May 2016: A Spring Tart, A Fresh Start



Time is rushing by these days, quickening, it seems, even as the daylight stretches longer into the evening. The summer is fast approaching, and somehow even the plants and the animals and the earth seem to feel it, flying headlong into the season ahead, with blossoms and young fruit borne in wild profusion. No more quiet hibernation with a steaming teacup, and not yet the slow and languid days of summer. May is mild and rich with promise, but the flowers and the bees are almost frantic with their busy gathering, and the gardeners among us may feel the urge to dig and turn and plant with a similar, almost feverish desire.
After weeks of cautioning customers to hold back, wait, don’t plant those warm-season crops yet—all of a sudden the weather has crossed an invisible threshold, and the nights are warm and settled enough to plant the summer vegetables. Seedlings planted now will catch up fast, maybe even surpassing those from earlier plantings. We’re hard at work building a salsa garden up in Bonny Doon, in anticipation of a blazing summer ahead, which should ripen tomatoes and peppers to crimson perfection, if we just treat ‘em right…

 Salsa Garden

Salsa Garden

Yes, we are rushing ahead, caught up in the momentum of the season, but we’re taking time to savor, too, the very real and fleeting delights of spring before they pass. Luckily we made plenty of that Elderberry syrup… and there’s the last of the rhubarb, too, to delight in, in pies and tarts and wines and…krauts? Yep. Ginger Lime Rhubarb Kraut is pure spring, tart and light and fresh. Like everything else, you may find your ferments speeding up as well, as if they too felt the surge of spring pulling them on, faster and faster. (It’s probablly more a function of temperature, truth be told, in that fermentation speeds up with warmer temperatures…but call it what you will, it’s something to be aware of and keep an eye on.) Fast or slow, warm or cool, we highly recommend this ephemeral, salty, kraut delight, as one more way to get the taste of springtime on our tongues. 

Rhubarb Lime Ginger Kraut

Rhubarb Lime Ginger Kraut
The kraut above showcases a seldom-seen side of the elusive rhubarb. The jam below shows us yet another side, one tinged with the rosy, herbal flavor of rose geranium. There’s room within the recipe to nudge the flavors in different directions; adding more rose geranium pushes the floral notes to the forefront, while more vinegar tilts the balance toward the savory. Find your own sweet spot, somewhere in the middle, and savor it.


Rhubarb Jam w/ Rose Geranium & Raspberry Vinegar

Rhubarb Jam w/ Rose and Raspberry Vinegar


The berries are here, the berries are here! The season of fruits is upon us, and these strawberries are the first in a parade of red ripe fruits that will grace our gardens, tables, and palates for months to come. We never get tired of their red ripe flavors, but we do like to explore different ways to enjoy them. To that end we offer you this desert. Frankly, it’s amazing. Make it with strawberries now, raspberries or blueberries or even apples later…We hope you like it as much as we do. Did we mention how delicious it is?

Strawberry Galette w/ Creme Fraiche

Strawberry Galette w/ Creme Fraiche

We’ll leave you now, with that sweet taste to linger. In all the buzz and the hustle and the busy and the bustle, we wish you many moments, sweet and savory alike, full of the tastes of springtime. 

Workshops & Events

We’re getting excited for our Spring and Summer classes, especially returning to the Santa Cruz Farmer’s Markets! Here are a few of the dates, but stay posted on our workshops and events page for more coming soon!

May 14th Scotts Valley Farmer’s Market
June 14th Felton Farmer’s Market
More TBA Soon!

For our latest notes from the shop, experiments, and garden projects, check out this month's Homestead Review

Homestead Review: March 2016

Like the leftovers in the fridge, that sometimes lead to the most delicious, creative meals, we hope that the Homestead Review is a place to combine many different elements into new and delicious arrangements. We’ll be continuing to evolve and grow this and other elements of the website as the months pass, and look forward to discovering, and rediscovering, the best of the past, the present, and the future with you. In the spirit of new growth and old traditions, we proudly present this third installment of The Homestead Review.

May Staff Pick: Ball Elite Jam Jars!

The new Ball® Collection Elite® 8 ounce jam jars are a sweet homage to vintage jam jars. Short jars with a slightly rounded shape embossed with assorted fruits. Perfect for homemade preserves, jams and jellies or for home and jellies or for home decor.

Over to You...

It’s part of our mission here at Mountain Feed to help you make delicious, sustainable, homemade food more often. Stop by and say hello on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. Or, as always, you can do it the old fashioned way and come by the store to speak with one of our in-house experts.