Monday, August 11, 2008

More Than Veggies in My Garden

We have been enjoying the onions, green beans, the first tomatoes,
chard, cucu
mbers, beets, the first peppers, and red and white potatoes.
All of these have been very high quality.

The red potatoes are ready and we are harvesting them as they are
needed.

We are now getting tomatoes every day.

The edamame soybeans are getting close to harvest time. But since we've
never had them before, we're not really certain when to take them.
There are a mess of them. Some plants varieties produce over a long
time (they are "indeterminate"), others produce all their fruit at once
("determinant"). Machine harvesting requires the determinant type.
Anyway, these edamame appear to be strongly determinant, so we will get
one or two giant harvests and that will probably be it.

Fortunately, we can freeze the excess, but we'll enjoy as many fresh
ones as we can. I learned to appreciate them on my trips to Korea a few
years ago. Below
are a few WWW notes on edamame soybeans:

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Edamame
Edamame is of Chinese origin and was developed in Japan especially for
eating out of the pod. Edamame is a variation on the same yellow and
black field soybean that is transformed into many popular soy products
such as tofu, miso, and soymilk. However, because of its recent
introduction into the U.S. market, only a small percentage of U.S.
soybean fields are devoted to growing edamame.

Some call edamame the super or wonder vegetable because it is the only

vegetable that contains all nine essential amino acids. This makes
edamame a complete protein source, similar to meat or eggs.

Edamame also contains isoflavonoids. They are found in all soy products
and are being studied for their health benefits.


Availability:
Edamame is rarely sold fresh, but is available frozen all year.

Preparation:
To eat beans right out of the shell, boil them until they are al dente
(still slightly firm). Rinse to cool slightly, and season as desired.
You can easily suck the al dente beans out of the shell. Beans may also
be shelled and added to other dishes, such as salads. Beans are easy to
shell after they are boiled briefly.


Edamame and Corn Salad

1 cup cooked and shelled edamame
1 cup sweet corn

2 medium tomatoes, diced
4 green onions, sliced
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (basil or parsley will also

work. Avoid dry herbs in this recipe.)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at
least one hour. Makes 4 servings.


This weekend, since it will be so pretty, we may finally get around to

planting some fall crops.

July 26 Onions by the Bag Full



This is the week of onions, cucumbers and green beans. I estimated that we have about 320 onions - about 5 varieties and all in good shape so far. Almost all are harvested and are midway through the curing and drying process. I also harvested the shallots today.
We are getting three types of cucumbers (pickling, Asian and salad), and Stan has already made some into pickles, which I enjoyed on a sandwich today.
The French green bean variety we selected (Parisian) seems to be a big hit. We've had enough to give to neighbors/friends, and we've blanched and froze a couple batches.
Stan now has a 4 gallon crock in which he's making sauerkraut. How cool is that! The process involves fermenting our cabbage for a couple of months before enjoying or canning. This will be a great learning experience.
We are just now starting to get Early Girl tomatoes and a few Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes. The big guns (Romas and Better Boy) are maturing slowly but are growing nicely in the heat. We also have some Golden tomatoes. Maybe we'll see the onslaught begin in a week or so.
This week Mickey used our basil to made pesto. I highly recommend that you have her teach you how to do this. It is some of the best stuff we get from the garden.
The small garden is almost bare except for some flowers, dill, a few more onions and the small 2nd plantings of beans, spinach, chard and beets. We need to replant several things for fall harvest.
Don't feel shy about coming over!