March 2018 Journal: Ballast in the Belly



Spring is in full swing, say the birds, and the weeds, and the soil, and the bees. Spring is here, all blossoms and beginnings, and the air is full of hints and contradictions, as only spring can be. Frost on the ground, snow on the distant hills, but the temperatures may reach 80° F next week. Stone fruit are forming on branches that were recently aflame with flowers, pink, and ivory and apricot. What a wild world it is. Before you rush out into the day, make sure you have a little ballast in your belly, to anchor you firmly in it.

These kimchi latkes just might do the trick. A little spice, a little sweetness, and a lovely medley of flavors and nutrition to start the day off right. There’s no saying you couldn’t eat them for dinner, either…after all, these are not firmly rooted in any particular culinary tradition but draw from many that somehow fit together in a succulent, crunchy snack. Serve ‘em with peanut sauce, or sour cream, or poached eggs…or start your own flavor tradition!

Kimchi Sweet Potato Latkes

kimchi latkes

Chorizo is another food that can be eaten at any time of the day. If you’ve never made your own sausage before, you’re in for a treat. This fresh chorizo recipe is full of flavor, with ground spices and dried chiles combining to make a warm, spicy, savory sausage.


Homemade Fresh Chorizo

homemade chorizo

We’re on a kvass kick, lately. What a beverage! This blend, in particular, shines, golden as the rich light that settles over the salty sea. Flavored with goji berries, dried pineapple, and Thai Bird peppers, this is an unusual and excellent accompaniment to breakfast and beyond. Salty, tart, earthy, and fruity all at once, this is an unusual and delightful recipe, all sparkle and zing. 

Spicy Pineapple Kvass

pineapple kvass

The weather is all over the place these days, with swings from high to low. We’ve found that a steaming cuppa tea is often the perfect antidote to unpredictable spring weather swings, incorporating the sweet spring flavor of flowers, the comfort of hot steam, and sometimes, herbs to stimulate immunity or calm the mood. These tea blends are easy to make at home, and blending them yourself from bulk ingredients will ensure that you get the freshest and finest quality, far fresher than you will usually get in a  box of teabags. You can tailor these blends to suit your palate, of course, but here are three ideas to get you started; an Immune Support blend with echinacea, elder, and yarrow; Hibiscus Ginger Lemongrass, ruby red and lightly spicy; and a soothing Evening Brew with chamomile and lavender to promote relaxation. Fill up your favorite cup with something special.

Three Teas for You and Me

tea blends

I like to take a mug right out into the garden, sometimes, and wander about with the warm cup cradled in my hands. I tell myself I’m not working, though sometimes I can’t help dropping to my knees and pulling a weed or two. Mostly, though, it’s a sweet way to experience the garden, as an observer and participant both. I make mental notes about what needs to be done, sometimes, but at other times I just wander, nibbling a leaf here, a pea there, being part of the place, enjoying what grows and thrives. Grab a mug, and come out into the garden with me.

Garden Notes
garden notes

Workshops & Events

If you’re in the area, you can always stop by, to wander the nursery or see what’s new in the Homsetead Housewares store. In this age of digital everything, it’s nice to see some real, friendly faces. And if you have a specific question, there’s nothing like a real person to address it to.

We’re looking forward to peppering Alex Lewin with all sorts of questions when he comes to the store on March 10th. After all, he’s a bona-fide fermentation expert, with a new book out that delves deeply into some pretty delicious looking recipes. Fermented Roots Beer, Tepache, and Colonche are just some of the recipes that caught our eye while thirstily devouring his new book, Kombucha, Kefir, and Beyond. Come join us at Mountain Feed, at 2:00 on March 10th, for an author event, demonstration and book signing. Be sure to compliment him on his hair, he loves that.

If it’s bees that have caught your fancy, it’s time to sign up (if you haven’t already) for our two-part Beginning Beekeeping Intensive Course. This two-part class is spread over several dates; the lecture date is fixed on March 24th, from 10-2 here at the store. To get a look inside a beehive, and turn theory into practice, you’ll want to sign up for an apiary date, too. The apiary dates take place off-site in smaller groups; choose one of three possible dates to suit your schedule. Details here.

From veggies to bees to kefir, and beyond! We’ve always got something going on down at the Feed and Farm. We’d love to have you join us. Stay tuned for upcoming events and classes at our local farmer’s markets, too.
Happy March, dear readers. Are you ready for spring?

This journal and the articles in it were written by Jessica Tunis, unless otherwise noted.