May 30th, 2013

The weather is getting warmer and feeling more like summer. This is a good thing! Natalie and I have been putting more and more summer crops into the ground. Summer squash, zucchinis, melons and winter squash have all been planted. As usual, we are doing succession plantings of the squash and zucchinis (family cucurbitaceae) to ensure that we have them throughout the season. Our nemesis of the cucurbit family last year was the squash bug. We lost our whole crop of winter squash, some pumpkins and a good amount of zukes and cukes to the squash bug.

In order to stay on top of this pest for the 2013 season we just got two adult male Guinea Fowl (which I have nicknamed The Men) last Friday. Guineas are mainly carnivorous creatures; they will forage on insects and weed seeds while not harming crops. They are native to Africa and are very social birds. They enjoy being able to roam around, hunt, roost and see their reflection. They make a lot of noise, from little squeaks to loud squawks. I have been told they are good watch birds, if anything unusual comes onto the farm then I will know. So far they have not been bad neighbors but we will see as they start thinking of Sugar Creek as home. To get them adjusted we have to keep them in an enclosure for 6 weeks before letting them roam free, otherwise they may just try to fly away.

I am looking forward to them being let loose to roam, and to see The Men in action.

Hope you have a great weekend,
Ann and the Sugar Creek Crew

Spicy Sautéed Kale with Lemon via: marthastewart

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 Thai or jalapeno chile, thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed and slices quartered
1 tablespoon honey
2 bunches kale (1 1/2 pounds), tough stems and ribs removed, leaves coarsely chopped
6 scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces
Coarse salt
In a large skillet, heat oil and chile over medium-high heat. Add lemon and honey and cook, stirring, until lemon begins to break down, about 2 minutes. Add kale and cook, stirring, until just wilted, about 3 minutes. Add scallions, season with salt, and cook 1 minute. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Grilled Garlic Scapes via: Michigan Garlic Farm
25-30 garlic scapes 

3 Tbsp. of olive oil

1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and marinate for approx. 10 minutes
.  Fire up the grill to medium high heat.
  Add scapes to a grill pan and cook for approx. 10 minutes until soft and browned. You can also cook these in oven in a deep skillet, using medium high heat.

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