May 3, 2013

We've got spring! I'm relishing the long-sleeve shirt weather. 

Although we have not seen the sun in a the past few days, our plantings have turned to summer. On Monday, Ann and I put in about 750 tomato plants. Although it rained 1.5" over the weekend, the ground was nicely mulched with old hay - thank you, mom and dad! Tuesday, we transplanted some squash, cucumbers and zucchini - covering them with a light row cover.  We saw a handful of cucumber bugs before the plants were even out of the greenhouse, but the row cover keeps the plants protected from bug damage until they grow into a less vulnerable size and start flowering. In a few weeks we'll remove the covers and let the pollinators do their thing. We grow these crops on black plastic to get maximum heat during these cooler spring days, to keep the moisture from the drip lines in the soil and to help us with weed control. 

See you at the market,
Natalie and the Sugar Creek Crew

P.S. the pics below show our freshly planted tomatoes, the row cover over the cukes, squash, and eggplant, along with a sneak peak under the row cover!
Creamy Green Garlic Soup from

Russets or baking potatotes are the best for soups like this due to their high starch content. Yukons have a medium starch content and will also work well, while adding a touch of their “buttery” feel. 

· 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil or Dairy-Free Margarine (I used olive oil)
· 1 Medium Onion, diced (about 1-1/4 cups)
· 1/2 lb Green Garlic or 3 bulbs, thinly sliced and cut in half (I used the whites, pink, and part way up the green) – can sub 2 to 4 minced medium garlic cloves
· 1/2 lb Yukon Gold or Russet Potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I didn’t peel)
· 1/2 Teaspoon Salt, plus more to taste (I used 1 teaspoon total)
· 1 Quart Vegetable or Chicken Broth (I used Pacific Foods Free Range Chicken Broth)
· Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste
· 1/2 to 1 Tablespoon Dairy-Free Margarine (optional)
Heat the oil or margarine in a stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 3 to 5 minutes, or until they begin to soften and become translucent.
Add the garlic, potatoes, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and saute for another 5 minutes – keeping things moving. If the pan dries out, splash in a wee bit of the broth to keep the ingredients from sticking.
Add the broth and bring the soup to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low, allowing the soup to simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are nice and tender.
Using an immersion blender, or in two batches in a regular blender, puree the soup (garlic, onions, potatoes and all) until it is nice and smooth. I did it in my blender, allowing each batch to spin for a couple of minutes. Use caution when you turn the blender on, making sure you have a firm hand on the lid to ensure that no hot soup escapes. Trust me, that is never fun!
Return the soup to your pot and season with additional salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. As noted, I used a fair bit of salt, because I was craving it, but go for what you like best. If you have some miso on hand, I might try mixing in some of this for a different flavor variation instead of the extra salt.
If desired, serve with 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of margarine swirled in to each bowl.
Yields 3 light lunches
Garbanzo Bean Salad with Arugula and Cumin Vinegrette

Makes a salad

· 1- 16 oz can garbanzos, drained and rinsed
· 8ounces baby arugula
· 1red bell pepper -chopped small
· 1large carrot, scrubbed and chopped small
· 1/2cup red onion, chopped small
· 1/2cup chopped cilantro


· 6tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
· 3tablespoons red wine vinegar
· 1tablespoon minced shallot
· 2tablespoons ground cumin
· salt and pepper to taste
Add the garbanzo beans to a large bowl and combine them with the small chopped veggies, cilantro and arugula. In a separate bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the vinaigrette and pour the dressing over the salad. Let stand for at least 1/2 hour before eating and enjoy!

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