While all of our Summer crops are going strong, we’ve been preparing to plant our Fall crops. Before they go into the ground, their field has been fallow. This gave us a chance to build the soil, break up compaction and make more nutrients available. Enter, buckwheat.
Buckwheat is an amazing cover crop. There is correspondence between Thomas Jefferson and George Washington about how great buckwheat worked on their farms. This plant suppresses Summer weeds which can get out of control very quickly. It also improves soil aggregation (the ability to resist disintegration when tilled/eroded by wind or rain), has a very quick turn around period, extracts phosphorus to make it available to crops, breaks down quickly, and gives the bees something extra to feed on. There are literally thousands of bees, butterflies, lady bugs and moths in our buckwheat.
We love buckwheat. Hopefully you will too as you feast on your fall brassicas, root vegetables and greens!
This week at market:
Heirloom Tomatoes, Slicing Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes
Cippolini Onions, Tropea Onions, Spring Onions
Naturally Lacto-Fermented Kale and Swiss Chard Kimchi
2 Pounds Swiss Chard, roughly chopped
1/2 Pound Kale, veins removed & roughly chopped
6 cups water (ideally filtered or left overnight to dechlorinate)
3 Tbs Salt + 1 1/2 tsp Salt (ideally unprocessed sea salt like Celtic Sea Salt)
Do not prepare these ingredients until step 2
1 medium carrot, grated
1 small apple, grated
3 scallions, cut into thin rounds
1 1/2 Tbs garlic, finely minced
1 1/2 Tbs ginger, finely minced
1 Tbs ground Korean hot pepper (or a mix of 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper + 2 1/2 tsp paprika)
1. Dissolve 3 Tbs salt in the water to create a brine. Place the chopped kale and chard into a large jar, bowl, or crock. Weigh down the vegetables (with a plate, mason jar, etc.) so they are below the surface of the brine. Let stand at room temperature for 8-12 hours.
2. Drain the vegetables, reserving the brine. Mix the kale and chard with the carrots, apple, scallions, garlic, ginger, pepper, and remaining 1 1/2 tsp of salt.
3. Pack the mixture into a 1/2 gallon jar. Press down until the vegetables are covered in liquid. You may need to add some of the reserved brine to ensure that the vegetables are submerged. You now need to make sure that the vegetables will stay submerged. You may weigh the vegetables down with a smaller mason jar or push a zip-lock bag into the jar, fill the bag with some additional brine, and seal the bag.
4. Let the vegetables ferment in a cool place (suggested temperature of 68 F or less) for 3-6 days (depending on how sour you like your kimchi).
5. When the kimchi is done fermenting, remove your weight, cap the jar and store it in the refrigerator.
1 large eggplant (about 1 pound)
1 glove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Prick eggplant with a fork and place on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Bake the eggplant until it is soft inside, about 20 minutes. Alternatively, grill the eggplant over a gas grill, rotating it around until the skin is completely charred, about 10 minutes. Let the eggplant cool. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, drain off the liquid, and scoop the pulp into a food processor. Process the eggplant until smooth and transfer to a medium bowl.
On a cutting board, work garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt together with the flat side of a knife, until it forms a paste. Add the garlic-salt mixture to the eggplant. Stir in the parsley, tahini, and lemon juice. Season with more salt, to taste. Garnish with additional parsley