We are all constantly prioritizing, you know, sometimes that is easy but often not so. This past week we have been furiously working to complete our farm’s second high tunnel. We received a NRCS grant to erect the tunnel last year, hmmmm, around this time. Given 12 months to complete the project in order to receive funding, we find ourselves, despite our best efforts to avoid this, in a race to the finish. I really shouldn’t say “we”. I am an observer on this job leaving the power tools and flying metal, the drilling and carpentry, to the child-less part of the crew. With stolen moments to do the barest minimum of garden work, the entire week was spent at the high tunnel site.
We love our high tunnel. We are lucky to have met friends Paul and Alison (yes, Paul the chicken man) many years ago and were immediately taken with their season extending possibilities and diversity afforded them by their 5 high tunnels. Tall, large (ours are 30 feet by 96 feet) unheated greenhouses, high tunnels have 2 layers of plastic blown apart with an inflation fan. Providing an air blanket and thereby offering some degrees of added heat during the below freezing season, we are able to extend our already long fall season well into winter with hardy greens and lettuces grown with this protective shelter. In summer the high tunnel offers heightened sun and heat to those ripening sweet peppers and bug protection for those sensitive eggplant.
When we put up our first high tunnel, Paul and Alison warned us, “they are addictive, you will want another”. Naww, we thought, one would be enough. HA, they were right. When a national program offering a substantial payback for this sustainable technology in season extension found its way to Kentucky we jumped at the chance. Now, with completion days away, we are thrilled. Other things “should have” been done or “could have ” been accomplished, but that list will long be forgotten as we experiment more and more in the future with anther high tunnel on the farm!
week five in your basket:
Garlic Scape Pesto
it’s only once a year, just like Christmas! Enjoy
1 cup garlic scapes, buds removed and chopped
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.
Refrigerate covered for up to two weeks. The flavor will mellow some as it sits.
Or version #2
8-10 large garlic scapes1/3 cup unsalted pistachios 1/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano-ReggianoKosher salt and black pepper1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Puree the garlic scapes, pistachios, Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a food processor until very finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly pour the oil through the opening. Season the pesto with salt and pepper to taste. (The pesto keeps in the fridge, covered, for 1 week or frozen for a month.)
Or version #3
1 cup finely chopped garlic scapes (or 2/3 cup finely chopped chives, plus 1/3 cup finely chopped garlic)
3/4 cup olive oil1/2 cup finely grated parmesan1/3 cup roasted, salted cashewsKosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Pulse garlic scapes, oil, parmesan, and cashews in a food processor until finely chopped; season with salt and pepper.