We hiked to the climbing tree this Sunday, then explored the hills to the left of the driveway as you enter the farm. The climbing tree is a live oak that stands alone in the field. Its truck lies on the ground and it creates an ideal shelter, as well as a place to play. From the road, the terrain of those hills looks deceptively simple. When you walk it you notice the small rises and falls, the different grasses that grow and where the water flows. We found small pools of water still in the drainage and spotted a praying mantis in the grass. We last grazed those fields when the grass was still green; it grew back immediately and is still incredibly thick. I had not planned on how difficult it would be to walk through it.
We have slowly been planting the perennial flower beds that are located beyond the large flower field. Most of the plants are still tiny but there is some feverfew, bee balm and blue vervain that is flowering and ready to be picked. I planted many medicinal herbs, as well as California natives, that can also be cut for bouquets. I first learned about medicinal herbs at Avena Botanicals in Maine 10 years ago when I worked in the garden. I am enjoying growing these plants again; I have missed them!
This week's pick list:
- Zucchini and summer squash
- Lettuce Mix
- Basil. dill, cilantro, and parsley
Celery Leaf and Arugula Salad, adapted from Bitters by Jennifer McLagan
- 4 Cups celery leaves
- 4 Cups arugula, tear or cut into smaller pieces if leaves are large
- 2 Tablespoons onion, finely diced
- 1 Tablespoon capers
- 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- salt and pepper
- 1/3 Cup olive oil
- Zest the lemon and squeeze the juice. Macerate the onions in the juice for 10 minutes. Mix the lemon juice, onions, mustard, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.
- Place the celery leaves, arugula, and capers in a bowl. Pour the dressing over them and toss.
Tarragon Roasted Celery, adapted from Bitters by Jennifer McLagan
- 17.5 ounces celery stalks, about 5 stalks
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Several sprigs of tarragon
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Cut each stalk into about 3 pieces, then into 4 sticks.
- Place them in a bowl, add olive oil, salt and pepper, then toss.
- Put them in a single layer in a roasting pan, top with tarragon, and cook for 20 minutes. Stir and cook for another 20 minutes or so until soft, well colored, and slightly caramelized on the edges.