Thursday, March 22, 2012


Seeding continues and continues. On 3/19 radicchio, spinach, beets and hot peppers were seeded. On 3/20 some more onions were seeded. And on 3/22 a few more onions, leeks, and a wide variety of herbs were seeded. Some of the herbs that will be grown this year includes, but is not limited to, oregano, thyme, anise hyssop, catnip, chives, lemongrass, and rosemary. And going back to hot peppers, Z Food Farm will be growing upwards of 22 varieties. At the hot end of the scale there will be, among others the Jamaican Hot Chocolate, Red Savina, and Fatali. Of varying degrees of heat there will be a cherry hot pepper, a serrano, a jalapeno, and a couple of paprika peppers. As last year David will be growing the shishito (a Japanese pepper), piquillo (Spanish pepper), and the padron peppers.

The shishito is a smallish green colored pepper, about the length of a serrano. They are intended to be cooked in oil until they start to blister. Once done cooking sprinkle on a little sea salt and enjoy. The cooking really enhances their flavor and are served as a tapas. The unique feature of the pepper is that every once in a while one of them will bring the heat. And the catch is, you don't know which one. Sort of like playing pepper roulette. The shishito turned out to be a big hit last year.

The padrons (which look like a smaller version of a green pepper) are prepared the same as a shishito. The frequency of finding a 'surprise' hot padron is a little more than the shishito. However, there is a limited window in which to harvest the padron before ALL of them become hot. This was not known to David last year and a couple of friends were surprised (to say the least) when they started biting into them. This year will be different.

Piquillo peppers have a sweet-spicy flavor. They are not commonly available fresh. They can be found in stores having been roasted over embers, peeled, deseeded and packed in olive oil. They are most commonly stuffed with cheese, meat, or seafood and served as a tapas. Last years harvest was not great and those that were brought to market did not catch on. It is hoped that people will give these delicious peppers more of a try this coming season.

The most exciting news to report today is that there has been a tremendous amount of germination!! It is always exciting when the new growth starts to emerge from within the soil. Even when you know that you have good seed and a good soil mix in which to plant the seed, there is always some anxiety in anticipation of whether or not there will be growth. While there will be a version of this feeling of anticipation throughout the season, the first seeding is the source of the greatest nervousness. And the greatest sense of relief. Here's to ongoing seeding and successful growing.

While this angle doesn't fully provide perspective, the greenhouse is steadily filling up.

Baby cauliflower.

Baby onions.

Baby lettuce. Most seeds are covered with the soil mix. Some plant varieties require a little more light and are covered with vermiculite; lettuce is one of those.

This shows the contrast between those seeds covered with soil mix and those covered with the vermiculite.

Healthy eating to one and all. Support local farmers.

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