Wednesday, September 3, 2014

As summer fades into fall...

A harvest from a land where the sky rains every day
The amount of rain that we have gotten this year, both this spring and now this ending of our summer, has made this a challenging season for farming. Despite the ongoing saturation of the garden beds, and an August that has felt lacking in sunshine, the Land School's plants are still offering us their abundance of beautiful fruits. Here is a projected harvest list for the week:

Bok Choi
Carrots? (we may have an off week until the next bed's carrots size up a bit more)
Cut Flowers
Green Beans
Herbs: Dill, Cilantro, Parsley,

Lettuce Mix
Green Onions
Hot Peppers
Bell Peppers
Sweet Corn?
Swiss Chard
Zucchini and Summer Squash

Here are some preservation ideas to carry this season's bounty into the winter months:

Fermented Green Beans:

In addition to freezing and canning, green beans can also be fermented. The process is simple, and for those who enjoy fermented foods, such as kimchi or sauerkraut, the end result is delicious!

Wash beans. Snap tips off of ends and pack tightly into a clean quart jar. Mix together one quart water with 2-3 tablespoons salt. Pour this salt-water brine into jar, over beans. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 3-10 days, tasting occasionally and moving into the fridge when they have reached your desired level of tanginess. 


Cut cabbage into very thin strips. Mix cabbage with salt in a ratio of 5 pounds cabbage to 3 tablespoons salt. In a large bowl, punch down on the cabbage-salt mixture until the juices from the cabbage are released. The salt will pull enough liquid from the cabbage to submerge it beneath its own liquid. When the cabbage is broken down to this point, pack into clean quart or gallon jar, or fermenting crock. Continue pushing down on cabbage until it is submerged beneath the liquid. Place a weight on top of the cabbage (a ziplock bag full of water can act as this weight) to keep it submerged. Leave at room temperature for 2-4 weeks, tasting periodically. When it has fermented to your liking, put a lid on the jar and move to the refrigerator. If any mold develops, simply scrape it off, clean around the mouth of the jar, and replace weight.

Updates from the Land School
Donna, Katie, Laura and the kittens in front of the new chicken coop

Donna is away for two weeks on the junior high odyssey trip, headed west to Crow Canyon, Colorado. Katie, Erin (this year's facilities intern), Jen and I will all be welcoming 100 high school students from Great River School this coming Monday for their annual fall visit. Lake Country class visits will also begin next week: Class F on Tuesday, Class G on Thursday, and Class E on Friday. We look forwarding to having students back on the farm with us!

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