May is in full bloom and summer is a coming…
My favorite flower of May is blooming all over my property!>>
For the foragers, there is an abundance of watercress and knotweed. And for those that are simply seeking local produce, there is a ton of asparagus. Even though asparagus season is in full swing, when I visit the grocery stores, I only see asparagus from California and Mexico! What is that about? PLEASE ask your grocers for local asparagus! Jeez! Even asparagus from New Jersey is far better than the jet lagged vegetables from California. This week we are pickling asparagus.
I am just back from Western Massachusetts. My husband Rich and I brought back six baby Large Black pigs. We picked up two for a friend and four for ourselves. There has been a pig shortage in recent years, and last year I waited, then missed my opportunity, and did not get pigs until the end of July. This proved to be a hardship and major dilemma when it comes to the kitchen scraps. This year, I thought I was all set to get some of the local pigs and then found out that they were not available. I quickly called a dear friend in Western Massachusetts and had him put a few aside for me. It has become increasingly harder to get pigs to raise, especially Heritage Breeds like Large Black and Berkshire breeds. We are looking into getting a breeder pig for the fall and winter so that we can have our own pigs next year. I never wished to be in the pig raising business, but as this whole food revolution, living-closer-to-the-land-life evolves, one never knows where it will lead us! Pig Farmer is not really a hat I ever considered wearing! I have managed to find a few friends that will help me on this pig-raising journey. We will see how it unfolds.
We traveled down the Mass Pike and stayed at an organic farm that we found on the Massgrown Map. This is a must-have guide if you are out and about in Massachusetts. For me, it is a treasure to wake up on a farm and get to know one more farmer. We also found a great farm for breakfast the following morning and also found out that Russ Cohen was offering a wild food forage the next town over in Williamstown. All this from the handy guide that lists all the farmer’s markets. Some folks go antiquing - I go farmer’s marketing.
This is the season for nettles. They are everywhere and now is a good time to purify and fortify the body! Nettles are loaded with nutrients such as Vitamins C, K, A, Iron, Calcium and Chlorophyll. There is an Irish story about a woman who cuts nettles in the Spring to keep her strong and healthy until the cows calf when she will have milk, butter and cheese! Nettles can be sautéed just like spinach and are wonderful sautéed with a little bit of garlic. Pick only the tops of the new leaves and wear gloves to pick. As soon as they are cooked the stingers go away and they are perfectly delicious. A nettle broth or tea would do loads of good for many systems of the body. Here's how to cook nettles.
Kitchen Porch is serving lunch at the upcoming June 23rd event: One-Day University. This program promises to be a fun-filled and educational day full of arts and culture with focus on sustainability. Early bird registration is available before June 1st. To register and see details, visit ACE MV.
Our bees swarmed this past weekend and I just had to share the excitement (and mayhem) here in Swarm!.
For mother’s day I adopted a five year old Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix named Fozzy. I am delighted to have a walking companion again. He is a dream come true! And so I am off and running with Foz!