Good Weed; Bad Design

Lots of stuff going on at Flying Tomato Farms–both town and farm places.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon on the farm getting onions transplanted, dill planted, the hilltop garden sort of cleaned up and under a little control (didn’t manage to get the wire in to support the black raspberry canes–this weekend, I hope).

I also took a look at my big marine coolers and again cursed the crappy one I bought last year.  While the first two Rubbermaid coolers have sailed through the winter in fine shape, the Igloo I bought last year was three-quarters full of water thanks to a lid design that wicks water directly to the interior.

Bad Design

Hello?  What kind of designer ignores the huge issue like this?  It basically means that even though I sterilize the coolers throughout the season, this one has to constantly be sheltered because it sucks in crap from the outside.  Dumb.  I’m honestly thinking of giving it to the Civic Council and looking for another couple of Rubbermaids.

Good Design

The reason for checking on them (other than to make sure they can be used for produce hauling again this year) is because we have a whole small hog coming back from the processor today, and H was going to use them for transport.

And the pork project has also spawned a series of other projects: the upstairs fridge has been leaking water, which I think is an issue with the evaporator line caused by cramming the freezer full and blocking the vents.  Or something.  What do I know of the inner workings of my own fridge?  Not a lot, I’m afraid.

In order to clear that up, I’ve had to empty the contents of the upstairs freezer into the downstairs one and then empty all the refrigerated stuff into yet another cooler, so I can thaw the whole thing out and wipe it down.

I’m honestly hoping it takes H a little while to get back with that pig because everything’s got to come back upstairs in order for the downstairs freezer to take what will likely be at least 100 lbs. of meat.  *Sigh*  I don’t think I’ll be unplugging the chest freezer this year.

What else?  Oh–there’s likely a segment of my blog readership anxiously awaiting explanation of the “Good Weed” part of the post title.  That was supper last night: the stinging nettles were finally big enough to harvest, so we had a big bunch of them sautéed alongside some antelope sausage we got from a friend this winter.

Good Weed

I’m going to try to bring some nettles (and maybe a little yellow dock) and some of the immense amount of green onions I’ve got ready at the farm to the Valiant Vineyards Earth Day Open House event I blogged on earlier today.

Oh, and I FINALLY got my tomatoes (all twenty-three varieties) started this morning–much later than I planned, but it should be just fine.  It never really computes how many kinds I’m growing until I have all the packets laid out on the kitchen table and am wondering how I’m going to cram them all in that germinator flat.

Also while waiting for the fridge to thaw, I hung out on a Specialty Crop Block Grant conference call.  A regional group is looking at a processing/storage/distribution facility for local foods, and I’m thinking if we could get something together in the next two weeks, we might be able to get some good funding through that.

AND, I ran out to the farm to check on the new electric fence set-up, scout for deer tracks, re-set mole traps, water new crops, finish planting the rest of the onions plus a little bronze fennel as well.  Whew!

But, back to that fridge.  Maybe a cup of coffee would help.

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4 responses

  1. on your fridge problem check the hose to make sure it isn’t plugged , sometimes they get some goop in them . Just run a wire down it to make sure its clear

  2. I would like to hear a little more about how you harvest stinging nettles. My theory is that weeds were not a huge problem until people quit using wild food along with tame food. Both the pioneers and the depression families anxiously waited for dandelions to emerge, great greens after a long winter.

    • Joelie–

      Generally, I wait until they are a few inches tall and then clip off their tops. Gloves and scissors are standard, though I have been known to go without gloves–if you grab nettles with “purpose,” they don’t sting–it’s only if you brush by them that they really getcha. I typically harvest a gallon bag full for H and I (they wilt down a lot)–put them in a tub of cold water, swish them around, and dry them in the salad spinner before steaming or quickly sauteeing–usually with a splash of soy sauce or Worchestershire–or sometimes I serve with apple cider vinegar. Just make sure they’re wilted down thoroughly before serving, or your lips and tongue will burn!

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