Tuesday, September 25, 2012


 All the onions are in the hoophouse drying just in case we ever get any rain.  And Joel has been busy bagging up our 500 lb. crop of Stuttgarter onions these are the ones that will keep until March.
We also have a lot of Ailsa Craigs and Red Zeppelins  that we'll sell before we get into the long term keepers.  For all the weird weather, cool and wet until late July and no rain since, we've had a bumper crop of onion.  Other things aren't as happy but that's frankly why we grow such a wide variety of vegetables.  No matter what the weather throws at us something is happy.

The hoophouse also has piles of wheat and beans and various seed crops drying, too.  We'll have lots of food to sell and eat this winter.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


 There was a light frost last night.  We do get the first frost of every year on the island as we are in a frost pocket.  It didn't do much damage but is a warning that cold nights are coming and we need to get covers over all the tender plants before tonight.  The basil has been covered for weeks as it doesn't like even 50 degree nights (F).  So I was really glad that I harvested about 4 gallons of the stuff yesterday.  Time for the annual mad pesto making. 
 First to wash and spin dry the basil in our big greens spinner. 
 Traditional recipes usually call for pine nuts but those are hugely expensive, although delicious, so I usually use whatever I can find often simply sunflower seeds.  But Joel's Mom, Millie, has a wonderful English walnut tree and we have a bucket of walnuts left from last year that need to be used up.  So this year it's walnuts.
 I checked several recipes on the internet for basic proportions but since what I have in abundance is basil I used about twice as much as the most generous recipe called for.  I can skimp on the things I  have to buy and use lots of what we grow like the basil, the walnuts and garlic.  So I used about 8 cups of basil, 6 or 7 fat garlic cloves, half to 3/4 cup of nuts and a half cup each of olive oil and parmesan cheese.  It's probably not as creamy as perfect pesto but when I licked my fingers it tasted good.
So into the freezer go 15 little half pint jars of the stuff.  Our favorite way to use it is just to toss with cooked pasta or on pizza instead of tomato sauce.  I also make biscuits where I pat out half of the dough into a pie pan, spread with pesto and cover with the other half of the biscuit dough.  Yummy.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fall is here

 Okay, I know I have been neglecting my blog for some time.  Well, fall is here at last.  Hectic, frantic, too hot summer is over.  It rained last night for the first time in almost 2 months.  I love this time of year for its fruitfullness, the rich colors of fall leaves and pumpkins, the way the light has changed as the sun gets lower in the sky.  So I thought I'd do a quick collage of what the farm looks like right now.  Above, purple peppers in the hoophouse.
 Joel's "field" of wheat ready to harvest.  He cut it yesterday before it could get rained on and it's in the hoophouse to stay dry until he can thresh it.  That's a year's supple of bread for us.
 The last of the flowers, here sunflowers, asters and an ornamental amaranth.  
 The colors of Mira and Coral Fountains amaranths are just what I mean by the fall colors that I love.
 Pumpkins sneak out of their patch and into the tomato patch.  The beds of pumpkins get so dense with foliage that you can't see if there is actually anything growing there.  You have to have faith. Then the plants start dying back as they get to the end of their lives and the pumpkins and squashes start to appear.  I love to poke around and see what the plants have grown.  Soon the plants will be all dead and we'll get out the wheelbarrow and haul the bounty into the house to store for winter.
 Every year we dedicate one of our 3 hoophouses as a drying shed.  Here it's full of onions, dried beans, wheat and a crop of kale seed.

Everything is calmer now.  I'm through with my Roche Harbor booth, the crowds of tourists in Friday Harbor are smaller, all the winter crops are either ready to harvest or in the ground.  We don't need to weed any more.  I can get back to the loom to start making things for Christmas sales.  I love this time of year.