menu! Update: Try it in this Sweet Potato Hash with Ginger Marmalade for a perfect holiday side dish!