Monday, April 18, 2011

April 18, 2011

An especially turbulent cold front that caused damage across the nation arrived Friday night into Saturday, making any meaningful gardening impossible on the weekend.  We received 1.6 inches of rain overnight, and strong winds brought the last cold snap of the season.  Sunday mornings low in the 30's F was too chilly for heat-loving plants.  Fortunately we heeded the warnings and moved everything back inside under fluorescent lights for the weekend.  At worst, our house got a good pressure washing from the storm.
Fair weather to start this week will be ideal for transplanting.  Rather than improve the entire garden at once, I amend each individual transplanting hole with plenty of organic matter and nitrogen-rich composted manure.  A milk jug with the bottom removed caps each transplant until the space inside is filled with vigorous new growth.
Carrots and Onions
Our spring garden is healthy and green.  Five rows of spinach is producing regularly while peas are starting to climb their fence.  These carrots and onions are growing well. 
What to do with all this spinach?!  By end of April we will be blanching and freezing it to pull out later, but while it is fresh this is our family's all-time favorite recipe:
Spinach and Cream Over Linguini
1/2 cup cream
1 Tbl butter
Linguini (4 servings)
20 ounces fresh spinach
Dash nutmeg
Salt to taste
Freshly shredded parmesan cheese
Bring cream and Tbl butter to soft boil on stove top on medium-high heat, stirring frequently.  As it is simmering, it will reduce considerably - turn heat down to monitor boiling rate.  Meanwhile, bring large pot of water to boil and prepare linguini according to package directions.  Measure 1/4 inch water in a second large pot with lid, bring to a boil, add spinach and cover.  Cook until it is wilted nicely, stirring occasionally so that it cooks evenly.  Drain spinach well, press some of the liquid out.  Add spinach to cream and stir with a dash nutmeg and salt to taste.  Drain linguini and toss, arrange on plates.  Serve spinach and cream over linguini with fresh shredded parmesan.  Serves 4.

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Dedicated to the responsible production and preservation of healthy home-grown food to the glory of God. Isaiah 55:10 The rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater. Organic, or not? We try to raise vegetables organically, using compost and manure. The addition of chickens to our hobby farm means plenty of organic nitrogen to compost! This site gives credible reference to planting information contained in the Farmer's Almanac (