Sunday, April 24, 2011

Real Men Blanch Greens...and Other Shocking News

Just who IS that great-looking dude at the stove? He must be a real man, to be blanching his cabbage leaves before freezing them. Gotta confess, if blanching greens is what it takes to be a real man, then I only became a "real man" last Friday. Usually Amie has done this stuff, but I watch and try to learn. You gotta put greens in boiling water for a few minutes to start the cooking process, then bathe them in icewater to immediately stop the cooking before you can freeze them. Turns out, blanching stops enzymes in the food from continuing to do their work even in the freezing stage. If they aren't arrested, they'll produce weird colors, flavors, and tough foods. Who knew?I just finished reading Farm City, The Education of an Urban Farmer, by Novella Carpenter (if you can't handle some strong language, this book is not for you). In the book the author recounts the story of her urban farm in the ghetto of Oakland, California. From chickens (the "entry" livestock) and a community garden, to turkeys and ducks, to bees, to rabbits, and finally to pigs, Novella's story is both humorous and educational. For me, the book confirmed again some of the great things about urban farming: connection with creation, connection with community, respect for the life of God's creatures, and just knowing where your food comes from and what's in it.

If you've never grown anything, why not give it a shot? Oh yeah (shameless plug here), I've got some heirloom tomato plants for sale, if you're interested. They need to be put in the ground fairly soon, as they will begin to yellow if they stay in the soil blocks too long.
Last Friday we planted most of the summer garden. I asked some guys from the neighborhood if they wanted to help, and they actually showed up, ready to work! We planted tomatoes of 6 different varieties, three different kinds of melons, cucumbers, three kinds of beans, an herb garden, and some flowers. Thanks for your help, Kyrell, Isaiah (my own kid), Antwain, and Rakeem!Kyrell, whom was recently baptized , studiously placing a tomato in the dirt.

No, this is NOT "Ring-Around-the-Rosy." This is a fun game to play after planting the garden: "Hold-the-electric-fence-and-grab-someone-else-and-try-to-shock-them." Sounds fun, right? Actually, it was hilarious. And because the ground was soaking wet from a recent rain, EVERYBODY got a nice jolt from a few thousand volts. Farm fun, indeed.

I took pictures.

Somebody's gotta be the smart one around here!

1 comment:

  1. Ha, ha! I wish I'd know about that trick growing up. We had an electric fence but I never knew you could share the shock.