There’s the sun! Suddenly fierce in the sky, and the earth is redolent of basil and tomato vines. Break out the barbecue, if it ever got put away. Build a fire and watch the wood burn down, as the long day stretches and dims. Call up some friends; they’ll bring too much food, so we’ll have to serve the meal in courses as it comes off the grill. The simplest kind of plenty, the abundance of enough. May we build a world that grows in this direction, like leaves that know how to find the sun. It seems, sometimes, not too far beyond our reach.
Cherry trees grow tall, speaking of out of reach. Get a ladder, fast, before the birds eat all the fruit. Or head on down to your local Farmer’s Market, where they are in sweet, red abundance. We tested this recipe using Brooks cherries from Lone Oaks Farms. By the time it came to make if for real, we made it from Roya Lynn cherries from Kashiwase Farms. Both were, unsurprisingly, excellent, in peak season.
This now-crucial condiment adds a little spice to the dark red sweetness, and walks the line between sweet and savory in a way that Johnny Cash would surely appreciate.
Of course, mostarda needs something to go on. That’s where these come in.
Homemade sausage is above and beyond, the best sausage you’ll ever eat. There’s something about this particular recipe, however, that wows even the most particular connoisseur. This kielbasa is the perfect blend of smoky and savory, and, as usual, it has a fascinating, albeit tangled pedigree.
A meal is not really complete unless there is a fermented component to it. Fermented foods add a tart, funky counterbalance to every meal. We’re a fan of krauts of every sort, but we like this one especially for topping kielbasa and other grilled foods. It’s simple and delicate, the allium hum of chive flowers hovering at the edge of the tongue, just spicy enough to notice.
It’s not all sausage and hamburgers, here on the grill…make room for grilled feta! It’s pretty amazing all by itself. But add it to a salad of pickled and Grilled Zucchini? Your new go-to summer dish.
Thirsty? Us, too. Take a slug of this.
It is thirsty work, indeed, working in the garden. This month, we’re proud to show off our hard work, as a stop on the Enchanting Gardens of the Valley Garden Tour. Come on by, June 24, from 10am-4pm to check out our little slow food sidewalk strip and our Aquaponics system in the greenhouse. We welcome you to do so anytime, of course, but this tour is a fundraiser for one of our favorite local charities. There are 7 other gardens on the tour, and the proceeds benefit the Valley Churches United. Check it out in Workshops and Events.
For a digital peek at what else we have been up to, here’s the Garden Notes.
There’s a lot to learn, in the garden, in the kitchen, and all around. We’re always learning, ourselves, and we’re so pleased to share what we’ve gleaned with you. It’s a process that works both ways, of course; your questions and curiosity guide our further explorations. Here’s the latest offering of classes, down at the Feed and Farm…and Beyond.
Felton Farmers' Market Children's Day
We're back at the markets! Santa Cruz Farmer's Markets hosts a Children's Day on June 13th. It's happening at the Felton Farmer's Market, where among the face-painting and music and information of summer programs for kids, we'll be hosting a demonstration that highlights easy, kid-friendly ferments and dehydration projects for all ages. Join us for Healthy From The Start: Introducing Kids to Fermentation, Dehydration, and Healthy Food Choices From a Young Age, and get inspired.
We're always happy to show off our enchanted little sidewalk garden and aquaponics systems, of course, but this tour comes with perks: supporting the community, the camaraderie of fellow gardeners, and of course, a chance to visit us and maybe go home with some new plants, ideas, and inspiration. The demonstration garden at Mountain Feed and Farm Supply, after all, exists to educate and inspire. Composed primarily of food crops, the garden contains an abundance of flowering plants as well, to feed both the need for beauty, and the foraging of native pollinators, beneficial garden allies, and honeybees. The onsite aquaponics greenhouse produces food all season long, using far less water than conventional soil-based gardening, and has the potential to generate fish for the table, as well. Check in at the front desk for a guided tour, or follow the signs for a self-directed tour. Show your garden tour ticket at checkout and receive 10% off in-store purchases that day.
Tickets can be purchased at any of these locations for $20 each starting June 1st.
Scarborough Gardens, 33 El Pueblo Road, Scotts Valley
Mountain Feed & Farm Supply, 9550 Highway 9, Ben Lomond
The Garden Company, 2218 Mission Street, Santa Cruz
San Lorenzo Garden Center, 235 River Street, Santa Cruz
Valley Churches United, 9400 Highway 9, Ben Lomond (weekdays, 9am-4pm)