Saturday, August 28, 2010

Harvesting and preserving

Campus has been very quiet the last week or so and now seems to be barely waking up as students trickle back in. Despite a few rabbit, deer, and missing compost incidents, the Parsons and Kellogg gardens are doing as well as ever! Those of us still around have been trying to preserve what we can for use the rest of the year through various methods. Here are a few things we've been up to:
-Using the cryovack and blastfreezer in the Paresky kitchen to vacuum seal and freeze kale and chard
-Blanching, peeling, quartering, and freezing tomatoes for future use in sauce/salsa
The tomatoes

The blanching and peeling in process
Final product! Now we just need permanent freezer space...
-Making and freezing lots more pesto from all three types of basil (lime, amythest, and Superbo Genoa)
-Pickling the biblical cucumbers (going to happen this week)

We also harvested all of the carrots from Kellogg which maybe should have happened a bit earlier, but they're still quite tasty and impressive looking!
Some of them were really thick!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Biblical Cucumbers

Here are a few pictures of the biblical cucumbers which are going crazy! There are several that are about 2 ft long and they'll keep growing. If you're wondering what makes them "biblical" cucumbers, here is a brief history of cucumbers and the variety we're growing:

Cucumbers are native to Asia and were were cultivated in India as long as 3000 years ago. The cucumber was carried westward from India long before written history as is indicated by the profusion of ancient names for it in: Aryan, Greek, Latin, Arabic, Armenian, and others. Cucumbers are mentioned at least twice in the Torah (Numbers 11:5 and Isaiah 1:8): The Israelites in the wilderness complained to Moses that they missed the 'cucumbers and melons of Egypt'. Some sages considered this to be the Snake Cucumber (Cucumis melo)- which is the same variety you can know see growing in the Kellogg Garden!  (Information from Eli Rogosa of the Heritage Wheat Conservancy who has been growing and saving these seeds and shared some with WSG)

Our cukes are destined to be served at the Sukkot shabbat dinner on September 24th, so we're going to pickle the ones that are ready now. If you have a good family recipe or pickle hints you'd like to share, please email We'd love any suggestions!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tomato sauce!!

So yesterday after planting more arugula, spinach, mustard greens, and claytonia and battling with the compost we made some delicious tomato sauce with a few of the plum, yellow pear, and large red tomatoes! Check it out!
The very colorful, yummy sauce cooking

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

August Update

Time has certainly flown this summer! It seems like just yesterday when we were transplanting the tomatoes which are now ripening!! (see below)
Yellow pear, large red, and plum tomatoes!
Everything is going strong- the kale and pac choi transplants had a rough time with flea beetles but the ones that made it are doing well now. We have arugula, lettuce, beets, radishes, spinach, scallions, and carrots all sprouting too!

The number of people on campus is starting to dwindle which has affected the turnout at Friday dinners, but without fail the food has still been delicious. This past Friday we made a bunch of pesto to freeze and enjoy later in the year too! Here are some more current pictures of the gardens and what we're harvesting:
We have a sign at Kellogg now too!! yay!
Acorn squash
Biblical cucumbers
Green beans
The soil in Kellogg seems better for carrots, they're straight and not four-pronged...
Hilary's great-grandmother's beans are getting huge!
Peppers have flowers finally
   Eggplant, radicchio, and endive
Yellow squash and Zucchini