Monday, July 11, 2011

What to do with carrot tops (aka carrot greens)?

A lot of the carrots are becoming ready, and with carrots, come the question of what to do with the greens? I always feel a bit guilty if I just compost them because they ARE edible, but not all that delicious in large quantities. I've taken to chopping the leaves very finely and putting them in stir-fries and soups, and composting the chewy stalks. As long as they're finely chopped, they taste fairly good when cooked and mixed up with other things. (Not a glowing recommendation, I know, but try it yourself! Some people love them.) Also, if you have any goats, chickens, cows, rabbits, etc. they make great feed. Here are some other ideas I found when poking around the internet:  *this one has the most suggestions

Last Friday work party we finally got around to staking/caging the tomatoes. They'd been growing beautifully, but sort of flopping all over the place, and collapsing around the beds... We also transplanted a few of the beautiful volunteer tomato plants (volunteers mean they grew from fallen seeds/tomatoes last year, and we didn't need to plant them this year, and were a bit surprised to see them come up) from one of the beds over to one where they'd have a bit more space. 

using extra PBC pipe as stakes

Everything is growing beautifully. Here are a few pictures, just to admire the growth:

beets, cabbage, carrots, broccoli, arugula

yellow swiss chard, carrots, and lots more

view from the street (so many people stop to look)

We've been continuing to have some food preservation adventures. This past week, the Youth Center kids helped pick a lot of red currants, growing in the two herb beds (closest to Parsons House). First, we picked all the berries from the bushes:

red currants on one of the (two) bushes in the Parsons Garden

currants in a yogurt container,
after the Youth Center kids had nicely de-stemmed them!
We decided just to make refrigerator jam, instead of properly preserving/canning it, because there weren't that many currants. We also used about half apples and currants, which made it a bit sweeter, and also stretched the currants further.

the jam :)
ingredients: currants, apples (peeled & diced), sugar, cinnamon, cloves.
blended together with an immersion blender,
and boiled for about 10 minutes to let set.

After picking the currants and spraying for flee beetles, the kids from the Youth Center, my sister, and I had a "vegetable-off." Never played? You need at least three people, two of whom pair together, and the third names a vegetable. The two others then have to act like that vegetable-complete with noises-and the others judge to determine the winner.

And finally, some beautiful purple cabbage, kale, and beet greens:

taken to Paresky, for use in dinner

Keep harvesting, keep recording, and keep enjoying the splendors of summer!

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