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Monthly Archives: August 2015

Fair Weather

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Today let’s talk about the weather. The weather that impacts gardeners and farmers. The weather that influences what we harvest. And whether, for me, it’s good enough to give me flavorful heirloom tomatoes.

Growing these tomatoes was on my bucket list. My 50 things I wanted to do before I die. Back 12 years ago when I turned 50 I wrote that list. Before we bought this house in the country. Before I ever tilled and weeded and suffered through our awful summers.

This year our county fair is a week later than the past. Giving me more time to get those heirlooms ripe. Except all that rain has made them a mess.

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They are cracked. They aren’t as full of flavor. Still, I try and pick the best ones to submit.

Submissions are due by Saturday morning, although I try to get mine in on Friday night. Today, I harvested all my leeks. I picked one of my unusual vegetables, hoping I may get a better one Thursday. I still haven’t chosen my herbs.

If you have never made it to the county fair, you really ought to come out.

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Come see what our traffic jams look like. Ride a few rides. Have some unhealthy foods. The fair runs from Saturday to Saturday. We like heading over there early before the crowds. And we buy a season pass.

See you at the fair?

Fair Trade

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Getting ready for the county fair. The next few posts will highlight things that we are interested in doing, and show some of the preparations that I make in order to enter items for ribbons.

This year, I am literally drowning in heirloom tomatoes, compared to previous years. Unfortunately many of them will be past their prime on submission days. Still, I found a solution to my problem.

Thanks to Bistro Blanc.

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What does ginger beer and peaches have to do with the fair? Not much, but we were drinking a peach ginger mule at the bar Friday night when Chef Janny came out to visit with a few regulars. It was past prime dining time, so he was done service.

I mentioned to him that I had an overabundance of herbs and veggies. In the past, I had given Chef Marc some of my rosemary and basil, when I was deluged with them.

We made a simple deal. I would bring him what I had available. We would work out a “trade”.

That’s how I became a local supplier to a local restaurant.

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Here’s some of the vegetables I put together. The hot peppers. I have a serious overabundance of them. I did keep back six that are almost all perfectly straight and uniform in size. Hopefully they will hang in there to be submitted as fair entries.

Shallots. Lots and lots of shallots. I have all sorts of shapes and sizes.

Heirlooms. In the above picture, there are Black Prince, Amana Orange, Abe Lincoln, German Johnson, Goliath and Box Car Willie. I am doing the taste testing to determine which ones would do best at the fair. I still can’t decide, and there are dozens of them on the vine up at the garden.

Not shown in my pictures are my lavender, chives and basil. Or a container full of teeny cherry tomatoes.

Next weekend after my submissions, I will probably deliver another batch. So, if you eat at Bistro Blanc, you may be getting “farm to table” from my little part of the world.

As for that lovely drink up there, it’s simple. Get a bottle of ginger beer. A lime. A peach. Some ice. Good vodka. I used Absolut. Muddle the peach, after removing the skin and pit. If it isn’t really sweet (ours was), add a pinch of sugar. Pour in 1/2 cup of vodka, crushed ice, juice of the lime. Divide between two glasses and pour the bottle of ginger beer into the glasses, evenly dividing it.

I found Crabbie’s up at Old Tyme Liquor. It can be used to make Dark and Stormies, if you have dark rum. What is it about summertime and cocktails?